Jasmine Crockett: Taking the law into her own hands
Jasmine Crockett is the present State Representative-Elect for Texas House District 100 and she is running unopposed in the general election on November 3, 2020. She is currently a civil rights attorney and has served as the Democratic chair. Crockett had her first run for office in 2010 at the young age of 28, which she looks back on as a “one-woman-show” where she gathered support by attending different community events such as chili suppers as well as churches to explain to people why she was running. Although her knowledge of campaigning was limited at the time, her dedication to reforming the criminal justice system and working to eliminate the inequality and unfairness that she believed existed in Texarkana, managed to win her the early vote in 2010.
Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, politics was not a large aspect of Jasmine Crockett’s childhood until the election campaign of former president Barack Obama when she recalled seeing something in a politician that she had never seen before. At that time, she was a young public defender who was passionate about having those who were historically disenfranchised be involved in the political process. She worked with the district chair at the time to get voter registration cards into the local jail and to inform people of their rights and if they were eligible to vote. Crockett also spent time promoting voter mobilization and educating eligible voters. These set of events marked her entry into the political arena and her political journey only progressed from here.
After serving for 3 terms as the Democratic Chair and on the Metrocare Board, Crockett took the (life-changing) decision to represent the state of Texas. Serving on the Metrocare Board, she became increasingly frustrated with the lack of resources when it came to mental health and the overlooking of the link between mental health and the overall criminal justice system. This experience not only taught her the different barriers to gaining funding but also instilled into her, the desire to write the laws instead of tirelessly waiting for proper action to be taken. While Crockett states that she had a number of naysayers, she does not regret the way she utilized the donor money and the way her and her team chose to run.
However, that is not to say that she didn’t face any challenges. There were numerous instances that could have put Crockett at a disadvantage, especially the Coronavirus Pandemic, the massive support amongst major Texas Democratic leaders for her opponent, and the lack of knowledge that many individuals had regarding the position she was running for and what her roles consisted of. Despite this, she was resilient and determined to help others through her service and she emphasized on establishing personal relations with the people and educating them on what she can do for them. Because of the pandemic though, Crockett was unable to foster personal relationships that enabled them to enter the runoff and she was visibly disappointed by this even though it ended up working out for the better. Crockett also gained a large amount of supporters for her actions and attained 200 volunteers for her campaign, which is almost unheard of in a House of Representatives Race. In addition, the protests against racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd allowed her to use her voice to spread more awareness and fight against this issue as well as advocate the importance of it to the governor.
She stated that her biggest political accomplishment, so far, has been her current campaign and is excited that people are “feeling the flame” of supporting a movement that seeks to stand up against injustice. For Crockett, it has never been about the title but about the job you get to do. “The people need someone to go out and champion these issues but the seat is something that needs to be returned to the people.” said Crockett. She plans to focus more on the current education system and thinks that it’s important to identify the disparities when it comes to having equal access to education. According to Crockett, many children are struggling to learn through online school and many don’t have access to a reliable internet source nor have resources to help them with any difficulties they may face. She wants to bridge this gap through implementing better policies and focusing on constituent service.
Her biggest advice for young women who also want to create a difference is to be a part of a campaign that you truly believe in and apply what you learned from that experience into what you are passionate about. To Crockett, it’s passion that keeps you awake at 2 am and drives you to continue doing what you believe in. She genuinely believes in karma and stated that if you are willing to help someone in their efforts, the help will come back tenfold. “Don’t ever let someone tell you no because passion is what wins at the end of the day.”
Seasonal Contributor - Jindal OutREACH Program