Helping Others Get Involved in the Political Process
Today, the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) continues its weeklong series about “Good Voter Health” with ways to help your fellow retirees, family and friends get involved in the political process.
As we mentioned at the end of yesterday’s article, TRTA derives its strength from the voices of our 80,000 members. Now, we need YOU to get in touch with other TRTA members, retirees who are not members of TRTA, and your friends and family and GET OUT THE VOTE!
In order to exercise the vast strength represented by our organization, we need the influence of individuals such as you! Many people do not understand the significance of primary elections. These elections are often determined by a handful of votes. Because so few people vote in the primaries, EVERY VOTE COUNTS.
Your vote WILL make a difference! Vote in the primary election, and VOTE EARLY! Early voting begins February 16 and continues through February 26.
Are Your Friends, Family Members and Fellow Retirees Prepared to Vote?
Today, we are asking you to contact your fellow retirees, neighbors, friends and family and ask them to join you in voting during the primary elections!
As we mentioned in Day 1 of our “Good Voter Health” series, it is important that everyone you know check on the status of their registration. Send them the link to the Texas Secretary of State website today.
Next, be sure you share information about the candidates running for office in your area. Information about all political races in Texas can be found on Ballotpedia:
It is especially important to pay attention to Texas Senate and Texas House races. The people elected to these positions will be your Senators and Representatives in the Texas Legislature. They will make the decisions that impact your Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) pension fund and TRS-Care health insurance program.
If you are not sure which Texas Senate and House district you reside within, please use this link to learn more.
The Local Unit Connection
Many of our TRTA members are involved in a local unit. Your local unit is vital to spreading the word about the importance of the primary elections. Are you a local unit officer? Do you have a meeting scheduled in February? If so, share this important information with ALL of your members!
Another great asset to being a member of a local unit is the ability to organize at the grassroots level to support and vote for the candidate(s) of your choice. Organize a car pool to take voters to the polls! Consider how to make voting fun for your members and develop a group voting event with your local unit!
During your unit’s regularly scheduled February meeting, consider hosting a morning coffee and tea party, and then caravanning to a nearby polling location. You can also send press releases to your local media outlets about your “primary party,” letting the community know that retired teachers get out and VOTE!
Remember, when voting early, you do not have to vote in your precinct. If your local unit or a group of your family and friends plans a “primary party” to vote early, you can choose the early voting location nearest you. Check with your County Election Administrator Early Voting Clerk to find out where the early voting locations are in your area.
Early voting begins February 16 and continues through February 26. Primary election day is March 1. How many people can you encourage to vote in the primaries? Tell us more about your early voting plans at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Who Should I Vote For?
TRTA often receives this question. The answer is: TRTA does not endorse candidates for political office. However, we encourage our members to talk to each other and ask the following: Who are you voting for and why?
Your fellow retirees may be your best resource in helping you determine which candidate may be more favorable to issues impacting the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). Now is the time to have these important conversations with each other and to learn more about the candidates!
TALK TO EACH OTHER! Share information! Even though TRTA does not endorse candidates, this does NOT mean that we cannot be involved in political activities. The more you learn from the candidates and from each other, the better informed you will be on the day you vote!
In our final article of our “Good Voter Health” series tomorrow, we will focus on some of the high profile races that TRTA is following closely. We need our members to pay close attention to these races and need members living in these areas to vote! Casting your vote during the primaries ALWAYS makes a difference!
Thank you for being a member of TRTA! If you are not a member and are interested in joining, please contact our Membership Department at 1.800.880.1650.
Protecting your retirement benefits is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your participation makes all the difference! Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to stay informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel.