Next Environmental Focus Group Meeting to be Held January 31

Next Environmental Focus Group Meeting to be Held January 31

In response to expressed interests of BCDP members, a series of focus group meetings on environmental issues had been scheduled to be held at the BCDP Headquarters this month. Although the January 10th meeting had to be cancelled due to bad weather, the January 17th meeting took place on schedule and was well-attended. Due to the enthusiasm generated, those present decided to hold another meeting this Saturday, January 31, from 10 a.m. until noon. The meeting will be held in the conference room at Bluebonnet Electric Coop, located at 155 Electric Avenue (formerly 650 Hwy. 21 E.) in Bastrop, to accommodate an anticipated even larger turnout.

The agenda for Saturday’s meeting is as follows:

  • 10:00-10:30: Introductions and feedback from the January 17 meeting
  • 10:30-11:30: Presentation by Dorothy Skarnulis, President of the Board of Keep Bastrop County Beautiful, on environmental issues she is most passionate about, including options for Party initiatives
  • 11:30-Noon: Group discussion and consensus on next steps. Possibilities to consider:
    • Mounting a campaign to encourage Bluebonnet Electric Coop to provide incentives for energy efficiency, similar to Austin Energy’s
    • Scheduling a panel discussion on water issues.

 

House District 17 Run-Off Scheduled for February 17

House District 17 Run-Off Scheduled for February 17

The Governor’s office has scheduled the run-off between Republicans John Cyrier and Brent Goleman for Tuesday, February 17. Early voting will run from Monday, February 9, to Friday, February 13. Polling places and hours are available at the Bastrop County Elections Administration website:  http://www.bastropvotes.org/election-information-2/upcoming-elections/

Note that, as in the special election on Jan. 7, there will be FOUR total voting sites on election day.

 

Letter from the BCDP Board

Letter from the BCDP Board

Dear Bastrop County Democrats,

We need to apologize for an incorrect statement in our last email and website posting.  We incorrectly told you that the polling places for yesterday’s special election had been changed.  In fact, they were not; the Elections Department informed our Chair, Ed Skarnulis, on December 17th of their plan to use four polling places rather than all 21 locations.

This election was extremely challenging for everyone.  Being scheduled over the holidays added a significant amount of difficulty and accompanying stress beyond that which accompanied the extremely short time period for this special election.  The Elections Department in particular was under a tremendous amount of demand and stress, and the Bastrop County Democratic Party (BCDP) greatly appreciates the hard work they do.

It was an honest mistake on our part, but we apologize for misinforming you, and to the Elections Department, for putting them in a very bad light.

From the Chair

From the Chair, Bastrop County Democratic Party:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

At the Bastrop County Democratic Party Office last night, a dozen or so of us were waiting for the final local results to come in but at the same time watching the state and national numbers.  We talked about a lot of things, including how strange it was that Democratic Party candidates were distancing themselves from our President’s record and wondering if that wouldn’t adversely affect their chances of winning the election.   An economy that had improved markedly, unemployment down, health care for all, gay rights closer than ever before to being a reality, Bin Laden gone, Iraq and Afghanistan withdrawals, and on and on.   We had good reason to be down but, to the contrary, everyone was optimistic about the future.

Similarly, Robin, Cindy, Gretchen, Caroline and others have emailed this morning about their sadness.  I share that “heavy heart.”  If effort is the measure of success, Michael Flowers and our other candidates certainly deserved to win.  They worked tirelessly, all the way up to the closing bell.  But here’s what happened last night as well as this morning.  People are tired, for sure, but they’re damned proud and determined too!

So, while we lick our wounds, let’s also look at what we’ve accomplished.  We have dozens of folks who hadn’t previously been engaged in the work of the Party who phoned, and walked, and donated, and rallied, and talked, and cajoled, and have found a family whose members share their values!  A “village” that believes government is important, our President should be respected, and voting is a right not a privilege. Speaking up to power is noble.  Gender, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation have nothing to do with whether a human being is valuable and deserves respect.

YOU have an office now, and it’s leased until the end of November 2016….available for you to meet with people, plan, strategize, or whatever is needed to move us forward.   Most of our Precinct Chair positions are filled, and we’ll be filling the remaining four ASAP.  Our recurring contributions are sufficient to not only meet our monthly obligations but to begin building a reserve in preparation for the ’16 elections.

Going back to the group at the office last night and the emails this morning.  Here’s the sentiment, best summarized by Robin Rieck: “Waking up this morning among all the doom and gloom in the media and all I can think of are those, like our team and all those new activists that Battleground TX brought together who made their voices heard. Hoping that all who fought so hard are waking up with the same sense of satisfaction that I have today.  We’ve got a legislature coming up that is now likely to challenge us like never before. I want us to be ready. Already have some ideas I’d like to discuss. After a few days rest, that is. Thanks to all of you for letting me join the team! At this point you couldn’t run me off with a stick.  Your fellow PROUD Democrat, Robin”

Folks, I’ve never been prouder to be a Democrat than I am today.  Thank you for letting me be your Chair.

Ed Skarnulis

Encouraging and exciting news!!

The following is from a memo sent out this morning.  For those of you who don’t want to read the entire memo, here’s a the bottom line:

THE BOTTOM LINE: THIS WILL BE A FIGHT TO THE FINISH

The early vote numbers this year are very encouraging for Wendy Davis and the Democratic ticket – and all signs point to this being a fight to the finish.
 
Ultimately, in a race this important – with candidates as compelling and inspiring as Wendy, Leticia, and so many others in key statewide and legislative fights this year – the winners next week will come down to grassroots Texans making their voices heard in the only poll that matters.

 


 

MEMORANDUM
 
From: Jeremy Bird, Battleground Texas Senior Advisor
To:        Interested Parties
Re:        Early vote turnout in Texas
Date:      October 31, 2014
 
With 4 days to go in the 2014 election cycle – and the last day of the early vote period ending today – there has been a significant amount of misinformation about what early vote turnout could mean for Wendy Davis, Leticia Van de Putte, and other Democrats around the state on November 4.
 
What the early vote numbers actually show is a race that is steadily moving in favor of the Democratic slate – and an electorate that is clearly shifting toward Team Wendy thanks to the continued hard work of the more than 33,000 grassroots volunteers who have already made nearly 7 million calls and door knocks to engage voters about the stakes this election and motivate them to cast their ballots between now and Tuesday.
 
When you compare where things stood on the same date in 2010 with what we’re seeing today, here’s what the early vote numbers mean for Democrats:
 
VOTER TURNOUT IS UP OVER THE LAST GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION
 
A simple apples-to-apples comparison of early vote ballots from the available counties in 2010 to the same available counties in 2014 shows voter turnout in this election is significantly higher than four years ago.
 
In the 15 most populous counties, 198,586 Texans have already voted by mail in 2014 according to the Texas Secretary of State. By this time four years ago, only 124,181 Texans had voted by mail in these 15 counties. That’s an increase of +60% over the last gubernatorial election (+74,405).
 
In the more than 70 of the largest Texas counties counties, which account for more than 85% of Texas voters, 1,092,006 people had voted early by mail or in person by this point four years ago. This year, that number has increased to 1,483,975 – an increase of +391,969 votes or +36%.
 
When you take into account historical trends, the outlook is even better for what this year’s final early vote turnout is likely to be. Most early voting actually takes place during the final few days of the early vote period. In 2010, 2,226,941 total ballots were cast early in these counties – but just 1,092,006 of those ballots had been reported by this point. In other words, more than half of early votes had not yet been reported by this point in 2010. We expect similar results this year.

VOTERS THIS YEAR ARE MORE LIKELY TO BE FOR TEAM WENDY
Furthermore, the voters who are turning out this year are more likely to be Wendy Davis supporters – and that’s good for every Democrat on the ticket:
 
· The number of African-Americans who have voted already in these counties has increased from 115,264 at this point in 2010 to 164,680 today – an increase of +43%.
 
· The number of Latinos who have voted already in these counties has increased from 144,977 at this point in 2010 to 213,679 today – an increase of +47%.
 
· The total number of non-whites who have voted already in these counties has increased from 294,553 at this point in 2010 to 427,461 today – an increase of +45%.
 
· The total number of women who have voted already in these counties has increased from 563,648 at this point in 2010 to 769,568 today – an increase of 37%.
 
· The total number of people under age 30 who have voted already in these counties has increased from 51,995 at this point in 2010 to 73,387 today – an increase of 41%.
 

THE BOTTOM LINE: THIS WILL BE A FIGHT TO THE FINISH
The early vote numbers this year are very encouraging for Wendy Davis and the Democratic ticket – and all signs point to this being a fight to the finish.
 
Ultimately, in a race this important – with candidates as compelling and inspiring as Wendy, Leticia, and so many others in key statewide and legislative fights this year – the winners next week will come down to grassroots Texans making their voices heard in the only poll that matters.

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