Annie’s List Legislative Champions: Effective Against Extreme Odds

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Ed. Note: Thanks to Annie’s List for this guest post.

A recent report released by Annie’s List showed Annie’s List-endorsed legislators to be just as effective as their peers – something that is remarkable given the extreme odds they face at the Texas Capitol.

Given “effectiveness” at the Texas Legislature could be analyzed in countless ways, Annie’s List chose a straight-forward measure: the number of introduced bills authored and passed.  This snapshot provides a conservative look into the ability of members to create public policy through their own bills. This analysis does not taken into account other measures such as the ability of members to jointly author bills, utilize the budget process and amendments, or their ability to stop public policy from being created. These other measures are impossible to compare throughout the legislature, but should not be overlooked when taking a larger look at a legislator’s impact.

An important piece of background to consider is that Annie’s List-endorsed legislators currently account for 13 of 181 legislators. Additionally, Annie’s List-endorsed legislators are all Democrats and, except Representative Donna Howard, are all women of color.

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The recent report also showed Annie’s List-endorsed legislators as effective on a wide array of issues; 45% of their legislation in the 84th Session focused on Annie’s List issues.

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Still, even by the most conservative measure, while working as minorities in a majority-led body, carrying legislation that an out-of-touch majority party considers unfavorable, Annie’s List-endorsed legislators were just as effective than the body as a whole at passing legislation.

Annie’s List Executive Director, Patsy Woods Martin remarked on the findings, “It’s a fact: Texas women are smart, tough and effective.” Woods Martin continued, “We commend the small but mighty delegation of Annie’s List-endorsed legislators, who not only deliver the State’s business, but also push the pendulum towards a less extreme government.” Woods Martin concluded, “As we celebrate their heroic accomplishments, we’re reminded they need more like-minded colleagues. Our work is far from over, but I remain hopeful and energized when I look towards 2016 – and beyond.”

To read more about Annie’s List and the small, but mighty delegation of Annie’s List-endorsed legislators at the Texas Legislature, click here.


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