Connections Matter to Voters!

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.

Serving Senior Citizens Over 60 in Sunnyside with Mayor of Sunnyside Sandra Massie Hines

by Dr. Sheila Pope

I have loved working with senior citizens for most of my life because of Zeffie Lee Frazier, my aunt, who took care of me while my parents worked. While my cousins Lorraine Joseph, Charlie Mae, and Joann Smith were at school, I was with Muh (Zeffie).

My days were filled with activities. I watched the Edge of Night. I collected the eggs out of the hen house. I ate homemade biscuits and drank coffee at the age of six. I think Muh was around 50 when I was six. Muh’s love and nurturing shielded me from my mother’s and father’s dysfunctional relationship. Muh helped me figure out who I was as a child and as a woman. I thought I was white for a year or two because of my complexion and my long hair (Lol!).

When I was 16, I returned to Winnfield. Louisiana. I would sit on the front porch with Uncle Charlie and Muh and tell them my dreams. I know they were over 65 at the time. I was ambitious at a young age. She believed me. On our many fishing trips, she had me drive her and Alice to go fishing. Alice and Muh we well over sixty and very independent. I dumped spit jars filled with Snuff.

My first job was in Winnfield, Lousiana at Troy’s Supermarket. Muh’s encouraged me to apply for the job. She explained to me why it was important for people to work for a living. She was my first cheerleader. I am not sure when dementia started to steal memories of me from Muh but I never lost my memories of her and my childhood.

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I have advocated for senior citizens because of the love and kindness I received from a senior citizen named Zeffie Frazier. People do not know, I fought for seniors like Marie Johnson from Acres Homes and for the ladies over 55 who worked in the kitchen over at Spring Branch Hospital before I became a teacher. Those ladies almost died from the stress and phsycial requirements of working in a hot industrial sized kitchen. Working with those senior citizens made me respect the value of a college degree. I was not designed to wash dishes in a hospital kitchen. I washed those dishes long enough for me to get to know each of ladies I was assigned to help. I was able to help them obtain their disability, helped one retire (hospital tried to fire her), and helped them obtain their social security. I even learned how to help one senior obtain her widow’s benefits.

I was never paid with money. I gained knowledge of how government systems worked. I learned literacy was critical. Many of the seniors I helped could not read. I learned I was smart and could do more by myself than I thought. After advocating for the seniors at Spring Branch, I thought I was going to become a lawyer. I became an educator instead. I still wonder how those seniors worked in the kitchen for 20 years.

I am sharing my story because the Mayor of Sunnyside, Sandra Massie Hines helped me to refocus my vision. She reminded me that money is not everything. She reminded me that I have a greater calling and God will order my steps to do more than I have ever thought. I woke up ready to continue my passion to do what I am called to do in business and in the Sunnyside community serving children and senior citizens.

Ms. Sandra Massie Hines and Harris County Sheriff Department

You are Appreciated!

God has partnered me with two community leaders in Sunnyside: Mr. Allen Provost, Treasurer of Peoples United Summit and Mayor Sandra Massie Hines, founder of Junior Achievers and Sunnyside Silver Hair Senior Group, Inc so I can stay focused and walk by faith to serve senior citizens and children while I continue to build my businesses.

I want to encourage each my readers to listen to your inner voice to help giuide you do the thing you know you are called to do in business and in the community. I want you to know serving others and volunteering are underrated. Being happy, helping others, and being at peace is priceless.

Shocked to See: Slavery in 2017

By Sheila Pope, Ph.D

This morning I was shocked to see Matt Lauer had been fired from the “Today Show”. I was shocked to see so many of my African American political Facebook Friends still support State Representative Ron Reynolds after he was found guilty of stealing his client’s money from settlements. Yes, I question how we can uphold any government officials with serious integrity issues and act as if they need to be in photos with candidates that have yet to prove themselves. It taints their credibility before they get elected.

However, I was more shocked to see that in 2017, we have allowed our people to be sold into slavery in Libya! This image says it all! Black Friday has a whole new meaning in the world. The images of Africans men being hung upside down by their feet should make all Africans and African-Americans living in the USA get up and get active. What about Caucasians you ask? What about them? Our President tells you where he stands on race relations on a daily basis.

We have a responsibility to understand, what happens around the world is a threat to us in America. Dr. King said it best, “Moreover, I am cognizant of the INTERRELATEDNESS of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1963).

If we allow this to continue to happen in Libya soon, we will find more of our people missing and being shipped overseas into slavery. While some of us travel internationally, we should consider how easy it would be to become “lost” and “found” in shackles. Sounds like hyperbole, but it is real people. The climate is set for more stuff like this to happen in our backyards. Thanks, Steven Solari for the image.24291751_10215594255517246_4536367000504789490_o