Sen. Wendy Davis, Councilman Joel Burns to headline Tarrant Stonewall spring fundraiser

Sen. Wendy Davis

Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats will launch their spring fundraising efforts Wednesday at the group’s Spring Fundraising Kick-off Party.

Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns is scheduled to speak about various LGBT issues before introducing state Sen. Wendy Davis as the keynote speaker, said Felipe Gutierrez, president of Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats. Davis will highlight key issues at stake in her district and in the state, such as healthcare and education.

Gutierrez said the goals of the organization are to re-elect Davis and to get out the votes for House districts, in addition to supporting candidates who win the primary by making donations. The group’s bylaws prohibit endorsements in the primaries.

“We need all the help we can get to meet our fundraising goals in order to meet our goals for the year,” he said. “And it’s very important that Senator Davis gets re-elected. We cannot afford to lose her.”

About 100 people are expected to attend the event from 7-10 p.m. at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, at 1700 University Drive in Fort Worth. Sponsorships ranging from $50-$2,500 are still available and will be announced at the event.

Those interested in attending should contact Gutierrez at 817-713-7426 or

Sponsorship levels are below.

• Gold ($2500) You will receive six event tickets, and your name will appear in the invitation and event signage.

• Silver  ($1000) You will receive four event tickets, and your name will appear in the invitation and event signage.

• Bronze ($500) You will receive three event tickets, and your name will appear in the invitation and event signage.

• Individual ($50) You will receive one event ticket.

Ways to donate:

1. Make checks payable to Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats and mail to 3905 Summercrest Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76109.

2. Donate online here and click on Act Blue.

—  Dallasvoice

WATCH: Sen. Wendy Davis talks fire-bombing, Planned Parenthood with Rachel Maddow

Wendy Davis

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” Wednesday night in response to the fire-bombing of her office in Fort Worth Tuesday afternoon.

While initially thought to be an attack because her recent media attention for condemning the Senate’s cuts to women’s healthcare and Planned Parenthood, Fort Worth police believe a 40-year-old homeless man who was arrested for the alleged fire-bombing was not mentally stable as he allegedly rambled about aliens during his arrest.

Davis, an avid supporter for LGBT rights who authored a fully-inclusive anti-bullying bill last year, has also been a strong proponent for women’s healthcare. She has recently been vocal at protests against the decision to exclude financial funding to Planned Parenthood, a provider she relied on when she was a low-income teenage mom.

After Texas cut the women’s healthcare budget from $110 million to $37 million in the last legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry announced Texas will no longer receive federal funds for the Women’s Health Program, which 130,000 Texas women rely on annually. The decision was the result of the legislature not being allowed to exclude Planned Parenthood from receiving funds.

Davis was not present at the office at the time of the fire-bombing and was held for four hours on lockdown in her law office in downtown Fort Worth Tuesday evening. She told Maddow while the attack does not appear to be politically motivated, the incident reminded her of the risk elected officials face when they speak out about heated topics.

“It certainly reminds us how venerable we are in the public arena and that we have to take extra care and caution in making sure that we’re as safe as we can be,” Davis said.

Watch the interview below.

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—  Dallasvoice

Homeless man arrested for allegedly fire-bombing Fort Worth office of LGBT ally Wendy Davis

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis

Fort Worth police arrested a homeless man Tuesday night who they believe is responsible for setting off makeshift bombs at the office of state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth.

A bag of six bottles filled with lighter fluid were ignited outside Davis’ office around 4 p.m. Tuesday, starting a small fire. No one was injured, and Davis, a strong supporter of the LGBT community, was not in her office at the time.

Cedric Steele, 40, was arrested in a convenience store parking lot Tuesday night. He allegedly visited Davis’ office on West Seventh Street near downtown Fort Worth on Friday and again on Monday to speak to her about a tazing incident in Michigan.

During the arrest, he spoke of aliens, Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead said at a press conference outside the office Tuesday night. Police found igniter fluid and bottles in the abandoned house where police believe Steele was staying.

Steele has was convicted three times for criminal trespassing and once for assault family violence between 2006 ad 2010, according to Dallas County records. He was convicted of the misdemeanor of failure to identify in 2007 in Tarrant County.

Steel is being held on a $50,000 bond. He faces the second-degree felony charge of arson, punishable by up to 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, according to the Texas Penal Code.

Last year, Davis authored a fully LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying bill. Before running for Senate, she served on the Fort Worth City Council and appointed the openly gay Joel Burns to the Plan Commission. When Davis stepped down to run for Senate, Burns was elected to her old seat.

Calls made to Davis’ office were not immediately returned.

—  Dallasvoice