Save the Day: Get registered and VOTE


There are less than three weeks left — 18 days, as of today (Friday, Sept. 23), to be exact — to register to vote in what may be the most important election of our lifetimes. And no, considering the candidate the Republicans have put on the ballot, that’s not hyperbole.

And remember, there is more at stake here than the presidency. We will be electing U.S. senators, U.S. representatives, state leaders. The future of the U.S. Supreme Court is on the line.

Are you registered? Do you even know for sure? Find all the information you need to know for sure at Texas’ statewide elections website. Dallas County voters can check here for their status, and Tarrant County voters can look here.

And now, just to drive the point home, here’s a whole shit-ton of famous people talking about how important it is to vote Nov. 8.

(Seriously. Register. Vote.)

—  Tammye Nash

Election day is here. Here is everything you need to know.


Today is Election Today. It’s your last chance to influence the Democratic or Republican primaries.

While it may be a presidential election year, there are contested elections for an open seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, Congress, the state Supreme Court, the Texas Legislature and more.

Texas has an open primary system, meaning you may vote in the Democrat or Republican primaries.

In solidly red counties like Collin, Denton and Tarrant, voting still matters in either primary. Just like how voting in solidly blue counties like Dallas or Travis still matters! You’re still influencing outcomes in contested primaries. You’re electing precinct chairs for both parties.

Here’s my quick guide to help you through the process:

1) Are unsure who is on the ballot? Do you even know what a primary election is? THAT’S OKAY! Because as long as you get in line by 7 p.m. at your polling place you are able to vote.

Between now and by the polls close, check out the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Texas Education Fund’s primary election voters guide, which is available in both English and Spanish.

I trust the League and respect its process. Why? Because the League reaches out to all candidates running for a state level office requesting they respond to questions that include basic background information and important issues in the state. Those answers are compiled in the candidates’ own words in the voters guide.

Candidates who responded after the print deadline are not in the print or website version, but are available at VOTE411.

2) Now you know who to vote for. Here’s what you need to vote, per the Texas Secretary of State’s, Texas voters are required to present one of seven types of photo identification to be eligible to vote.

The seven forms of identification permitted are:

  • Texas driver license—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • Texas personal identification card—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • Texas concealed handgun license—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • U.S. passport book or card—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • U.S. Military identification with photo—unexpired or expired no longer than 60 days at the time of voting
  • U.S. Citizenship Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization with photo
  • Election Identification Certificate (E.I.C.)

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, if you do not have one of the first six forms of identification only then may you apply for the E.I.C. at no charge. (Getting to a D.P.S. location and standing in line is a whole different story, however.)

Learn more about the getting an E.I.C. here.

3) Now, hold on. Want to participate in the Green, Libertarian or other third party elections? Then don’t vote in the Democratic or Republican primaries, said Brook Bailey, chair of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party.

“They should instead make plans to attend precinct, county, district, state and national conventions,” Bailey said.

Here are the details for the Green and Libertarian conventions.

4) Need more information? Check it:

Collin County 1-800-687-8546

Dallas County 214-819-6300

Denton County 940-349-3200

Tarrant County 817-831-8683

—  James Russell

Perry suspends presidential campaign


Former governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry.

Jesus has told Rick Perry to suspend his campaign for president, and Rick is listening, according to NPR.

Speaking at the Eagle Forum conference today in Missouri, the former governor of Texas said: “When I gave my life to Christ, I said, ‘Your ways are greater than my ways. Your will superior to mine.’ Today I submit that His will remains a mystery, but some things have become clear. That is why today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.”

I wish Jesus would have spoken up earlier and talked to Rick about not running for governor. Ever. Anyway.

Perry has had trouble getting any traction since Day 1 in this, his second presidential campaign. He is at or near the bottom of a very crowded field of candidates — Donald Trump, frighteningly enough, leads the pack — and he was forced to stop paying staffers last month.

—  Tammye Nash

Meet the candidates for city, school board in Dallas

vote-buttonDallas city and school board joint elections are fast approaching — set for May 9 — and many candidates are taking every opportunity to get out and meet their potential constituents and win some votes. The Friends of the Dallas Public Library will be holding receptions for candidates in different districts over the next week (beginning tonight), and the Preston Hollow Democrats have invited candidates to their meeting on Thursday.

Friends of the Dallas Public Library candidate receptions

Tonight (Tuesday, April 7), Friends of the Dallas Public Library are holding a “Meet The Candidates” reception, for District 6 candidates, from 7-9 p.m. at the Bachman Lake Branch Library, 9480 Webb Chapel Road.

On Thursday (April 9), the Friends hold a reception for the District 9 and 10 candidates, from 7-9 p.m., at the Audelia Road Branch Library, 10045 Audelia Road. And next Tuesday (April 14), they host a reception for the Districts 4 and 8 candidates, from 7-9 p.m., at the Paul Laurence Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest Branch Library, 2008 E. Kiest Road.

All of the receptions will include a moderated discussion, including questions from the audience. It is free and open to the public.

For information on the Friends of the Dallas Public Library go here.

Preston Hollow Democrats

Preston Hollow Democrats have invited candidates for mayor and city council  districts 2, 6, 10, 11 and 13, and candidates for the Dallas ISD place trustee race to speak at their meeting from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the auditorium of the Preston Royal Library, 5626 Royal Lane.

Each candidate will be given the Preston Hollow Dems members why he or she is running for office and why they deserve their constituents’ votes. Although city and school elections are non-partisan races, “the Preston Hollow Democrats believe that it is important to hear and consider each candidates and to encourage its members, guests and all voters to vote in these elections.

Candidates who have accepted the invitation to speak to PHD, as of this morning, are: Mayor Mike Rawlings, Marco Ronquillo, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo, Councilman Adam Medrano, Paul Reyes (may send a representative to speak), James White (may send a representative to speak), Councilman Lee Kleinman, Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates, Dr. Edwin Flores and Dr. Kyle Renard.

For information on Preston Hollow Democrats, go here.


Dallas City Council candidates are:

Place 1 — Scott Griggs; Place 2 — Adam Medrano; Place 3 — Casey Thomas II; Gerald Britt; Joe Tave; Wini Cannon; and B.D. Howard; Place 4 — Stephen King, Linda M. Wilkerson-Wynn, Sandra Crenshaw, Keyaira D. Saunders, James Ross, D. Marcus Ranger, Carl Hays and Carolyn King Arnold; Place 5 — Jesse Diaz, Rick Callahan, Sherry Cordova; Place 6 — Ozumba Lnuk-X, Daniel “DC” Caldwell, Lakolya London and Monica R. Alonzo; Place 7 — Tiffinni A. Young, Hasani Burton, John Lawson, Kevin Felder, James “J.T” Turknett, Randall Parker, Baranda J. Fermin and Juanita Wallace; Place 8 — Dianne Gibson, Clara McDade, Subrina Lynn Brenham, Eric Lemonte Williams, Gail Terrell and Erik Wilson; Place 9 —Christopher Jackson, Darren Boruff, Mark Clayton, Sam Merten and Will Logg; Place 10 —James N. White, Paul Reyes and Adam McGough; Place 11 — Lee M. Kleinman; Place 12 — Sandy Greyson; Place 13 — Jennifer Staubach Gates; Place 14 — Phillip T. Kingston; Place 15 (Mayor) — Mike Rawlings, Marcos Ronquillo and write-in Richard P. Sheridan.

For information on Dallas City Council elections go here.

Dallas ISD Board of Trustee candidates are:

District 1 — Edwin Flores and Kyle Renard; District 3 — Dan Micciche and David Lewis; and District 9 — Bernadette Nutall and Damarcus Offord.

For information on Dallas ISD elections go here.

—  Tammye Nash

Where’s your fucking polling place?

vote-buttonIf you missed early voting, today’s your last chance to vote. Don’t know where to vote? will tell you where to go.

Just enter one simple piece of information. In the red box, enter “Your fucking address here.”

I put in my address and got the answer, “Esperanza Fucking Medrano Elem School, 2221 Lucas Dr., Dallas TX 75219.”

Exactly fucking right.

However, if the information’s wrong or you need to look up another address, you can try again.

“Look for your fucking polling place again? I apparently have nothing better to do than help your ass all fucking day,” the site politely tells you.

Just some helpful and fun advice from your friends at Dallas Voice. And despite what the moron Kimberly Guilfoyle on Fox News advised, get out and fucking vote.

—  David Taffet

Know your rights; make your vote count

U.S. Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson

By Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

Special Contributor


Unlike any other time in American history, it is important for all eligible citizens to exercise their right to vote on Nov. 4.

Recently, there has been significant dialogue regarding which party will control the House and the Senate in Washington. These conversations highlight a very real point: This election is critical to the future of minorities and middle-class Americans.

Voter engagement is crucial.

In minority communities, there is a common misconception that voter turnout is only important during presidential elections. But adhering to this school of thought could result in more than a decade of financial and political oppression.

It is not enough to see massive voter turnout in 2016; the same level of voter turnout must occur on Nov. 4.

Since the election of President Barack Obama, America’s first African-American president, the Republican Party has become the “Obstructionist” Party. During the current Congress, the GOP has done everything in its power to ensure the ineffective operation of our federal government. For example, in 2013 the Republican Party caused a government shutdown.

Now, with the help of the U.S.  Supreme Court, the Obstructionist Party has shifted its efforts to implementing new voter ID laws and unconstitutional “poll taxes” that block the votes of approximately 600,000 eligible voters in Texas.

The new Texas voter ID law lists state driver’s licenses, voter identification certificates, state ID cards, concealed gun permits, military IDs, citizenship certificates and passports as the only forms of permissible voter identification.

Student ID cards, issued by the state’s colleges and universities, and other forms of government identification, including a voter registration card, are not acceptable forms of ID under the law.

The ability to utilize concealed gun licenses as a form of acceptable voter identification highlights the reality that these new laws were created to favor a specific demographic, while disenfranchising others. Why would a state deliberately violate the civil rights of millions of its residents?

Research shows that if African-Americans and Latinos successfully turned out to vote, many so-called red states would become blue.

A Congress controlled by Democrats would guarantee a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour. This would occur during the first 100 days of a new Congress.

Additionally, increased access to early childhood education would become a reality, and the Equal Pay Act, which ensures that women earn the same wages as their male counterparts, would go into effect.

But none of these vital changes will occur without proper voter education and participation.

To be prepared for the Nov. 4 election, I encourage all voters to prepare themselves by visiting to confirm their registration status. Voters can also visit www.votetexasgov to learn their correct polling places, and know their rights.

Do not allow yourself to be denied your right to vote based on technicalities. Educate yourself and vote on Nov. 4 to strengthen our democracy.

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson represents Texas’ 30th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. She is a longtime ally of the LGBT community.

—  Tammye Nash

The beginning of the end of bigotry in Texas

Editor’s note: Below is an opinion piece written by Todd Whitley, a columnist who contributes regularly to the Texas Voices (formerly Viewpoints) section of the print edition of Dallas Voice. Whitley will also be a regular contributor to our new blog page, which will be called CommuniTEA and which will feature the voices of people of our LGBT community. Watch for CommuniTEA, coming to our website soon.

A vision of what could be, if we all turn out to vote next month

Todd Whitley, Contributing Columnist

I can still remember that moment as if it were just yesterday: I had watched the past two presidential elections with amazement. But never had an election seemed to affect me so personally — in my own state.

Todd WhitleyYou see, back then, although gays and lesbians were making great progress toward marriage equality in other states, in Texas the nation’s longest serving governor, the Republican-controlled state Legislature, both U.S. senators and most of the U.S. representatives were against us. We had no marriage equality and no job protection.

Heck, the establishment was against women and poor people, too.

I admit: I had felt helpless, as if my vote — my voice — didn’t matter. But still, I voted.

As the polls closed, we had only a glimmer of hope. But we had no idea that hope was about to be realized.

A small group of us were watching the election returns at JR.’s. First, the early vote numbers came in and how we rejoiced at the landslide! Then, county by county, we held our collective breath.

Most — but not all — of the rural counties went red, as expected. But the vote count was closer than anyone could have predicted.

But how would the four major urban areas turn out?

The wait was excruciating and the entire bar was on edge, waiting to see what Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Dallas would do.

Then, like a line of dominoes, they fell as something that had once seemed impossible happened. One county after another went blue — definitively so. People in overwhelming numbers — women, lesbians, gays, Latinos, African-Americans — had shown up at the polls and elected Wendy Davis as the first Democratic governor of Texas in 20 years, and only the third woman ever!

It is said, “As Texas goes, so goes the nation.” A state that had been so deeply red — the hateful, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-immigrant shade — began to change. And so did our country.

Our new governor set about to expand Medicaid so that the taxes we were sending to Washington came back home to take care of our most vulnerable citizens, including those with HIV/AIDS. She set a course for our Legislature that increased funding to our schools instead of slashing it. She fought the uphill battle to end discrimination of Texas gays and lesbians, both in matrimony and in the workplace. And she fought for the rights of young Texas “DREAMers” to receive higher education.

Eventually she increased the minimum wage and we experienced real job growth — not the kind that comes from more minimum wage jobs.

It was not easy at all. The stubborn, still-Republican-controlled Legislature fought her tooth and nail.

But by the next election, more Democrats and moderate Republicans had won seats in both houses, and the country began to take notice.

What our governor started could be continued for decades and could catch on in other formerly red states.

You see, no longer was Texas a safe haven for those who would try to oppress women, take away their access to safe healthcare or control their bodies. No longer would the state exclude lesbian, gay and transgender Texans from the benefits and protections heterosexuals enjoyed.

No longer did our students perform at the bottom of the nation but rather they excelled because of the investment we made in their educations. No longer was Texas a state that gave preference to white, heterosexual citizens and instead became known as the Everyone has a Chance State, where each one of us — white and Latino, straight and LGBT, wealthy and poor — had equal footing, was respected, and flourished.

We still had our guns. Churches still decided whether to perform same-gender marriages. But we moved ahead so far.  And the nation followed suit.

All because we showed up at that Nov. 4, 2014 election.



This scenario is fiction, a vision of what could be.

This history has yet to be written. But it will be written, in just a few days.

And it could happen.

We are so close to seeing this vision become a reality. But only if you claim the power of your vote.

The future of Texas — and the nation — is up to you.

Todd Whitley is a local activist who can usually be found tweeting (@toddwhitley), holding a picket sign, thrift store shopping, or eating Tex-Mex. Read his blog at

—  Tammye Nash

Town’s residents vote to reinstate lesbian police chief

Crystal Moore

Crystal Moore

Residents of Latta, S.C., on Tuesday approved a referendum that changes the town government from a “strong mayor” format to a “strong council” format — thus giving the town council the authority to reinstate lesbian police chief Crystal Moore, according to reports on, the website for The Morning News.

Latta Mayor Earl Bullard fired Moore in April after giving her several reprimands and claiming that she failed to maintain order and that she questioned authority. Many of Latta’s about 1,400 residents, however, believe that Bullard fired Moore  because she’s gay — a belief bolstered, despite his denials, by a recently-released recording of a phone call in which the mayor launched into a rant declaring he would rather leave his children with a raging alcoholic than with someone whose “lifestyle is questionable.”

Ballots in the referendum vote will be canvassed on Friday, and council members have said their first order of business afterward will be reinstating Moore.

—  Tammye Nash

WATCH: Scenes from Wednesday’s Equal Scouting Summit

Eric Hay, who earned his Eagle Scout through Dallas-based Circle Ten Council, speaks about how he left Boy Scouts after he came out and was not allowed to be an adult leader. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

Eric Hay, who earned his Eagle Scout through Dallas-based Circle Ten Council, speaks about how he left Boy Scouts after he came out and was not allowed to be an adult leader. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

The Boy Scouts of America will announce a historic vote this afternoon after the 1,400 members of its National Council weigh in on whether gay youth should be allowed to participate the organization.

LGBT advocates for the change and protesters were in Grapevine on Wednesday to voice their opinions on the compromise to welcome gay Scouts but not adult leaders.

BSA President Wayne Perry had an op-ed in USA Today on Wednesday that called for the measure’s passage, saying BSA “policies must be based on what is in the best interest of our nation’s children.”

Watch video from Wednesday’s Equal Scouting Summit below.

—  Dallasvoice

AIDS housing funding survives challenge in Houston city council

Helena Brown

The city funding for four Houston nonprofits providing housing to at-risk populations living with HIV/AIDS survived a challenge from city council member Helena Brown last Wednesday. Under consideration by the council were ordinances to dispense almost $2.5 million in federal funds managed by the city to the SRO Housing Corporation, Bering Omega Community Services, Catholic Charities and SEARCH Homeless services.

Brown initially used a parliamentary procedure known as a “tag” to delay the funding for the Houston SRO Housing Corporation and Bering Omega. Any council member may tag an item under consideration, delaying the vote on the item for one week. Brown explained that she objected to government funding of charitable entities:

“I spoke last week on this very issue on grant funds and the idea that we are, you know, fighting with other entities and other governments for grant funds that really isn’t there. The federal government is in a worse condition than the city of Houston and to continue to try to milk the system where there’s no milk, is just, I mean, we’re fighting with our brothers, as I said last week, to get credit for who is going to push a friend over the cliff… We need to continue to look at the private sector and the business sector. Because even, I attended this event where this wonderful speaker was talking about the generosity of Americans and 80% of donations to nonprofits come from private individuals, not even corporations, and we need to continue to rely on that right now because the government right now, we’re broke – we need to face that reality.”

Other council members spoke passionately of the need for continued funding, arguing that by assisting people living with HIV/AIDS in achieving independence, particularly those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness,  the programs added to the tax based and help insure long-term stability.

“We don’t live in a perfect a world,” said freshman council member Mike Laster (the first out gay man to serve on the Houston City Council). “These organizations do their very best to raise money to care for the people among us, but they still need to reach out to entities that have that kind of capital, and by the grace of God this city and this government as an entity has some of that capitol, and I’m very proud that we’re able to provide those kind of services to some of my community members.”

Council member Wanda Adams, who serves as chair of the council’s Housing and Community Development Committee, also spoke in favor of continuing funding. Council member Ellen Cohen, whose district contains both SRO Housing and Bering Omega, spoke of how her life had personally been touched by AIDS:

“One of the first young men to pass away in New York City was a cousin of mine of something [then] called a very rare form on pneumonia… which we now realize was not. So I understand the need for these kinds of services. On a personal note I worked with Bering and I know all the fine work that they do, I’m addressing all the items but I’m particularly addressing [the Bering Omega funding] and feel it’s absolutely critical that we provide the kind of funding items, and that we are, in fact, our brother’s and our sister’s keepers.

After Laster asked Mayor Annise Parker the procedure for overriding a tag Brown removed her tag, but raised a new concern about HIV/AIDS housing, saying that her office had requested a list of the owners of apartment units where those receiving rental assistance lived. City Attorney David Feldman explained to Brown that federal law prohibits making public information that could be used to identify people receiving assistance through the housing program. Feldman said that, in his legal opinion, revealing the names of the owners of the apartments would violate federal law. Brown said that she was concerned that their might be a “conflict of interest” with apartment owners that needed to be investigated, claiming that as the reason for her tag.

Brown eventually removed her tag, rather than have it overturned. All four ordinances providing funding passed with only Brown voting “nay.”

—  admin