Friday, June 23, 2023

Inclusivity is More Than Just a Word

First of all, it’s important to remember that Texas is an at-will state. Meaning, your employer can fire you at any time for just about any reason. For Carmen Baez, this meant using the office laminator for personal use.

Baez works for Williamson County in the Facilities department. They’re the folks who paint the offices, change the fluorescents, and generally make sure that county properties operate the way they’re meant. She’s decorated her office in subtle ways during Pride month, but this year decided to make a poster – and laminate it at the office. Now, I don’t know about you, but who among us hasn’t made copies or used various office machines for personal reasons and not business? The Department Head pulled her aside when she returned the laminator to its home in the conference room and wanted to know if she had used it for personal purposes. She admitted she had, and he asked to see the result. She was told not to place it back on the wall and to be happy her previous decorations had been ignored. Two days later, she was fired. 

She quotes her supervisor as saying, “Williamson County Facilities is inclusive – and we do not need to show it.” 

When my church was discussing updating its open and affirming statement to include gender identity, I was asked why we had to include it. Wasn’t being Open and Affirming enough of a statement? Did we have to explicitly state the acceptance of every group? The answer is, of course, we do. Marginalized groups don’t read a statement like “all are welcome” as including them. We always need to show it. We always need to state it explicitly and unequivocally. It is never assumed. 

The same is true of Williamson County offices and departments. Officially, on paper, the county is inclusive. The County Employee Handbook says so. Those are just words on paper, however. The reality is being fired for using the office laminator to seal a poster that says, “Inclusivity: This room is a safe space. Respect for diversity! Pride is everyday. Pride is inclusive. Pride is Kindness. Pride is Judgement Free. Pride is Fun. Pride is Who We Are.”

Clearly, it’s not who Wilco Facilities is. 

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Texas Dems - Where Do We Go From Here?

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different outcome. If that’s the definition of insanity, then the picture next to that definition is of the Texas Democratic Party and in particular its Chairman, Gilberto Hinojosa. The TDP keeps doing and saying the same things over and over and nothing changes. 

The Wilco Democratic Party put forth a solid effort during the Governor’s race. Paid staffers, advertising, GOTV, the works. We lost. On that year’s ballot, only one Democrat won, Justice of the Peace KT Musselman was reelected. His precinct was purposefully drawn to be a safe Dem precinct. The rest were not. 

Let’s break down the numbers. Wilco registered 416,324* eligible voters out of a presumed pool of 506,920 who are 18 and over. That’s 82.1%. Sounds good. Until you get to turnout. Only 54.45% of registered voters made to the polls. 226,679 voted. 189,645 sat out the election. With a population of 671,418, that means roughly one third of the people in the county determined the municipal, county, and state elected seats for the other two thirds. And really, that’s not even accurate. You see, the number of people who cast a vote in a race gets smaller the further down the ballot you go. So, we may have had 225,672 people vote for Governor, but by the time those same people got the end of the ballot, many of them left blanks.

Let’s look at my race. I ran for reelection in 2022 as Justice of the Peace for Pct.4 in Wilco. 51,906 people voted in my race. But of the ballots cast in Pct. 4, 1,880 left it blank. Meaning they voted higher up the ballot, for Governor for instance, but didn’t cast a vote in my race. It gets even worse when you start looking at school board or municipal races. Those races are often decided by a very small number of votes that represent a tiny portion of eligible voters. Many times, particularly at the county level, when you look at undervotes (the official name for votes skipped) you see that they could have easily flipped the outcome had they voted in a bloc. 

So, why do we keep doing the same things? Why don’t we change how we run campaigns? Who are we missing?

I believe that in many instances, we’re ignoring entire demographics – 35 and under, people of color, and LGBTQ+. Why? Money, mostly. The younger demographics don’t have the funds to provide major support to campaigns. Hispanics and African Americans are all too often assumed to be at the lower ends of the socio-economic scale and The Powers That Be believe they can’t provide major financial support either. There’s prejudice of all kinds involved as well.  And assumptions made that of course they’ll vote for us, we’re the only reasonable alternative. Why would any member of the LGBTQ+ community vote Republican in a state where they’re clearly trying to criminalize your existence? Why would they vote for you if you don’t explicitly state you’ll support them?

A major part of the reason why the TDP keeps failing to flip Texas is because of funding. The National Democratic Party selects a very small number of races to support. Then Hinojosa tells us we can’t fund your race because the DCCC won’t help us. So, you’re on your own. Talk to your county chair. Well, that county chair has a full ballot of races to oversee funding and support for and a limited number of resources to do so. So instead of focusing on county, municipal, and school board races, county parties are forced to assist state-wide candidates raise money and find volunteers. Money and people that only go so far. Even when the county party does everything it reasonably can to get out the vote, inform voters and raise money, they generally do so without the full support of the state party. Oh, they get some support, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not enough. The county party should be focused on races with seats within the county, yet they must dilute their resources in support of statewide and even federal offices.

For the Texas Democratic Party to affect real change in leadership across the state, that change must first come within. Gilberto Hinojosa must resign. 

How can you help affect this change? Check with your county party and see if your voting precinct needs a precinct chair. Precinct chairs can attend the county party convention and make up a large percentage of delegates the county will send to the state convention. Make it to the state convention and you can vote on the state party chair. 

Hopefully, it’s better organized than the last one. It took three rounds to elect a chair and we adjourned without voting on a party platform. Why? Because we ran out of our allotted time at the convention center, and it would have cost the party more money to stay.

*Numbers come from US Census Data for the County Population and percentage of under 18 plus Williamson County Elections results for November 2022.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Pride as Protest

 Today is the first day of Pride 2023 and we have much to both celebrate and protest.

What happened at the Stonewall Inn was an act of defiance that awakened a community. Led by our trans siblings, the LGBTQ community stood up to bigotry and hate. Now it’s our turn to stand up for them. 

Our community is endangered by increasingly fascist legislation designed to set us up as the ultimate Other. Whether its banning trans-affirmative healthcare, restricting parent rights or criminalizing Drag, these laws across the country have set their sights on us:

Year-to-Date Snapshot: 2023 Anti-LGBTQ+ State Legislative Activity 

  • Over 540 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures, a record;
  • Over 220 bills specifically target transgender and non-binary people, also a record; and
  • 45 anti-LGBTQ laws have been enacted so far this year, including:
  • Laws banning gender affirming care for transgender youth: 13
  • Laws requiring or allowing misgendering of transgender students: 3
  • Laws targeting drag performances: 2
  • Laws creating a license to discriminate: 3
  • Laws censoring school curriculum, including books: 2

Florida, of course, leads the way with some of the most sweeping legislation aimed at disenfranchising transgender people, their families, and doctors. These laws are bad enough that the NAACP, Human Rights Commission, LULAC, and Equality Florida issued travel warning for the state to their members and communities. Tampa has cancelled their Pride. Organizers in Florida have also canceled events in Port St. Lucie, and Lake County. Other organizers in Florida have declared they will continue despite the hate slate as an act of protest. 

Locally, all Williamson County Pride events are still on. Show your Pride and your support and attend these local events. Round Rock is on June 3, Leander is June 15, and Taylor is June 24. Today, more than ever, the community and our allies MUST attend these events. There will be protests, as always, but I am confident that law enforcement is ready to protect festival-goers. 

Now, more than ever, is our time to stand and be heard.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Fight Indifference


The NAACP, Human Rights Campaign, League of United Latin American Citizens, Florida Immigrant Coalition and Equality Florida have all issued travel warnings for the state of Florida. Currently, 4 nations – UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand - have warnings regarding gun violence in America though only New Zealand places that warning at a level 2, advising increased caution. The others leave their threat assessment level at their lowest rank. It’s only been a week since DeSantis signed the anti-LGBTQ+ bills into law. While the organizations listed above have issued travel warnings to their members, no nation has issued similar. 

Florida gets a lot of money from tourism. “Florida is one of the most popular states in the U.S. for tourists, and tourism is one of its biggest industries. More than 137.5 million tourists visited Florida last year, marking a return to pre-pandemic levels, according to Visit Florida, the state’s tourism promotion agency. Tourism supports 1.6 million full-time and part-time jobs, and visitors spent $98.8 billion in Florida in 2019, the last year figures are available.”

Seems to me that the way to change the direction Florida seems heel bent on taking is to hit them where it hurts. Disney has already done this by pulling out of a $1 billion development project. It’s just the latest volley in the Disney-DeSantis feud. More companies need to follow their lead. 

Meanwhile, DeSantis is scheduled to announce his run for the presidency on May 24. His Republican supporters in the Florida Lege added a nifty little clause to a recent elections bill that says he doesn’t have to resign to run for higher office. So, if he fails to beat Trump in the primaries, he’ll still be Governor. Sounds kinda like when Putin changed the rules so he could remain in power back in 2021. 

In case you’re wondering, I’m not the only one sending up red flags regarding the rise of Fascism in America. Robert Reich wrote today, “What the GOP’s vendetta against the LGBTQ community really is, is a classic authoritarian tactic to vilify already marginalized people. This is how fascism takes root.” It’s not the first time Reich, former US Secretary of Labor under Clinton, has warned about our turn towards fascism. 

We are no longer dealing with politics as we have come to understand it — as I have seen and practiced it over the last half century: Democrats versus Republicans, liberals versus conservatives, left versus right. In this old form of politics, compromise was expected and often necessary. It is now democracy versus authoritarianism. There can be no compromise. And there must not be silence.”

He's right. We’ve witnessed many instances in last few decades where the ideas put forth by Martin Niemoeller came into focus again:

“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

We thought about when we would be called to stand up in defense of others. The Black Lives Matter movement, Immigration “reform”, Muslims after 9/11, and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, particularly Transgender, are all times when Niemoeller was evoked. 

Elie Wiesel is famous for saying, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Together these two statements are an indictment of one nation’s behavior during WW2. Today, we’re faced with a similar situation in America. We cannot remain intentionally ignorant because we are not targeted. It is essential that we speak out against oppression, authoritarianism, and hate. We must remember how to think for ourselves, make our own decisions and find fellow travelers on this increasingly dangerous path that is the fight against fascism.

Wiesel also said, “the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. The opposite of faith is not arrogance by indifference; the opposite of culture is not ignorance but indifference; the opposite of art is not ugliness but indifference. And the opposite of peace is indifference to both peace and war—indifference to hunger and persecution, to imprisonment and humiliation, indifference to torture and persecution.”

Let us shed our indifference and stand up in defense of our fellow Americans.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

The Rise of American Fascism

There has been much talk since 2016 that America was sliding into Fascism. That the election of Donald Trump heralded the beginning of the end. They pointed to Trump's policies against Muslims and made comparisons to Hitler. Said his statements and his media mouthpieces at Fox News were propaganda. Pointed to his followers gleeful embrace of the violence inherent in his rhetoric and how it reminded them of Nazi Germany, PolPot's Cambodia, and Stalin's Russia. The doomsayers were met with scorn. 

Then the Pandemic struck and in many ways derailed the Trump train. The faithful were undeterred but those who voted for Trump on a lark, hoping for something, anything different from politics as usual in Washington realized that the man they voted for was dangerously incompetent. Americans have a fairytale view of the Dark Horse, the Outsider, who will shake up "The Powers That Be" with his renegade thinking. Many thought Trump was that Outsider, while in reality he was the ultimate Insider. Someone who mingled with TPTB, dabbled in conspiracy theory and was quintessentially amoral and narcissistic. 

Here we are 7 years later and the frenzied scramble towards Fascism has begun again. Arguably with far more concerning success. 

Let's look at Florida. This week, Governor Ron DeSantis, the man who wants to be our next President, has signed multiple bills into law targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Flanked by children, he signed 4 bills into law on May 17 directly impacting the community and criminalizing their existence. These new laws ban "gender-affirming medical care for transgender youths, expand a controversial state education law that limits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity and places additional restrictions on drag performances." 

The fourth and final new law signed today bars transgender people from using public restrooms consistent with their gender identity. Because the addendums to the Don't Say Gay law declares sex an immutable biological trait, this means amended birth certificates or drivers licenses will not be enough to validate a person's gender. For Transgender Floridians there is no longer anywhere in public they can feel safe to use a restroom or locker room. Imagine, if you will, knowing that anyone at all can challenge your right to exist in these spaces and handle nature's call. What do you do? Where do you go? For a state who's economy relies so heavily on tourism, it's a dangerous situation. 

While the bill aimed at transgender medical care seems targeted at youth, it also restricts transgender adults. The additions to the Don't Say Gay also bill stops schools from using pronouns that reflect transgender youth's preference.

Together these new laws designate LGBTQ+, and particularly transgender, people in Florida as second class citizens. Homophobia and transphobia is now legal in Florida.  

Texas is not far behind.

This week SB 14 passed the House and will likely soon signed into law. Like Florida's ban on gender affirming healthcare, SB 14 prohibits procedures and treatments for children in regards to gender transitioning, gender reassignment and gender dysphoria and the use of public money or assistance for these procedures. Last year, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a non-binding legal opinion that gender affirming care was child abuse and Governor Abbott immediately directed the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to investigate families seeking that care for their children. Texas has worked for years to bring anti-transgender legislation to fruition. This year, it seems they've succeeded.

What, you may ask, has this to do with Fascism? Fascism seeks to create an Other that can be assigned blame for the ills of the nation. This has been done generally for years by Republican rhetoric against Democrats, Liberals, Blacks, and more. Now, by targeting a small, misunderstood minority, current Republicans believe they've found the perfect Other. Transgender people, their experiences and their lives, are foreign to many people. For those that cannot fathom feeling so disconnected from what they see as a biological trait, believing that trans folks are insane, misguided and generally bereft of humanity is not the leap in logic that many on the Left assume. 

In the so-called American ideal of the rugged individual who bucks The Powers That Be, that ideal man is the epitome of masculinity. He stands up for independence and the common man. He represents everyone's desire, at one time or another, to stick to the man. Most importantly, he represents strength. He does what we cannot. What he isn't is just as important. He isn't sensitive or woke. He isn't weak. He isn't Gay or Trans.

For some, the growing acceptance of LGBTQ+ Americans is a dire threat. And it is to those people that the GOP is appealing. Those people believe in an America that never really existed. Certainly, White Men had the power, but it wasn't truly shared amongst the classes, despite needing their support at all levels. What that "Golden Age" had going for it was the afterglow of winning the second World War, an economy that allowed individuals to succeed at unprecedented levels, and ending with an American man on the moon. For those 2 decades after the Second World War, America was on top and that success genuinely trickled down to many. Money, the symbol of success and power, was available to the Middle Class. While they could buy their own homes and TVs and cars, they still held little actual power and their unfortunate lower class cousins even less. What they had in common, however, was the Other. For a time, it was the Nazis, then the Communists. In the background, it was always the Blacks. It's how TPTB held onto that power despite the large numbers of their supporters in the lower class that had neither money or power. What they did have was some other class of people they could feel superior to despite the reality of their lives. 

In truth, America has dabbled with Fascism for years. We saw it after Reconstruction and the laws passed to keep the newly freed Black man down. We saw it again after LBJ's Great Society with the new laws targeted at Blacks via the War on Drugs. Now, there's a new Other. One that can't be easily mistaken as typical, can't be normalized, and can't be understood on a fundamental level by many. If Fascism needs an Other to distract the attention of the masses, then TPTB have found what may be their ultimate Other. 

The new laws in Florida make it difficult to exist as a transgender person in that state. They'll directly cause the suicide rate amongst transgender youth to rise. They'll indirectly increase the number of hate crimes against transgender people. Texas is poised to join them.

We're already a nation that cannot come to gripes with gun violence in our schools, our churches, and our malls. We've made it easier, in fact, to gather the arms of mass killing, especially in Texas. We have armed a populace and defined an Other. One they're told will destroy their way of life, indoctrinate their children, and make women of their men. 

We will see a rise in violence towards Transgender and LGB Americans. They will die in ones and twos in bathrooms and back alleys. They will die in tens and hundreds at drag shows and Pride parades. 

These laws make it inevitable. Will you be the one who stands aside because you're not the one targeted? Or will you stand with your LGBTQ siblings and fight? At the very least, will you get off your ass and vote?

Thursday, May 11, 2023

HB 2744

May 9th was a dark day for Texas. In the wake of the Allen shooting, this bill, which would raise the minimum age to buy an assault rifle to 21, moved unexpectedly out of committee on May 8th.

24-hours later, it was dead. 

The Uvalde parents who campaigned for this bill vowed to keep fighting. 

In the wake of the outlet mall shooting in Allen, multiple former law enforcement and military people, themselves owners of guns, came out in favor of gun reform. The usual thoughts and prayers were heard and the usual push back to those thoughts and prayers followed. 

Republicans, particularly Texas Rs, refuse to recognize the simple fact that the previous assault ban worked. Raising the minimum age to buy on these weapons seems like a no-brainer. It's not stopping the sale of the weapons out right, only restricting by age. Frankly, I'd much rather an untrained 18-year-old NOT be able to buy an AR-15. Still, they point to mental health issues as the cause for these shootings and maintain the guns themselves are not to blame.

If you haven't seen it yet, I strongly encourage you to find the Washington Post article on what kind of damage an AR-15 can do. If you haven't subscribed you should still be able to view it as your daily freebie. Essentially, these weapons were intended to do only on thing - kill human beings efficiently. They excel at it. 

No one who isn't a member of law enforcement or the military should have access to these weapons.  At the very least, Texas should limit the age of who can purchase them.

My Leadership Style

 I'm currently working on a certification in Restorative Justice from Vermont Law School. This session's class is Communications, Advocacy and Leadership. Last week's discussion post asked us to define our leadership style. Here is what I wrote: 

I was a Girl Scout Leader for 13 years. I took my youngest daughter’s troop from Kindergarten to High School Graduation. Yet, I was not a Girl Scout as a child. My mother, who had done the Girl Scout “thing” as she called it with my two older sisters, who are 9 and 10 years older than me, did not want to do it all again. I got that a lot growing up. “I did all that with your sisters. I don’t have the energy to do it with you.” My mother was 42 when I was born, unexpectedly, and though I didn’t realize it until much later, was already starting to experience a decline in health. So, chaperoning field trips, and doing Girl Scouts, were all things she truly didn’t have the energy for. I mention all this because when my daughters came along one of the first things I intended to do differently was get them into scouting, be the homeroom mom, and everything that Mom wasn’t for me. I was “walking inside someone else’s story” (as Doug Conant says in his interview on Brene Brown’s podcast) in a very literal sense; even if it was through doing the opposite of what my mother had done. 

I didn’t get them involved in Scouting thinking I would be their leader. Far from it, but life happened, and my older daughter’s troop needed new leaders, or it was going to fall apart. So, I agreed to co-lead it. Then, my younger daughter’s cohort wouldn’t have a troop unless someone stepped up, so I did. Voila, I found myself leading two troops simultaneously with no experience as a Girl Scout to draw upon. So, as per my academic bent, I went to every training I could. I found as the years progressed that I was getting as much out of the experience as my kids. In fact, by the time they were in middle/high school, I told them: You can stay or drop out of scouting, but I’m not going anywhere. I’m all in. By the time my youngest graduated high school, I was a leadership and First Aid trainer for the Council and was Service Unit Director for 5 years. Girl Scouts was the central focus, my primary job aside from being a mom, for over a decade. 

I learned what Girl Scouts defined leadership as and took it to heart. In Girl Scouts, the goal is to take the leadership of the troop from adult-led to girl-led, transitioning as the girls age until, ultimately, as they enter high school, the scouts are calling all the shots and the adults are just there for safety purposes and to sign the checks. Defining leadership in scouting is also about differentiating between service and leadership. If something couldn’t or wouldn’t happen without you, then it’s leadership. A leader takes charge, assigns duties to others as needed and builds consensus. Service is something that anyone could perform and did not require that individual to be in a leadership role. In my case, this meant taking on the role of troop leader for my daughter’s troop. No one else was willing to step up to take on the role; without me, those girls would not have had a troop. Indeed, at one point I took on a non-related Daisy troop since none of the parents would step up, with the understanding that one of them would by the end of the year. I even merged other troops and took on stranded girls into my troop. At one point, I had scouts from a senior in high school to 6th graders, including both my daughters, all in one troop with a maximum size of 17. As my troop became the senior troop in our unit, they took on leadership and planning roles for Service Unit campouts and events. By the time Catherine graduated high school, our troop was down to just 3 girls, but I’d learned a great deal from my scouts past and present by that time. I used to joke that we had every color of the Pride rainbow in our troop, literally, as one of my scouts came out as transgender after graduation and transitioned in college. Their openness about LGBTQ issues opened my eyes and eventually drove me to activism. 

In fact, it’s that scout who was brave enough to be his authentic self that brings me directly to where I am today. Without that interest and drive to understand his experience, I would not have discovered the injustices he faced nor been able to place a human face on them. When the bathroom bills came up in the Texas legislature, I felt compelled to stand up for him and everyone like him. I waited over 10 hours twice to give my 2 minutes of testimony to the Senate panel. From that experience, I met some truly inspiring people and waved the paltry flame of political interest into the fire that drove me to run for office as Justice of the Peace. 

I hadn’t realized until I sat down to write this that there is a remarkably straight line from deciding to be a girl scout leader in 1996 to run for office in 2018. 22 years of learning about leadership, speaking up for what I believed in, and finally listening to the tiny, quiet voice that whispered over that weekend in December 2017 “why the hell not”? The things I learned being a Girl Scout leader about standing up for what you believe in, and doing the right thing, are summed up in the Girl Scout Law and Promise: 
I will do my best to be honest and fair, 
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong,
and responsible for what I say and do,
and to respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place,
and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law. 

Those are not shallow words recited at a troop meeting or campout but a guiding light for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve read them, but they are still instilled on my heart. I use my role as Judge to uphold the law, both that of the state of Texas and Girl Scouts. The Girl Scout law is the foundation of my personal and judicial ethics – to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong. I respect myself by making no excuses for who I am – blue hair, tattoos, and all. I’m proud to be a Democrat in a Red/Purple State. Respecting authority for me is less about blindly accepting what the powers that be dole out as demanding that they, and myself, do better. It’s all there in the Law and Promise and I’m grateful for this opportunity to remember that truth. 

I was impressed by much of what Drew Dudley said in “This is Day One” and plan on going through the exercises in the book. As I reflect on that book and what I’ve just written, I realize that the Girl Scout Law is a good starting place for me in defining my values. Dudley says, “Identifying those values is essential to understanding who you are and defining who you want to be”. At first, I focused on the “who you want to be” part and tried to find 3 values from the list given. I chose Class, Health, and Passion. Those represent things I want to be, especially Health and Class. As Dudley relates his weight loss journey, I found many similarities and personal concerns that resonated. Thus, health would be a value that defines who I want to be. Similarly, Class is something that defines who I want to be. Elevating others instead of escalating, which is all too often my go-to. Now, after the first part of this post, I realize I need to rethink my choices. Courage, Self-Respect, and Class are what I chose now. They reflect many of the same ideas in the first set but have a bit of broader use. They still represent who I want to be, but I’m reminded that in many ways they’ve been present all along. They may have been buried a bit in my effort to walk inside someone else’s story and behave in ways to fit in, but maybe all I needed was reminding. I’ve said for a long time that I am who I am, and I make no excuses for that. It’s what gave me the courage to keep my blue hair when I started my first campaign, despite being told by friends and acquaintances that it would be a detriment to my campaign. Indeed, I still get comments from naysayers (read Republicans on Facebook) that they can’t take me seriously or I’m not professional because of my blue hair. Stacey Abrams says, “we must name what scares us and acknowledge what scares those who are afraid of us”. Those naysayers who complain about my hair are afraid of what I represent. Being different is ok and their fear is on them. It’s to my advantage to be true to myself because it helps me stand out. I’m going to close with a few quotes from Chad Sanders, “My life is an adventure and I need to embrace my role as an adventurer” and “Don’t believe everything you think”. They both represent courage and self-respect as well as a reminder not to be constrained by the roles and expectations of others. That’s my leadership style, as chaotic as it has been over the years. One I plan to hone with all the intentionality that I can muster. Every day.


 Blogger finally cooperated! My custom domain is now a blog. Phew!

These past 4 months have been an adjustment, to say the least. Losing the election was hard. Stepping away from a job and employees that I loved even harder. What to do with myself has been the big question. 

Looking for work has never been my favorite past time. I'm back to contract editing with Yole, but it's sporadic. I'm looking for other editing gigs, but finding full or even part time work as a freelance editor is a challenge. 

Enough of my whining. What I hope to do with this blog is to focus on politics, advocacy and LGBTQ+ issues. I'll be promoting my new Wilco Dems club - Wilco Progressives. Commenting on the Lege and its insanity. My focus will be Williamson County and Texas. I'll let the big boys handle Trump, Biden, et al.

I hope to maintain a regular schedule of posting. There's certainly enough to comment on.