by Gilberto Hinojosa
for the “Progressive Views” column, Boerne Star, June 12, 2020
Gilberto Hinojosa, the chair of the Texas Democratic Party, offered this address to open the Texas Democratic Convention, held virtually from June 1-6.—Kendall County Democratic Party
In recent months, you’ve seen the many flaws in our system exposed in an entirely new way. But as usual, the Republicans in charge aren’t focused on helping the historic number of people waiting in line at their local food bank, trying to get medical care when they’re sick, or filing for unemployment. For Donald Trump, Greg Abbott, John Cornyn, and Dan Patrick, it has always been about protecting their stock portfolios and billionaire donors. As hard as it may seem, we must rise above their cheap tactics and their hateful divisiveness. We must continue to fight for the world that we believe in, that we know we can achieve. What we Texas Democrats are building is progressive, it’s diverse, it’s hopeful, and during this year’s Texas Democratic Convention, we’re demonstrating to the people of our great state just how obtainable our vision for the future is.
Every day, little by little, our movement grows and our cries for justice grow louder. This election is not just about winning. This election is about justice, equality, and hope.
We demand justice for all of the Texans who felt abandoned by their government during the coronavirus pandemic. For those families that didn’t know how they were going to care for a loved one because Governor Abbott refused to expand Medicaid. For those Texans who died of COVID-19 because of Donald Trump’s inability to lead a nation through a crisis, we see you, and we’re never going to stop fighting for you. We demand equality because health care is a fundamental human right for all, not a privilege for those who can afford it. Texas is the uninsured capital of the nation, and during a global pandemic, having access to health care is the difference between life and death, especially in communities of color.
We’re building a future that is hopeful, because it’s time we have leaders who are intent on bringing communities together and unifying Americans, not tearing us apart. To those Texans who lost hope, we see you, and we’re never going to stop fighting for you.
We’re here today because we’re fighting for our future. We’re electing the Democratic leaders who are going to make the American people believe again. The challenge that lies before us is not an easy one. Turning Texas blue requires every single Texas Democrat to be unified in their dedication to building and fostering a new Texas. Our state produced Democratic trailblazers like President Johnson; Emma Tenayuca, who was a union activist fighting for pecan workers in San Antonio; Barbara Jordan; Mickey Leland; and the great Ann Richards. Our state is one of the most diverse in America. We owe it to our friends, our families, and our communities to fight for a Texas that is fair, free, and full of opportunity.
Between now and November, the Texas Democratic Party, alongside every volunteer, county party, and Democratic candidate, will fight harder than we’ve ever thought possible because we know this is our moment. Republicans are scared. We are on the cusp of victory; it is within our reach. Texas is the biggest battleground state in America. We will continue to register voters at a historic pace, protect ballot access across Texas, uplift Democratic nominees, and build the strongest statewide coordinated campaign this state and this nation has ever seen. Between now and November, we will clear the way for blue Texas up and down the ballot. Our movement is stronger every single day. We aren’t just riding the blue wave, we are building it. We are fighting for the Texas we all believe in.
This is the year Texas turns blue. This is the year we save our great state and in turn, save the entire nation. We are ready for November. Let’s take the Texas House. Let’s send more Democrats to Congress. Let’s take out John Cornyn, and let’s elect a Democratic president. Let’s turn Texas blue.
To learn more about how to get involved, visit www.kcdems.us
Gilberto Hinojosa is the chair of the Texas Democratic Party