Will We Be Able to Vote by Mail?
This week, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery granted a preliminary injunction stating that anyone in Texas who wants to vote by mail to avoid transmission of the virus could qualify for a mail-in ballot, finding that the state’s existing election rules violate the Equal Protection Clause. However, less than a day later, a panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stopped his ruling from taking effect.
There are multiple lawsuits moving through the courts filed by individuals and various civic and political groups asking the courts to clarify whether a lack of immunity to the new coronavirus is a valid reason for people to request absentee ballots under the Texas election code’s disability qualification.
The code defines a disability as a “sickness or physical condition” that prevents a voter from appearing in person without the risk of “injuring the voter’s health.”
Republican leaders argue that the vote-by-mail disability qualifications apply to voters who already have a sickness or physical condition and not those who fear contracting a disease, “whether it be COVID-19 or the seasonal flu. ”
However, this pandemic is pervasive and more deadly than the flu, and a vaccine has yet to be approved. There are 29 states that allow registered voters to request a ballot by mail, and five states with vote by mail as a standard. The health and safety of citizens should be our first priority. Voting by mail would help prevent the spread of the virus, and allow people to cast their ballots.
While this moves through the courts, the existing qualifications for absentee voting remain in place. If you meet the criteria, you can print out the application form, contact the local elections office to receive one, or request one from the secretary of state’s office. In order for someone to vote absentee in the July runoffs, counties must receive the applications by July 2. Click here for contact information for early voting clerks in every county.
Help Rhetta Andrews Bowers Keep Fighting for you in Austin!
This is not a typical time and this will not be a typical election year. We need your help to re-elect Rhetta as your HD-113 Representative. Your donations and volunteer time help us continue to do our outreach in the community and during this unprecedented time. Let’s keep Rhetta as our voice in Austin!
We know this is not the best time to ask for money. But with your valued time and donated dollars, every effort will be greatly appreciated and help us push through victoriously. Please click below to join become part of the team.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Donate” style=”flat” shape=”square” color=”white” align=”center” css_animation=”fadeIn” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.actblue.com%2Fdonate%2Fbowers2020%3Famount%3D20.20%26recurring%3D1||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Volunteer” style=”flat” shape=”square” color=”white” align=”center” css_animation=”fadeIn” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.ngpvan.com%2FiNGJDr-tTUypETf2bVNjPQ2||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]
Testing Ordered for Residents and Staff of all Texas Nursing Homes – National Guard to Help with Facility Disinfection
Amongst a series of executive orders recently issued by Gov. Abbott were two focused on the heightened threat that the coronavirus has placed on our seniors. The first directs the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to test 100% of all residents and staff in Texas nursing homes for COVID-19. This is welcomed news and will aid in identifying hot spots that need to be contained and patients treated. Additionally, he has directed the Texas National Guard to activate Facilities Disinfection Teams to assist in limiting the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes around the state. Several of these teams have already been deployed. Other teams are set to begin disinfection procedures at facilities soon.
Both of these actions are a step in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done in order to address the needs of other populations disproportionally affected by the virus. I continue to advocate for more accurate demographic data in our case reporting metrics so that we can address other vulnerable populations and direct resources appropriately.
Testing Sites Open in and near HD-113
Walmart has opened four more coronavirus drive-thru testing sites in Dallas County. One is located in Rowlett, within HD-113 and another in North Garland.
Testing will be done for the following groups:
- People showing symptoms (i.e. fever, shortness of breath, and a cough)
- Health care workers
- First responders
- High-risk patients
Testing locations are drive-thru and by appointment only. There are no out-of-pocket cost for the test. Hours are 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. RSVP is required at:
The new Walmart testing sites are located at:
- 2501 Lakeview Pkwy., Rowlett, TX 75088 (HD-113)
- 5302 N Garland Ave., Garland, TX 75040
- 15757 Coit Rd., Dallas, TX 75248
- 951 W. Belt Line Rd., DeSoto, TX 75115
I’m thankful this needed service is available in our area!
HD-113 Star Student Spotlight
With many college students finishing up their spring semester course work this week and our elementary, middle, and high school students nearing the end of the 2019-2020 school year, I wanted to highlight two students that have made quite and impression on me. Please note that these photos were taken before social distancing.
First, let me introduce you to Bethany Bass. Bethany was one of our first campaign interns in 2016. She is a graduate of Garland High School and now attends SMU. She is an outstanding young lady and when she asked me to write a letter of recommendation, I agreed enthusiastically. She is involved in the community and is actively involved in student government at SMU. I am happy to say that she was selected as a Summer Intern with the Congressional Black Caucus! Congratulations to Bethany! I know she will do well and gain a great deal of experience.
I also want to also recognize Stevie Figueroa.
A few weeks ago, for his Social Studies class assignment he chose to write about his State Representative from HD-113! Over the years, I have received various accolades, recognition, and endorsements, but I am very humbled and honored that I was written about so graciously by Stevie. Here is an excerpt:
“My State Representative Rhetta Bowers is a good citizen. Education is very important to her so she works with our school district to expand more educational opportunities for students like especially for special needs students. She does a lot for our community and gives back in many way… During the quarantine that we are in now, she works with churches in our community to help feed people who are not able to work right now…”
Thank you Stevie! That is the best endorsement ever! I work hard every day to represent the residents of HD-113 to the best of my ability. There is a lot of work to be done as we continue to get through this pandemic and begin rebuilding our economy. I will continue to serve our community here and be your voice in Austin.
I work for YOU. I am YOUR voice. You matter to me.
Recently , I was honored to receive an endorsement from EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics with a grassroots community of over five million members:
“Rhetta deeply understands the needs of her district. Her mother inspired her to serve her community at a young age and Rhetta has continued to do so throughout her life. She has fought for Texas students, affordable housing, and voting rights. EMILY’s List is excited to stand by her and her reelection campaign.” – Geri Prado, vice president of state and local campaigns at EMILY’s List
Team Bowers Volunteer Appreciation
We have so many wonderful volunteers that have been supporters since 2016. Their belief that I am the best choice for HD-113 extends past their vote. Our volunteers gladly participate in activities that engage, inform, and convince others in the community to support our campaign. Our volunteers write postcards on our behalf, assist with office work, deliver campaign signs, poll greet, block walk, phone bank and keep us all encouraged.
Our campaign is grateful for the support and hard work that our volunteers provide for the citizens of HD-113 and for Team Bowers. Times are changing — we maybe doing things differently. However, we still want to express our sincere appreciation to our supportive volunteers, affectionately known as, the “Bowers Battalion”! THANK YOU!