April 17, 2012
Given all of the false starts, missteps and court cases that have gone into deciding whether we’ll ever get to vote for our legislators and congressional reps again, it’s easy to forget that there’s an election coming up.
But there is. And folks are starting to tune in to the issues and choices that’ll be represented on the primary ballot in six weeks and in the General Election in six and a half months.
If you’re one of those folks, I hope you’ll come out and see me when I’m out and about this week. On Thursday, I’ll be in Fort Worth (not far from where I grew up) for a Tarrant County Democratic Party event
And on Saturday, I’ll be at the Travis and Bastrop county Democratic conventions.
At all of those places – and, frankly, throughout this year’s campaign and next year’s legislative session – I’ll be talking about the legacy-defining decisions we’ll have to make over the next year or so to determine where we want to go as a state.
Texas can do better
These decisions took on a whole new urgency this week with the Governor’s announcement of a plan that purports to respond to the state’s budget problems but doesn’t actually address the priorities of middle-class Texans. Furthermore, taxpayers will have to hope that yesterday’s words actually lead to budget honesty, transparency and accountability, not just more headlines and broken promises. You can read my statement on the proposal here
and coverage of it here
Look, Texas is a great place. There’s nowhere in the world I’d rather live and raise a family. But the truth is that Texas can do better.
Texas can do better by reforming state government to be more transparent in how it spends taxpayer money and more honest in how it accounts for it. I’ve been pushing an Honesty Agenda
for some time now. I’ve been fighting for it. Why has something so basic proven to be such a battle? Because those in control of the Capitol have refused to reform the system they control. And, yes, that includes the Governor.
Texas can do better by finding a permanent solution to funding public education and creating the great schools that our kids and teachers – and, ultimately, our employers – deserve.
And Texas can do better by implementing an agenda for the middle-class that restores necessities to seniors and children, invests in early childhood education, controls the costs of college, establishes Texas as the national leader in new energy in addition to fossil fuels, and helps small businesses along with big corporations.
Texas became a great state because the folks who came before us never neglected the opportunities that guaranteed our long-term success. We’ve got to honor and extend that legacy, not put short-term special interests over the needs of this great state that our kids will eventually inherit.
Speaking of the next generation …
Cooper Kyle Watson is our youngest son. He’s 16 and a junior at Austin High School. He’s one of those lucky kids who’s discovered what he loves (besides his dear old dad). He loves science. He’s good at it.
And he has skills beyond being able to recite the periodic table (which is to say, beyond mine). Cooper recently organized and created a chemistry club at AHS. He’s the inaugural president.
Best of all, he got word last week that he’s going to spend four weeks this summer in a science research program at Baylor University
. It’s designed to give high school kids some hands-on experience in research. He’ll live on campus, work with college professors and get college credit while working in chemistry and biochemistry.
This is a tremendous program, and we’re very proud of him.