Happy New Year!
Throughout 2017, we have seen momentous gains by and for African Americans involved in electoral politics. From the Virginia elections to the Alabama US Senate race, Black Americans have helped Democrats win time and time again.
As we move into 2018 Primary and General Elections, it is imperative that we focus on races up and down the ballot in Texas and continue to fight for what we believe in…and against Republicans or those who seek to silence us.
The Texas Coalition of Black Democrats (Coalition) stands ready — stronger as an organization and focused on empowering our communities to elect blacks across the state of Texas. A few weeks ago, Black Democrats from across the state gathered in the DFW area for Coalition events, including connecting with candidates and electing our statewide officers.
Here is our recap:
On Friday December 15th, we held a Candidate Forum for candidates at the state level and local levels. Candidates for US Senate, Governor, US House, and the Texas Senate and House came to the forum to engage with the Coalition. The Coalition also gave advice to candidates and addressed concerns candidates had about how to connect with Black voters.
IGNITE THE VOTE RECEPTION
The same evening, we held our inaugural ‘Ignite the Vote’ fundraiser where awards were given to recognize those who have done significant work for the black community and for the Coalition. Leaders came together to recognize Black Democrats who have helped to promote the election of Black candidates across the state. TCBD proudly honored: Ambassador Ron Kirk, former Mayor of Dallas; Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson, US Congress; Hon. Marc Veasey, US Congress; Hon. Royce West, State Senator; Hon. Yvonne Davis, State Representative; Hon. Helen Giddings, State Representative; Hon. Senfronia Thompson, State Representative; Hon. John Wiley Price, Dallas County Commissioner; and Hon Roy Brooks, Fort Worth County Commissioner.; Hon. Glen Lewis, Chairman of the Texas Southern University Board of Regents; Deralyn Davis,
founder of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats; and Rev. Frederick D Haynes, Pastor.
We presented Deralyn Davis with a special award to recognize her work in founding the Coalition. She received a standing ovation from the crowd of more than 150 gathered there.
Also in attendance were: Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Candidate for Governor; Audrey Moorehead, Esq.; Constable Michael Campbell, Precinct 8; Sandra Lee, City Council Place 3, Kennedale; Deborah Peoples, Tarrant Democratic County Chair; Ollie Anderson, candidate Tarrant County Tax Assessor Collector; Clara Faulkner, Mayor Pro Tem, city of Forest Hill; Hon. Lyndia Thomas, Mayor, city of Forest Hill; Dorothy Byrd, Chair of Black El Paso Dems; Ruth Williams, Chair of East Side Democrats; FJ Jones, TCBD Brazoria County Chair and Candidate for Justice of the Peace; Christine Moss, FWISD School Board Vice President; Hon. Maryellen Hicks, candidate for Judge 322nd Dstrict; John Driver, candidate for Bell County Commissioner, Precinct 4; FJ Jones, candidate for Brazoria County Justice of the Peace; Shirley McKellar, candidate for US Congress, 1st District, Angela Villescas, candidate Congress, 23rd District, Tom Wakely, candidate for Governor; and Cedric Davis, candidate for Governor.
Special thanks to our sponsors for the Ignite the Vote event including:
- Senator Royce West
- Hon. Glen Lewis, Chairman of the Texas Southern University Board of Regents
- Michael Cooper, Candidate for Texas Governor
- Mike Collier, Candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor
- Audrey Moorehead, Esq., Candidate for Dallas County Criminal Court 3
COALITION STATEWIDE MEETING
On Saturday, December 16th members of the Coalition gathered to elect officers and attend to business matters. Important conversations took place regarding our membership, strategies for the upcoming elections, and to a resolution asking the Texas Democratic Party to protect the rights of Black voters against the GOP. Our chapters leaders from Austin, Bell County, Brazoria County, Denton County, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Fort Bend and Harris County were present and gave reports on their activities in 2017.
I was honored to be re-elected as your president and am proud to serve with the other elected officers including: Shuronda Robinson, First Vice President of Programs; Almeda Dent, Second Vice President of Membership; Ernest McGowan, Finance; Constance Jones, Secretary; and Donald Williams, Parliamentarian. Terrence Shanks is the chair of the Rules Committee. Robert Williams and Brandon Jones are co-chairs of the Messaging Committee.
Since the election a few exuberant supporters have taken it upon themselves to represent the Coalition. I ask that you continue to work with the duly elected leadership to conduct the business of the organization and to push the voice of Black voters across our state forward.
ONWARD TO 2018
Our work in 2018 must be to build coalitions across Texas that push Black Democrats forward in the March Primary and November General elections. Spurred by the energy of our gathering and successes in 2017 we are ready to move into 2018 and help elect Democrats across the state.
The recent robber barons tax cut, racial profiling bills like SB4, the need for serious criminal justice reform, decreased investments to public education and post secondary training, increasing deaths of Black mothers in Texas, impediments to voting rights and rights of Texans…make our work as a Coalition even more critical.
We hope you will continue your support and join us as we coalesce the power of Black Democrats in Texas so we can Turn Texas Blue!
Gene Collins, President
Texas Coalition of Black Democrats
Photos courtesy of Donald Williams and Syndi Braun