May 06, 2016

Democracy Under Siege in Texas

Retirees Join Democracy Forum

Labor leaders met with the Lone Star Project on May 5 in Grand Prairie on the topic of democracy in Texas. As usual, a good number of the participants were active in the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans. National Board members Ray Kramer and Jim Rivers were joined by Judy Bryant, Maggie Kramer, Gene Lantz, and Elaine Lantz. Matt Angle of the Lone Star Project began with an overview of demographic changes and unfair redistricting in Texas. He then introduced Attorney Jerry Hebert, a voting rights expert with 40 years’ experience on the people’s side.

Jerry herbert-democracy
Democracy defender Jerry Hebert talked with Ray Kramer, Judy Bryant, and Gene Lantz

Hebert reviewed the sordid history of voter suppression in Texas. Unfair redistricting, overturning parts of the Voters Rights Act, and ridiculous “photo ID” laws have made Texas the disgrace of the nation. Texas Republicans have not only passed laws against people’s rights and sought out anti-democratic court rulings, but they have lied and stalled to keep practices that will, according to Hebert, eventually be ruled unconstitutional. “Texas has been suppressing minority voters for so long that they have lost their shame about it,” Hebert said.

Retirees have a special stake in defending democracy. We’re often the voters with no drivers’ licenses. We’re the most likely to be manipulated by unscrupulous politicians and criminal “vote harvesters.” We’re also the biggest and most important age group in any election.


The Texas Alliance has recommended that Texans take advantage of vote-by-mail rules, which are not affected (so far) by voter suppression. Many out-of-town students and retirees aged 65 and over are eligible to vote-by-mail and can obtain applications from the Texas Secretary of State or from their local election office.


There will be more photos on the Texas State’s Facebook Page.

–Gene Lantz, President

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans

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