Aug 172017
 

Our hearts go out to the family of Heather Heyer who was killed and 19 others who were injured in last weekend’s horrific terrorist attack. In order to understand what happened in Charlottesville, VA, we have to go far back in time.

Bill Moyers, the noted journalist, produced a video on Inauguration Day that is still relevant and a must-see for everyone in America. He opens by reminding us that, lest we forget, Donald Trump rose to power on the wings of a dark lie – the Birther lie.

In a riveting, rational, intelligent discussion, four prominent historians are filmed by Moyers as they dissect the lie to help us truly understand how we arrived at this point. Neo-Nazis, KKK, and White Supremacists marched in Charlottesville with torches, baseball bats and long weapons to “take their country back.” Violent clashes ensued. A member of a White Supremacist group used a car as a lethal weapon to mow down the crowd, killing Heather — a 32-year old paralegal, someone’s daughter, friend, co-worker — and wounding 19 other peaceful counter-protesters. Make no mistake about it: This was an act of domestic terrorism.

For a long time, I resisted the notion that a significant number of Americans believed in white supremacy. However, now that Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists and other alt-right groups have been emboldened by electing their “leader,” they loudly and openly say and do what they feel. As one historian said in the video, “Donald Trump did us a favor because he shows us how active and significant white supremacy is in this nation.”

The 23-minute video click here features:
Chris Lebron, Political Philosopher, Yale University
Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Historian, Harvard Kennedy School
Philip Klinkner, Political Scientist, Hamilton College
Nell Painter, Historian, Princeton University

They describe more than a century of white dominance in America to show how slavery, the 3/5 clause, the Civil War, the Jim Crow era, Goldwater, Wallace, Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” (and more) all led to absolute panic for many white Americans when Barack Obama won the White House. The decades of lies have fueled profound fear that Trump successfully lassoed and rode to victory. White Supremacists (a large part of his base) think his Presidency is their best chance to stop the country from being taken over by the browns, blacks, Muslims, Jews and gays, who are surely responsible for everything that is going wrong and return America to its rightful owners. So they are roused to take action. Sadly, Charlottesville is likely just the first of many such events.

This is a wake-up call. America must deal with race and its original sin in order to survive. We have to face the lie about “white superiority” that millions of people believe, to their core. And we must unite to rid our country of groups that choose to hate others. We can’t ever forget that we are the majority. We, the people of America who believe in equality for all, must speak up and speak out against this terrible evil.

Because of WOW Dems, I am hopeful. It is comforting to be surrounded by good people of all races, religions, genders, creeds, and sexual preferences, who reject the lies, embrace the values “dreamed of” at America’s inception, and work to make this a more perfect union. If we can accept and appreciate all people for who they are, surely others can too.

Please watch the video and then share it with others. We need all the people we can reach to be knowledgeable and to understand the depth of the problem of racism in this country. We must lead others in having open and honest conversations about race in America. Support a vigil or event this weekend to show your opposition to White Supremacy and hatred. See details on the upcoming Dallas Rally here. Write or call your local, state, and congressional Representatives and insist they respond to the Charlottesville terrorist attack with specific actions that help eliminate racism, sexism, religious intolerance and xenophobia.

Under our current President, we’ve seen a rise in the number of hate groups and hate crimes. He uses the bully pulpit and sends out constant dog whistles to encourage and support the alt-right. This is not going to be easy, but we are up to it. Together we can say “no to hatred” and make America better! Our children and grandchildren are depending on us.

Hazel Weathers

 Posted by at 5:02 am
Jul 252017
 

Good morning WOW Dems!

Making calls and participating in rallies aren’t the only way to have your voice heard in your community. Actually, one would argue that participating on a county board or commission is one of the most effective steps citizens can take in having an active voice in their government.

If Democrats want to hold more positions at all levels of government, we have to build our bench of experienced candidates.  By joining a board or commission, you can gain valuable experience at the city level that will be essential when seeking a higher office.  Voters look for candidates with leadership experience in the community.  Even if you have no intention of running for office, being on a board or commission gives Democrats an ear into local conversations and decisions that will help other Democrats who need that information when they run.  We need to be “in” before we can break in.

We encourage every WOW Dem to apply for a committee that they are interested in. Simply click on the links below to find information on each Collin County Committee and Allen Committees as well as where to apply. Notice the deadlines to apply! Let’s get more democrats in powerful positions!

 

Descriptions of Boards: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YA508B-BLrKpvf7EFU1uJmhiRy_2k3E3R1zeUACHeUs/edit?usp=sharing

Boards & Commissions Organized by County:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Acc712VArUBmzeKMqWakCahe8F3H-9gZTKyPH1Qit_Q/edit?usp=sharing

Jul 242017
 

WOW Dems,

For your activist ease, the Legislative Committee has created a simple document that will be keeping track of upcoming committee meetings regarding issues deemed as most important to the organization: women’s health, education, and LGBTQ rights within the Special Session. On this sheet, you will find the bill number, a brief summary, the time and day of the meeting, as well as a link to the committee members which will provide their individual phone numbers.

We hope that you will find this helpful in making calls to your representatives to express your opinion on these bills. As meetings are announced, they will be updated on the list.

Click on the link provided to be directed to the document.  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1g8udLtQvcUZb7AO-iwbZwFBMmiK1GdtbMDnZkk8W8gg/edit?usp=sharing

Happy calling!

 Posted by at 12:09 pm
Jul 102017
 

Please join us for our July General Meeting to hear The Honorable Sarah H. Saldaña, immediate past Director of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) present “Immigration: Yesterday and Today”. This will be a special presentation and will be followed by the regular business meeting.

 

We are also collecting canned goods for Minnie’s Pantry, so if you are able, bring canned veggies, cereal or other non-perishable food item for donation.

Thursday, July 13th, 6:30 pm, Plano Environmental Education Center, 4116 W Plano Pkwy, Plano, Texas 75093.

 Posted by at 6:05 pm
May 252017
 

The WOW Dems are hosting a family-friendly ‘fun’draiser on June 24 . Register today to join us for an afternoon of bowling, food and fun at the newly renovated Plano Super Bowl! For $25 you can enjoy two hours of bowling and shoes and children 12 and under can bowl for $15. Your support allows us to support progressive candidates in local elections to turn North Texas blue – one candidate and one election at a time.

The following sponsorship opportunities are available (and greatly appreciated). All $100, $200, and $300 sponsors will be recognized at the event.

$300 “Strike out Hate” Sponsor: Bowling and shoes for 5 and 5 free drink tickets

$200 “Spare Our Future” Sponsor: Bowling and shoes for 3 and 3 free drink tickets

$100 “Don’t Split our Country” Sponsor: Bowling and shoes for 2 and 2 free drink tickets

$20 “Gutter Ball” Sponsor: If you can’t bowl, come anyway, cheer your team on to victory and enjoy 1 free drink ticket.

Sign up to bowl or to donate at Super Bowl Saturday or download the flyer to post and share.

What: WOW Dems Super BOWL Saturday

When: June 24, 2017 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: Plano Super Bowl, 2521 Avenue K, Plano 75075

 Posted by at 1:00 am
Apr 152017
 

WOW Dems are everywhere these days.  The Pete Sessions Town Hall in Richardson received national coverage; it even made the Rachel Maddow show, and we were there. The Town Hall in Plano with Senator Van Taylor and Representative Matt Shaheen made the evening news, and we were there.  Many WOW Dems (but not all) appeared on the Channel 8 news video including John Stafford, Tarek Radjef (yes, WOW has male members), Prissy Wisnewski, Karen Beck, Barb Korman, Beverly Vasta, Barbara Oldenburg, Marcie King, Irene Slovin and yours truly Hazel Weathers.  We vocally and enthusiastically expressed our opinions. Our enthusiasm fell on deaf ears as both Senator Taylor and Representative Shaheen exhibited a chronic case of selective hearing loss and treated us as if we are not constituents whose concerns matter.

Voting in the May Municipal elections begins in just a few days.  Now we face the ultimate test.   Samantha Bee said it best (warning: this comic occasionally uses strong language which may be unsuitable for children).  The message is that it’s not enough to yell your opinions; protest is good, but in the end, your VOTE is the voice you must use! 
We’ve identified not one, not two, but 17 women who share our progressive values running for City Councils, School Boards, and Mayor in our neck of the woods. This includes the five women formally endorsed by WOW earlier this month. Plus there are six male candidates with like-minded values who are running for every position from Mayor on down.  These candidates are facing fierce and ugly competition in the Plano races.  We need to elect these brave, progressive candidates who’ve come forward to sacrifice sweat, money and precious family-time to run for office.
Turnout is abysmally low in municipal elections across the country.  In our area, the percent of voters in the last Mayoral races ranged from 3.9% in McKinney to 13% in Plano.  Pitiful! When so few people vote, a small fraction of residents have outsize influence in decisions about critical issues like schools, parks, housing, infrastructure, libraries, police, transportation and wages.
If you’re unsure who to support, we can guide you!  There have been numerous Candidate “Meet n’ Greets” and Forums, and we were there.  The candidates have held face-to-face discussions, and we were there and we talked to them, and read their survey responses.  If you don’t know who to vote for, read the League of Women Voters Guides or visit candidate’s websites.  Check for endorsements from political organizations you respect (See the WOW endorsements/suggestions link above).  On a personal note, I’ve developed a list of my choices (see sidebar top left).  Please forward this list to 10 friends and ask them to each share it with 10 more family members, neighbors and co-workers.
Turnout is everything! We need to have a mind-blowing turnout for the Municipal elections to empower candidates who can truly represent us.  Because if we don’t, we will continue to be patronized, discounted and ignored by the Pete Sessions’, Van Taylors’, and Matt Shaheens’ who think we are all “hot air and bluster” and don’t really matter.  We’ll continue to have discriminatory bathroom bills and “public education destroying” school voucher bills pushed in the Legislature.  But once they feel the tremor of a thundering herd of votes at the Municipal level, they’ll hear us and listen at the state and national levels too.
The ultimate resistance – the ultimate test – is the election!  We can win!  We must win!  We will win if we vote!  Early voting is from April 24th through May 2nd and election day is May 6th.  VOTE! And encourage every progressive voter you know to speak loudly and clearly through their vote too!
Hazel Weathers
President
Apr 152017
 

The Municipal elections are non-partisan and sometimes it’s hard to determine who to vote for if you don’t have time to attend Forums and research each candidate.  That’s one reason turnout is typically so low.  Yet, it is absolutely critical that we vote instead of ceding our power to a handful of voters to make decisions that affect our lives, families and communities.  I have personally met and talked to most of the candidates listed below and believe they support my values.  They care about public education and community.  They support human rights for all and see value in diversity.  They believe in fiscal responsibility, while appreciating the role government plays in improving our lives.  They support equal pay for equal work and a living wage.  They are progressive (or at least moderate) in their views.  In a partisan election, most of them would identify as Democrats, but some are moderate Republicans or Independents.

I recommend the candidates below.  In races where two progressives/moderates are competing, I’ve listed them both (and in some cases, indicated my preference with an *).  For races with no progressives/moderates running, I have NOT listed them and have no recommendations.

Collin College Board of Trustees:  Everyone in Collin County can vote for them.

  • Place 2 – Jeri Landfair Chambers*or Nancy Wurzman
  • Place 3 – Dr. Stacey Donald

PISD Board:  Everyone in Plano Independent School District can vote for them.

  • Place 1 – Carissa Picard
  • Place 2 –Sreedhar “Sree” Yedavalli
  • Place 6 –Marilyn Hinton or Trish Patterson (take your pick)

Plano City Council:

  • Place 2 – Ann Bacchus
  • Place 4 –Kayci Prince
  • Place 6(Mayor) – Harry LaRosiliere
  • Place 8 – Stirling Morris or David Downs (take your pick)

Allen City Council:

  • Place 2 –Tabassum Ahmad

Carrollton/Farmers Branch ISD Board

  • At-Large -Candace Valenzuela

Carrollton Mayoral Candidate

  • Michelle Beckley

Frisco City Council

  • Place 6 – K.D. Warach

Lewisville City Council

  • Place 3 – Elena K. Claros

Melissa City Council

  • Place 5 – Heather Martin

Melissa ISD Board

  • Place 1 – HeatherKurlinski

McKinney City Council

  • 3rdDistrict – Margaret Harsch* or Gavin Nicholson

Murphy City Council

  • Place 3 – Elizabeth Abraham

Richardson City Council:

  • Place 4 – Cory Montfort

Bond Referendums:

  • Vote Yes. Several communities have Bond issues on the ballot (Plano has 6).  In general, I support Bond issues because they are investments to improve infrastructure, enhance shared services, and keep our communities vibrant and strong.

These are my opinions.  Take them for what it’s worth.  Or do your own research.  But please vote!  In the last mayoral elections, turnout in these cities ranged from a low of 2.8% to a high of 13%.   If you share these recommendations (and I hope you will), please include the paragraphs at the top.  Help get these solid, qualified candidates elected!  Vote!

Hazel Weathers, President
WOW Dems

Apr 152017
 

WOW Dems formally endorsed five progressive female candidates in the upcoming May Municipal elections. Now it’s time to take the next step and help them get elected by volunteering to be a Poll Greeter. Poll Greeters distribute candidate flyers, hold a sign, or smile, greet, and thank voters outside the polling places. It’s surprising how many voters are influenced by this final gesture just before they vote. Election Day is Saturday, May 6th and Early Voting is April 24th through May 2nd. If you can spare a few hours for this important work (especially on Election Day), please contact [email protected]. We’ll coordinate dates, times and locations to ensure we can support our candidates with Poll Greeters at some of the major polling places. You can make a difference!  And our endorsed candidates sincerely appreciate your help:

  • Tabassum Ahmad, Allen City Council, Place 2
  • Stacey Donald, Collin College Board of Trustees, Place 3
  • Heather Kurlinski, Melissa ISD Board, Place 1
  • Ann Bacchus, Plano City Council, Place 2
  • Carissa Picard, Plano ISD Board, Place 1
 Posted by at 10:49 am
Mar 282017
 

PRESS RELEASE:

Women Organizing Women Democrats Endorses Candidates for May Municipal Election 

 Plano, Texas – Mar. 29, 2017 – Women Organizing Women Democrats (WOW Dems), a political action committee dedicated to expanding the participation of women in politics, today announced endorsements of following candidates for election in the May 6, 2017 Municipal Elections for Collin County:

  • Tabassum Ahmad, Allen City Council, Place 2
  • Stacey Donald, Collin College Board of Trustees, Place 3
  • Heather Kurlinski, Melissa ISD Board, Place 1
  • Ann Bacchus, Plano City Council, Place 2
  • Carissa Picard, Plano ISD Board, Place 1

“These candidates are prepared to advance practical solutions to address the community’s challenges and to support its opportunities, and each is prepared to listen closely to residents to address their concerns for the future of Collin Co. We are proud to support this qualified field of candidates,” said Hazel Weathers, president of WOW Dems.

Each candidate was selected for endorsement after a review of written documents provided to us by their campaigns. WOW Dems may add additional endorsements prior to the May 6 election.

About Us

WOW Dems is a North Texas-based organization whose mission includes expanding the participation of women in politics by increasing their political engagement, raising awareness about women’s issues, and recruiting, supporting, and electing progressive women for partisan and non-partisan offices. We expand our awareness of relevant issues through our educational and related activities.

WOW Dems meet bi-monthly, on second Thursday evenings at the Plano Environmental Education Center.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Contact:

Hazel Weathers, President

972-618-9291, [email protected]