Cedar Hill – Cedar Hill Mayor Stephen Mason was the President of the Texas Association of Black City Council Members (TABCCM) for the past four years.
Several weeks ago, at the TABCCM annual golf tournament, Mason passed that title on to a Waco City Council member, Andrea Barefield.
Mason served with the Texas Association of Black City Councilmember since 2012 when the president was Councilmember Frank Moss from the City of Fort Worth.
“Councilmember Dorothy Byrd met me shortly after I won my first term as Council [in Cedar Hill] and informed me that this was a great organization that would equip me to be prepared as a council member,” Mason explained. “The past Presidents since 2012 were defeated in their election, which deemed them ineligible to continue as president. In 2015, I was elected by the membership to serve as Vice President. Shortly after I became Mayor of the City of Cedar Hill in 2019 and the President position was vacant, I was nominated and elected to serve at that time as TABCCM President. I was also eligible because the bylaws stated that to be on the board as the past president, you must be a current elected official, which I was as Vice President.”
So, Mason took the helm of TABCCM and added that during his membership’s tenure, the organization has grown both financially and in membership.
He decided to step down this year because the membership has grown from 20 members when he joined to well over 150 members, receiving notoriety as the most affluent affiliation in the Texas Municipal League (TML).
Mason said no doubt he believes his most significant accomplishments while in the role as President for TABCCM have been the membership growth, and the organization has also given out $300,000 worth of scholarships for scholars throughout the state of Texas.
Last year, the organization awarded nearly $40,000 in scholarships to 15 students.
“On average, we award about $50,000 in scholarships annually,” Mason said, and all the money comes from The TJ Patterson Golf Tournament.
That same golf tournament was held last month at Cedar Crest Golf Course, where Mason handed over the reins of his presidency to Barefield.
The tournament has been happening for 19 years and was inspired by the late TJ Patterson Sr., who passed away shortly after last year’s tournament. It was Patterson’s way to assist young scholars to continue their pursuit of education, and it has flourished ever since that time.
Mason said these scholarships are essential to the recipients because “I remember how difficult it was to apply when I was seeking college. And now we have also extended for master’s degree pursuit.”
The only way an applicant can apply for the scholarship is to be referred by an active member of TABCCM. Mason explained to that end, “All the recipients are special.”
Overall, TABCCM has accomplished much since its inception. However, Mason said he still believes the scholarships are the real standout since the mission of the organization is “to empower and equip elected officials so they can give back to their communities.” The scholarships allow young leaders an opportunity to give back to their communities someday.
President Mason concluded, “This organization has provided me a fast track to become a great local official and a great leader. My leadership skills were challenged as I served on the state board of TML, and I gained an understanding of how support for cities in the State of Texas is approached from the state legislature perspective leading up to the legislative sessions. Due to that, I felt this gave me an advantage in order to be ahead of the proposed bills that would impact the cities. In addition, as the Cedar Hill City Council contemplates long-term vision plans, I gained the skills to contribute fresh ideas.”