When I was elected on November 6, 2018 and sworn into office on January 1, 2019 as a Tarrant County Commissioner, I couldn’t have imagined what lay in store for me or our community. History was made. Being the first, the only, and the other as I often say; the first African American to be elected to represent Precinct 2. The only woman serving on this court and the third ever in its 100-plus year history, and one of the youngest to serve as well.
I interviewed for the job for a year and a half. I spent countless hours talking to voters, just as many who didn’t look or think like me as those who did. I received politically and racially motivated threats of violence for running. Still, I ran my race, an effective professional grassroots campaign of which had never been done in any recent county race. The voters hired me. I was grateful then for the opportunity, the honor, the responsibility to serve. I am grateful now.
Who knew that just over one year into my first term a global pandemic, a global social justice movement and a 100-year storm would befall our world and state. All within a year and that these unimaginable events in time would coincide with a multi-year season of great personal loss for me. A season that tried my spirit, tested my will, and one that ultimately left me stronger and ready for even bigger fights.
I understood the assignment. I was sent here to show up every day and to give my absolute best. Not to make my name great. Not to be the mouthpiece for an ideology or a puppet to any master. I was sent to serve the people. To show up and speak truths even when bullied, even when disrespected, even while openly and behind closed doors, enduring discrimination in various forms.
And while I don’t condone the actions of any of those who so regularly and pridefully enacted such willful ignorance, immaturity, or hatred, I can acknowledge that through the pain, the work you sent me here to do was reaffirmed. What I am doing is working and is effective. Otherwise, why would dissenters fight so hard against me and work so hard to tear us down? So, for all those who sent me here, who have been rooting me and our team on - we did it and we are doing it. We, you, me, our amazing and high performing Precinct 2 team, set a new standard of what to expect from your county commissioner. That transparency is more than a word, it’s intentional action. That being inclusive isn’t a catch phrase for the temporarily woke, it is a daily act of recognizing our differences and making room for them.
For those in our county and beyond who are watching and wondering if you can do it, whatever your it may be and for those who have grown weary of being the first, the only and the other, you can do it. Opposition and haters will abound. Count it all joy and be it anyway. Live it anyway. Life is not promised and there are people in this world waiting on your gifts, your talents and your experience to help them use theirs.
To that end, the next stage of my purpose on this earth awaits me and I am excited about the opportunity to make a global impact on issues affecting women. To do so, and this has been an extremely hard decision to come to, I will not be seeking re-election to continue serving as county commissioner.
I know this decision will disappoint many and for that I regret causing such an effect. Please know that I will spend the next 404 days completing my first term with continued laser focus to bring to fruition the vision I have for Precinct 2. If you want to join me in ensuring equity and access in county government, this is your invitation. We need more sojourners.
And, while I don’t believe it is my place to tell you who should assume this role after my departure. I do have in mind the type of leader it will take to build upon what I have started, someone who has a proven track record as a committed public servant and values similar to those that have guided me and someone who will love the people and the work more than they do the title. I will share who I will endorse at the appropriate time. Of course, and with all due respect, it is ultimately up to the voters of Precinct 2 to make the decision.
Until then, I remain all in, to the very last day.
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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