Speaker Pelosi to Texas Democrats: ‘Know your power’

Texas Politics

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the state’s Capital city Monday night, telling Democrats in Travis County much of what happens in terms of democratic success in the 2020 election will come from central Texas.

“Texas is ground zero for us in the next election,” Pelosi said to the sold-out crowd at the Travis County Democratic Party’s Johnson Bentsen Richards Dinner. The dinner is the party’s major fundraising event and was named in remembrance of Texas’ democratic legacy: 36th U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, four-term Senator Lloyd Bentsen and the state’s 45th Governor Ann Richards.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delviers remarks as the featured speaker at the Travis County Democratic Party's annual Johnson Bentsen Richards fundraising dinner. March 4, 2019 (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

“Know your power, this state is so important,” Pelosi told donors. “When it turns — and it will soon — it will make a difference not only in Texas and the lives of individual people here, it will make a difference in the country and it will make a difference in the world.”

Pelosi also talked about work done by Congressman Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, and others, to stop gun violence in the country. She discussed the national emergency declared by President Donald Trump at the border between the U.S. and Mexico and the efforts led by Congressman Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, to repeal the order.

She challenged the audience to continue the ground they gained in the 2018 election.

“When you helped win in 2018 you were doing something very patriotic for America and when we win a great democratic victory — and it’s essential that we win the victory in 2020 — we will know that that victory was our destiny.”

Outside the dinner, environmental groups rallied to urge Pelosi to support the Green New Deal— a proposal to address climate change and economic inequality— which the Speaker has not publicly supported. She made no mention of climate change in her address.

Earlier in the day, Pelosi was in north Texas, speaking at the Women’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth with democratic Congressman Marc Veasy. She focused on leadership and success for women.

“You all have a wonderful opportunity here but you bring your own luster to it and that’s what makes it all so great,” she told the north Texas students. “So as one of the signs out there (in the hallway) says, ‘study hard.'”

She also talked briefly at Monday night’s dinner about voter suppression and a history of lawmakers who have tackled that issue.

She is scheduled to participate in a press conference with Doggett and civil rights groups tomorrow morning in Austin. They are slated to discuss voting rights, redistricting and money’s influence in politics.

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