Elliott Naishtat, a native New Yorker, has lived in Texas for thirty-nine years. He served as a VISTA volunteer in Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty before moving to Austin and earning a Masters in Social Work and law degree from The University of Texas.
Elliott served as staff counsel for Senator Gonzalo Barrientos before entering private law practice. He also served as chairman of Austin’s Community Development Commission and directed the U.T. School of Social Work’s Legislative Training Program.
In November, 1990, Elliott was elected to the District 49 seat in the Texas House of Representatives. He has been re-elected nine times and serves as a member of the Human Services Committee and Vice Chair of the Public Health Committee. He is a founding board member of the House Progressive Caucus.
In ten sessions, Rep. Naishtat has passed over 200 bills, including the Braille Literacy Act of 1991, Landlord-Tenant Security Devices Act of 1993, Indoor Air Quality Act of 1995, Nursing Home Reform Act of 1997, Newborn Hearing Screening Act of 1999, Medicaid Simplification Act of 2001, Mold Remediator Licensure Act of 2003, Child Protective Services Act of 2005, Seniors’ Property Tax Relief Act of 2007, and Fire Safety Inspectors Act of 2009. He also passed bills that improved child labor law enforcement, expanded protective services for elderly and disabled people, created a statewide guardianship program, and enhanced crime victims’ rights. In addition, he co-sponsored the Texas Anti-Stalking Act and Hate Crimes Act as well as bills that increased protections for patients in managed care organizations and psychiatric, substance abuse and rehabilitation facilities.
In recognition of his accomplishments, Rep. Naishtat has received awards from numerous organizations including AARP, American Foundation for the Blind, American Cancer Society, People First!, Common Cause, Sierra Club, Texas Council on Family Violence, Texas Freedom Network, and Texas Legal Services Center. In 2002, he received the National Consumer Health Advocate award from Families USA. In 1999, he received the Public Elected Official of the Year award from the National Association of Social Workers. He has also been named Legislator of the Year by the Texas Apartment Association, one of Texas’ Ten Best Legislators by the State Bar Family Law Section, and one of Texas’ Outstanding Public Servants by the Consumers Union, Public Citizen, Gray Panthers, and Texas Citizen Action.