On August 26, 2017, the State Tejano Democrats will hold a state-wide election of officers at the annual meeting in Austin, Texas. While the organization’s platforms have traditionally stressed issues and concerns involving the increase in Tejano democratic chapters and individual members; gaining access and influence in the decision-making at the state democratic party; influencing legislation, issues and concerns in the Hispanic communities, the primary consideration for the remainder of this year and 2018 is to take a lead in state politics to garner historic Hispanic election turnout in the election of Robert “BETO” O’Rourke, Democrat for U.S. Senate for the state of Texas.
Because the incumbent Senator is a Spanish-surnamed Republican, the State Tejano Democrats must explore coalitions with other democratic leaning Hispanic groups and other diverse organizations such as the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, Asian-American Democrats, labor unions, Democratic Veterans, Young Democrats, Stonewall Democrats, Non-Urban, Environmental Democrats and others.
As purportedly the largest ethnic democratic organization in Texas, the State Tejano Democrats must take the lead along with the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats in turning out the minority vote in addition to forming coalitions with other democratic-leaning organizations, clubs, unions and individuals. The many LULAC and NAACP chapters and units must come together for the benefit of their respective visions and goals. To increase the influence and success of this note-worthy venture, the State Tejano Democrats must be led by a Chair that has experience as a community leader, a political candidate and an elected governmental official. The leader must have experience in forming relationships and coalitions with a myriad of diverse political, social, religious, civil rights and other democrats in order to present the best chance possible for our desired senatorial candidate. In addition, the State Tejano Democrat leader must have a working knowledge of the duties and efficacy of democratic county leadership and relationships with the appropriate Democratic National Committee (DNC) officials that can channel expertise and finances to the campaign through this and similar organizations. Additionally, the State Tejano Democrats Chair should have a personal relationship with the senatorial candidate.
Taking all of this into consideration, the best person for the job under these unique needs, conditions and circumstances is none other than Eddie Holguin, Jr., the current Chair of the Paso del Norte Tejano Democrats which is estimated to be the largest or second largest Tejano Democratic Chapter in the state. Eddie has received awards and recognition for his leadership and community service. He has a reputation of stepping out of his comfort zone to interact with other diverse groups and individuals and has garnered respect from various segments of the democratic party. In fact, Eddie has already begun the process of uniting the organizations by reaching out to the Chair of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats and intimating some of his concerns and interests of how the two organizations can expand their leadership roles by working together with ideas and energy to better encourage and turnout the state-wide vote. He has personally reached out to Beto O’Rourke, who served with him on the city council, to explore the various ways he could be of some benefit in elevating Beto to the U.S. Senate as well.
I am sure that some will question my intentions, motives and credibility as an African-American in making such remarks concerning the role a Hispanic organization can and should take in the Texas state-wide arena. I have shared the Mexican-American culture since 1968 when my military father was transferred from Germany to Ft. Bliss, Texas in El Paso. I attained historic leadership positions in high school and college with the vote and support of predominately Hispanic student populations in El Paso.
My wife is Mexican-American. December 21, 2017 will consummate a forty-five (45) year union. I am an only child. On our marriage date, I acquired nine (9) brothers and sisters and thirty-five (35) nieces and nephews forty-five (45) years ago. I became El Paso’s first Black judge and held four (4) judicial positions appointed by a Mexican-American City Council and District Court judges. I was elected to three (3) two-year terms as the State Democratic Executive Committeeman (SDEC) of the Texas Democratic Party and inducted into the El Paso County Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame recommended and supported by Mexican-American democrats
I have served as a 2d Vice President of the Paso del Norte Tejano Democrats and as a member of the Executive Committee of the State Tejano Democrats; served over thirty-seven (37) combined years as a member and/or an officer of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats and ten (10) years as the President of the Black El Paso Democrats. I believe that I am uniquely qualified to advise, counsel, suggest and recommend to both groups how a successful coalition can be accomplished for the betterment of the members of the respective groups and the Texas minority voter in particular.
This article is not intended to diminish or detract from the accomplishments of the present state Tejano president; however, it is intended to elaborate how we can better go forward under the present political conditions and opportunities we face in the near future.
I have personally observed the leadership and hearts of both Eddie Holguin and Beto O’Rourke. I have followed both their political and community service careers and I do not hesitate in recommending their candidacies and elections to their respective constituencies.
Donald L. Williams