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!