Media Advisory
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
Friday, February 20, 2004
Contact: Kenneth Besserman, (512) 463-0113

SETTLEMENT REACHED IN WALLER COUNTY VOTING RIGHTS CASE

PRESS CONFERENCE ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH

(Houston, Texas) - A press conference announcing the settlement in the Prairie View voting rights controversy against the Waller County District Attorney Oliver S. Kitzman will be held Thursday, February 26, 2004 at 11:30 a.m. in Ballroom B of the Memorial Student Center on the campus of Prairie View A&M University.

The settlement agreement provides for the creation of a Waller County Criminal Justice Intern within the Criminal District Attorney's Office. Each semester, a student from PVAMU will be selected for this position. In addition, the settlement creates a PVAMU Liaison. This position will be held by an individual designated by the Prairie View Chapter of the NAACP. The PVAMU Liaison and the District Attorney will have a scheduled meeting once a month, and will also maintain an open line of communication in case unanticipated problems. The Liaison will be responsible for reporting to the District Attorney's office the concerns of the PVAMU students.

The press conference will address the settlement agreement and the recent vote by the Waller County Commissioners' Court to extend early voting at the Kemp, Smith, and Coleman Community Center to two days.

Expected to attend the press conference are the Prairie View plaintiffs and their lawyers, Barbara R. Arnwine, Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights; representatives from the law firm of Weil Gotshal and Manges LLP; the NAACP; the ACLU of Texas; and People For the American Way Foundation, as well as members of the Prairie View community.

WHAT: Press Briefing on PVAMU Settlement
WHEN: February 26, 2004, 11:30 AM (CST)
WHERE: Ballroom B of the Memorial Student Center
Prairie View A&M Campus

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