CONSIDERING, she is a warrior. She fights hard and consistently for herself and for those around her. She questions the status quo. She wants to make the community a better place in which to live.
CONSIDERING, she is currently battling breast cancer. After months spent ruling out a series of other diseases, she was finally accurately diagnosed in early October. She started chemotherapy almost immediately. “You have to be an advocate for yourself. I knew something was wrong, and I kept scheduling doctor’s appointments until I got to the bottom of it.”
CONSIDERING, she has battled cancer before. In 2007 she discovered she had a brain tumor after months of testing. She found that some of the providers she came into contact with at the time were not urgent enough. She pressed for quicker results. “I’m brave. I’m courageous. My mom would say that I’m too crazy to be scared.”
CONSIDERING, she has volunteered in the community since the age of 13. She has been a compassionate ally of those who often have no voice in the Baton Rouge area, including individuals with mental disabilities. She is a champion for diversity and is an advocate for fairness, education and empowerment. “It is our obligation to give back and help others. Through giving back you will be blessed.”
CONSIDERING, she chartered the Capital City Republican Women in 2010, making history as the first black president of a chapter of the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women. “Some people run away from politics. I try to encourage people to get involved and engaged. I believe we should educate people so that they can make informed decisions.”
CONSIDERING, she has not shied away from the political spotlight. She has run for office multiple times, including for Metro Council, state representative and Public Service commissioner. Although she has not won, she does not regret the experiences. “Whether you win, lose or draw, you meet people by being involved in politics. You become a resource for others. You may help someone along the way.”
CONSIDERING, she holds a criminal justice degree from LSU and a master’s in counseling from Southern University. She has been involved in Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the Junior League of Baton Rouge, Louisiana Association of Parliamentarians, National Federation of Republican Women, and the Louisiana Federation of Republican Women, among others.
CONSIDERING, she received the Woman of the Year award from the National Center for Urban Development in 2005, and she served on the boards of Family Road of Greater Baton Rouge, the Battered Women’s Shelter and Catholic High Mother’s Club.
CONSIDERING, she was appointed commissioner to the Planning and Zoning Board by the Baton Rouge Metro Council. “I get involved to encourage others not to be afraid to get involved.”
CONSIDERING, she has been married to Larry James for nine years. She has one son and one stepdaughter. Her mother, Shirley David-Holliday, and her husband have accompanied her to all her doctor’s appointments.
CONSIDERING, she is taking action, even in the midst of breast cancer treatment. She is launching a new organization, The Pink Cupcakes Foundation, to educate female teens about their bodies, and breast health.
CONSIDERING, she remains happy and determined. “Life is all about perception. My faith is strong. I know my redeemer lives. I don’t even worry about the rest. I choose to try to turn my negatives into positives.”