The Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (CCC) joined an expanding pro-diversity business coalition last week, sending a strong message of support for Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO).
The Caribbean Chamber of Commerce encompasses 40 countries—protections from discrimination in work, housing, and public services is central to the success and prosperity of the communities they represent. In her public statement announcing the CCC’S endorsement of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, the President of the Chamber Sijollie Braham issued a call to arms:
This November, Houstonians have an opportunity to take charge and send a clear message: we embrace our international diversity.
The CCC’s unanimous decision to endorse HERO came after one of our very own field organizers, Sissi Yado, presented the campaign for a Yes vote on Proposition 1 to the Chamber’s board. Yado said of the talks:
HERO validates the identities of the Caribbean people and protects them from discrimination. The Caribbean Chamber’s unanimous vote in support of HERO is telling that protections like these are important to strengthening diverse business communities.
Businesses have come out in public support of HERO for a variety of reasons. Many, like Dow Chemical Co., see non-discrimination protections as necessary to keeping Houston competitive to diverse pools of talent. Most, including the Houston Association of Realtors, consider the equal rights ordinance an extension of existing policies that protect employees from discrimination. Others see HERO as an asset to protecting Houston’s reputation as a diverse and thriving place to live, work, and build a business.
The single common thread between them all: strengthening Houston’s economy and communities by keeping the city welcoming and open to business for all.
Prominent local groups like the NAACP Houston Branch and the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HHCC) have been long-time supporters of HERO. Racial discrimination claims make up the majority (56%) of reported discrimination incidents in Houston, according to a poll released last month. If HERO is repealed, then residents will have no local tool for dealing with discrimination in employment, housing or public services. Their only alternative is to file a federal case, which is costly, time-consuming, and inaccessible to many Houstonians.
Early voting in Houston begins today. To cast your YES vote on Proposition 1 to protect Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, click here to find your designated polling location.