Mayor, councilman speak
The strength of brotherhood pulled together
students and members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity as two City of Houston
officials spoke Tuesday night in the Houston Room of the University Center.
City Councilman Carroll Robinson, a member
of Omega Psi Phi, and Mayor Lee P. Brown, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha,
spoke before the quiet audience of primarily
Hoang Nguyen/The Daily Cougar
Houston Mayor Lee P. Brown
addresses students and members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity Tuesday
night at the Houston
Room in the University Center.
"Everything I've learned I got from the
frat," Robinson said.
A graduate of the Thurgood Marshall School
of Law at Texas Southern University, Robinson recounted his experiences
politics along with a short history of
the presence of blacks in Houston and Texas government, naming such figures
Mickey Leland, Sheila Jackson Lee and
"You have the opportunity and the responsibility
to make sure that African-Americans that are qualified to be, continue
involved in government," Robinson said.
"Use your education to continue to take advantage of opportunities, not
yourselves, but for the people who are
going to follow behind you."
After a short intermission, Robinson introduced
to the audience Mayor Lee P. Brown, who promptly apologized for being late,
as he was held up by meetings.
Brown opened his commentary with a brief
report of how the city is progressing after the destruction left by Tropical
Allison in June, saying progress had been
made though some people were still without homes.
He then reiterated his four guiding principles
of action for the city: neighborhood-oriented government, opportunities
Houston youth, economic development and
international trade, and transportation and infrastructure.
"Transportation actually is our No. 1 priority
this year," Brown said. "Our city grew over 400,000 people over the last
After Brown summed up the improvements
the city is in the process of making, including an African-American museum,
opened the floor to questions.
Student Government Association President
James Robertson Jr. expressed his concern about the amount of money and
spent on downtown construction. Brown
said that the work was slowed for two years after "Metro was sued for affirmative
action," and the money for the work must
be used within a certain amount of time or the federal government will
take it back.
"We're doing in three or four years what
normally would take 10 or 12 years," Brown said. "Now we're seeing light
at the end
of the tunnel."