Gracias, Kudos and Thank You to the 2014 TDW Summer Retreat Co-Chairs Lila Aguirre and Verna Blackwell, along with Diann Andy, President Bexar County TDW and the retreat committee for a phenomenal summer retreat. The San Antonio ambiance and fiesta spirit was evident from registration until the finale Saturday afternoon. The extended river barge ride gave participants an opportunity to glimpse the historic and natural beauty of San Antonio, as well as urge visitors along the river walk to vote for Wendy and Leticia. Personally, I am not sure how much retreating was done by the participants – from the workshops on Friday afternoon through the guest speakers and workshops on Saturday – we were encouraged and challenged to return to our home cities and make a change for Texas Women and for Texans.
Following the conclusion of the retreat, the TDW Board met for our summer board meeting. As of August 3, 2014, total membership in TDW is 1348. Cameron and Fannin counties have each paid their charter fees, however, we have not received any memberships from Cameron County; 30 chapters paid their renewal dues for 2014; 34 counties – including Henderson, Hunt and Midland – sent their members dues but have not paid their chapter renewal dues; we have not received membership nor chapter renewal dues from Kleberg or Milam counties and currently we have 23 at-large members. I distributed copies of the sign-in sheets from the TDW booth at the TDP convention to each board member and to membership chair, Sharon Davis, to follow-up with interested women and men in their particular geographic area.
State Representative Donna Howard addressed the board concerning the races that the HDCC was focusing their resources on this election cycle. Alieca Hux, TDW Past President, proxy for Bill Brannon, Senior Advisor to the TDP, verbalized a request that TDW consider partially funding some TDP fellows in rural communities. These fellows are taught the basic on party infrastructure by the TDP staff then sent into their assigned areas. TDW was told that we could specify the amount, the county to which the funds were to be distributed and that the fellow was be to female. During the retreat, we heard from Colleen Loper, Deputy Political Director at Annie’s List and Keegan Bobholz, Deputy Political Director with TDP as to statewide races each of those entities see as viable. Also, I presented endorsement lists which I had received prior to the retreat from Texas AFL-CIO and the Texas Freedom Network, Texas Trial Lawyer’s and DSCC. I am proud to announce to the membership of TDW that your board voted to make donations totaling $55,500 to the campaigns of 15 women throughout Texas, which include Wendy Davis’ campaign, Leticia Van de Putte’s campaign, the campaigns of 3 judicial candidates, the campaigns for 2 SDs, the campaigns for 7 HDs – including one incumbent and one candidate for SBOE. The board also voted to donate $2000 to be divided among 4 rural counties to defray costs associated with the TDP fellows program.
Along with Vera Roberts, TDW Treasurer, Cindy James, TDW Board Member and Leah Payne, Tarrant County Democratic Women’s Clubs social media director, I presented Representative Chris Turner, campaign director for Wendy Davis with the check from TDW on Thursday, August 14, 2014. The checks are in the mail to the other campaigns/candidates. That is TDW coming through with Pride, Power and Purpose.
The countdown to November 4th is on. As I am writing this on August 15, 2014, there are 82 days until Election Day. Dates to remember:
- First day to apply for ballot by mail is September 5
- Last day to register to vote is Monday, October 6
- First day of Early Vote is Monday, October 20
- Last day to apply for ballot by mail is Friday, October 24
- Last day of Early Vote is Friday, October 31
- Last day for ballot by mail is Tuesday, November 4 (must be received by elections office)
The reason I am making mention of these dates is that if we truly want Texas to stop the war on women and make her a state where not only one lone stars shines in the blue Texas sky but millions of stars representative of all Texas’ citizens have the ability to shine – we must get out the votes, especially women’s votes. Texas now ranks 51st in turnout among women. You may ask how we’re 51st when there are only 50 states? Well, Washington, D.C. ranks higher. That is truly a sad state of affairs.
Looking forward to the days ahead with Pride, Power and Purpose,