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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 7, Place 2

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    Sharon M. Burney
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Daniel "DC" Caldwell
    (Rep)

Biographical Information

What skills do you possess that make you the most qualified to serve as Justice of the Peace?

The JP courts are frequently described as “The Peoples’ Courts.” As Justice of the Peace how would you ensure that this role is fulfilled in your court?

What changes, if any, are needed in court processes and procedures in your precinct to make the court more efficient and effective in fulfilling its duties?

Education JD in Law from Thurgood Marshal School of Law 2007 / MS in Future Studies from University of Houston 1997 / BS in Business from University of Houston 1981
Experience I am currently in private practice as an attorney licensed by the State Bar of Texas for 11 years. I worked as a teacher and administrator at HISD for 24 years prior to law.
Community Works with Shape Community Center to sponsor political, heath, and educational awareness.
Phone (346) 267-7135
Twitter @Burney2018
I have been a practicing attorney in private practice for eleven years. Prior to practicing law I was an educator. I worked at Houston Independent School District as a teacher and administrator for twenty four years. Working as an attorney and educator has allowed me to develop knowledge of the law and legal procedures. I also developed communication skills at a level that most people can understand. And I have developed the character needed to serve people.
People often represent themselves in JP courts. Because many people who use the JP courts may not have legal representation, it is important that I ensure adequate communication and service to these people. My plans are to make certain that people have access to necessary forms and information. I also plan to ensure that the filing procedures are simple and that the clerks are respectful. I plan to speak to the people as clearly as possible so that they understand the outcome
I will improve the ways in which information is distributed by designing a very systematic information center inside the court where people can easily obtain the forms and additional information that they might need. I will also improve technology to the degree allowed by Harris County. I will work very closed with the chief clerk to ensure adequate and professional service is delivered by all of the clerks employed. And I will increase the number of clerks employed as dictated by demand.
Education Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, 2016-present; Parker University College of Chiropractic, 2013-14; Texas A&M University/B.S. Civil Engineering, 2008.
Experience Spanish Bilingual Presiding Precinct Judge; Innocence Project Legal Intern; Certified Teacher: endorsed for Elementary & Secondary Generalist, ESL, Science / Math, Special Ed.
Community TSU Federalist Society, President; Earl Carl Institute, Pro Bono Law Clerk; TMSL Student Affairs, Ambassador; Church of Jesus Christ, Ministering Brother; Elections, VDVR; etc
Phone (281) 797-7772
Twitter @dcaldwelltexas
I have diverse life experiences my opponent does not have: I married; I am a devoted parent; I am technologically savvy; I developed Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps core values (moral character traits) in military leadership development training, namely: Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do; Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Honor, Personal Courage; Justice, Judgment, Dependability, Decisiveness, Tact, Initiative, Endurance, Bearing, Unselfishness, Knowledge, Enthusiasm; etc
As Justice of the Peace, I would: 1-practice empathy, patience, and humility learned as an educator, father, and man of faith; 2-live stream open court proceedings to provide transparency, accountability, and education to the public; 3-put excerpts of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions on walls to give constant visual reminders to guarantee protecting rights; 4-literally bring the court closer to the people, moving into vacant offices on the ground floor to be more conveniently accessible; etc.
Continuing from the points listed in the previous question: The judge can start being consistently available--or at least reachable--during office hours, instantly improving effectiveness. The judge should advise and consult with county IT staff on how to partly redesign the JP website page layout to be more user friendly (intuitive to navigate) and include information on e-filing documents. The judge should have pretrial appearance times available on an open calendar and a video calling option.