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2015 Texas Traditions Luncheon

Last week, The Texas Traditions Luncheon was held at the Crystal Ballroom at the historic Rice Hotel. The event honored Fred Lewis. It was a fantastic event with some of our Empower Houston Leaders (EHL) graduates, guests, politicians, organizers, and other community leaders present. We had a great turn out and it was so wonderful to see the support given to Fred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presenter after presenter pointed out Fred’s many qualities that led him to start and give so much of himself to Texans Together over the 7 years since the organization’s founding.  Citing his integrity, dedication, tenacity, passion, and knowledge, presenters related personal stories of their encounters with Fred.  Despite being targeted by hostile organizations, racking up high mileage to and from his home in Austin, and sacrificing so much time with his family,  Fred Lewis has made a huge impact on our community.

 

 

When Fred took center stage, he explained why he chose to work in Houston.  Not only was it a good reason to see family who live here, he also saw the need in the communities to empower the communities through civic engagement.  He saw a county that has one of the worst if not the worst voter turnout rates in the country.  He started Texans Together with an unusual charge – ask the community what are their concerns?  Much good work has been done by other organizations, but often they tell the community what they need.  Texans Together went into the community and spoke with the people there.  From their concerns, projects grew and support was developed.  One such concern was found in Alief with the absence of a community location for activities, learning, and gatherings.  Through the continued advocacy of the community, the development of community leaders spearheading the effort, and the support of Texans Together Organizer, Frank Garcia, there will be a new multiservice center with green space, play areas, basketball courts, and a community building.  It’s the first of its kind outside of the beltway.  The budget of the center grew as the community worked with their councilman.

 


Fred also explained how the Empower Houston Leaders program was developed by Charhonda Cox, Executive Director at Texans Together.  With over 300 leaders graduated, the program develops sustainable projects by teaching community leaders how to organize their projects and create action and movement in their community.  The program addresses one of Fred’s primary goals – develop grassroots leaders and empower their communities. Their projects are as diverse as the communities- with community gardens to education projects like a students’ trip to Tanzania.

 



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He also reflected on the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaigns that Texans Together has performed.  He pointed out that while Harris County’s last election had a dismal turnout rate, voters that Texans Together contacted turned out at a much higher rate. Fred explained that Texans Together, like other organizations, targeted low propensity voters in different areas of the city, but the difference is the contact.  Texans Together engaged voters and actually spent time listening to their concerns.

 

TexansTogether from channelAustin on Vimeo.

We are so proud of everything Fred has accomplished and humbled to be entrusted with his vision.

 



Contact Us

Texans Together Education Fund

P.O. Box 1296
Houston, Texas 77251-1296

713-782-8833

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Blog | by Dr. Radut