February 10, 2012

Regarding the Feb. 8 front-page article “Close connections,” which asserted that some members of Congress have delivered millions to groups with ties to their relatives:

My goal in coming to Congress has always been to be a servant of the people, to be a problem-solver and to help my constituents by improving their quality of life. Education has been one of my top issues. I have secured federal funding for many institutions, helped resolve federal regulatory issues and fought for the proper use of Recovery Act funds to educate Texas children.

The University of Houston System serves more than 60,000 students throughout the nation. Anything I can do to enhance the quality of education in this country and in my district I will continue to do vigorously and with transparency.

My husband, Elwyn Lee, is an educator who is committed to the highest levels of ethical conduct. Not once did I engage in any discussions with him regarding federal funding for the University of Houston.

The article suggested that I did something wrong by fighting for my constituents. I did not.

Not only have I worked to secure federal funds for the University of Houston, I have also worked just as aggressively to secure funds for other educational institutions in my district and Texas. I helped such institutions such as Texas Southern University, Houston Baptist University, Houston Community College, the Lone Star College System and the University of Texas.

The idea of transparency and fairness should always be promoted in government. But a slanted take on my efforts to help my constituents is unfair.

Sheila Jackson Lee, Washington

The writer, a Democrat, represents Texas’s 18th District in the U.S. House.