Author: admin

URGENT: Call to Action for ACA

URGENT: Call to Action for ACA

URGENT:  Senate Republicans have until September 30th to repeal theAffordable Care Act with only 50 votes. They are pushing the Graham-Cassidy health care bill that is as bad as, or worse than, the previous attempts to repeal the ACA. We need to contact Senators ASAP to express our concern.
 
Just like all those previous attempts, this resurrection of TrumpCare would reduce health care coverage for millions, eliminate subsidies, increase premiums for anyone with pre-existing conditions, tax the elderly, and curtail the expansion of Medicaid. It must be stopped.
 
The following “moderate” Republicans might be persuaded to vote against this bill: Susan Collins (ME) 202-224-2523, Rob Portman (OH)202-224-3353, Lisa Murkowski (AK) 202-224-6665, Shelley Moore Capito (WV) 202-224-6473, John Hoeven (ND) 202-224-2551, Dean Heller (NV) 202-224-6244, and John McCain (AR) 202-224-2235.
 
You can also send a message to their websites: [last name].senate.gov/contact.
 
Please contact Texas Senators John Cornyn (202-224-2934) and Ted Cruz (202-224-5922) as well. 
 
 
Please make calls today and share this information with as many people as you can.
Candidate Spotlight: Misty Irby for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

Candidate Spotlight: Misty Irby for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1

Born and raised in Dallas, Misty Irby has lived in McKinney, TX since 2004.

Her educational background includes an Associate’s Degree and Certification in Paralegal Studies from Collin County Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree from The University of North Texas with Certification in Alternative Dispute Resolution. She is currently working toward a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Social Justice at Southern Methodist University.

Professionally, she has been in Privacy and Data Security Risk Management for more than ten years. She’s presently employed as a Risk Analyst for a financial software company in Allen, Texas.

Misty is a member of numerous educational, political and community organizations. She is presently a member of the Collin County Democratic Party Administrative Committee and academically, she is a member of the SMU Dedman College Interdisciplinary Research Cluster and the SMU Embrey Human Rights Research Cluster. She has served as Board member of several entities and has received numerous awards for her advocacy, professional, and academic accomplishments. She is currently on the board of Women Organizing Women Democrats (WOW) as the Membership Chairperson. WOW is a North Texas-based organization dedicated to advancing Democratic women in politics.

She has devoted countless hours to community service. Most recently she volunteered with Traffick911, an organization passionate about working to free youth from sex trafficking and Bridges to Life, a nonprofit organization that partners with prisons and drug rehabilitation facilities throughout the state of Texas to bring healing to victims of crime, reduce recidivism among offenders and help to make our communities safer.

Misty is married to her loving and supportive husband of 14 years, Keith Irby. They are a blended family with two sons and two daughters. She is an avid reader, volunteer, and social justice warrior. She credits her drive and enthusiasm for human rights and equal justice under the law to spiritual faith, her mother, Zola F. Nash, mentor, Dr. Candice Bledsoe, her husband, siblings, and the many family and friends who pray for, inspire, and encourage her daily.

Misty wants to be the next Collin County Justice of the Peace in Precinct 1 because of her love and appreciation for this community. She will apply her knowledge, wisdom, and experience to the courtroom to make a difference in the lives of others. Her educational background; intelligence and analytical skills make her the ideal candidate for this position. Her passion for human rights and social justice has propelled her to seek this office in an effort to provide hope and equal justice from the bench. Everyone will be able to rest assured that once they enter her courtroom, they will obtain a fair hearing without pride or prejudice.

 

Join Us for Oktoberfest!

Join Us for Oktoberfest!

Come join and help support WOWDems October 7th from 4-6pm at Franconia Brewery!

Sponsorships are available, and the “Mayor of Oktoberfest” has the honor of tapping the keg!

Early Bird pricing of $25 expires September 23rd.

Regular admission of $35 expires October 6th.

“Day of” admission is $40.

Bring a folding chair for comfort and join us for some delicious beer!

Link to purchase tickets: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wowdemsoktoberfest

WOW Dems Candidate Spotlight

WOW Dems Candidate Spotlight

WOW Dems will feature a spotlight on announced candidates with a strong history of involvement with and support for WOW Dems. We are honored to feature our first candidate spotlight on Sharon Hirsch, candidate for Texas House District 66 and former WOW Dems President.

Sharon Hirsch is pleased to announce her candidacy for Texas House District 66. Sharon is a founding member, past president, and former fundraising co-chair for WOW Dems. Her candidacy is a testament to WOW’s mission to recruit, support, and elect Democratic women for partisan and non-partisan offices. Sharon believes that it’s time we restore balance and integrity in Austin. We can have a government that works when we elect representatives who are willing to work together on issues that are important to the people we are elected to serve. Sharon believes that investments in excellent education, economic opportunity for all, and improved health and well-being are good investments for Texans and good for business.

 

Sharon, her husband Jim, and their four children moved to Plano and House District 66 in 1996 when Jim accepted a position with Plano ISD. Sharon feels fortunate that her children have established their careers in the area. An added bonus is having their two beautiful granddaughters close by.

 

Sharon had the privilege of serving for 12 years as an administrative support staff member on Plano ISD elementary, middle and high school campuses. During that time, she was twice nominated for the Superintendent’s Service Award and was awarded Texas PTA Honorary Life Memberships from both Rice Middle School and McMillen High School. At McMillen H.S. she served as the faculty liaison to the PTSA. She participated in the School Based Improvement Committee (SBIC) at Rice Middle School as a community member and was appointed to the district’s School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), serving for three years. Throughout her children’s academic careers, she was an active volunteer with parent groups, booster clubs, and after-school activities.

 

In 2012 Sharon and Jim established and fully fund the Hirsch-Collin College Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually to a Plano ISD graduate who has completed the AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) program and enrolls in Collin College. Many students who participate in AVID become first generation college students. It has been a pleasure to help these deserving young students on their path to higher education. 

 

Active in our community, Sharon is a graduate of the Plano Citizens Government Academy and is currently serving her second term on the city’s Cultural Affairs Commission. Sharon is a proud graduate of Leadership Plano Class 34 and was elected to the LP Board in May 2017.

 

Sharon was elected as the Senate District 8 Committeewoman to the State Democratic Executive Committee in July 2016. She is a precinct chair and serves on both the volunteer and candidate recruitment committees for the Collin County Democratic Party. She is an active member of the League of Women Voters.


Sharon graduated summa cum laude from Collin College (Associate of Arts, General Studies) and the University of North Texas (Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences). The BAAS faculty at UNT named her the Outstanding BAAS Student for 2013-2014. Sharon focused on coursework that emphasized civic engagement and work in the public sector.

 

Sharon volunteers for Girls on the Run and serves as a specialty volunteer for Vitas Hospice. She also enjoys running, reading, baseball, and traveling.

 

To support Sharon’s campaign, like her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter @Sharon4TX and visit her website at sharon4tx.com. Sharon is counting on your support and encouragement as the campaign moves forward.

Lest We Forget…

Lest We Forget…

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

The Power of Joining a Committee

The Power of Joining a Committee

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

Upcoming Meetings of the Special Session

Upcoming Meetings of the Special Session

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!

WOW Dems July General Meeting – Thursday, July 13, 2017

WOW Dems July General Meeting – Thursday, July 13, 2017

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.

Save the Date: WOW Super BOWL Saturday is Coming

Save the Date: WOW Super BOWL Saturday is Coming

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

The Ultimate Resistance? Your Vote.

The Ultimate Resistance? Your Vote.

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

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