(Note: As I have done in past elections, I am running a series of Q&As for judicial candidates in contested Democratic primaries. This is intended to help introduce the candidates and their experiences to those who plan to vote in March. I am running these responses in the order that I receive them from the candidates. You can see other Q&As and further information about judicial candidates on my 2018 Judicial page.
1. Who are you and what are you running for?
My name is Linda Marie Dunson. I grew up in a small town in east Texas. I grew up very poor and disadvantaged. As a child decisions were made about me by others who were not my family, nor did they live in my neighborhood, nor did they look like me. Those who were in “authority” assessed my situations and made judgments and predetermined my sentence without giving me the opportunity to speak for myself nor did they communicate with my family. As an example, since my mother was a maid I was told that I would also be maid because it was a self fulfilling prophecy. They were wrong! They fueled the desire in me, the fire, the passion for advocating on behalf of others, especially children.
I am running the position of Judge for the 309th Family District Court, Harris County, Texas.
2. What kind of cases does this court hear?
The Family District court oversees matters such as divorce, adoption, child support, child protective services, and other related matters.
3. Why are you running for this particular bench?
I am running for the 309th because I want to see respect for both lawyers and client, decency and integrity returned to the bench. I want to see all who come before the court be treated justly, fairly and impartially, without being discriminated against because they look different or have a different sexual orientation, while respecting the rule of law . I want to see passion for people in general and compassion for people who are experiencing one of the most emotionally upheaval times in their lives. I want to see each case treated individually and not just rubber stamped. I want to stop seeing so many families broken when they can be mended. I want to stop seeing children treated as puppies in an adoption puppy mill. Strong family equals a strong America. I want to see a stronger America.
4. What are your qualifications for this job?
I am academic. In addition to my law degree, I have an LL.M inTax and I am a licensed U. S. Customs broker. All of which requires a heighten level of reading comprehension and critical thinking. Therefore, I have the capabilities to read, comprehend and interpret the many laws associated with the practice of family law.
I am knowledgeable. My practice of law has been centered on issues involving family matters. I worked several years providing free legal services consisting of mostly family law to indigent individuals. From time to time, I volunteer with different agencies to provide family law legal services to the poor. I attend family law continuing education seminars. I have always surrounded myself with mentors who are certified in a particular practice area of law, i.e.,family.
I have management experience in the fast food industry, haircare industry, and as a legal program director. As well, I have been a small business owner since the 1980s. Additionally, I have an Advanced Family Law Mediation certification. My managerial experiences helped to develop my listening and organizing skills. The aforementioned experiences also allowed me to interact will all types of people. Management and people skills are necessary to maintain the decorum of the court and operate it in an organized an effective manner.
I am compassionate. I understand the human condition. I understand that the are many ethnic groups with many cultural norms living in America. I understand that there are individuals who may believe differently than I in regards to religion and sexuality.
I have the a demeanor that is becoming to a Judge. I am consistent in my dealing with people. I believe that everyone is entitle to a fair, impartial and just decision. I listen and I connect with people. Moreover, I believe the rule of law should be respected.
I believe that lawyers ought to be allowed to represent their client zealously without being disrespected by the bench. Let the lawyers practice law and let the Judge be the judge.
Family is my passion. I believe that family comes in all shapes and sizes. Dynamics in the family are reflected in the dynamics that are seen in society. I believe that everyone deserves to be heard and to be treated with decency and a certain level of respect.
5. Why is this race important?
This race is important because children and families are important. Families are the backbone of this great country. And, children are the future of our Nation. Both, family and child, deserve fairness, justice, impartiality and equal protection of the law.
6. Why should people vote for you in the March primary?
People should vote for me because I genuinely care. I have advocated for others ever since I can remember. I have been in the trenches. I have given brain, brawn and bucks to improve the human condition, expecting nothing in return. I have been consistent.
I am a Progressive Democrat with traditional democratic values. I believe in Opportunity, Equality, Hard Work (Jobs), Education, Healthcare. I believe in embracing differences. I believe in equality, justice and fairness. And, I truly believe that a person should be judged by their character.
People should vote for me because I want to continue the fight for equality, justice and fairness.
I am the best and most qualified candidate. I bring with me knowledge, skill, an unmatched personal experience and unsurpassed compassion.