Mayor Parker Celebrates Her Birthday and a Fundraiser Among Desi Friends

Mayor Parker cuts her birthday cake as (from left) Jasmeeta Singh, Kathy Hubbard, and Harry Singh look on.        Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

Mayor Parker cuts her birthday cake as (from left) Jasmeeta Singh, Kathy Hubbard, and Harry Singh look on. Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: Over the past few years, Bobby and Jasmeeta Singh have hosted Mayor Annise Parker at their house on the west side so many times one would think that she has become one of the family. Two year ago she was there at the Super Bowl, and then later for her birthday, which coincidentally falls two days after that of Bobby’s younger brother Harry, who happens to know her well from the days when the two of them worked together when Parker was the City Comptroller’s.

So it seemed only fitting that Parker, along with her companion Kathy Hubbard, be at the Singh’s home once again this past Sunday, May 19 to cut the cake for her 57th birthday and couple that with a fundraiser for her upcoming re-election run for another term – and her last since she is term limited – for Mayor. About 50 people – friends, the Singh family and admirers – came to attend the intimate dinner with the Mayor and offer their financial support.

Harish Jajoo (center) and wife Shashi attended the fundraiser.

Harish Jajoo (center) and wife Shashi attended the fundraiser.

“She is the greatest mayor this city has ever had!” exclaimed Bobby in a welcome around the coffee table where the guests gathered around. He recognized the other public officials – some, like Janiece Longoria, Chairman of the Port of Houston Commission, who were appointed by Parker – like Kenny Friedman, Chairman of the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority and former City Councilman Bert Keller, who is now President of the C Club (a non-partisan conservative PAC) and Chairman of the Gulf Coast Rail District who came to attend. From Sugar Land, newly re-elected Councilman Harish Jajoo, a former City of Houston employee for many years, and his wife Shashi were there too.

Others from the desi community included Dr. Winnie and Aku Bedi, Dev and Jasdeep Lamba, Harry Singh and his wife Jasleen, Deepak and Deepti Sharma, Jasbir and Darshan Singh, Jugal and Raj Malani, Mohammed Gire and his wife and F. Sabir, to name just a few.


Jasmeeta and Bobby Singh with Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard at a fundraiser.

Bobby noted that, under Parker’s watch, the economy has done well with a business friendly environment, ample funds for street and drainage work thanks to the drainage fee passed two years ago, newer fire stations and lower crime than in many comparable large metropolitan cities. He attributed this to her investment in infrastructure and decisive, inclusive leadership.

“Bobby just delivered my whole stump speech!” joked Parker when it came to her turn.  She said she was looking forward to her last term. “The first term I was plugging holes in a leaky boat. The second term I was sprucing up the boat and getting ready to sail to the destination.” she said. “This term, I want to get to my destination through Rebuild Houston, adding hike and bike trails, strong fiscal management and consistent business-like approach to the city.”

She added that a city always needs to be building things like streets, drainage and libraries and not ignoring them or letting them run down. She explained that the city now has a complete assessment of all 400 buildings it owns and can prioritize the repairs that need to be made. It was the same with all the thousands of vehicles that the city owns but were being retired due to lack of maintenance and were run into the ground. “The city is my home too, and I need to take care of it,” she concluded.

Asked about her chances of winning against a well-financed opponent, Ben Hall who was former City Attorney under Bob Lanier’s administration, Parker said she wasn’t worried because she intended to win, though her opponent says she doesn’t have a clear vision for the future of the city. “The voters aren’t as angry this time,” she said, noting that the improving local economy had placated the population, “but they need to show up and vote for us to win.”