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Fayette County TX Democratic Party
Hello Again… It’s still hot, but that’s not news to anyone. Special Session debates regarding School Vouchers have yet to come up in Abbott’s game of legislative whack a mole. But there are reported Educational Committee rumblings about, yikes, compromises! The talk is about using state funding for vouchers which would not take money away from the traditional public school budget. Better, but still not a good thing and not all Democrats on the committee have signed off, meaning there are still major problems to resolve. Here is an idea, let’s just not go there at all! School Vouchers are a threat to the public school system, period. Abbott continues to sit on a $33 billion mountain of money and seems determined to spend his largess on pet projects like funding private schools with public money. I can see multiple “Austin Lobby Day” visits in our future. How about some volunteers to drive to Austin and we’ll do some Capital Building visits to our elected Representatives and demand they vote against School Vouchers? Speculation as to when our Governor will call a Special Session for Vouchers puts the time frame in October, after the impeachment trial of AG Ken Paxton and when teachers are busy back at school. How coincidental!
P.S. Charter schools are privately operated schools but want PUBLIC $$, too
Here’s a link to the latest Texas Tribune article about the School Voucher Committee Report https://www.texastribune.org/2023/08/11/texas-house-committee-report-school-vouchers/
WE SUPPORT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS!
Voter Registration at Blinn College-Schulenburg
A voter registration event will be held at Blinn College Schulenburg Campus on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. The event will be in the Liberal Arts Building from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Voter Deputy Registrars (VDR) with Certifications in Fayette, Lavaca, and Colorado Counties will be present for this non-partisan voter registration event. VDRs are certified to offer first-time registration, changes in name on a current voter registration card, or changes in voter address within these counties. For additional questions regarding the event, please get in touch with Monica Heffley, Student Information Specialist II, Schulenburg Campus-Blinn College District, 979-743-5221, Monica.email@example.com
Joe’s Been a Busy Guy!
As I was waiting in line to pay the cashier in Round Top a few days ago a couple of men, both electricians who were standing behind me, mentioned they had noticed how busy the broadband business had been in their travels around Fayette County. “Was it due to some sort of Trump policy”, they asked? My ears perked up and this time I was not shy as I turned, smiled, and said, “Hey that’s great! Biden’s Broadband Initiative is making its way to Fayette County, it’s part of his Bipartisan Infrastructure Law!”. They seemed impressed. It was a heavenly experience.
Just so you know, to date, Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has paid for roughly $27,000,000 (that’s 27 million) in funding for roads and bridge building and repairs in our county. This information is courtesy of the federal Government Service Administration (GSA), “Data to Decision” website. https://d2d.gsa.gov/report/bipartisan-infrastructure-law-bil-maps-dashboard
And in addition, the Grants program funded by the American Rescue Plan has sent approximately $1,800,000 in Federal funding to Tejas Health Care, La Grange, in addition to the CARES Act funding it received. Data can be found Health Resources and Services Administration website. https://data.hrsa.gov/topics/grants
There will be more to report as Joe has been a busy guy!
What’s Up with Dems These Days?
August Democratic Neighbors Luncheon
It was encouraging to see new faces joining us at this month’s luncheon and great to see previous newbies returning. That these luncheons are bringing people of like minds together is just a joy. This month’s Book Give Away went to one of our newest guests. We hope she enjoys reading Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed. FYI, the book describes her amazing 1,100 mile hike in 1995 as a journey of self-discovery. Also, her story was made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon in the 2014 film, Wild. Worth a watch on Max, Hulu, Amazon Prime.
Next Luncheon: (3rd Thursday) - September 21st, 11:30 am, La Marina Mexican Restaurant, La Grange
It’s time for the Fayette County Fair, 8/31st to 9/3rd
It may not be much cooler outside but you are certainly welcome to chill with us inside at the Democratic Party Fair Booth located in the R & S Building, Booth #1. For those who dropped by last year, we will be in the same spot. We know you must have a lot on your mind to talk about and we will be there for you! Stop by and visit us! Enter a contest, win prizes, pick up cool stickers, or a fan! Shown below, the FCDP Fair Booth last year. We will miss you Beto!
Watch Out! Here Comes Another November Election
The Texas Constitutional Election will take place this coming November, just to keep us on our political toes. It is reported to contain one of the largest number of Propositions in the US! Yea, everything is bigger in Texas! As the research and commentary unfolds, we will try to post explanations for each of these in the next couple of newsletters.
I know, it is overwhelming, probably by design, but fear not we will try to dig into why they have become Propositions in the first place and what a “yes” or “no” vote would mean. In the meantime, check around for newspaper articles on the topics; The Texas Tribune is a source I tend to go to for news on what’s happening in Capital politics.
It’s Easy to Request Applications to Vote by Mail - AGAIN
If Voting by Mail is your preference for voting in the Constitutional Elections mentioned above, now is the time to request an Application to Vote by Mail. They are only valid for a year, so the one you requested to Vote by Mail in the 2022 Mid-Term Elections has expired.
Click the link below to see if you are eligible to early Vote by Mail and request an Application:
Or contact Fayette County Elections Office at 979-968-6563 to obtain an Application to Vote by Mail or if you have questions and want to speak to a person.
Letters to the Editor
Envisioning Climate Justice
by Kirk Pate
Most Fayette County residents, Texans, and Americans want the highest deliverable quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the energy that powers our homes—a sound, livable, and sustainable environment.
There are villains in Texas whose worldviews do not fully embrace the best achievable and sustainable environment. Greg Abbott and other top elected and appointed officials in Texas, Big Oil, and fossil fuel CEOs express worldviews that put profit and private gain above all else, like improving the human condition and serving the public good.
When we are not explicit about who is at fault, we leave Texans vulnerable to pinning the blame for climate injustices on the various communities who are themselves most impacted by the crisis. When people do NOT hear about the human or corporate mal intent behind these problems, they struggle to see how targeted environmental decisions by these same entities could improve the human condition and serve the public good first.
Despite escalating disasters and unequal consequences of the climate catastrophe, too few Texans and Americans list “climate change” as a top concern, with many feeling powerless to create change.
To combat this lack of agency and urgency, we must name the villains responsible for these disasters – Big Oil, fossil fuel CEOs, and the politicians they buy, all wallowing in a corrupt Red circle of influence. Bought politicians receive substantial financial support from Big Oil and fossil fuel CEOs, and bought politicians repay the favor by legislating favorably on behalf of Big Oil and fossil fuel CEOs. Big Oil and fossil fuel CEOs gulp and gorge on these legislative handouts and then give even more money to buy more legislation and politicians. This is classic pay-to-play corruption.
Advocates who organize for climate justice must offer a clear, compelling picture of the clean energy future, enticing enough to animate Texans and Americans to act to achieve it. This is challenging.
While providing direct aid to people impacted by the next man-made Texas energy or climate disaster is essential, better yet would be to contact State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, Representative Stan Kitzman, and Greg Abbott and demand environmental policies that prioritize improving the human condition and serving the public good over private gain, private profit, and corrupt pay-to-play. And BTW, the next time an environmental justice rally is planned, make plans to attend.
Women’s Equality Day
This coming Saturday, August 26th, marks the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment which, in effect, gave women the right to vote. It reads:
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Considering that the suffrage movement was set in motion in the 1800s, the importance of that date in 1920 is truly life-changing. For this reason, Congress designated August 26th to honor this historic achievement. Although the 19th ensures men and women have an equal right to vote, it does not ensure those rights apply to anything else but voting. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), however, was and is intended to codify equal rights for women beyond the right to vote, to provide women equal rights to men in all areas of life.
The League of Women Voters of South Central Texas have been busy planning a program which celebrates the collective efforts of the women’s rights movement over time. From the struggles resulting in the passage of 19th to spotlighting the still to be fully ratified Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), join them this Saturday 8/26 from 3-5 pm, at the Red & White Gallery in Fayetteville for an event that will be sure to please.
The passage of the 19th Amendment which legalized women’s right to vote could never have been realized without the dogged determination of those strong women who came before us. Imagine this moment in time as it played out long ago and as retold in the following story by Ginger Heath. Thank You for sharing your lovely story!
by Ginger Heath
Mabel’s son found his mother hurrying down the mountain road on a cold afternoon in November 1960. She was 79, dressed in her best--hat on her head and purse over her arm. The son had promised to take her to the polls to vote that day; he was late. Why was my husband’s grandmother so compelled to make this journey?
Women in the United States were not allowed to vote until the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment, when our grandmothers were in their late 30s. They took their new responsibility very seriously.
If you are near 80 years old, a white woman descended from an immigrant family who migrated to the United States before 1920, chances are good you knew this grandmother. You have memories of her.
If you are nearing 50 years, you may have a generations-photo of the women in your family. You are the small child in that photo. You see her…she is your “first-time-voter” great grandmother! Cherish this photo and share it with your family. This woman has a story to tell and a history that is yours. You may have to do a little research and ask questions of your family, but with a bit of effort and imagination you will be able to hear your grandmother speak.
If you are about 20 years old, this woman may have been your great-great grandmother. Although you did not hear her story, her message is still important and needs to be carried forward by her descendants.
If you are a woman of color or of a family who arrived in the United States after ratification of the law allowing women to vote, you can thank your grandmothers during the 1900s who believed in the vote and took the challenge seriously. The universal suffrage idea begun by Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848, and the uphill efforts of the many determined women that joined her, did not exclude newer immigrants or race.
What did your grandmother have in mind when she stood in the long line of first-time voting women those many years ago? Maybe she was uneasy with this responsibility and had concern for her safety as she acted on this long-overdue human right. Now that you’ve had your citizenship class in school (you have, haven’t you?), your grandmother can be assured that you understand and respect her sacrifice and dedication.
Even though you are not the 1920 or the 1965 woman with that first vote, you are today’s woman ready to make responsible, educated decisions on her behalf. Your grandmother didn’t have the internet to bring information into her kitchen in an instant; you do. As each election comes before you, be curious, read, talk to others. Ask questions of the men/women who are seeking your vote. Challenge them; challenge yourself.
This is your Country; this is your Democracy; this is your Freedom and Voting is your Duty. Honor your grandmother. Your vote is for Her. Your vote is for You.
Pass it Forward.
Send comments/questions/concerns/ideas to: fayettetxdemocrats@gmail
In the words of our Texas Democratic Party information guru, Marco…
Sigue la lucha! (The struggle continues!) Hang in there - Annette Holdeman, Editor
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