Dr. Laura Murillo, the President and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HHCC) appears in a TV ad launched today, urging voters to support Proposition 1. Watch:
The ad was prompted in part by the most recent chapter in the ongoing controversy surrounding the Gaslamp nightclub, which is under scrutiny for a pattern of racial discrimination. Murillo speaks to this issue in the ad:
“When you step back, at the end of the day, Proposition 1 is about discrimination. Most recently, the Gaslamp in Midtown discriminated against two Latinas who were charged cover because of the way they looked. We don’t accept that in Houston. We are a city that supports diversity and inclusion. We want to keep Houston that world-class city that we all love and embrace—a city that is open to all! Let’s vote in support of Proposition 1.
Under Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), Houstonians are protected against discrimination in employment, housing and public spaces like the Gaslamp, across 15 different protected classes including race.
On Tuesday, November 3, Houston voters will take to the polls and cast their votes on Proposition 1, the ballot initiative to decide the fate of the equal rights ordinance. If HERO is repealed, Houstonians will have no local tool for dealing with discrimination. The only alternative will be to file a federal lawsuit – a process that is incredibly costly in both time and money.
Three men are learning this the hard way. Brandon Bell, Dan Scarbrough and Ken Pigee are the African-American attorneys who first exposed Gaslamps discriminatory door policies last month after being charged an entrance fee while white male patrons were allowed to enter for free.
Just last week, they filed a federal lawsuit against the club in the absence of active local non-discrimination protections.
In the final week of campaigning, anti-HERO organizations have placed three weekend ad buys in an effort to win NO votes on Proposition 1 and overturn our city’s equal rights ordinance. In a campaign this close, we need to go head-to-head in ad buys or risk losing winning votes to the opposition.
The ad is also available in Spanish: