by Dan Quinn

Leticia Van de Putte, a San Antonio Democrat who served in the Texas Senate from 1999 to 2015, has long been a friend of the Texas Freedom Network. We have been proud to stand with her on a host of important issues, such as supporting women's access to reproductive health care services, including abortion care, and reining in the ability of extremists on the State Board of Education to politicize public school classrooms. So we were pleased to see the following poem, written by Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla of San Antonio, honoring Van de Putte. Tafolla read the poem at a August 22 event in San Antonio. In honor of Leticia and with the permission of Tafolla, we're posting the poem here: The Leticia Stories: a tribute to a life of service by Carmen Tafolla You hear them everywhere, The Leticia Stories. Stories that make people roll with laughter, riverflow with tears, waterfall with love swell with pride. The Leticia Stories. Almost too good to be real. But you know they ARE real because SHE is real. The one who interrupts her fresh-wound funeral grief because she is needed in the Senate at 12 minutes to midnight to say what no one else could…… Read More

As expected, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has announced that state lawmakers will be back in Austin for a second legislative special session starting July 1. Lawmakers will again take up critical transportation and criminal justice bills that they failed to pass in the first special session because the governor and far-right legislators were more interested in promoting the war on women.

During the first special session, religious-righters had arrogantly assumed that they could easily ram through passage of their extreme agenda — including legislation interfering in the personal medical decisions women make with their doctors about whether and when to have children. But they suffered a painful defeat in a raucous Senate chamber Tuesday night.

There were a lot of heroes responsible for Tuesday’s historic victory for Texas women. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, held the floor by courageously speaking against Senate Bill 5 for 11 hours. Other Democratic senators, including Kirk Watson of Austin, Rodney Ellis of Houston, Royce West of Dallas, and San Antonio’s Leticia Van de Putte (who arrived in the chamber just hours after her father’s funeral), also played critical roles in defeating SB 5.

But the staff of our incredible coalition partners… Read More