Press Release: 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.