What is your strategy to inspire and unite progressive voters in SD-10? What lessons can we learn from the recent Democratic victories in Virginia and New Jersey?
There are some pie charts and numbers that keep me up at night – the vast majority of eligible voters in Tarrant County (and Texas) are registered. But over half of eligible voters didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election. Almost three quarters didn’t vote in the 2014 election. Voter apathy is killing our chance at Democratic votes in Texas – it’s one of my overarching goals to start reaching people. Show people that there’s good progressive candidates to vote for, candidates who aren’t funded by corporate interests and backroom deals, who are real people and will fight for the people, and show people that a blue vote isn’t wasted in Texas. Texas isn’t red. It just doesn’t vote. We can fix this!
From Virginia, New Jersey, and most recently and most especially SD37 in Oklahoma, we can learn that people are ready to make a change. People are ready to take back the power that has been invested in them by going to the ballot box – people are ready to turn these marches and protests into meaningful outcomes on election day. We can also learn that this is not just swung by candidates with the most money, or by appealing to people who voted for Trump jumping ship. In most districts which have been recently won, the vast majority of the voters were young and/or progressive voters sick of being told who will represent them. In Oklahoma’s SD37, Allison Ikley-Freeman ran a “lightly funded” campaign in a special election with low turnout compared to usual voting cycles, in a district which Trump just took by 40 points, and won. These races show us that we just need to run good, fresh, progressive candidates running grassroots campaigns who speak to people honestly and openly. The people are ready to vote if we give them candidates worth fighting for.
A few weeks ago I visited a Kroger with representatives of UFCW to meet their members and hear their successes and challenges. I met one man who had fallen on very rough times. He told me he had lost his car and due to the insufficient public transportation options, he was having trouble getting to work. At a block walk a few weeks ago, a voter opened her door and explained how disturbed she is by the political news she’s seeing every day. Everywhere I go I hear our citizens speak of their desire for public servants who listen, and give back; I hear the struggles and successes of people across our district. As a girl born in Fort Worth who has dedicated her life to our community, I can’t sit back and watch.
It’s time for elected officials who are ready to listen and have the experience to lead. We’ve seen what a year of untested leadership has done to our nation. We’ve seen what four years of Konni Burton’s neglect of Tarrant County has done for our community. It’s time for elected officials who have the roots and relationships in our community needed to represent our diverse district.My decades of experience giving back to Tarrant County and my willingness to visit diverse Tarrant county communities will allow us to build the coalition we need to win and inspire voters. As I visit with voters and I share my experience bringing together coalitions to raise over $1.3 million dollars in college scholarships for Burleson students, my work as a Trustee on the Burleson School Board for 10 years, my work to help revitalize East Fort Worth on the Texas Wesleyan Board and my decades of commitment to Tarrant County philanthropic organizations, our citizens understand my values and who I am.Like so many, I was disappointed by the 2016 election results. I could not sit back and watch, so I entered this race for my children and my grandchildren. We saw the results in Virginia where voters elected a tested and experienced servant as their next Governor who brought together a broad and diverse coalition of Virginia voters. That’s how we are going to win back Senate District 10. I believe our positive vision and our desire to listen to each community will inspire voters of all backgrounds to support our campaign.