African Americans Leaders Announce Support for Equal Rights Ordinance in Face of Race-Based Discrimination

Since Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) became law last year, a majority 56% of discrimination reports were tied to cases of race-based discrimination.

NAACP eventThis statistic was at the heart of a news conference hosted today at the NAACP Houston Branch, where prominent members of the local African American community publicly announced their endorsement for the Yes on Proposition 1 campaign to protect HERO at the polls.

President and CEO of the Houston Area Urban League, Judson Robinson III, spoke to why all Houstonians should support HERO:

We don’t believe in discrimination. We believe in equal opportunity and access for all people.

Several weeks ago, an instance of racial discrimination in public spaces made media headlines when three African American attorneys were each charged a $20 entrance fee at a nightclub while white patrons were seen entering free of charge.

Two of the three attorneys, Brandon Ball and Dan Scarbough, attended the press conference to highlight the importance of laws like HERO in protecting against incidents like the one they faced:

Everybody talks about change, but a lot of people sit on the sidelines. The Equal Rights Ordinance represents transformational change. What are we going to do about it? Are we going to talk about it? Are we going to read about it? Let’s make change happen.

Other speakers in support of Proposition 1 included Dr. James M. Douglas, President of the NAACP Houston Branch, and Vernita Harris, Chair of the Greater Houston Black Chamber.

On November 3rd, Houston voters will decide the fate of our city’s equal rights ordinance, which has garnered widespread support from major businesses, faith leaders, and community members. If HERO is repealed, then Houston – the most diverse city in America – will be the largest U.S. city without a local non-discrimination ordinance.

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Dr. Douglas of the NAACP said Proposition 1 is about leveling the playing field and treating everyone fairly and equally:

The Equal Rights Ordinance gives all of us a voice. It puts Houston on the record as wanting to protect all of its people from discrimination. 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.

Houstonians have the opportunity to stand on the right side of history this November 3rd. Click here to sign the pledge to vote Yes on Proposition 1 to uphold Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance.