To the people of the City of Houston and District E,
The tragic events which have transpired over the last several weeks have weighed heavily on my heart.
As a native of New Orleans, resident of Houston for over 30 years, and a 60-year-old white man I will never know the pain of my black or brown brothers and sisters. I watched in total disbelief, the video of the Minneapolis Police Department Officer who murdered a man, while other officers watched and did absolutely nothing to help Mr. George Floyd.
My wife, Julie, and I have three children, a daughter and two sons. I never had to prepare them for what could go wrong during a traffic stop, jogging down the street, or how people would perceive them while they are out in public. I never consider that without cause, my children could automatically be deemed a threat just for the color of their skin.
As a man who grew up in a racially mixed community in Algiers, Louisiana, I stand with the black community as well as communities of color against intolerance, discrimination, and racism. Houston is the most diverse City in the nation. We as a City are proud of that, we promote and celebrate our diversity, but how can we be proud of that diversity when we are not treating, black lives, brown lives, all communities of color with the dignity they deserve?
I am a man of faith and believe these unfortunate events have provided us with an opportunity to grow as a society, embrace this pain together and put a stop to systemic abuse. This is painful, scary, hard, uncomfortable, raw, and a true awakening.
We must stand together against what happened to George Floyd and the many other heartbreaking ends to black lives throughout history.
I am committed to listening. I am committed to creating awareness among my white peers. I am committed to be an ally of the black community.
Together in solidarity.