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Jerry Davis: a liaison for The Steadfast.
Do you refuse to settle for anything less than an extraordinary life?
Do you want more for your children than you had?
Do you believe in hard work and moving forward as a community?
If these are your beliefs, you are part of what I call The Steadfast.
The Steadfast are people who believe that everyday, through our choices, we can create new opportunities and break ceilings.
In my experience, one thing usually presents an interesting challenge for The Steadfast: finances.
Most of us weren’t born with a silver spoon in our mouths.
We had to work hard to get what we have.
We know what it’s like to go without so that our children can go with.
We know that overwhelming feeling of wanting to pursue a dream but not having the means to fund it.
We have, at times, felt hopeless as we observe things changing around us, at the hands of people in positions of power with millions of dollars backing them up.
Our communities are under more finance-related attacks than ever in 2020:
- Families who’ve lived in areas for decades are being pushed out by newcomers.
- Access to healthcare is becoming a luxury instead of a right that all people should have.
- Our students are not being prepared to have a bright future.
The Steadfast are working non-stop to push through the challenges, but we need a liaison that will sit at the table with law-makers to help level the playing-field.
I am Jerry Davis, and I want to be a liaison for you and other members of The Steadfast.
I’m proud that I was raised by a village of The Steadfast.
I grew up in Northeast Houston and was educated in Houston Independent School District (HISD).
My parents were hard working educators who raised 3 energetic black boys into successful men who care deeply about the community.
My parents believed that there would always be hurdles and speed bumps in life, but there was nothing that could stop someone who was determined to (1) learn (2) work and (3) give back.
This belief was heavily instilled in me and it is what motivates every decision that I make.
As a teenager, I played basketball and lacrosse.
These sports did more for me than I could ever imagine.
Lacrosse led me to become the first black kid from Houston to play for an NCAA championship, and also led me to Washington College where I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in history and political science.
After finishing college, the sportsmanship-mentality that was birthed in me helped me quickly move up the ranks from being a waiter to bartender and eventually a manager while working under Harris and Chris Pappas (the Pappas Brothers).
But no matter how hard I worked in the restaurant business, I kept feeling like I wasn’t making a large enough impact on my community.
I knew there were young men and women coming through HISD who had all of the ingredients to be successful…except access.
I knew that I could bridge the gap to help them get from where they were, to where they wanted to be.
I felt responsible for them.
So, I left the Pappa’s Franchise, and got a part-time job at Home Depot so that I could pay my way through grad school — I received my Master’s in Education Administration at Prairie View A&M University.
Right after grad school, I started coaching and teaching at Jack Yates High School.
I had the time of my life molding and shaping young men into champions. Our Freshman boy’s basketball team won their first city championship when I was coaching them.
To be able to witness their growth on the field, off the field, and in the classroom was amazing.
It solidified what I always knew deep down:
I was created to serve, and what my parents taught me about being determined to (1) learn (2) work and (3) give back was a larger lesson than I could understand.
In 2001 I married my gorgeous & brilliant wife, Rachel (who I’d met in ‘97 through one of my Lamar High School classmates). Might I add, her support has allowed me to achieve my wildest dreams and raise 3 phenomenal children. Thank you, Rachel.
In 2002 I became the Dean of Students and head Lacrosse Coach at Westside High School; and the Lacrosse Team had become city champions by 2004.
And just when life seemed to be getting really good…my father was murdered.
The loss of my father was a huge blow to my family.
It curtailed everything and I immediately left my job at Westside to work beside my brother in his restaurant, the breakfast klub.
As I balanced life back inside a restaurant environment with my need to serve my community, I thought of ways I could honor my father’s legacy. He cared so much about The Steadfast and about educating our children out of poverty and the prison-pipeline.
So in my father’s honor, I founded Making it Better, a non-profit to help underserved kids have a support system that would help them learn to read so that they can continue enhancing their education and access to opportunities.
In 2012 I was elected onto Houston City Council, as Councilman of District B.
As Councilman, I was able to help the community at a greater level.
I felt a responsibility to be a conduit to the community.
I felt charged with the tasks of getting information back to the community more than ever before and giving the power back to the people. The old way of doing things was to create a funnel, that siphoned to a small body, and that method takes a long time to disseminate information.
So, I ventured to change the way information was given to my district by opening up the canal of information, so more people could be informed, in far less time.
I am committed.
“Our quality of life depends on us working together. I am committed to working on the issues that are important to District 142, from criminal justice reform to environmental issues. It will take every one of us.”