Being an immigrant from another part of the world has always given me an interesting perspective on life. I’ve been a Houstonian since I was ten years old, growing up in the Cypress suburbs.
I’ve always been politically aware, thanks to my dad and the countless hours of watching the news with him as a young child. I’d often ask my schoolmates what they thought about global current events only to be met with silence and a bewildered look. Thank goodness I could quickly switch the topic to sports and cartoons!
My keen interest in politics and public service developed into a passion in 2008 when a big-eared, half-Kenyan man who looked like me and who spoke about change, hope, and achieving the impossible was elected the first Black President of the United States. I started volunteering in 2012, and I quickly learned that what it takes to win elections and make government work for the people wasn’t quite what TV shows portrayed. It took vision, strategy, and relentless commitment.
In 2017, while serving as Vice President of the University of Houston College Democrats, I had the opportunity to intern with the Harris County Democratic Party. At HCDP, I was able to hone skills like fundraising, coalition building, campaign management, and so much more. It was a fantastic learning experience for me, and I quickly put what I learned to the test — I was offered the position of Communications Director for the Party, and I would later help to lead the 2018 Coordinated Campaign.
At the time, our coordinated campaign was the biggest operation in Party history. We had over 90 candidates take part, and it was a huge success. We flipped every judicial seat in Harris County, flipped Commissioner’s Court for the first time in decades, and saw the youngest and first Latina to ever be elected County Judge. We also flipped two State House seats, one of which was in the very House District I grew up in. I now serve HD 135 as Chief of Staff to Rep. Jon Rosenthal.
The Harris County Democratic Party is where my career began, and it’s where my passion was cultivated into a burning desire to make lives better. I grew up in the Party — it’s in my veins. I love the energetic volunteers, the passionate precinct chairs who want to see Harris County lead the efforts in turning Texas blue, the staff who put in long but rewarding hours, and the elected officials who do their best to represent a broad coalition of interests and people. I truly love it all.
This is why I am running to be the next Harris County Democratic Party Chair.
I want to take our Party to new heights by building on the successful foundation that has been laid. We’ve seen successes over the past two election cycles, and must keep the momentum by focusing on people, investing in precincts, and impacting policy.
We must build coalitions by centering the D.M.V (disenfranchised, marginalized, and voiceless). When we build coalitions around the D.M.V., we ALL win. Trickle down anything has never worked, building from the bottom does. To build these strong coalitions, we must believe in sweat equity and doing the work. We cannot simply just meet people where they’re at, we must actively engage them with multiple communication mediums, effective messengers, and a clear message. This allows us to raise money from the grassroots on up, and not up, then down to the grassroots level. Creations of coalitions around the D.M.V., allows the County Party to invest in our clubs and orgs, precinct chairs, volunteers, and builds a solidified bench of campaign operatives and candidates.
The Party must focus on areas where our base has been forgotten because for Democrats location is currency. We must leave no one behind. We must show up everywhere. Our presence everywhere shows people how intentional we are about engaging them where they are. Our precinct chairs and volunteers must be equipped with the necessary tools to be successful. The Party should provide community continuing education trainings for our precinct chairs. They must have an up-to-date knowledge of the tools we use to canvass and get out the vote. Our trainings must be at a continuous rate and must go back to the basics of how we operate on a precinct level, reminding us, all politics is local.
Campaigns must meet Governing. The Party must come full circle when the candidate becomes an elected official. We have to advocate for the policies we want. The work doesn’t stop after the campaign is over, it’s just beginning. It’s an absolute must to be engaged with our elected officials. A habit must be created of engaging with them in Washington DC, Austin, County Commissioner’s Court, City Hall, and School Board. This is one of the critical ways to hold publicly elected officials accountable because laws are what impact our everyday lives.
The path to flipping Texas comes through Harris County, no question. We have work to do and I’m excited about the road ahead. The calls I’ve made, support I’ve received thus far has been humbling and overwhelming. Know that my whole soul is in it and I am ready to work for you and the great people of Harris County to make lives better.