Teresa Klein, our female representative for the District 20 Texas Democratic Party State Democratic Executive Committee will not be standing for re-election this year. The Nueces County Democratic Party thanks her for her years of service. She has released the following statement.
I want to thank Democrats from Senate District 20 for allowing me to serve on the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) since 2010. I have served the entire time with my Committeeman, Eli Olivarez. At the Convention in San Antonio this summer, I do not plan on running for the office again. This is not because I am term limited or because I don’t think I can do any more to benefit the Party. I don’t plan on running again because I think that the Party gets stale if someone stays for too long. I want to allow someone else to represent SD20. Being a member of the SDEC has been an exciting experience and I’m both sad to be leaving it and excited that someone else can become involved in the process.
Under Party rules, I must be replaced by a woman. It is my understanding that the SD20 Committeeman, Eli Olivarez, plans on running for re-election. I think it is important that we have an SDEC representative at both ends of the Senate District. I hope that someone from Nueces County can be elected to the position in 2016.
The members of the SDEC do a lot behind the scenes, and it is important that the SDEC member is involved with local parties. As a Committeewoman, I attended as many of the club meetings as possible in Nueces County as well as the County Executive Committee meetings, and I attended meetings in each of the four counties included in the district. This helps with communication to Democrats who are active in the Party. Nueces County has the Texas Democratic Women, the Tejano Democrats, the Black Democrats, the Progressive-Populist Caucus, Environmental Democrats, and has had the Young Democrats active on and off throughout my tenure. I try to attend as many of these meetings as possible, and I hope whoever comes after me does the same. SDEC members work with the County Chairs to help get Democrats elected. These duties are varied and include everything from hosting trainings for activists, grassroots activism, deciding on rules changes, confirming new County Chairs, passing resolutions, raising money, and writing the first draft of the Platform that will eventually be voted on by the whole SDEC. The rules state that we “do the business of the Party between the conventions”.
Some of the rules changes we’ve seen since I’ve been on the SDEC influence how we appoint (or remove) people to Party positions, how delegates are selected and how we vote on things in the Convention. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen is the end of the ‘Texas Two-Step’. We ended this process largely due pressure from the DNC to change the way we select delegates. Texas was the only state in the country to select its delegates with both a primary and a caucus, and we were required to have an exemption from the DNC to continue this process. They were not inclined to do this. We are now more in line with the way the rest of the country selects its delegates. We made some big changes to the number of people we can send to the State Convention, as well. This summer we will get one delegate for every 175 votes in the last gubernatorial election. There will be no alternate delegates at the convention. To learn more about becoming a delegate, read more about the delegate selection plan at: http://www.txdemocrats.org/act/be-a-delegate Senate District 20 will have 5 delegates to the National Convention. Three will be males and two will be females.
I am proud to have served on a number of committees during my tenure on the SDEC. I am currently the Chair of the Campaigns committee. Subgroups of this committee have held trainings on how to develop a county plan and how to organize. We have also encouraged increased training on how to use the VAN through a Grassroots Committee I served on in the past. We also have helped with messaging and selection of the Convention sites. By the way, this year the State Convention will be in San Antonio in June and in 2018, the State Convention will be in Ft. Worth.
We’ve seen a huge shift in the Texas Democratic Party to embrace more progressive ideas since my tenure began in 2010. Part of this is because the culture of the state changed, part is because the SDEC better reflects the values of Democrats in the state. Examples of this shift include changes to the Platform. I have proudly served on the Platform Committee in 2012 and 2014. Some of the highlights of the changes included supporting same-sex marriage and other rights for our LGBTQ citizens. While we have always supported education, we re-emphasized our commitment to the education of Texans at all levels. We advocated for the decriminalization of marijuana. We opposed the death penalty. I could go on. My work on the Environmental Plank of the Platform is an area I am particularly proud to say I contributed.
As your Committeewoman, I’ve also been asked to help raise money for various projects. Most recently, I worked with the TDW to raise $6500 to send out applications for mail-in-ballots to seniors in Nueces County who typically vote Democratic. We are also recruiting folks to help us with a virtual phone bank to help ‘chase’ this mail out. If you are interested in helping out, we will be calling from Jan. 19th to Jan. 24th. Just let me know if you want to help out.
I could go on and on about all the things we do. I can’t emphasize enough the great people I’ve met.
Unfortunately, the cost of participation in the SDEC is up to the individual member. This includes hotel rooms, transportation, and meals when one is at the meetings. SDEC members are also encouraged, though not required to donate to the State Party to keep the operation going.
If someone is interested in running for Committeewoman, they will have to attend the Texas State Convention this June in San Antonio. We will have the election for the position when we meet as a Senate District.
Be sure to register to come to the County/Senatorial District Convention as well. You can do this at: http://register.txdemocrats.org/countyconvention/signup
Texas Democratic Party