Exhorting the image of Rosa Parks, the civil rights icon who on December 1, 1955, refused to give up her seat on a city bus in Birmingham Alabama and changed the course of history in this country, the Reverend Kyev Tatum announced yesterday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the newly drawn Congressional District 33. Tatum throws his hat in a ring that is getting crowded. City councilwoman Kathleen Hicks and East Side state representative Marc Veasey have already announced they will seek the seat. Likely to run as well are former Democratic county chair and attorney Art Brender and North Side councilman Sal Espino.
He has begun the process of gathering signatures needed to place his name on the ballot for the March 2012 primary. Tatum is a well-known civil rights activist here who has been a thorn in the side of the school district, the city council and other government entities that he believes are discriminating against minorities and the poor. He is a philosophical follower of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he says, and wants to continue King’s unfinished work. “We need someone who will represent all of the people of Congressional District 33, especially the least, last, the lost and left out.”
Tatum, a minister here, grew up in Fort Worth, the son of a single mother of 10 children. She raised them by driving a school bus; they were the first black family to integrate the now-demolished Ripley Arnold public housing project that was built in the 1940s for poor whites. Tatum is a college graduate who was able to get an education because of what he once called his “big hands:” He went to college on a football scholarship.
More on this race and the field of candidates in the coming months