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"Now when I have trouble with my DSL service,

I won't have to listen with an Indian accent," Cook said.

El Paso Times

AT&T asked for and got a small tax break from the City Council on Tuesday for a big project that will mean 424 new jobs and a $10 million payroll. The communications giant wants to establish a new technical support center in El Paso to help its DSL broadband Internet service customers.....Read Full Story


Updated Report

Are the Mayor's remarks hurting the Indian Community in the US?

California, Feb. 14, 2007
A Singh

When the Texas NRI’s (non-resident Indians) of the EL Paso area read the news, they became very upset that Mayor Cook did not want to hear the "Indian accent". They were worried that they would have no place to get jobs, promotions on their jobs, and business opportunities in the El Paso area.

After getting numerous emails from our NRI (non-resident Indians) readers, Mr. Singh of NRIpress approached the Mayor's office for a response.

Mr. Robert Andrade, assistant to Mayor Cook, a gentle and polite man, described that Mayor Cook's statement was meant to convince AT&T to keep all service jobs in his city and not to get services from India directly.

Mr. Singh asked Mr. Andrade what the Mayor meant by saying, "I won't have to listen to an Indian accent". After hearing such a statement, Indian residents felt outraged that someone in his position could make such a stereotyped statement. Mr. Andrade agreed and said, "we apologize for this statement". He also said that the Mayor was on vacation and was just about to land in Los Angeles. He was going to request that Mayor Cook call NRIpress as soon as possible with an official response.
Exactly 10 minutes later, Mr. John Cook, Mayor of El Paso telephoned Mr. Singh and discussed the issue in detail.

Mayor John Cook said, "I am sorry to hear this." This statement may have come from him because the one time he had a DSL problem and he telephoned the DSL company to fix the problem. After waiting a long time, his telephone was connected to India and a gentleman tried to help him but it was very difficult for him to understand the conversation due to the language accent.

He said that he is married to Vietnamese Girl. His department hired all kinds of foreign qualified personnel.



Mayor John Cook was born on February 27th, 1946, Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Immaculata High School in 1964. John married his wife, Tram, in 1970. He attended the University of Texas at El Paso and earned a degree in business in 1977.

Mayor Cook has lived in Northeast El Paso for most of his life where his family has owned and operated several Northeast businesses. He served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970, seeing service as a Special Agent Military Intelligence. He served as the distinguished City Council Representative of the 4th District of El Paso from 1999 to June 2005 prior to being elected as City Mayor. He has been deeply involved in El Paso's community affairs, as a businessman, a teacher, coach, founder and member of the board of many civic and veterans' organizations.