As leaders in the Texas business community, we have an obligation to our employees, customers, shareholders and the Texas communities we serve to oppose discriminatory legislation that jeopardizes the positive environment for our Texas business operations.
Respectfully, we are concerned so-called bathroom bills and discriminatory legislation like it is a solution in search of a problem. Concerns over personal privacy and security might best be addressed by strengthening existing penalties without targeting specific groups of people or creating divisive, discriminatory legislation that divides Texans, more than it unites us.
Major cities and municipalities in Texas have invested tremendous resources to attract major conventions, sporting events and other business to the state. However, the proliferation of bills like SB 6 in other states has led many organizers to factor this issue into their decision-making processes when selecting host cities for their events. ASAE, which hosted its Annual Meeting in Dallas in 2012 and is slated to return to the city in 2021, recently adopted a new anti- discrimination clause for future ASAE meeting contracts with hotels and convention centers. The clause invokes force majeure protection to cancel a meeting if state or local laws or regulations are passed that result in discrimination based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc. The reason for this business decision is simple: ASAE cannot afford the reputational risk of being associated with or doing business in jurisdictions that are perceived to be discriminatory.- John H. Graham IV, ASAE, CAE President and CEO Read the Full Letter
Further, it will absolutely deter businesses from relocating or setting up shop here. While there is plenty of substantiating data from North Carolina on this matter, I have personally witnessed corporate partners dialing back enthusiasm for working in Texas as well as investing in North Carolina. This is the time when Texas should be coalescing around smart, business-friendly initiatives that reverse these troubling trends. Instead our own legislature is wasting valuable time and resources - including the $800,000 cost of a special session - to create a solution to a problem that does not exist.- Mark C. Rohr, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Celanese Corporation Read the Full Letter
San Antonio is made stronger by people from diverse backgrounds, and we thank you for your support in opposing any legislation that would create the harmful perception that we are not a welcoming community. Accordingly, we encourage you to vote against any amendments bil bills that contain language similar to SB6 or HB 2899.- City of San Antonio Read the Full Letter
Any legislation that limits the equal rights of our colleagues and citizens is counter to Dow’s values and business. Bills like SB6 and HB 2899 are being opposed by not only Dow, but by more than 1,00 business organizations in Texas.
Laws like this take away from worker productivity, make talented employees harder to recruit and keep, negatively impact the advantages of diversity in the workplace - those of problem solving, innovation, employee engagement and recruiting and retention.
On behalf of our over 8,000 Texas employees, I urge you to reject these policies.- Earl Shipp, Vice President Gulf Coast Operations Dow Chemical Read the Full Letter
Today’s workforce – especially millennials, and especially those working in high-tech industries – overwhelmingly support non-discrimination protections and seek to live in states that reflect the diversity and inclusion they value. We are in a battle for globally competitive talent, and our ability to successfully recruit and retain our future workforce is critical to our long-term economic prosperity. We already face stiff competition[EM1] with employers in places such as California. Discriminatory laws will only increase the challenges that we face in attracting top talent to Texas.- Randy Pitchford, President and CEO Read the Full Letter
Economic studies estimate that this kind of legislation will cost Texas up to $5.6 billion in lost revenue through 2026, with rural Texas expected to lose between $26.1 million and $52.5 million annually. This kind of loss would profoundly threaten the state’s ability to fund education, transportation, health and other essential resources critical to Texans’ livelihoods—areas where I believe we should be focusing our efforts.
The vibrant travel and tourism industry that supports over 1 million jobs would suffer declines similar to those experienced in other states if Texas tarnishes its reputation as a welcoming destination for all. In addition, this discriminatory legislation will negatively impact Texas’ ability to recruit top talent—on which we rely—seeing as Millennials overwhelmingly support non-discrimination protections and seek to live in states that reflect the inclusion and diversity they value. Millennials are our future workforce and are critical to our long-term economic prosperity.- Duff Stewart, CEO, GSD&M Read the Full Letter
Discrimination in any form is wrong. At Intel, we strongly value diversity and inclusion. These bills inappropriately target transgender students directly. Aside from being discriminatory, these bills would make it more difficult for us to recruit and retain employees in Texas. Given that, should these discriminatory provisions become law, we would have no choice but to take these issues into consideration when making decisions about future investments in your state.- Brian Krzanich, CEO Intel Corporation Read the Full Letter
Simply put, bathroom bills are a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Texas already has laws against assault that protect privacy and safety for women and children across our state. Texas should not follow the example of North Carolina, which has lost billions of dollars, thousands of jobs and devolved into political chaos as lawmakers pushed similar legislation. Instead of spending time and resources on something that is not currently a problem for Texans, the legislature should focus its efforts on helping with our tech labor shortage by improving our education system and increasing our number of skilled workers- Tyson Tuttle, President and Chief Executive Officer Silicon Labs Read the Full Letter
Southwest stands alongside more than 1,000 Texas corporations and businesses—large and small—which have signed onto Texas Competes. We are also a proud member of several chamber organizations and association groups across the state committed to Texas’ continued positive economic development and history of being a welcoming and friendly state for business and investment.
It is with these core tenets of inclusion and commitment to community welfare in mind that we respectfully request your opposition to any legislation which would undermine workforce recruitment and the business community’s dedication to diversity and economic development.- Gary C. Kelly, Chairman and CEO Southwest Airlines Read the Full Letter
As leaders of Texas convention and visitor bureaus, and on behalf of our state’s travel and tourism industry, we respectfully request that you do not consider inclusion of a “bathroom bill” into a call for a Special Session to the 85th Texas State Legislative Session.
Our state benefits greatly from travel and tourism, and we are deeply concerned about any legislation that will negatively impact these lines of business. Legislation that has the risk of being perceived as discriminatory will bring immeasurable harm to our state and deeply tarnish our reputation as open and friendly to businesses and families.- Texas Welcomes All Read the Full Letter