Deborah Mitchell of Orange said she stays involved in the community and politics for one particular reason- she cares about the future.
“I want to be involved for the future. I’m involved in local politics, no state politics because local politics is at root of who we are,” she said.
Mitchell currently serves as the chair of the Orange County Democratic Party. She’s also a member of the NAACP, Community in Unity- a youth organization, the general coordinating organization for the Lion’s Den playground, the Greater Orange Area Literacy Council and the advisory board of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office and a former two-term Orange City Councilwoman. She’s a minister at her church, New Light Christian Center in Beaumont where she serves on the Legacy Committee which sees what things the church can do for the community.
She has also served in the Camp Fire Girls, the Boy Scouts of America, Little League baseball while her children were growing up. She’s been an employee for West Orange-Stark CISD for 36 years where she currently serves as the Head Start director at the North Early Learning Center.
In fact, Mitchell has been married to her husband Eric, who also serves as a West Orange-Stark CISD school board trustee, for 38 years. They have five children and 10 grandchildren.
“I live for them (her family). That’s why I’m politically active. I try to make a difference in my community, my church and for families,” Mitchell said.
She added another reason why she is so active is there are some who have their own voice and there are others in the community who need a voice.
Mitchell said her involvement in Head Start has been a “journey,” working with state and local authorities. Serving on the city council has also revealed to her how important it is to sit in one of the council’s seat and make decisions for the city.
“I was humbled to be selected by the people. I believe in community service is a way to give back and make a difference. I believe in not talking the talk, but in walking the walk,” Mitchell said. “Voting is a responsibility.
Mitchell came by her community involvement honestly.
Her father was involved in the community and her mother was a stay at home mom.
Growing up in North Carolina, Mitchell helped form the first African-American committee at her high school. The purpose of the committee was to share African-American history and to instill pride and dignity to the students.
At North Carolina Central College, she was part of the student development committee.
“Parents need to be role models for their children; not the TV or the Internet, to develop character and integrity,” she said. “People need to be politically involved and be a voice. Candidates need to represent my needs and issues for everyday living.”

Photo – Deborah Mitchell of Orange is heavily involved in the community and politics because she wants a better future for herself, her family and the county.