Black History Month: Crystal’s Brendan Banks
Brendan Banks was sworn in on the Crystal City Council on Jan. 2. He’s the first person of color on the council and says he wanted to lead by example to show his children that it’s important to give back to your community.
Banks is almost incredulous that he’s blazing a trail.
“Why am I the first? It’s 2018,” said Banks. “You look at the diversity of Crystal, it hasn’t been reflected.
Laying a groundwork
Banks says he’s laying the groundwork to be make Crystal more inclusive.
“I’ve connected with people outside of Crystal and they ask that question, like wow, how did you get elected in Crystal?” he recounted.
Banks says that perception isn’t reality.
“When you look at the diversity of Crystal, in both in race and just in age group, the family makeup and dynamics, how do we start telling our story better?” he asked.
Family and Faith
The council member and his wife Jaalisa, have five children and family is one of the reasons he decided to run for office.
“I don’t want my kids to think there’s any kind of barriers for them. Whether that be work related, socially, just anything,” Banks explained.
Banks was volunteer firefighter in college and a police officer with the Arlington Texas Police Department for six years. He now serves in a different capacity on staff at Serenity Village Community Church. You can hear the passion in his voice for helping others.
“It’s not about being better than anybody, but here, let me love you, through no matter what you’re going through,” he said.
Banks uses that same positive energy to uplift, allowing him to deal with racism and old hurts of the past.
Connecting with people of different backgrounds and sometimes having uncomfortable conversations. Building bridges instead of barriers is the future Banks wants for Crystal.
“There’s still work to be done and that’s okay, that’s part of evolution of cultural existence, our American society, and where we’re going. I still believe we’re going in the right direction.”