Fred Moses has been in the Plano political sphere longer than many have been alive. He came to Plano in 1980 and first ran for Plano City Council in 1984, followed by another attempt in 1987. Though he lost both times, Moses didn’t give up — his friends and colleagues wouldn’t let him. After the county chairman of the Collin County Republican Party (CCRP) resigned, his fellow CCRP members asked him to run for the seat. He became the first Black man to hold the position when he was appointed in 2008.
Moses is the owner, president and CEO of Telecom Electric Supply Company. When he first came to Plano in 1980, he saw a “great community for families and businesses.” But there was also something he didn’t see — the Black community’s involvement in Plano. Because of that, he knew he needed to get involved somehow.
“We move into communities like this, and we think they are perfect, and we sit on the sidelines, and we don't think we have to do anything,” Moses said. “I see that differently. Everywhere I live I try to get involved.”
He soon founded the Plano Community Forum’s founders where he now serves as chairman emeritus. The 40-year-old organization was started to encourage African Americans to get involved in the local community. Later, he became county chair for the Collin County Republican Party, chairman of the Board of the Plano Chamber, chairman of the Plano Economic Development Board and chairman of the Board of Plano Community Home. He served as commissioner for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, and on May 6, 2017, he was elected to his current role as a Collin College Board trustee.
Moses discussed his civic and community service during a videotaped interview as part of the Collin County Votes initiative of the Collin County Business Alliance (CCBA). In partnership with Local Profile, the series seeks to raise awareness and participation in local elections.
The CCBA is made up of business leaders that are addressing key issues across the county including workforce development, mobility, water and civic engagement. Trisha Windham, policy consultant for the CCBA, moderated the discussion with Moses.
“This community is so important. We all need to be involved,” Moses said.
The 2013 Plano Mayoral Election
While many people focus on national elections and national politics, Moses believes there is a lack of awareness around the impact that local leaders have on many day-to-day decisions.
“The local leaders are really making decisions about us,” Moses said.
In 2013, Moses made the decision to run for mayor against Harry LaRosiliere. While the outcome didn’t go the way Moses wanted, he said it was “an experience” and that “the Lord knows best.”
According to Moses, campaigning is hard, but it allowed him to meet people and talk with them about issues that are important to them.
“Diversity is extremely important in politics,” Moses said, which is one of the reasons he decided to get involved. On the Collin College Board of Trustees, specifically, Moses said having a variety of voices is crucial when making decisions.
“When [diverse voices] sit at the table, we bring a perspective to the college that they may miss if we're not there.”
Of Collin County’s over 1 million people, Moses said 42% of the population is made up of People of Color. Because of that, local political leaders need to encourage more diverse candidates to get involved.
“We should develop and encourage people to get involved in the process,” he said.
But Moses pointed out that so many people are afraid to run for a local office or don’t think that they have the skills to get done what they want to get done. His advice? Start by getting involved with others in the community, build your network and get acquainted with local issues.
Moses also encouraged folks not to worry about having enough experience. He was able to get elected to these positions because of help from community leaders.
We all have a vested interest in having a good community and serving well, and people will help you,” Moses said. “You'll be surprised how many resources you have to get these jobs done.