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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Union honors pension advocate for 

labor causes, minority rights support

By Allen Jones
TEXPERS Communications Manager

Longtime pension advocate Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, was recently recognized by an industry union for his work in support of labor causes and minority rights during the state’s recent legislative session.
Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas

During the 85th legislative session, Alonzo filed House Bill 285, seeking to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a push he says would have improved the lives of 2.4 million Texans. In addition to pushing to create what he terms as a “livable wage,” Alonzo continued his defense of public pensions as vice-chairman of the House Pensions Committee. He also filed a bill designed to set up a state-administered retirement savings program for all private sector employees. Despite his effort to see House Bill 3601 passed, it didn’t make it out of the committee for a floor vote.
However, it is his fight to support hard-working Texans that motivated United Latinos of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union to recognize Alonzo with an award of gratitude. The organization promotes labor interests for Latino workers in the union, according to its website.

In a Sept. 26 newsletter to constituents, Alonzo’s office announced the representative’s receipt of the award.

“The United Commercial Food Workers is a union family that fights every day,” according to the newsletter. “Representative Alonzo fights every day, too. Not only as a state representative, nor as immediate past president of the National Labor Caucus, but as a proud union member.”

The group issued the award to Alonzo Sept. 14.

The representative is to take part in a panel discussion during Texans for Secure Retirement’s Fourth Annual Symposium Oct. 19 in Austin. Alonzo joins Rep. Justin Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, and Houston City Controller Chris Brown in discussing the current state of pensions in politics. Vicki Truitt, a former state representative and owner of governmental relations firm VTruitt LLC, will moderate the panel discussion. The panel convenes at 10:15 a.m. and is part of a day of discussions focused on pensions and retirement issues. The symposium opens with welcoming remarks at 10 a.m. and closes with closing comments at 2:45 p.m. TEXPERS executive director Max Patterson serves as president of the nonprofit TSR, a secure retirement advocacy group. Patterson is scheduled to provide concluding remarks.

The symposium is open to TSR members and will be held at Dimensional Fund Advisors, 6300 Bee Cave Road in Austin. TSR members who would like to attend the symposium should notify Lena Terrell, TEXPERS’ membership manager, at 713-622-8018 or lena@texpers.org. For more information, visit www.texansr.org.

To become a member of TSR, visit www.texansr.org/become-a-member. Applications are available for public employee groups and investment professionals.

Allen Jones
About the Author:
Allen Jones is the communications manager for the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems. Email him at allen@texpers.org or call 713-622-8018.

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