June 11, 2020
Your Weekly News from the Collin County Democratic Party
A High Community Standard for All
[Graphic from 8cantwait.org ]

[Editor's note: The opinions are the author's and do not reflect the position of the Collin County Democratic Party.]

By Matt Leahy
State Democratic Executive Committee Member - Senate District 8
Collin County Democratic Party Precinct Chair - Precinct 50

As a black man and a precinct chair in the Collin County Democratic Party, I have to say I was greatly disappointed in the Op-Ed in The Rally on June 4th, 2020.

I certainly believe the Party should stand against racism and police brutality and declare that Black Lives Matter. If that is divisive to some, I hope they will divide themselves right on out the door. But to effectively oppose police brutality we have to participate in the discourse responsibly. I do not believe last week’s op-ed was responsible discourse. But before I explain why I feel that one was a poor example, let me do my best to do better.

Last week, the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance held a town hall to discuss the recent events, and show how we can “ meet anguish with action .” They promoted several organizations and courses of action; I am particularly fond of Campaign Zero , their Agenda to End Police Violence , and their #8CantWait project. If you follow that last link, you can find a tool that lets you see what proven policies to prevent police violence have been, or have yet to be adopted in your city, and the contact information to begin advocating for them. 

People of color and our allies must together turn our rage into results by demonstrating and demanding of our national, state, and most crucially, local officials. We cannot march just to march, or blackout our social media profiles. But by educating ourselves, listening to and amplifying voices of minorities, and persisting in the pursuit of progress, we will surely succeed.

Now I will begin to address last week. The editor of The New York Times editorial page resigned last night, after he chose to publish Sen. Tom Cotton’s op-ed, one which The Times later said “did not meet standards”, one he himself described as “painful, even dangerous.” In our case, the intentions of CCDP and the author may have been good, but we must hold everything we say and do to higher standards.

Whether it was satirical, or tongue-in-cheek, or not, I was not pleased to see CCDP share a potentially offensive and ridiculous proposal. This isn’t The Onion, and no disclaimer in that email could have absolved CCDP of an unheeded responsibility. A responsibility not to promote opinions that both damage our credibility in the eyes of the public and also detract from advocacy for serious, data-driven policies and tactics. Finally, as for the substance of the argument, the answer to prejudice is not more prejudice. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”

Received Mail Ballot Applications Have Been Processed.
Who Can Apply Now?
By David M. Smith
Collin County Democratic Primary Administrator

During the past couple of months, the question of who can apply to vote by mail was changing almost daily. As of this writing, there have been six court decisions on this.

Three different courts issued rulings expanding vote by mail eligibility to virtually everyone. However, the most recent decisions by the Texas Supreme Court and a federal appeals court have us back to where we were before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you submitted an application to vote my mail which may or may not have hit the Collin County Elections Department on a day an “everyone can apply” order was in effect, don’t worry. The department has processed all applications received on all days and is now mailing ballots to all.

Before and during all the legal action the Collin County Elections Department has been following long-established procedure, in compliance with the law. They simply accept all completed applications from registered voters. If someone checks the disability box, they do no investigation. Per law, they accept the declaration of the voter and process the application, no questions asked. Thus, they have not been concerned about what legal interpretation of disability may have been in effect on a given day. Every registered voter who applied is getting a ballot.

And if you are 65 or better or have another pre-COVID-19 reason for voting by mail and have not yet applied, there is still time to do so. For how to vote by mail, please see our guide below.
How to Vote by Mail
in July Primary Runoff
[Photo of sample ballot envelope]

Step 1: Obtain, fill out, and return an application to vote by mail.
Received by Thursday July 2

An application to vote by mail can be obtained on the Texas Democratic Party website txdp.cc/vbmapp . You can print the application yourself or have it mailed to you.

Because the signature on the application and on the ballot envelope (Step 2) must match, sign the application the same way you will later sign the ballot envelope.

Mail the signed application to:
Collin County Elections Department
2010 Redbud Blvd., Suite 102
McKinney, TX 75069

Step 2: Receive, fill out, and return the mail ballot.
Postmarked by Tuesday July 14 7:00 p.m.
and received by Wednesday July 15 5:00 p.m.

The Collin County Elections Department will mail you a ballot. Fill out the ballot and place in the ballot envelope. You must sign the ballot envelope. Mail back the ballot envelope to the Collin County Elections Department.

NOTE: Different deadlines apply for Military and Overseas Voters, and special procedures apply for those who become hospitalized or suffer a death in the family after July 2.

For assistance please call our voter hotline at 469-609-0539 or email us at elections@collindemocrats.org.

More information at the Collin County Elections Department website .
Voting Safely at the Polls
Voting by mail is the safest alternative. If you are 65 or better or otherwise eligible, please see our guide above.

Masks, face shields, plexiglass, single-use touch-screen styluses, distancing markers and other measures are on order for polling locations. Look for more information in The Rally later this month, before voting starts.

To avoid crowds, make a plan to vote early. Early voting starts Monday June 29.
Your Donations Matter – Now More Than Ever!
During these difficult times there are those who need our help more than ever. A few local organizations you can support who do this work include:
Minnie’s Food Pantry
Donate money by texting MINNIES to 41444

Drive & Drop items
Where: 661 18 th St., Plano TX 75074
When: Monday, Wednesday - Saturday
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Canned Meat
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Bagged Beans
  • Jelly
Allen Community Outreach

Drive & Drop items
Where: 801 E. Main Street in Allen
  • Canned Soups- Chicken Noodle, Tomato, Alphabet
  • Canned Pastas- Ravioli, SpaghettiOs, Lasagna
  • Canned Meats- Chicken, Tuna; Jellies- Grape, Strawberry
  • Fruit Cups/ Snack Packs
  • Fast Food Restaurant Gift Cards
  • Paper Towels/ Toilet Tissue
  • Toothbrushes/ Toothpaste
  • Kids Soaps and Shampoos
  • Hand Sanitizer/ Wipes 
Community Lifeline Center

Drive & Drop items
Where: 1601 N Waddill St #102, McKinney

  • Cereal boxes of any size; spaghetti sauce 24 oz bottle or can
  • Pears, Peaches, Mixed Fruit, and Applesauce, 15 oz can
  • Ravioli, 15 oz. can
  • Oatmeal cylinder
  • Mac & Cheese 7.5 oz box
  • Cornbread mix
  • Rice 1 lb bag

As Democrats, we understand that we are stronger as a community that shares the load and lifts each other over our rough moments. You can do that right now.
Thank you,
John Shanks
Executive Director
Collin County Democratic Party

PS: Know of other ways to help? Reply and send me a note at exec@collindemocrats.org
Seeking Two Additional Voting Members for the Events Committee
The Events committee is looking to add two additional voting members on our committee. You should be able to attend regular standing meetings which are held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm, be creative, interested in planning events, taking on special projects to support events and willing to attend events.

We currently have four voting members and one ex-officio member. We look forward to growing our team and enhancing the overall events experience for our membership as well as those we are trying to reach in the Collin County community. Some of the types of events we work on are decorating floats and marching in the July 4 th and Christmas holiday parades, having Democratic booths at local festivals such as the North Texas Pride Festival, Plano Balloon Festival and McKinney Oktoberfest. Please contact the Events Co-Chairs by email at events@collindemocrats.org so we can explore your interests.

In addition, the Communications team is looking for 1-2 additional volunteers to help with social media and the website. Graphics, social media, and Wordpress skill would be helpful but not required. We will train. Contact communicationsdirector@collindemocrats.org
Seeking Volunteers for our July 4th Parade Teams
The Fourth of July is just around the corner! We are tentatively planning a Democratic float in the McKinney Parade; we’d love for you to be a part of the fun. The Events committee is looking for volunteers now to be part of our Parade Planning Team lead by the McKinney area Democratic Club.
Democratic Candidates. We need designers, decorators, and walkers to support our parade efforts. The more the merrier!
McKinney July Fourth Parade, All Red, White and BOOM, will begin at 10:00 am on the fourth in historic downtown McKinney. This year is a stationary parade with participants assigned a 10 X 25 foot area. Parade goers will drive by in the safety of their vehicles.
Please contact the Events Co-Chairs by email at events@collindemocrats.org and let us know your interests and skill set.
CCDWD (virtually) Hosts Sen/US Senate candidate Royce West 6/15
 You don't have to live in Collin County or have a disability to participate. Allies and advocates are welcome and much appreciated!

When: Monday, June 15, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Where: Zoom. RSVP for link.
Contact:   disabilitydemocrats@gmail.com   or 307-314-ABLE (2253)
MADC Hosts the Judicial Candidates
MADC hosts candidates running for Collin County and Texas Supreme Court judges. Learn why these seats are vital to the Democratic values of fairness and balance in justice.

When: Tuesday, June 16, 7 p.m.
Where: Zoom