Mayor Tom Reid, Council member Gary Moore, Sherry Stockwell, Jacquie Baly, Council member Derrick Reed, Fort Bend ISD Trustee Jason Burdine,L. Angelo DeCamps, Fort Bend ISD Trustee Kristin Tassin, Dr. Shirley Rose Gilliam, Fort Bend ISD Trustee K.P. George and Lorena DueƱas are featured individuals on the cover of this edition of Houston Business Connections Newspaper. All Rights Reserved. Houston Business Connections Newspaper is published by Aubrey R. Taylor Communications. Call (832)212-8735 for more information.






MAYOR TOM REID IS ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE IN THE RACE FOR MAYOR OF PEARLAND, TEXAS ON SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2017






MAYOR PRO TEM GARY MOORE IS ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE IN THE RACE FOR PEARLAND CITY COUNCIL POSITION #3










SHERRY STOCKWELL IS ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE IN THE RACE FOR PEARLAND CITY COUNCIL POSITION #7






MIKE FLOYD IS ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE IN THE RACE FOR PEARLAND ISD TRUSTEE FOR POSITION #2





TRUSTEE JASON BURDINE IS ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE IN THE RACE FOR FBISD TRUSTEE FOR POSITION #1




L. ANGELO DECAMPS IS ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE IN THE RACE FOR FBISD TRUSTEE FOR POSITION #1






TRUSTEE KRISTIN TASSIN IS ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE IN THE RACE FOR FBISD TRUSTEE FOR POSITION #4







DR. SHIRLEY ROSE-GILLIAM IS ASKING FOR YOUR VOTE IN THE RACE FOR FBISD TRUSTEE FOR POSITION #4






THE KEY CANDIDATES PICTURED ABOVE IN THE 2017 FORT BEND ISD GENERAL ELECTION ARE ALL ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT ON SATURDAY, MAY 6, 2017: Jason Burdine, for FBISD Trustee for Position No. 1; L. Angelo DeCamps, for FBISD Trustee for Position No. 1; Kristin Tassin, for FBISD Trustee for Position No. 4; Dr. Shirley Rose-Gilliam, for FBISD Trustee for Position No. 4; K.P. George, for FBISD Trustee for Position No. 5; Lorena Duneas, for FBISD Trustee for Position No. 5. KEY CANDIDATES IN THE 2017 PEARLAND GENERAL ELECTION: Sherry Stockwell, a Businesswoman who is asking for your vote in the race for Pearland City Council At-Large Position #7; Mayor Tom Reid, the incumbent mayor running for re-election in Pearland; Gary Moore, incumbent Pearland City Councilman for At-Large Position #3. Early voting for the FBlSD General Election and the Pearland, Texas General Election will take place from Monday, April 24, 2017 through Tuesday, May 2, 2017. The candidates pictured on this cover are not connected to one another unless otherwise noted. Call: (281)788-3033 to speak directly to the publisher. Houston Business Connections Magazine is published by Aubrey R. Taylor Communications. All rights reserved. DON'T FORGET TO VOTE EARLY: Monday, April 24, 2017 through Tuesday, May 2, 2017.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Commemorative Edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine featuring "History Makers" and "Proud Americans" will be released on Friday, December 19, 2014



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On Friday, December 19, 2014 Aubrey R. Taylor Communications, the publisher of Houston Business Connections Magazine will release a "KEEPSAKE" printed edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine. This “COMMEMORATIVE” edition of Houston Business Connections Magazine will feature thoughts from a few of our "2014 THOUGHT LEADERS" on why they're proud to be American. This edition will also feature "HISTORY MAKERS" and "People You Should Know" for 2014. A few of the "HISTORY MAKERS" to be featured inside this historic edition are: Congresswoman Elect Mia Love - 4th Congressional District of Utah. Congresswoman Elect Love is the first black Republican woman to be elected to the United States Congress.

Senator Tim Scott, South Carolina's first black elected senator will also be featured. Senator Scott also happens to be the first black senator elected in the Southern Region of the United States since Reconstruction.

Does the name Will Hurd ring a bell? Well, Congressman Elect Will Hurd is a former CIA Officer who recently defeated a powerful Democratic Congressman by the name of Pete Gallegos to become the first black Republican from Texas to ever win a United States Congressional seat. Congressman Elect Hurd will represent the 23rd Congressional District of Texas.

On behalf of Aubrey R. Taylor Communications I would like to congratulate Congresswoman Elect Mia Love, Congressman Elect Will Hurd, and Senator Tim Scott on being named our "HISTORY MAKERS" for 2014.

Another one of our "HISTORY MAKERS" to be featured is Mayor Allen Owen, mayor of Missouri City, Texas. Mayor Allen Owen is one of the longest serving mayors in the state of Texas. Mayor Owens has faithfully served as Missouri City’s mayor since 1994. Mayor Owen has a long-standing documented track record of placing the citizens of Missouri City first. His track record and dedication was part of the reason Missouri City was recently honored as one of the top 10 safest cities in Texas by real estate website Movoto back in August of 2014. Movoto combined crime data from the top 100 most populous municipalities in Texas, and used the FBI’s 2012 Uniform Crime Report to determine that Missouri City is the sixth safest city in Texas. 24/7 Wall St., a web-based corporation designed to report financial news and opinions, also recently ranked Missouri City 16th on their list of the top 50 places to live in the United States. Using data to rank municipalities based on factors such as employment, economy and infrastructure, 24/7 Wall St. celebrated Missouri City’s low crime rate, proximity to Houston and affordability. Missouri City was the only city in the Houston area to make the list; other Texas cities on the list include Richardson (#17) and Flower Mound (#9). The news organization’s profile of the “Show Me City” also reflected the following details: Median household income: $84,511; Median home value: $163,000; Average commuter travel time: 29.5 minutes. Missouri City is also one of the most diverse cities in America.

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Meet Will Hurd 

"Congressman Elect Will Hurd (23rd Congressional District of Texas) is a former CIA Officer who recently defeated a powerful Democratic Congressman by the name of Pete Gallegos to become the first black Republican from Texas to ever win a United States Congressional seat."

Since June 2010 Will has been a Senior Advisor with the cybersecurity firm FusionX, which he joined following a decade of federal service and a run for public office in Texas. As a member of the FusionX team Will helps tackle a wide range of complex cybersecurity challenges facing large manufacturers, financial institutions, major retailers and critical infrastructure providers. 

Additionally, from 2010 to 2013, Will was a partner with a strategic advisory firm, Crumpton Group LLC, where he provided leadership across the full range of Crumpton Group’s service offerings—helping companies capture opportunities in international markets while managing risks to their physical assets, intellectual property and human resources. 

Prior to returning to Texas in 2010, Will served for almost a decade as an undercover officer at the Central Intelligence Agency. At the CIA, he worked at the nexus of some of America’s most important national security issues leading intelligence operations on counterterrorism, cybersecurity and other critical threats. The majority of his career was spent overseas in South Asia and the Middle East where his primary mission was the recruitment of foreign assets, collection and dissemination of intelligence in support of the President and senior government policymaker’s national security decision making. 

Will has the pleasure of serving on a School Advisory Committee within the Northside Independent School District (NISD) and he had the honor of being recognized as one of NISD’s “Pillars of Character” for the 2011-2012 school year. He is also a board member of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio. 

A native of San Antonio, Texas and the youngest of three siblings, Will graduated in May 2000 from Texas A&M University in College Station with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. While at A&M, he served as the President of the Student Union and was elected Student Body President.

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Meet Mia Love 

"Congresswoman Elect Mia Love  (4th Congressional District of Utah) is the first black Republican woman to be elected to the United States Congress."

Mayor Mia Love is the daughter of Haitian-American parents who legally immigrated to the United States in the 1970s with the hope that they would one day achieve the American Dream for themselves and their children. Born in Brooklyn, Mia was raised primarily in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Hartford with a degree in Fine Arts. Soon after graduation she moved to Utah and married her husband, Jason Love.

Mia won a seat on the Saratoga Springs City Council in 2003, and six years later she was elected Mayor of Saratoga Springs with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

During her one full term as mayor, Mia pursued an agenda focused on reducing city spending, fighting against intrusions on personal liberty, and implementing sound fiscal policies. Despite the recent economic downturn, Saratoga Springs continues to hold the highest bond rating possible for a city of its size. Over the past three years the city has also been awarded the Government Finance Officers Association’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. Only about 20 cities and towns in the state of Utah receive this prestigious award each year.

Citing the importance of getting federal spending under control, Mia announced last May that she is again running to represent Utah’s 4th congressional district. At the 2014 Utah Republican Nominating Convention, Mia received over 78 percent of the delegates’ votes to become the Republican nominee in Utah’s 4th congressional district.

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Meet Tim Scott 

"Senator Tim Scott, South Carolina's first black elected senator is the first black senator elected in the Southern Region of the United States since the Reconstruction era. 

United States Senator Tim Scott is working daily to ensure that every American has the opportunity to succeed. 

Growing up poor in a single parent household in North Charleston, South Carolina, Tim learned the importance of faith, hard work, and living within your means. By understanding the basic economic principles Washington so often forgets, and with the same determination he brings to advancing conservative principles in the Senate, Scott grew from his humble beginnings to build one of the most successful Allstate agencies in South Carolina. 

An unbridled optimist, Senator Scott believes that despite our current challenges, our nation’s brightest days are ahead of us. As a teenager, Tim had the fortune of meeting a strong, conservative mentor, John Moniz. Moniz helped instill in Tim the notion that you can think your way out of poverty, and that the golden opportunity is always right around the corner. The American Dream is alive and well, and Tim’s story is a concrete example of that. 

Senator Scott was sworn in to the U.S. Senate in January 2013. He has launched his Opportunity Agenda, a new way forward including robust initiatives that give our students and workers the greatest chance to succeed. Tim knows that success is created in studio apartments and garages, at kitchen tables, and in classrooms across the nation - not in government conference rooms in Washington. 

His agenda will empower Americans through economic freedom and high-quality education. Senator Scott will work with anyone else committed to building a better future to develop bold ideas that break away from our past failures. This includes tax reform to increase economic freedom, expanding school choice so every child has a chance at a quality education, and providing alternatives for single parents to work their 40 hours a week by allowing for wider use of comp time. 

Senator Scott is also working to find ways to help redevelop our poorest areas without pushing current residents out, bring down energy costs that consume a quarter of after-tax income for families making $30,000 or less, help young offenders and those aging out of the foster care system to receive the vital opportunity for education, and ensure our kids who want to attend college can do so without incurring debilitating debt. 

Tim also continues his work to get our nation’s spending under control, and has opposed measures he believes do not go far enough. In his first hundred days as a Senator, he worked with colleagues to introduce a Balanced Budget Amendment, and was an original cosponsor on a bill to permanently ban the wasteful earmarking process. 

Prior to being sworn in to the Senate, Senator Scott served in the United States House of Representatives from 2011-2013, where he was a member of House leadership and sat on the influential House Rules Committee. Tim also served on Charleston County Council for 13 years, including four terms as Chair and in the South Carolina House of Representatives for two years where he was elected Chairman of the Freshman Caucus and House Whip. He was the owner of Tim Scott Allstate and partner of Pathway Real Estate Group.

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Meet Ronald C. Green

"Ronald C. Green made history by becoming the first African American Controller for the City of Houston."

On January 4th, 2010, former Houston City Council Member Ronald C. Green was sworn in as the first African American City Controller in Houston’s nearly 200-year history. The City Controller is the second highest elected office in the City of Houston, and serves as the public’s independent “watchdog” over City finances. 

Controller Ronald C. Green is a 1988 graduate of the Houston Independent School District's High School for Health Professions. Green earned both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston, as well as a law degree from Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, the District of Columbia, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Green is also a licensed real estate broker. 

Ronald Green is a founding partner of his own law firm and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., 100 Black Men of America, Inc., and Government Finance Officers Association. Green and his wife, 

Justice of the Peace Hillary Harmon Green, have one son, Christopher. They are active members of Windsor Village United Methodist Church.

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Meet Mayor Allen Owen

"Mayor Allen Owen, mayor of Missouri City, Texas is one of the longest serving mayors in the state of Texas."

Mayor Owens has faithfully served as Missouri City’s mayor since 1994. Mayor Owen has a long-standing documented track record of placing the citizens of Missouri City first. This track record and dedication was part of the reason Missouri City was honored as one of the top 10 safest cities in Texas by real estate website Movoto back in August of 2014. Movoto combined crime data from the top 100 most populous municipalities in Texas, and used the FBI’s 2012 Uniform Crime Report to determine that Missouri City is the sixth safest city in Texas. 24/7 Wall St., a web-based corporation designed to report financial news and opinions, also recently ranked Missouri City 16th on their list of the top 50 places to live in the United States. Using data to rank municipalities based on factors such as employment, economy and infrastructure, 24/7 Wall St. celebrated Missouri City’s low crime rate, proximity to Houston and affordability. Missouri City was the only city in the Houston area to make the list; other Texas cities on the list include Richardson (#17) and Flower Mound (#9). The news organization’s profile of the “Show Me City” also reflected the following details: Median household income: $84,511; Median home value: $163,000; Average commuter travel time: 29.5 minutes. Missouri City is also one of the most diverse cities in America.

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

HARRIS COUNTY JUDGE ED EMMETT: "As a grown man, I have had the privilege of holding elected and appointed offices, and I have traveled the world. As I saw the world, I reflected upon my growth and realized that the one factor most responsible for my success was being born an American. The United States of America provides the fertile ground from which an East Texas boy can become educated and play on the world stage.

And if the United States provides the fertile ground for accomplishment and progress, it is the freedom given to each individual that nurtures their growth.

Every day, I am grateful that I was born an American."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

COUNTY TREASURER ORLANDO SANCHEZ: "Because our country not only fights to preserve my freedom, but it fights to preserve other's freedom and promotes that concept around the world."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

CITY OF HOUSTON CONTROLLER RONALD C. GREEN: "People around the globe are envious of the enormous opportunities that most Americans have. I believe the greatest advantage we have is the ability to choose our leaders—and our history is rich with brilliant, humane and thoughtful leaders. Democracy is synonymous with America. I am personally proud that I have served my community through elected office. In the larger scheme, I am proud of the ingenuity that defines America: our industrial and commercial strengths, our medical and scientific breakthroughs, our arts and cultural geniuses. As an African-American, I take special pride in that heritage and the many individual accomplishments made to this country by those of my race who came before me."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? 

JUSTICE KEN WISE: "I am proud to be an American but even more than that I am so grateful to God for being born an American. No other country in the world gives its citizens the freedom we enjoy. The freedom to worship as we choose, build a business, raise a family, and do it all without a government directing how it is to be done is a precious state of affairs. I am proud of my country and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a small part of her government."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

CONGRESSMAN KEVIN BRADY: I first understood why I’m proud of being American from my mom. In 1967, my world changed when dad took on a difficult case for our local church. While helping an elderly woman escape an abusive marriage, we were repeatedly threatened. Mom even learned to use a gun, just in case. When the trial started, this angry man burst into the courtroom, killed his wife, killed my father and shot the judge – who thankfully lived. His actions left our mom to raise five children by herself – ages 14 to 3.

I tell you this because being an American is about making my fiercely independent and determined mother proud. She kept five kids on the straight and narrow with a good offense. She had us serving our community from morning to night. For me, it was Boy Scouts, altar boy at two churches, year-round sports and student government. In our community, if a club or activity existed, it was a good bet you’d find a Brady kid there.

She taught each of us to be independent, optimistic, to have faith in God and to give back. Everything I am. Everything I know about being an American, I owe my mom. 

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

JUDGE BERT RICHARDSON: "I am proud to be American because of the many opportunities we are afforded as citizens of this great country in so many different ways. To the person who is willing to work hard, obtain an education, the opportunities are limitless. These are opportunities not readily available in other parts of the world. While my father had a successful military career, he and my mother both started their own business in the fine art industry after that career and have one of the most successful fine art galleries in San Antonio. My parents made sure that each of their children obtained college degrees geared towards helping us gain employment and support our families. These are blessings many take for granted, but given my occupation as a former State and federal prosecutor and judge, I am constantly aware that others would risk their lives to come to this country just to have those advantages."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

TEXAS COMPTROLLER ELECT GLENN HEGAR: "I am extremely proud of the millions of soldiers that have put their country before themselves, all in order to defend these fought after liberties. Not only have they protected our freedom, they have also fought to defend the safety and freedom of millions all around the world.

Our Founding Fathers ensured that everyone is entitled to unalienable rights given to them by God, and no one is allowed to infringe on these rights of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is because of this that I am proud to be an American and a Texan."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

ATTORNEY SEAN ROBERTS: "I am proud to be an American because we strive to provide opportunities to succeed to anyone willing to work hard enough to achieve their goals."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? 

STATE REPRESENTATIVE PATRICIA HARLESS: "I am proud to be an American because America is a country of people that understand "to whom much is given, much is required". We have everyday citizens that give their time, talent and treasures to help others, not because they are required to by the government, but because they choose to. We are a country founded, though at time it seems weak, on faith in God and the Bible. We give, help, and sacrifice for others. It is just the American way. Every time I see a disaster in some part of the United States, though my heart grieves for the loss, it also rejoices when I see complete strangers standing shoulder to shoulder to help those in need. You don't see that in other countries, unless it is Americans that are there helping."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? 

JUDGE ELECT DAVID C. NEWELL: "I am proud to be an American because it is founded upon self-governance and reliance. Our government was the first of its kind to secure the freedom and opportunities of the people the government serves rather than a select group of people or a single individual. Indeed, our founding fathers included checks and balances in the bones of our republic so that when one group might edge towards tyranny another group has an institutional interest in curtailing that overreach. 

Moreover, its citizens have a voice not only in their representatives, but in the rule of law. Because America was founded upon the principle that no man is above the law rather than the divine right of kings, citizens have a path through the court system to directly challenge laws that infringe upon their constitutional rights. And where government exceeds its authority, it is always within the power of the governed to affect meaningful change. 

This interplay between rights and responsibilities is unique in the world, and it is the cornerstone of what makes America great. It provides an example to the rest of the world as a shining city on a hill and a harbor to those who want to share in the American dream. And it fosters such an abundance of freedom and opportunity that those who enjoy its blessings rarely have occasion to question those gifts." 

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

JUDGE ELECT KEVIN PATRICK YEARY: "I am proud to be an American because no other country in the history of the world has secured more freedom for more men and women on the planet than America. I believe that because America secures freedom, it generates blessings for its own people and for all the people of the world. So many examples are apparent: the rejection and defeat of slavery and racial segregation in this country, the expansion of the vote to all citizens who have achieved the age of 18, the many examples of America's liberation of other nations from tyranny, the interstate highway system, the creation and maintenance of many of the worlds’ greatest institutions of learning, the birth and growth of commercial airline transportation, our successes in our efforts to explore the universe beyond our own planet, the advance of life saving medical technology, tools, and medicines, the volunteer military that is unparalleled in the history of the world, the peaceful coexistence of a diverse population, the fact that what is known as poverty in America could pass for wealth in so many other nations in the world. I could go on and on. America's greatness is a product of her commitment to freedom rightly understood and appropriately exercised. As freedom expands, so does opportunity and justice. When freedom contracts, both opportunity and justice diminish. America exists to serve the cause of freedom, and that makes me proud of my country."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: What is your mission in life Judge Butts?

JUDGE CHRISTINE RIDDLE BUTTS: "My mission is to serve families in times of crisis in a thoughtful, compassionate, and deliberate way, whether that crisis involves the loss of a loved one, the need for a guardianship, or a mental health issue."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

BUSINESSWOMAN STEPHANIE BOUTTE: "I am proud to be an American because even with all of the injustices found in our nation, we still stand proud. We still find a way to compete. We are a competitive nation. I am proud to be an American because I know the truth about how this nation was built. I know the truth about who the true inventors were. I know what MLK stood for. I understand what Malcom X was saying. I am proud to be an American because I come from a legacy of doers. I come from a legacy of people who did what it took to get the job done. For these reasons and more I am proud to be an American.

I am also proud to be an American because, although she has a deep, dark, storied history; it still provides some of the greatest opportunities in the world. It gives me great pride to know that my willingness to face adversity, challenge the systems and work diligently towards my goals can warrant me sweet success and a better life. Freedoms, which I take for granted and rights which are constitutionally protected are not easily guaranteed in other nations. I am proud to be an American because, it takes character, pride and dignity to accept the fact that I may always be seen as a third class citizen but I will never be deterred from achieving greatness. I am proud to be an American, because of the defiance that was shown and the blood that was shed by my ancestors to make this country great is the same blood that runs in my veins-today. I am proud to be an American, because I know that in this country you can actually have an idea that when nourished properly, planted in fertile soil, and watered meticulously can become a living legacy."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

JUDGE DAN HINDE: "No country, no nation in history was ever founded on an idea—not Athens, Rome, nor Egypt; not England, France, Germany, Russia, nor China. No nation was built on an idea, that is, until the United States declared its independence in 1776. And what an idea it was! All men are created equal and endowed by God with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

My pride in America begins with that great conception of our nation, but it does not end there. The Framers wrote a Constitution to establish a national government designed to protect our freedom and liberty. Then, our nation fought a terrible civil war to preserve that then-radical form of government—government of the people, by the people, for the people—and to cleanse it of the horrible stain of slavery.

But in the rebirth that President Lincoln described, our freedom and democratic manner of government nourished and nurtured a society that has advanced not only its own population but all of humankind beyond belief.

Our society developed an economy that has lifted millions out of poverty, hunger, and illiteracy, not only at home but abroad. Our country led the effort to vanquish the twin scourges of fascism and communism, giving the lie to the totalitarians’ pretensions to utopia.

The United States remains a shining beacon to the world—a safe harbor in times of difficulty and a light to guide the world. Our nation always—always—sends aid to countries suffering natural disasters, whether friend or foe. Our people generate new ideas in technology, industry, the arts, and music. We are what other countries strive to be.

And I am proud to be a citizen of such an amazing, sublime country. God has blessed America, and may God continue to do so!"

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: How important are our rights as Americans?

JUDGE ELECT JOHN SCHMUDE: "I believe that the fundamental rights of individuals do not originate from government or from courts but from a higher law that is written on the hearts and consciences of all by our Creator. This principle, which served as the cornerstone of the common law system for centuries, is sadly being lost, and the inevitable result is a subjective system of jurisprudence grounded in nothing more than the whims of judges and legislators. Governments have no natural right to abolish or to compromise the rights of the people because such rights are rooted in a higher order, and recognition of this principle, which was universally accepted by our founding fathers, serves as a strong check against intrusions by the government upon the liberty and dignity of individuals."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? 

ATTORNEY RAMONA FRANKLIN: "I am proud to be an American because of the rights we are all afforded. As an American I have the right to vote and the right of religion. I do not take my right of religion for granted. So many other people in other countries do not have the right to worship their appointed gods. Here in America, I have the right to worship my God who provides for me and my family daily without any interference. I am proud to be an American because I am able to pursue my dreams, goals, desires and ambitions without restraints."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

JUDGE LOYD WRIGHT: "I am proud to be an American because I believe in the goodness and greatness of America. Alexis De Tocqueville said, “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers – and it was not there.... in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there....in her rich mines and her vast world commerce – and it was not there.... in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution – and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great." De Tocqueville also said, “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” The concepts behind this ability to repair her faults are primarily contained in three documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These revered documents, along with a historically Judeo-Christian philosophy, continue to provide the foundation for America to be the greatest force for good the world has ever known.

Rush Limbaugh defines what he refers to as American greatness as follows: “American Exceptionalism and greatness means that America is special because it is different from all other countries in history…..It does not mean that we Americans are better than anyone else. It does not mean that there is something uniquely different about us as human beings compared to other people in the world. It does not mean that we as a country have never faced problems of our own…..Our country is the first country ever to be founded on the principle that all human beings are created as free people. The Founders of this phenomenal country believed all people were born to be free as individuals. And so, they established a government and leadership that recognized and established this for the first time ever in the world….. The sad reality is that since the beginning of time, most citizens of the world have not been free. For hundreds and thousands of years, many people in other civilizations and countries were servants to their kings, leaders, and government. It didn't matter how hard these people worked to improve their lives, because their lives were not their own…..[America] is a land built on true freedom and individual liberty……The role of the United States is to encourage individuals to be the best that they can be, to try to improve their lives, reach their goals, and make their dreams come true.”

I believe the greatness of America also lies in the American “melting pot” where people of all races and ethnicities join and embrace the “American” culture, a culture not governed by race or ethnicity, but by initiative, hard work, personal responsibility, individuality combined with humility, and an understanding that, while we are all in this together, most of what happens in our lives is up to each of us.

I am proud to be an American because time and time again, America has sacrificed its blood and treasure to expand freedom and fight tyranny around the world. Colin Powell said, “We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in.”

I am proud to be an American because of our system of free enterprise where any man or woman can go from rags to riches in the blink of an eye. More often, though, it is the long-term commitment to hard work and sacrifice that leads to a better life - to the "American Dream". There is no other country that offers the limitless opportunities of America and it is always inspiring to see the multitude of ways one can be successful. This could only happen in a free society.

I am proud to be an American because we are the most generous country in the history of the world. Whether it is the charitable giving of its citizens or the foreign aid given around the world, America has always come to the aid of those in need. America has always made the effort and sacrifice to be a positive force for democracy, freedom and good around the world."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? 

JUDGE WESLEY WARD: "Why NOT?!? (That seems like a good place to start.). 

My pride in America has always been thorough and complete. It did not start at some point, and it will not end. For America is more than any single point in time or any single victory or misstep, it is the promise of continuing improvement, eternally striving to achieve the ideals of justice, equality and opportunity. 

America is the greatest land of opportunity ever conceived. And not by a little. By a LOT. It is the beacon of hope for the world, hope that the world can be better when we trust and love our fellow man, and when we give people the opportunity to succeed. Through our adherence to our Constitution, free enterprise, and equal protection under rule of law, America has raised the standard of living for the entire world. 

America is not perfect; never has been and probably never will be. But it is by far the greatest system ever devised, and it is still getting better (especially in Texas!). 

Harry Truman said that “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” Every Monday morning, we start our court session in Texas’ 234th District Court with the Pledge of Allegiance the flag of the United States of America, and then to the flag of the Great State of Texas. We then set in to the hard work of justice, raising up the rule of law, seeking fairness and rightness for all who bring their disputes. Everymonday morning, and every minute of that day and every other day, I am so proud to serve America. (And why NOT?)."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

POLITICAL CONSULTANT NANCY SIMS: "I am most proud to be an American when I think of our military and their commitment to protecting our freedoms. I am proud when I see our flag flying or hear voices raised in unison singing our national anthem and I am most proud when election day comes and voters cast their ballots to protect and engage in our democracy."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why do you believe our rights as Americans originated?

STATE REPRESENTATIVE GARY ELKINS: "I possess a Judeo-Christian world view. I believe like our founding fathers that all men are created equal and are endowed with inalienable rights that come from God and not the State. So my world view is that our rights are granted to us by God Almighty, and not the state (i.e. government)."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

2016 CANDIDATE FOR HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF CARL PITTMAN: "I am proud to be an American because it is truly the greatest country on the face of this planet. It allowed a small boy from the most humbling of starts to do some incredible things, with more to come. I am proud to be an American because no other country in the world can come back from the brink of destruction at the hands of a corrupt government like America will surely have to do! I have always been proud of America, not because America is perfect, but because America is mine. I knew as a 18 year old United States Marine that I was part of something far greater than myself and I was willing if necessary to die to protect it. I am proud of America because I love America."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American?

JUDGE JAY KARAHAN: "I am proud to be an American because, as a first generation American, I observed first-hand my immigrant father's struggle to seek and achieve the American Dream. To this day I marvel at my father's pride in his naturalized American citizenship. I marvel at his lifelong commitment to self-sufficiency and personal responsibility. I marvel at his patience in waiting for a visa to enter the U.S. to seek a better life for himself and to eventually become a responsible citizen. The U.S. gave my father the freedom to work as many jobs and as hard as he could or wanted to accumulate the knowledge and capital to start his own business. His enthusiastic patriotism despite the ignorance and bigotry he encountered along the way made him the successful man I'm so proud of. His sacrifices, hard work and enthusiasm - and that of all like him since the founding of our great nation - gave me the freedom to enjoy the blessings of life in the U.S. It is my responsibility now to honor that and to pay it forward."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? 

JUSTICE JEFF BROWN: "I’m proud to be an American because our country is an exceptional place. It’s a place where big dreams can come true for those willing to work hard to achieve them. Being an American is not about belonging to one ethnicity; it’s about buying into a collection of ideas about how people should live their lives: freely, dutifully, and according to the rule of law. And I’m proud to be an American because more often than not, America has stood up for goodness and decency and fair play. America and Americans are far from perfect, but we are exceptional because of the ideals we strive to realize, both for ourselves and the whole world."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? 

JUDGE JEFF SHADWICK: "I am proud to be an American because we are the only country, ever, to be founded upon an idea rather than geography or ethnicity. The idea is that all men are created equal; that we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All anyone has to do is "buy in" to become an American. You cannot become French, or become Chinese, but you can become American. It is the origin of our country around an idea that makes this so. 

America is the greatest force for good in history. I am proud of that."

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AUBREY R. TAYLOR: Why are you proud to be an American? 

JUDGE GRANT DORFMAN: "I am proud to be an American not just for the blessings of liberty that this birthright has afforded me. I am the grandson of an immigrant who came to this country with no property, no family and no connections, but who succeeded through hard work and ingenuity. It was this country that gave him that opportunity, regardless of cultural and language barriers and his commitment to a religion that was oppressed in his native land. And that story is far from unique in our country. I am proud to be an American because our exceptional country has always been generous with its freedom -- a shining City upon a hill that is a beacon to all freedom-loving peoples; and we have, at our best, endeavored to share and expand freedom to all the corners of the world, not to hoard it as our possession."

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About Carroll G. Robinson

Carroll G. Robinson is an Associate Professor at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University (TSU) where he has served as Associate Dean of External Affairs and is Associate Director of the E-MPA program. Professor Robinson is a Co-Principal Investigator of the TSU National Transportation Security Center of Excellence-Petrochemical Transportation Security and is Associate Director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) E-Government Center. He is Chairman of the Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors of the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Third Vice President of the NAACP Houston Branch and a former board member of the Northeast Family YMCA, a member of the Houston Independent School District™'s (HISD) Bond Oversight Committee, was a member of the City of Houston™'s Term Limits Review Commission, and is a former At-Large (elected citywide) member of the Houston (Texas) City Council where he served as Chairman of the city™'s Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee. Professor Robinson is also a former member of the Board of Directors of Children at Risk (C@R) and the National League of Cities where he served as a member of the Board™s Finance Committee and was a member of the Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Steering Committee.

He is a former member of the Texas Municipal League™s Utilities and Environment Committee and Transportation Task Force; a former Vice Chair of the Houston-Galveston Area Council™s (H-GAC) Transportation Policy Council, is a former member of H-GAC™s Board of Directors; a former Advisory Board member of the Texas Environmental Defense Fund; a past President of the Texas Association of Black City Council Members; has served as a member of the Texas Department of Transportation (Tx-DOT) 2001 Work Group on Transportation Goals and Objectives, is a former Advisory Board Member of the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) at Texas A&M University and is a member of the Advisory Board of the TSU Center for Transportation Training and Research. Professor Robinson provided testimony to the Texas Governor™s Task Force on Evacuation and Logistics on October 26, 2005 on how to use technology to improve Emergency Preparedness.

Professor Robinson has worked in the Texas Legislature as Chief of Staff and General Counsel to Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis. He received his Bachelor of Arts (with Honors) in Political Science from Richard Stockton State College in Pomona, New Jersey and his Juris Doctorate from the National Law Center at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Professor Robinson is a Life Member of the NAACP, Omega Psi Phi and the author of numerous legal and public policy articles and commentaries.

Prior to his election to the Houston City Council, Professor Robinson was an Associate Professor at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University and served as Executive Assistant to two Presidents of the University. He has also served as an Adjunct Law Professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas where he taught Constitutional Structure. Professor Robinson is a past President of the Houston Lawyers Association and has served on the Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas and National Bar Association.

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Carroll G. Robinson
Get in touch with me!
Phone:(832)863-8092
Email: campaign@carrollgrobinson.com

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