PPTV is hiring a Digital Organizer

Digital Organizer
Planned Parenthood Texas Votes
Position: Full-time, permanent
Location: Austin, TX

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) works to foster and preserve a social and political climate in Texas favorable to full reproductive health care access, through electoral activity, legislative advocacy and grassroots organizing, to promote and protect the mission of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas.

POSITION SUMMARY
The Digital Organizer is responsible for implementing the digital components of PPTV’s communications campaigns via email, social media, website and texting. This position is responsible for coordinating with the Graphics & Multimedia Specialist and Communications Manager to develop digital strategies and content with the ultimate goal of moving online audiences to take action in support of Planned Parenthood and reproductive health, rights and justice. The Digital Organizer reports to the Communications Manager.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/ACCOUNTABILITIES

DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT  

  • Responsible for building trust with online audiences that PPTV is an expert on reproductive rights and state politics and continuing the education of online audiences on issues surrounding reproductive justice and the importance of civic engagement.
  • Monitor current events and keep PPTV staff abreast of breaking news stories, know the influencers in the PPTV network, and participate in key online conversations concerning PPTV’s mission areas.
  • Maintain current understanding of the PPTV mission and ensure it is reflected in the online presence of the organization.
  • Ensure consistency with PPTV voice and brand in digital spaces.

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • Manages PPTV’s social media properties, including making daily updates, managing live tweeting and livestreams, keeping up-to-date on new digital trends, and executing online strategies and best practices.
  • Create and implement diverse outreach strategies to increase the number of social media and digital supporters, with a particular focus on young women of color.
  • Work with Graphic Design & Multimedia specialist to develop social media graphics.
  • Track and analyze social media metrics in order to assess the effectiveness of online strategies and provide monthly reports to the Communications Manager.

MASS EMAIL MARKETING / TEXTING

  • Manage email campaigns, including drafting mass email messages, managing the review process, executing the email delivery, tracking delivery reports, and maintaining email supporter lists.
  • Manage and implement PPTV text program, including keeping up to date on emerging tools and best practices.

WEBSITE

  • Responsible for making updates to the PPTV website, including writing and posting content for the blog. Familiarity with WordPress is a plus.

COORDINATION & COLLABORATION

  • Coordinate with PPTV Organizing Team to uplift and aid in recruitment and identify new patient advocates.
  • Coordinate with PPTV Development team to support and promote fundraising efforts and events.
  • Participate fully in brainstorming and planning sessions; identify and share innovative  new ideas for promoting PPTV, its initiatives, and its positions.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

  • At least 2 years of digital organizing experience.
  • Have a strong understanding of social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram).
  • Have a strong understanding of Microsoft Office and Google Docs.
  • Familiarity with basic photo editing.
  • Comfortable with managing social media livestreams using iPhone / digital camera.
  • Be familiar with progressive and feminist blogosphere / social media influencers.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Able to meet deadlines in a fast-paced, deadline driven team environment.
  • Bilingual, English/Spanish preferred.
  • Skill in producing clear and consistent high quality work with attention to detail.
  • Skill in proactively researching and quickly synthesizing information, and presenting it creatively in a variety of formats.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and complete assignments in an efficient manner, as well as adapt to changing priorities.
  • Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships, and work collaboratively, with PPTV and affiliate staff, as well as external partners and consultants.
  • Ability to work after regular business hours, as needed.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.

PERSONAL QUALITIES/OTHER ATTRIBUTES

The Digital Organizer will demonstrate the following:

  • Have a dedication to user-centered visual design and a curiosity for new ways to engage people through digital experiences.
  • Deep appreciation for mission of Planned Parenthood.
  • Collaborative work style; able to facilitate amongst diverse communities and individuals.
  • Enjoys operating in a fast-paced and demanding environment; a nimble and flexible work style.
  • A direct and open interpersonal communication style.
  • A smart and confident leader with a clear and informed opinion.
  • Professional integrity, independent thinking, and personal courage.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, send a resume and cover letter to jobs@pptexasvotes.org, subject line “Digital Organizer”.

  • All attachments should be saved in PDF format and named in the format of “Last Name, First Name – Document Name”.
  • Cover letters included in the body of the email will not be accepted.

ADDITIONAL POSITION INFORMATION

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes is an equal employment opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory work environment, and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  Planned Parenthood is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that values diversity and inclusion, respect and integrity, customer focus, and innovation.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

This position is full-time, with a salary range of $36,000 – $40,000 annually, commensurate with experience. PPTV is proud to offer a competitive benefits package for full-time employees that includes 100% employer paid medical, dental and vision coverage, life and AD&D and short term and long term disability for the employee. We also offer optional flexible spending account and additional life coverage. Full-time employees receive 11 paid holidays plus an additional winter break and two weeks paid time off.

PPTV is hiring an Intern Youth Organizer (DALLAS)

POSITION: Temporary, part-time (15-20 hours per week)
REPORTS TO: Regional Community Organizer
LOCATION: Dallas
DURATION: January 2019-May 15, 2019

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is the statewide advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas that engages supporters of reproductive health to fight to protect and expand women’s access to preventative and reproductive healthcare, including abortion. The work at PPTV is fast paced and deals with complex and high priority matters related to the electoral and legislative politics of women’s health in Texas. Our programs range from talking to voters about the politics of abortion to advocating to protect state funding for breast cancer screenings.

The Youth Organizer will lead campus and community outreach activities to engage young people in the fight for reproductive health in Texas, including recruiting new supporters, engaging volunteers, executing effective issue and voter education campaigns, and hosting campus events.

Key Responsibilities

  • Recruit students and young people to support Planned Parenthood and access to reproductive healthcare through campus and community events and actions, including tabling, crowd canvassing, and phonebanking.
  • Promote engagement of existing supporters and development of volunteers through organized events and actions on and off campus, including participating in and leading trainings and facilitating meetings.
  • Build meaningful relationships and partners with campus organizations to further reproductive justice initiatives on campus.
  • Attend local community events and organizational meetings on behalf of Planned Parenthood, as requested.
  • Coordinate with Community Organizer on broader Planned Parenthood events, orientations, advocacy actions and trainings, as needed
  • Additional responsibilities, as needed.

Qualifications

  • Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in the Dallas area.
  • Three months of consistent volunteer experience with Planned Parenthood or another progressive organization.
  • Ability to function in a fast paced work environment and manage multiple tasks.
  • Working knowledge of Google Docs, Microsoft Office Suite, and other technical tools.
  • Previous participation with PP Generation, Youth Organizing & Policy Institute (YOPI), Student Leadership & Advocacy Meeting (SLAM), Power of Pink, and other Planned Parenthood youth activities preferred, but not required.
  • Political and/or issue campaign experience preferred, but not required.

Personal Qualities/Other Attributes

  • Deep appreciation for mission of Planned Parenthood and reproductive justice.
  • Interest in Texas politics and political advocacy.
  • Enjoys operating in a fast-paced environment; a nimble and flexible work style.
  • A direct and open interpersonal communication style; a smart and confident leader.

Training
As a Youth Organizer, you will participate in regional, state, and national trainings run by experienced Planned Parenthood staff.  All Youth Organizers are required to attend and recruit campus leaders for the Planned Parenthood Texas Lobby Day that will be held in April 2019.  Additional trainings will supplement the valuable skills and experience you gain on your campus and in your community.

Compensation
This position is paid hourly at a rate of $15.00 per hour.

How to Apply
To apply, send a one-page resume, cover letter of 500 words or less, and three references to jobs@pptexasvotes.org.

  • Each document should be a separate attachment; all attachments should be saved in PDF format and named in the format of “Last Name, First Name – Document Name”.
  • Cover letters included in the body of the email will not be accepted.
  • References from employment, academic and volunteer experience are acceptable.
  • Please indicate “Youth Organizer – Dallas” in the email subject line.
  • All applications must be received by 11:59pm CST, Monday, January 21, 2019.

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental to our success at PPTV.  Employment opportunities are based on an individual’s capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established under the law.

PPTV is hiring a Development Specialist

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes
Development Specialist
Position: Full-time, permanent
Location: Austin, TX

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is the statewide advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas that engages supporters of reproductive health and rights to fight to protect and expand women’s access to preventive and reproductive healthcare, including abortion. The work at PPTV is fast paced and deals with complex and high priority matters related to the  politics of women’s health in Texas. Our programs range from talking to voters about the politics of abortion to advocating to protect funding for preventive health care.

 

General Description

The Development Specialist is responsible for the solicitation and stewardship of donors that give less than $1,000 annually, through direct mail, online, and events. This position contributes to the organization’s fundraising efforts by leading the annual giving campaign through direct mail and electronic solicitations; managing and preparing donor correspondence; providing materials and research support; managing special events for donor cultivation and small dollar fundraising events; maintaining the fundraising database, and tracking and reporting progress to goal. The Development Specialist conducts fundraising activities on behalf of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Texas (PPAT), Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) and PPTV PAC.

 

Key Responsibilities

ANNUAL GIFTS

  • Develops an annual plan and calendar for the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors who give less than $1,000 annually, with input and direction from executive leaders.
  • Manages, prepares, and drafts communications for donor correspondence and fundraising mailings including annual solicitations, direct mail, acknowledgement  letters, and other stewardship activities.
  • Coordinates timing and all logistical aspects of electronic and direct mail solicitations and other donor communications, such as e-newsletters, with affiliate development staff, national Planned Parenthood entities, PPTV communications staff and outside mail vendors.
  • Plans and executes cultivation and fundraising events, including managing and supporting volunteer event planning committees. 

MAJOR GIFTS SUPPORT

  • Works closely with the Political Development Officer to ensure coordination of fundraising efforts and assists the Political Development Officer with preparing memos, documents, and other materials to solicit gifts from board and community board members and major donors.
  • Drafts, prepares and submits case statements, letters of intent, grant proposals, grant reports and other types of solicitations, as requested. 

TRACKING & REPORTING

  • Enters and maintains accurate records in the fundraising database (NGP) of donor information and of all contributions received.
  • Tracks and reports progress to goal of all fundraising efforts and assists in evaluating the annual giving program for executive leaders and the Board of Directors.
  • Provides documentation, records and reports of contributions received to the Executive Assistant for bookkeeping purposes. 

ADDITIONAL DUTIES

  • Represents the organization at fundraising meetings, community events, and conferences, as appropriate.
  • Maintains knowledge of the policy landscape with respect to reproductive health and rights, and updates donor materials and correspondence accordingly.
  • Responsible for other fundraising projects as assigned. 

Experience and Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in a wide-variety of disciplines or equivalent experience (four years, full-time) in lieu of education.
  • At least two additional years of fundraising and/or communications experience, preferably in a political or non-profit environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills that promote productivity and efficacy in a collaborative and multi-faceted team environment.
  • Ability to organize, multi-task and effectively function in a fast paced environment, to set and achieve short and long term goals and deadlines with extremely high-level attention to detail.
  • Skill in proactively researching and quickly synthesizing information, and presenting it creatively in a variety of formats.
  • Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision and consistently produce high quality work.
  • Experience managing a donor database, preferably NGP VAN.
  • Excellent computer skills with knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Suite, and Internet. Must have the willingness and ability to adapt to change including advances or new technology.  
  • Ability and willingness to work after regular business hours, including weekends, early morning, and/or evening hours as needed. 

Personal Qualities/Other Attributes

The Development Specialist will demonstrate the following:

  • Deep appreciation for mission of Planned Parenthood.
  • A polished communicator – you are an effective storyteller, writer, and ambassador.
  • Gravitas and diplomatic style; high emotional intelligence.
  • Collaborative work style; able to facilitate amongst diverse communities and individuals.
  • Enjoys operating in a fast-paced and demanding environment; a nimble and flexible work style.

How To Apply

To apply, send a resume and cover letter to jobs@pptexasvotes.org, subject line “Development Specialist”.

  • All attachments should be saved in PDF format and named in the format of “Last Name, First Name – Document Name”.
  • Cover letters included in the body of the email will not be accepted.

Additional Position Information

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes is an equal employment opportunity employer and is committed to maintaining a non-discriminatory work environment, and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  Planned Parenthood is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that values diversity and inclusion, respect and integrity, customer focus, and innovation.

 

Compensation and Benefits

This position is full-time, with a salary of up to $40,000 annually, commensurate with experience. PPTV is proud to offer a competitive benefits package for full-time employees that includes 100% employer paid medical, dental and vision coverage, life and AD&D and short term and long term disability for the employee. We also offer optional flexible spending account and additional life coverage. Full-time employees receive 11 paid holidays plus an additional winter break and two weeks paid time off.

New poll shows high engagement, strong support for Planned Parenthood this election cycle among likely Texas women voters

In the wake of Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and the upcoming midterm elections, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes recently surveyed what issues are resonating the most with likely women voters in Texas.

Hart Research Associates carried out the telephone survey of 500 likely women voters in Texas who identify as Democrat, Independent or soft Republican.

The results from the survey released today reveal that women voters in this audience are highly engaged (77% consider the upcoming election extremely important) and have a firm set of progressive policy priorities and preferences (health care, education and pay equity) as they head into the final weeks of the 2018 midterm campaign.

This includes strong support for Planned Parenthood (66% favorable view) as a uniquely trusted voice and provider of healthcare services to women in Texas. Additionally, women voters surveyed expressed overwhelming support for access to reproductive health care, including abortion, and a favorability for Democratic candidates who back Planned Parenthood.

“The poll results reaffirm that women voters listen to and trust Planned Parenthood Action Fund on issues affecting women’s health in Texas. PPTV PAC has a critical role to play in getting out the vote and helping elect more women’s health champions, who will stand up to Trump’s and Gov. Abbott’s dangerous agendas, into office,” said Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of PPTV. “Early voting starts next week and Election Day is 18 days away — we will continue talking to voters at their doors, over the phone and online to elect more leaders to the Texas legislature who are committed to fighting for our health and our rights, no matter what.”   

More than three-in-four women voters surveyed (77%) do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned  and among those, nearly seven in 10 (68%) say that they feel strongly about this issue. PPTV is running a robust campaign to reach 100,000 Planned Parenthood supporters and likely supporters across the state.

References:

PPTV Poll, October 2018 — View memos regarding Planned Parenthood Support Among Women Voters and Summary of Findings on Texas Women Voters.

Crosstabs, toplines and slidedeck data available upon request.

CONTACT: Alyah Khan, Communications Manager | C: 682.250.0458 | alyah.khan@pptexasvotes.org

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Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is the nonpartisan policy, advocacy and political arm for Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Announces 2018 State General Election Endorsements

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) is proud to announce our list of candidate endorsements for the 2018 general election cycle. The PPTV board of directors assesses candidate positions on a variety of reproductive health issues including access to birth control, evidence-based sex education, and safe, legal abortion. Endorsement decisions are based on a combination of voting records for incumbents, responses to candidate questionnaires, and publicly stated positions.

“Extreme Texas politicians have led the nation in attacks on reproductive health care with the support and favor of the Trump administration,” said Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of PPTV. “The only way to stop the attacks against our basic health and rights is to change who represents us. Our ground game is focused on making sure that the 860,000 Planned Parenthood supporters in Texas turn out to vote for leaders who will fight against Donald Trump’s agenda, no matter what. Every politician who has made a career of undermining our freedom and rights, is on notice. We’re fighting to elect officials at every level of government who will protect women’s health and rights.”

In 2017, reproductive rights were under attack at the federal and state levels. During the Texas legislative session, lawmakers filed nearly 40 anti-abortion regulations — several of which passed under Senate Bill 8, which includes a ban on certain abortion procedures that has been blocked in federal district court. The 2018-2019 state budget continues to block patients from accessing care at Planned Parenthood health centers through health programs and goes even further to ban Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving any state funding whatsoever. At the federal level, Donald Trump and Mike Pence spent the last year working to block access to affordable birth control, defund Planned Parenthood health centers, cut teen pregnancy prevention programs, and strip away women’s fundamental right to control their own bodies.  

As a result of these attacks, Planned Parenthood saw an unprecedented outpouring of organizing, activism, and support. This year more than 90,000 Texans took action to support Planned Parenthood for the first time. Texans are demanding elected officials who will stand strong in support of their health and rights. Between now and Election Day, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes will work around the clock to make sure that voters know what is at stake in this election and where the candidates stand.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Endorsed Candidates:

Challenger Endorsements:
Statewide
Lupe Valdez, Governor
Mike Collier, Lieutenant Governor
Justin Nelson, Attorney General
Miguel Suazo, Land Commissioner
Joi Chevalier, State Comptroller
Kim Olson, Agriculture Commissioner 

State Senate Districts
Mark Phariss, SD 8
Beverly Powell, SD 10
Nathan Johnson, SD 16
Rita Lucido, SD 17
Steven Kling, SD 25

State House Districts
L. Sarah DeMerchant, HD 26
Erin Zwiener, HD 45
Vikki Goodwin, HD 47
James Talarico, HD 52
Michelle Beckley, HD 65
Sharon Hirsch, HD 66
Ana-Maria Ramos, HD 102
Terry Meza, HD 105
Joanna Cattanach, HD 108
Brandy Chambers, HD 112
Rhetta Andrews Bowers, HD 113
John Turner, HD 114
Julie Johnson, HD 115
Trey Martinez Fischer, HD 116
Celina Montoya, HD 121
Alex Karjeker, HD 129
Gina Calanni, HD 132
Jon Rosethal, HD 135
John Bucy, HD 136

Incumbent Endorsements:
State Senate:
Kirk Watson, SD 14
John Whitmire, SD 15

State House: Endorsed or 100% pro-choice voting record
Bobby Guerra, HD 41
Gina Hinojosa, HD 49
Joe Moody, HD 78
Nicole Collier, HD 95
Rafael Anchia, HD 103
Victoria Neave, HD 107
Phil Cortez, HD 117
Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, HD 120
Ina Minjarez, HD 124
Alma Allen, HD 131
Sarah Davis, HD 134
Mary Ann Perez, HD 144
Garnet Coleman, HD 147 
Jessica Farrar, HD 148

Harris County: 
Marilyn Burgess, Harris County District Clerk
Adrian Garcia, Harris County Commissioner Precinct 2
Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge
Dylan Osborne, Harris County Treasurer
Diane Trautman, Harris County Clerk

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Endorses Additional 2018 Candidates

Today, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes (PPTV) announced additional candidate endorsements for the November election, including Justin Nelson for Attorney General and Miguel Suazo for Land Commissioner.

PPTV wants to elect candidates up and down the ballot who unequivocally support women’s health and reproductive rights, including access to birth control and safe, legal abortion. You can see the full list of endorsed candidates below.

“We need elected officials who will not only support but champion our rights,” said Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of PPTV. “Our endorsed candidates will stand up against the extreme and relentless political attacks on reproductive health and help stop laws that hurt Texans regardless of who they are or their zip code. We must elect a new set of leaders in 2018 who will protect our rights without question.”

Additional Candidates Endorsed by Planned Parenthood Texas Votes:

Statewide
Attorney General – Justin Nelson
Land Commissioner – Miguel Suazo

State Senate Districts
SD 17 – Rita Lucido

State House Districts
HD 45 – Erin Zwiener
HD 47 – Vikki Goodwin
HD 52 – James Talarico
HD 102 – Ana-Maria Ramos
HD 104 – Jessica Gonzalez
HD 108 – Joanna Cattanach
HD 112 – Brandy Chambers
HD 113 – Rhetta Andrews Bowers
HD 116 – Trey Martinez Fischer
HD 136 – John Bucy

Click here to see our full list of endorsed candidates. 

Statement: Lawsuit Filed by Allied Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Groups Against Texas’ Abortion Laws

Statement from Yvonne Gutierrez, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, On Lawsuit Filed by Allied Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Groups Against Texas’ Abortion Laws

Today, The Lawyering Project, an advocacy organization dedicated to improved reproductive health care access, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Texas’ abortion funders and reproductive justice organizations to fight against our state’s onerous abortion restrictions.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes fully supports this lawsuit and its aim to dismantle current laws that hurt Texas women and their health. Women deserve access to safe, legal abortion without barriers or delay.

Statement from Yvonne Gutierrez:

“The lawsuit filed today in Austin is a big step in the right direction. Planned Parenthood Texas Votes stands alongside our allies in fighting against the state’s dangerous and restrictive abortion laws that threaten the lives of Texas women.  

“Our mission is to fight to protect and expand women’s access to preventative and reproductive health care, including abortion. This lawsuit takes aim at Texas’ current anti-abortion laws, which are some of the most oppressive in the country. We hope this case helps shine a light on the true motives behind these restrictions — to end access to safe, legal abortion. Texas women deserve better.”

Lives at stake in the Democratic runoff for governor

Governor Greg Abbott, who is running for re-election this year, relentlessly attacks Texans and their rights. Workers’ rights, women’s health care, the public education of our children, and voting rights are all under siege. Immigrants and LGBTQ Texans are being outright threatened.

With the Democratic gubernatorial runoff election now upon us, our organizations remain committed to the rights of all Texans to live and raise families in healthy and safe communities, with dignity and justice — regardless of race, income, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious belief, or immigration status. Because of this commitment, our organizations have endorsed Texas Democrat Lupe Valdez for governor.

Lupe Valdez has spent a lifetime breaking down barriers and defending Texans. We know who she is and what she stands for. Her candidacy is about the fair shot Texans from all walks of life deserve. The same cannot be said of her opponent and we feel a moral obligation to step forward and speak out.

When Andrew White first launched his campaign to become the Democratic nominee for governor, he was serving as a church leader in a conservative anti-LGBTQ church that describes homosexualty as “sexual perversion,” he directly told a Planned Parenthood board member that he would sign anti-choice legislation if it came to his desk as governor, and he owned a border surveillance company that used anti-immigrant slurs in its marketing materials.

White’s positions and affiliations on core progressive issues were offensive in their own right, but what is  even more troublesome is that as each of these issues have come to light, White has conveniently changed course. Four days after news broke regarding his affiliation with an anti-LGBTQ church, the first-time candidate resigned as a church elder. He stated his personal faith would never affect how he would govern, but he never actually clarified if he believes homosexuality is immoral. After announcing his candidacy and having his anti-choice position called into question, White said his personal position on choice would not affect how he would govern and he denounced legislation restricting reproductive rights passed under Gov. Abbott. In the days following a forum led by Latinx youth he stated that IF he won the primary runoff he would divest from his border surveillance company.

He became supportive of LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights and immigrant rights only when he realized that Democrats would not support a candidate who does not support these values – when people were looking. Character and leadership, however, are defined by who you are and what you do when people are not looking.

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time,” as Maya Angelou said.  

As progressive advocates in Texas, we are all too familiar with political compromises that regularly occur in the Legislature on the backs of women, LGBTQ communities, immigrants, teachers and hard-working Texans. White’s candidacy promises more negotiating on the importance of the lives and rights of each of our constituencies — and that is something we can not and will not risk.

As a private citizen, White is certainly allowed the space to evaluate and grow in his personal and political beliefs. But as a candidate for governor of Texas, a state with 26 million people from different backgrounds, we demand solid, unwavering leadership that Texans can count on now. No matter what. And that is why we are supporting Lupe Valdez for governor.

Mayor Annise Parker, LGBTQ Victory Fund
Yvonne Gutierrez, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes

Resisting in 2018: The promise I made at the Women’s March

One year ago, I stood with thousands of people at the Dallas Women’s March and realized the power of my voice. The strength of my convictions.

I found myself.

Before the march, I had never blockwalked, called a legislator, or spoken in public. As the daughter of an immigrant, I was raised with the idea that I needed to be grateful and keep my head down, even in — especially in —  the face of injustice. My mother never acknowledged the everyday injustices we struggled with. It was just how things were if you poor and Latino.

Latinos still have the lowest insured rate and along with other communities of color, face systemic barriers to getting the care they need and deserve. Texas mothers are dying at a higher rate than anywhere in the developed world. Black women in our state face the greatest risk of pregnancy- related and maternal death.

As I grew up in Dallas, moved to Austin for college, and then left for Colorado, I relied on Planned Parenthood for birth control and non-judgmental information about my sexual health. They were the first to raise the red flag that my family history of breast cancer meant I should begin clinical breast exams and mammograms earlier in life. But certain politicians are dead set on shutting down health centers, and blocking access to reproductive health care.

Now, I lead a community outreach program at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas called MUJER, Mujeres Unidas Por Justicia, Educacion Y Respeto. At the Women’s March, I approached the group from Planned Parenthood about volunteering and we talked about how it seemed more common for a 15-year-old Latina teenager to tell her parents she’s pregnant than to ask for their help getting birth control. Together, we built the MUJER program for Latina women to have a safe, non-judgmental space to talk about the issues that might be stigmatized or embarrassing in other environments. And we do it over coffee and pan dulce on Saturday mornings, like generations of women in our families have done.

This year, I have been to Washington, D.C. as a patient-advocate for Planned Parenthood, I’ve made dozens of trips to Austin to protest the Texas Legislature’s attacks on reproductive and immigrant rights, and I’ve spoken in front of thousands of people at rallies and demonstrations. I’ve befriended so many incredible, passionate people. Now, I call myself an activist.

All it takes is that first step. At the Women’s March in 2017, I raised my fist in solidarity with other women and as a promise to keep fighting for more. To fight for a Texas where everyone has access to health care, regardless of gender expression, race, income, sexual orientation, religious belief or immigration status — where every Texan has the opportunity to live a healthy and meaningful life. To fight for comprehensive sex education, affordable birth control, and access to safe legal abortion.

On the anniversary of the Women’s March, what are you fighting for?

Meet the Organizer: Summer Lollie in Dallas-Fort Worth

When I was growing up in Dallas, my sister and I would often visit our cousins in Wichita Falls on weekends and during the summer. We grew up playing freeze tag and hide and seek with walkie talkies at my grandparents’ house and talking about how we would grow up to be doctors, lawyers, or the first black President of the United States. But as I got older, my sister and I saw some of our teenage cousins get pregnant and start working low wage jobs to make ends meet for their families.

While my cousins are living great lives and raising amazing children, my sister and I knew we didn’t want to make the same choices — so we took to the internet to learn about sex. We found a number of websites, some more informative than others, before landing on the Planned Parenthood website. We had heard about Planned Parenthood and the work they did in the Dallas community, so we knew it could be trusted as a good source of information on birth control and sexual health. Thanks to that resource, we were able to navigate through high school and college without an unintended pregnancy. Now, I am building a career at Planned Parenthood where I work to make sure everyone has access to Planned Parenthood’s health and education resources to control when and if they want to have children and go on to have the careers they want and participate in their communities in they way they choose.

As an organizer, I am committed to making sure marginalized populations in Texas have a voice in electing public officials who will champion the rights of women and all Texans. Before joining Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, I worked at Battleground Texas as an organizer working in east Dallas to register new voters and help Rep. Victoria Neave win her state house seat over an incumbent anti-abortion Republican. I also previously worked as an executive assistant at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, advocating for strong safety public nets like debt-free college and Medicare for all and in Shreveport, LA, as a teacher and school personnel union organizer, fighting for strong public schools.

If you are looking to make a difference in your community, know that you don’t have to create your own movement. Prioritize one or two issues you are passionate about, and find a group that works on them. When we work together, we are more powerful!

Here in Dallas, we have regular opportunities for people to get involved in the work Planned Parenthood does to protect and expand access to reproductive health care. On November 7, we are hosting a Planned Parenthood 101 to give first-time activists a chance learn about Planned Parenthood as an organization and the different ways you can fight back against attacks on our care. Every month, we also host supporter engagement phone banks to grow our team of activists. I would love to meet you and get you plugged into the work we are doing on the ground!

To join Summer in the fight for reproductive health and rights in Dallas-Forth Worth, email her at summer.lollie@pptexasvotes.org!