The above photo was taken at the Battleground Texas meeting here in Houston this past Saturday. If you don't know anything about Battleground Texas, it is a new organization here in Texas that is devoted to the idea that we can flip this state from red to blue. The goal is to make Texas a battleground state by the year 2016. We did it in once-red North Carolina, and we can certainly do it here. Here is what they they have to say on their website:
Over the next several years, Battleground Texas will focus on expanding the electorate by registering more voters – and, as importantly, mobilizing those Texans who are already registered but who have not been engaged in the democratic process. And we’ll use the data-driven, people-focused approach that has helped win grassroots campaigns around the country.
From top to bottom of the ballot – we can change the face of Texas politics together.
Battleground Texas is a local effort with national implications.
Texans are carrying this movement and its success could change the face of presidential politics in this country as we know it. With 38 electoral votes at stake, a blue Texas would be a surefire road to the White House.
Change does not come easy, but taking the harder road for a better future is what our state is all about.
Texans are ready.
Yes, we are, as the above photo indicates. The Houston meeting, which nomandates
, Libby Shaw
, and I all attended, numbered around 350 people. That's a lot of people, but then again, it's Houston, right? But the progressive momentum we're seeing in Texas isn't limited to sprawling metro areas like Houston. Over 100 people packed a Battleground Texas meeting in Lubbock
. Yes, that Lubbock. Meeting participants left standing room only
Yes, we're getting serious here in Texas about putting this state back on the electoral map.
Follow me below the fold for more about the Houston meeting and to find out how you can help, even if you're not in Texas.
The Houston Battleground Texas meeting certainly succeeded in stirring up a whole lot of positive energy here in Houston. The meeting started off with a slate of Democratic elected officials who each picked up the microphone and pumped us full of motivation. Elected officials such as U.S. Representative Gene Green of the 29th District:
And U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee:
And State Senator Sylvia Garcia, who has recently taken a heroic stand against the regressive Republican state budget in Austin:
In fact, there were a wide variety of elected officials there, ranging from the city level to the state level to the federal level. All showing their support for a blue Texas.
We then broke into brainstorming groups to talk about our strengths and the roadblocks we needed to overcome. Our strengths include such things as our diversity and our use of social media. Roadblocks include things like the fear in some places in Texas of "coming out" as a Democrat and (here's a big one) the persistent, and wrongheaded, idea that we will always be a red state. Once we've overcome the latter roadblock--which is a mindset we can see even in progressive communities who would do well to work toward a blue Texas--I think that's almost half the battle. And one of the overarching messages of the meeting was that we can and will do this, but only if we work together.
That brings is to how you can help. If you live in Texas, we discussed at the meeting a variety of ways that you can get involved in this fight. Here are some of those ways:
1) Get deputized as a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar. This is something relatively easy that you can do to make a big difference. Registering voters is key if we're going to flip this state. We were reminded at the Battleground Texas meeting that Rick Perry was only elected by well under 20 percent of people of voting age. We need to get more people registered. Here is information on becoming a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar in Texas.
2) Get people registered to vote. Even if you're not deputized, you can still convince friends and family to get their asses registered to vote (in nicer language, of course). We need everybody involved, even if it's as simple as voting for Democratic candidates.
3. Persuade your neighbors to vote for Democrats. This is another easy thing you can do. Be honest with your neighbors about why you are supporting Democratic candidates. Spread the word. As we discussed at the meeting, many people who call themselves Republicans aren't really Republicans. Sometimes, it just takes some convincing to get them on our side.
4. Find out whether or not you have a precinct chair. If you have one, contact him or her and see how you can help. If you do not have a precinct chair, become one! Sometimes, the competition for precinct chair positions is so low that becoming one is a matter of simply signing up. If you're feeling really motivated, this is a way you can become directly involved in the process.
5. Sign up for Battleground Texas e-mails at their website. "Like" their Facebook page. Follow them on Twitter.
6. Join your local Texas Daily Kos group! If there isn't one in your area, start one!
Houston Area Kossacks is for Kossacks living in the Houston metro area. It will be used to post and repost Houston-related diaries, organize meet-ups, and just keep in touch in general.
CenTex Kossacks is a kossack group for Travis County and surrounding areas dedicated to keeping Austin weird, blue and orange.
A group for Kossacks living in the DFW region to get together and support each other!
chancew has posted that he's no longer able to organize for the Dallas group. Please kosmail him if you're interested in taking over. Thanks.
- Organizer: vacancy
- Founded on Nov. 21st
Our state isn't done organizing! shesaid is forming a group for the CapRock / Amarillo / Lubbock / Panhandle area (group name still being considered).
Yo Bubba has contacted navajo and will be starting a West Texas Kossacks group (El Paso and Big Bend).
And blue armadillo has expressed interest in starting a San Antonio Kossacks group!
Please consider stepping up to organize if there isn't a group in your area.
Even if you do not live in Texas, if you are a Democrat who wants to see more Democrats elected, you have an interest in seeing Texas turn blue. If you want to help out from afar, feel free to donate
to Battleground Texas. Every penny goes toward turning this state blue, blue, and blue.
We can flip Texas. We need to get out of the mindset that it's not possible and work toward making it happen. It is possible, but we will need to work together. I'm in--are you?