We need a HERO!

Pastor Lura and Grace Lutheran are excited to support the proposed Equal Rights Ordinance!  

Houston City Council is expected to vote on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) on May 28th. The proposed ordinance would prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or pregnancy in housing, public accomodation and most employment. 

Pastor Lura and Council President Charles Wilson have both testified to City Council, and Bishop Mike Rinehart has written a public statement of support.  Now all Grace members are invited to join in!

You can call, email, and/or testify in person on May 28th.  This post will help you know how to do all of these things. 

First, you want to know, if you live inside Houston, who your City Council people are.  It always helps to be able to say “I’m a Houston Voter, and I live in District…”  Find your district here:
http://www.houstontx.gov/council/whoismycm.html. Remember, the At-Large members represent ALL of Houston!

Next, decide if you can testify in person, call, or write letters, or all three.  You can call during the day to speak to a staff person, or in the evening and leave a message.  You can call or write to all of the City Council members, not just the ones who represent you.

To Testify in Person:
If you want to testify in front of City Council on Wednesday, May 28th at 9:30AM at Houston City Hall (901 Bagby St., Houston, TX 77002) that’s awesome! Here are a few things you should know:
1. Email or call the City Secretary IMMEDIATELY to sign up to speak.
a. citysecretary@houstontx.gov, 832-393-1100
b. Ask to speak for one minute
c. Be sure to state that you are speaking in regards to the HERO
d. Give your name and a contact phone number


3. Arrive by 8:30AM in order to secure a spot in chambers or the overflow room. Bring your ID; you will have to go through security.

4. Plan on being there A LONG TIME.

5. No signs are allowed in chambers while Council is in session.

6. No clapping or verbal support or dissent is allowed. We show our support by waving our jazz hands in the air (!), and/or by standing. You’ll get used to it, don’t worry.

7. Food really isn’t allowed in chambers, but bring a snack in your purse (or find a friend with a purse!), and be discreet.

8. When you are speaking, be sure to speak slowly. State your name in the beginning, state that you are in support, and if you live in Houston, state what district you live in.

9. As always, be polite!  The other side is doing the fire and brimstone routine and it's actually making the case for why this ordinance is absolutely necessary for Houston.  We take the high road, and show that we are loving, honest, reasonable people.  It is good and acceptable to talk about God and your faith if you wish.

Making Phone Calls:
When you call, be friendly, respectful, and clear.  You can say something like:
“My name is….and I’m a Houston voter in District…..  I’m calling to ask Council Member …..to vote in favor of the Equal Rights Ordinance.”  If you want to identify yourself in another way (in addition to Houston voter) you can also say “I’m a Christian…” “I’m a business owner…”  “I’m a native Houstonian…” or whatever else you wish to say.  Then you can give a 1 or 2 minute reason why you support this ordinance, if you want to.  The staff person will probably tell you how the Council Member is planning to vote, and you then say either “Thank you, I’m so happy to hear that.” Or “Please tell the Council Member I’m really disappointed to hear that.”  Be polite either way! 

Here are all of the phone numbers:

Mayor Annise Parker: 832-393-1012
District A-Brenda Stardig: 832-393-3010
District B-Jerry Davis: 832-393-3009
District C-Ellen Cohen: 832-393-3004
District D-Dwight Boykins: 862-393-3001
District E-Dave Martin: 832-393-3008
District F-Richard Nguyen: 832-393-3002
District G-Oliver Pennington: 832-393-3007
District H-Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez: 832-393-3003
District I-Robert Gallegos: 832-393-3011
District J-Mike Laster: 832-393-3015
District K-Larry Green: 832-393-3016
At-Large 1-Stephen Costello: 832-393-3014
At-Large 2-David Robinson: 832-393-3013
At-Large 3-Michael Kubosh: 832-393-3005
At-Large 4-C.O. 'Brad' Bradford: 832-393-3012
At-Large 5-Jack Christie: 832-393-3017

You can also mail letters:

Mailing Address:
City Hall Annex 
900 Bagby, First Floor
Houston, TX 77002

You can also email City Council Members:
districta@houstontx.gov districtb@houstontx.gov districtc@houstontx.gov districtd@houstontx.gov districte@houstontx.gov districtf@houstontx.gov districtg@houstontx.gov districth@houstontx.gov districti@houstontx.gov districtj@houstontx.gov districtk@houstontx.gov atlarge1@houstontx.gov atlarge2@houstontx.gov atlarge3@houstontx.gov atlarge4@houstontx.gov atlarge5@houstontx.gov

Remember, Justice delayed is Justice denied! Let’s get this done!

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