Houston Business and Latino Leaders Endorse Proposition 1

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Angela Hale | angelahale1@mac.com  | 512-289-2995 cell
Anna Núñez | anna@houstonunites.org713-857-9160 cell | 713-325-7010 office

HOUSTON – Today, prominent Houston-area Latino business and community leaders joined the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to voice strong support for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The announcement came during the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Elected Officials Reception where over 400 business, community leaders and elected officials gathered at the Wortham Theater Center.

Dr. Laura Murillo, President and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was joined by a host of business leaders at the event who say support of the Equal Rights Proposition is critical to Houston’s continued growth, development and competition for attracting new businesses.

“The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supports HERO and encourages others to vote in support of Proposition 1 – so the City of Houston may continue being a world-class city with zero tolerance for discrimination,” said Dr. Laura Murillo, President and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “In order to maintain its competiveness globally, we must ensure that Houston continues to be a welcoming, diverse and inclusive city.”

Murillo, who led the chamber’s endorsement of HERO, also serves on the Houston BBVA Compass Board of Directors, the University of Houston’s Board of Visitors, Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board, The Nau Cultural Heritage Center Board, The National Museum of American Latinos Host Committee and the Houston Symphony’s Hispanic Leadership Council.

“Support of the Equal Rights Proposition is critical to Houston’s continued growth and development as we compete to attract new businesses,” said Roland Garcia, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP and Board member of the Greater Houston Partnership.  “A vote for Proposition 1 is an opportunity for Houston voters to make a clear statement that we embrace equality.”

Proposition 1 protects all Houstonians from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, veteran states and more.  The Ordinance is a local tool for people who are victims of intentional discrimination.  The ordinance requires a timely complaint, investigation and decision at the local level.  This will save time and litigation costs.

Joining Murillo in her endorsement of Proposition 1 today were Roland Garcia, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP; Reymundo Ocañas, Corporate Responsibility & Reputation – EVP, Director, BBVA Compass; Gilbert Herrera, former Chairman of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & Founder, Herrera Partners; Massey Villarreal, CEO and President, Precision Task Group, Inc.; Oscar De La Rosa, De La Rosa Law Firm; Gilbert Garcia, Chairman of METRO & Managing Partner, Garcia Hamilton & Associates; Benny Agosto, Jr., Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend and many other business and community leaders.

“We support the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance and are proud to stand among a number of Houston business leaders and organizations that are committed to keeping our city strong,” said BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO Manolo Sánchez. “As a global bank that values diversity, we see it as a source of strength that will help us build better workplaces and stronger communities. We support Proposition 1 because it’s good for business, it’s good for our employees and it’s the right thing to do.”

“Our ability to attract talent for our businesses, educational institutions, cultural arts organizations, medical institutions and across our diverse community is greatly influenced by our open, welcoming and inviting society,” said Gilbert Herrera, former Chairman of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Founder of Herrera Partners.

BBVA Compass joins a growing list of businesses voicing their support for a “YES” vote on Proposition 1. The list includes Dow Chemical Company, the Greater Houston Partnership, the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Houston Association of Realtors, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, executives from Citi, Wyatt Energy, United Airlines, dozens of small businesses and Rice University. A large coalition of Houston business leaders supporting Proposition 1 recently featured this full-page ad citing the critical importance of continued growth and job creation.

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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.

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