Texas Dems Use Davis Filibuster To Urge Voter Registration
It’s called getting “the big mo” started:
While thousands of orange-clad demonstrators showed up at the south steps of the Texas state capitol in Austin Monday to renew their fight against a controversial anti-abortion bill supported by Gov. Rick Perry (R), a coalition of progressives was organizing for a more distant fight — 2014.
As the crowds cheered state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), whose 11-hour filibuster helped defeat the controversial bill that would severely cut access to abortions in the state, Democratic organizers set about signing up demonstrators to email lists, adding them to future grassroots projects, and, perhaps most importantly, registering them to vote.
Organizers collected names and contact information until they ran out of paper and had to start using the backs of old sheets, said Tanene Allison, communications director for the Texas Democratic Party. They collected more than 5,000 names and contacts. “Yesterday was incredible,” Allison said, adding that the organizers “see this as a battle in a larger movement.”
After the rally, demonstrators were funneled to civic engagement workshops in meeting spaces just off the capitol grounds. Allison said they registered 230 residents to vote. In Texas, in order to register voters, you have to go through a training process. After the rally, 74 demonstrators went through a training session and were deputized to register new voters, Allison said.