FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2023
New Grassroots Initiative, Blue Texas, Launches Today
Blue Texas aims to foster a community of grassroots Democratic donors, shore up rural legislative candidates, and provide year-round voter protection.
Austin, TX – Today marks the launch of Blue Texas, a joint project of Power the Vote and Every State Blue to fill the Texas legislative ballot, fund under-resourced campaigns, and combat voter suppression.
“At heart, Blue Texas is about leaving no voter behind,” said Power the Vote founder Kimberley Allen. “By funding Democratic state house and senate nominees, Blue Texas gives voters someone to vote for – someone in their local community who speaks to their values. And by funding voter protection, Blue Texas helps to ensure that those voters are able to make their voices heard and cast a ballot that counts.”
“Texas is not a red state – it’s a non-voting state. And that’s not a surprise: the Republican strategy of gerrymandering and voter suppression is designed to make Democratic voters believe that our votes do not matter,” said Michele Hornish, Executive Director of Every State Blue. “Blue Texas is striking at the heart of the politics of despair, by empowering voters to have their say, and by creating a grassroots community that’s rooted in hope and committed to fighting for those voters.”
Blue Texas is a grassroots community of small-dollar monthly donors who are committed to fighting and funding in every corner of the state.
Half of each monthly donation to Blue Texas will go to support Power the Vote’s work fighting voter suppression day-in and day-out all over Texas. The other half is distributed directly to Democratic state legislative nominees after the primary, using Every State Blue’s “bathtub” model. That model first supports those who have the least, ensuring that every Democratic nominee has at least a base amount of support and giving more voters the opportunity to hear from local Democratic champions.
Why Blue Texas:
Running and funding legislative nominees matters. Studies show that just having a nominee for state house on the ballot increases the vote share for the top of the ticket by 1.5%; and a challenger funded to spend just $0.36 per voter can increase turnout by an additional 1%. But in 2022, 41 Texas house districts had no Democratic nominee on the ballot – and another 34 were underfunded, averaging just $15,786 to reach approximately 145,800 voters (Source: FollowTheMoney). Over 10.9 million Texas voters–half the state–live in those 75 house districts and were left behind – either because there wasn’t a Democrat to vote for, or that nominee didn’t have the resources to run a real campaign. That results in decreased voter turnout, which impacts races up and down the ballot.
Funding voter protection matters. It’s not enough to turn out voters. To win, we also have to make sure that voters cast a ballot that counts. In 2020, Texas was already ranked the #1 most difficult state for voting in America – and in 2021, Republicans made it even harder to vote by passing a new voter suppression law, S.B. 1. Now, voters all over Texas face barriers to voting and threats of voter intimidation. When voter suppression is the problem, voter protection is the solution.
Together, we’re holding Republicans accountable. The fact is, Republican lawmakers are out of step with the values and priorities of a majority of Texans – which is why they rely on gerrymandering and voter suppression to protect them from accountability. By funding state legislative nominees and voter protection, the Blue Texas community empowers voters to hold Texas Republicans accountable for their extreme policies – and ensures that no Republican legislative candidate gets a free ride.
What They’re Saying:
Louis Bedford, Civil Rights and Voting Rights Attorney
“All politics is local. In order to fight for the progress all Texans need, it is imperative to not leave a single seat uncontested. From voter protection to voter education, we must empower the people to demand the change they hope to see. Blue Texas turns that dream into a reality and works to give the people of this state a voice that they have desperately fought for.”
Mike Collier, 2022 Democratic Nominee, Texas Lieutenant Governor
“I’ll tell you why I’m very enthused about Blue Texas. One is that we can’t just do voter protection near election day – it is absolutely essential that we do it every day, in every community across the state. The second is, we’re not going to win statewide if we don’t fight statewide, and raising money for local candidates is an important part of the equation. Together we’re going to solve two of the biggest problems we have in winning statewide. And when we do, we’ll have a renaissance of democracy in this state.”
Gina Hinojosa, State Representative, District 49
“Our schools are in crisis. My own son did not get a teacher in his 5th grade class. Teachers are walking away because we’ve underpaid them and undervalued their work. The vast majority of Texans support them, but our elected leaders don’t always do what the majority of Texans want them to do. That’s why every single Democrat we can put in the Texas House and the Texas Senate matters. The more Democrats we have joining us, the more we can actually invest in our public schools.”
Luke Warford, 2022 Democratic Nominee, Texas Railroad Commission
“I’ve spent a bunch of time over the last few months talking with folks about the work we need to do here in Texas. And so much of it is long term infrastructure building. It’s thinking about not just an individual election, or individual election cycle, but what can we do over the long term to continue to build Democratic power, to make sure that everybody who is eligible to vote can vote and do so safely. And that’s why I’m so excited about Blue Texas.”
The Blue Texas Advisory Board
U.S. Representative, (TX-16)
State Representative, District 110
State Representative, District 137
Louis Bedford, IV
Civil Rights and Voting Rights Attorney
Co-Founder and CEO, Civitech
2022 Democratic Nominee, Texas Railroad Commission