The following is taken from Democracy for America's Blog for America. Self-explanatory and great news!!!! -- Esther
A Great Day for True-Courage
Zada True-Courage, whose husband John is running in the 21st Congressional District in central Texas and this year's winner of the DFA Grassroots All-Star Challenge, joins DFA today to recount their political journey of the last three years.
Wow, this is an exciting week for the True-Courage family! I am so excited that my husband John Courage, Congressional Candidate (TX CD-21), has won this very special endorsement from a very special organization, Democracy for America.
It seems like only yesterday Howard Dean was standing in our campaign office in September, 2002 giving a talk to some of our campaign volunteers and friends and then block walking with us through a neighborhood to campaign for Courage for Congress.
I remember hearing Governor Dean give a speech that evening (in which at the end he plugged John Courage's campaign) and I was so inspired by his message. As he walked through the room, I shook his hand and said you have 100% of my support. Unfortunately we lost John's race but we didn't lose our resolve to support Governor Dean.
When the Dean for America Meet-ups began we hosted the first one in San Antonio in February 2003, three people showed up. In March it was 9 people and April it was 26, we finally grew to holding 5 Dean For America Meetups spread around town every month. The amazing thing was the faces were new and the people were energetic and ready to move to Take Their Country Back! Then things seemed to take off. Dean for Texas, under the leadership of Glen Maxey, was taking hold and we were all busy working for our candidate. Howard Dean came to San Antonio for the Sleepless Summer Tour and we had excited 3,500 people there to listen to a new message, You have the Power! We believed and we kept moving going to Iowa and New Hampshire, calling New Mexico and participating in Parades and Flash Mobs and hosting House Parties.
Suddenly there was a machine. We were working with a really strong group of Democracy of Texas folks and a strong group of Democracy of America folks. We had many people from the Democracy for America movement popping up in leadership positions of the Texas Democratic Party.
Alas, things didn't turn out the way we wanted for our candidate, but he didn't quit and neither did we. Our volunteers hung together and we kept working. We helped open and man a San Antonio Democratic Campaign office that had 900 people sign up to volunteer. We trained people, phone banked and made sure there were Kerry-Edwards signs, bumper stickers and buttons to be had. We were so organized that Theresa Heinz-Kerry actually stopped by to visit and we crammed hundreds of people into our headquarters to greet her. We kept meeting with our Democracy for America Group. Every meeting would bring more people excited and ready to work.
Alas, things didn't turn out how we wanted for the General Election either, but 16 people showed up at our headquarters for the Democracy for America Meetup the night after the election. This was after we had said we were not going to meet, we were trying to vacate the office! They came and they said "We want to keep fighting". Glimmers of hope and the strength of the Democracy for America movement were shown in Austin and Travis County which had carried for Kerry and almost every other Democratic candidate in the county.
We in San Antonio budded into the San Antonio Area Progressive Action Coalition and moved our Meetup day to the first Saturday of the month. We wrote letters to get Howard Dean elected chair of the DNC, we visited our Congressmen to tell them we didn't want Social Security privatized. We had people in our group running for city offices because Howard Dean said that's what we need to do. We had one elected Mayor of a small town and one elected city councilperson of San Antonio. Many of us attended Democracy Fest. Today we are supporting candidates who have stepped forward from our ranks to run for office at the county, state and national levels because we all know just voting is not enough. We have got to be sure people are on the ballot to create competition for every race so people have some reason to go vote.
When my husband and I mulled this race over, it took some real soul-searching. Campaigning for office is not easy but we said ok let's go for it! Today I am very proud that my husband, John Courage, has won the DFA endorsement in a lively two round campaign from a large field of congressional candidates from all over the country. We couldn't have done it without the Democracy for Texas group and our DFA group from San Antonio and the help of many more. It is amazing to see the power of people when they come together and focus on a goal. I am excited because with a movement like this I know we will take our country back!