Interview with Odus Evbagharu

Odus Evbagharu

As you know, the Harris County Democratic Party will be electing a new Chair following the resignation of Lillie Schecter, who has served (quite ably) as Chair since 2017. I am on the record supporting Odus Evbagharu as the next Chair, and to that end I am bringing you this interview I did with him, to discuss his view of the HCDP and where he plans to take it from here. Odus is a native of London and the son of Nigerian immigrants, who has lived in the Cypress area since he was ten. He’s a graduate of UH, he has served as Communications Director for the HCDP on the 2018 Coordinated Campaign, and he is currently the Chief of Staff to State Rep. Jon Rosenthal. Here’s what we talked about:

The CEC meeting at which the next Chair will be elected is June 27. The only other known candidate at this time is Ted Weisgal; there was a third person who had initially expressed interest but he has since withdrawn from consideration. Candidates must be nominated by a precinct chair to be in the race, so the possibility exists that one or more new entrants will appear on that date.

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6 Responses to Interview with Odus Evbagharu

  1. Lobo says:


    Odus Evbagharu. First name good, surname unpronounceable and not so good for name recognition, at least not outside the bubble, i.e. general public.  

    If Lillie Schechter can go to Lillie Schecter (see above) and perhaps even to Shecter in the next iteration, Evbagharu might consider simplifying his last name too, should he ever intend to run for a more public office. Evapuro perhaps, in the hope of resonating with the Hispanic segment of the Democratic-leaning electorate. Obama not weird and eminently pronounceable. Ergo, not a good analogy for Evbagharu, The latter might work in a small district in Southwest Houston/Fort Bend County, but happens to have too many unusual adjoining consonants in the Anglosphere.

    Just because Dan Goeb changed his name from German to Irish doesn’t mean it can’t be a viable strategic option for aspiring politicians on the other side of the spectrum: a gambit to go trans-ethnic with their brand label and most important personal identifier.

    So much for naming-names trivia of electoral significance. Or rather, pronouncing them. Let’s move on to matters that matter.


    “We […] must keep the momentum by focusing on people, investing in precincts, and impacting policy.” (Medium article)

    Sounds like a trifecta of platitudes.

    That said, “people” for Odus includes D.M.V (disenfranchised, marginalized, and voiceless); not just people generically as distinguished from entities (corporate and statist) known to be dear to Texas Republicans of all branches of government at all levels. At least DMV is an acronym some folks will already be familiar with. But that might lead to confusion.


    Does Odus have any position on lowering the voting age to currently disfranchised 16-18 year olds, or otherwise bring them into the political space? What about papered and unpapered noncitizen residents, not mention recently arrived migrants? Outreach and initiatives to integrate these politically powerless portions of local communities are being experimented with elsewhere, but are not even on the discussion agenda. All the while, Dems claim to be inclusive and attuned to the needs of disparately vulnerable demographics. As a foreign-born politico and recent political science major with Lege exposure, Odus could perhaps become a political entrepreneur and trail blazer on this front: an advocate for the non-enfranchised.

    Alas, on the democratic reform and public policy front, Odus offers only fleeting references to buzzwords (like Medicaid expansion) and nada nix zilch of substance. “We have to advocate for the policies we want.” Duh! Would anyone in their right mind advocate for what they don’t want? And while we are on it, what exactly is it that we want, besides the power to make it happen?

    To be sure, Beto is short on policy prescriptions likewise (at this stage of the game), but at least he wants to save democracy. And, unlike Odem, he has a plan for concrete action that lends itself to being communicated in bullet points and delivered staccato-style at public park pavilion events to rally the troopers.

    And Lina Hidalgo has already proven that she knows how to put her smarts and academic training to good use in local policymaking and a more rational approach to public administration, including a modernized budgeting process and metrics-based policy and program evaluation.

    Given that Odus has served as chief of staff of a member at the Texas House of Representatives, it is lamentable that there is nothing here on the issues of the day. Like the availability of electricity to those of us lucky to be in homes, and what to do about the plight of those who camp under freeways and roam the streets: the marginalized.
    “We must leave no one behind.” – Amen.

    But how?  

    Nor, as for internal party reform and improvement, anything on what type of communications system to set up to better stay in touch with precinct chairs (we need continuing education-bla) and how to devise and coordinate joint strategy with counterparts in surrounding counties (I will talk to them).

    Bottom line: Odus seems like a likable guy, but Chris Hollins would be a much better choice to take the helm of the local Democratic Party, and put his proven managerial prowess to good use. 

  2. Joel says:

    As usual, the final sentence of
    lobo’s book length comment was more than enough.

    Get some humility, dude.

  3. C.L. says:

    Joel, this is what happens when you open up a forum to comments (sidenote: props to Yahoo, etc., for shutting down reader’s responses) – you get folks who want to spend their time typing lengthy diatribes, as frequently as possible, for whatever reason.

    That being said, some posts, while long, are informative…But some of them have me thinking the typist is being paid by the keystroke.

  4. mollusk says:

    C.L. – Ha!

  5. Lobo says:

    C.L., what you get (if you are lucky) is a little free speech.

    “Free” as in nonmonetized and nonmonetizable, on matters of public concern. Contrast that with $24 million spent on lobbyisty by the energy industry, as an example. That latter constituting “paid for” corporate speech.

    Some quality media and salaried academics do make an effort on the free speech front, too, but they operate precariously and don’t get to sit at the table. And the Tex-Dems don’t even have an allied think tank to send into battle against the Texas Public Policy Foundation. — Am I wrong?

    Here is a kudos-deserving example of shedding light on the swamp that is the Texas Lege:


    WFAA found energy-related industries this legislative session have hired 338 lobbyists, spending up to $24 million for their services in the first three-and-a-half months of this year. That’s more than the companies spent all of 2019, the last time the legislature was in session, the analysis found.

    “It’s not surprising at all,” said Ed Hirs, a University of Houston energy economist. “While it looks like a lot of money, It’s a small, tiny fraction of what this industry has creamed off the top of the Texas electricity market.”

    Hirs says Texas consumers already pay too much for energy, citing a Wall Street Journal analysis that reported Texas’ deregulated electricity market raised costs to consumer by $28 billion since 2004. Additionally, surging natural gas prices during the freeze – as power plants and other consumers ran low on gas – led to billions of dollars in windfalls for pipeline operators and investors, he says.

    “We’ve set up the ERCOT casino over on the side with a bunch of electricity and energy traders,” Hirs said. “That doesn’t exist in a regulated market…The big losers: the consumers. Almost 200 dead and $50 billion changing hands from the consumer side of the ledger to the consumer side.

    “There are no lobbyists in Austin looking out for the consumer,” Hirs added. “That’s of course what the legislators are supposed to do….”


    Railroad Commission Chair Craddick told WFAA that her campaign contributions from oil and gas interests are fully disclosed according to law.

    “As a regulator of the oil and gas industry, it stands to reason that my political contributors would include entities that operate under the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission of Texas.”

    Charlotte Huffman, Mark Smith, Jason Trahan, ‘If you’re not at the table, you might be on the menu’: WFAA analysis shows power grid reform brings out the big lobbying guns in Austin, WFAA (May 27, 2021).

  6. S says:

    You should probably check who Chris Hollins is supporting in this election before using his name while popping off about who should and shouldn’t be the party chair.

    As far as your xenophobic diatribes about names go, The Democratic Party is the party of the first Black President who also had “a funny name.” Voters don’t need to know the name of the county party chair. Only the “in crowd” even has any idea what a county party does.

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