He was proud of his daughter for doing something that no one else in the family had ever done before so he gave her an inspirational poster that has hung in her dining room for 14 years.
Soon, if Gulfport Councilmember Christine Brown’s vision is realized, the newly framed and matted 43 phrases will be on display in the foyer of City Hall so everyone entering the building can be inspired.
“In 2005, I ran for city council for the first time and lost,” said Brown. “Just before the election was decided, my dad sent me this poster. He knew I was vested in this community with my volunteer work for many years and he had visited me a couple of times. He thought it was perfect for me to have.”
The poster is entitled, “How to build community.”
Poster: “Turn up the music; Turn down the music.”
“I love that line because it works for us,” she said. “We love to have festivals and listen to great music but we also want to turn it down at the right time and make sure our neighborhoods are peaceful.”
Brown ran for council again and didn’t win. She didn’t give up.
Poster: “Bake extra and share.”
Brown’s carrot cake made from a secret family recipe is legendary in town as she often makes enough to give away as gifts.
In March 2013, Brown won her first council election. “Sadly, my dad passed away in November 2012,” she said.
Poster: “Know that no one is silent though many are not heard. Work to change this.”
Her dad’s poster spoke to her.
“It has kept me grounded. It has inspired me. It has made me proud to be part of Gulfport,” said Brown. “When you walk by this poster, take a look at it. Read a couple of lines and you realize we’ve got it great here.”
Poster: “Help a lost dog.”
“We do that all the time,” she said. “Gulfport is a dog-centered community.
“Looking at some of the ideas on here gives you a little nudge to do better. Not only does it tell us some great things but it also reminds us there are some other things we could be doing. It really is a definition of what Gulfport is.”
This is why Brown decided to donate the poster her dad gave her to the city.
“I need to share it. I need the people of Gulfport to be reminded it really is a great community,” she said.
At the next council meeting, Brown will ask for the consent of the other members so she can donate it to the city.
Poster: “Pick up litter.”
“Yeah, we do that,” she said. “There’s a lot of things on there we do. And, if you’re feeling down or are having negative thoughts, come read it and remember – pick some things that you can do to pick up your life. Pick up your mood. This is us.”