Friday, September 19, 2014

#TexasDebates

Lone Star Pa and I watched the Texas gubernatorial debate that took place in Edinburg this evening on television (word is that our eldest offspring watched it in person, and even had breakfast with Wendy!).  We thought Wendy seemed awfully nervous and scripted at first, not a great thing when Abbott had a very comfortable vibe going on, but that soon changed.  Definitely Wendy had better answers for Texas.  

There were things I did not like about either of them - the death penalty, border surge, drug tests for SNAP recipients - it bothers me that we can't seem to get any candidates that will drop that sort of rhetoric.  Wendy, however, had a better vision for Texas in every way in which the two candidates differed.

Wendy Davis will fight for Texas working families to have decent wages, she will fight for education funding and voting rights and access to health care for women.  The choice is clear.

Team Wendy for Texas! 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Texas School Finance System Unconstitutional

Things have been so busy around here that I have been pretty remiss at reporting current events of interest to Texas families, but this was a big one.

On August 28th State District Judge John Dietz ruled that Texas' school financing system is unconstitutional because it does not provide adequate funding for public education in Texas or distribute the funding fairly to all Texas schoolchildren.  

This case had its roots in the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature's decision to cut $5.4 billion from public education in 2011, prompting more than 600 school districts to sue the state because they no longer had adequate funding to meet the educational needs of an ever-growing Texas population of schoolchildren.  Greg Abbott will doubtless appeal - maybe already has appealed; I have been busy - this ruling to the Texas Supreme Court.  If the Court upholds Judge Dietz' decision (as it should, according to the Texas Constitution), then the Lege will have to overhaul the way we fund public education in Texas.  I rather doubt the appeals process will be over before the 2015 Session is, though.

It may take awhile, but if we can defeat Greg Abbott and his cronies, there is hope for public education in Texas!


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Voter ID: United States v. Texas Starts Today

Today in Corpus Christi, the trial of United States v. Texas began, a Justice Department challenge to Texas' racist Voter ID Law, Senate Bill 14.  This bill discriminates against poor voters who may not be able to afford one of the eligible photo IDs that are now required to vote in Texas (or the documentation required to obtain one) and is clearly targeted at suppressing the votes of the non-white and non-rich.  

Student IDs, with photos, even issued by state universities do not, by the way, qualify.

Texas has not been able to identify even one case of in-person voter fraud but at least 780, 000 Texans are believed to be without an ID that will allow them to vote under the law.

Texas tries to suppress minority voting every chance it gets and has done so every chance it has gotten since the 15th Amendment.  The gutting of the Voting Rights Act and our subsequent release from federal oversight opened the floodgates for this sort of voter suppression.  I hope the trial results in a return to federal oversight because our voting regulations still totally need to be supervised, I am sorry to say.





 

The Plaid Dress Goes to College


Monday, September 01, 2014

Happy Birthday, Ann!

We remember our Governor.

Happy Labor Day, Texas!

Let's work to get out the vote for candidates who care about the working families of Texas more than they care about the profits of big corporations!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

National Breastfeeding Month: Don't Hide It

Lone Star Ma's final theme for the last week of National Breastfeeding Month is Breastfeed In Public.  One of the reasons that our culture is so unfriendly to breastfeeding in the United States is because we are largely unfamiliar with it and people tend to fear that with which they are unfamiliar.  People see babies being fed with bottles all the time, so bottle feeding = normal to them.  People rarely ever see people breastfeeding an infant so breastfeeding = strange to them.  There is not really any way to change this unless people start seeing breastfeeding all around them as a routine part of their daily lives as humans who are out and about in public places.

Texas law protects a woman's right to breastfeed in any place where she would otherwise be allowed to be.  Here is the law:


"HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
TITLE 2. HEALTH
SUBTITLE H. PUBLIC HEALTH PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 165. BREAST-FEEDING
SUBCHAPTER A. BREAST-FEEDING RIGHTS AND POLICIES
.....
Sec. 165.002. RIGHT TO BREAST-FEED. A mother is entitled to breast-feed her 
baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 600, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1995."

And here's a tip:  we all know stories of nursing mothers who got chucked out of public places and directed to bathrooms.  Guess what?  I was definitely the boldest mother I ever encountered in terms of nursing in public (all the public places!) and people never, ever hassled me in public, including in places where other mothers got hassled plenty.  Why?  

I had the look of someone with whom they did not want to tussle.  

Practice bold, assertive eye contact and be confident in your right to be nursing your baby where you are.  It may not work everywhere, but it will work a lot better than being timid about it will.

Now, get out of the bathrooms and take your baby out in the sunshine, Mamas (Vitamin D and all that)!  Happy National Breastfeeding Month!

 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Women For Leticia

The Lone Star Family was phone banking for Leticia Van de Putte for Lt. Governor of Texas tonight because women's equality matters!

"At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?" - Senator Leticia Van de Putte

Greg Abbott Would Veto Equal Pay For Women

Remember, Mamas: when Wendy Davis championed legislation to allow women to more easily sue employers for pay discrimination in Texas, Rick Perry vetoed the bill and Greg Abbott, Republican candidate for Governor, said he would have done the same.  Wendy cares about equal pay for women and economic security for our families.  Greg Abbott thinks it is fair for men to be paid more for equal work.

Get out the vote for equality in Texas!

Happy Women's Equality Day!

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."


-19th Amendment to the United States Constitution,  passed by Congress on June 4, 1919, ratified on August 18, 1920 and certified on August 26, 1920.

Thanks to women like Lucretia and Susan and Alice and Elizabeth, we have the vote.  Go out there and make that vote count so we can have true equality, Mamas!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Once She Was Just A Baby .... Now She's A Grown Woman









Mothers, beware.  I know the days are long, but the years really are as short as they say.  Even shorter.  Before you know it,  they fly away...


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

National Breastfeeding Month: Pumping Support And Stories

Getting good support is essential to successfully pumping breast milk for your baby while you are working outside the home.  La Leche League International (LLLI) runs the best support network for nursing mothers, but it is true that it attracts a lot of mothers who are not employed outside the home and employed mothers often find that some meetings have a culture that does not support their needs.  This is usually a "Morning Meeting" issue, though.  In communities of any size, there are usually "Evening Meetings" as well as "Morning Meetings" each month and those evening meetings are where employed mothers can usually find the mother-to-mother support they need from LLLI.  It is great to start going when you are pregnant, but it is never too late to start.

The following are some excellent books that offer great information and support for breastfeeding mothers who are employed outside the home:


  • Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gale Pryor
  • Hirkani's Daughters: Women Who Scale Modern Mountains To Combine Breastfeeding And Working by Jennifer Hicks (Lone Star Ma has an essay in this one)
  • The Milk Memos by Cate Colburn-Smith and Andrea Serrette.
It is important to tell our stories.  The personal is political.  We support each other more than we ever know when we share our stories.  

Do you have any pumping stories to share?