■ It is basic that candidates who have stayed in public office too long see leadership as a birthmark, whereas innovative contenders who run on relevant ideologies see leadership as a corroboration of fundamental tasks. Attorney Okorafor says he represents modernity and vowed the polls would reflect that after the midterm Democratic Primaries set for March 4, 2014.
Leadership is not a birthmark. It is complex but entails a basic philosophy involving a persistent collaboration of three necessary components: the leader, the led, and the adjoining conditions and settings. The latest democratic fight for Texas State Representative, District 131 may have boiled down to duel between age and modernism.
A brand much younger candidate, Attorney Azuwuike Okorafor mounted the podium at a well-attended corporate reception late last year on South West side to declare a readiness to challenge the incumbent for the House District 131 State Representative seat, Dr. Alma A. Allen. He spoke passionately, as the excited audience listened and cheered, “I am running to become the State Representative from District 131 because I want to create a better future for all the residents of District 131.”
It is basic that candidates who have stayed in public office too long see leadership as a birthmark, whereas innovative contenders who run on relevant ideologies see leadership as a corroboration of fundamental tasks. Attorney Okorafor says he represents modernity and vowed the polls would reflect that after the midterm Democratic Primaries set for March 4, 2014. Early voting started February 18, and will end on the 28. Rep. Allen, a former educator has been on this job for more than 9 years having been elected on November 2, 2004, but Attorney Okorafor dismissed longevity as a leadership –selection criteria. He said, “I think what the district is suffering now from the incumbent is the dire consequences of diminishing returns. I believe the incumbent has overstayed her skill capacity and a change has become necessary. That is why I am here today running”
Okorafor, a Houston-based civil rights attorney told International Guardian, “I have many exciting ideas to create a better District 131 that will improve education, business development, economic improvement, and retirement/veteran benefits. I am in touch with reality and people’s needs, and I am determined to create a positive cohesive District where we all team up and prosper. I will utilize bipartisanship to facilitate positive outcomes and ensure the people of District 131 have the best government possible.”
Attorney Okorafor has spent 20 years in District 131 and have mastered the area, the people and their needs. The district is mixed with a population of Anglos, African-Americans and Hispanics, and holds a high volume of citizens from other countries. Just last year, toward the last quarter, Attorney Okorafor courted most community organizations and corporate entities participating in civic events and volunteering time and services to fulfil needs snubbed by the system. “This is what community person does,” he said, “collaborating with the community and presenting you as a part of the solution not as a part of the problem.” He continued, “I have spent countless hours listening to my fellow District 131 residents and the challenges they are experiencing and issues they are struggling with today. I want to be their voice, make a difference in their lives, and be the conduit that sparks change and catapults our state to a bright future. My door will always be open and I will take the action required to create a better, stronger District and Texas.”
When Texpatriate, a professional blog on Houston and Texas politics asked Okorafor why he believed the incumbent has failed, his response was decisive, “I think the current incumbent has failed to adequately address the issues of the District. First, the District suffers from a lack of economic redevelopment. Also the incumbent a supposed expert in education has failed to introduce any meaningful legislation which aids the District’s failing schools. It is time the District is served by someone who has experience in the sector and is more in tune with the experiences and difficulties of the average family within the District.”
Attorney Okorafor’s popularity in the district may propel him to victory. For instance, he was in Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law where he earned his Juris Doctorate degree. During Okorafor’s time at Texas Southern, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Gender, Race, and Justice Law Journal, a member of the Black Law Student Association, Vice-President of the Student Bar Association, and received Dean’s List honors. Today, many students and alumni members are looking forward to his victory. An unidentified professor of the institution told International Guardian, “When it comes to Texas Southern, we do not compromise our young alumni members as they carry the institution’s name along with them.”
Following graduation from Texas Southern University, Okorafor’s pursued his passion for justice by beginning his career with a well-respected boutique Civil Rights Litigation firm defending the constitutional rights of clients across Texas. He later transitioned into the role of an Equal Employment Opportunity Consultant and helps Fortune 500 companies develop and implement Equal Employment Opportunity practices and policies. Okorafor’s and his wife Crystal, are active members of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. As a product of the Great District of 131, Okorafor’s is dedicated to ensuring that this community continues to thrive and produce the next generation of leaders.
In his last appeal to voters, Okorafor’s said, “I believe this District has what it takes to be the most sought after area to live and work. I promise to provide tax breaks to small businesses and tax incentives to businesses that build within the District, which increases job production and in turn reduces crime. I promise to build new parks and green belts within the area to beautify the already expansive spaces within the District. I believe we are quickly approaching a tipping point in today’s society.”
■ Midterm Democratic Primaries is on March 4, 2014. Early voting started February 18, and will end on the 28. For information about the election, please log on to:
■ 2014 Primary Election Calendar: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/laws/primary-election-calendar-2014...
■ 2014 Democratic Primary: http://www.harrisdemocrats.com/2014_democratic_primary
■ Primary Elections Early Voting Schedule: http://www.harrisvotes.org/EarlyVoting/EarlyVotingLocationsSchedule.pdf