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Myth-Busting With Plano's Mayor: 'We're A Very Diverse Melting Pot'

Doualy Xaykaothao
Harry LaRosiliere has been Plano's mayor since 2013.

This week, the city of Plano did a little myth-busting. After a contentious debate, the Plano City Council approved a measure to extend discrimination protections to people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The city’s mayor, Harry LaRosiliere, has spent his year and a half in office busting other myths, too. He talked with KERA this week.

Interview Highlights: Harry LaRosiliere…

…On Plano’s changing demographics:

“We’re 57 percent Caucasian, 19 percent Asian, 16 percent Latino and 7 percent African-American. In about 10 years or so, that minority group will be over 50 percent of the population. Plano is very much a microcosm of what’s going on in the United States.”

…On the reason the anti-discrimination ordinance was so contentious:

“The conversation was really taken away from what is truly a human rights and equality issue and turned it into a social issue. In my mind, everyone in Plano deserves the right and the dignity to be treated equally regardless of sexual orientation, creed, race, culture and I felt the conversation went in a direction that had nothing to do with what this ordinance was about.”

…On striking a balance between Plano’s suburban roots and its rising urban areas:

“Nearly 40 percent of our citizens are under the age of 32. They’re asking for different amenities. Rather than the single-family detached home, they want what we call the ‘live, work and play environment.’ The challenge is to accept the growth that is coming and be respectful to those that are here.” 

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.