House Representative

White, James

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/21/2017

Alabama-Coushatta Bring Celebration of Native American Culture to State Capitol

- Weekly Legislative Update 2/21/17 -

(Austin, TX) - This week, I was delighted to continue accommodating and hosting Southeast Texans at their State Capitol. I am always thankful for these visits that bring a piece of home to Austin.

The Alabama-Coushatta tribe brought many familiar faces from Polk county to their State Capitol to participate in a celebration of their cultural and historical contribution to Texas. In fact, when I exited the south entrance of your State Capitol, I was surprised in the large number of people from neighboring counties in and around House District 19. The strong community bond that the Alabama-Coushatta have created in Southeast Texas is a remarkable blessing.

I am proud to represent the Alabama-Coushatta in the State Legislature. They are one of Texas’ oldest allies who fought alongside revolutionaries in the Mexican War of Independence from Spain and then again in the Texas Revolution allowing Texas to be free from Mexico. It is very emotionally moving to visit their tribal lands and see the names engraved on a monument recognizing the Alabama-Coushatta that gave the “Full Measure of Devotion” to their country in the defense of liberty.

Christi Sullivan and her son Michael, both came to Austin as part of the Alabama-Coushatta celebration on the Capitol grounds. I enjoyed visiting with her and Michael after their tour. Christi does a phenomenal job promoting our local prosperity at the Polk County Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, Katherine and Melvin Wallace of Colmesneil and their friend Elaine Sheppard from Queensland, Australia came by my office after the conclusion of the Alabama-Coushatta event. I was delighted to meet these two outstanding Texans and their Aussie counterpart.

Before heading back home, I had the opportunity to congratulate Dr. Peter Cass on his swearing in as President of the Texas Optometric Association. Dr. Cass received his degree from my graduate alma mater, the University of Houston, and is practicing optometry in the Houston/Beaumont area. As a proud resident of Lumberton, Texas, it is an honor to represent Dr. Cass in the Texas Legislature. I enjoy working alongside Dr. Cass in crafting legislation to make sure that all Southeast Texans have access to quality medical care.

The Texas House Caucus held elections for House Members to serve on its Policy Committee and released its full membership roster this week. I will be serving alongside Rep. Jay Dean as the members from “Northeast Texas.”

This week, I was glad to have Andrew Harmon from Colmesneil intern in my Capitol office once again. This bright young man was a great asset to my office this past interim and I was glad to have him come back for a few days.

Lastly, my prayers go out to the family of Alicyn Mitcham. No parent should have to bear the pain of losing their child. I pray that the family is able to find comfort through their faith and loved ones during this difficult time. Additionally, I came home briefly last weekend to attend the home-going of Woodville community leader, businessman, and my friend Joe Copes. As a member of the Texas Legislature, I stand on the broad shoulders of many great people, including Joe. My prayers of comfort and strength extend to his family as well during this period of reflection.

The Capitol of Texas belongs to you and visiting the Capitol during the biennial legislative session is a great experience. To assist in arranging your visit please call Saul Mendoza, my Chief of Staff, at (512) 463-0490 or at saul.mendoza@house.texas.gov.