What does it mean to be a young public official who cares about constituents and not be insatiably ambitious? Candidly, this is a question I often struggle with internally, considering I’m the prototypical millennial, purportedly imperious, brazenly ambitious, expeditiously searching for equitable opportunities and often apathetic to “established traditions.”

Nonetheless, the characteristics mentioned don’t suggest that younger generations (millennials and Generation Zs) are devoid of the capacity to show due reverence to traditional norms.

The truth is we do respect traditions, albeit indicative of history repeating itself; historically, it’s the young who are the catalyst for social change. In the 1980s, young, educated conservatives cultivated a fiscally and socially conservative movement that until recently dominated the mainstream Republican apparatus.

Moreover, globally, inspiring young leaders such as Frida Kahlo, Dolores Huerta, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall and Bobby Kennedy are prominent examples of how youthful vigor inspired generations in the arduous pursuit of societal change.

Chiefly, at the height of these change agents’ careers, many of their more seasoned colleagues lamented to their naïveté; they were told that they should be “more patient” and to “wait their turn.” King’s “Letter from Birmingham” astutely critiqued clergy who insisted he was a “troublemaker” for non-violently advocating for equality (King also authored a book titled, “Why We Can’t Wait”).

Similarly, Kennedy once noted, “This world demands the qualities of youth, not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease.”

Nevertheless, despite the cynics of the personages mentioned in this literature, the luminaries continued to push their missions forward. And in the process, it aided in shaping the world as we know it today.

Presently, just like the prominent social voices of the past, millennials and Generation Zs are championing contemporary social issues in addition to questioning why the progress of those luminaries mentioned remains dormant.

Furthermore, the young question, why are we continuing to hear the same grandiose campaign promises, irrespective of partisan affiliation? Given this, too often, many politicians either become complacent, “play to their base” or “play it safe” until the next election.

Indeed, they’re not asking us, public officials, to be perfect; they are not. They ask us to care and do what we were elected to do, be an altruistic voice for all citizens — a reasonable request from those who have entrusted us with power.

Markedly, if history has taught us anything, it’s to listen to the voices of our youth. To quote the venerable Steve Jobs, “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, you can glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, they push the human race forward, because the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Keith Henry is the commissioner of District 1 in the city of Texas City.


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(17) comments

Charles Douglas

I agree with this author on many things, and while I'm doing so I'm wondering where are some of these folks he talked about, or anyone else for that matter, ...crying out, marching, or protesting about the migrant children & females getting sexually abused, raped, and mistreated at Fort Bliss, Texas, around this nation, and on the long journey from South America! Whistle Blowers are blowing whistles everywhere sounding the alert with no results, because of Left Wing Radical, Liberal, Politics, and failed Socialist policies put in place by those who are out to destroy America! Their success is facilitated by Left Wing Media, & Big Tech who are packing water for the DNC, covering up, censoring, and blacking out opposing harmful complaints and rhetoric exposing them! They want to totaliy embarrass this nation, and strip it naked before the world! They want to laugh, burn the flag, and say, " look at America,... a fictitious, racist, democracy!" They want to stand on Olympic podiums, or kneel when the National Athem is played to demean, & and distort who & what America is. These so called Radical Leaders are tearing-down, and demolishing in a matter of months what it took those who loved, fought for, and worked years, decades, and generations to build up and maintain!

They have defunded, and dismantled the police in many big Democratic controlled cities in America, and the results are that crime, in most categories have skyrocketed astronomically off the charts! They are & have been playing politics with the COVID 19 Virus in order to hold onto power, and they have totally opened up the South Border to every Tom, Richard, and Harry who are brave enough to walk across any obstacle in order to enter this country! There is decent, anger, aggression, and upheaval all over this nation, because we have those in power, like Moscow, Beijing, Joe China, Cackling Kamala Harris, who could not win her own primary, and was the first of many Democratic candidates to drop out of the Presidential race, and Nancy Pelosi who husband is in big business with the Red Chinese, making policies favorable to Red China, Russia, and the Communist World. Somebody had better wake-up and get in the game, and quit playing politics with their freedoms, before they have all been taken away! Lastly, if they succeed in striping me of my freedom....you can be sure YOU won't be far behind! Think about that in your leisure!

Ted Gillis

Defunding the police is just a slogan Charles. It hasn’t really happened. Cities may be moving social service responders to a different department, but defunding has not occurred.

I agree that the whistleblowers at Ft. Bliss did not get national attention until this weekend, with reports from CNN and the other networks carrying the story full on. The story is upsetting and disgraceful. Now with Trump, Rudy and the others out of the top spotlight, we’ll see how long this story stays in the news cycle.

Carlos Ponce

"It hasn’t really happened."

Cities that Have Defunded the Police

1. Austin, TX ($150 million cut)

2. Baltimore, MD ($22 million cut)

3. Boston, MA ($12 million cut)

4. Burlington, VT ($1 million cut)

5. Columbus, OH ($23 million cut)

6. Denver, CO ($55 million cut)

7. Eureka, CA ($1.2 million cut)

8. Hartford, CT ($2 million cut)

9. Los Angeles, CA ($175 million cut)

10.Madison, WI ($2 million cut)

11. Minneapolis, MN ($8 million cut)

12. New York, NY ($1 billion cut)

13. Norman, OK ($865,000 cut)

14. Oakland, CA ($14.6 million cut)

15. Oklahoma City, OK ($5.5 million cut)

16. Philadelphia, PA ($33 million cut)

17. Portland, OR ($15 million cut)

18. Salt Lake City, UT ($5.3 million cut)

19. San Francisco, CA ($120 million cut)

20.Seattle, WA ($69 million cut)

21. Steamboat Springs, CO ($1.5 million cut)

22.Washington, DC ($15 million cut

Ted Gillis

A budget cut is not “defunding”. I voted for budget cuts before when the revenues didn’t match the projections. It happens, but it doesn’t mean it’s a political statement, or punishment of some kind. Nice try Carlos.

Carlos Ponce

Budget cut? What do they cut off? Police officers, police training, police equipment. "Defunding" only means cutting off ALL funds to Ted.

Cut off the number of police and that means less protection for the populace, endangering lives and property.

Cut off training and those left will have to rely on pure instinct. How has that worked?

Cut off equipment and what's left of the force will be ill equipped to handle the job.

I'm glad you are no longer on the City Council.

Jim Forsythe

We ask our police officer to do take care of actives, that can be done by other professionals. By shifting funds, we will let the officers concentrate on police duties. Diverting funding from police to other non-police services to handle calls where it’s believed someone’s having a mental health problem, or in need of additional social services available around-the-clock.

Austin, Texas, has made some of the most dramatic changes in the country, directly cutting roughly $20m from the police department, and moving $80m from the agency by shifting certain services out of law enforcement. The city has gone from spending 40% of its $1.1bn general fund on police to now allocating about 26% to law enforcement.

“Public health and public safety are at the heart of this,” said Chris Harris, the criminal justice director at Texas Appleseed, a local not-for-profit. “When we take policing away, we are actually filling that void with alternatives that we know are going to help.”

The Austin police funds were reallocated to emergency medical services for Covid-19, community medics, mental health first responders, services for homeless people, substance abuse programs, food access, workforce development,, victim support, parks and more. The city council is using money saved from the police budget to buy two hotels to provide supportive housing for homeless residents.

Austin has started redirecting certain 911 calls to mental health professionals – a move meant to provide help to those crises instead of a potentially deadly response by police, Casar said: “We know that we can solve the mental health crisis with treatment and care, not with handcuffs and jail.”

New York City cuts and will reallocate to other agencies “best positioned to carry out the duties that have been previously assigned to the New York Police Department, like the Department of Education, the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Department of Homeless Services.

Carlos Ponce

Would you want to live in Austin? Go right ahead.

Jim Forsythe

What we are discussing is defunding the police, not what city anyone wants to live in.

Carlos Ponce

Jim is the one who brought up Austin.[rolleyes]

Jim Forsythe

No Carlos, we we were discussing defunding police in different city's, not living in those city's.

Carlos Ponce

Trying to weasel out again. You brought it up PERIOD!

Ted Gillis

And Carlos thinks that because he lives out in the county that his comment on who is serving on city council matters. Nobody cares about a non taxpaying blow hard.

Carlos Ponce

I have friends and relatives who live in the city. Showing them what you post is an eye opener for them.


I don't know you but I often see your posts and while I may not agree with them at times I appreciate an involved citizen. Well done.

Ted Gillis

Nobody cares Carlos, not even your friends and relatives.

Although it is good to know that you have friends with open eyes, or maybe more like rolled eyes in your case.

Carlos Ponce

Ted, they care.

David Hardee

Just another slick article written in the political prose style that conveys a sentiment for inspiring the reader's placidity for his rendition, - while actually having nothing close to the reality of the extreme chaos involved in changing our society’s future.

Always cast suspicion on any article that glorifies the heritage of the author. A young millennia reciting the history and individuals that support his claim of respect for what he classified as “questionable traditions of conservatives.” Using the usual cherry picking to stress glories while ignoring the events and individuals that would, if incorporated, taint his rendition, was not accidental. But here is the rest of the story of the heritage and tutelage that gave society generations infected with a perception of victimization and intent to reimagine the best hope of humanity, America as a racist caldron responsible for every calamity in the world.

The most significant to be considered is the rightful school desegregation under civil legislation. No lucid citizen would fail to recognize that it was chaotic and that in some areas it require force to fulfil the laws. Yet our society cohesively accomplished the objective of desegregating schools and other institutions. Using that accomplishment as a vehicle came the “great society” usurping control over the Health, Education and Welfare of the society and stealing/transferring the Social Security money into the general funds and instigating new taxes to set up and funding of the 3 new humongous federal bureaucracies. The free(s) of everything in public school over the next 10 years virtually wipe out all the private and parochial k through 12 schools, except for the wealthy. And the standing of the USA in the evaluation of academics compared to other countries declined significantly and has never recovered. Result of actions should matter,

Along the way the Millennials and Z's, born 1980 through 2010, these generations are the progeny of the radical 60's. Their parents were groomed during that activist 1960‘s chaotic era. 60’s era activist that rebelled against all norms/traditions and civility. The 60’s, filled with events of turmoil: the Vietnam draft dodgers burned draft cards and escaped to Canada, the iconic dodger Cassius Clay who rejected his given name and Christianity to become Ali and Muslim, Watts was burning, soldiers shot Kent State students, American flags were burning, and Jesus was depicted in a jar of urine. The 60’s slogan was "if it feels good do it" as the PILL fostered communes where free love was a religion. Drugs became a lifestyle of the "drop outs," and the Manson family of drug infested young girls hacked to death and carved a fetus from Sharon Tate. Assassinations were constant: King, Robert and Jack’s assassinations were sung about and the accidental president Johnson transferred/stole Social Security funds to the general fund to pay for the "Great Society." Huey Newton's black Panthers, Bill Ayres’s Weather Underground blew up the Pentagon, Symbionese Liberation Army robbed banks and kidnapped Patty Hearst. And the police became racist devils when they beat the angel dust psychotic Rodney King and were prosecuted making Rodney a millionaire.

The 60’s were the rebellious generation that married and divorced in equal ratios, gave birth and raised and passed on to society a repulsion for the traditions, mores and civility, with these progressive liberal millennials of the 80’s’ and Z’s 1996 - 2010.

The author identifies activist that inspiring young leaders such as Frida Kahlo, Dolores Huerta, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall and Bobby Kennedy, but did not dare to list activists that built organizations that inspired havoc during their tenure and today have millennials and Z’s advocates reaping havoc today. Again the usual self-serving rendition of liberal politicians straight from the guidelines in Saul Alinsky’s handbook.

The author infers that King and the Kennedys would approve of the state of the country today. Well, that is a self-serving assumption considering those were leaders whose tutelage was civility, respect for the lessons of history, and they practiced the traditional mores, marriage, and the unique American culture. The blood stained flag of King and the Kennedys was virtuous.

The virtues of the blood stained flag of King and the Kennedys are not reflected in the banners of progressive liberals of today.

Quit plucking and skewing our history to try and give veracity to your credos that create chaos and racism.

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