The Star Chamber

Why is unsuccessful politico Brenda Reyes deciding who gets minority contracts? Because Adelfa Callejo says so.

"Brenda's on our team now," the strategist says, adding, "Why don't you go pick on some white guy?"

Meanwhile, Callejo bristles at Moreno's complaint that she wields too much influence over the Chamber, as well as her suggestion that the time has arrived for new faces to take over the reins of leadership in the Hispanic community.

"Isn't that a bright comment?" Callejo says. "That's like saying to someone who has power and money, 'We don't want your power, and we don't want your money.' Now, is that smart?"

Callejo says she is so "militant" about her activism on behalf of Hispanics because she can still recall how there were only three Mexican-American teachers in the Dallas school district when she first got involved in Dallas politics in the early 1960s.

"All that I have done is try to get Hispanics to get their equitable portion of contracts and employment. I have been an advocate for my community and not for myself. I am who I am not because of the establishment, but in spite of it," she says, adding, "and I don't owe anybody anything, either."

When asked what she would say to anybody who says it's time for her to leave the Chamber for good, Callejo grows silent, but only for a brief moment.

"I would say they have a lot to learn."

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