SENATOR SHAPLEIGH WILL NOT RUN FOR TEXAS SENATE IN 2010
October 16, 2009
In our family, public service is the highest calling. While other public service may lie ahead, I will not run for the Texas Senate in 2010. During each day of the last decade, we have endeavored to do our very best for the people of our great community and state. In public life, especially in Texas during this decade, doing what’s right, not what’s expedient is what matters. I am grateful to the people who elected me for the opportunity to serve. Here in God's Country, good, hardworking, honest leaders will rise to the challenge—the work will go on—the dream will never die
Written by Senator Eliot Shapleigh, www.shapleigh.org
EL PASO - Today, October 16, 2009 at 12:00 p.m., at Senator Eliot Shapleigh's District Office, Senator Shapleigh will host a press conference announcing that he will not seek re—election to the Texas Senate in 2010.
"In our family, public service is the highest calling. While other public service may lie ahead, I will not run for the Texas Senate in 2010. During each day of the last decade, we have endeavored to do our very best for the people of our great community and state. In public life, especially in Texas during this decade, doing what’s right, not what’s expedient is what matters. I am grateful to the people who elected me for the opportunity to serve.”
First elected in 1996, Shapleigh spearheaded the creation of the El Paso Medical School—the first new medical school in the US in 30 years. In the early 90’s, working with Judge Marquez and others, he brought attention to dramatic underfunding of Texas Border communities, then crafted innovative laws to create the Regional Mobility Authority, move people and products faster and safer across international borders, and fund $1b in infrastructure money to complete El Paso’s outer loop.
In 2001, he established the “International Intelligent Transportation Center” in El Paso, to research and promote state of the art technology solutions to safer, smarter mobility. From 2000, to date, working with regional state, federal and municipal leaders, he led the fight to stop ASARCO’s 7,000 air permit, remediate and redevelop what is one of America’s most contaminated sites. Over the last decade, Senator Shapleigh co-founded “Community Scholars’, a nationally recognized youth leadership program to build a new generation of ethical regional leaders, and worked across business and governmental agencies to promote the first County Ethics Commission in Texas. More recently, he and other community leaders launched “Invest in the American Dream” a community wide effort to build financial literacy and entrepreneurial expertise.
In the Senate, he authored or sponsored over 400 bills and resolutions. As Senate BRAC chair, he passed laws to promote Texas’ military value, and worked hard to increase troops, funding and new programs across Texas’ 18 military installations—including historic growth at Ft. Bliss and Ft. Sam Houston. Early on, as a member of the CHIP conference committee, he worked to add 300,000 children across Texas to quality health care. For his work on CHIP, he received the Hannah Solomon Award in El Paso.
For his work on “Texas On Line” and laptops in schools, he was named a “Visionary Technology Innovator” by the Center for Digital Government. In 2001, the American School Health Association, named him national “Legislator of the Year” for his pioneering work to combat obesity among young Texans in public schools.
During the Sensenbrenner hearings on immigration, when Texas lawmakers were barred from testifying in Congressional field hearings, Shapleigh organized the City of El Paso to pass a ‘common sense resolution on immigration reform’, then fought and beat every extreme and harmful immigration measure in the Texas Senate. For his work, he was given the “Matt Garcia-Public Official of the Year’ by MALDEF.
Consistently a strong, clear voice for better schools, rigorous curriculum, competitive universities, and quality 21st education, in the contentious debates of 2003—2005, Senator Shapleigh worked to improve school funding formulas, make the Texas tax system more fair, and bring Texas teachers to national pay standards. For his work, he was named “Conscience of the Senate” by Texas Monthly, “Texas Classroom Advocate of the Year” by the Classroom Teachers Association and “Texas Education Leader” by the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce.
His work on improving funding equity for all Texas schoolchildren earned him the “Champion for Children’ award from the Texas Equity Center. In the Texas Senate, he is the recognized expert on cutting edge, evidence based bilingual education programs. He is the Senate’s lead voice on improving financial literacy and his fight to rein in predatory lenders whose annual interest rates now exceed 1100% has gained national recognition
As a member of the Texas Sunset Commission he wrote the Texas Higher Education Sunset bill to require performance measure reports of Texas’ 35 universities to improve value to students, transparency to parents and graduation rates as low as 3.8%. Last session, he worked hard to establish more Tier One Universities in Texas, and to create a ‘competitive, transparent’ process for all seven emerging Tier One universities.
In October in Ft. Worth, the National Association of Social Workers—Texas Chapter will honor him as “Texas Legislator of the Year” for his determined fight for better schools, quality heath care, and improving tax equity in Texas.
More than all that, he is the proud father of Zoe and Ben Shapleigh. For more on Senator Shapleigh’s Senate record, please click here.