Monday, September 28, 2015

Retired Army Officer Challenging Tea Party Incumbent Louie Gohmert for East Texas Congressional Seat

By Faith Chatham - Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC - September 3, 2015

Shirley McKellar officially kicked off her 2016 Campaign for Congress in the shadows of the Smith County Court House. Earlier this year, KLTV Tyler introduced Dr. Shirley McKellar as one of East Texas' Freedom Fighters. Joan Hallmark features area soldiers who serve in combat zones in the U.S. Military., Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News
"Shirley McKeller served 18 years in the U.S. Army as a nurse. Eighteen months of that time was during "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in an Iraqi Field Hospital that was under bomb threat every day and in a hospital in Germany where wounded soldiers were sent for further medical aid. 
An accident ended McKeller's Army career, and she found out firsthand how difficult it was for veterans to get into the system for medical aid.

McKeller has become an advocate for veterans, and in she 2014 ran for Congress in the 1st District on the Democratic ticket. Although McKeller lost the election, she hasn't ruled out a future run."  - KLTV Joan Hallmark

McKellar combines elegance with the toughness of an Army medical officer who has seen duty in the combat zone. A native of Tyler, McKellar's family tree leads back through generations of small business owners. Working, serving, solving problems, using logic and common sense and getting as much education as possible to be able to understand more, and to be more effective, is automatic to her.

She is a woman who is not easily deterred. When she knows something needs to be done, is convinced that something should be done, she goes into action, almost as though on auto-pilot, to see that it happens. Multi-tasking while giving personal attention to everyone she encounters is innate with Shirley McKellar. She has lots of titles, all earned, but does not see her PhD or retired status as a Major in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps or honoree of so many awards that it is difficult to list them, as anything that should set her apart from others. She says she lists the PhD and other titles to show that she has done "her homework" and is prepared to serve. Her focus is always on how to get things done to improve the lives of others and to make our community and nation an even better place to live.

As the number of women soldiers (and women veterans) increased, the U.S. Military and Veterans Administration lacked many of the medical services women need. McKellar was at the forefront, helping to establish medical services for women. She was instrumental in establishing the Breast Cancer Awareness program for the European Theater of the U.S. Military. She was one of 16 clinicians from around the world to travel to Berlin and establish, "The Best Clinical Practices for Treating Breast Cancer Around the Globe".  Baylor University Health Services named her their  "International Breast Cancer Advocate" for Europe, to represent America at the 4th European Congress at a conference where her speech on the "Healthcare Disparities Among African-American Women" was aired to over 250 Comprehensive Breast Cancer Centers in the world, including The University of Texas at M.D. Anderson in Houston. 

Once back in the U.S., it was natural for her to partner with UT Austin Health Science and launch the African American Breast Cancer Outreach Program and to serve as site manager for the program at UT Tyler. She served as the sexual harassment officer and EEOC officer in the military. In civilian life, she used her non-profit organization to employ social workers and nurse clinicians to provide sexual abuse and domestic violence services to women and children in 12 Texas counties.

McKellar did not intend to end her military career two years short of her 20 years of active duty. However, on the border of Iraq and Turkey, a fall down a flight of stairs abruptly changed her life. She spent over a year in Brooks Medical Center in San Antonio and some who knew her during that time reported that it was difficult to keep the patient, Shirley McKellar, from serving others. Some of her closest associates and most ardent volunteers today were other injured soldiers whom she met during those dark days while she was undergoing numerous surgeries and physical rehab.

Injured or not, she remained alert to the circumstance of others around her. She remained a thinker always looking for a solution. She was an "encourager".  She worked hard on her own rehabilitation, fighting her way back from injuries which often seemed insurmountable. She didn't fight just for her own recovery. Shirley was fighting for others, some of whom were too injured to fight for themselves.

Shirley has never been a person who fought just for herself. She is someone who always is extending an invitation to others "to get on the bus."  She has done that as an educator, as a founder/director of a Non-profit organization, as an military officer, as a wife and mother and grandmother and friend. "Until we all have succeeded-none of us have succeeded" and "Reach one, Teach one" are more than mottos for Shirley McKellar. 

Some solutions are "high tech" or require enormous co-operation and legal /legislative involvement.  However, there are some obstacles which deter people which can be solved with application of common sense and basic East Texas community co-operation when there is someone to lead. Frequently Shirley McKellar is the person who leads, who enlists others, who mentors, and who monitors until it is accomplished and implemented.

The US-TX First District has one of the state's highest rates of unemployment.
Shirley has worked consistently to create jobs and to enable people to get vocational training for available jobs. She problem-solves to remove obstacles preventing people from becoming or staying gainfully employed. As an R.N. she knew that there were jobs in the medical profession which were unfilled. She also knew there were jobs in the community working shift work or weekends. She heard the frustration of parents who needed work but did not have safe, appropriate child care for evening or weekends. Through her non-profit organization, she partnered with others to establish a 24/7 childcare center.  This fall she is launching a medical transcription school in Tyler to train people to fill some of those unfilled medical slots. These are things which she has accomplished as a private citizen. It frustrates her to see the Congressman from East Texas "grandstand for soundbites" and "neglect tackling issues which are truly life and death for East Texas families."  She is determined to change things for the better. She knows that she can do more for people as a member of Congress than as a private citizen.

Running for Congress has almost become a way of life in the McKellar household. Most candidates set-aside other community service and focus only on campaigning. McKellar campaigns while serving. She doesn't stop doing whatever she can to make things better. She doesn't stop meeting people and hearing their stories and viewpoints. She doesn't stop building and fine-tuning her campaign organization. She works the phone and internet as her driver shuttles her from one city to another, between places where she volunteers and serves on boards to campaign events and team meetings.

Education is a way of life in the McKellar household.  All children matter. Realizing that "education had to start earlier than the first grade and that much of the human brain is formed by age 3," Dr. McKellar and her friend,  Dr. Sally Sanders, RN, MSN, started an early childhood education school serving ages 6 Weeks-Kindergarten. They also launched an after school mentor-mentee program and provided care for children until midnight for the children of parents whose jobs required "shift work". It evolved into a different non-profit which employs social workers who provides service to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in 12 counties.

McKellar's husband, Bro.  Danny C. McKellar,  is an educator who retired from the  Dallas Independent School Systems, and  now serves on the pastoral staff of a church in Tyler as Minister of Christian Education. Juggling children, community, military service, church, and education was a constant in their household. Somehow they pulled it off and frequently amazed people with how effortlessly it appears from the outside. From the inside, there is teamwork and mutual affirmation. She is about building, nurturing, healing, leading. Both of their children are grown; now they have five grandchildren.

She leads a multi-ethnic rainbow coalition and resonates with people of all ages. She has friends and associates that stretch back to her public school days in Tyler or University or years while she was serving in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Some related to her because she shares their ethnicity and understands their history. Other gravitate to her because she is   "delightful, intelligent, accomplished, human and caring." Her staff have variations in skin color but share her determination to make things better for everybody. Instead of talking about what needs to be done, she attracts people who do what they can wherever they are to make things better while evaluating what needs to be done next.   
She doesn't want to just end the discrimination that shoved people to the back of the bus, she wants to help people overcome there not being a "bus to get on."  It is important to understand who we are and where we come from in order to find our way to a better tomorrow. It won't be done with hatred and name calling. It must be forged with respect and hard work. Earlier this year, she took a bus load of folks from East Texas to walk across the Selma Bridge. It would probably have been easier for her to just go with a friend or two or by herself. But is not who and what she is. It was wonderful for her to be able to share the experience with many who probably would have been unable to go if she had not "instigate it."


Instead of working to bring jobs to East Texas, the Republican Incumbent Louie Gohmert's positions frequently make it more difficult for employers to keep people working. For over two years he fought to close down the Export Import Bank. He called it "Corporate Welfare" even though not one cent of taxpayer money was required for its operation. In fact, the fees and interest charged foreign borrowers who utilized the bank's services to finance their purchases of goods and services produced by American businesses employing American workers generated a profit which was transferred to the U.S. Treasury. In 2014 over $674Bil went into the U.S. Treasury after all expenses were paid by the Export Import Bank. It made no sense for Gohmert and others (who frequently voted for tax breaks and subsidies for their pet industries) to target the Export Import Bank. Yet they did. One of the last acts on June 30th, before Congress adjourned for their break, was Gohmert, Jeb Hensarling, and others succeeding in blocking the renewal of the 81-year old Export Import Bank's charter.  There action is one which is causing American businesses to lose contracts to foreign competitors. It is  an act which,  in the short-term,  is costing the U.S. Treasury the millions of dollars a year in profits the bank earns on interest and fees and, if not rectified, will cost the American economy in the long-term. The immediate consequence was loss of several large contracts by American based manufacturers. Without these contracts, corporations are announcing lay-offs. Loss of one satellite contract is prompting Boeing to announce the cut of 3,300 American workers by December 2015. There are reports of similar job cuts in almost every state in the nation. Why? Because some members of Congress decided to end our nation's bank of last resort for exports.

This makes no sense to Shirley McKellar. She views it as "an unnecessary and illogical move. Instead of focusing on solving real problems and working to keep American jobs here, and working to create new jobs, Congressman Gohmert's position in the Export Import Bank is causing American manufacturers to have to turn to foreign governmental banks to finance their exports." These governments are requiring that their citizens are employed instead of American workers. Without jobs, people do not earn. Without earnings, people are not taxed. Without taxes, the government has greater deficits. It makes no sense to many people and it certainly makes no sense to this problem-solving, logical, intelligent, obstacle attacking former U.S.Army Nurse and Officer.

 Gohmert's time on the bench as a judge had been filled with controversy. Once he even overstepped his authority and ordered a couple to marry within 24 hours under duress. He promised to commute the man's sentence only if he married his girlfriend. McKellar saw a pattern of failing to follow the Constitution and failing to focus on solving the real problems facing people in East Texas from Congressman Gohmert.

2016  will be the third time she has challenged Louie Gohmert for the US-TX 1 seat in Congress. The first time, was a learning experience. The second time she was able to build a campaign organization. This time she is strengthening her organization and reinforcing her network.

She also is host or co-host of three radio shows per week. She recruits volunteers locally and nationally. Working from a virtual office in Kentucky, co-host Rhena Piegols is a key part of McKellar's campaign staff.  Traveling with her to many of her campaign events, Ellis County resident First Sargent (ret). Eddings is a familiar sight. They met in Brooks Medical Hospital, both injured soldiers who were helping others.

Her schedule is tight.  Between campaign events, she always sandwiches in service at the V.A. Hospital in Dallas. It is not unusual for her to drive from Tyler on Tuesday morning, serve at the V.A. Hospital in Dallas until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, make a meeting or two that afternoon, drive to East Texas and speak at a Club or Democratic or Community gathering in Tyler, Longview, Marshall, Carthage, Nacogdoches or Lufkin and return to Dallas on Wednesday to serve again at the V.A. Her newly redesigned campaign logo reflect the many hats and roles this multi-faceted human being brings to everything she does. She is the great great granddaughter of one of East Texas' noted rose growers. She described growing up on "500 acres of roses and cabbage" in an interview with Joan Hallmark of Channel 7-Tyler. Her family has been farmers in business in Smith County for over 5 generations. Several generations of her family owned and operated Mitchell Erwin Roses of East Texas, which was a major supplier for roses for Tyler's Rose parade. She says: "I learned from watching them. They started businesses and ran businesses and employed the family and other people."

She has a strong network of supporters in East Texas and a network that spans across the United States. From former military associates, to educators and medical associates, to leaders in numerous groups and associations, and listeners on her radio programs which are broadcast in the Tyler/ET market, and across then nation on Blog Talk USA, she engages people. As people grow to know her, her supporter base grows. She is an individual who does not accept what is "hard" as being "impossible." She sees working for improving things as a calling and refuses to be deterred. Every time Congressman Gohmert distorts the facts or lies to the media or the people of East Texas, it strengthens her resolve and energizes her to continue communicating with people, to continue doing what she can whenever she can to improve things, to continue treating people respectfully and fairly.

In July 2015 Gohmert addressed the Lions Club in Carthage and stated that "President Obama lied when he said no money would be transferred from Medicare to fund Obamacare." Gohmert continued, saying: "Over $70 Billion dollars over ten years was transferred from Medicare to pay for Obamacare." McKellar shook her head when asked about Gohmert's statement. No money was transferred form Medicare or Social Security to fund the Affordable Care Act. Gohmert knows this. He is probably counting   on retirees thinking that the rise in Social Security Supplement Insurance premiums in Texas is because "President Obama did something to cause it."

Dr. McKellar and others who have researched it know that Congressman Gohmert is misleading people. The rise in Social Security Premiums would be greater if the Affordable Care Act had not been enacted. It is based on the cost the insurance companies have to pay for medical services which are driven higher in proportion to the losses providers have to cover for service to uninsured patients. So where did Gohmert get the $70 Billion over ten years? It comes from an estimate of SAVINGS over ten years from improving the process which enables the government to detect Medicare Fraud. McKellar understand this, She knows her opponent. She knows health care. She understands the economic cause and effect of uninsured losses and the human costs of denial of access to medical care. She is appalled at the incumbent feeding the fear of senior citizens, his crass disregard for the truth, and his refusal to work to improve services which are lifelines for so many worthy Americans. She cannot change him. It merely makes her more determined to be better herself, to serve others, to respect our American process, to find solutions, and to Win so that she can do more for more people.

One difference between her 2016 Campaign and previous races is news coverage. She has continued building her coalition, strengthening her team, training and learning and teaching and sharing. Instead of contacting the media trying to get them to mention her, this year, the media contacts her. She has already been featured or included on more television interviews in the East Texas market this year than in her two previous campaigns combined. The January 2015 feature Joan Hallmark did on her for "Freedom Fighters" which aired on Channel 7 was excellent.  When Gohmert said he'd retire from Congress if the Iran Agreement became a Treaty she was interviewed again by Channel 7. "Skeptical. Of course I'm skeptical. He's just saying that to get news coverage." she said. "He doesn't intend to not run. I do agree with one thing he said. No one wants him in Washington anymore." She was referring to Gohmert's alienation of the Speaker of the House and G.O.P. party establishment. He is no longer chair or member of any important committees. When you challenge the Speaker of the House and lose, you become less effective at getting the job done for the people in your district. Gohmert only got 3 votes when he ran for Speaker in 2015.  He lost much more than he gained and with his decline, went opportunities to make substantive improvements for his district. His attempt to defund Homeland Security earlier this year led to the Republican American Action Network, the sister PAC of the Republican Congressional Leadershp Fund, spending $10K on digital advertising in his district. This was he first time that organization has advertised against one of their own party's incumbents.

The Longview News ran a story March  3, 2O15:
"After a week of legislative chaos over funding the Department of Homeland Security, a Republican group is taking aim at U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, in his East Texas district over his opposition to a DHS funding plan.
American Action Network, which calls itself a "center-right" advocacy group, has bought $10,000 worth of digital advertising in the district in the hope of building support for a congressional bill that will fund the Department of Homeland Security.
"Global threats against our security are increasing … and some in Washington are playing political games with our national security," the ad says. "Tell Congressman Gohmert: Fund Homeland Security."...
AAN and its sister Super PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, have unofficial ties with House GOP leadership. Former leadership staffers work for AAN and CLF, and House Speaker John Boehner participated in a CLF fundraiser in 2013, according to Politico.

Both organizations are capable of spending millions during campaign season. This is the first time either group used negative advertising against sitting members of the GOP."

The 2016 Campaign in East Texas will be interesting to watch. It is a rematch between the multi-term far right of center incumbent who has alienated the leadership of his own party and a highly decorated retired East Texas female soldier who considers getting fewer votes than her opponent on election day as "not as a defeat but as preparation for when I come back and win it."

Shirley McKellar:
Born: Tyler, Texas

Married: Danny C. McKellar
Parents of a son and a daughter and five grandchildren

Education: R.N., Nurse Clinician, PhD

Bachelors, Texas Women's University:  

Nursing and Chemistry
Masters, University of Texas, with honors: 

Community Health Nursing
Criminal Justice  

Organizational Speech Communications

Community Minority Business Advancement
Doctorate, Columbus College of Public Health and Administration: 
Nursing Management with Dissertation on "Spiritual in breast cancer patients" written at the UT Health Science Center, Tyler, TX  
Military Services: U.S. Army Nurse Corps, Major (ret.)

  • Served 18 years active duty
  • Deployed overseas for 18 months in support of, "Operation Iraqi Freedom," and "Operation Enduring Freedom," serving in combat zone medical units in Iraq and at the U.S. Military Hospital in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Served as Major (rank 66 H-8A,MOS for the 94th Combat Support Hospital, Seagoville, TX. 
  • Served as the Officer-in-Charge of Combat Life Saving School,
    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),
    Consideration of Others 
  • Served as Unit Sexual Harassment Team Officer
Member or serves with:
American Biographical Institute Research AssociatioAmerican Business Women's Association
National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer
National Black Nurses Association

The Intercultural Cancer Association 
National Sisters Network, (cancer awareness for black women)

American Biographical Institute Research Association

American Business Women's Association

Texas Democratic Women

North Tenneha Church of Christ

Numerous Veterans organizations

Radio Talk Show Host:
          Radio KGLD 13.30 AM  at Thursday noon , "A View From The Top," covering local and national topics
         "Marvelous Monday's with Dr. Shirley J. McKellar" on Blog Talk USA, Monday from  8 to 10 pm CST
          RGLO Baltimore, MD , co-host "Wellness Wednesdays with Donny Walker",  8 a.m. CST.

Two Texas Democratic women have declared their candidacy for U.S. Congress in 2016. The Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC has an appeal for funding for these two candidates. With one click a donor can contribute directly to these two candidate's campaign and assist the Federal multi-candidate PAC in its assistance to non-incumbent progressive Democrats who are challenging Republican/ Tea Party congressional incumbents in Texas' currently red Congressional Districts.

 Donors can use debit or credit cards or pay pal securely on-line.

To contribute to McKellar for Congress campaign from her website:
To contribute to the two women (McKellar and Caiden) running in Texas and to the Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC (which supports them and other progressive challengers running against incumbent Republicans for Congressional Seats in Texas with one click:
(Note: the part that is given to the candidates using this form does not count against the $5000 per candidate cap per election the PAC can give to them).
To contribute to the two former officers (McKellar and Cozad) running for Congress in Texas and to the Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC with one click:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

New Authors have been invited to contribute to "Reclaiming the Texas Turf"

By Faith Chatham - September 19, 2015
"Reclaiming the Texas Turf" was established in 2008 as a sister site to "Wise Women Won't Wait Any More", "Grassroots News U Can Use" and "About Air and Water".

During periods of intense political campaign activity in Texas, we have used these sites to communicate about issues and candidates who often were ignored by the "main-stream media."

Behind the scenes for years Steve Blair assisted with these sites. My name was usually more prominent, but his hand and brain was always there feeding me research and serving as a sounding board.  With his illness and death, and my involvement as Chief of Staff for a U.S. Congressional Campaign in 2014, these sites frequently grew stale and/or were neglected.

This year is an important election year. With the launch of the Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC in February, my calendar remains full. It is essential that we communicate to Texans and to the nation about Texas Progressives who are fighting on the ground to regain the Texas Turf, to return our nation to the people and to the values upon which our nation is founded, and to take back control of our political system from a few deep-pocketed multi-billionaires.

Instead of attempting to be the "gatekeeper" for these sites, I am opening them up to various trusted progressive leaders who are either running for public office in 2016, actively engaged in political organizing in their communities, or are folks who I know who are "in the know" and have constructive news to share.

The posts will be from the viewpoint of the poster and frequently will probably vary from my own political position or that of others associated with "Reclaiming the Texas Turf."  Comments will remain moderated. This is necessary to screen out spam.

These changes are being made to enable a fuller use of a resource which has informed, created dialogue and occasionally inspired. Hopefully, by engaging these new contributors, we will be able to inform more people about more things before it is too late to act and make a difference.

If you have received an invitation to contribute to this site and need assistance, please contact Faith Chatham.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cargas kicks off his 2016 Congressional Campaign Sept. 20th

James Cargas, Houston Assistant Attorney, and former member of Bill Clinton's Energy Department has John Culberson's Congressional seat in view. Cargas differs with Culberson on jobs. Culberson's opposition to renewal of the 81 year old Export Import Bank's charter has cost some of America's largest employers and many middle and small American firms contracts. Lay-offs have been announced and thousands of American workers have been informed that they will be getting "pink slips" by the end of the year.  Cargas will fight to keep American jobs here and will work to create more jobs. 

Cargas ran in 2014 and was endorsed by numerous publications and city and state leaders.

Texas needs Gallego back in the U.S. Congress

It takes more than ambition to serve a 29 County 48,000 square mile district.
Republican Hurd tried and has failed. It is time for Texans to return Pete Gallego to Congress. Pete combines an incredible heart for the people, logic and intelligence with integrity and common sense. Gallego is the leader Texas needs serving us in Washington.

Texans Uniting to Push Back Tea Party /GOP Congressional Incumbents.

Stop Republican Men from Determining Our Priorities and Setting our Nation's Agenda

Shirley McKellar and Tawana Cadien have campaigns on the ground working to win U.S. Congressional seats occupied by Texas Republican men. Tawana is challenging Mike McCaul (of Clear Channel and i-heart Media family money) and Shirley is challenging Louie Gohmert.  Gohmert is so "infamous" for his lies that he is referred to by some as "Louie, Louie, Liar, Liar."

With one click you can contribute directly to the McKellar and Cadien Campaigns and to the Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC (a federal multi-candidate pac which supports Federal Candidates challenging GOP incumbents for U.S. Congressional seats in Texas Districts.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Brains and Eggs: #FightBackTexas

Brains and Eggs: #FightBackTexas: Reading this is like reliving it.  It's a powerful testament to everyone who pushed back against the radical right last summer.  Here&...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

'Turn Red Seats Blue and END the Obstruction in Congress'

'Turn Red Seats Blue and END the Obstruction in Congress': We're fundraising at ActBlue for Turn Red Seats Blue and END the Obstruction in Congress

I'm supporting David E. Cozad for U.S. Congress. We must elect at least 7 more Democrats to Congress from Texas to change the 3R:1D ratio in our State's Congressional delegation so that important priorities for our state get funded.

NO Texas districts are Targeted Red to Blue by the DCCC so Texas's Democratic nominees will not get funding through the National Democratic Party. For Texans to determine our own fate, we must do this ourselves.

If you, like me, are one of the fortunate Texans who live is a Democratic Congressional District, please support your incumbent and help your neighbors in a Red District send another Texas Democrat to Congress.

Give whatever you can.






Friday, June 6, 2014

Davis campaign agrees to date for gubernatorial debate in Rio Grande Valley - The Monitor: Elections

Davis campaign agrees to date for gubernatorial debate in Rio Grande Valley - The Monitor: Elections

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brains and Eggs: Nobody likes Barry Smitherman

Brains and Eggs: Nobody likes Barry Smitherman: It's not just the residents of Azle and elsewhere in Frackland, but also the media and even a few Republicans.  Let's see what&#39...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Water! Water! It's about Water and Education for Texas Senate District 9 Candidate

By Faith Chatham - Jan. 13, 2014
Gregory R. Perry is a quiet-spoken intelligent man. When asked why he is running for Texas Senate District 9, he replied: "Mainly Anger!"
When he begins talking about public policy and how it impacts his grandchildren, it becomes clear that Gregory R. Perry is determined to change the course of Texas public policy. Gregory is convinced that the trajectory of this state is at odds with the opportunities facing his grandchildren and their generations. Gregory R. Perry is a man with a purpose and he knows what must be done and is ready to get to work seeing that it gets done!
1. Education - "Without education no one is going anywhere!" Perry says that even highway funding is inconsequential if we do not educate our children. He is running in an urban district (Arlington,  Irving, Grand Prairie and the Mid-Cities) which has over 89,000 adults who have not graduated from High School.  Unopposed in the Democratic Primary, Gregory R. Perry is facing incumbent Kelly Hancock (R) in the General Election. Hancock voted to slash school funding in 2011 while in the Texas House. In the Senate he has done little or nothing to restore the funding or to strengthen the public education system in Texas. In the Senate, Hancock opposed Equal Pay for Equal Work for women.

2. Public Infrastructure - especially Water - For Gregory Perry it comes down to energy and water. The U.S. Government stopped building reservoirs in the 1980s. The Reagan administration tried to privatize building water reservoir. Perry, retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, specialized in water management and river engineering. He says that until the Reagan administration, the Army Corps of Engineers built three reservoirs per decade to keep up with water demands from population growth and expanded industrial usage. When Reagan tried to sell of the reservoirs and speculated that future reservoirs could be constructed by private corporations, they failed to factor in the impact of flood control and sovereignty.

Only the United States Government can claim sovereignty. When reservoirs have to open the floodgates in exercising flood control, the government can defend itself from law suits because of sovereignty. A private company cannot. Therefore, it is too big a risk for private corporations to invest in reservoirs. There is a water crisis in Texas and it will not get better. Deferring investment in water solutions -- long term investment in infrastructure is imperative for the quality of life and economic future of North Texans. Gregory R. Perry worked on the Joe Pool Lake, Lake of the Pines, Sam Rayburn, and Lake of the Pines Corps of Engineers water management projects. He understand water and he knows Texas aquifers. With the stress of trillions of gallons of water used by horizontal drilling/fracking in Texas during drought, water is a priority for this next legislative session. He has worked on the rivers and lakes of Texas and now Gregory R. Perry is prepared to bring solutions to the floor for consideration.

Commenting on the power plants which went off-line during the January cold spell, Perry explains that these plants are coal power plants and it takes longer for a coal plant to come on-line. Water powered power plants come on-line rapidly. However, in Texas we do not have the water to power new hydro powered plants.

We have to think ahead and be innovative and apply sustainable energy solutions throughout the state. "Fossil fuel is a limited resource. We must shift to renewable energy for powering our homes and businesses and save the petro chemicals for producing plastics." Perry sees the current use of fossil fuel as "squandering resources which are too precious to use on generating electricity."

3. Equal Pay for Equal Work - Gregory Perry says that failure to index the minimum wage to inflation has eroded the financial base of families and transferred costs to the government which should be included in the cost of business when making a profit. In Senate District 9, over 48% of the households in the district live on less than $50,000 a year.  About 45% of the households in the District are renters. The median gross rent is $850 a month. Transportation cost is high. The Texas Legislative Council estimates that 110,536 people were living in poverty in Senate District 9 in 2011 and the per capita income is estimated as $25,046. Gregory R. Perry believes all workers should be fairly compensated. Gender and racial workplace discrimination must stop. The percentage of Latino and African American workers are three times more likely to live in poverty than Anglo workers. Texas has a higher employment rate than many other states but 28.6% of Texas jobs are low-wage. Gregory R. Perry says that "Trickle-down economic is a dismal failure. Money flows to the top one percent and American jobs have gone off-shore. Money hasn't trickled down to the middle class. The earning of many of the middle class is now below the poverty level." Gregory Perry cites a 2011 U.S. Census Bureau report that the number of families living in poverty in the United States is now at the highest level in 50 years.

Perry sees education as the big divide between economic stability and opportunity.  The Texas Legislative Council reports 26.6% of the adults in Senate District 9 have Bachelor's Degrees or higher. However, 18.1% of the adults 25 years and older do not have high school diplomas. Many of the 45.8% of the district which have graduated from High School have difficulty affording a college education. In 2011 only 45,613 persons in the district were in college, attending university or trade schools. Gregory R. Perry says that lack of education combined with racial and gender discrimination in pay rates and job opportunities impacts the poverty level in the district. When families earn less, they have less to spend. This impacts the retail, housing and wholesale sectors of the district and impacts the overall economics of the region.

Gregory R. Perry does not think in sound-bites. He thinks like an engineer who is interested in macro economics. He views the big picture and looks for short-term solutions as a bridge while  long-term investments can be implemented to prevent future problems.

I found the conversations with Mr. Perry very stimulating. He does not duck and hide from the difficult questions. He is a family man who thinks of the future instead of just trying to put a band-aide on current problems. I find him refreshingly honest and intelligent. He is not a politician. He's neither polished nor evasive! He does have a plan and he has purpose. I like him. He is worth giving serious consideration for replacing the current incumbent in Senate District 9.

Visit his website at


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tx Lt. Gov. Race in Democratic Primary Gives Texas a Choice Between Two Strong Texas Leaders: Alvarado and Van de Putte are candidiates to Watch

Alvarado Spoke in Lubbock:
Alvarado to Austin: All we want is our fair share

Alvarado will face Leticia Van De Putte in primary

Alvarado to Austin: All we want is our fair share | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Maria Luisa Alvarado says she is ready to flip Austin on its head and be the politician who represents the people's interests.
“I bring a message from the people: All we want is our fair share,” she said.
Alvarado is a Democratic candidate for the lieutenant governor’s job held by Republican David Dewhurst since 2003. Dewhurst faces three other Republican candidates for his party’s nomination in the March 4 primary. Alvarado's visit came the same day State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, announced her candidacy for lieutenant governor.
“It’s taken a lot of cooperation to bring Ms. Alvarado here today,” said Kenny Ketner, Lubbock County Democratic Party chairman.
Alvarado spoke to a small group of people at the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union No. 629 at 20th Street and Avenue J on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 23.
“She was a nominee in 2006,” said Fidel Acevedo, outreach coordinator for the campaign. “We were there with her then, we’re there with her now and we’re going to carry her to another nominee position.”
The retired Air Force master sergeant ran for lieutenant governor in 2006 and for the U.S. House in 2012 for Texas’ 35th district. She was defeated in the 2012 primary.
Alvarado said she is running another grassroots campaign and will not accept endorsements from corporations on this run either. The only support from organizations she has accepted has come from unions, she said.
“But the choice was this: ‘Do we go ahead and buy into special interest now and compromise already or do we stay with the people?’” Alvarado said. “And that’s what we did.”
She came to the union hall without a prepared speech and instead challenged the audience to have a conversation with her.
Questions ranged from voter ID laws to undocumented residents.
When asked about immigration issues, Alvarado said she recently attended a conference on the subject. She said many of the immigrants told her they were hard-working people who couldn’t understand why they couldn’t get a driver’s license.
“I’m listening to all these folks, and I’m also listening to the panel,” Alvarado said. “And basically, they’re all saying we’d like to help you, but there’s these things called laws.”
Alvarado doesn’t believe this is true. Texas would have a law on the books that allows undocumented residents to get driver’s licenses if Gov. Rick Perry hadn’t vetoed the legislation, she said.
“This is all in mind of one set of individuals that have a certain perspective about immigration,” Alvarado said.
The San Antonio resident said undocumented residents contribute to the nation's economy and want to make the country better.
“They live here. We can’t ignore them,” she said. “We can’t send them back.”
Alvarado said undocumented residents who spoke at the conference she attended were passionate people with good values. She said they were the kind of people she would want to represent her.
“Imagine what they would do if they started voting,” Alvarado said.
Immigration reform is needed, Alvarado said, and it’s been on Congress’ desk for a number of years. Leaders need to look at immigration reform from a positive stance.
“They’ve just sort of put Band-Aid over Band-Aid, and to really do a good job, it really requires knowing about all the people out there,” she said.  • 766-2159  Follow Jennifer on Twitter

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Watch this Blog - 2013 will be an exciting election cycle

By Faith Chatham - Arlington, TX - Nov. 21, 2013

I write when I have something to say. From 2011-present I didn't blog a lot. It was usually about the air, water or an EPA hearing. It was usually more germane to "About Air and Water" or "DFW Regional Concerned Citizens" of "Preventable Pipeline Hazards" so it went on those blogs. Even though a lot happened with insurance and healthcare,  my own hospitalizations and surgeries prevented me from covering those issues. But this is a new year. It's a new election cycle.

It is obvious that 2013 is off to an OUTSTANDING start. From the moment Senator Wendy Davis rocketed into the minds of people around the world standing in the Texas Senate in her pink running shoes, it has been obvious that this is definitely not a "business as usual, boring old election cycle."

More Democrats have declared for office in Tarrant County, especially in Districts in Arlington, than I have witnessed since Ronald Reagan took office! The caliber of expertise and credentials and campaigning skill displayed among most of the first-time candidates impresses me. The Republican Primary is also lively. Tea Party candidates are challenging Republican Incumbents. Non- Tea Party Republicans are challenging Tea Party incumbents. A lot of races this year are worth watching.

Some of my favorite candidates from previous election cycles have already declared their intention to run again. Maria Luisa Alvarado, 2006 Democratic Nominee for Lt. Governor is already campaigning hard. She launched her campaign website ONE TEXAS FOR ALL.NET.

 Sen. Leticia Van de Putte has announced for Lt. Governor. For the first time in the history of the Texas Democratic Party, two strong Texas women who are both proven leaders will b. e going head-to-head, each presenting her case as to why she is the best choice for Texans as Lt. Governor. I'm enthusiastic about this race. I expect both women to expand the base of people voting Democratic with their campaigns.

Dale Henry has decided to try again to show Texas voters why they should elect a person with his knowledge and expertise in preventing Oil and Gas spills and water contamination to the Texas Rail Road Commission instead of the people that Republicans have chosen to fill those slots for decades. Each time Mr. Henry has run, he has educated Texans on the industry and the importance of sensible regulation to prevent water depletion and /or contamination.

Reclaiming the Texas Turf and Grassroots News U Can Use are two blogs where we'll be covering some of these very interesting races. There are a lot of other progressive political blogs in Texas. Perry Dorrell's Brains and  Eggs is one of my personal favorites.  David Van Os blogs as Notes from a Texas Patriot.

When it comes to issues, there are a number of excellent environmental writers. Texas Sharon remains among the best with BlueDaze.  Here in the Barnett Shale, there are a number of citizens who have turned activist and are communicating by blogs. Some of the best include:  Westchester GasetteFishCreek MonitorFort Worth CanDo,   Dallas Drilling Blog, Dallas Residents At Risk Fort Worth Follies.

On transportation, there is the Texas Democratic Pork Barrel Caucus which is a private facebook group which Texans who vote in the Democratic Primaries can ask to  join. Out of San Antonio there is a "non partisan" pac lead by Republican Terry Hall called Texas Turf. In addition to some of Texas's "Innovative financing -leveraged toll projects proving to be unprofitable and projected to go "belly up" by the summer of 2014, there are other interesting developments with Texas Roads. The wear and tear from gas production vehicular traffic has worn out a number of Texas' Farm to Market Roads. TxDOT proposes to widen them and to convert paved roads to unpaved roads.  The folks who live on those roads and have to drive long ways to shop and go to work and to the doctor and to school are "none too pleased" to say the very least at the prospect of their roads being converted to a gravel like asphalt composite because the state has mis-managed the funds they charged the gas drillers and/or transferred those dollars to other uses rather than maintaining existing roads. We'll cover that in more depth later.

Join us and KEEP WATCHING! It's already off to an exciting year.