Gloria Steinem once stated, “At my age, in this still hierarchical time, people often ask me if I’m ‘passing the torch?’ I explain that I’m keeping my torch, thank you very much – and I’m using it to light the torches of others. Because only if each of us has a torch will there be enough light.” We have a proud legacy of Texas women that have lit torches to illuminate a path for us as recipients, to open doors that were once closed to women and to break glass ceilings – such torch bearers as Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, Sissy Farenthold, Governor Ann Richards and Molly Ivins.
Now the torch has been passed onto our generation. What began in Ardmore, Oklahoma in 2003 when Democratic members of Texas House of Representatives effectively shut-down the House from passing a very restrictive redistricting map culminated the night of June 25, 2013 when the Senate gallery erupted into chants of, “Let her speak.” Thus disrupting order and allowing the clock to strike midnight before the passage of SB2. Democratic women had many torch bearers during that legislative session – female members of the House and Senate (and yes, we had male members that supported our causes), activists and volunteers from across Texas. TDW members and progressive women from across Texas came to Austin by the carloads and busloads to make sure the voices of women were heard on an issue that affects a woman’s access to health care and a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body.
Early voting begins Monday and each of us has the opportunity to be torch bearers and light torches for future generations of Texas women. Wendy Davis, our candidate for Governor and Leticia Van de Putte, our candidate for Lt. Governor will be carrying the torches and lighting the paths for millions of Texas women and citizens.
Beginning Monday, we have 15 days left until election day. My challenge to each of you is to ignite your own torch and light the torches of others so that we may have enough light.
Stay tuned… VOTE!