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Democrats celebrate landmark week

Nov. 11, 1997

As the Baylor bubble was basking over our homecoming victory over the University of Texas and dialogue centered around whether we should wear those W. W. J. D. bracelets, there has been a lot going on around the world. I hope the freshman class has found a place to put that goalpost everyone has signed, smiled at and photographed. Now I pray we can get a little of that energy directed toward the national and international scenes. I have my bracelet to keep me ever-mindful of my Christian duties, including helping my fellow Young Democrats of Texas try and stamp out hunger during Hunger Awareness Week.

Colin Swindle, the Young Democrats president, has pledged to put some of those principles in action by pledging to feed 10 hungry children. But before I move off course, I want to return to the interesting events over the past week. The President of China, Jiang Zemin, no less, spoke about human rights, Saddam has threatened to bomb American planes and Bill Clinton has become the first president to openly court a national group of homesexuals, yet our pedagogical discourse surrounds a goalpost.

Only at Baylor.

With the conservatives asleep (or celebrating), this has been an awesome week for Texas Democrats. Our current crop of leaders have put their political heads on straight. The great city of Houston slammed any notion of ridding the city of its current affirmative action programs by a record minority turnout. One day after the Supreme Court hid behind those black robes on Proposition 209, the citizens of Houston showed their commitment to keeping a fair society.

This decision did not only affect Houston; four members of the House Judiciary Committee had to slow down their measures to end affirmative action in the federal government. The judiciary committee recognized that Houston, the nation's fourth largest city, set a trend by displaying the clout that blacks, Hispanics and women have when they vote. Even Houston's mayor, Bob Lanier, a wealthy, white real estate developer, appeared all over the city and on local television saying, 'Let's not turn back the clock to the days when guys like me got all the city business.'

I must admit, all of this is new to me; I thought Texas Democratic lawmakers were losing their clout. Gone are the days of the legendary Lyndon B. Johnson, Barbara Jordan and Lloyd Bentsen. Yet, I am beginning to see a new group of leaders standing up for what they believe, including Sheila Jackson-Lee of Houston, Chet Edwards of Waco, Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas and my own Martin Frost of Fort Worth. I can now exhale -- there is hope.

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