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One would be challenged to find a more committed public servant than Wanda Adams. Recently elected to her third term on Houston City Council, Adams spends most of her time advocating for her district’s fair share of the city’s revenue or responding to the needs of her constituency.
A native Houstonian who hails from the same streets as the legendary Barbara Jordan and Mickey Leland, Adams says that her heart has always been with the people who long for their elected officials to offer them the best quality of life available.
As the representative of Houston City Council District D, Adams has spent her last four years securing nearly $500 million to improve the quality of life for residents in Third Ward, Sunnyside, Hiram Clarke and Fort Bend. Although redistricting has changed the vast landscape of District D, Wanda believes that her dedication to the community is not limited to a few assigned neighborhoods. “As a member of City Council, I want all Houstonians to feel like this city is the best place to live, work and play.” District D encompasses 190,000 residents and is bordered by Third Ward in the north and extends as far south as Dixie Road. It is a very diverse community that includes affluent neighborhoods as well as lower income areas.
Wanda is a proven leader whose constituents often compliment her on her transparency and accessibility. Adams believes that her constituents give her their vote of confidence by electing her so she always tries to beat them giving. Whether it’s hosting a Back to School Drive or partnering with the Houston Texans to give bicycles to area residents for Christmas, Adams feels her greatest reward comes in the form of the hugs and “thank yous” that she receives on a daily basis. One of her many shining moments came last year when she watched the smile on 105 year-old Mrs. Robinson’s face as she delivered her a much needed air conditioner.
Adams’ humble beginnings travel with her as she walks through some of the toughest streets in Houston and when she is meeting with dignitaries in Brazil and China. The youngest of four children, Adams became a basketball standout at Kashmere High School. Her dedication and skill afforded her the opportunity to receive an athletic scholarship to Texas Southern University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs. It was on the courts of TSU where Adams sharpened her competitive skills, which would prove to be a vital part in her success in politics.
Following graduation from TSU, Wanda Adams pursued her passion for public service by beginning her career with a government based transitional program for women re-entering society. She later transitioned into a role within a non-profit organization whose mission was to assist homeless at-risk youth.
Working with the City of Houston Housing Authority and the Harris County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Association (MHMRA) provided Adams with the knowledge and resources needed to touch the lives of citizens on a greater scale. In 2000, she started working in the Citizens’ Assistance Division of the Mayor’s Office.
In 2007, she was elected to Houston City Council where she has served on numerous committees including Chair of Neighborhood Protection (now Neighborhoods), Quality of Life, Vice Chair of the Technology Initiatives and Human Services. Other Committees she serves on are Budget and Fiscal Affairs, Development and Regulatory Affairs, Flooding and Drainage, Housing and Community Development, MWBE/ Small Contractor Development (now Office of Business Opportunity), Public Safety and Homeland Security, Transportation, Infrastructure and Aviation. She also served as the Co-Chair of the 2010 Census Complete Count Outreach Sub-Committee. Wanda was most recently appointed as the Chair of the Housing, Sustainable Growth and Development Committee.
While juggling a hectic schedule, Adams also completed her Master’s in Public Administration. Adams has a passion for giving back to the community, whether it is by volunteering for YMCA, YWCA, Keep Houston Beautiful, or Meals on Wheels in the Sunnyside Community. Wanda faces many challenges head-on and will roll up her sleeves to help raise money for worthy causes, such as $10,000 for the fight against Breast Cancer and supporting area youth programs. In addition, Adams is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she has been appointed as a National Officer for the Social Action Commission.
In 2008 Wanda received several awards, Award of Distinction from the National Forum of Black Public Accountants, Pillar of the Community Award, Sally S. Shipman “Friends of the Homeless” Advocacy Award and many other honors.