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S.A.’s First African American Federal Judge

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Courtesy of U.S. District Court (WD Texas) and Whitehouse Judicial Nominees websites.

Judge Jason Pulliam, TSU Thurgood Marshall Alum – First African American to Serve on U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Published on August 11, 2019

Jason K. Pulliam, a class of 2000 graduate of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, made history August 9, 2019, when he was sworn in by Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia as the First African American to serve on U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, since it was established by Congress on February 21, 1857. It is one of ninety-four U.S. District Courtsthat presides over general trials in the United States federal courts. The court convenes in San Antonio but has divisions in Austin, Del Rio, El Paso, Midland, Pecos, and Waco.

Tom Reel, Staff / Staff photographer/SA Express-News

U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) recommended Judge Pulliam to President Donald Trump as a candidate to the fill a vacancy on the Western District of Texas Court. OnMarch 5, 2019, President Donald Trump (R) nominated Judge Pulliam and on April 3, 2019, the U.S. Senate voted 51-48 in favor of a change to chamber precedent lowering the maximum time allowed for debate on executive nominees to district court judgeships. Judge Pulliam was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy on July 31, 2019, by a vote of 54-36. He received his commission on August 5, 2019.

Federal Judge Nominee, Jason Pulliam at Senate Judiciary Committee Nomination Hearing

 Judge Pulliam’s legal career began immediately after graduating from law school. He honorably served as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Marines, as a Staff Judge Advocate from 2000-2004. Following his military service, Judge Pulliam worked as an attorney for William “Bill” Ford at the law firms of Ball & Weed, P.C. and Ford & Massey, P.C. His distinguished judicial career began in 2011, as Judge for the Bexar County Court at Law No. 5 (San Antonio), until 2015. In January 2015, former Governor Rick Perry appointed Judge Pulliam as the First African American man to serve as a Justice on the Texas Fourth District Court of Appeals (San Antonio), from 2015 to 2016. Most recently, he was Of Counsel with Prichard Young PLLC, a product liability and business/commercial litigation firm, from 2017 to 2019. He has represented clients before various Texas courts, U.S. District Court for Western District of Texas, Eastern District of Texas, and Southern District of Texas.

Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (founder in 1946)

 Judge Pulliam earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from City University of New York and a Juris Doctor degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He holds active memberships in various legal, civic, and professional organizations. Congratulations Judge Pulliam on your lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

Information provided in this article was compiled from San Antonio Express-News, Ballotpedia, U.S. District Court (WD Texas), and Whitehouse Judicial Nominees websites.

Dr. Reginal D. Harris, a Law Clerk for the Law Offices of Bell & White, PLLC, in San Antonio, Texas. He is a 2018 graduate (honors) of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Dr. Harris completed two judicial externships at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas under Senior Federal Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt; an externship with the Innocence Project at the Earl Carl Institute of Legal & Social Policy Inc.; a criminal and civil clerkship at Roberts Markland PLLC law firm; and an public service internship at Lone Star Legal Aid of Houston Inc. (Military and Veterans Unit).

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Reginal D. Harris, JD, PharmD, RPh, CPh, cMTM

Reginal D. Harris, JD, PharmD, RPh, CPh, cMTM

“Education is the greatest equalizer to attaining success.” -My Grandma, Mrs. Judie A. Belvin

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Jason K. Pulliam, a class of 2000 graduate of Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, made history August 9, 2019, when he was sworn in by Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia as the First African American to serve on U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, since it was established by Congress on February 21, 1857.

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“The Pact” In San Antonio

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With an auditorium full, St. Philip’s College held its President’s Lecture Series featuring The Three Doctors, Drs. Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt, George Jenkins, fondly known as “The Three Doctors.” These extraordinary role models shared their challenges and discussed how they overcame major hardships to achieve their goals.

The St. Philip’s College President’s Lecture Series provides opportunities for the college and the community to hear speakers’ perspectives on a broad range of local, regional, national and international issues. The lectures are provided at no cost to the audience and are designed to attract students, faculty, and staff as well as the greater San Antonio Community.

As teenage boys growing up on the tough inner-city streets of Newark, New Jersey, these three kindred spirits made a pact: they would stick together, go to college, graduate, and become doctors. Surrounded by negative influences and having few positive role models made this a difficult feat. Now, years later, these three men have overcome countless obstacles and proudly bear the subtitle of doctor, serving as the face of health and education for youth and families across our country.

Having grown up in the streets of Newark, The Three Doctors know firsthand the pressures and struggles of life in the inner city and how difficult it can be going at it alone. Determined not to become victims of their environment, the trio stood firm in their mission and together became one of the most remarkable success stories of inspiration, dedication, and determination. The Three Doctors are frequently asked about their formula for becoming prominent, successful men. While there are numerous factors that played a role in their success, there are particular guidelines that The Three Doctors have and continue to live by to this day. This includes “learning patience,” especially in a world where many have come to want—and expect—instant gratification and success. They urge people to trust self-reliance and inner strength in developing a strategic plan for carrying out long-term goals in life.

Today, Dr. Hunt is a board-certified internist at University Medical Center at Princeton and assistant professor of medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Jenkins serves as assistant professor of clinical dentistry at Columbia University. Dr. Davis is a board-certified emergency medicine physician at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

The Three Doctors have also authored three inspiring books about their lives: The Pact, for adults; We Beat the Streets, for children; and The Bond, which highlights fatherhood relationships. The Three Doctors also find time to give back to the community through their nonprofit organization, The Three Doctors Foundation, which recently celebrated its 11th year of offering free health, education, and mentoring programs for youth and families in the New York/New Jersey area.

The Three Doctors were honored by the National Civil Rights Museum in 2012, received the prestigious Essence Award in 2000 for their accomplishments and leadership, and were awarded a BET Honors Award in 2009. They have been featured medical experts for the “Tom Joyner Morning Show” as well as CNN news. The Three Doctors continue to make numerous television appearances in support of their message of health, education, and youth mentoring. This includes their past appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, during which Ms. Winfrey remarked, “You guys are bigger than rock stars! I think you guys are the premier role models of the world!”

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Historic win for District 2

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Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan: “Budget is a historic win for District 2”

SAN ANTONIO (September 12, 2019) — District 2 Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan released the following statement following the adoption of the FY 2020 Operating and Capital Budget approved by City Council:

“We are thrilled to see the results of over a month of planning, negotiation, and collaboration come to fruition in ways that our community has been requesting for a long time. The approved budget is a historic win for District 2 and has definitely set a precedent for the future that District 2 is not the black sheep of the city.

We are being allocated more money for infrastructure, more money than we’ve ever been allocated for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March, and we’re allocating money for programs that will benefit our community’s most vulnerable populations.

Our Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March is the largest in the nation and is expected to continue to grow as it attracts international attention and becomes a destination for people around the world. This year, we are allocating $200,000 to cover the cost of marketing, facility rental, production, and facility use. This is about $50,000 more than we typically see for the march’s funding. 

Ella Austin Community Center, a staple of our community, is being allocated $500,000 for maintenance and renovation in addition to $90,000 to fund its summer youth program. 

The city is also matching $150,000 in funds to Brackenridge Park Conservancy for a market analysis of the Sunken Gardens Theater. 

In addition, of the $110 Million allocated to city-wide infrastructure improvements, half will be allotted based on volume of roads and half will be based on condition. We are receiving about 13% of the Street Maintenance Program budget, more funding than District 2 has ever received before.

One of our biggest wins was a $25,000 allocation to fund a second chance initiative which will assist in developing and securing employment for individuals who are formerly incarcerated. When people have served their time and reintegrate into society, it is so hard for them to find steady footing. This program will help ease that transition which will lead to reduced recidivism, reduced homelessness, and reduced hopelessness that leads to a number of other things.

We’ll also see $250,000 allocated to a Neighborhood and Housing Program that will provide ten $25,000 home grants for homeowners in District 2. These home grants will allow our most vulnerable populations to make necessary structural improvements to their homes. 

I am also personally excited to see the Collaborative Commission on Domestic Violence will be allocated $500,000 in funds, and I want to thank Councilmembers Shirley Gonzalez and Manny Palaez for drafting the original CCR (Council Consideration Request) that made this possible.

Today, our city came out victorious and our district has much to celebrate. Moving forward, we will continue to take the steps towards an equitable future.”

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SAHA CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING OF EASTSIDE COMMUNITY PARK

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The San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA) celebrates the final Eastside Choice Neighborhood Grant Implementation Grant neighborhood revitalization effort by hosting a celebration for the grand opening of Phillis Wheatley Park, a one-acre recreational area located at the center of East Meadows, the site of the former Wheatley Courts.

U.S. State Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, Lou Miller, Chief of Staff for San Antonio City Council District 2 Rep. Jada Andrews-Sullivan, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development San Antonio Field Office Director Zulieka Morales-Romero, and Morris A. Stribling, DPM, Chairman
offered remarks. Students from Eastside Academy and Winston Elementary were in attendance and invited to be the first to play at the park featuring a playscape, pavilion with benches and board games, a walking path, health and wellness equipment and an open field. 

During the planning process, neighborhood residents met with the creative teams on how best to incorporate the rich history of the community in the newly-designed park. It contains two mosaic lion sculptures representing the former Wheatley High School mascot, as well as custom story walls to capture and depict the legacy of local unsung heroes Phillis Wheatley and Ira Aldridge. Children and residents of East Meadows worked alongside nationally-recognized artist Reginald Adams on location to assist in the creation of the landmark public art project.

The park maintenance and ownership will transfer to the City of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department.

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