June 25, 2020
Your Weekly News from the Collin County Democratic Party
Democracy is Something you Do
by Misty Hook
For many, the 2016 election was a wake-up call. It certainly was for me! Sure, I voted in every election but I didn’t know who my local elected officials were or what some of my local governmental entities did. I’d lived in Texas for 16 years and had never heard of a Commissioner’s Court. I’m not alone. A lot of us were asleep at the wheel of democracy.
That all changed when Donald Trump was installed in the White House. People got angry and scared, especially liberal women. After 200+ years of male rule, we were so excited to finally have a female president that the shock of that victory being ripped away spurred us to action. Women who’d never been political before started joining Facebook groups, including a local one called Liberal Women of Collin County. LWCC is a social group, one dedicated to raising awareness and connecting with like-minded women. I wanted something action oriented too.
That’s how Liberal Women’s Action Network began. Other groups were already raising money, so we decided LWAN’s focus should be on something that wasn’t being done: monitoring local governmental entities. We wanted to know what’s happening in our city councils, school boards, Collin College Board of Trustees, and the Collin County Commissioner’s Court. Our primary goal is for our reporting teams to attend these meetings and summarize what they’re doing. Members also speak at the meetings and connect regularly with elected officials. If elected officials know we’re keeping watch and voting, they’ll start paying attention to our demands.
LWAN’s goals don’t stop there. We’re the activism arm of LWCC. We make our voices heard locally by showing up in force to meetings about a particular issue, protesting, and engaging in postcard writing campaigns. We meet with our county-wide and state-wide representatives to let them know our views, send op-eds to local newspapers, and keep an eye on the makeup and activities of city and county-wide Boards.
 
We also encourage more people, especially women, to engage in local activism and run for office. The Collin County bench for Democratic candidates is not nearly as deep as it should be. Once people start seeing how necessary it is for liberals to hold elected office, they’ll hopefully be inspired to lead.
 
I won’t lie. This isn’t always fun. Many of the governmental meetings are as dull as dishwater but monitoring them is still incredibly important. For example, the Commissioner’s Court has virtually no oversight except by voters, so we must demand transparency and adherence to our wishes. If you didn’t believe this before, you definitely should now as they’re the ones (poorly) handling the pandemic. Their decisions about testing, monitoring, contact tracing and economic plans critically affect our lives. We need to play a role in that.
 
Local governance is the very foundation of our democracy, and it’s the place where we can have the most impact. We’ll never talk to John Cornyn personally but our local officials live among us. They literally have to face us, so they’re more likely to care what we think. This is where we make a difference.
 
Abbie Hoffman once said, “Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it’s something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles.” Right now, we’re seeing the results of that non-participation and our democracy is on its last legs. It’s time to step up and participate. Get involved. It’s the only way we keep being free.

**LWAN is always looking for new team members and those who want to get involved. For more information, please visit our Facebook page or email me directly at drmistyhook@gmail.com . While our focus is in supporting women, we welcome men’s participation as well.

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 it 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 on the  Collin County Elections Department website .
Early Voting Begins Next Monday, June 29th!
The Early Voting Schedule and the list of Polling Locations for the July 14th Primary Runoff Election Day can be found here along with many details about Voting in Collin County .

Things you may not know about this Election that is on the Elections website:

  • Who is on the Primary Runoff Ballot? Click here.

  • What polling places are open for Early Voting? Click here.
 
  • Polling places are open on Election Day? Click here.

  • Will there be curbside voting? Yes

One of the biggest controversies now is who can vote by mail in Texas? Those over 65, disabled, or out of the County for the entire voting period are eligible.
The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is July 2 . You will need to download the application and either mail it in or email it.
Safety Precautions at the Polls
What safety precautions will there be at the polls?

  • We encourage all voters to wear masks and we will practice social distancing. There will be a supply of masks at the polls if needed.

  • All Democratic workers will be wearing masks and sanitizing equipment between each use.

  • You may bring your own pen to sign in, or use one of the sanitized pens at the polling place. 

Remember, t here are Voting Centers on Election Day so you can vote at any of these places in the county if you are a registered voter living in Collin County.
Avoid the Crowds at Polling Places
Like Tulsa residents last weekend, we have been following the advice to avoid crowds. Voting starts next week, and there is no need to be in a long queue to exercise your right to vote.

If you are voting in person, days without lines next week include Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday ( June 30 and July 1 and July 2 ). For more information on locations and schedule, see the two previous articles.

If you are 65 or older or otherwise eligible to vote by mail, there is still time to apply. You will need to email or print and mail an application .

Any questions? Write to elections@collindemocrat.org or call 469-609-0539.
Pictured in the photo is Mike Agan, Events Chair, and Barb Walters, Volunteer,
with Paul Hendrix, who manages the Veterans Center .

CCDP Donation Drive for Veterans Center of North Texas

The Events Committee, chaired by Mike Agan, organized some events to honor our Veterans on Memorial Day. Due to COVID-19, we were unable to hold our annual Memorial Day Picnic. Instead we held a service at the Memorial Park in Plano on May 25 th with some of our Veterans present. To see the service, go to this link on Facebook Live .

We also sponsored a Donation Drive for the Veterans Center of North Texas and delivered over 300 pounds of food and goods to them. They were very grateful for your donations, which we dropped off on Women’s Veterans Day, June 12, 2020. We were told they give away over 3,000 pounds of food to the Veterans every year.

Stay tuned next year for a Picnic and a Donation Drive!
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

P.S. Know of other ways to help? Send me a note at exec@collindemocrats.org .
Volunteers Needed for 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 held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm, be creative, interested in planning events, supporting events, and responsible for attending events.

We currently have four voting members and one ex-officio member. We look forward to growing our team and enhancing the overall experience of events, 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 4th 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.
Virtual Happy Hour:
Anna-Melissa Democrats Host Sean McCaffity
When: Today, Thursday, June 25th at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Virtual Zoom Meeting

Please join the Anna-Melissa Democrats as we host Congressional District 3 Candidate Sean McCaffity. Sean is currently in a run-off to become the Democratic Nominee on July 14th . We have endorsed Sean in this race, and believe his the best candidate to take on Van Taylor in November. Come learn more about Sean, ask questions, and see why you should support him on election day. We will post the event link to our Facebook Page the day of the event.
Collin / Denton Counties Club Challenge
Virtual Phone Bank Training Session
We are reaching out to the "Likely Dems - need to ID" in the voter database. The voters in this category need to be confirmed as Dem / Rep / Ind / etc. Its a short, easy conversation. We've divided Collin and Denton Counties up into teams based on Texas House Districts and will be competing head to head for the number of calls made.

Virtual Phone Bank Training ,
Monday & Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Smiling & Dialing Sessions
Monday & Wednesday from 6:00 -8:00 p.m.

You don't have to attend "Smiling & Dialing" to help out - calls can be made any time from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

For more information, visit our Facebook Group .