Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
August 24, 2004
Contact: Kenneth Besserman, (512) 463-0113

Ellis' Chief of Staff Deece Eckstein Leaves to Become Texas Director of
People for the American Way

AUSTIN -- Senator Rodney Ellis announced today that his longtime chief of staff, Deece Eckstein, would be leaving the office at the end of the month. Eckstein will become the Texas director of People for the American Way. People for the American Way is a national, nonpartisan grassroots organization with 675,000 members and activists devoted to promoting civil and equal rights, civil liberties, public education, an independent judiciary, and civic participation. Eckstein will open an Austin office for the organization.

"I am very sorry to see Deece go," said Ellis. "He's a hard worker and an effective communicator, and is trusted and respected by legislators, staffers, and the media. He's added to the stature of this office, and I am proud of the work he's done for me and for the people of Senate District 13."

Eckstein joined Senator Ellis' staff in October 1998, and served through three regular and four special sessions of the Texas Legislature. In addition to assisting Ellis with his legislative program, Eckstein managed the district offices in Houston and Missouri City. During his tenure Eckstein also oversaw the Texas Legislative Internship Program, which Ellis founded in 1990 to give young people a hands-on experience of public policy-making.

Previously, Eckstein was the Director of Economic and Regulatory Policy in the office of Governor Ann Richards from 1991 to 1993 and served as a member of the Texas State Board of Insurance from 1993 to 1994. His public service career also includes stints as a teacher and a community organizer with the Industrial Areas Foundation. Eckstein graduated from St. Mary's University in 1977 and from the University of Texas School of Law in 1988.