Elliott Naishtat, a native New Yorker, has lived in Texas for thirty years. He was a VISTA volunteer in Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty before moving to Austin and earning a master’s degree in social work and a law degree from the University of Texas.
Naishtat served as counsel for a state senator before entering private law practice. He also served as chairman of Austin’s Community Development Commission and directed the University of Texas School of Social Work’s legislative training program. He currently is an adjunct assistant professor of social work at St. Edward’s University.
In November 1990, Naishtat was elected to the District 49 seat in the Texas House of Representatives. He has been re-elected six times and serves on the Human Services and Public Health committees. Naishtat is also a founding board member of the House Progressive Caucus.
Often characterized as “the New York Yankee in the Texas Legislature,” Naishtat was one of 51 Democratic House members who, last May, spent four days in Ardmore, Oklahoma, breaking a quorum, killing a controversial congressional redistricting bill and gaining notoriety as one of the “Killer Ds.”
In seven sessions, Naishtat has passed more than 150 bills that address tenant security, indoor air pollution, nursing home regulation, children’s Medicaid, adult protective services, domestic violence, hate crimes and child labor law enforcement. In recognition of his accomplishments, Naishtat has received awards from organizations including AARP, People First!, Common Cause, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, Consumers Union, American Cancer Society, Gray Panthers, American Foundation for the Blind and Families USA.