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
Mar 182017
 

Are you ready to WOW the voters, make history, and secure our future on May 6?

Activism is up everywhere, with many activities led by WOW’s Legislative Committee.  We’ve phoned and met with our Representatives on ACA, EPA, Social Security, Planned Parenthood, Medicare/Medicaid, school vouchers, the “bathroom” bill and other bills moving through the 85th TX Legislative Session.  We’ve marched and protested against the Muslim ban and heartless ICE deportations that separate families.  We’ve demanded our Congressmen hold town halls, lobbied for “independent” investigation into ties to Russia, and pressed for the release of Trump’s tax returns.  And we’ll continue all those efforts.  Now it’s time to make our voices heard in a way that is the very underpinning of Democracy – our vote!

In the upcoming May election, many school boards, city councils, mayors and other local races will be decided.  We have an unprecedented number of progressive candidates running in Plano, McKinney, Allen, Melissa and other cities — highly qualified individuals who are sacrificing personal time, energy, and money.  We met six dynamic, talented, progressive, female candidates at our General Membership meeting in March (and there are many more out there).

Pictured here l-r top are Carissa Picard, Ann Bacchus, Heather Kurlinski, and l-r bottom Trish Patterson, Tabbasum Ahmad and Dr. Stacey Donald.  These women can’t succeed without you.  They need literally hundreds of volunteers to help block walk and phone bank.  They must raise thousands of dollars for road signs, yard signs, robocalls, and mailings.  They need your vote and for you to solicit others in your “sphere of influence” to vote for them too.

She wins; we win!  You have an opportunity to elect individuals who share your values for human rights and inclusiveness, quality public education, health care for all, appreciation of diversity, tax fairness, good government services, a living wage, a worker’s right to bargain, a strong middle class, and more.  When progressives win local races, we have representatives who actually work for us!

In the next few days, WOW Dems will publish a list of candidates we endorse.  Typically, the turnout is so low for municipal races that less than 9,000 votes equals a win.  If every person reading this note does SOMETHING to support these candidates, they will win.  Help them walk neighborhoods to reach voters. If you can’t do that, then make phone calls.  If that’s too much, then donate to the campaigns (no amount is too small).  Put up a yard sign.  And, finally….. vote!  Early voting is April 24th to May 2nd.  Election Day is Saturday, May 6th.  There is no time to waste.  We have only six weeks to do the work necessary to get them elected, and we are counting on you!  Bring your families and vote!  Bring your friends and vote!  Bring your neighbors and vote!  Turnout is everything!

As we learned from Indivisible, our Members of Congress care more about their own re-election than just about anything else.  When progressives launch successful races in their own backyards this will get the attention of our state and federal representatives and amplify our voices when we call, write, and protest (as we will continue to do).

What can you do?  Visit progressive candidates’ websites to learn more about their campaigns, volunteer, and make donations.  Follow WOW Dems on  Facebook and Twitter and visit WOWDems.org for up-to-date news and announcements on endorsements.  Let’s elect progressive candidates so we can keep our local communities financially strong, vibrant, welcoming places to live and work.  We’ll leverage those wins to achieve goals for 2018 and beyond.  Join me in building our Future by taking charge of the Present.  It’s in our hands.  Volunteer in ways that are right for you and VOTE!