by Nancy Swartz
Something exciting is happening in Tarrant County! As the home of State Sen. Wendy Davis, we in Tarrant County are acutely aware of the impact of the upcoming electing Democratic women to public office.
To be successful in this endeavor, however, we have to not only find qualified women but we have to provide them with the tools, training and netwoerk they will need to win, as we also need to have a deep bench in order to run candidates year after year.
With this in mind, GAMDW members Nancy Swartz and Cheryl Smith and Tarrant County Democratic Women’s club members Linda Cozzen and Carol Cordell developed a two-day program with the goal of creating a women’s pipeline, especially at the local level.
This “women in politics” weekend began on Friday, Aug. 9th in Arlington with a reception and panel discussion – Democratic Women of Tarrant County Paving the Way! hosted by the two TDW chapters. This event brought together over 80 past and present women office holders, past and prospective women candidates, campaign managers and consultants, Democratic officials and Democratic club leaders. The panel included Linda Eilenfeldt, Euless City Council, Lisa Woodard, JP 8 and former Coppell City Council member Brianna HInojosa-Flores. It was moderated by Terrysa Guerra who most recently ran the successful campaign for State Sen. Sylvia Garcia. The panelists shared their insight about running for office and the audience had an opportunity to ask direct questions.
We partnered with Annie’s List and invited them to provide their candidate 101 training in Ft. Worth the following day. Trainees learned about campaign management strategy, messaging, and media. State Rep. Nicole Collier provided her perspective about her run. All those enrolled were also invited to the Friday reception and panel discussion.
We envisioned this two-day program as a springboard to deepen our pool of women candidates by providing pragmatic information and building an infrastructure and network that will encourage many more women to serve.
When women are among the decision makers, policies change. Our ongoing goal is to foster a local environment that will elevate opportunities for Democratic women to fill the ranks of city councils, county commissions and school boards and, ultimately, those of the Texas Legislature and Congress with women who share our values and will actively work to implement Democratic policies.