The Progress Texas Monthly
2012 is going better than we could have even planned. We started the year looking for a Communication Director and nearly 100 people from across the country have applied and expressed interest in building a progressive movement in Texas.
Beyond our growing team, Progress Texas staff has been all over the state in February making a difference. Phillip Martin, your Research and Policy Director, spoke at the Texas Capitol last week talking about ALEC and corporate influence in Texas elections and the legislative process. Phillip also worked with coalition partners to make sure your voice was heard in supporting the gains made because of the Affordable Care Act in Texas. Mark Corcoran, your Online Communication Director, has been busily building tools to prepare for 2012 and we are seeing major growth in our community because of it (more on that soon). And, I have been fortunate to be working with so many of you to get your stories heard in the press, at the Capitol, and in your community. We are laying the foundation for a new progressive era in Texas.
These are exciting times at Progress Texas and we are about to take the show on the road with events across the state. Stay tuned for more information about those and if you are interested in hosting a house party, sponsoring, or helping plan and promote an event, please let me personally know by emailing Events@ProgressTexas.org.
Texans for a Fair Judiciary
Over 3,200 people have told Conservative Republican Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison to stop the obstructionism and fill the emergency judicial vacancies in Texas. Texas has the most judicial emergencies in the country and we have never seen partisan gridlock surround non-partisan, non-political nominees like this before. Already, because of your work, we have filled one vacancy. We have 2 more nominees we must support. Your voice makes a difference. Please make sure you tell Cornyn and Hutchison that justice delayed is justice denied!
Affordable Care Act
On Monday, February 27, we delivered a letter to the Texas House Committees on Public Health and Insurance telling them the Affordable Care Act is working in Texas. Years away from its full implementation, the Affordable Care Act has already provided help to over 6 million Texans! You can read the letter and learn more about its benefits here. Also, be sure to join the more than 3,500 Texans across the state in pledging your support for the Affordable Care Act. We will be participating in education and organizing efforts in support of our health care rights in the coming weeks, so stay tuned to this important campaign.
Rick Perry Owes Taxpayers $3.8 Million
Our latest estimates show that Rick Perry’s amateur-hour presidential campaign cost the state of Texas $3.8 million. His security-related travel costs, the overtime pay to public safety officers who traveled with him, and the salary for an acting governor whenever he leaves the state adds up to Governor Perry, the alleged fiscal conservative, owing taxpayers one very, very large bill. If you haven’t already, tell Rick Perry that he should repay Texas taxpayers the $3.8 million of our money he spent on his failed vanity campaign.
In January, we released our major ALEC Exposed in Texas report. The response to our report has been great. We’re preparing two drill-down reports on ALEC’s influence on key issue areas affecting our state, and we’ve already done a comprehensive look at ALEC money that’s funneled into Texas in 2011. We will be releasing those reports in coming weeks as we continue exposing ALEC’s corporate influence in the Texas Legislature.
Now, here is some really exciting and impressive news. You know the growth I talked about at the beginning? Well, we set an internally ambitious goal to grow by an astounding 20% each quarter. Because of your support and Mark's hard work, we have destroyed that goal. Since the beginning of the year, we have grown by an unimaginable 78%. There are nearly twice as many progressives who have told their representatives in Austin and Washington about what is important to them. That level of enthusiasm is why conservatives are nervous and elected officials and the press are paying attention to us. Simply, you are making a major difference every day. So thank you for sharing our petitions, telling your friends about us, donating your hard earned money, engaging on social networks and emailing and writing your letters of support. It all means the world to us.
Of course, we aren't content with just doing petitions and testifying in Austin. We are getting ready to hire a Communication Director who will work with coalition and partner groups and start doing work in your neighborhoods and highlighting progressive causes in every precinct and every county in Texas. It's a big job and we are so lucky to have fantastic applicants who are ready to work hard for you.
We are also about to launch a few more campaigns. The most important is one to support our pro-education elected officials and ask why so many conservatives are opposed to fixing our education woes. The State Comptroller, conservative Susan Combs, recently released a report saying we have $1.7 billion sitting in a bank account that could go to restore part of the education funding gap that is causing schools to close, teachers to be fired, classrooms to be overcrowded and forces local school districts to plan for failure. Rick Perry is opposed to fixing our education mess. We support our schools.
We hope you will join us at the Save Texas School's rally March 24th at the capitol in Austin to make sure you make conservatives pay attention to us and see we support our schools. We will be launching a major campaign immediately after that event to make sure we fight for the best education system imaginable for Texas.
Finally, if you are not already a member, sign-up and join our Rapid Response Team. It is simple and free. As a part of this team you will receive additional emails from us with opportunities to become more involved and information about events in your area. Join today and become a leader in building this progressive movement here in Texas.