Progressive Views: “We Fight for Human Rights:” The Texas Democratic Convention

By Laura Bray
expanded version of the “Progressive Views” column, Boerne Star, July 29, 2022

Five Kendall County Democrats attending the 2022 Texas Democratic Convention
Five Kendall County Democrats attending the 2022 Texas Democratic Convention

[Author’s Note: This is an expanded version of the column that appeared in the Boerne Star on July 29.]

From July 14-16, five Kendall County Democrats attended the 2022 Texas Democratic Convention in Dallas. These five ladies joined a diverse crowd of thousands of other Democrats from across the state. Throughout the event, leading state Democrats shared their vision of how to create a more equitable and stronger Texas. Here are some of the best quotes:

“Action is the antidote to anger. We all want to work for world-class schools, the ability to see a doctor, the best jobs in the country. Imagine a government that pays teachers enough so they don’t have to work a second job and listens to them when they say that the STAAR test doesn’t work and we need to get rid of it. Imagine a government that will make sure we don’t drive businesses away by engaging in a culture war. Imagine a government that will make sure Texas is an affordable place to live. Who will fight until we take the actions needed to stop future mass shootings? The answer to this moment is action. It’s talking to our fellow Texans and getting them to vote.” –Beto O’Rourke, nominee for governor

“Texas must lead the energy revolution. As lieutenant governor, I will lead the fight to amend the Texas Constitution to ban private school vouchers forever. Our cherished teachers change people’s lives. I will fight to make sure we have the best public schools in the nation.”—Mike Collier, nominee for Lieutenant Governor

“No one, however humble, is beneath the protection of the law, and no one, no matter how powerful, is above its reach. Let’s fight for the Texas we deserve.”—Rochelle Garza, nominee for Attorney General

“We have the highest CO2 emissions in the country. We lead the nation in billion-dollar natural disasters. We are 44th in K-12 per-pupil spending. The power of the General Land Office can prepare us for the future, to be a force of good for all Texans. We can and should lead the way in harnessing our abundant natural resources to benefit every person in this state. As Texans, we take care of our home and other Texans.”—Jay Kleberg, nominee for Land Commissioner

“I’ve seen how Democratic policies like rural electrification lift up rural America. This office is about more than cattle and cotton. It’s about school lunches and saving rural hospitals. I’ll fight for rural healthcare and sustainable agriculture. Democrats fight for human rights, we respect ethics and the rule of law. Texas is broken, and we are here to fix it.”—Susan Hays, nominee for Agriculture Commissioner

“I’m running because I’m sick and tired of watching the people in power run our state into the ground. It shouldn’t be a partisan issue to keep the lights on. Texas is the energy capital of the world—so why is our grid constantly on the edge of collapse? We can lower our CO2 emissions… winning this race [and enforcing existing rules]. You shouldn’t have to live in fear that the grid will fail every time it’s too hot or too cold.”—Luke Warford, nominee for Railroad Commission (which regulates the oil and gas industry, not railroads)

“Who better than a Certified Public Accountant to make sure we have accountability? Texas needs a watchdog, and we got ourselves a lapdog. The Comptroller is supposed to be responsible for renewable energy development. But [the incumbent] is threatening to claw back state contracts for companies trying to diversify their energy portfolio into renewable energy. I believe in expanding rural broadband, fully funding public education, creating well-paying jobs, and fixing the grid and fixing it smart. Government exists to provide services. Instead, we’re 45th in public education, we’re 43rd in public health, we’re 41st in air and water quality. We’re the second largest economy in the nation; we deserve world-class services.”—Janet Dudding, nominee for Comptroller 

“We need to focus on people who don’t vote and explain to them how their vote can make a difference. When I block walked, I found a lot of conservatives who are angry about the Dobbs decision [overturning Roe v Wade] and the lack of action on gun safety. They’re beginning to realize that they have been voting in a way that jeopardizes their best interests. Don’t leave this Convention without a plan to talk to voters and convince them to vote in their best interests in November.”—Erin Zweiner, Texas House District 45

“You have proven that our Democratic values have a home here in Texas. If we want to keep moving forward, we have to win in November. We need to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is working hand-in-glove with the Texas Democratic Party (TDP). We are supporting your Voter Protection team to help every eligible Texan to vote. The DNC provided additional funding during the cycle to help TDP with voter registration efforts in Black, AAPI, and Latino communities. The DNC will provide TDP with funding for additional staff focused on engaging communities of color. In November, we vote for a Texas where anything is possible and where the rights of all are protected.”—Jaime Harrison, Chair, Democratic National Committee

“We have to vote like our freedoms are on the line, like our kids’ lives are on the line. Gun violence is a public health crisis, which means gun violence can be prevented. ‘More guns’ is not the answer. Guns are the #1 cause of death for kids in the United States. For our children’s sakes, we need to pass common sense gun safety solutions. Things like requiring universal background checks for all firearm sales, raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21, implementing red flag laws, banning assault rifles like we did in the 1990s, and regulating high-capacity magazines for civilians. Texas Democrats have fought for these ideas for years in every single session.”—César Blanco, Texas Senate District 29

“We’re rising up because our families should be able to survive a day at school, a religious service, or a trip to the grocery store.” —Kristy Noble, Dallas County Democratic Chair

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.”—Martin Luther King, “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”

“We must do everything possible to make sure that all Texans have a fair shot and can live their lives without government interference into their private lives. Let’s ruffle some feathers together. I’m proud to be part of a party that embraces diversity and inclusion and fights for every single Texan.”—Jessica González, Texas House District 104

(Referring to the need to expand Medicaid:) “Over 20 hospitals have closed throughout rural Texas. We are hindering people’s abilities getting the healthcare they need and we’re losing good jobs, which affects our economic development.”—Zebrina Robertson, Chair, Bowie County Democratic Party

“In this state it’s easier to purchase a gun and harder to vote.”—Ron Reynolds, Texas House District 27

“Let’s keep weapons of war out of our schools and accurate history books in them. We don’t just fight when we’re the favorites. Let me remind you that it was underdogs who fought for and secured union rights. It was second-class citizens who fought against and defeated segregation.”—Chris Hollins, TDP Vice-Chair for Finance

“The few are once again trying to dominate the many. There’s something about living in a red state that makes you scrappy. Texas Democrats know how to fight. When I was 5 years old, my mom told me, ‘We are Democrats because Democrats fight for the people.’”—James Talarico, Texas House District 52

The time to get involved is now. For more information on how to elect new leadership this fall or how to get involved, call our office at 830-331-1243 or visit

Laura Bray is Chair of the Kendall County Democratic Party.

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