TOP announces endorsed candidates in Dallas

Dallas City skyline at dusk, Texas, USA

Building a stronger, more equitable Texas starts with electing the right people who will help us win on the issues that affect our communities.

That’s why over the last few weeks, TOP members in Dallas County have invested their time and energy interviewing local candidates to find the ones most dedicated to championing issues important to communities of color – thriving schools, healthy neighborhoods, a more fair criminal justice system and protecting the rights of immigrants.

Our members endorsed the following candidates who are fighting for working families and students in our city and schools:

Dominique Torres, candidate for Dallas City Council, District 5, is an attorney, long-time community advocate and an active TOP member since 2015. A Dallas native, she grew up in Pleasant Grove and is the first in her family to graduate from college.

As a vocal leader against police brutality, she will fight for tested policies that will address crime and build more trust within our communities. As a TOP member, she understands the importance of grassroots organizing to win changes. The area she calls home has been neglected for far too long, and she is determined to bring civic engagement and economic prosperity back to Pleasant Grove.

Dustin Marshall, Dallas ISD Trustee, District 2, is a business owner and father of four who has advocated for educational opportunities for all children for over 15 years.

During his short time as a Dallas ISD Trustee he has been a champion for replacing suspensions with proven solutions in an effort to halt the pipeline to prison, in particular for young Black students and special education students. Trustee Marshall is also a supporter of the community school model and a strong opponent of private school vouchers.

Early voting is Monday, April 24 through Tuesday, May 2. Remember that by voting early you can vote at any polling location in your county, whether it be on your way to work, school or the grocery store. Click here for a list of early voting locations across Dallas County! Election Day is Saturday, May 6.

Pol. Adv. paid for by Texas Organizing Project

TOP announces endorsed candidates for San Antonio City Council

SA hires skyline

The Texas Organizing Project (TOP) has released its list of endorsed city council candidates who show the most commitment to tackling the city’s challenges of racial and economic disparities, particularly in the areas of employment, housing, immigration and criminal justice.

TOP, under the platform #SA4ALL, is knocking on doors this municipal election urging the participation of infrequent voters by promoting a four-pronged solution to inequality in San Antonio: Creating more good-paying jobs, expanding neighborhoods of opportunity, protecting our families and immigrant neighbors, and granting more second chances while reforming our local criminal justice system.

Early voting is Monday, April 24 through Tuesday, May 2. Election Day is Saturday, May 6.

For more information on TOP’s #SA4ALL campaign, please visit

San Antonio Mayor: (No endorsement)
City Council, District 1: Michael Montaño
City Council, District 4: Rey Saldaña
City Council, District 5: Shirley Gonzalez
City Council, District 7: Ana Sandoval

Pol. adv. paid for by Texas Organizing Project

Let’s give everyone a fair shot

Victoria Advocate Pat

Up until the last few years, politics had little place in my day to day life. I was a news junkie, raised on TIME magazine, “Meet the Press” and dinner table discussions of world affairs; but the only thing political I did was vote. Politics meant Democrat or Republican, how everyone voted and who won.

The presidential election of 2016 blasted away my complacency and, apparently, that of millions of other Americans. Our belief that the power of the traditional two-party institutions would prevail proved untrue for both parties. 2017 opened the doors to a new political reality, resistance, the power of individuals motivated by inspiration.

The resistance movement was embraced by most Democrats but also by the unaffiliated, the nonpartisans, nonvoters and the anti-party. Callers, letter writers, tweeters and marchers are taking time out of their busy schedules to be heard – not as party members but as individuals who feel unheard and overlooked.

A whole industry of apps and programs related to political activism have blossomed on our smartphones and iPads. Check out apps like 5 Calls, Political Tracker, BuyPartisan and Congress.

In this new way, politics is becoming part of many people’s everyday lives. Even Facebook has a Town Hall button now that connects the individual to his or, more frequently, her representatives.

Inspirational politics has led to the formation of a myriad of groups that mobilize online first and face-to-face second. Groups like Indivisible, #resistance, Texas Pantsuit Republic, Planned Parenthood Votes, Our Revolution Texas, Voto Latino, Texas Organizing Project, Emerge USA and scores more.

Annie’s List, promoting progressive women in Texas politics, held a luncheon March 31 in Houston, attended by some 2,500 supporters.

In August, Dallas will host the national conference of the Young Democrats of America. Yes, in Texas. Monthly meetings of the Victoria County Democrats Club have been standing room only.

All this new energy will either water down or enrich the power of the party as an institution. Party leaders must learn new ways to identify and reach out to these passionate voices, many of which are critical and others whose truths make us uncomfortable. If the Democratic Party cannot come together with a meaningful agenda that reaches across geography, race, age and gender, then we are doomed to remain out of step with our own future.

Many feel the ugliness that the Trump presidency represents may be the shock it takes to get us to face up to the social and economic problems that we have allowed to fester for decades. Racism, sexism, xenophobia and intolerance have been given a place at the table, and the invitation needs to be rescinded.

That’s what the resistance is about. It’s not about what party won or lost. It’s about every American having a fair shot at the “Blessings of Liberty” as enumerated in our Constitution.

Pat Tally is the chairwoman of the Victoria County Democratic Party. Before retiring to Victoria, she was the director of a clinical social work department in a large Dallas hospital system for 22 years. She may be emailed at

This story originally appeared 4/9/2017 in the Victoria Advocate.