Davis wants a shot at District 1 - Odessa American: City Of Odessa

Davis wants a shot at District 1

By Michael Merlo mmerlo@oaoa.com | Posted: Friday, September 11, 2020 8:00 am

Despite having a tough upbringing in Odessa, Tiki Frank Davis, 42, looks to the District 1 seat because he said he understands the people and wants to bring opportunity to those in need. 

“I think now is the time,” he said. “I believe that I’m the voice of the people and sometimes God places you in situations and opportunity.”

Davis says it felt like a responsibility to give back to the district, which he said he’s done in other ways as the owner of Sam’s BBQ in Odessa and Midland, his own construction company and his investing in real estate. He said employs about 40 people in his various businesses including contract labor.

He said that it felt like a sign was sent him when he bought the home of the first Black Odessa city councilman Willie Hammond, Jr., and his neighbors asked him to run.

“I think that I bring a different voice,” he said, “I think coming where I came from I understand the language, so what do I mean by that is I understand the language of corporate and I understand the language of the community and I believe everybody wants the same thing in District 1 but they just don’t know how to get it.”

Davis grew up there and he said that he’s lived in the district most of his life, and as a child, he said his existence was plagued by poverty and many of those around him turned to crime.

Davis earned his bachelor’s degree in communication and his master’s degree in liberal arts from Sul Ross State University,

Davis has been recognized locally and nationally for his resiliency and his entrepreneurial work as a Black man who came from the bottom and worked through his younger years that weren’t always described as promising.

Davis spoke about moving on from that time in his life and said that it has made him stronger to have to struggle through it.

Davis detailed that he’s earned college degrees, made money as a quality control engineer for the late Clayton Williams and bought businesses. He said he has created a brand himself—The Tiki Factor—which is his presence as a public speaker, an entrepreneur and an actor.

“Like I like to say, I’ve played on the football fields of West Texas, I’ve also worked in the oilfields of West Texas. I’ve also been in board rooms and court rooms so I understand…both sides. I’ve been poor and I’ve been well off so I understand the heartbeat of the community.”

Davis said previous District 1 council members had great intentions, “but sometimes experience is the No. 1 key. I know I have the experience to do the job and what the community is asking, I’m already doing it, so in a sense I felt like I’ve already been the representative of the district, because the things that they’re asking I am currently doing.”

Davis said that he’s building affordable housing in the community and is working on building a re-entry facility for ex-offenders getting out of prison.

“I’ve gave to the homeless…let people live at my office building, pull up trailers, give them jobs and every person I hire is a second chance person.”

Davis spoke about how he wants the people of the district to keep themselves accountable. He takes notes for his district on his phone ranging from ensuring basic needs for children are met to keeping the area clean. He also spoke about maximizing the talents of the local professionals and seeking aid to invest in the district, which could include a museum celebrating those who have been successful from the district, he said.

He also noted that he hopes to promote religious unity, racial unity and to encourage responsible sexuality and parenting.

Davis said he has worked hard to overcome a blemish from his past. Court records show a 17-year-old Davis pled guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child on June 20, 1996. He said he entered the plea based on legal advice that he now wishes he had not taken.

He spent six months in the Ector County Law Enforcement Center during his senior year of high school and then was placed on the sex offender registry and deferred adjudication for 10 years. A legal notice dated May 23, 2001, details that the offense was aggravated sexual assault/child, an 11-year-old female.

Davis said during a recent interview that “23 years later, this girl comes forward and says, ‘I’m sorry I (Davis) didn’t do this, so we went to court and they overturned it so I’m completely clean from that,” adding that she wrote a letter that led to him being allowed off the sex offender registry in 2018.

Justin Low, the attorney who represented Davis in the registry removal case, said that the case has not been overturned but confirmed Davis is off the registry and seeking an expungement, which is the process of having a criminal conviction destroyed or sealed from a state or federal record.

Low also said the girl has not recanted on the record in court since he has represented Davis.

He added that, “The girl has tentatively confirmed that, but has not come forward to undo that, so technically the conviction still stands. There’s a lot of questions about the improper conviction, but I was not his attorney back then.”

During the interview, Davis indicated he worried about how the article would be written and said if it showed him in a negative light that it should not be written at all.

“It was one of those deals that you watch on TV, that a Black person was railroaded. That’s exactly why it goes away because I was railroaded and I didn’t make a big stink about it,” which is why Davis said he wanted the article to stay away from his past and added that,

“If these articles that y’all do … you see what I’m saying. It’s going to be one of those rallies, Black Lives Matter, that’s the last thing y’all want right now. So that’s what I’m trying to tell you, let’s not go there.”

The Odessa American publishes profiles on all opposed candidates running for local elected positions. As part of the profiles the OA looks into the backgrounds of candidates.