Media Advisory
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Contact: Kenneth Besserman, (512) 463-0113

Senator Ellis and Senator West to Host
6th African American Legislative Summit

AUSTIN -- Texas Senators Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and Royce West (D-Dallas) will host the Sixth African American Legislative Summit in Austin beginning Thursday, February 26, 2004 through Saturday, February 28, 2004. The theme for this year's African American Legislative Summit is "The Balancing Act: Government and Politics vs. Community and Culture." The Summit brings together elected officials, religious, business, and private industry leaders as well as federal, state and local government employees.

The Summit will be held at the Texas Capitol. For more information about the Summit and to obtain a pamphlet detailing the events of the Summit, go to www.rodneyellis.com or contact Senator Ellis office at 512-463-0113.

"The Legislative Summit is a tremendous opportunity for people to get involved in their government," said Senator Ellis. "With the major changes in state law coming out of the 2003 Legislative Session, it is critical that we enter this political year armed with the most current information available. I hope that as many people as possible take advantage of this unique opportunity to come to Austin and learn about the issues that effect their lives."

The Summit kicks-off this year with the "Doing Business Texas Style - Spot Bid Contract Fair," which matches state agencies with minority vendors throughout the state. The Contract Fair is from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 26 at the University of Texas Frank Erwin Center.

"Coming off two years of the worst economic conditions in recent memory, it is more important than ever that agencies representing the State of Texas be proactive in reaching out to the small businesses that are the backbone of not only this state's economy, but also that of America," said Senator West. "We're excited to have the renewal of the Memorandum of Cooperation between past participants, and are anticipating other agencies to step forward in the effort to improve their relationships with Historically Underutilized Businesses."

Registration will take place Thursday from 5:30 p.m - 8:00 p.m at the Austin Capitol Marriott. Friday events begin with a morning Plenary Session in the Capitol Extension Auditorium followed by concurrent panels and sessions on issues confronting Texans. Legislators and expert will be apart of the panels.

Texas Southern University will host a Friday evening reception and Saturday's activities will include nationally known speakers in addition to a second day of panel discussions. An estimated 1,000 people attended the three-day event in 2002.

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