Friday, June 10, 2016

Citizen Clement

Howard Clement is remembered as a champion of civil rights and civic life. 

[June 6th Durham City Council Resolution | story]

I remember the City Councilman who loved baseball, who brought his grandson to Bulls games.

At Capitol Broadcasting Co. we remember "unfiltered" Howard. He seriously took our company to the woodshed in the late 1980s when we proposed a new ballpark near the airport. Amidst that major problem, he became part of the solution, and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park came to be.

CBC's Corporate Counsel in those days, Mike Hill, remembers Howard's admonishment "the ballpark has to be for all of Durham." So, Mike made sure local favorite Dillard's Barbecue was served at the new ball yard, and in the community, we kickstarted the Durham Bulls Youth Athletic League..."for all of Durham."

After the DBAP came the redevelopment of American Tobacco, and Howard helped to galvanize City and County support for the project that revived downtown Durham.

Then, I remember the Q&A at our annual First Pitch luncheon ten years ago in Bay 7 at American Tobacco. We had planted a few softball questions in the audience for the panel discussion. Howard stands up, veering off-script, and asks a Rays exec what the team was doing to develop African American players. A little awkward. And unfiltered. But authentic.

Howard Clement III (1934-2016) A man of many interests, dedicated to many causes and organizations. A true public servant. A baseball fan. We miss him at the DBAP.