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Username: Shelby Alexander
PersonId: 7886
Created: Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 02:32 PM CDT
Shelby Alexander's RSS Feed
Web Page: https://twitter.com/ShelbyLAlex

Bio:
A proud native El Pasoan and current Austinite, Shelby works for progressive change in Texas in government and grassroots activism. Shelby is especially passionate about reproductive justice, intersectionality, and racial and gender equality.

Out-of-State Charter School Group Campaigns for Ramon Romero, Lon Burnam's Opponent in HD-90


by: Shelby Alexander

Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 10:30 AM CST


As previously reported, longtime State Representative and progressive leader Lon Burnam is being challenged in a heated primary for HD-90 by Ramon Romero, who a history of donating to Republican candidates. Now, an out-of-state charter school advocacy group run primarily by Wall Street bankers is funding mailers for Romero.

Lon Burnam has been a watchdog for public education, carefully monitoring charter school expansion in Texas. He has an established record prioritizing public education for all students in his district, knowing well how lack of oversight of charter schools, as well as their expansion, can affect his district.

Education Reform Now, a New York-based charter school group, has dropped two district-wide mailers supporting Burnam's opponent. This group has worked actively in other states to push for the expansion of charter schools. From their website:

ERN-WA helped lead the coalition that campaigned successfully for the passage of a public charter school initiative in November 2012. Not only has Washington State lifted its ban on public charter schools, but thanks to ERN's work, it now has one of the strongest charter school laws in the country.

Read more about Representative Burnam's strong record on charter school accountability and his support of public schools below the jump:

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Battleground Texas Denounces Conservative Attempts to Take Down Their Organization


by: Shelby Alexander

Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 00:30 PM CST


Calling for criminal investigations while your own questionable activity goes overlooked? All in a day's work for David Dewhurst.

Battleground Texas, who is celebrating their one-year anniversary today is responding to attacks the far-right is making to undermine the hard work BGT organizers are doing throughout our state.

As reported by the Texas Tribune, in a letter to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, the organization responded to accusations that they broke the law during their voter registration activities, saying the complaints were "entirely without foundation." Attorney General Greg Abbott's office had recused themselves from any investigation of Battleground Texas earlier this week.

The Lieutenant Governor cited a secretly recorded video from deceptive conservative "investigative journalist" James O'Keefe (which includes heavy editing) of Battleground volunteers in Bexar County, and called for a criminal investigation because of allegations that privacy laws had been broken.

An attorney for Battleground Texas reaffirmed that the organization has been working well-within the law, "In short, Battleground Texas is operating in full compliance with the law as set forth in the Attorney General's legal opinions, and with attention paid as appropriate to the Secretary of State's official guidance in this area."

You know you've made it when Republicans attempt to indict you out of existence. Happy Birthday, Battleground Texas!

Read more below the jump.

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HD-77 Candidate Lyda Ness-Garcia Reports Assault at Home


by: Shelby Alexander

Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM CST


Earlier this week, Democratic primary candidate for House District 77 in El Paso, Lyda Ness-Garcia was physically attacked at her home. This attack, just as any other against a person, is completely unacceptable. We hope for Lyda Ness-Garcia and her family's speedy recovery as primary campaign season nears an end. We applaud her strength that she has displayed through this trying situation.

This is more evidence that violent threats made against candidates and officials carry weight. As a candidate, putting yourself in the public sphere creates additional risk for violence. Many might recall back in 2012 when a molotov cocktail was thrown at State Senator Wendy Davis' office. Burnt Orange Report has reported extensively the many death threats that have remained uncensored on Greg Abbott's Facebook page. These occurrences, and the many threats that Davis still receives today, are rooted in unabashed misogyny and hatred that have no place in politics, or any civil discourse.

In a statement released late Monday, Lyda Ness-Garcia stated she believed their motives were political, but could not provide additional details because of the nature of the attack and because its investigation was still ongoing.

It is our hope that those who assaulted Ness-Garcia are brought to justice, and that everyone can set politics aside and come together against this terrifying attack for the safety of their community.

Read more on the attack below the jump.

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EMILY's List Endorses Libby Willis for SD-10


by: Shelby Alexander

Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:30 PM CST


Continuing a strong commitment to Texas Democratic women, EMILY's List, the nation's largest resource for women in politics, has officially endorsed long-time community leader Libby Willis for Texas Senate District 10. With more than 3 million members, EMILY's List is one of the largest political action committees in the United States.

EMILY's List has currently only endorsed two other candidates in Texas: Current District 10 Senator Wendy Davis for Governor, and Leticia Van de Putte for Lieutenant Governor. Their backing of Libby Willis shows that there is a serious investment in Texas, and that Texas Democratic women will keep this state moving forward.

Keeping Senate District 10 is essential for Texas Democrats. In regards to the Texas Legislature's longstanding two-thirds rule, maintaining SD-10 ensures Republican bills can still be blocked in the Senate by the current number of Democrats. Libby Willis has received strong endorsements from Annie's List, the Tarrant County Central Labor Council & Texas AFL-CIO, AFSCME, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas Association of Consumer Lawyers PAC, as well as from us here at Burnt Orange Report, and several others.

Read the full press release below on why Libby Willis is the right choice for SD-10 and to turn Texas blue!

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Efforts to Enroll Colonia Residents in Health Care Continue Despite GOP Medicaid Expansion Refusal


by: Shelby Alexander

Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM CST


The coverage gap in Texas, otherwise known as the Republican refusal to expand Medicaid, hits areas like colonias in the borderland the hardest. With almost 400,000 people living in the 2,300 colonias along the borderland, these people experience some of the most massive health disparities in comparison to other areas around Texas due to lack access to adequate water, sewer, and solid waste disposal services.

However, as reported in the Texas Tribune, efforts to support healthcare enrollment in have continued despite GOP push-back. With assistance from community organizations in and around colonias, residents are receiving help through the application process to obtain a "hardship waiver" to be exempted from having to buy health insurance.

This exempts people living in the coverage gap who make less than $11,490 a year or a family of four making less than $23,550 from paying a penalty when they file their taxes for 2014. The Tribune reports somewhere between 50 and 80 percent of colonia residents are currently uninsured.

Read more about local efforts to bring health care to colonias below the jump.

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Too Many Working Mothers in Texas Trapped in Low-Wage Jobs


by: Shelby Alexander

Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 09:00 AM CST


Female-headed working families that are low-income in Texas grew from 59 percent in 2007 to 61 percent in 2012, according to a new report released by the Working Poor Families Project in Washington D.C.

The Center for Public Policy Priorities released the Texas-specific information in a press release to highlight the increasing need for opportunities for families to achieve economic security in Texas. The report from the Working Poor Families Project utilizes the latest data from the 2012 Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

"With too many working mothers facing barriers to career advancement, Texas has the opportunity to embrace proven tools to increase education and incomes for working mothers," said Don Baylor, Jr., senior policy analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. "In addition to investing more resources, we should embrace strategies we know are successful, like child care for working parents, and other two-generation approaches to move these families up the economic ladder, which would not only improve the bottom line for these families, but also boost the economic and job activity throughout our state."

Read more about the study's findings on barriers to working mothers and their families, and initiatives that can improve their lives below the jump.

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Annie's List Endorses New Slate of Progressive Female Candidates Ready To Win In 2014


by: Shelby Alexander

Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM CST

Annie's List has proven one victory after another over the past ten years that their strength in changing the face of power in Texas continues to grow as the public continues to demand for real representation in their government.

In 2012, Annie's List contributed to some of the biggest wins for Democrats statewide by helping elect Nicole Collier, Mary González, Mary Ann Perez, Toni Rose, as well as assisting in Wendy Davis' re-election along with several other endorsed incumbents. In 2013, they were also instrumental in re-electing Mayor Annise Parker in Houston. Their most recent victory includes contributing along with a strong progressive coalition to State Representative-Elect Celia Israel's win with almost 60% of the vote this week in HD-50's runoff election.

While Annie's List endorsed Leticia Van de Putte and Wendy Davis for Lieutenant Governor and Governor early on, they've also begun endorsing a new batch of progressive women candidates to maintain and take back key swing districts in the Texas House and Senate. These candidates have not only stood out strong to perform in Democratic primaries, but against the Republicans they'll face in November. The candidates include community activists, advocates, and public stewards from around the state such as Carol Donovan, Libby Willis, Susan Motley, Kim Gonzalez, and Susan Criss.

Read about the newly endorsed Annie's List candidates below the jump!

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Annie's List Rounds Out 2014 Endorsements With Leigh Bailey To Replace Dan Branch's Seat


by: Shelby Alexander

Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM CST

As we reported yesterday, Annie's List came out recently with their 2014 endorsements for up and coming progressive female leadership to transform Texas. Annie's List gave us an opportunity to introduce the new candidates they've endorsed to our readership who have incredible promise: Carol Donovan, Libby Willis, Susan Motley, Kim Gonzalez, and Susan Criss.

They've also given us insight into their final endorsement: Leigh Bailey of Dallas for House District 108. Having grown up to now raising a family in Dallas, Leigh Bailey is a strong business leader and community advocate. Bailey has represented and served businesses as legal counsel in her professional work, and has contributed to community services and cultural development in Dallas by working with organizations such as Trinity River Audubon Center, Methodist Hospital, and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Leigh Bailey joins a strong coalition of female candidates: totaling six newly endorsed women for 2014. These newcomers have the possibility of joining an elite group of fifteen current electeds who currently hold office.

Read more about Leigh Bailey and what her election to the State House would mean for Texas.

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Self-Induced Abortion Increases Where Legal Care Is Scarce In The Rio Grande Valley


by: Shelby Alexander

Fri Jan 24, 2014 at 10:03 AM CST


While many Texans reflected on what was a somber 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade this week, focus was shifted specifically to the Rio Grande Valley, where access to reproductive care services has vastly reduced. Because of this, doctors who previously were able to provide abortion care have highlighted the frequency of people whose only options are to self-induce abortions now that they cannot access legal services.

"I hope our politicians are made aware of how many girls are self-aborting in the Rio Grande Valley," said Dr. Lester Minto, owner of Reproductive Services of Harlingen. In a story from Al Jazeera America, Dr. Minto discussed how his patients had told him if his clinic closed, they would resort to something illegal.

In another report this week by RH Reality Check, evidence has shown that self-induction was already more common in Texas than other states around the country before HB 2. With abortion-inducing drugs more accessible across the US-Mexican border, this seems to be the obvious choice for those who have been left with next to nothing. Stomach ulcer drugs like misoprostol and Cytotec are some options people have used for self-induced abortions, but there are other methods being used such as herbs, laxatives, or more physically invasive methods such as inserting objects.

Read more on what Texans have had to resort to below the jump.

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Texas State Teachers Association Endorses Wendy Davis for Governor


by: Shelby Alexander

Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 02:04 PM CST


To further solidify the fact that Wendy Davis is the best candidate for public education, the Texas State Teacher's Association came out today to officially endorse her for governor. Texas' major teachers organizations have come out strong for Wendy Davis-- the TSTA joins Texas AFT, the Texas branch of the American Federation of Teachers, in supporting Wendy Davis.

"TSTA is proud to endorse Senator Wendy Davis for governor because she has worked tirelessly in the Senate on behalf of students, parents and teachers to give every Texas child the opportunity to succeed," said TSTA President Rita Haecker. "Too many candidates give education lip service, but when others defended cuts that harmed our neighborhood schools, Wendy Davis fought successfully to restore funding for our schools."

The TSTA and Texas AFT tout over 68,000 and 65,000 members of public school teachers and school related personnel, respectively. Both organizations have stood as powerhouses locally and in the legislature to ensure quality education for its students and dignity for those who provide it.

While Greg Abbott has remained silent on whether he would support restoring any more of the $5.4 billion in education cuts from 2011, Wendy Davis has a consistent record of standing up for equitable school financing, and has a strong platform detailing how to help Texas students succeed.

Read what TSTA and Wendy Davis' campaign has to say about the endorsements below the jump.

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