ODESSA, Texas (ABC Big 2/FOX 24) – As part of Black History Month, ABC Big 2 and FOX 24 are spotlighting black government leaders.
Local government leaders we spoke to said they’ve always loved being involved with their community and being in city council is now giving them an opportunity to do more for their city.
John Norman has represented District 2 in Midland for almost a year. Norman said he’s proud to represent a district where most of the black community in Midland lives and hopes to set an example for the local black community.
“District 2 is the largest district in Midland and which means it is a very diverse district,” Norman said. “You know I would hope that them seeing me in that position, it would give them hope and aspirations and it may be a kid out there that never thought about it like I didn’t.”
Mari Willis, Odessa City Councilwoman for District 5, also wants to serve as an example, but she said she’s not just representing the black community in Odessa.
“I have a diverse group of people who I look up to and who support me,” Willis said. “I think it’s really important that when you are making decisions that our community is represented diversely.”
Having been born and raised in Odessa, Those who inspired Willis to give back to her community included her family.
“Two people who have inspired me the very most in my life have been my parents,” Willis said. “They were leaders in the community, although they held no position or title they were also helping others in the community.”
And in Andrews, councilwoman Carolyn Jones hopes this Black History Month will inspire even more people to give back.
“There is a need for people to get involved and I’m hoping that more blacks and browns and kids and just more young people will get more involved,” Jones said. “If I can do it, I know that anybody can do it.”
But Jones also hopes honoring Black History Month will teach everyone a more important lesson.
“Until we start seeing each other as individuals and not the color of our skin or things like that, we’ve got to in some kind of way come together and be a whole nation,” Jones said. “Not just Black America or White America or Brown America or whatever, we’ve got to come together as a whole nation.”