The American dream is alive and well in Texas

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Professional headshot of Mark Lehman

11/25/2015 | Author: Mark Lehman

In Lehman's Terms

Like most Americans, I pause at this time of year to give thanks for my many blessings.

Despite what’s happening in the world, there is one thing I cherish that is uniquely American and still as relevant today as it was during the first Thanksgiving: The dream of owning property is still alive and well in the United States.

That dream has brought many immigrants to this country. It’s also the dream that has caused many to Americans to choose to live in Texas, including my family.

Decades ago, my family owned land in Kentucky and were proud to be land owners. For the privilege of living on that land, they had to pay taxes to the state. They worked hard but couldn’t quite pay the tax bill. They sold most of their belongings but still couldn’t pay the tax bill. Finally, they sold the horse they used to work the land—but it wasn’t enough.

The state of Kentucky made them an offer: We’ll take your land to settle the tax bill, and you can work it as a sharecropper.

That didn’t suit my family, so they packed up what little they had left and walked to Texas; remember, they’d sold the horse.

Not all of them made it. My great-great-great grandmother is buried along the road somewhere in Arkansas. But they kept going because they knew that Texas was a place where they could earn another piece of land—and it wouldn’t be taken from them.

They saw Texas as the place to build their American dream. I think they would be proud to know that I, one of their descendants, has the opportunity to walk into the Texas Capitol every day and fight for the property rights that they worked so hard to gain. I am honored and thankful to have the responsibility to represent our Texas REALTOR® members in this endeavor.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mark Lehman is vice president of governmental affairs at the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

Categories: In Lehman's Terms
Tags: property rights, in lehman's terms


Comments

Tom Morgan on 11/29/2015

I am thankful this Thanksgiving for my God, my family, the United States of America, the Texas Association of REALTORS, and Mark Lehman!

Barb Cole on 11/27/2015

Absolutely a great story that touches the heart!  Thank you for sharing and being that voice at the Capitol for all of us as consumers and for us as Realtors that work relentlessly to assist homebuyers and homeowners of Texas real estate.

Teresa Scott-Tibbs on 11/27/2015

Thanks for sharing your story!

Ben Huynh on 11/25/2015

Great story. Thank you for sharing!

Vicki Fullerton on 11/25/2015

Thank you, Mark , for the well said tribute to your family and their venture to reach the state we all now call home, Texas!!  I am proud of what we, as an organization stand for & appreciate what you, Mark, do for us in this great state of Texas!!

Chris Rosprim on 11/25/2015

Of course we all have our own opinion about how great our state is compared to the rest of the world.  Some 1,500 people a day decide to move here due to whatever we have that seems to make Texas a pretty good place to live despite all the problems we may have.

Paul Casmedes on 11/25/2015

Incredible story Lord Lehman!  You never cease to amaze me.  Happy Thanksgiving!

John Harrell on 11/25/2015

What an incredible story. I love family history,  and this family story doesn’t disappoint.

Keep ‘em coming, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Mike Hammer on 11/25/2015

THERE ARE MANY PLACES IN THE USA & AROUND THE WORLD THAT ARE BETTER PLACES FOR MANY REASONS TO LIVE THAN TEXAS.

I HAVE BEEN A REALTOR FOR > 50 YEARS. WHAT HAVE BEEN THE POLICIES & ACTIONS OF THE REALTORS TO IMPROVE ANNUALLY THE SUSTAINABLE QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE MAJORITY WITH ANNUAL INCOMES < THE MEDIAN INCOME? SCHOOL QUALITY?? MEDICAL QUALITY?? INFRASTRUCTURE INCLUDING WATER & ELECTRIC,  IMPROVEMENTS? LOW INCOME HOUSING,? THE TEXAS SUSTAINABLE QUALITY OF LIFE RANKINGS ARE VERY LOW.

Chris Rosprim on 11/25/2015

Thanks for the history.  Great story.  Glad to have you working for us in TAR and for the private property rights of all fellow Texans!

Susan White on 11/25/2015

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story, Mark!  Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

Jeanette Edwards on 11/25/2015

What an inspiring letter.  Thanks Mark.


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