Friday, January 23, 2015

Matt Murphy For District D

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.[i] It always seems impossible until it is done.[ii] The time is always right to do what is right.[iii] Those three sentences were actually individual quotes from historical leaders that are famous for development of inclusion and unity of the people. To my knowledge the sentences have never been put together like that before, but when they are combined, they are even more powerful. It inspires me to live up my life mantra of going beyond saying “I Can” or “I Will” to saying “I Do!”

It is my belief that leaders actually “DO” things in effort to benefit and inspire those around them to “DO” the same. We all have dreams, but when we go beyond dreaming and say it’s time to make them a reality today is when true change happens.

The mantra has allowed me to gain a lot of success in both my personal and professional life. Though most have told me that it is “impossible”, I have been able to do the following in just under a decade:

  • Recognized as the founding leader of a community in Dallas) that went from a handful of active neighbors into becoming one of the largest and active neighborhood groups in Texas. (Midway Hallow Community-HR2132)
  • Transformed from an overweight smoker into a 2x Ironman Triathlon & 2x Houston Marathon finisher. (Shawn’s Ironman)
  • Start a local birth defect awareness campaign with Texas Children’s Hospital to provide education, hope, and help to families affected by birth defects that gained international recognition and following. (Shawn’s Anomaly)
  • Create an award winning short film documentary about the Houston Astrodome that has become a tool for education and preservation of the iconic structure. (Last Seat At The Dome)
All of those accomplishments and my belief that true leaders continue to evolve and recreate ways to promote positive change in the world by doing through transformation leadership, I have decided to move to the next chapter in my life and announce my candidacy for Houston City Council District D.

My wife and I have lived in District D since we renovated and preserved one of the beautiful homes that compose the Riverside Terrace neighborhood nearly 8 years ago. We were honored to be joined by the birth of our only child (Shawn) in 2009. Together, we have considered District D the only place we have called home as a family, and we plan to stay here forever.

Rich in history, District D includes Sunnyside, Third Ward, Riverside Terrace, Midtown, Museum District and many other communities and portions southward to Beltway 8. We are also are either home or adjacent to four major universities (Texas Southern University, University of Houston, St. Thomas, and Rice University) and home of the largest medical center in the world.

District D is in the process of reinventing itself in the 21st century while seeing a transformation of the ethnic composition of the neighborhoods. We are becoming a melting pot of races, creeds, sexes, ages, sexual orientations, and religious beliefs. Although this is a move in the right direction, this has also led to more and more tensions between neighbors because they are different. It will continue to do so without proper representation and leadership.District D Map

District D deserves a leader that is willing to lead the ever increasing diverse population of neighbors with the spirit of equity and inclusion. It deserves a leader that embraces these changing times in our neighborhoods while staying sensitive to social impacts such as gentrification, poverty, economic development, and equitable access to the resources that help neighbors. District D deserves a leader that does not say, “I Can” or “I Will” that only promises direction, but a leader that says, “I Do”!

I have seen in past experiences that if you know your neighbors name, then you are obligated to look after them regardless if you both agree on social issues. Neighbors that know each other are catalyst for positive change. With that philosophy in mind, I am also announcing the immediate launch of the “Know Your Neighbor” initiative in conjunction with my candidacy announcement.

The “Know Your Neighbor” initiative will become a huge success because it brings neighbors together that carry on far beyond a political career of any candidate. With your support and assistance, District D can be the leader in building up our community that will be the blueprint for the rest of the great city of Houston and lead by the political leaders of District D.

The first step in this process of “Doing” is starting the dialogue. The best way of doing so is taking a small amount of time out of our schedules to introduce yourselves to your immediate neighbors between now and Election Day. Through this process, we acknowledge our common ground and plan events throughout the year to help promote the initiative and the spirit of community involvement. We will also be able to educate each other about the issues that affect our neighborhoods to help find viable solutions to address them.

District D deserves this type of initiative and leadership, and I feel that I am the right candidate to fill that position. I will walk hand-in-hand with all of you as neighbors, listening to your concerns, earning your respect and support that humbly gives me the responsibility to be the voice of District D. I looking forward to getting to know all of you better through this initiative and becoming the change that we desire.


Matthew S. Murphy

[i] Mahatma Gandhi

[ii] Nelson Mandella

[iii] Martin Luther King Jr.