With former first lady Nancy Reagan by his side, President Obama today created a commission to plan events that will honor former president Ronald Reagan on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Signing the bill in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Obama was effusive in his praise of Reagan, even though the former Republican president’s economic philosophy set the government on a radically different course from the one Obama is pursuing.

“President Reagan helped as much as any president to restore a sense of optimism in our country, a spirit that transcended politics — that transcended even the most heated arguments of the day,” Obama said. “It was this optimism that the American people sorely needed during a difficult period — a period of economic and global challenges that
tested us in unprecedented ways.”

In his four months in office, Obama has steadily assailed the economic principles that Reagan stood for. But there are times for partisanship and policy — and today was not one of them.

Obama praised Nancy Reagan, describing her as a first lady who redefined the role and praising her work for stem cell research.

“There are few who are not moved by the love that Ms. Reagan felt for her husband — and fewer still who are not inspired by how this love led her to take up the twin causes of stem cell research and Alzheimer’s research,” he said. “In saying a long goodbye, Nancy
Reagan became a voice on behalf of millions of families experiencing the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Obama escorted Nancy Reagan through the door of the room. Reagan was wearing a bright red pant suit and walked with a cane in her right hand. She stood by his right shoulder as the president signed the bill with his left hand.






Over the past year I’ve been asked by many community and business leaders to consider serving our community in a more official and public way. As a Houston attorney and one who has served on various boards and community projects, and as an individual who has worked within the Democratic process to help elect the most qualified candidates to represent us, I take elective office very seriously. Serving our community is a responsibility that no one should take lightly or feel entitled to. It shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip for private interest or as a tool for media exposure. It is the most noble of aspirations that requires hard work, dedication, vision, and a plan to improve the quality of life for those you serve. So before committing family and friends to this journey, I want to make sure my decision is not just right for me, but also for the people of the district in which I graduated from college and law school, where I first worked as a new associate at Vinson & Elkins, and where I’ve invested in the economic revitalization with the formation of my own law practice.

Last year this time, like so many of you, I was doing my part to change the direction of politics in this country. Like so many in our community, I too felt a shift in both the direction that this country needed to go, and also the mindset needed to take us there. The candidates for whom I worked the hardest – threw fundraisers for and campaigned with, including President Barack Obama, all had one thing in common – a keen awareness that old school politics and divisive tactics no longer have a place for the new challenges we face. Instead, a call was made for a different type of community, an inclusive style of politics, and a progressive minded leader. Someone who can set an agenda, and work with people of all backgrounds to implement policy that puts people first – even when the cameras aren’t there to capture the hard work necessary to get it done.

The contributions from those present and past, that have led to this revolutionary change in psyche should remain a source of inspiration and hope as we move forward; and as I’ve spoken to many who work and live in the district that’s given me so much, I’ve been struck by how eager we all are to take make sure those contributions produce actual results – things that we can see and quantify – community revitalization, economic development, educational advancement, policies that protect the vulnerable and those needing a helping hand – single parents, seniors, those suffering from mental illness or other disabilities, and those who desire equity on the job and in society. So like President Obama, I’ve also spent time thinking how I could advance the kind of change and progress we so desperately need.

The leaders of our past were needed for the circumstances that we faced in the past, but now we face new decisions that require a new temperament, vision, intellect and ability to work with various entities and individuals, even those that don’t always see us eye-to-eye, in order to bring progress and the change we all desire, back to our neighborhoods – back to our own door-steps.

The times we face are challenging, and we can not move forward on healthcare, lost pensions, college tuition, employment, and global issues such as energy dependence, with those who support and continue to proffer small-minded politics or political opportunism.

And that’s why today I’ll be filing papers to create an exploratory committee for 18th Congressional District. In the next several weeks I’m going to continue talking to people within the district. I will listen to the ideas of those who are vested in seeing the 18th Congressional District improve and grow, and I will encourage all those who want a candidate who can set an agenda and deliver on more than rhetoric, to join with me in seeing that we are part of the movement that can deliver real opportunity and real progress. And in a month’s time, after listening to your input and considering your advice, I intend to share my plans with each of you.

In the meantime, I encourage you to contact me and invite me to join you, as we move forward to restore integrity, a hard work ethic and a real sense of unity and progress to the 18th Congressional District.