The Texas Legislature is hard at work making it even harder for residents of the Lone Star State to register and vote.
But challenged during a legislative debate, the GOP backer of a new voter suppression law claimed he did not know the meaning of the phrase “Purity of the ballot box.” The Trumpist supporters of the bill had initially inserted the purity language in the proposed legislation.
Unfortunately for the GOP lawmakers, a Democratic colleague educated the ignorant Republican politician. It turns out Texas maintained the “Purity of the ballot box” starting more than 100 years ago by preventing black people from voting. By 1940, Texas dentist Lonnie Smith tried to vote. Officials denied him his right because he was Black. Smith’s lawsuit went to the Supreme Court, where he won a historic victory against white-only primaries.
What is a God-fearing, Trump supporter who believes in election integrity to do? The cowardly GOP yanked the purity language before passing the bill at about 3 a.m. The Trump-loving governor who failed the state when a winter storm crippled the privately-run power system for most of Texas, has promised to sign the legislation into law.
But Texas Democrats, including Black Texas Democrats, continue to fight for democracy. Folk will no doubt sue the state once the governor dips his pen in poison to anoint the unholy law. The battle is based on history and more recent events, as documented by a Texas Tribune analysis indicating that “It’s harder to vote in Texas than in any other state.”
In the meantime, though, Fort Worth is holding a runoff election for mayor on Saturday, June 5. Fort Worth native Deborah Peoples is the Democrat who made it into the runoff. She is running against someone who once worked for the long-term city mayor who decided against running for another term.
If elected, Deborah Peoples will serve as the first Black mayor of Fort Worth. You can learn more about her, volunteer, or donate money, at DeborahPeoplesforMayor.com.
This is what her website tells us about the prospective mayor of a major city in Texas:
Deborah Peoples was born and raised during a time of great change for Fort Worth and America. Participating in the Civil Rights movement and peacefully marching for justice inspired Deborah to fight for what’s right at an early age, and she’ll continue that fight as Mayor of Fort Worth.
Deborah’s courage in her convictions led her to excel in school. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University. Deborah’s business credentials make her stand out in this race.
After a career with the City of Fort Worth helping connect more residents with city resources, Deborah entered the business world. A trailblazer in the workplace, Deborah worked her way up at AT&T to eventually become a Vice President in charge of growing revenue across nearly half the country. During her years managing a team of 5,000 people across 22 states, Deborah ensured none of her team’s jobs were moved overseas.
Deborah is poised to use this executive experience to help bring new businesses and good-paying jobs to Fort Worth.
While working, Deborah started a family and deepened her relationships in her church community. Compassion and conviction guided Deborah’s relationships with her loved ones and her faith, and those same values will influence her leadership of Fort Worth in this time of crisis.
After retiring from a three-decade career as a successful executive, Deborah redoubled her commitment to positive change by serving as Chair of the Tarrant County Democratic Party. During her tenure, the county reached new heights of voter registration and civic engagement.
This is an extraordinary moment in Fort Worth’s history. The public health crisis has worsened long-standing issues in our economic system, our criminal justice system, and the very fabric of our polite society. Deborah’s lived experiences marching for justice, leading in business, and bringing people of all backgrounds together fuel her historic campaign to unite us into One Fort Worth.