Profile: Maconda Brown O’Connor and Ralph S. O’Connor

Social Worker <br>Houston, Texas

Photo: Getty Images

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When George R. Brown died in 1983, he was one of the wealthiest men in Texas. He was also an icon in the state’s business world, having turned a few mules and wagons into Brown & Root, the fourth-largest construction business in the world. But Brown never forgot his poor roots. And Brown impressed the lessons of poverty on his daughters.

In turn, Maconda Brown O’Connor has become a champion for poor children, especially troubled teens. And her political giving has been motivated by the same drives — the determination to make a difference and to help those who need it.

A Houston social worker, O’Connor has been recognized for her work with children and her unflagging support for organizations that seek to help at-risk kids. But she remains a private person, little inclined to use her prominent family name or the influence that comes with her campaign largesse to take a public stand on partisan issues.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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