On Saturday, February 24th, we welcomed Beverly Powell to the Tarrant County Central Labor Council. Beverly Powell is running for Senate District 10 and TCCLC has decided to endorse her going forward into the primaries. We were joined by many union family members from across the state, and from our own county, to show how powerful boots on the ground really are at this block walk. Before putting those boots on the ground, spokespersons from the Ruth Ellinger Labor Leaders School stood up and asked her some tough questions.
Joe Hernandez, (IBEW Local 520 Austin) asked about raising minimum wage to $15, the rising cost of living in our cities, how the rising cost affects other cities in the state, whether she will support cities setting their own minimum wage, and if she supports state funded apprenticeship programs. As we know the stagnation of the minimum wage has forced the growth in our country to dwindle. This matched with the rising cost of living in our cities, is pushing families out further and further to survive. As families are pushed out of the city into suburbs and further, work opportunities become more difficult to obtain. Beverly Powell stands fighting for increased minimum wages to keep up with the growth of our cities and communities. She has committed to vote yes to “fair legislation that will not cause harm, and proves that we are linking arm to arm in reaching the same goals” about legislation for cities to set their own minimum wages. Apprenticeship programs with public funding to create opportunities in communities is something that she is interested in. She has been working on a “public private partnership” that gives trainings at no cost.
Areli Zarate, (Education Austin) asked about the school voucher programs, daca-mented students, teachers, class size, and plans for funding public schools. Beverly has committed to fight against vouchers saying that public schools provide children with well-rounded and a social environment to learn. That vouchers will decrease the funding for public schools in a devastating way which goes against her belief that “the single greatest socio-economic elevator ever designed by man is education, education is the path to everything”. Funding cuts cost our children and teachers, causing over-sized classrooms, teachers retiring early, and lost programs like the fire fighter academy. While in discussion of how to fund the schools, Beverly said “if Dan Patrick and Konni Burton have their way with the new tax initiative that they are rolling out then we will be looking at more cuts, the 10k raise that DP is promising to teachers will be coming off the back of career tech programs. We can’t do that because we have to keep money in public education”. She has a plan for a comprehensive line reform, to make classrooms sizes reasonable for an environment that benefits students learning and for teachers. She would also like to join the other 33 states in expanding the affordable healthcare, which will add another 6.5 billion into the budget. As for SB4, Beverly Powell has agreed that it makes our state less safe, that it is an unnecessary law, “in my belief an unconstitutional law, and I think our DACA students should have an immediate path to citizenship”.
Maria Esquivel Garza (WDP Dallas) gave personal accounts over the repercussions of SB4, and that this county has signed an agreement to allow ICE agents to come into local jails to deport family members. Beverly Powell agrees, noting that Hispanic women have stopped reporting domestic abuses over fear of deportations. Women and children are facing terrible situations out of further distresses. Not only is it hurting families, but it is damaging local businesses as well. People who work in companies and have family and friends who are not documented, are worried and missing valuable working days. Beverly declares she will fight against this divisive bill, saying “we should be a country that should build bridges, not walls”. Maria, also brought up pay raises for public state employees, which Beverly Powell fully stands for.
Once again, we would like to thank Beverly Powell for sharing many of our beliefs and showing that she is here for the working people. Finally, a huge thank you to all the volunteers who came out and gave their day volunteering and getting out the vote! Remember, early voting ends March 2nd and election day is March 6th!
JOIN US MARCH 3RD FOR OUR NEXT BLOCKWALK TO GOTV IN SUPPORT OF BEVERLY POWELL
IUEC Local 21 @ 1924 Baird Farm Rd Unit 101, Arlington, TX 76006
Below is a List of TCCLC' Primary Endorsements:
Beverly Powell - SD 10 - Running against Konni Burton
Mark Veasey - CD 33
Nicole Collier - HD 95
Chris Turner - HD 101
Linda Brown - Running for the Democratic Chair of Johnson County
Beto O'Rourke - Running in Texas for U.S. Senate
Any additional Endorsements will be added after the primaries.
This article was written by TCCLC's Political Field Manager, Angi Defelippo