Attorney General Greg Abbott made a campaign pit stop in my hometown of El Paso earlier this week on Tuesday. At the home of a businesswoman in an intimate gathering, Abbott acknowledged that women will have a huge impact in the 2014 gubernatorial election. This is something that polls have revealed, stories have covered, and Abbott discovered early on thanks to his own misogynistic blunders in the months leading up to Wendy Davis announcing for Governor.
But now that the respective campaigns have launched, it was time for Abbott to make his first of what will be many attempts to appeal to the female voting block.
At this small fundraiser in a strongly Democratic city in one his most broad statements yet, Abbott said “I'm proud to say there is nobody in the state of Texas who has done more to fight to help women than I have in the past decade.” He cited efforts to fight domestic violence, human trafficking, and collecting child support as evidence.
Apparently, based on this comment, we are supposed to believe that Abbott is a woman-supporting warrior. Fortunately, El Pasoans (and Texans) know better. We know that Abbott is one of the people who has hurt female-identified people the most in Texas over the past decade because of his adamant opposition to comprehensive reproductive health care, his support of closing much-needed clinics, and efforts to assist reducing their funding around the state. But that is scratching the surface. There is even more to reveal in the case against Greg Abbott, and why we need Wendy Davis for all of Texas.
Read more on how Greg Abbott doesn't understand women, El Paso, and what people are doing in that West Texas town to elect Wendy Davis.While Greg Abbott cited his work against domestic violence as a key piece in his efforts to fight for Texas women, he has stood firm for loose firearm regulations, despite the fact studies have shown the risk of homicide against women increases 500 percent when a gun is present in domestic violence situations.
In a must-read piece by RH Reality Check reporter Andrea Grimes, it's easy to see how the loopholes for firearms allowed by our state have kept firearms in the hands of domestic abusers, causing the untimely deaths of their partners. As Grimes reports, the FBI estimates that 38% fewer women are shot and killed by abusive partners in states where a background check is required for every handgun sale- something not happening in Texas, or supported by our current leadership.
This is an issue while not adequately addressed on the statewide level, has been focused on in areas like El Paso. RH Reality Check also reports how District Judge Patricia Macias organized the Domestic Violence Firearm Surrendor Advisory Committee to establish protocols for the surrender of weapons possessed by domestic abusers.
This successful project is one example of a lawmaking body recognizing the lack of protocol involving domestic abusers and their possession of weapons. Now, El Paso and other areas have adopted practices for law enforcement to better flag when and how they can confiscate weapons from domestic abusers.
If Abbott wanted to “fight for women” as he said, he would acknowledge this dangerous connection and that the lax gun laws in Texas have done nothing to help reduce domestic violence and their fatalities in this state.
On top of that, two of the more well-known issues that Abbott has pushed strongly for have an extremely negative impact on people in El Paso, which includes his support for discriminatory Voter ID laws, and opposition to the expansion of health care under the Affordable Care Act. Both of which continue to oppress the large population of uninsured, low income, mostly Latino/a residents in the community.
With these things in mind, it makes more sense why Abbott chose to meet with a small, closed group of wealthy supporters- because the El Paso community at large is mobilizing in full force for Wendy Davis, a candidate who would be an immense benefit to this community.
Since this summer, there has been exponential growth of activism in the El Paso area. The El Paso Young Democrats have resurged in high turnout for several events and forums to engage youth in the community and progressives of all ages. A Political Action Committee was formed from the Stand With El Paso Women collective to financially support legislators who advocate for comprehensive reproductive health care. These coalitions are building a strong foundation to engage and turn out the voices of people in this state who have long been ignored by the current state leadership, and need to be heard.
“El Pasoans deserve a governor who is willing to stand up for each and every Texan, not just a select few. Time and time again Senator Davis has proven herself to be a fighter for Texas families and someone who is not scared to stand up against the out-of-touch politics of the Republican Party” El Paso Young Democrats Victor Reyes said. “It's important that El Paso shows its support for Senator Davis from the second that she announces her intentions.”
El Paso, and the rest of Texas, needs a leader like Wendy Davis. Give what you can to help these efforts, and send Wendy Davis to the Governor's mansion.
Special thanks to the following blogs who are participating in the #GiveToWendy blograiser:
Ann Friedman * Behind Frenemy Lines * Brains and Eggs * Brittanie Shey * Burnt Orange Report * Concerned Citizens * DailyKos * Dos Centavos * Eclectablog * Egberto Willies * Eye on Williamson * Feminist Justice League * Feministing * Greg's Opinion * In The Pink * Jessica Luther * Juanita Jean's * Julie Gillis * Letters from Texas * Mean Rachel * Nerdy Feminist * Nonsequiteuse * Rude Pundit * Sensing Place * Texas Leftist * TexPatriate * The Oeditrix * The South Lawn * The Texas Monitor * Too Twisted for Color TV
You can also follow the action on the hashtag #GiveToWendy.