In case you missed the tour, below is a recap of events and a little about the tour itself.  Remember, it’s never too late for you to get involved!  Join COPE today!

fb_COPEbanner_1308_newFollowing the conclusion of this year’s legislative session, TSEU began the 2013 Texas COPE Tour. The Tour is a series of organizing events all over the state, aimed at building our COPE membership and getting more TSEU members politically active. At these events, TSEU Political Organizer Harrison Hiner gave an in-depth recap of the legislative session and laid out the framework for our political program moving forward.  After fighting off attacks on our pensions and receiving a disappointing pay raise, TSEU members were reminded how crucial it is to put more pro-state employee legislators in the Capitol.

  The COPE Tour gave us a head start in building our political muscle as we move closer to the 2014 elections and on to the next legislative session in 2015. Events kicked off in July, starting in the Valley and rolling through El Paso, Dallas-Forth Worth, Houston, Austin, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Lubbock.  A strong network of TSEU activists and members across the state planned and executed over 50 organizing events at various state offices and facilities that included HHSC, DFPS, State Supported Living Centers, State Hospitals, Parole and universities. As a result, 103 members joined COPE and 88 new members joined the union. The success of the COPE Tour is a testament to the organizing and mobilizing capabilities of TSEU. Organizing efforts like the COPE Tour is what will put state employees in a strong position heading into the upcoming fights over fair pay, affordable health care, secure pensions, justice on the job, and quality services.

  The COPE Tour also provided opportunities for TSEU to acknowledge our political allies in this year’s legislative session. Lawmakers who worked to improve the conditions of state employees and services were presented with certificates of appreciation at certain COPE Tour events. Rep. Armando Walle (HD 140) was recognized for working to reduce caseload levels for CPS employees at an event held at the Murworth DFPS office in Houston. At the Dallas city-wide Happy Hour, Rep. Toni Rose (HD 110) received a certificate for her hard work on the House Human Services Committee; along with her Dallas area colleague Rep. Roberto Alonzo (HD 104) who was instrumental in helping TSEU defeat the worst of the pension attacks. Finally, Sen. Carlos Uresti (SD 19) was honored at the Pickwell DFPS office in San Antonio for authoring SB 771 which mandates training for new supervisors working in CPS.

  After the completion of a successful COPE Tour, we must direct our sights on the 2014 election season. With momentum in our favor, we have a big opportunity to elect a new governor and put better lawmakers in office. The COPE Tour has highlighted the fact that TSEU members are ready and willing to get back on the front lines of this fight and create a political environment that is beneficial to state employees and the millions of Texans who rely on the work that we do every day. So get involved in your local organizing and COPE committees, sign-on to do election work, and above all get more of your coworkers off the sidelines and into the fight!