Before my eyes, you’re growing and developing to become a smooth, strong, and smart child. I am proud of you. I have learned from you. And you’ve made me a better father.
The late U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson argued, “In the homes of our Nation, we look to the fathers to provide the strength and stability which characterize the successful family.” President Johnson further argued, “If the father’s responsibilities are many, his rewards are also great, the love, appreciation, and respect” of family. That’s why I’ve never been more hopeful about our future despite all the valleys, mountains, and hills in this life’s journey. And as a result, I always strive to sustain a victory lap mentality. A mentality that I describe as “Believe in yourself!” And do not be a parrot of another person’s thinking.
The Scripture promises: “Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.”
The late poet Langston Hughes said that when times get hard, and it seems like dreams have been deferred, we must keep our hands on the Freedom Plow and Hold On! Hold On! For that reason, such a mentality is profoundly important.
Finally, son, a victory lap mentality will help you find the still point of the turning world. It will elevate you to higher heights of intellectual thinking. And it will be a light of hope to guide you through the dark valleys, mountains, and hills in this journey in life. And as I’ve said before, I will be with you every step of the way. Love you!
Christopher A. Etienne, Sr.’s passion for public service comes from a deeply held desire to impact the lives of others while transforming his community. Born in New Orleans, LA, he was taught by his parents at an early age the significance of service, community strength, quality education, and the principles of social justice.
Currently, Mr. Etienne serves as the Government Affairs Director for the New Orleans Metropolitan Association of REALTORS®. In this capacity, he is responsible for leading the organization’s advocacy and political efforts at the local, state and federal levels of government.
Previously, Mr. Etienne served as Director of Community and Governmental Affairs at NOLA Public Schools. He also served as a Legislative Aide to the former U.S. Representative Cedric L. Richmond and U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, both of Louisiana, and U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes of Connecticut. In these roles, he was responsible for analyzing and drafting legislation that serves the common good, promotes racial equity, and supports economic mobility and opportunity for children and families of all backgrounds, especially the most vulnerable.
Mr. Etienne earned his master’s degree in political science, with a concentration in Black politics and a minor in public policy from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). He is also a graduate of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute (NORLI) Class of 2023.