About Our Speakers/Panelist
Claude Cummings, III, MJWJ Global Radio Network - Host
Claude Cummings III is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Klein Forest High School. He holds a Masters Degree in Education from Tarleton State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from West Texas A & M University.
Claude was previously employed at Texas Southern University and Tarleton State University (Stephenville, TX.) AT both Texas Southern and Tarleton State he served as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach.
Claude is the Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church located in Baytown, TX. New Hope is dedicated to Feeding the Flock, Following the Savior, and Fellowshipping with believers. Claude Cummings III and his wife Joaquina have been married for seven years. They have two daughters, Jillian Rae and Claire Elizabeth.
Luz Elena, Luz Elena Radio - Host
Luz Elena Rivers is a Colombian-born woman entrepreneur, radio and television host, founder of Rivers for Health nonprofit organization and business owner of Amera Medical Coordination + Transportation. Her radio program La Voz de Apoyo – The Voice of Support on Univision
radio in Houston TX reports on issues that matter directly to the Hispanic Community. She has collaborated with the YMCA, City of Houston, NFL, Houston Texans, American Cancer Society, spoken at Fox 26 Channel and emcees for a number of community events including area high schools.
Luz Elena is on the board of HWIL- Hispanic Women in Leadership as Director of Public Relations and is an active member of Texas Hispanic Council on Aging and National Hispanic Professional Organization- Leadership Institute.
Keli Chevalier - Retired U.S. Army Major
Keli Chevalier, retired U.S. Army Major, spent two decades developing leadership skills under extreme pressure while serving as an officer in the U.S. Army. Keli's recent retirement from the military has afforded her the opportunity of a life time—to continue service to others as a motivational speaker, and head a non-profit organization dedicated to female Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
She believes if you’re not a little crazy, you’re not normal. Keli is a Mom, Keynote Speaker, Author, Observer, Fashion Curator, and Perspicacious-entrepreneur! Keli helps people find their inner strengths and maintain grace under fire while challenging individuals to recognize and overcome their fears by creating a plan of action. Keli assists people in removing the past from their present, and bring the future into a crystal clear, well-articulated vision. Most importantly, she helps others recognize their self-worth so they can capitalize on the most valuable asset—their personality! Her philosophy of “Get up! Get dressed! Get out!™ will leave you with the confidence and encouragement you need to challenge the impossible and redesign your life.
Attorney Warren Fitzgerald
I am a candidate for the position of Justice Of The Peace Precinct 1 Place 1 Harris County Texas. We are preparing our campaign for the Democratic Primary which will be in March, 2016. I strongly believe that my 36 years of practicing law and for the last three years as Associate Judge in the Municipal Courts of the City of Houston, has prepared me for service as Justice of the Peace.
Together, we will make it better for everyone
The committee to elect Warren Fitzgerald, Jr. organizes block walks and phone bank projects at our campaign headquarters every day. Our campaign headquarters is located at 6415 West Montgomery Road, Houston, TX 77091. Call us at (713) 692-4688 or email us at for more information or visit our website at
Attorney Rabeea Collier
Rabeea Collier believes that judicial integrity is the necessary requirement to uphold the sanctity of our laws. As judge, she will demand that the law is followed in each case and judged on the merits of the case free from bias and prejudice. As a native Houstonian and a proud Democrat, Rabeea Collier seeks to become your Democratic nominee for Judge of the 11th Civil District Court of Harris County.
For nearly a decade, Rabeea has been zealously representing individuals, non-profits, and small to publicly traded businesses in courthouses across Harris County. She specializes in litigation, including commercial litigation, general contractual matters, consumer law, civil rights and deceptive trade practices. She has handled approximately 200 matters, including appeals, in both state and federal court in various jurisdictions. For six consecutive years, Rabeea had been awarded by Super Lawyers the Rising Star Award. She has also been recognized as Top Lawyer by Houstonia Magazine 2013 and 2014 along with a 10.0 rating by Avvo. She was most recently recognized as America's Most Honored Professionals Top 10% in 2015. For more information
Shelby Stewart - Retired HPD Sargent/Civil Rights Activist
Retired HPD Sargeant Shelby Stewart spent twenty-eight years in the Houston Police Department and retired at the rank of Sergeant in 2009.While working as a police officer, he began his journey as a civil rights activist. He fought against racism and unfair treatment of minorities within the department. Throughout that period, Shelby was mentored by his hero and friend the great Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth of Birmingham, Alabama
Shelby was born into the Yates Family. He is the Great Great Grandson of Jack Yates. Growing up Shelby was blessed to be born into a family where he did not have to look for role models outside of his family because most of his family members were educators, doctors, politicians, nurses and businessmen. He grew up in Houston Texas and attended St Peters Elementary, Lockhart Elementary, Lanier Junior High and Stephen F. Austin Senior High and is a Proud Texas Southern Tiger. Shelby left Texas Southern in his senior year and joined the Houston Police Department.
Former Sheriff Adrian Garcia
Adrian Garcia began his life in public service as a Houston Police officer. After 23 years with the department his dedication was recognized by former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier, who appointed Adrian to the position of HPD’s liaison to the Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office. In 1999, Adrian was named director of this anti-gang effort.After leaving HPD, Adrian served six years as a Houston City Councilman eventually becoming Mayor Pro Tempore under Mayor Bill White. On City Council, Adrian gained valuable experience in how government works. Adrian chaired the Public Safety and Homeland Security committee, while also serving on the Minority Business Women Enterprise, Fiscal Affairs, and Flooding and Drainage committees.
In 2008, Adrian Garcia was elected Harris County Sheriff. Adrian inherited a Sheriff’s Department that was in dire need of reform. He wasted no time producing new, innovative ideas to clean up the mess that existed at that department by reducing the overcrowding at the country’s third largest jail, bringing more diversity to the department’s command staff, and working to be a visible, community oriented law enforcement officer the public could trust. For more on information
Noel A. Pinnock, My Brother's Keeper
Retired Noel A. Pinnock, BS, CA, MPA, CCC, CPM, IPMA-CP Noel A. Pinnock is a recognized expert with over 22 years experience in transforming underperforming companies into positions of prosperity and optimum value. He specializes in strategic, operational, and tactical services. As a national certified public manager (CPM), he has been responsible for overseeing many large-scale municipal and company transformations and is known for his creative and energetic leadership in strategic redirection, motivational speaking, organizational/workforce development, and market repositioning/rebranding.
He is the Host of My Brother's Keeper. In essence, the aim of the show is to inform our internal and external stakeholders of opportunities available through the MBK – Houston Movement. Mayor Annise Parker recently revealed Houston’s action plan for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative. MBK-Houston is a collaborative that includes representatives from multiple organizations across a variety of sectors, including education, health, nonprofits, government and business. The City of Houston joined the national movement to expand opportunities for boys and young men of color in September, 2014. MBK-Houston is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, which works to “ensure the plan comes to full fruition and outcomes are measured along the journey.”
Jylise Smith, NAACP Chair of Youth Action Committee
Jylise Smith grew up in Alief Texas, where she attended grade school and graduated from Hastings High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Southern University in May 2012. During her senior year of high school, Jylise was racially profiled and assaulted by a teacher, which has laid the foundation of her work for the last 10 years. Since then, her goal has been to empower disenfranchised youth through civic engagement, while showing them that they can take control of their communities. While in college, Jylise served in many roles before elected as president of the collegiate chapter of the NAACP. During her presidency, the chapter was recognized nationally as “chapter of the year,” and received a national issue award for the best Voter Empowerment Initiatives at the 2012 National Convention for the very first time in history. The TSU chapter of the NAACP was also acknowledged as the state “college chapter of the year,” during both terms. Because of her academic performance and leadership abilities, Texas Southern University selected Miss Smith to be featured in the March 2012 “Hollywood Edition” of Ebony Magazine, featuring outstanding graduates of the school such as; Barbara Jordan and Yolanda Adams. The ads appeared all across the country, highlighting Texas Southern University’s 85th Anniversary under the theme “A Legacy of Women Who Lead.”
Julie Countess - Assistant County Attorney
Luz Julie Countiss has dedicated most of her professional and personal life to public service. As an undergraduate at SMU she was an officer in SMU Democrats and a campaign volunteer for Ann Richards and Bill Clinton. After graduating from SMU in 1993, she was selected to join Teach for America which led her to the South Bronx, NYC where she taught first grade and elementary school music at a public school in District 9. Julie continued teaching public school in Houston at Alief Hastings High School. After the birth of her first child, Julie enrolled in law school at the University of Houston, graduating in 2002 and has been licensed for thirteen years. Inspired by her father, retired Justice Richard Countiss, Julie is passionate about the law.From the classroom to the courtroom, Julie has spoken up for those whose voices aren't heard. Most recently, Julie has taken on three pro bono cases from Kids in Need of Defense and successfully obtained Special Juvenile Immigrant Status for a 15 year old girl who traveled here from Honduras to reunite with her mother. As Assistant County Attorney in the Harris County Attorney's Office, Julie practices law in the litigation section and specializes in community protection. She prosecutes civil cases against illegal and dangerous businesses throughout the county, such as massage parlors, illegal spas, game rooms and after-hours clubs.