Keith Wade, a longtime political strategist and public servant in Houston and special adviser to mayors Sylvester Turner and Annise Parker, may be gone, but he is certainly not forgotten.
Though Wade passed away in 2020 due to complications with COVID-19, the Village of Keith Wade, a group of Houstonians positively impacted by Wade and who want to keep his legacy alive, are inviting the general public to attend and support their inaugural Celebration and Endowment Fundraiser, Tuesday, Jan. 24 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the McGovern Centennial Gardens (1500 Hermann Dr, Houston, TX 77004).
Longtime friend Ada Edwards, former Houston City Councilmember for District D, has fond memories of Wade.
“That was some man. He was honest. You would ask him anything and he would give you his answer straight out. That’s what he was for me. That was his most memorable skill. It didn’t matter what you asked him. If I asked him if I was cute or if I needed to lose weight, he would tell it like it is. If I said, ‘Hey Keith, am I fat,’ he’d say, ‘Yes, you’re fat. Lose some weight girl.’ And it wasn’t in a belligerent way. He was just a straight shooter,” said Edwards. “I’m just glad to have gotten to know him. He was a one-of-a-kind brother, and I miss him dearly.”
State Rep. and chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, Ron Reynolds, had similar positive words to say.
“Keith was a friend that always offered me guidance and mentorship when I was a young elected official,” recalled Reynolds. “He was extremely knowledgeable about politics and was always willing to help others. Keith’s contributions were immeasurable and he is missed by many.”
Shortly after Wade’s passing, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee told the Chronicle, “A dear and beloved friend has fallen tonight at the hands of #COVID19. Keith Wade was a quiet and even-handed leader. He was a political strategist without comparison and many of us in public service can attribute our successes to him.”
The Celebration and Endowment Fundraiser in Wade’s honor seeks to continue Wade’s legacy by expanding access to education. Monies will go to the Keith Wade Village Fund and will be used to generate scholarships for Black students (both graduate and undergraduate) pursuing a degree in public policy at the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs.
Wade, a UH alum, became the first African American elected president of the UH Student’s Association in 1977.
Contributions to the Keith Wade Village Fund can be made at https://fundraise.givesmart.com/vf/KeithWade.