HOUSTON, Texas — Texas Secretary of State Nandita Berry spoke to the Houston Realty Business Coalition on Thursday and Breitbart Texas was there. Berry said she serves as the chief election official for Texas, as well as an ambassador on why companies should invest in Texas. Her message was one of great opportunity for anyone who moves to the state. Berry has a unique ability to connect with people and she said it was wonderful to see her friends in her hometown.
Nandita Berry was appointed by Governor Rick Perry and sworn in on January 7 of this year. Perry appointed her saying she “was the face of Texas.”
Berry talked about the Lyle Lovett song where he sings that it does not really matter who your lady is as long you are from Texas. She reminded folks that Houston is more ethnically diverse than New York.
Berry is the 109 Secretary of State and the first Indian-American to hold the office. Berry said she marvels and is humbled by the thought that someone named Nandita Venkateswaran Berry is standing in the same shoes as Stephen F. Austin. Austin served Texas as the first Secretary of State.
Berry serves as the chief election officer and the governor’s liaison on border and Mexican affairs. She is Texas’ chief protocol officer for state and international matters. Her office also manages the business and public filings in the state.
Berry told the crowd of business men and women that she came to Texas from India when she was 21 years old. She only had $200 in her pocket.
Berry worked hard and became one of the most accomplished attorneys in the state. Prior to her appointment, Secretary Berry specialized in technology transactions as senior counsel at Locke Lord LLP in Houston. She was formerly an in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 company specializing in corporate and securities matters.
Berry met her husband, radio-personality Michael Berry, when they were both attending the University of Houston.
Berry travels the state to tell others why they should invest in Texas. She sees herself as an economic ambassador and says “people expert Texans to brag, and it’s not bragging if it’s true.”
Berry quoted Stephen F. Austin who wrote that “The prosperity of Texas has been the object of my labors, the idol of my existence, it has assumed the character of a religion, for the guidance of my thoughts and actions, for fifteen years.” She told the business leaders that “the prosperity of Texas is what binds us all in this room.”
Her speech extolled the virtues of Texas. Houston leads the nation in single family home starts, and has been a leader in the last eight consecutive quarters. Sales were even higher in August with 6.4% increases. Over 80,000 homes were sold in the three months since June 30
Berry told Houston leaders that if Texas were a country, it economy would be ranked 12 in the world. Texas is the top export leader, and the state just passed California in technology exporting. ranked Texas as the no. 1 place to do business. listed six Texas cities as the top 10 cities in the nation; Dallas is ranked no. 1.
Berry said that 37% of the nation’s new businesses are started in Texas. Texas is where the jobs are and 1000 new Texans are moving to the state every day. Job growth fuels the state and the economy. She said that Texas is doing it right by not having a state personal income tax. It is the no. 1 reason why employers want to move their employees here.
Berry said the no. 2 reason Texas is a leader in business growth is that our regulatory system is predictable. She compared Brazil saying it had 19 changes to their tax code just last month.
The no. 3 reason Texas is an economic leader is because tort reform has had a positive effect on preventing frivolous lawsuits. The no. 4 reason is the state’s large skilled workforce.
Besides serving as an ambassador for the Texas economy, Secretary Berry serves as the chief election officer. She has logged over 6000 miles going to colleges and universities in an effort to educate voters. She says her job is to tell Texans where to vote and how to vote. She is not responsible for voter turnout. She told the Houstonians at the meeting “I do not drive voter turnout, the candidates do.”
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She is a 22-year lawyer who has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2