By Roy Douglas Malonson, Chairman
Politicians should be judged by what they do and not for what they say. Getting out the Black vote and expecting support from the Black community for the upcoming mid-term election is something no Texas candidate can afford to take for granted in such vital races coming in November.
There were two previous gubernatorial campaigns that did not get the memo that if you want to win, you must go directly to the people and stimulate and motivate the base to get excited and involved.
You cannot take the Black vote for granted – If you want big turnout numbers similar to numbers for 2008 and 2012 presidential elections – You must earn it by talking to the Black Press and going to the people and asking for their support personally. Otherwise, how serious are you really?
(D) Leticia Van De Putte, who is from San Antonio, is running for Lt. Governor is doing it the right way. She came to the headquarters of the African-American News&Issues and sat down with me to talk politics, the issues and asked about the concerns of the community. After a discussion with her, she shared her vision for a Texas that includes focusing on equality for all children, students and preparing the next generation from Pre-K to college for future leadership and the workforce.
Her heart is truly in her campaign and her record working for Texans since 1991 in Austin proves her sincerity to make a difference. Over the past 20 years, she has built a Texas-size reputation as a strong advocate for children, active duty military, veterans and their families and has fought tirelessly for strong Texas schools and a vibrant economy that supports jobs.
In an age where politicians will promise the moon and blow enough hot air during campaigns to fill a thousand balloons, Van De Putte brings a new look to the political game. She came not making promises, but offering her service. She was sensitive enough to us to show up, sit down, listen and talk to the Black Press. It is very impressive that she also spends real time talking to the people living in the hood.
This is a woman who wants to be the next Lieutenant Governor – the most powerful position in Texas politics. She is up against a White racist and (R) Dan Patrick who cares nothing about Blacks or Hispanics.
The Lt. Governor appoints the Senate Finance Committee which controls the budget process; controls the floor agenda determining which bills make it for debate or not and assigns committees and chairs in a way to ensure strong leadership. The position in Texas is powerful because it sets the focus and direction of law making in Texas and set the course for any and all issues facing every Texan.
Van de Putte said what sets her apart from Patrick is her ability to be a compassionate coalition builder and problem solver who cares, understands and listens.
Unlike, (R) Greg Abbott and other candidates running for higher offices, Van de Putte is bold and in a class about the rest, because she cared enough to show up.
Van de Putte came with her team to Acres Homes without an exclusive special event or invitation.
All candidates and elected officials should come to the community. It is right and if you care about the people, come in and sit down to discuss needs, concerns or issues in our own communities.
You must show the people you care and are not interested in “pimping them” for votes and support as so many politicians do.
Leticia Van De Putte’s plan is simple. Take herself and her message to individuals in churches, shops, businesses and communities and let the people know that she cares and why she is in the race.
I enjoyed the freshness and genuineness of humility and the sincerity of her message to Blacks and Hispanics.
She is seeking support not because of votes alone, but for the future of children and families.
To win, she will need to generate energy and excitement and hope that translates into participation, action and turnout from Black and Hispanic communities.
We Must Understand that when people come to see you, it speaks volumes about their sincerity, character and where their heart is.
Van de Putte truly respects the Black Press and the Community. Coming to the hood and showing love for all our people is a leader worth supporting.