Photography by Yuvie Styles.

Kristy Noble didn’t plan to become a key player in local politics. For a while, she thought she’d end up as a basketball coach. A small forward at Wayland Baptist University, Noble went on to earn her master’s in education at Baylor University, and she coached at a high school for a few years. Eventually, she became interested in programming and started a software security business, Tirion Solutions.

Noble, who was elected the Dallas County Democratic Chair in June, moved to Dallas 15 years ago. One of her first political moves was co-founding the Funky East Dallas Democrats, a group of volunteers who work to increase voter turnout. She’s a wife and mom to four dogs, all rescues: a great pyrenees-doberman mix called Chili, a German shepherd named Leo, a Boston terrier, Toby, and a mutt, Murphy.

What do you like about East Dallas?

Kinda like the FEDDs, we’re funky. I think it’s the most easygoing part of Dallas, laidback. When I moved there, I felt like it was the closest Austin-y part of Dallas that I could find. I love the people. I love the old-style housing. I bought a ’50s house and just refurbished it.

How did you get involved with politics?

When Trump got elected, I’d been watching closely, and was at the point that I realized I had to do something. The first thing I thought I could do was start registering voters. Did that and then realized that there were a lot of people who wanted to do something. It seemed that all that energy needed was kind of a focus, and so that’s what we tried to provide with the FEDDs.

How did you come up with the name for the Funky East Dallas Democrats?

The co-founders, they came up with it. We think it fit us perfectly. We think it fit East Dallas, not quite the normal Dallas crowd. And at the same time, it was something fun that people could relate to. Obviously we got interesting comments when we would knock on doors and say, “We’re the FEDDS.”

How did you go from co-founding the FEDDs to running for the chair?

I realized that the skills that I have and what we were able to do with the FEDDs could translate into what was possible with the county overall. I could actually use my childhood passion of coaching in a different way, to motivate, to mentor and to develop and engage folks that have similar views and values in getting out the vote and learning more and educating about the issues and values of the Democratic Party.

How did you feel when you learned you were elected?

It was exciting and a little scary. But overall, I was very excited. I was ready to get to work right away.

What are you working on right now?

Working on what we’re calling a diversity committee, which is going to have members and representation from all different contingencies of the Democratic party. Just any way you can slice and dice our constituency. We want to make sure that we’re hearing from and talking to in the appropriate way and hitting on the specific issues that are important to all constituencies within the party.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about leadership?

People don’t really care about what you know until they know that you care. That is especially true in this world. As a Democratic leader, I think applying that is really in line and exemplifies our values. If we exemplify our values in that way, people will be open to hearing about the policies that we want to put in place that are in line with those values.

How do you work with people whose views differ from yours?

I think that there’s always a common ground that can be made as long as we are able to agree on the high-level values that we are working from. That goes with any relationship. Communication is a relationship issue. As long as you’re working off the same values, you can find a solution to the problems.

What’s next for you, professionally?

All I know is I’m going to keep my business going and I am going to hopefully get re-elected to the Dallas County Democratic Chair position in the primary and work to have a really successful election in 2022.