Tristan R. Breaux: From the Hill to Fatherhood & the Private Sector
Tristan R. Breaux was destined to work in the political realm. As he puts it, the very first campaign that he worked on was that of his father. Since he can remember, Tristan was exposed to issues related to health care, housing, wages, and sending kids to college through ordinary kitchen table conversations. As he got older, he realized that his father was speaking from his own experiences and seeking to fix something. Those moments led Tristan to make politics his career path. Tristan held his first political position as a party leader in the South Carolina Democratic Party. While he attended high school in South Carolina he explains “as an articulate black man [there were few of us around], I got involved, engaged and elected to a party position.” This initial position not only got him through the door of local politics but into that of national politics. Tristan took his political endeavors to the esteemed HBCU, Norfolk State University (NSU). There he founded the Young Democrats Norfolk state chapter and became their first president. He also founded the NSU NAACP and was also their first president.
“I am passionate about the advancement of my people. I am passionate about the protection of our future to exist…”
During his time on Capitol Hill, Tristan’s biggest take away was confirming what he’s lived his entire life to do. Early on Tristan dedicated his life to the purpose of finding common ground and the impact of finding common ground. There are several sides of the aisle whether that be, Democratic, Republican, Conservatives, Liberals, Progressives, or the General Party; however, there’s always a need or a void. Here lies the importance of trying to find common ground on issues that you feel passionate about and figuring out how to get those things done. Speaking of getting those things done, Tristan brings attention to the number of dedicated staffers on the Hill that get up every single day with low pay to figure out how to make their communities better. These staffers’ (Democrat, Republican & Independent) work often goes unnoticed due to the noise surrounding the leaders of congress, senate and the president.
“I’ve learned how to listen. I’ve learned how to respect the other person's opinion but respectfully disagree and figure out how we can work together to achieve something because at the end of the day that’s what we want to do. We want to be able to work together. That’s bettering our community. Although your community may look different than mine, at the end of the day your community is no better than mine. I want to make sure that we are working together to put out something that impacts people that look like me and the ones that look like you.”
The world as a whole was halted in March 2020 by the global pandemic, coronavirus. “The world stopped and I felt like it needed to stop,” exclaims Tristan. Although the pandemic may have caused an abrupt pause, the pause in itself was ultimately needed for most to reset. Tristan took this time to reset and notes that there were a number of great things that came out of the pandemic for him, such as fatherhood and professional changes. In 2020, Tristan made the decision to leave Capitol Hill and enter the Private Sector of Lobbying which is “ultimately what I’ve always wanted to do.” He goes on to explain that “the pandemic taught me that everything could stop tomorrow and you have to do and live for today and live for what you want and what you need out of life. Once you choose politics, at some point in time your objective is to go out and switch over to lobbying and actually make a decent living.” Tristan dedicated his twenty’s to someone else’s dream. Working over thirteen years in the public sector, behind a public figure or party to make their dreams a reality, the time is now for Tristan to spend his thirty’s living out his own dreams.
Tristan describes his journey to fatherhood as an amazing experience and process. It’s a reward that he does not take lightly. To hear the excitement and joy in his voice as he speaks about his two daughters is beyond beautiful. Although he has been blessed with the experience of bringing a “mini me” into the world he takes pride in being a “bonus dad.” Tristan cheerfully states that he is looking forward to cultivating and investing in his “mini me” whether that includes, exploring daycares, traveling the world and completing college applications in the future. Equally, rewarding Tristan denotes learning to be a bonus dad and how it has taught him patience, love and commitment. He further explains that “I’ve told everyone that yes I am a first time dad on this process but I am not a first time father and am excited to watch them grow into young ladies.”
Sorry ladies, Mr. Breaux is off the market! Marriage is up next for him. One thing that the pandemic has taught him, “as a man is that we cannot do things by ourselves.” The pandemic has put a lot of things in perspective and he further explains “We have to be able to partner and be committed to not just protecting ourselves because of the pandemic or because of the health scare but also in protecting our home.” He wakes up each day focused on how he can make sure that his family is healthy, safe, and protected from an enemy that he cannot see. In the years to come, Tristan will be focusing on building his family, marriage and legacy.