April Meeting

Annual Meeting Looks to Future, Texas Legislature

Tuesday, April 6 at noon

Riverside Nature Center

150 Francisco Lemos Street, Kerrville

The Annual Meeting of Hill Country Chapter of Texas Democratic Women will be held on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in the Pavilion at the Riverside Nature Center, 150 Francisco Lemos Street in Kerrville. This outdoor, in person meeting will begin at noon.

Looking to a future that could include luncheon meetings in the Fall, the members present at the Annual Meeting will vote to elect the incoming President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, considering a slate presented by the Nominating Committee along with candidates nominated from the floor, if any. The remaining members of the Board will be appointed by the incoming President.

“Medicaid Expansion: Cutting Through the Fog,” a video cartoon produced by Texas State Senator Nathan Johnson of Dallas and Texas Impact, will be shown at the meeting. Senator Johnson, a Democrat, was elected in 2018 with bipartisan support. Senator Johnson represents the economically and demographically diverse Senate District 16, which comprises the northern part of Dallas County..His emphasis on improving the health of Texans prompted him to author and support a number of healthcare initiatives, ranging from medical coding to Medicaid expansion. He is Vice Chair of the Senate Administration Committee, a member of the Senate Redistricting Committee as well as three other Senate Committees.

Actions of our Republican leaders and the Texas Legislature are a major current concern that will be featured in the report of the new Legislative Chair, Judy Ferguson. Ferguson has accepted the Legislative Chair position vacated by Mary Ellen Summerlin as she began her campaign for Kerrville City Council. The meeting will not include food or beverages, and CDC Guidelines will be observed. Members must wear masks and seating will be spaced to provide social distancing. The Riverside Nature Center takes care to protect their staff and guests by following procedures to eliminate risk of exposure to COVID 19

Texas State Senator Nathan Johnson

President’s Thoughts

What do we do now? That seems to be a question that is being asked a lot these days. We survived the worst winter storm most of us have ever encountered. We have begun or completed the cleanup of our yards. The branches that fell and the trees that were uprooted have been carried away or will be soon. The broken pipes have been mended and we now have drinking water. Many of us have received our first or second vaccinations for the COVID19. If we haven’t, we feel sure we will soon because they are releasing more vaccine all the time. There are places we now feel free to visit, with masks on, that we avoided last month. The big CPVID relief bill passed. Many of us are now experiencing the results of that victory. All these have dominated our lives for the last months.

We feel almost like bears coming out from hibernation. I went to the new HEB for the first time. My husband had to show me around because he has been doing the grocery shopping for the past year. All my grandchildren are now too old to play with many of the toys and games I kept for them to use when they came to visit. Reluctantly, I acknowledged this and cleaned the items up to donate to a Head Start group. I drove into town and saw Mary Ellen Summerlin’s sign asking for support as a candidate for the Kerrville City Council. That made me realize there are still many things we need to do.

We need to become involved again. We can take baby steps toward normal HCCTDW activities. Our annual meeting, where we elect our new officers, will be in person, wearing masks and social distancing, at the Nature Center on April 6 at 12 noon. We won’t have a meal but we will have a business meeting and fellowship. That is the start we hope will lead to a resumption of our luncheon meetings next fall.

We helped our neighbors with our donations to the Mustard Seed Ministry in December and February. That is something we can continue if the membership wishes. We need to become involved in the local elections that will be taking place in May. Candidates need our support both with money and with our time. We MUST become informed about the legislation being proposed in Austin. Bills that have been filed will have a lasting impact on our voting ability, our internet capabilities, our statehood, and many other issues. We have been asked to become part of a postcard and letter writing effort concerning the expansion of Medicaid. This is a hands-on involvement we should eagerly accept in order to push this forward.

We need to wake up to the fact that we have work to do. They say a woman’s work is never done when they talk about being a housewife. Well, a woman’s work is never done when she cares about the quality of life around her. We have had success in many ways this year but our work is not done. We look forward to seeing you in April and setting some goals for what we do next.       

Sylvia Ostos 

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