By Dr. Sheila Pope
I had the opportunity to watch Judge Fredricka Phillps(she was an attorney at that time) become Vice Chair of Texas Democrats Convention in Dallas (Royce West hosted) in 2008/2009. Since her election as Vice Chair, her career has sky rocketed. I have seen her actively make the rounds with Democrats too.
When she came into SD11 Caucus yesterday before we began to vote and announced she was moving forward in her journey, I realized I was witnessing a transferring of power. I was able to see how two African American women were able to obtain one of the most coveted seats in the Texas Democratic Party.
I was grateful I was able to see Judge Phillips groom and actively support her possible replacement, Dr. Carla Brailey (won nomination at Black Democrats Caucus). Women helping women is critical in any endeavor. Black women supporting each other in politics and business is powerful on many levels.
Both of these ladies are beautiful, smart, and ambitious. They were active in their communities and excelled in their careers before they earned the right to get on the ballot for Vice Chair of Texas Democratic Party. More important, they understood the power of working together to ensure their agenda becomes a reality.
If no one else was woke, I was! To have the outgoing Vice Chair support you speaks volumes to the entire party. Carroll G. Robinson provided a fantastic introduction to Dr. Brailey. Deborah Peoples gave an outstanding speech at the Black Caucus. The crowd loved her speech. You could support her just as well as Dr. Brailey if you were voting based on speeches. Mr. Robinson added credibility to Dr. Brailey. I knew him and I have followed his political career for years. Their connection was important to me.
Yet when I asked my children who they wanted me to cast my vote for, London said Dr. Carla Brailey because she said she “knew her”.
Dr. Brailey and Judge Phillips came to Pearland Democrats Club’s June meeting and spoke to the club and both of the ladies spoke with me about being a mom and teaching our children early about serving the community. I had a connections with Judge Phillips from 2009 and from her work with Adrienne Bell. I discovered Dr. Brailey and I worked at TSU during the same time. I helped students in the sociology department with their research papers. She spoke to my children and London loved the way she looked. A girly girl is London’s Shero!
Dr. Brailey made a connection with me and my family. When I saw her at the convention she again spoke with us. Her team was nice and gave us goodies. I also observed how she and Judge Phillips were working together. Voters need to see who you are connected to and with and voters need to see candidates working before an election and after an election. If you googled Dr. Brailey like I did, you could see she was on her grind for years.
I understood after watching this tranference of power between two dynamic African American female democrats at the 2018 Texas Democrats Convention, connections matter! If you want to hold a seat of power, it is vital you have the right connections.