by Dr. Charles R. Portwood
I will never forget that hot August afternoon in 2003 when I stumbled across a rather large family get- together at the Lake of the Ozarks. I was with my 11 and 12-year- old daughters who both squeezed my hand and said, “Daddy, why are all those people so happy?”
Then I heard Rodney Hubbard Jr. call out my name. I had just served one term in the Missouri Legislature with this new State Representative from the City of St. Louis and had grown fond of his outgoing personality and willingness to work on both sides of the aisle to get things done. I spent the next hour meeting the entire Hubbard family, eating some of the best home-cooked barbecue and talking about family and friends. Afterwards, my daughters said, “Dad, I hope our family turns out as good as theirs.” As an outsider, I felt so welcome and sensed a genuine friendship and love of family.
I often see the Hubbard family in Benton Park and I will never forget one of those great 4th of July Concerts in the park. Most of the Hubbard family was present that day and they weren’t working the crowd for political votes or glad-handing political donors. They were making sure the homeless people in the park were doing well. I walked around with the Hubbards as they extended their hands to our homeless community, remembering each one by name and encouraging them. I was very touched by their willingness to care for others.
I realize the Hubbards have several family members who are politically minded and chose to serve their community. I have read the accusations about this family and it simply does not fit the character I have observed over the past 12 years. Their family isn’t any different than any other St. Louis political family. I am glad I had the opportunity to meet some of our state and city leaders and I am thankful for the time I enjoyed engaging with the Hubbard family. I am proud of Penny Hubbard and her dedication to service. I certainly can tell a lot about her character through her hard work, and her hard-working children. Raising and keeping those family bonds strong is difficult and rare. I just hope that I can be as successful as Penny Hubbard.
So now we have a new election this Friday where voters will again cast their vote to determine the next State Representative for the 78th district.
If cultivating a loving family isn’t what you want in your leaders, then choose someone else. If raising your children to be leaders and serve others is an attribute you don’t admire, then vote for someone else. If expecting more out of yourself and your family by accepting others and helping to make our City a great place to live isn’t important to you, then vote for someone else. If working with others to move our city and state forward isn’t important, then vote for someone else.
These attributes are what our community is begging for and deserves. As for me……I am with Hubbard
Dr. Charles R. Portwood