Lucio Masthead Graphic
Press Release
March 21, 2001
Contact: Doris Sanchez
(512) 463-0127
Sen. Lucio announces approval by Senate Nominations Committee of two Rio Grande Valley appointments to statewide service agencies

AUSTIN, TX-On Tuesday, March 20, 2001, the Senate Nominations Committee approved the re-appointment of Ms. Maria (Mary) Banda to the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) Policy Committee after state Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, confirmed her last year.

Also approved but not required to appear was Mr. Paul Calapa to the Texas Council on Purchasing from People with Disabilities, who was also confirmed by Sen. Lucio last year

Requesting that the committee to approve her reappointment, Sen. Lucio said, "First appointed in 1996 to the SECC Policy Committee, Ms. Mary Banda has given of her time and talents to the state in this noteworthy capacity. I ask for your approval of this great leader."

The McAllen resident, who wishes to continue serving on the committee, has been employed in state government since 1970. She first worked for the State Department of Human Services and now with the Office of the Attorney General. Also active in numerous organizations through the years, Ms. Banda serves on the Executive Board of the Texas State Employees Union for Region One and is a former officer of the Texas Public Employees Association.

Other organizations benefitting from her past and present participation are the American Red Cross, the State Employee Charitable Campaign Local Committee and the United Way of South Texas.

"I have truly enjoyed my tenure with the State Employee Charitable Campaign Policy Committee," said Ms. Banda, when seeking reappointment. "I love working with different board members from all around the state of Texas and I love working with staff from the different charitable organizations that apply to the SECC for the monies of the thousands of state employees who are able to contribute to their favorite charity organizations."

Duties of the SECC State Policy Committee members include selecting an organization to serve as state campaign manager, establishing local campaign areas and determining the eligibility of federations or funds and their affiliated agencies for statewide participation in the SECC. The organization also is responsible for approving the recommended campaign plan budget and generic materials to be used by campaign managers, as well as overseeing the SECC to ensure that all campaign activities are conducted fairly and equitably to promote unified solicitation on behalf of all participants.

The SECC is the only charitable campaign for which state employees can make charitable gifts through payroll deductions. In 2000, state employees pledged a total of $6,218,415 to charitable organizations through the SECC.

Mr. Calapa is a Brownsville resident and works for the city of Brownsville as director of purchasing, in addition to other related duties.

"Mr. Calapa's vast experience in the purchasing process and his extensive community service certainly qualify him to serve on the Council on Purchasing from People with Disabilities, and I know he will serve the people of Texas in the best possible manner," said Sen. Lucio. "This is a very important organization that helps bring fairness and opportunities to individuals who want to work and contribute to society but their services and products are sometimes overlooked by government."

The numerous organizations that Mr. Calapa cites for his civic involvement include the Brownsville Jaycees, American Cancer Society, Sunrise Rotary Club and the Brownsville Economic Development Foundation.

The full Senate is expected to confirm both appointees within two weeks. Ms. Banda's reappointment expires January 1, 2002 and Mr. Calapa's appointment expires January 31, 2003.