The League of Women Voters of Texas supports legislation and administrative action to achieve equal rights for all persons, regardless of their race, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, veteran and military status, familial status, or disability, to combat discrimination and poverty, and to provide equal access to housing, employment, and quality education in Texas.
. Equal Opportunity/Income Assistance
The League of Women Voters of Texas supports legislation and administrative action to achieve equal rights for all, to combat discrimination and poverty, and to provide equal access to housing, employment, and quality education in Texas. Specific measures that we support include:
- Access for all persons to free public education that provides equal opportunity for all.
- Removal of the ceiling on income assistance (welfare) spending from the state constitution.
- Provision by the state of supportive services, such as health care, childcare, family planning, legal aid, and job training for income assistance (welfare) recipients.
- An effective human relations commission for Texas that includes such features as:
- Permanent independent status.
- Investigative and legal enforcement powers that go beyond the conciliation process.
- An adequate budget funded independently of the governor’s office.
- Equitable representation of racial, religious, and ethnic groups.
- An adequately sized staff trained in human relations work.
Explanation: Equal Opportunity/Income Assistance
In the fall of 1970, local Leagues in Texas studied income assistance under a national program item, with the state League adding two consensus questions to the list of national consensus questions. The basis for action at the state level was thus increased by the resulting positions on state income assistance and state supportive services.
League members have supported establishment of a human relations commission for many years and, in 1970, identified those elements that comprise an effective commission. League members believe that such a commission should publicize its existence and help communities form their own commissions. Other programs which members support include these: enforcement of fair housing laws, enforcement of minimum building codes, expansion of vocational education opportunities, expansion of counseling services, and combating discrimination in employment. The legislature created the Texas Human Rights Commission in 1983. However, this commission currently addresses only employment discrimination, not the other program needs identified in our position.
This position underwent Periodic Program Review in the 1993-95 biennium. Several wording changes that update the statement to reflect changed policies and circumstances were suggested by the Periodic Program Review Committee and approved by delegates at Convention 1995. The updated position is printed above.