DATE WITH THE STATE DISPATCH: Austin, Texas
By Linda Block,
President of Greater Southwest Hadassah
One April Monday morning, 39 Hadassah members of the Hadassah Greater Southwest Region went to the Texas State Capitol with Hadassah Life Members Janice Schwarz and Professor Sherri Greenberg (of the University of Texas), who shared advocacy tips and explained the mechanics of getting legislation passed, just the tools we needed to get the job done. Both Janice and Sherri are good examples of women who see how important it is to be active in the legislative process, having worked in it previously as both volunteers and professionals, and know how to work within the system.
Then our group was visited by Texas State Representative Phil King, author of House Bill 89, and State Representative Craig Goldman, co-sponsor of the bill which deals with Anti-BDS legislation. This bill has received much publicity and it appears it is nearing passage in the House after just recently passing the Senate with 100 votes.
Following this visit, everyone in our group had morning appointments with their respective State Senators. While visiting with all the legislators, we presented everyone we visited with the Hadassah
- Fighting for Israel and against BDS
- Making sure women are empowered to make informed choices about their medical care
- Opposing human trafficking.
After lunch, we were briefed by two special assistants of State Representative Jessica Christina Farrar of the Houston area, who explained two House bills dealing with women’s health. We were in disbelief as House Bill 434 was explained. Doctors would be able to avoid wrongful birth lawsuits – they could withhold information of disturbing test results from pregnant mothers in order to prevent the mother from choosing to have an abortion.
Following this meeting, our group participants were off again for their afternoon appointments with their State Representatives. This was followed by a group photo opportunity taken with the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Texas, Dan Patrick, who was so taken with the group he invited everyone to follow him to his newly restored offices in a historic part of the Capitol for a tour. Everyone loved this personal touch on his part and were excited to be a part of the group with a private tour of his offices.
Next on the agenda was a photo opportunity with Speaker of the House of Representatives, Joe Straus, a Jewish legislator from San Antonio. The Mayor of Dallas joined us briefly.
Afterwards, all of us returned home tired but feeling proud that the women of the Greater Southwest Region of Hadassah made an impact on the Legislature of the State of Texas once again.
Our region’s Date with the State team consisted of a core group of six women who know how important advocacy is and believe in it: Susie Avnery, Marion H. Bernstein, Region President Linda Freedman Block, Karen Kessler, Mary Ann Lish and Debby Rice.
It’s always a good time to get more involved with Hadassah advocacy. Visit our website to learn more about being a part of a Date With the State in your state capital or how to take action only. Learn more.