​​Houston City Council Member Edward Pollard is a Refreshing Change to Public Service

Edward Pollard, a city council member in Houston, is working towards building a better foundation for governance, one that’s based on understanding and cooperation. Pollard and his staff have already seen success with their new methods, working in public safety, police reform, infrastructure, and other quality of life concerns. Many of his creative initiatives and refreshing approach can be used as a model around the country, and specifically in Los Angeles.

On his approach, Pollard says, “I try to lead by showing that you can work across the aisle. By having mutual respect and working with everyone, we can make real progress. We don’t always have to agree on everything, but we can try to find common ground for common good.”

Pollard is the elected city council member for District J in Houston, the most diverse area in the most diverse city in America representing nearly 200,000 people. As such, he sees the importance of bringing people together and has made that a central part of his message as a leader.

“We ran on a message of unity, of being a unifier. No matter who you are or where you’re from, Democrat, Republican, or independent, we will represent you,” Pollard says about the platform that saw him elected. This success came after a loss in his first bid for office shortly following his graduation from law school. Undeterred, Pollard ran again and won, crediting his bipartisan approach and its appeal to young voters.

As a relatively young elected official, Pollard, 37, engages young voters and encourages their involvement in the political system. He explains, “For a lot of young people, they don’t really care so much about parties, they care about issues. Issues are what drive them. Young people get frustrated with the partisan divide and all of the issues caused by the gridlock of partisan politics. It becomes not just frustrating, but a turnoff.”

Pollard brings a similar focus to the law firm he founded, Pollard Legal Group, LLC. With the predominantly young client base that Pollard serves through his personal injury practice, doing things differently has been the foundation of his success.

Pollard says that when handling his clients, “I like to integrate modern and traditional approaches to practicing law. For instance, some of my clients prefer meeting in person and getting documents sent to them in the mail, whereas others are fine with completely communicating via social media or text. Our flexibility has helped us grow the firm into a multi-million-dollar law practice. In everything I do, I try to think outside the box and fill a void in ways to provide quality service.”

During his time at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Pollard didn’t intend to specialize in personal injury law. He began his career at a firm doing corporate litigation and business law, having only branched out into personal injury to meet the need he saw in his peer group.

He says, “many of the calls I received early in my career were accident and injury related. After turning away so many potential clients, I taught myself how to work up a strong personal injury case, and now it is my sole focus area and I really enjoy it.”

In addition to the contributions he makes to his community as a city council member and attorney, Pollard also gives back through Suits for Success, a nonprofit organization that he helped found in 2014. The program is centered around a semester-long mentorship course that teaches things not taught in a traditional classroom setting, such as public speaking, interview techniques, resume building, personal finance, etiquette training, and how to tie a tie. At the completion of the program each student receives a free suit, shirt, and tie.

Pollard has proven to be a successful triple threat by thriving in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. He hopes his leadership style will be “the new wave” by being inclusive to everyone, even those that may disagree; where everyone has a voice, and everyone is valued. That is refreshing, indeed.

LA Weekly