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.
From coast to coast, the #Resistance is underway. Beginning with the Women’s March on January 21st, continuing to rallies at airports over the Muslim ban, and now, backlash from deportations, the protests have never stopped. Phone systems are “breaking” under the weight of calls to elected officials (1.5 million calls a day to the U.S. Senate). Visits to congressional offices, already occurring, will increase during the upcoming recess. It seems the Republican Party underestimated the one “branch” of government they don’t control – the people! And thankfully (so far), we’re even getting help from the courts.
WOW Dems are right in the middle of the good fight! Muriel Hamilton joined protestors at DFW airport the weekend Muslims were denied entry into the U.S. Renee Mitchell, our Legislative Committee chair, traveled to Austin with TexProtects and 100+ advocates to lobby for the protection of children in the foster system. WOW Fundraising co-chair Lori Kleinfield and member Carissa Picard met with aides at Senator Cornyn’s office and then joined 250 others to march outside in an attempt to influence his vote on the Betsy DeVos cabinet nomination. And several #WOWDems members found their way to the February 18 Presidents Day March and Rally to support all immigrants and refugees.
Countless calls, postcards, emails, letters, tweets, faxes (everything but carrier pigeons) have been used to reach our U.S. Senators over the deplorable cabinet nominations. We’re also closely tracking the 85th Texas Legislative session and calling Texas Senators and Representatives to express our opinions about bills being proposed on school vouchers, sanctuary cities, bathroom bills, union rights, and more. Some we’ll win and some we’ll lose, but regardless of the outcome, we won’t get discouraged, because we are in it for the long game. And we want our elected officials to know we are a force to be reckoned with (helpful tip: store your representative’s numbers in your phone for quick access).
We’re working with other organizations too. We’re proud of the protests and visits to the offices of elected officials organized by the Indivisible groups in the area, including Indivisible Liberty Tree TX 3. We’re encouraged that the Collin County Democratic Party is amassing a large cadre of volunteers to do grass-roots field work. And we’re pleased with the large number of progressive candidates who are filing to run in the upcoming Municipal elections on May 6.
For more information, please attend the next WOW Dems meeting on March 9th. Our speaker is Catherine McDonald, Managing Attorney for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in American. Look forward to seeing you then.
In the meantime, keep up the calls and letters. Sign up for one of the upcoming Lobby Days in Austin. Visit local congressional offices or attend town halls. Support the campaign of a local candidate. For news and information, follow us on Twitter and visit the WOW Dems Facebook page. And don’t forget to join or renew your WOW Dems membership.
Hazel Weathers, President