Fort Bend County Commissioner Precinct 4 Candidate Dexter McCoy couldn’t necessarily define inequality as a child, but watched it as a young boy every day in rural Louisiana.
“My grandparents’ house at the start of the driveway was the end of the city limits,” he told the Signal. “We weren’t able to get access to a number of city services because of the 200 feet of difference between where the city line was and where their house was.”
But once McCoy moved to Fort Bend, Texas his access to academic and extracurricular opportunities opened his eyes to a whole new world. At a young age, McCoy said he was curious about why his life looked so much different than his friends, family, and peers back in Louisiana.
“My parents made it very clear that it was where I was growing up and what I had access to so I needed to do everything I could to make sure I was grateful for it,” he said.
So in high school, McCoy focused on all his passions and interests, including journalism, politics, civic leadership, and his faith. Eventually, after graduating from Boston University as student body president and president of the Black Student Union, he continued dedicating his life to public service.
In 2015, he worked as an appointed aide to the Secretary of Education in the Obama administration. After his time in Washington D.C., McCoy returned to Fort Bend and worked various jobs in the county school district.
And most recently, he worked as chief of staff in County Judge K.P. George’s office.
Now in his race for Precinct 4 County Commissioner, McCoy hopes for a win to continue his work in the county and improve equality in all aspects of the community.
“We’ve dealt with reluctant leadership in this seat just kind of checking the box for being present, but not really getting close to the people and the issues that really matter most,” McCoy said. “I couldn’t sit idly by and I felt that now was the time for me to get in and use my skills to be able to serve my neighbors.”
According to McCoy, some critical issues he’s looking to change in Precinct 4 are improving technology across the county, access to broadband, and helping senior citizens.
“No one should have to ever guess what services they have access to or who they need to call in order to get support,” he said. “They should be able to hit one central center that can direct them wherever they need help.”
McCoy said if elected he wants to invest in the people of Fort Bend and one example is to put more money into workforce development and create apprenticeships for the next generation of workers — an area he is rather well versed in after serving two years as a board member on the Gulf Coast Workforce Solutions.
“We have a number of folks in our community who have been adversely impacted by this pandemic,” McCoy said. “We have a responsibility to make sure that we are giving them the support they need to either find a job, find better jobs, to be prepared for the better jobs that are out there and to re skill or upskill in this ever-evolving economy.”
On another note, McCoy said, addressing the food deserts in Fort Bend is crucial to giving all residents access to healthy food options.
“We have far too many food deserts in our community,” he said. “People have to drive far to get to a grocery store and the most convenient options can’t continue to be fast food or a convenience store.”
With the March 1 primaries coming up in the next couple of weeks, McCoy said he’s making his rounds around the county by knocking on doors and speaking with residents. He said the support of Fort Bend residents, thus far, has surpassed his expectations.
In two weeks, according to McCoy, the campaign has raised over $40,000 in campaign contributions.
“The number of folks who have prayed over me in their doorway and have been overjoyed and invited me into their home just because they have never had an elected official or even a candidate show up to their doorstep to ask them what issues are important to them,” McCoy said. “And in turn those folks wanting to volunteer with our campaign. This is why I’m running because I love people.”
In an imperfect world, it seems that in all his passions, McCoy’s central love of humanity and community is based on equality. Equality in job opportunities, equality in education, equality in health and plainly a county, city, and community where resources are accessible to all parts of the population.
“Being a progressive means standing up and creating spaces where everyone can live and thrive and equity is key to how we create pathways for everyone to experience success, not just the well connected people” he said.