Friends and Neighbors,
On the back of a t-shirt at the Memorial Day programat Tyler Memorial Park Cemetery.
We are a country grateful for our military. For those who have served, for those who are actively serving, for the families of our military, and especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, we offer our gratitude.
QUICK UPDATEThe more I learn about what could be, the more proud I am to run for State Representative.
I spend hours each day listening to local voices from across the political spectrum. And the recurring theme is that we have no effective leadership in Austin. From classroom teachers to law enforcement - retired teachers to medical professionals - lawyers to the business community - civic leadership to our children, our current state representative is not responsive to our local voices.Over 80% of his funding comes from outside of our district. He follows marching orders from his donors in West Texas. (If you want to see a fun diagram of the web of money and influence that includes our current state rep, click here.)
As an independent, I watched the recent party primaries and runoffs from the sidelines. And one of the lessons learned from those primaries is that Texans are fed up with irresponsible representation being bought and forced upon them by billionaires on the other side of the state.This past week, I spent some time in Austin with teacher organizations, law enforcement defenders, and advocates for the legal community. And the recurring theme there is the same: they are looking to East Texas to provide good, pragmatic, effective leadership for our region.
I am running for House District 6 (see map below), and I would be representing these neighbors, children, and businesses in Austin. And I won't allow Midland to tell me how to vote. Being a strong voice for the East Texas taxpayer is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it is common sense. We know we are at our best when East Texas supports pragmatic, responsive leadership.I hope you will trust me with your vote on November 6th.
JOIN ME!I'm hosting a Meet & Greet at Stanley's BBQ this Monday, June 4th, from 5:30-8:30pm and would love to see you there.We'll have new campaign shirts, bumper stickers, and the petition to have my name on the ballot available for you to sign. I greatly appreciate all the support you have shown thus far, but this movement to bring effective leadership from District 6 is just beginning! Bring a friend!As we move into the summer months, my campaign will keep moving forward. And I will continue sending out updates, meeting with local voices, and preparing myself for the election on November 6th.Please consider making a donation to build the campaign, offering an endorsement, and letting us know if you want to volunteer.
I look forward to seeing you around town.
Friends and Neighbors,
Moving toward victory on November 6th!
Neal's NotesEast Texas is younger than you might expect. In an article from the Tyler Loop, the data shows that the median age of Tyler is 33. This makes Tyler a younger city than many might have projected, and it changes the way we understand our community, our business growth, our infrastructure needs, our politics, and our educational opportunities.
Case in point, this past week I met a number of new East Texas residents at ETX Brewing. Most of them had just moved here within the past year or two for our growing job base. These were all in their mid to late 20s, and they were moving here from bigger cities for jobs in the energy, technology, or health sectors. This is great news for East Texas. As I began talking to one of them about my campaign, they seemed slightly disengaged. But when I mentioned that I was running as an independent, they perked up. And one of them said to me:
"That's who I am! I'm an independent. I don't vote along party lines, I choose the best candidate for the position. I have been burned by the far-left and far-right. I love that you're running as an independent."
There is an energy in my message of independence. And it is backed up by 15 years of faithful community involvement and trusted service. I am proud to shake things up so that East Texas can have an effective voice in Austin.
Enjoyed a long-overdue reunion with some of my Leadership Tyler friends from Class 19. Over the past 13 years, Leadership Tyler has been an invaluable network for me as I worked to strengthen our community. I'm so proud of the work they do, and I am lucky to have been part of a wonderful class.
Last Tuesday was the Teacher of the Year banquet for Tyler ISD. Hundreds of people filled the Crosswalk Center honoring our local teachers and schools. Supporting public education is an obligation to the Texas Constitution, and it should be the top priority for any elected official. Unfortunately, that is not currently the case. I will be an advocate for the 29,000 students in our local school districts (Tyler, Whitehouse, Bullard, Chapel Hill). I will support any legislation that re-equalizes school funding and promotes good curricula. And, I will keep the retirement promises we made to our teachers. Congratulations to the Tyler Teachers of the Year!
Wednesday was Tyler's State of the City lunch at Harvey Convention Center. Another year, another great report on the growth of our city. Mayor Heines and the City Council do an excellent job of following fiscal conservative policies with an eye toward strategic investment to handle our growth. I'm so proud of the city workers and volunteers that continue to strengthen our community.
On Saturday, I could not attend a rally in Houston for the Texans 4 Public Education, but I proudly wore my shirt here in Tyler in support of their event. Texans 4 Public Education is a group of 25,000 teachers and public education advocates from across the state. They share articles, commentaries, and suggestions on how to strengthen and support our public education community. Fun fact: Teachers have some of the lowest voter turnout rates. It’s time to engage our teachers and have them support pro-public education candidates at the ballot!
Thursday afternoon was a celebration of the Bethesda Health Clinic at the Rose Garden. Bethesda is a powerful local ministry that provides healthcare to the working poor. As a local non-profit with no government assistance, they boast some of the best health outcomes for their patients. Healthcare is a complicated system, and we need a mix of great hospitals, medical professionals, health districts, insurance companies, universities, government support, and outstanding nonprofit clinics like Bethesda to provide communal health. This luncheon was in honor of their 15th anniversary, and I thank them for all they do.
Thursday evening, I held a fun meet-and-greet with local attorneys at ETX Brewing. Our legal community works hard every day to make sure we are well-represented in all aspects of the law. I am fortunate to count many local lawyers among my supporters, and I value their questions and suggestions as move forward in my campaign.
On Friday, I was excited to attend the inaugural East Texas Leadership Summit held at TJC. Congratulations to the organizers of such a wonderful event. The three keynote speakers were Dr. Juan Mejia of TJC, Tasneem Raja of the Tyler Loop, and Christina Fulsom of the East Texas Human Needs Network. There were also a number of breakout sessions to discuss local issues of concern. As East Texas continues to grow, it is crucial to invest time and energy into building an engaged and connected leadership. This new event is another reason why East Texas is ready to take on the future.
East Texas is strong because our community learns and works and grows together. I'm proud to run to be your Representative in Austin. If you know someone who would like to receive these updates, please either direct them to sign up at KatzForTexas.com - or just reply to this email and I can add their email.Please consider making a donation to build the campaign, offering an endorsement, and letting us know if you want to volunteer.
I look forward to seeing you around town.