Party like a … Democratic senatorial district delegate

April 14, 2008

I’m in the picture! Can you tell?

I had a really great day on the day of the Texas Democratic senatorial district convention a few Saturdays back. SO GREAT! This is the convention that is between the that big election day convention that happened on voting day about a month back and the Texas convention. Basically, we Texans have about 16 steps to get to the national convention (only a slight exaggeration).

I served as the chair of Platforms/Resolutions. This is pretty dear to me because I have two bills by Equality Texas that I want on the Texas Democratic Platform which would call for protection for LGBT children from being bullied in school and for protection for LGBTs from discrimination at work. I should explain something. There’re four committees in every district (like mine) or county and those who led the other committees are really big in the community. There were two elected officials, one long-term and well respected activist then me. At least I was in good company.

We passed my resolutions without much of a fight and we even got a Comprehensive GLBT resolution through. Apparently, this is considered something of a miracle where I live (south Dallas). There was discussion on allowing marriage equality and partnership rights but in the end, we got it through. I didn’t know what a coup this was until I read a letter to the editor that next day (look to the last letter). Yes, I am a miracle worker.

When I was lobbying the Texas legislature, there was a state representative who made an incredible impact on me. Representative Irma Rangel passed away in the middle of her term but every time I ever sat in her committee, she would hold each person who came into the chamber with the utmost respect. This is actually where I picked up the phrase, “Thank you so very much.” I tried my best to emulate her in my committee by thanking every person who came in to present their resolution and really, I had an incredible committee. They were polite and friendly, no matter how tense things got in the room. Every time things got out of hand and I would try to talk, I would hear “Quiet! The chair is speaking!” (haha, oh grief) We were able to read through every resolution brought to us, another huge accomplishment.

When I gave my report, the old frat boy/student body president in me clicked on and I had the crowd cheering, shouting and clapping. It had been a long time.

This past weekend, the Texas Young Democrats met in Austin for their annual meeting. I accidentally got myself elected to the chair of the Minority Caucus and more importantly, I was able to mentor a few of the kids. I helped them through process and procedure and gave advice. It wasn’t until one of them took the time to thank me for the help I gave that I thought about it. I like helping, mentoring, teaching. I like growing new leadership and I walked away from the conference, glad I could help.

It’s been a great year so far.


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