Feedback Home Page

Texas AFL-CIO Trains Activists

Texas union activists were pleased to hear Dr. Richard Murray, who is known all over the country for his work in politics. He has worked in more than 200 political campaigns, and consults with news agencies in Houston.

Dr Murray said that, for the first time since the founding of the Republic, Texas does not have a majority of white non-hispanics. The Latino population is growing the most, but also African Americans and Asians are gaining. The Anglo population is growing, but not as fast. If Latinos voted in high percentages, they would soon dominate elections.

Murray said, "In a rapidly changing state, it is essential that a political party reach out to the growing populations, but you have to do that in a nuanced way… [Senator] Barak Obama is the poster child for that."

Democrats will have a big opportunity in 2006 unless the Republicans in state office establish a better record than they have maintained so far, Murray said. School finance will be a major issue, and Murray said it will be very difficult to solve, especially in one special session.

Murray pointed out that Texas Republicans often don't vote in their own primary. 1 in 12 registered Texans vote in the GOP primary. Most of them are older, and tend to the far right. Many Republican politicians only worry about that small far-right constituency. Dr Murray said that he doesn't believe President Bush will be able to influence Texas elections very much in 2006.

Walter Hinojosa posed with Dr. Murray

Richards pointed out that the 2002 redistricting continues to be very controversial. That same day, the Washington Post had announced that the legal staff in the Civil Rights Department had believed the redistricting to be illegal, but they were overruled by high political appointees.

Dr Richards generously gave his opinion to the activists on several races and how they would affect other races.

A panel gave out information on filling the many open offices for Precinct Chairs and Precinct Judges. They also talked about how activists can gather important data in every race. In 2006, the Secretary of State is supposed to have a daily updated, registered voters data base.

Brian Pendleton and Ken Bailey were on the panel, along with Trista Allen







Guillermo Vasquez, a national rep for the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) gave the next major presentation. He urged the group to begin their political campaigns long before election dates and to keep them going. He also pushed for more membership involvement in union electoral activities.








Veteran strategies Dally Willis of Midland shared his observations during question and answer sessions.
14:35 Emmett Sheppard


click here for more on the political conference



Feedback Home Page