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November 10, 2016

Texas Retirees Make Historical Contribution

Texas Alliance members had a powerful impact on the 2016 elections. Our six chapters, one in each of the top population centers, took part in every aspect of informing voters and bringing out the vote. It is probably the first time, ever, that Texas retirees took an independent role in fighting for our rights!

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Glenn Scott of Austin writes:

First our Pro-retiree Congressman Lloyd Doggett won a resounding victory in his seat with over 76% of the vote despite 3 challengers!

For State Rep, endorsed candidate Gina Hinojosa won! Also victories for Labor endorsed state reps Eddie Rodriguez, Celia Israel,Dawnna Dukes and Donna Howard’s with %s in the 70 and 80’s .

On City Council, we had big victories! Our TARA-EF endorsed and labor endorsed challenger Jimmy Flannigan won with 58% of the vote against right wing incumbent Don Zimmerman. TARA EF members here walked and phoned and raised funds for Jimmy.

Also winning with strong margins in the 60 and 70%s were incumbents TARA endorsees Delia Garza, Greg Casar and Leslie Pool.

There will be a run off in District 10 between 2 candidates where we did not endorse, but members may consider making an endorsement now.

For Congress, our endorsed candidate Tom Wakely Dist 21 won Travis County by 62% but lost in the gerrymandered district that runs to conservative areas from New Braunfels and far north San Antonio to Kerrville. Kathy Thomas the Dem challenger and Labor endorsed (late) to Roger Williams in Dist 25 also won Travis County with 54% but lost big in her gerrymandered district.

Ana Jordan our Labor and TARA endorsed State Rep Dist 47 lost her race 42% to 53%. She was facing the only incumbent Paul Workman (R ) of any of the State rep races here in Central Texas. He had big developer money backing him.

On County Commissioner’s race, our endorsed candidate David Holmes narrowly lost his race against an incumbent, Gerald Daugherty (R). 48% to 51.7% by about 5,000 vote margin.

Onward for building the movement by and for seniors!

Glenn Scott, cell 512 657-0184

Corpus Christi activists
Corpus Christi activists

95% Participation in Corpus Christi!

Elaine Jones said that about 95% of their members volunteered in campaigns doing block walking and calling and wore ARA shirts at events. The candidates were labor backed folks.  Officially as TARA-EF, Coastal Bend didn’t endorse any candidates. They do have members who are Deputy Voter Registrars and who worked at several places. Two women members worked for the Hillary campaign at Nueces County Dem Party. Richard Rock said that two TARA members worked for the successful campaigns of two Corpus Christi school board members.

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Dallas effort was led by Organizer Judy Bryant:

ARA Field Organizer Judy Bryant says work started months before election day as a number of members serve as Deputy Voter Registrars who participated in voter registration and mail ballot distribution at various senior living centers.

The Dallas chapter endorsed five candidates for State Representative. Activists telephoned our members in each House Districts 102, 105, 107, 112 and 113  using the Labor Action Network Virtual Phone Bank System, which was set up for TARA by Brendan Kelly, ARA Field Mobilization Director. They went through each list three times, doing Voter Id, Early Voting reminders/sites and final GOTV before election day. Several retirees participated in door-knocking canvassing for these candidates. TARA/Labor efforts resulted in the election of Victoria Neave for State Representative, HD 107! This was one of 5 seats which were flipped in Texas.

Two of our chapter activists went to work part time for the Dallas AFL-CIO and were in charge of mobilizing activists. Dallas also distinguished itself by continuing an election eve tradition of taking responsibility for polling place sign distribution for Congressman Marc Veasey.

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Cheryl Anderson reports from Houston:

The Houston chapter has had a busy election season. Richard and Ellen Shaw have helped with 9 Saturday block walks, 3 Thursday evenings  for Richard, and Ellen has done 3 Saturday’s and 2 Thursday evening.

Ellen worked the polls for a school board member on election day.

They both helped with early voting one day this week as well as Richard being a precinct judge today.  I salute their hard work.

Most of our members have volunteered phone banking for the election as well.

I have been in Tampa since September canvassing and phone banking.

Reverend Harmon Dent
Reverend Harmon Dent

Reverend Harmon Dent reports from Beaumont:

The Golden Triangle Retirees played an important part in this election. We’ve participated by being voter registrars, block walking, manning the phone bank, driving voters to the polls, precinct chairs, mail in ballot board members, manning the polls during early voting, manning the polls on Election Day, get out the vote rallies, candidates forums, and organized luncheons and rallies at the Democratic Headquarters, and participated in from the Pews To The Polls (Sunday, October 30, 2016; 12noon – 5:00pm).

In His Service,

Rev. Dent

Fort Worth activists
Fort Worth activists

Fort Worth Stays Active

Jim Rivers, a national leader and Fort Worth Chapter President says:

Retirees distinguished themselves at door-knocking canvassing work. Rivers himself went out 15 times! Another Chapter member served as head of the Democratic Party in Johnson County.

Judy Bryant and Anitra Patterson on election night
Judy Bryant and Anitra Patterson on election night

One of our best allies, Texas State Employees Union organizer Anitra Patterson says, “TSEU retirees phone banked, block walked, and held meetings with state legislators and candidates. We got out the vote to elect the best before the upcoming 2017 legislative session!”

TSEU phone banks covered the entire state!

 

–Gene Lantz, President

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund

labordallas@sbcglobal.net

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