From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
March 8, 1999
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Statement of Senator Rodney Ellis on Minority Opportunity Programs
Response to Ward Connerly visit to Austin

AUSTIN -- "Ward Connerly is just wrong on this issue. Texans understand the need to continue working in a positive way toward the goal of increasing diversity in education, business and government. They understand that solving diversity questions in a bipartisan, inclusive manner are key to Texas' future.

"By 2010, my hometown of Houston will be majority minority. Statewide, the number of minorities will outstrip whites by 2030, if not sooner. Our doctors, our lawyers, our nurses and our educators will be Hispanic or African American. The question is do we want them to have the same opportunity to receive the best education and the best education that our state has to offer. We can follow Mr. Connerly's path, and further turn back the clock on the progress we have made, or we can strengthen minority opportunity programs in business and education to provide more Texans the opportunity to succeed. What we do today will have a major impact on how Texas lives and works in 30 years.

"Ward Connerly wants us to ignore the fact that discrimination continues to be a problem in business and education for minorities across Texas. Thankfully, Governor Bush understands the importance of inclusion. Perhaps that is why the Republican Governor of Texas is the front-runner for the GOP nomination for President. I think those who would try to use affirmative action as a wedge issue or for their own political gain ought to ask Pete Wilson what it did for him."