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June 30, 2022

TARA Mid-Year Report

The pandemic did not deter the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans. We continued our fight for improvements in the lives of Texas retirees.

We added two important chapters: West Fort Worth and San Antonio. TARA holds monthly meetings in all the main metropolitan centers of the state. In those meetings, we update ourselves, train activists and map out new campaigns. Retirees recognize that unions are the main defenders of our rights; consequently, we practice solidarity with union activities.

Candidate Jan McDowell (red shirt) is in the middle of this solidarity photo

Because the Texas legislature attacked the right to vote, we worked hard for democracy in 2022. We held statewide on-line meetings. We organized and/or attended rallies and marches. We used our web page, regular e-blasts, videos, radio outreach, and a network of social media to help retirees understand the attack on our rights and learn how to fight back.

Standing up for voting

Statistics are not available as to exactly how Texas retirees vote, but we do know that the vote-by-mail majority made an historical shift from anti-retiree candidates to pro-retiree candidates during the primary election and runoff. Most vote-by-mail ballots come from seniors. We know that other organizations also worked on voter rights because we cooperated with them. We can’t take all the credit for the shift, but we deserve some of it!

Jan Lance of TARA Austin invention

Because of the vast distances in our state, the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans has always relied heavily on technology for outreach. Our chapters adapted to ZOOM without missing a monthly meeting. When it became possible, we held outdoor meetings. Currently, we are learning to use “hybrid” meetings with in-person and on-line participants together. Using ZOOM, we can record all or parts of our meetings for further outreach. We can simultaneously broadcast our on-line activities on social media.

From June, 2021 to June 2022, we added 2,000 Texas activists to our contact list. During the past month, Facebook says that we reached 2,605 people. We have 8 other Facebook pages, one for each chapter. For the past 3 months, we have been experimenting with a new organizing tool named “Action Builder.” TARA never fails to use every available tool.

What’s Next?

In July and August, TARA chapters will do everything we can to call attention to the anniversaries of Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. We underline retiree issues in all public activities.

All Texas retiree activists are focusing on winning the November elections for retirees. Our tax designation is 501c4, which means that we can endorse and support retiree-friendly Texas candidates. Our national organization endorses federal candidates. One of our long-time Dallas activists is a union-endorsed candidate for Congress against one of the very worst anti-retiree incumbents. The Dallas Chapter will make a special effort in her behalf.

We have just bought our first big batch of postcards. We will hold a retiree caucus during the Texas Democratic Party Convention. We are investigating yard signs. We will certainly phone bank and use all our technological outreach tools. We plan a series of statewide webinars to inform and organize retiree voter activists.

TARA plans to win!

–Gene Lantz

Texas Alliance for Retired Americans
Our Vote Is Our Voice! Seniors Refuse to Be Silenced!
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