I only ever met Rosie Mendoza when she graciously came to an LFT meetup to discuss (with Andy Brown and Fidel Acevedo) the visions for the Travis County Democratic Party Chair. She struck me as thoughtful and plenty seasoned in community work, with excellent references, if not a lot of direct political/election or coordinated campaign experience. Although i didn’t know her personally, I was glad to see someone who so obviously cared for the community throw her hat into the ring. Competition is healthy, and I think we will still have plenty with the two folks who remain: Fidel Acevedo and Andy Brown.
Straight from the press release:
From the Desk of Rosie Mendoza
October 30, 2007
Rosie Mendoza HeadshotTwo months ago when Chairman Chris Elliott announced he would not seek another term, I responded to the call of dozens of our most respected and committed Democratic elected officials to provide leadership and vision by considering the position of Travis County Democratic Chair.
I did so with a clear idea of what I could offer our Party as we move forward toward two of the most important election cycles of our lifetime.
That vision and confidence is based on over twenty-five years of leadership experience in our community as a small business owner, a mother, Democratic activist and as a volunteer leader of some of Austin’s most successful community organizations like SafePlace, the Travis County Hospital District and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Without question, the best part of my twenty-five year journey has been meeting amazing people, like you, who are so dedicated to progressive causes and improving the quality of life for all our community. You are the heart, soul and blue ink behind Travis County. I have been truly honored and overwhelmed by the support and endorsements of my candidacy. Your kind words and generosity have touched me deeply.
That is why I wanted to be the first to inform you that after much deliberation, I have decided to withdraw as a candidate for Travis County Democratic Party Chair. This was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made, but I wholeheartedly believe that it is the right decision for the future of our Party.
In recent elections, there has not been a contested race for Chair of the TCDP but this year there are three declared candidates, including myself. The race has already caused divisions in a community that should be united as we move into the 2008 election year. Current developments put us on a course for a highly contested Democratic primary, plus a likely primary run-off in April. With that in mind, even conservative estimates show that we (the three candidates) will end up spending several hundred thousand dollars combined to win this campaign.
I cannot, in good conscience, contribute to a campaign that risks fracturing us on the eve of the most important election in our lifetime nor can I justify spending tens-of-thousands of dollars from donors for an intra-Party campaign while some of our incredible incumbent Democrats like Representatives Donna Howard and Valinda Bolton need every available dollar to win re-election over well-funded Republican opponents next Fall.
When families disagree (and we are family, bound by our shared values) we must consider the consequences of our actions. We must be prepared to place the success of our Party over the success of the individuals. Today, I am taking that individual first step, and I sincerely hope that the two remaining candidates - Andy Brown and Fidel Acevedo - will consider our shared vision and values before continuing toward a costly race in March.
The 2008 election presents enormous opportunities and challenges for Democrats across Texas. The next Chair must enter his/her term with the credibility to unify the Party, keep it on solid financial ground, clearly communicate our vision and values and substantially increase voter turnout in all the communities of our Democratic base. Then, and only then, Travis County can live up to its full potential as not just a blue oasis in a red state, but as a driving force behind statewide Democratic victories in 2008 and 2010!
While I am out of the race, I intend to stay involved. I am still concerned about the need for our Travis County Party to reach out to minority communities and to involve their members as voters, activists, staff members and party leaders. We must publicly set goals and measure the effectiveness of our efforts in mobilizing all of Travis County behind our vision of a more just and caring society.
Thank you so much for your guidance, encouragement and support, I look forward to working with you on our issues and for our Party for years to come.
Rosie Mendoza Signature
Rosie Mendoza, CPA
P.S. Donations to my campaign will be refunded pro rata to donors or, at the option of the donor, donated to the Travis County Democratic Party.
P.P.S. Here is an immediate opportunity for involvement: Travis County Elections needs Spanish-speaking election clerks for the Tuesday, November 6 election. Pay is $9/hour. Please call 854-4996 if you can help.