Parker’s City Hiring Practices Questioned

Some  Tejano and African-American Houstonians are questioning Mayoral Candidate Annise Parker’s record of hiring in the city of  Houston controller’s office.

This is the first time this issue has been raised by  the minority community.

During the campaign most of the talk about  diversity  has focused on gay and lesbian issues, and whether mayoral candidate Gene Locke should repudiate the support of those who are waging a distasteful anti-Parker/homophobic campaign.  If   elected, Parker would make history by becoming the first openly gay mayor in the city of  Houston.

Take a look at the release and leave your thoughts:


Tejano Democrats and HBAD Criticize Parker Hiring Practices

Houston, TX—The Harris County Tejano Democrats (HCTD) and the Houston Black American Democrats (HBAD) today criticized mayoral candidate Annise Parker for her dismal record of hiring minorities in senior level positions in the Office of the City Controller.

A thorough review of the City of Houston Fiscal Year 2010 Budget found that of the ten top-level employees in the controller’s office, 70% are Anglo, while only 10% are Latino, 10% are Asian/Pacific Islander and 10% are African American.

The two organizations of community members also sounded the alarm at the startling discrepancies in salary between Anglo and minority employees in the controller’s office.

The FY 2010 budget found that while the average salary for Anglos in Parker’s office is $80,596, the average salaries for Asian/Pacific Islanders, African Americans and Latinos are respectively, $59,088, $54,086 and $53,980.

“It is unacceptable that in this day and age, a citywide elected official would employ such discriminatory hiring practices,” said Sandra Puente, HCTD Chair. “Annise Parker is not someone we can trust to lead our city. The leadership of her office does not reflect the great diversity of our city.”

Gene Locke, a partner at Andrews Kurth LLP, is the chair of the law firm’s Diversity Committee and received the Texas Diversity Council’s 2007 award for leadership and commitment to diversity. He has led the effort to increase inclusion at Andrews Kurth. Andrews Kurth is one of only two Texas-based law firms to be named one of the top 50 law firms for women in 2008 and 2009. In 2007 Andrews Kurth received an “A” grade for the sixth consecutive year for exceptional minority hiring and recruitment.

“Gene Locke has a stellar record of pro-actively providing opportunities to Houstonians regardless of their ethnicity,” said Gabrielle Hadnott. “This is the kind of leadership Houston needs and this is one of the reasons we have endorsed Gene Locke as the next mayor of our city.”

The Harris County Tejano Democrats endorsed Locke for Mayor in August and HBAD endorsed Locke in October.

2 Responses

  1. I am posting this from Marc Campos of Campos Commications in response to the email:

    I signed on to help Gene Locke close to a couple of weeks ago to help out wherever I could. I asked for and received the latest payroll info regarding the Controller’s office. I crunched the numbers and found out the following:

    Average salary for Anglos: $80,596.

    Average salary for Asian Americans: $59,088.

    Average salary for African Americans: $54,086.

    Average salary for Latinos: $53,980.

    Of the top ten paid employees in that department: 8 Anglos, 1 Latino, 1 Asian American. African Americans didn’t crack the top ten.

    Don’t even try to defend this. This isn’t right. There is no excuse. This has been going on for the last six years.

    The Harris County Tejano Democrats (HCTD) and Houston Black American Democrats (H-BAD) called out the Controller on her hiring practices. This is a valid issue to some folks like me. HCTD and H-BAD were attacked for putting it out in a press release.

    The city is over 70% Latino and African American. Look, in the private sector and the public sector, the folks that draw the bigger salaries are usually the ones that are the most important and make the decisions. These are just the facts.

    I’m sure someone will see fit to crack on me and try to make me look contradictory by pulling out some stuff that I said in the past. Just don’t try to spin these bad numbers in some other direction.

    Yesterday the Controller’s Office got very political and put out a report calling for the County to get off of it’s arse and sign on to the soccer stadium deal. I kind of found it a bit disingenuous in light of the fact that she cracked on the soccer stadium in her earlier TV ads.

    According to the KJEVDR, 10% of the voters are non Nov. 3. They are Latino at 9%, African American at 34%, Asian American at 6%, and Anglos at 51%. They are DEM 59%, REP 21%, No Primary 20%. I wonder who this helps.

  2. This is another response posted by 2 on the Beat after it was sent to me. This time by the Parker Campaign:

    Statement by Campaign Manager Adam Harris, Annise Parker for Mayor.

    “Gene Locke’s attack from Sandra Puente is twisted and misleading. In the attached document compiled from publicly available information, it is clear that over 71% of the Controller’s Department staff is composed of minorities. This is yet another attack from Lawyer Lobbyist Gene Locke that is based on the twisting of data and innuendo. It is just one more example of Locke and his supporters’ willingness to say, do, and try anything to keep their insider friends in the city government business.

    Puente’s disingenuous statement holds no regard for the truth, and that’s not surprising coming from a supporter who self-admittedly describes spending “a lot of time at the Locke campaign.”

    Puente notes that Lawyer Lobbyist Locke is the chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. Surely, she is ready to make direct comparison of Locke and Parker’s records on diversity by immediately releasing the same demographic information about Andrews Kurth that she says is so revealing about the Controller’s office – including the demographics of Andrews Kurth’s partners and their respective receipts from the firm.

    Until Puente and Lawyer Lobbyist Locke come clean with the details of his record, the hypocrisy of their attack will remain unchallenged.”

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