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Published on May 15th, 2008 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Chris Brown: 19-Year-Old Takes City Council

Chris Brown Takes City CouncilWhile it’s not uncommon for young people to run for public office, they aren’t often elected, particularly in cities larger than several thousand residents. Someone forgot to tell that to 19-year-old Chris Brown who was just elected (with 84% of the vote) to the city council of Bedford, Texas — population, 48,000.

“If you’re dedicated to something and you work hard, it doesn’t guarantee you anything,” says Chris, “but without it you don’t stand a chance.” That’s why this teenager attended every single city council meeting for a year. “I wanted to run for council last year, but I didn’t think I had the knowledge, and so I took the past year to make myself ready.” For Chris, doing hard things paid off.

Teen takes his seat on Bedford City Council
Marice Richter / The Dallas Morning News – Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Last week was especially busy for Chris Brown: He had to juggle the final days of a political campaign with final exams.

The Bedford teenager successfully completed both, winning a contested race for the Bedford City Council by an overwhelming margin and passing finals so that he could advance to his sophomore year at the University of North Texas.

Such a feat might be daunting to most 19-year-olds, but not for Mr. Brown, who contemplated running last year as a high school senior but decided to wait and fully prepare.

“Running for the council is something I thought about for a long time and really wanted to do,” the political science major said. “This wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment quirk.”

To run for the council, Mr. Brown turned down offers from several colleges, including Baylor University, to stay close to home. Although he lived in a dorm on campus in Denton, he commuted constantly to regularly attend meetings of the council and other city boards and commissions, including the Charter Review Commission, on which he served.

Despite his determination and dedication, Mr. Brown still had to overcome a lot of skepticism because of his age.

After all, he hasn’t yet voted for president, held a full-time job or bought himself a beer. And he still lives in his childhood home with his mom, dad and 15-year-old sister, Katie.

Read the entire article »

Once you’ve read the rest of the article (make sure you watch the video too!) come back here and let us know what you think about Chris’s accomplishment. You can also check out all the rest of our Teens In The News coverage.

  • Have you ever attended a city council meeting?
  • Have you ever considered running for public office?
  • Have you ever run for office at school or in another context? If so, tell your story and share what you’ve learned.

About the Author

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.

  • Quinton Cools

    No way! Wow! That is amazing! Way to go Chris. That is a huge accomplishment for a teenager! -and a great encouragement to all of us!

  • Wow, good quote!
    “If you’re dedicated to something and you work hard, it doesn’t guarantee you anything,” says Chris, “but without it you don’t stand a chance.”

  • Wow! That’s great!

  • Heather

    That’s awesome!

  • Aimee

    WOW! Is it too late for him to run for President? I know that he said he wasn’t out for a career, but he would sure be worth voting for. Oh, wait, I can’t vote yet.

  • cj

    Very inspiring! Go Chris!

  • Brittany Cronin

    I thought it was very wise of Chris to wait a year to prepare himself. This reminds me of something you have shared before: Competence! He didn’t just run because he wanted to make a difference, but he was pro-active and made sure he was prepared to serve his city well.

    It’s very interesting that you bring this up because the voters in our family (me, Dad, and Mom) have started attending our city’s council meetings and other meetings in the past few months. It has been a great way to get to know people in our local community and be a light and witness as we discuss various issues and we share the Biblical way to handle them.

    I would strongly encourage other young people and their parents to start attending various local meetings. It can be very interesting as well as important and helpful. Get involved! :)

  • Mercy Joy

    Okay, I must say I was shocked when I read the title…Because I’ve heard of a popular secular rapper with that same name. Definitely weird. But the article was definitely cool.

  • This is an amazing story and a great encouragement to us all. His quote sums it up perfectly, “If you’re dedicated to something and you work hard, it doesn’t guarantee you anything, but without it you don’t stand a chance.” That is true.

    Thanks for encouraging us with his story!

  • Good Luck to Chris, I know he will do a great job!

  • I know this is off the subject, but can anyone hook me up with any yong fimaker-wanabees throgh the age of 15-17 or colton (see teans in the news number 3) ?

  • Olivia

    Great example for all of us. Though I have absolutely no interest in politics other than following presidential candidates I think it can apply to other things. I want to teach music but I feel like I don’t play well enough (even though I have years to grow). So what I am doing is practicing, taking lessons, helping out the younger kids, and all that stuff so that by the time I graduate I will be prepared to learn to teach.
    As Alex and Brett would say, “Our teen years are a launching pad for the rest of our lives, either we will hit the ‘sweet’ spot and do a great dive or we will land on the board wrong and do a belly flop.”

  • I’ve always been somewhat apathetic when it comes to politics, something I’m working on remedying. So no, I’ve never considered getting involved in politics, nor have I sat in on council meetings. But do y’all think it’s proper for women to be in a position of authority over men like it would be with holding office?

  • Roger: I’d recommend you attend the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival if you want to meet a bunch of excellent young filmmakers. =)

  • Emily

    Hey Roger, I’m a wanna be film maker! Actually, not exactly wanna be because I am in the process of making a film….

    And, back on topic, that’s awesome! wow!!

  • This is great! It’s nice to see people in real life (outside of your book of course) do real HARD things. something like this just happened 30 miles south of me, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, a 19 year old just got elected MAYOR, he takes office in just a few weeks.

  • Holly

    Wow!…that’s very inspiring… Congratulations Chris Brown!

  • Adrienne Gilbert

    Woohoo! I was 19 when I was selected as our vice-chair for our local party, but we’re a small county. This is incredible for a big town! Everyone is telling me I should run for stuff…we’ll see!

  • Nicole

    Brett: Is that — the Film Festival — the same as the film academy (I think it was called) you and Alex live-blogged from a while back?

    And everyone, I don’t mean to brag or steal anybody’s thunder, but….. I was once voted 3rd runner-up for Camper of the Week. At age 13.

  • Shaelyn: Actually, we’re going to be posting about John Tyler Hammons tomorrow! 😀

  • Nicole K.

    Wow! Now that is an example of doing a hard thing! Way to go!

    I know this is off topic, but have you guys ever thought about coming out with a bumper sticker that says “Do Hard Things”? If you do, I will be the first one to buy one! :)


  • Talk about being appointed for a time such as these…he will have his hands full. But it looks like he’s wise and up for the challenge. That’s incredible and inspiring.

  • Natalie

    Wow! This is so encouraging. I just hope that more teens will see, they have one life to live, and we need to live it the fullest we can, doing hard things for Christ! Great things can happen, once we step OUT of that comfort box!

  • Wow! Fantastic stuff! Kids these days…. 😀

  • Justine

    Congrats to Chris! This is really exciting! God definitely blessed all of his hard work! It reminds me of a line from the movie “Amazing Grace” when William Pitt, who later became England’s youngest Prime Minister, is talking to his friend about running for the office- “We are too young to realize that certain things are impossible-so we will do them anyway”.

  • This is an amazing beginning for Chris Brown. It is obvious that he has used his teenage years to prepare for service and responsibility!

    Also in the news this week:

    “MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma — A 19-year-old first-year student at the University of Oklahoma was elected mayor Tuesday of Muskogee, a city of 38,000 in the northeastern part of the state.”,2933,355537,00.html

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  • Grace C.

    Seems Chris wasn’t wasting any time. More power to him. Sounds like he’ll do a great job.

  • Mercy Joy

    Nicole K. Says:

    May 15th, 2008 at 7:54 pm
    Wow! Now that is an example of doing a hard thing! Way to go!

    I know this is off topic, but have you guys ever thought about coming out with a bumper sticker that says “Do Hard Things”? If you do, I will be the first one to buy one!


    …that sounds like a GREAT idea to me!!!

  • Noella A.

    Congrats to Chris Brown!

    May the Lord ever be his mainstay!

  • I can’t Beleave this guy! I would very much so like to hear more or even meet him. It is amazing how God Works through us to do his work. Great!

  • Hannah B.

    Brett and Alex: I’ve really enjoyed the “Teens in the News” series, and reading the stories of contemporary teenage heroes has been very encouraging to me. In answers to your questions, though, I have a question of my own: What do you believe the role of girls is in politics? What do you believe the Bible teaches about women holding a political office, or any other kind of authority over a man?

    I’ve been memorizing the book of First Timothy and I’ve been trying to figure out what I Timothy 2:11-12 and I Corinthians 14:34-35 would mean in today’s culture. Should women refrain from sharing testimonies in church? Should they hold back from asking questions?

    Help, anyone?

  • Hannah B: We do share a story about a girl involved in politics in our book (Brittany Lewin in Chapter 11)! However, for a complete handling of this topic I’d recommend John Piper’s book, “What’s The Difference?”

  • Brittany Lewin

    Hey Hannah: As a fellow girl, I’ve had and prayed about the same questions! Without getting into a detailed discussion right now, I definitely encourage you to read “What’s the Difference?”! Continue reading your Bible and ask God to teach you the role He wants you to have. God has purposely created us different than guys! God’s model for us is unique (which is awesome!). The Bible is full of encouraging examples of young women doing hard things for His glory! Learn from them! And don’t forget God defines “success” differently than the world.

    Do hard things for God, girl! :)

  • Bethany

    When I saw the title I totally thought it was going to be about Chris Brown the rapper…guess not :-)

  • Hannah Williams

    Way cool people.

  • Alan

    Go Chris!

    I love Bedford. I live here. :)

  • Hannah B.

    Thanks, Brett and Brittany. Defintely gonna have to get that book, now. I was interested when Alex and Brett talked about it at the conference, but now I HAVE to get it! 😀

  • Carl

    Whoa! That is amazing… I guess he knows how to Do Hard Things :)

  • thats so cool that someone from my own state was elected to the city council of Bedford, Texas!

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  • Finding a job can’t be this hard come on.

  • Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Thanks

  • great interessant:-)

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