The streets are abuzz concerning the recent meeting of the Houston Black American Democrats (HBAD), which is being described as a toss-up between the famous Muhammad Ali-George Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle” boxing match and an episode of WWE Monday Night Raw.
What was supposed to be a general meeting turned into an all-out coup against the now, former-President Gabrielle Hadnot. According to insiders and attendees, what happened next at the meeting was beyond what words could truly describe.
According to sources, an opposition faction wanted Hadnot to resign because of a mail piece that was sent to African-American senior citizens in the city of Houston. The mail piece contained a list of HBAD endorsed candidates, but visibly left off Houston mayoral candidate Ben Hall and Houston City Council District B candidate Kathy Blueford Daniels, from the mail piece. Both, supporters for Hall and Daniels, showed up at the meeting in full force to express their displeasure and demand that HBAD hold its officer elections during the November meeting instead of the December meeting; December is when elections are to take place according to the HBAD by-laws.
After the groundswell of support to hold the elections in November prevailed, the group agreed to suspend its governing document (by-laws) and hold the elections without verifying the credentials of any of the candidates who were nominated. Many attendees at the meeting were floored at the way the meeting was handled and couldn’t wait to express their concern.
“This meeting is why Black folks have such a ghetto reputation,” stated Denise Woods. “There was nothing right about all the clowning and public bickering. People threatening to fight one another.”
Woods told the Houston Forward Times (HFT) that the late Doris Hubbard’s daughter [Kqisha Worsham] allegedly threatened to slap the ousted President [Hadnot] in “her motherf@?#!% lying mouth,” to which Woods claims that Hadnot responded to her to “bring it on.”
Wayne Brown, a civic leader in the Southeast community told the HFT that he never witnessed anything like the HBAD meeting in his life.
“If someone would have told me, that what I just saw actually happened, I would have never believed them,” said Brown. “I’m not sure if I saw a political uprising or civil disobedience. I, honest to God, was waiting on a referee to show up and say, ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’ or ‘In this corner weighing in at so many pounds’.”
Brown stated that this meeting is indicative of why Black voter turnout is down.
“It was absolutely horrifying,” said Brown. “No one wants to be a part of politics if that is what the best and the brightest in the Black community have to offer. I’m disappointed in what I saw.”
Amid allegations of corruption, HBAD, as it is known in Democratic circles, has maintained its reputation as the “go-to” group for those seeking to attract the African-American vote in city, gubernatorial and presidential races.
In 2010, it is rumored that the late Doris Hubbard received an undisclosed amount of financial support for Bill White by trial lawyer Steve Mostyn. This led to several ethics violation filed against the group.
Ruled by the late Doris Hubbard for years, HBAD is mostly known for inviting candidates to its screening and asking them to participate in the distribution of their slate card. The HBAD slate card usually boasts of a 70% success rate for endorsed candidates. In the 2013 race, five of their endorsed candidates were unsuccessful.
HBAD was founded by a group of African-American civic leaders seeking social changes and access to elected officials. After the general meeting fiasco, newly elected President Carol Mims Galloway tells the HFT that her primary concern is ensuring that the organization becomes more focused on the will of the people and not the control of one person.
“I wasn’t trying to hold another position,” said Galloway. “The people came to me and asked me to run because they wanted someone who wasn’t hand-picked. I want this organization to be known for having integrity, inclusion and transparency, and as the new President I hope to deliver that to the people who elected me to work for them.”
After the elections were held, the new 2014-2016 Houston Black American Democrats Elected Officials are:
Carol Mims Galloway – President
Alvin Pruitt – 1st Vice President
Edward Pollard - 2nd Vice President
Pat Frazier - Treasurer
The HFT will keep you posted on any new developments concerning this historic African-American political organization in the City of Houston.