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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.

 

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

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.

WOW Dems Committee Updates – February 2017

WOW Dems Committee Updates – February 2017

Fundraising:

The WOW Dems Fundraising Committee continues to work on new FUNdraisers including a family event on Saturday, June 24. Save the date to attend the WOW Super Bowl Saturday for a day of bowling for a great cause. We will be renting out the newly renovated Super Bowl Plano. Get your team ready – there will be prizes and more. Also in the works is an Oktoberfest Beer and Food event and the not-be-missed WOW Dems big Gala will be held in February 2018.

Legislative:

The Texas legislature is in session and we are watching.  The Texas legislature meets for only 140 days (from Jan 10 thru May 29) every other year, which means a great deal of activity in a very short period of time.  If we want to affect legislation in Texas, the time to act is now!  The Legislative committee is tracking bills related to abortion access, immigration, education funding and vouchers, child protection, religious liberty, bathroom access, property taxes, and more.  But we aren’t just tracking bills.  We are also attending Lobby Days in Austin, visiting our elected officials, attending marches, rallies, protests, and writing letters.

We want you to join us! Mark your calendar for Planned Parenthood Lobby Day on April 5 and Blue Ribbon Lobby Day on April 10.

Follow WOW Dems on Facebook, Twitter  and MeetUp to get the latest news about protests, rallies, and other action items. Schedule a visit with your elected officials.  Not sure how to get a visit, or what to say once you do?  The Legislative committee is here to help.  Any questions or ideas for activism can be addressed to [email protected]. Join us in making your voice heard!

Lobby Day 101: A Guide for First-Timers and the Rest of Us

Lobby Day 101: A Guide for First-Timers and the Rest of Us

Photo at twitter.com/85thLegislature

Many of us are rediscovering the importance of civic engagement. Increasingly we are becoming active participants in our democracy to speak out against hate and injustice. From phone calls to elected officials and marches in solidarity to social media actions and organized protests, we are finding our voices and making them heard.

Direct action is a powerful part of an effective #Resistance playbook. Now that the 85th Texas Legislature is in session, it is time to add a page for Lobby Days. Hundreds of groups have scheduled Lobby Days during this session. A strong showing of grassroots support for organizations that are protecting progressive policies, supporting women’s rights and promoting social justice has never been more important.

Plan to attend at least one Lobby Day during this legislative session to let your representatives know you stand for progress. These tips from Lori Kleinfeld, WOW Dems Fundraising Committee co-chair and veteran Lobby Day-goer, will help you prepare. Read “Planning a Successful Lobby Day” for more information.

Before You Go:

  • Arrange meetings ahead of time with your legislators. Usually sponsoring groups, such as Planned Parenthood, will do this for you.
  • Familiarize yourself with the issues affecting the sponsoring group and how your representative is likely to vote.
  • Know the name and number of the Bill for which you are lobbying. You are there to persuade your representative to vote favorably for your cause.
  • Prepare for the day. Jot down a few key points you want to make about each issue you are there to discuss.

While You’re There:

  • Bring a positive, friendly attitude and be respectful.
  • Dress in business casual (no jeans) but wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking a lot!
  • Capitol security will inspect your purses, backpacks, and other personal items, so be prepared.
  • Expect to meet with either your representative or legislative aide. Don’t be disappointed if you meet with the legislative aide. They often have more time to listen to you—they may even agree with you. Hopefully they can persuade your representative.
  • Bring written information to leave with the office. Leave-behinds should include relevant and persuasive facts and figures, and may be provided by the organization sponsoring the Lobby Day. Be sure to include your name, contact information and a WOW Dems brochure or card.
  • Food is available in the Capitol cafeteria, but you may want to pack your own. Groups including the organizers of Blue Ribbon Lobby Day, may provide a box lunch.
  • Often there will be great speakers at the steps of the Capitol, so be sure to listen.
  • Spread the word! Take pictures and post updates on social media. Remember to tag the group that organized the day.

Most importantly have fun and remember that you are doing your civic duty!

WOW Dems Pres Issues A Call To Action

WOW Dems Pres Issues A Call To Action

Like most of you, I felt a sense of dread and despair after the election in November and again on Inauguration Day, January 20th.  But what got me out of the “fetal position” then, and what keeps me going now, is organizing to take action.

Throughout history, women have played essential roles in every battle for human rights.  And on January 21st, the Women’s March on Washington and its 600+ “sister marches” worldwide showed the Trump administration that we will vigorously resist actions that endanger our Democracy and destroy civil rights. Millions of women marched in support of human rights and solidarity in opposition to the Trump agenda.  It was inspiring and exhilarating to see huge, diverse crowds gathered in every major city in the US and around the world!  WOW Dems chartered a bus to Austin and marched alongside 50,000 Texas women, and members also participated in marches in Dallas, McKinney, and D.C.

And, this is just the beginning.  We also plan to support upcoming Lobby Days to influence TX Representatives during the 85th Legislative Session.  I encourage everyone to read “Indivisible, a Practical Guide to Resisting the Trump Agenda.”

As President of WOW Dems, I can assure you that our newly installed leadership team will enact many of the recommended actions and we will support other organizations that are fighting for common objectives.  But, we need all hands on deck.  No one can afford to just sit back and complain – not now.  We must all get involved in our important role as citizens of this great country to keep it a great country – a Democracy that honors women’s rights and human rights and civil rights and economic rights for all, not just the wealthiest.

The WOW Dems’ mission is to expand women’s political engagement, raise awareness about women’s issues, and recruit, support and elect women for partisan and non-partisan office.  Members pay annual dues each year in January.  If you haven’t yet joined or renewed your membership, please do so now.  Your dues enable us to operate and support progressive candidates.

As President Obama often says “Democracy is hard work.”  So, join a committee and help us do the work.  Be knowledgeable and prepare to speak out loudly and clearly to let our Representatives know where we stand on the issues; we must remind them that they work for us and if they don’t support us (their constituents), they will be replaced.  Amp up your technical game – get on Facebook and Twitter so we can rapidly and effectively communicate and respond.  Finally, support local progressive candidates.  And consider running yourself; check out Annie’s List “Ready to Run” for upcoming classes.

Never again will we simply cede local and state politics to people who don’t support our values.  We are not giving up; we will not be silent; we must fight back using tools and techniques that are effective in today’s world.  The battle has just begun!  Join us!

Hazel Weathers, President

Great WOW Dems Meeting and New Board

Great WOW Dems Meeting and New Board

IMG_9802On Thursday, January 12, WOW Dems gathered for the January meeting and heard a great presentation by Ramiro Luna and Clay Arnold from State Representative Victoria Neave’s campaign. Ramiro and Clay gave us all of the details on how they ran the campaign that resulted in Victoria Neave’s election. The importance of organization and voter contact were emphasized as well as the details on exactly how much time, money and hard work is involved in an election. This information was timely with the filing periods for local elections coming soon! Thank you to Ramiro and Clay for sharing with our group.

This was the largest meeting every hosted by WOW Dems and we were excited to welcome many new members and guests. It was an engaged and interested crowd and we look forward to working with everyone in 2017 and beyond!

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After the presentation, the new WOW Dems officers for 2017 /2018 were elected and the new board was introduced by president Hazel Weathers. A list of board members and contact information can be found on the Officers & Committees tab. As the committees are forming for the coming year, please take a look at the descriptions and join a committee that best fits your interests and abilities. We need everyone to be involved to bring your ideas, take action to make a difference and accomplish our mission.

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WOW Dems Officers and Board Members

What to do Next – Save the Dates!

What to do Next – Save the Dates!

There are so many ways to get involved and make a difference! Save the dates for the activities below and be sure to check the calendar regularly for updates and additional activities.

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Wednesday April 5 2017: Planned Parenthood Lobby Day. Preregister here.

 

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Tuesday April 10, 2017: Blue Ribbon Lobby Day, Austin TX. Click here for more information.

 

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Thursday May 11, 2017: WOW Dems General Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Plano Environmental Education Center.
Thursday July 13, 2017: WOW Dems General Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Plano Environmental Education Center.
Thursday September 14, 2017: WOW Dems General Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Plano Environmental Education Center.
Thursday November 9, 2017: WOW Dems General Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Plano Environmental Education Center.

Contact: [email protected]

 

WOW Dems at the 2016 Ann Richards Dinner

WOW Dems at the 2016 Ann Richards Dinner

 

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WOW Dems was well-represented at the 2016 Ann Richards dinner. As can be seen from the smiles in the photos below, a good time was had by all in the lovely new venue. Gilberto Hinojosa, Mary Beth Rogers and Jim Hightower energized, enlightened and entertained the large crowd. What a great way to spend the evening and a great success for the Collin County Democratic Party!!!

Thanks to Tom Pond and Sharon Hirsch for sharing their photos of the evening’s festivities for WOW Dems.

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14141979_10210602180797320_7959205738794271773_n 2016 Ann Richards Dinner CCDP (20 of 29)

 

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