GCDP Quarterly Newsletter, Issue 2, 2019, Updated

Introduction

Welcome to the second issue of our newsletter. We are excited to share these new updates and upcoming events with you all. 

Progress toward promoting the GCDP and the 2020 election includes participating in the Juneteenth parade, supporting the USW workers at DOW, campaign statements from Democratic candidates, fundraising efforts, and recruiting local candidates for 2020.  Details are included below as well as an editorial on the moral values that are the foundation of the divergent policies between us and our opponents.  

Thank you for your ongoing support of GCDP.

 

Message from the County Chair

The Battle is Joined

Make no mistake: Texas, with its 38 electoral votes, is now a battleground state. More and more political analysts, incumbents and candidates are seeing Texas as a tossup in 2020. The parties and the major donors are poised to funnel significant resources into Texas once the dust settles from the primaries (unlike in previous years where Texas was used like an ATM machine to fund campaigns out of state). And like the state itself, Galveston County is at a tipping point; come November 2020, we will be in a dead heat with the Republicans. Victory will go to the party that works the hardest, the smartest, and turns out the vote. Our chances have not been this good for decades.

How Can We Lose?

So, how can we lose? We can only lose by not showing up, by forfeiting the election. Obviously, if our voters don’t bother, we will lose, but this is not likely to happen. We are fired up, energized and motivated by the events of the past 2 ½ years. The worst possible way we can lose is by simply not fielding a team. Nothing would be sadder than to win the popular vote, but lose county races because we did not have candidates. Many Republican incumbents have never faced a serious challenger. All across Texas, we are seeing these incumbents not standing for reelection because they see the handwriting on the wall: They cannot win. But if they go unchallenged, they can win by default This would be a disgrace and totally unacceptable.

The Good News

The good news is that we already have a slate of great candidates who will be highly competitive. At the state level, we have no less than eight candidates vying for the U.S. Senate. We have three candidates competing for U.S. House district 14, and a very experienced candidate declared for State Senate district 11. We also have candidates for District Judge and Sheriff. That’s the really good news. The other side of this that we still have a number of county races for which we need good Democrats to step up. This is very likely to be our year. We cannot, we must not, lose by forfeit.

Below is a list of offices for which we still need candidates. Filing for a place on the ballot begins Saturday November 9, and ends at 6 p.m. on Monday, December 9.

Texas SD-4

Texas HD-23 

Texas HD-24

District Judge, 10th Judicial District

District Judge, 56th Judicial District

County Tax Assessor-Collector 

County Commissioner, Precinct 1

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4

Constable, Precinct 1

Constable, Precinct 2

Constable, Precinct 4

 

C. John Young, Jr.,
Chair,
Galveston County Democratic Party

If you’d like to run for one of the offices listed above, contact John Young.

 

Offices with Democratic Candidates

Here’s the list of Galveston County Offices for which we have one or more candidates the 2020 election: 

District Judge, 405th Judicial District

US Congress, Texas CD-14

County Sheriff

County Commissioner, Precinct 3

Constable, Precinct 3

Texas SD-11

 

2020 Election Changes

 

Local Club Meetings

Our current meeting list is available at the Pinned Announcement in the Galveston County Democrats Group on Facebook:

  • First Tuesday of the Month: Galveston County Democrats Club
  • First Thursday: GCDP Operations Status
  • Second Monday: Neighborhood Democrats Club
  • Second Tuesday: Texas Democratic Women
  • Second Saturday: Coalition of Black Democrats
  • Third Tuesday: Young Democrats
  • Fourth Monday: Friendswood Democrats 
  • Fourth Thursday: GCDP Field Ops
  • MobilizeAmerica also lists our club and GCDP meetings - Web based meeting sign up
  • Generic Democratic Google Calendar

 

 

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Upcoming Fundraisers 

We’re putting the Fun in Fundraising!

The Galveston County Democrats Club and the Coalition of Black Democrats are hosting a joint fundraiser in mid-September for the benefit of the GCDP. Join us for breakfast on September 21, 2019 from 9-11 am at the Steel Workers Union Hall in Texas City. More details are forthcoming. Contact Carol Andrews if you’d like to help.

Tina Russell (GCDP Field Operations Team Leader) and Lisa Cushing of the Friendswood Democrats are also co-hosting a dinner fundraiser on October 19th. More details on this yummy event to follow. As always, everyone is welcome to join our fundraising team. We have many more exciting events coming up! Contact Tina Russell if you’d like to help.

 

Financing GCDP to Maximize GOTV Efforts:

  • GCDP has doubled its budget for the 2019/2020 campaign and needs your help.  Major donors should contact our county chairman John Young.
  •  Donate via ActBlue
  • Send checks to:
    •  GCDP, P.O. Box 756, Friendswood, TX 77549-756

 

2020 Vote-by-mail (VBM) Application Mailing:

Our Vote-by-Mail Application fundraiser is in the early planning stage and will pay for around 12,000 mailers across the county for those Democrats who find voting in person difficult or more challenging. Because of new voting machines and the elimination of straight ticket voting, voting in person will probably take longer and voting by mail, even if you are able to vote in person, may be a better choice in 2020.  

Recent history shows that 15 percent of the VBM applications are returned and a very high percentage of them vote.  The applications are tracked by barcode and the application is good for all elections in 2020 from local to state to national.

We will provide fundraiser updates as they come on social media and via email.

 

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Candidate Statements

Robert “Puga” Thomas, U S Congress - District 14, Campaign Statement 

Greetings to my fellow citizens from Galveston County, Brazoria County, Jefferson County, and abroad. I am Councilman Robert Thomas from West Columbia, Texas, your candidate for United States Congress, District 14. I bring to you a campaign statement parallel to my platform agenda, giving you the opportunity to make choices in your life that will alter the course of your destiny and your future. 

The most important thing I want to make you aware of is that your human energy is the most valuable asset that you possess and that the American Economy is the biggest user of your human energy. There is a saying, “the borrower is a servant to the lender.” We have allowed our human energy to become servants to the economy without knowledge of the economy. Knowledge of the economy and our government is not something that we inherit in our DNA, it is something that must be taught. We are the economy and do not know it. An economy is simply the creation of a resource market, a business market, a product/service market, and the household market (consumer), but without the household (human energy) market, there is no economy.

It is imperative that we begin to support a candidate who develops and creates partnerships for economic programs for District 14 that eliminate the maldistribution of resources in our district and redirects resources back into our district that support the well-being of all the citizens. We must engage in developing and combining our knowledge in District 14 around a candidate who has created innovative ideas, projects, and polices that adhere to your needs, rather than those with just talking points. We hear, “I will fight for this,” “I support that,” “I stand for this right,” “I am pro this and that.” Those are all talking points. If I come to you with that approach, do not support me. I am a sitting city councilman for the city of West Columbia and for the past 22 years, I have created many projects and balanced budgets. We always approach the citizens with designed projects and a balanced budget to support our fiscal year. 

As your District 14 U. S. Congressional candidate, I have designed, developed, and simulated a test budget for the following projects/polices for District 14 - Galveston County, Jefferson County and Brazoria County. 

1.    Hydropower Renewable Grey Water Energy (electricity) 

2.    Program to Support our Criminal Justice System (probation) and Substance Recovery Treatment 

3.    Water and Sewer Infrastructure Project 

4.    Federal Disaster Relief Program

5.    Create a School National Security Agency (High Tech Security) SNSA

6.    Provide Support to Farmers and Ranchers 

7.    Provide Affordable College Tuition (STEM)

8.    Provide Future Farmers of America (college tuition support)

9.    Provide Support to Every Student Succeed Act (tuition for industrial skill training jobs)

10.Economic Security Local/ATMM Consumer/Business (creating an ownership between the consumer and the business)

11.Affordable Health Coverage for all Through Private and Government Funding

12.American International Immigration Job Program

I ask you to take a stand and support our platform which is designed out of old money (credit) and not from new money (debt). Remember, we spend all of our time giving the economy and government our human energy in exchange for federal reserve notes (dollar bills) only to learn at the end of our working careers that we do not have enough federal reserve notes to live a normal life because the economy and inflation have moved the goal post further out. At that time, we become a servant to the lender (back to work). Do not be misled, you are the source of economic production, meaning you are the principle and the interest. You are also the taxes, which is a return of principle back to the originator of the loan.

Our platform title is Public Option Right to Economic Security, a platform that offers you ownership into the economy.

Social Justice, Economic Justice, and Criminal Justice - upon these three is the key to Public Option Right to Economic Security. Once again, slogans like, “I support,” “I believe,” “I stand for,” “I will fight,” and “I am a progressive,” these are merely talking points. Ask them, “where are your platform programs, your budget, and your house bill to sustain your projects?” The answer remains with Councilman Robert “Puga” Thomas being elected to U. S. Congressional District 14 in 2020. Thank you for taking the time to read my campaign statement. Bless you and have a wonderful day!

 Follow My Campaign

Website: https://tinyurl.com/RobertTCongressD14

Facebook: Robert Thomas

Twitter: RobertTCongress

Instagram: roberttcongress 

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/robertthomas14

 

Adrienne Bell, U S Congress - District 14, Campaign Statement

Adrienne Bell is running for Congress in Texas’ 14th district to bring the change the community needs. Adrienne’s years of service to the community, as both a teacher and community organizer, have allowed her to witness what happens when a district is starved for adequate representation and strong leadership.

Adrienne firmly believes that no American should be denied the ability to get a quality education, lack adequate healthcare, or suffer under an economic system that rewards only a select few.

Adrienne invites everyone out to share their thoughts and concerns with her while she is out in the community. With her as the Representative of Texas 14, everyone will have a seat at the table.

 

Local News

Update from United Steel Workers, Local 13-1 - President Lee Medley:

DOW has ended the Lock Out and our people have returned to work. We are still in a labor dispute, presently working under the previous contract. The company has told us they believe we are at an impasse (we do not agree). We have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board and feel we have a strong case. We are worried if it moves higher we will encounter a Trump appointee and that would not be good for us.

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Calling all Candidates!

Michael Rogillio, Carol Andrews and a team of experts have developed a ‘candidate packet’ containing useful links and resources for prospective candidates running for office in Galveston County. It is the first of its kind for the Galveston County Democratic Party.  We are proud of our team’s hard work and dedication in providing this resource to candidates. If you or someone you know would like to run for office, please contact John Young. 

Our thanks to David Scott, Jessica Collins, Joyce Townsend, Jean Curcio, Pam Moak, Karina Eversley, Paula Oddo, Mindy Westphal, Roger Musser and Vanessa McAfee for their contributions in developing our candidate packet.

 

Editorials

What Brings Us Together as a Political Party?

Solidarity

What do we have in common that unites us? Why do we support policies that others vehemently oppose and why do we strongly oppose their policies? 

 What binds us, and what binds our opponents, is our sense of what is morally 

right as expressed by our moral values. And what research since the 90s has shown is that there are two distinct and opposed views of what is morally right and two sets of moral values. We are all some combination of those two sets. 

Our sense of what is morally right and our moral values were learned as the youngest members of our families. Different families and other life situations taught us our different values. For some, our values changed over time.

For most of US: “We came together because of our moral values: care and responsibility, fairness and equality, freedom and courage, fulfillment in life, opportunity and community, cooperation and trust, honesty and openness. We united behind political principles: equality, equity (if you work for a living, you should earn a living) and government for the people–all the people.” — Professor George Lakoff, cognitive linguist. 

Let’s explore our moral value of equality and its opposite from our opponent's moral values. 

Equality in our families

Equality is reflected and promoted in our families by accepting that both parents, of any sex, share in raising our children. Our families teach our children compassion for others as our equals. Our families nurture our innate empathy and promote responsibility for ourselves and others as our equals. Our empathy and compassion helps us understand that equal protection and empowerment of our family and others is morally right. Our families understand that there are many factors that impact family members and that some of those factors are beyond our control. We understand we need others, including government, to help minimize those impacts in order to maximize equality.

Inequality in other families

Our opponent’s moral value of inequality is based on a strong belief in a social hierarchy, or social Darwinism. Both the left and right see God above all. However, our opponents extend this hierarchy to put white, wealthy, heterosexual, monogamous, Christian, men next in line to God. Then everyone/everything is ranked below that depending on various human and non-human characteristics. For example, a non-white, poor, non-heterosexual, unmarried, woman with a child ranks very low in their hierarchy. Historically, their ranking has even placed the value of some animals, like horses, above some humans.

The families of our opponents typically have an authoritarian male dictating to other family members their place, and the place of others, in the hierarchy. Only those like him are his equal. This authoritarian male defines what is morally right and severely punishes family members who resist. Other family members have no rights except those he grants. The authoritarian leader teaches his children that having empathy weakens their ranking in this hierarchy.  The authoritarian leader teaches his children that they are only responsible for their own success in life. If they are unsuccessful, it’s ALL their fault. The authoritarian leader teaches that some, like himself, are more equal than others by virtue of the purity of their genes. There is no need for compassion or empathy for those lower in the hierarchy - less pure.

Government reflects our moral values

Moral values are learned from our families and life experiences. They are eventually reflected in our governmental leadership and the policies this leadership promotes and enacts. 

Here are two definitions of government that amplify the difference between our moral value of equality of opportunity for all and those of our authoritarian opponents - equality only for the self-made man.

Government for equality:

A Government of, by, and for the people requires both:

(1) Government representatives with the moral commitment to equally protect and empower all the people where:

(a) people’s individual freedoms are maximized, and 

(b) economic, social, racial, and environmental injustices by those who abuse their freedoms are minimized, combined with

(2) Active participation (voting and political participation) of a majority of the people to maintain such a people-driven government.  

Government for inequality:

A Government of, by, and for the successful, white, Christian, male requires both:

(1) A government with the purpose to protect and empower only the successful such that their individual freedom and wealth are maximized regardless of impact on others, and

(2) The active participation of only the successful and their minority of supporters, with the use of voter suppression and election fraud, to maintain such a government. 

Government policies reflect our moral values 

Our moral differences on maximizing equality and our opponents' on maximizing inequality are also reflected in our different governmental budgetary policies. 

Our opponents create federal budgets that maximize the wealth of successful white, males through tax breaks for the billionaires and government contracts for those who build, or fuel, our WMDs. 

By contrast, our federal budgets maximize equality by providing jobs during severe economic downturns, by empowering our mobility with freeways and public roads, by advancing science and creating tools that empower us like the internet or protect us like weather satellites, by creating high tech green jobs to protect our air, water and land, by providing healthcare to protect us from bankruptcy and the threat of early death, by providing high quality public education to empower us without the enslaving debt, etc.

Know your moral values

Our sense of what is morally right determines our moral values which in turn drives our support for policies and laws that represent them.  When you talk policy, include your moral justification to help others understand why that policy it right.

First, The Less Equal Must Demand Justice

April 2018

"Compassion Is Our New Currency"

 

This editorial, and additional comments expanding on it, are available on the GCDP website blog:   https://www.galvestoncountydemocraticparty.org/equality

 

Additional Suggested Reading:

Editorial and Reading Submitted by: Andy Hailey

 

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Galveston County Commissioners Court, Update July, 2019

Transparency  

Noun: the quality that makes it possible to see through something the quality that makes something obvious or easy to understand.

Galveston County Commissioners Court recently voted to eliminate the county’s legal department. A formal cost benefit to cost ratio analysis was not provided. A list of pros and cons was not provided. In fact, there was not any public documentation of performance inadequacies or deficiencies provided. So, the taxpayers are left wondering why this move was necessary.

Legal process outsourcing (LPO) generally refers to an action by a legal team or legal department to supplement their services through outsourcing to a company that is able to provide the missing services. But, we don’t know if that was the original intent; we only know there is a gaping hole in the explanations from the Commissioners Court. We only know the legal services will now be provided by legal firms and attorneys that are also often some of the largest contributors to the election of County Commissioners.

The lack of transparency on this issue is just the first of many concerns related to the poor communication efforts. Citizens are concerned about many of the agenda items that are discussed at each meeting. 

Unfortunately, the meetings are held during the average citizen’s work day and difficult to attend. Why don’t the Commissioners hold town halls and explain what is happening in the Court? Why don’t they communicate with their constituencies and fill them in on changes being considered or even when entire departments are being eliminated?  If transparency is truly “the quality that makes something obvious or easy to understand” our Commissioners and County Judge are failing miserably. 

Submitted by: Joyce Townsend

 

The Trouble With Traffic In Texas: Issues and Solution

Introduction: 

For those who follow the news, we sometimes see a lot of published statistics about traffic accidents, referred to as  “crashes” by the State of Texas, but very little analysis of public policy related to those accidents.   I developed an interest in this topic following the death of my sister in an unexplained accident in July 2008, and even more so after learning a year ago that the speed limit on the section of road where her accident had occurred is now lowered to 55 miles per hour.   Serious regulation of automotive travel to reduce accidents has been something of a taboo subject almost since its invention and there seem to be almost no policy oriented books on the subject.   

Recently, the State of Texas, following policy objectives originated in other States, set a goal on May 30, 2019 of reducing road deaths by one-half (about 1,820, based on 2018 data) by 2035 and to zero deaths by 2050.  However, in doing so, the Texas Transportation Commission provided only some rather limited proposals for how this would be done.  Some of these ideas are positive, such as more rumble strips before stop signs, better signage, wider shoulders and widening of bridges on 2-lane roads.   No schedule for implementing these proposals was provided.  Nor was this a topic addressed in the recent session of the Texas Legislature.  Unfortunately, most of the plans for the engineering of highway “improvements” in the past have had the effect of increasing speeds on increasingly crowded urban and suburban roads, as well as on rural roads.  Excessive speed is almost undeniably a cause or contributing factor to most accidents.  

While State officials have pointed to small reductions in the “death rate” over a long period of time, the actual number of deaths on Texas highways is still approximately 10 deaths per day (3,641 in 2018) and there been no “deathless days” on Texas highways since November 7, 2000.  Moreover, the goal of “zero deaths” is yet another example of the empty rhetoric that we have come to expect from our Republican-led Government in the State of Texas.   There are a lot more concrete ideas for reducing highway deaths in this State which could be implemented with the necessary financial and technical support.   The goal of my research will be to identify these ideas and raise the public consciousness in order to bring about the higher standard of safety that the public deserves.  This will provide the foundation for a new generation of State leadership seeking to implement the necessary changes. 

Submitted by: Darrell R. Matula

 

Local Club Updates

Young Democrats of Galveston County (YDGC)

The Young Democrats are recruiting! They meet on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at the IBEW Union Hall in Texas City from 7-8:00 pm. This group is getting busy! The YDGC have learned how to Hustle (text) and are beginning their recruitment program. If you’re between the ages of 18-and 40, expect to receive a text from this very active group soon! Join the YDGC as they Hustle new members. Fundraising is also on tap. 

This group is very motivated and plans on hosting many events soon. We couldn’t be prouder! Contact Joseph Kudler (Acting President) and AJ Price (Acting VP) via their Facebook group page.  If you are not on Facebook, use the GCDP website for contact information about this group. 

 

Galveston Democrats in Action

Juneteenth Parade:  

Juneteenth, also known as Independence Day or Freedom Day, commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in the US and Texas. On June 19, 1865, General Order #3 was read on the balcony of Ashton Villa on Galveston Island and announced the total emancipation of slaves. The Galveston County Democratic Party in conjunction with the Coalition of Black Democrats and the women of TDW-GC, were honored to celebrate Juneteenth and the end of slavery in this year’s Juneteenth parade in Texas City. Our own, Nakisha Paul, sat on the La Marque Juneteenth committee and helped make this celebration possible. Special thanks to Debbie Newman for creating and making the magnificent Juneteenth flags!

 

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Useful Links

 

Thank You

Thank you for reading our newsletter, we hope you found it useful. As always, we welcome your participation. Send us events we need to know, links, photos, or any suggestions on how we can better help you, email us. If you’d like to do even more, sign up via our website.  

Thank you for working to help get Democrats elected in Galveston County. 

GCDP Communications Team

 

 

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A Final Note

Please keep the victims of the recent shootings in your thoughts.  May the unfortunate recurring acts of violence in our nation motivate us to rekindle our activist and patriotic spirit.  Below are some links to donate to charities for the Dayton and El Paso victims.  

Please also consider running for office.   Your voice, policy and action matter.  All change begins with us.  Take a step towards what calls you and know that your fellow Democratic friends and neighbors support you as you take a stand for our beliefs and our progress as a nation.

Thank you for being an active Democrat.

Help Dayton Victims 

Help El Paso Victims

Submitted by: M. Westphal

 

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