Candidates are joining forces to Get Out the Vote in the 12 Counties of District 53
Here I am with Justin Nelson in Kerrville, with Beto O’Rourke in Hondo, with Joseph Kopser in Kerrville, with Gina Ortiz-Jones in Hondo, with Justice Patricia Alvarez in Kerrville, and with Mike Collier and Jennie Lou Leeder in Marble Falls.
Contact our Senators, your Congressman and the office of Jeff Sessions to advocate for an end to family separation at the Texas Border. On June 7 I was part of a crowd of 500 people led by U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro in San Antonio in the first protest rally against the separation of children from their parents at the Texas border. The next Thursday, June 14, at a meeting of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition in San Antonio, I learned that the Border Patrol was stopping asylum seekers on the bridge at McAllen to force them to cross the river so the Border Patrol could arrest them for entering the country illegally, put them in jail, and take their children away from them. Surveys show that 55% of Republicans actually approve of this child abuse. It is up to Democrats to raise objections so forcefully that the President will be forced to rescind the policy.
Children and families, public school funding, public school teaching, our water resources, our criminal justice system, regional hospitals and health care, low wage workers, new energy sources, higher education–all these areas of concern are supported by advocacy groups who will be writing, calling and visiting members of the legislature during this election year to urge them to allocate scarce resources wisely, and to thank those who have the courage to stand up for the future of Texas. Find your passion, join a group effort and make a difference.
UGRA Guadalupe River Cleanup in Kerrville
Stephanie (far right) and a crew of Kerr County Democrats, joined by Derrick Crowe and staff.
Lobbying the 85th Legislature in Sessions
Advocacy in 2017 found us lobbying at the Capitol with Texas Impact in the Regular Session against SB 4, Vouchers and the Bathroom Bill, then back for the Special Session against the Bathroom Bill and Vouchers once again.
We also lobbied with Texas Democratic Women and Planned Parenthood for women’s health and against the Constitutional Convention bills and SB4.
The March for Science in San Antonio
Advocacy began on January 21 at the Women’s March in Austin–50,000 marchers and nothing but love and commitment to the future of our country and state.
Preview of the General Session
The 85th Texas Legislature began its session on January 10. I stood on the Capitol steps at 10 a.m. to hear the Service of Public Witness presented by Texas Impact. Ministers and representatives of many religious faiths spoke about the meaning of courage and the common good, urging our legislators to be mindful of the needs of the people when they approve the state budget and allocate resources. You can see and hear this inspiring service on the Texas Impact web site.
The Legislature was faced with a budget shortfall of at least $5 Billion compared to the current budget, and the need to improve the public schools, improve health care coverage and facilities and build infrastructure. Additional funds are available in the Rainy Day Fund and in the power to move highway funding to other state needs. Most members have signed pledges to never raise taxes, so Texas will continue to rank low among the states on services, education, maternal health and other measures of quality of life.