Election day is upon us (again) and we have a lot riding on the latest crop of first-time hopefuls. In Texas, four Run for Something candidates are headed to runoffs for seats in the State House, State Senate, and District Attorney’s office. These elections will have huge implications for residents of the Lone Star State as well as 2021 redistricting plans. In the last twelve months, Democrats have been able to pick up steam in the state legislature and we are only 9 seats aways from gaining a majority in the State House.
We also have José Garza, an activist and immigration attorney up for Travis County District Attorney. The past few weeks have shone a spotlight on the importance of progressive leadership in our judicial system and José might become the first of many new leaders elected to these critical seats.
It’s not just Texas however — young talented activists are taking the helm in states across the country. LGBTQ+ Mainer Charles Skold is also running for the Maine House of Representatives with an eye on new policies for the state’s most densely populated city.
It’s only July, but the work we do today sets the stage for what might be our country’s most historic election. Take a look at the candidates on today’s ballot and if you are a voting, make sure you do so safely.
Maine House of Representatives, District 38, ME
Charles is running for State Representative because he knows our future is not guaranteed. He sees the threats of climate change, unnafordable housing, and rising inequality at our doorstep, and knows it’s time for action.
As a young LGBTQ+ Mainer who returned home to fight for our future, Charles will make sure our next generation has a voice in Augusta. And as a resident of Maine’s most densely populated city, Charles will advocate for Portland’s future while working with the entire state to solve our common challenges.
Charles previously worked in religious ministry and earned a Master’s degree in Theology alongside his Master’s in Public Administration. He believes in the power of love to help people come together and build a society with justice for all.
State House of Representatives, District 138, TX
Akilah Bacy is running for state representative of Texas House District 138. Akilah’s activism grew from the courtroom to her community- representing indigent clients, children seeking asylum, and combatting employment discrimination. In her West Houston community, Akilah served as an adult literacy and special class ESL instructor where she taught civics and civil rights. Akilah is unapologetic about her progressive agenda, which is fueled by her desire to see equity and justice encompass us all. Her desire began before she entered the race for the Texas Legislature and will continue with her all the way to the Capitol.
Travis County District Attorney, TX
José started his career on the Texas/Mexico border as an assistant public defender at the state and federal level. José moved to D.C. in 2010 to serve as Deputy General Counsel for the House Committee on Education and Labor, then served as a senior policy official at the U.S. Department of Labor. Currently, he’s the Executive Director of Workers Defense Project. As a former federal public defender, immigrant rights activist, and the leader of the systemic change organization, José Garza has a unique view into how our criminal justice system works and how it impacts our communities.
Texas State House of Representatives, District 67
Lorenzo Sanchez is running to be the first Latino LGBTQ+ Democrat elected to represent House District 67. Lorenzo has deep roots within Plano; he attended Plano ISD schools, is a small business owner, and has family in the area. Lorenzo has always been a community organizer and leader, having received awards for philanthropy and diversity achievement.
Besides his work with his community, Lorenzo is the most experienced candidate on the ballot, having worked for the City of Plano, and the City and County of Denver, which provided him with valuable insight into how local municipalities are properly run.
Xochil Peña Rodriguez
Texas State Senate, District 19
Xochil is running for Texas Senate to ensure everyone has access to opportunity by investing in education and has access to affordable quality healthcare and internet.
She has been an attorney over 10 years. She worked as Associate Counsel for UTSA and as Assistant City Attorney for San Antonio writing policy, analyzing legislations, and negotiating and drafting contracts. Xochil earned a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law and a B.A. from Rice University.
She is married to a public school teacher and together they have one daughter. She would be the first Latina to represent this district.