Prominent Local Business & Civil Rights Leaders Urge Houstonians to Vote Yes on Proposition 1


November 1, 2015


Anna Núñez | | 713-857-9160 cell | 713-325-7010 office

HOUSTON – The city’s most prominent business and civil rights leaders came together this afternoon to make a final push for Proposition 1, Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance. Greater Houston Partnership President & CEO Bob Harvey; NAACP Houston Branch President Dr. James Douglas; and Dr. Laura Murillo, President & CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce spoke about both the economic and civil rights imperatives for Proposition 1.

“The Equal Rights Ordinance gives all of us a voice. It puts Houston on record as wanting to protect all of its people from discrimination,” said Dr. Douglas. “The truth is, when we look back, we’ll see that the opponents of this ordinance will have been on the wrong side of history. Houston needs a local tool to address the many cases of discrimination that still occur to this today, and I believe the Equal Rights Ordinance is that tool.”

A number of local civil rights organizations are supporting Proposition 1 as well, including the NAACP Houston Branch and the Houston Area Urban League. According to data from the city’s Inspector General, 56 percent of discrimination claims filed from May 2014 to September 2015 were race-related, while 17 percent stemmed from gender discrimination. Other top discrimination claims related to familial status and age.

“As we work to attract businesses and talented professionals to our region, they have made clear that they are seeking a community that is welcoming, diverse and inclusive,” said Harvey. “Ensuring such an environment is critically important to the continued success of the region’s economy.”

Business voices have been nearly unanimous in their support for Proposition 1, which protects all Houstonians from discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces based on race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status and pregnancy. Business support has come from organizations big and small, including Apple, Dow Chemical, General Electric, Hewlett Packard, BASF, EMC Corporation, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.


Houston Unites is the campaign working to win a “YES” vote on Proposition 1, Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, in November. The leading partners include: ACLU of Texas, Equality Texas, Freedom for All Americans, Human Rights Campaign, NAACP Houston Branch and Texas Freedom Network.