From the Office of State Senator Royce West - District 23

For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Kelvin Bass
(214) 467-0123
Tuesday, January 3, 2006

7th African American Legislative Summit set for 2006

DALLAS -- For more than a decade, Texas State Senators Royce West (D-Dallas) and Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) have hosted the African American Legislative Summit. This conference, held during interim years when the Legislature is not in Regular Session, attracts citizens from all over the state for dialogue and discussions of state and national issues that impact Texas' 2.4 million African Americans. The 7th biennial African American Legislative Summit will take place at the State Capital building, Thursday through Saturday, February 9-11, 2006 in Austin, Texas. All workshops and panels will be held in the Capital Extension.

"Since 2003, there have been drastic changes in state government," said Senator West. "How CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) and Medicare are administered, revisions of workmen's compensation laws, changes governing insurance and tort reform are all in various stages of implementation. Colleges have been given the ability to set their own tuition rates and we continue the fight to maintain programs such as the TEXAS Grants and the Top 10 Percent Rule.
"Then of course, we are still wrestling with the issue of how we will pay for public schools in Texas in a way that is equitable, while we respond to the outcry of citizens over high property taxes"
Senator West added. "And with the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the Texas Redistricting case, our constituents may need to be refreshed on just what is at stake regarding their right to cast a meaningful ballot. All in all, these issue and others should spark lively and informative discussion."

The opening day of the African American Legislative Summit has been dedicated to health care. Then on Friday, the University of Texas at Austin will co-host the "Doing Business Texas Style" - Spot Bid Contract Fair at the Frank Erwin Center. This event provides a rare face-to-face venue for minority business owners to meet with state agency and Texas college and university representatives who have provided advance listings of service and procurement opportunities. In 2004, more than $1.2 million in contracts for goods and services were awarded to Texas Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) owners as a result of the Spot Bid Contract Fair.

Hotel accommodations have been arranged through the Capitol Marriot, located at 701 E. 11th St., Austin, TX 78701. It is also the site of several Summit-related activities, including the Saturday Youth Luncheon and Closing Banquet. Pastor Rickie G. Rush of the renowned Inspiring Body of Christ Church (Dallas ) is the Youth Luncheon speaker. Summit attendees are eligible for a special rate if reservations are secured by January 19, 2006. Call 800-228-9200 or 512-478-1111 for hotel reservation/information.

For information on 7th biennial African American Summit Registration, please call the offices of State Senator Royce West at 214-467-0123 or 512-463-0123 or the offices of State Senator Rodney Ellis at 713-236-0306 or 512-463-0113.