June 2, 2020/Media, Press

RELEASE: Texas Democratic Convention Host Panels Making History: The Story Behind the First-Ever LGBTQ+ Caucus, Queer Victories: Winning Battleground States, and a Seat at the Table: African American Women on the State of Politics

Austin, TX — The first day of the Texas Democratic Convention wrapped up with three panels: Making History: The Story Behind the First-Ever LGBTQ+ Caucus, Queer Victories: Winning Battleground States, and A Seat at the Table.

Making History: The Story Behind the First-Ever LGBTQ+ Caucus

WHO:

Moderated by Lauren McGaughy of the Dallas Morning News featuring the members of the historic inaugural LGBTQ+ Caucus: State Rep. Jessica González, State Rep. Dr. Mary González, State Rep. Julie Johnson, State Rep. Erin Zwiener, and State Rep. Celia Israel, chair of the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee

WHAT:

Moderated by the Dallas Morning News LGBTQ+ reporter Lauren McGaughy, the members of the historic inaugural LGBTQ+ Caucus talk about the significance of their newly-formed caucus, the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community in Texas, and the future of LGBTQ+ leadership in Texas and beyond.

State Rep. Jessica González said the following: 

“People need to know that they have these five women that are in the House to advocate for these issues that are important to our community [and] to fight against these issues that we saw during the previous session, like the bathroom bill.   

State Rep. Dr. Mary González said the following: 

“Having a caucus means that the box we get put into is not so small because it diversifies us.  And as we get to work on other issues, it helps me build relationships across the aisle.”

State Rep. Erin Zwiener said the following: 

“We all have identities outside of being LGBTQ. Having five out members means that both Texans and our colleagues get to see that there isn’t a stereotype.” 

State Rep. Celia Israel said the following: 

“By flipping the house into the control of the Democrats, we will have the gavel and we will control the agenda and the flow of things. I firmly Democrats, especially Democratic women are more pragmatic when it comes to establishing priorities that mainstream Texans are gonna see.”

 Queer Victories: Winning Battleground States

WHO:

A discussion between Emmett Schelling, Executive Director of the Transgender Education Network of Texas, and Virginia Delegate Danica Roem

WHAT:

Emmett Schelling and Danica Roem sat down to discuss the importance of Del. Roem’s historic election (and subsequent re-election) and the future of Queer candidates winning elections across America.

To watch the full video, click here.

Virginia House Delegate Danica Roem said the following: 

“For us to have our rights as trans people, we must have rights for Black people and people of all color across this country… this always comes back to how do we liberate each other… how do we make your Texas, my Virginia, and our America a more inclusive place for everyone?”

Emmett Schelling said the following: 

“We are in an unprecedented time in many senses. Not just being in the midst of this pandemic, but also watching all this manifestation of racial and social justice issues come to a boiling point. Queer folks have had to fight every step of the way, to build the path that Del. Roem was able to travel on and be elected.”

A Seat at the Table

WHO: 

Moderated by Dr. Carla Brailey, Vice Chair of the Texas Democratic Party, with panelists Royce Brooks, Executive Director of Annie’s List, Glynda Carr, Co-Founder & President of Higher Heights for America, Waikinya Clanton, Senior Advisor, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Audrie Lawton-Evans, Chair of the Houston Black American Democrats, Sheila Jackson Lee, U.S. Representative for Texas’ 18th Congressional District, Senfronia Thompson, Texas Representative, District 141, and Rhetta Bowers, Texas Representative, District 113. 

WHAT:

Some of the most prominent Black female political leaders in Texas and across the country participated in a live panel discussing Black women in politics and the recent events that have gripped our nation. Black lives matter and our panelists will chart a path forward for Black men and women across the state and across the country. 

To watch the full video, click here.

Dr. Carla Brailey said the following:

“What an honor it is to be here at this very pivotal moment. I decided that with all of the things that are happening, around our state and around our country, it’s important for Black women to have a seat at the table.” 

Royce Brooks said the following:

“There are a lot of people who think that the fight we’re in now and the things that are happening right now is new. They think it’s new since Trump. We know better than that. We know who has been leading it. We know who knows what to do in it, and that’s Black women.”

Glynda Carr said the following:

“There are a lot of people who think that the fight we’re in now and the things that are happening right now is new. They think it’s new since Trump. We know better than that. We know who has been leading it. We know who knows what to do in it, and that’s Black women.”

Waikinya Clanton said the following:

“Texas is always at the top of our list when it comes to investments and resources. We’re making sure that we’re focusing on working with the folks on the ground to create greater opportunities for all Texans, and all Americans.” 

Audrie Lawton-Evans said the following:

“When I ran in 2018, I was running when there were a lot of other Black women running. After the primary, I got contacted by the other ladies who were running, and it was an opportunity to help those ladies get to where they wanted to go.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said the following:

“My journey now, over these past few days, [has to do with] the sheer brutality and murder of George Floyd. We plan to introduce my major legislation on police accountability and hindering police from leaving one fired police position to another.”

State Rep. Senfronia Thompson said the following:

“The arc of justice has to continue to bend, and you can’t ever let up on that bend. The more you bend it, the more rights and privileges that we are going to be able to get. We know where we were yesterday, we know where we are today. But as long as we bend that arc of justice in the right way, we know where we are going to be tomorrow.” 

State Rep. Rhetta Bowers said the following:
We got work to do, and I’m ready to do it. I’m so proud to be a member of the Black Caucus. To the women on this call — I stand on y’all’s shoulders. I am so glad to be making history with these strong Black women. 

###