Houston Unites Launches New TV Ad Highlighting Discrimination Against Veterans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2015

CONTACT:
Kevin Nix | kevin@houstonunites.org | 202-431-5796 cell
Anna Núñez | anna@houstonunites.org | 713-325-7010 office

HOUSTON – Ahead of early voting beginning Monday, Oct. 19, Houston Unites launched its third TV commercial today featuring Noel Freeman, a retired senior Airman in the United States Air Force who was denied a job in Houston simply because he served his country. Under the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, employers would be prohibited from discriminating against qualified veterans because of assumptions about post-traumatic stress disorder or political views on the nation’s wars.

In the ad, Freeman says, “I love this country and I love Texas. But here in Houston, veterans can be discriminated against just because they served in the military. After I got out of the Air Force I went through three interviews for a job, but a manager told me he was against all military force and wouldn’t hire me because I was a veteran.”

Freeman goes on to explain how, without a local tool like Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance to remedy discrimination, his only choice was to file a federal lawsuit. But pursuing a federal case was out of the question. “I was unemployed,” said Freeman. “Where am I going to find the money to hire a lawyer?”

Under the Equal Rights Ordinance, veterans must be afforded the same consideration from prospective employers as every other qualified applicant. Our nation’s veterans deserve the same opportunities to earn a living and support their families as everyone else.

Currently, veterans enjoy a limited preference when they apply for city jobs. If voters approve Proposition 1, protections for veterans will also be extended to private employment.

The campaign is spending more than $400,000 on the veteran ad, which is running in tandem with another television ad featuring a Houston police officer backing Proposition 1.

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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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