It's not every Democrat who quotes Calvin Coolidge after spending 100 days in office as mayor of Houston. But then Annise Parker, 53, has never fit the mold. She's a demure, pearl-wearing lesbian businesswoman with three kids and a longtime partner. When she quoted Silent Cal in her first state of the city address, in April, saying, "There is no dignity quite so impressive and no independence quite so important as living within your means," it was a sign she would focus on her city's $100 million budget shortfall during her time in office. And so she has. The fourth largest city in the U.S. is having its belt dramatically tightened. "I feel like a mom planning a family budget,'' she says. "We're going to make sure we still have plenty of healthy vegetables, but we might have to cut back on dessert for a while."
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