Wednesday, January 30, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 82


Mayor, councilman speak at UH

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 black individuals.

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 in
politics along with a short history of the presence of blacks in Houston and Texas government, naming such figures as
Mickey Leland, Sheila Jackson Lee and Rodney Ellis.

"You have the opportunity and the responsibility to make sure that African-Americans that are qualified to be, continue to be
involved in government," Robinson said. "Use your education to continue to take advantage of opportunities, not only for
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 Storm
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 for
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 decade."

After Brown summed up the improvements the city is in the process of making, including an African-American museum, he
opened the floor to questions.

Student Government Association President James Robertson Jr. expressed his concern about the amount of money and time
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."

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