Pamela Phoenix says her legal, business, and nonprofit experience would serve District 3

{child_byline}By Erin Mansfield, emansfield@tylerpaper.com {/child_byline}

Pamela Phoenix, 54, says she has the right experience at the right time to hold the District 3 seat on the Tyler City Council.

Originally from Louisiana, Phoenix came to Tyler as an evacuee from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She received support from Marvin United Methodist Church and quickly began a job in a local law firm.

Phoenix and her family have made their home here for the past 14 years. She is educated as a paralegal with a degree in criminal justice from Loyola University and is a licensed, nondenominational minister. She also has run her own business as a landman in the oil and gas industry.

She works part time representing property owners in eviction cases, and is the caretaker of her mother. She serves on the Tyler Planning and Zoning Commission and the Smith County Appraisal Review Board, and was the board chair for the former community health center Total Healthcare.

“It’s purposed for me to be elected,” Phoenix said. “We’re in a season of change, of growth and transition here in Tyler (and) it takes a certain person representing a district in order to be able to edify that change and transition that’s happening. “

She said she is the only person running who can cite legal, business, nonprofit, city and county experience. She also has endorsements from Councilman Ed Moore, the Rev. Ralph Caraway, attorney Deborah Race and Rabbi Neal Katz.

“You need someone with those types of characteristics in order to help the community maximize all the change, growth and transition that’s going on, and I am the only candidate that can say the things that I just listed,” Phoenix said.

She said the biggest issues facing the district are affordable housing and business growth. She said increasing the number of affordable housing units and bringing in businesses would require the city and the business community to partner.

“We don’t have enough rooftops,” Phoenix said. “We also have been advised that the majority of the land that is available is in a flood plain and it’s under a tax lien. We’ve been advised why we can’t have business growth in north Tyler.”

If elected, Phoenix said she would hold monthly meetings to engage constituents. She also envisions helping people interact with the city’s Neighborhood Services Department, which is the city’s federally funded agency for affordable housing.

Instead of focusing on the community’s past, she said “our objective is to identify issues, brainstorm and come up with dual strategies, partner, implement and move forward.” She said that means identifying businesses the community wants.

She said part of a City Council member’s job is to be a liaison between constituents and the city government, and she would be an advocate for those constituents. She said she would keep her finger on the pulse of the community and be their voice at meetings.

“The intentions of my heart are pure,” Phoenix said. “I’m not trying to set myself up for a national platform to be an immigration representative or run for Congress. I’m here for Tyler. This is home. I’m not going anywhere. And the intentions of my heart are purely for the people and bettering our community.”

TWITTER and INSTAGRAM: @_erinmansfield

Government Reporter

Erin came to Tyler from Vermont, where she worked for VTDigger.org and previously the Rutland Herald. She received her B.A. in Economics and Spanish from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she also attended journalism school.

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