Thank You

Friends,

While the outcome wasn’t the one we’d hoped for, I could not be more proud of the work we did together in this special election. I am so humbled by each ballot that was cast for me, for all the dedicated volunteers, supporters and friends who stood with us as we went through this journey.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you for everything you did and your friendship. I am proud of our effort, knowing that we have no regrets.  We put it all on the line, but this was not my time.

I started this journey as a way to serve my community and I look forward to continuing the fight for progress for our children, our families, and for Texas.

I look forward to seeing you all in the near future!

- Jade

Join Us Election Night

Friends,

I announced my candidacy for this seat thinking Election Day would be in March of 2014 but here we are – Election Day is Tuesday! 

This special election has been an incredible experience that I don’t think I’d have survived without the friendship and support of so many of you.

We still have a lot of work to do between now and 7pm Tuesday but I wanted to take a quick moment to ask you to please join me after the polls close to watch the returns in the party room at Pokejo’s on 2121 W. Parmer Lane.  

You’ve all done so much and I’d love to have the opportunity to thank you in person.

Hope to see you there.

- Jade

P.S. – And if you can spare an hour between now and 7pm on Tuesday, please consider volunteering to help us out with this final push! 

 

#TeamWendy

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Wendy is running!!!

Strong Democratic women like Wendy Davis, Ann Richards and Hillary Clinton have always been a tremendous source of inspiration for me and I couldn’t be more thrilled to support Wendy for Governor!

From equal pay for women to public education and access to women’s healthcare – so many of the issues Wendy has battled for in her career are the same ones I want to fight for in the State House.

After my Nov. 5th Special Election, I hope to be able to support Wendy as a State Representative but regardless of what happens in my race, I am going to do every single thing possible to help make sure Wendy Davis is our next Governor.

We all know the Texas Legislature hasn’t been too interested in what women have to say lately.

Will you help me change that by volunteering for my campaign this November and then joining me in fighting to get Wendy elected next November?

#TeamWendy

- Jade

BIG Endorsement and My First TV Appearance

Friends,

You can really tell Election Day is closing in on us with so much going on this week.

Here are two things in particular I wanted to share with you.

First, I was honored today to receive the endorsement of State Representative Gene Wu!

I’m so proud to receive this endorsement and, if elected, I know I’ll be able to learn a lot from Rep. Wu.

Here’s part of what he had to say in his endorsement:

“I was proud to be part of a coalition that restored a portion of public education funding and reformed testing practices but this fight is far from over. Our children’s schools are still being underfunded and overburdened, to finally solve this problem we are going to need more progressive fighters like Jade Chang Sheppard in the State House.”

Also, this week I was thrilled to make my first TV appearance on YNN Capitol Tonight!

I had a great time and was able to talk about why I’m running, my plans to reduce high-stakes testing in our children’s schools and my commitment to fighting for pay equity for women in the workplace.

You can watch my segment by clicking here, mine is the second video down. 

After watching, I hope you’ll consider helping us keep the buzz going by sharing the link on social media.

Thanks so much for all you do.

Onward to November!

- Jade

MY TESTIMONY REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW REGULATIONS ON PROVIDERS OF WOMEN’S HEALTH SERVICES

Below is the transcribed text of the the testimony I delivered earlier today to the Department of State Health Services on the implementation of the harsh and hyper-political laws passed during the last Special Session regarding new restrictions on women’s health clinics. 

- Jade

Testifying before DSHSThank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on such an important topic.  My name is Jade Chang Sheppard and I am a resident of Austin and I am a board member of the local Planned Parenthood.

During both special sessions, countless people testified to the danger that this law poses to women’s health and its devastating impact to overall healthcare in this state. We have already seen the announcements that clinics will be closing, in places like Midland and Bryan, because of the restrictions this law will put in place. There is a great deal of uncertainty about what the full impact of this law will be, and you have the power to help lessen that.

As you begin to make the rules related to House Bill 2, I hope you will keep in mind the statements by the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor that made their true motivations and intentions clear. This bill was not pushed through the legislature to ensure women’s health and safety.  Instead, it was used to restrict access to abortion, a constitutional right, for personal political gain.

The law creates restrictions in the name of safety that are based on many false assumptions.  If implemented as written, HB 2 will make abortion inaccessible to many women by imposing excessive and impossible-to-meet restrictions on providers.   In Texas, one in four women are uninsured and Texas women have already been put at risk by previous actions of the legislature when the cuts to funding  for women’s healthcare were made.  HB 2 will make this worse by forcing quality healthcare providers to shut their doors.

I also hope that you will remember how many women go to these clinics and rely on these physicians for a whole range of reproductive health services. This is preventative medicine. Cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing – these are examples of basic preventative care. Shutting down clinics that provide such basic care will be devastating to the health of Texas women and their families.  As you write the rules based on House Bill 2, I hope you will consider the impact as you hold the health of Texas women in your hands.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak, and have a wonderful day.

The Jade Chang Sheppard Fellowship Program

Dear Friend,

Our campaign for the Special Election is already underway and I wanted to touch base with you about one of our campaign’s most important goals: recruiting young leaders.

That’s why we would like to invite you, or any bright young people you may know, to join the Jade Chang Sheppard Fall Fellowship Program.

These aren’t typical political internships – Our Fellowship program is a great opportunity for young activists to experience the inner-workings of a campaign, gain real-world experience in politics and build a network to prepare them for their leap into the job market.

Fellowship Program

Here’s what Ainee, a current Summer Fellow and recent UT graduate had to say about the program:

“I’ve learned a lot by working with experienced campaign staff that are committed to a brighter Texas future. This fellowship isn’t only about developing important tools and skills – its about making a difference in our community.”

These bright young leaders are not only playing an integral role in this campaign today, they’re also gaining skills that will help them be the leaders of tomorrow. 

Please apply for our Fall Fellowship today, or forward this email to a talented young person looking for an opportunity to make an impact in her or his community.

See you on the campaign trail,

Jade

The 1st Bill I’ll File

I recently attended a candidate forum with the two other Democrats running in the HD50 special election where I was asked what my first piece of legislation would be that I would file if elected to the Texas Legislature. Without hesitation, I answered “The Lilly Ledbetter Act”. This was a bill that passed this session, but was vetoed at Rick Perry’s desk. As I said to that audience, this is a topic close to my heart, but time constraints prevented me from going into more detail about why this was so important to me.

Several years ago, as a young woman working in the Austin tech industry, I was aware of the equal pay issue but I’d been fortunate to never have any first-hand experience – or so I thought. One evening at happy hour, I was with several male colleagues, who all held similar or same positions as I did, in computer technology, and the conversation turned to salary and level.  I learned that they were all “C1” level whereas I was one below.  In their surprise, they asked me what I made, and I divulged.  Shocked, one friend said, “Wow, Jade.  You really should say something.”

I will always remember the embarrassment and my own feeling of shock and dismay. I went to my VP, who was also a mentor, and he said, “Jade, you need to let people know how you feel. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  I did.  I brought up the issue to my manager and senior manager, who all listened and took my comments seriously.  The next performance review, I got a raise, a promotion, and even some stock options. By that time, I had already made the decision to explore entrepreneurship and wouldn’t stay much longer but I sincerely appreciated the how my complaint was handled.

For me, it didn’t take the Lilly Ledbetter Act to resolve a pay inequity. Unfortunately, not every company embraces equality and fairness the way mine did. And for those women working at one of those companies in Texas, they currently do not have a legal remedy in state court.

It was shameful for Rick Perry to veto a bill that would have affirmed that women in Texas are right to expect and demand equal pay. This Texas Lilly Ledbetter Act would be good for women, good for business and good for Texas.

If elected, this bill will be the first piece of legislation I file and you’ll be able to count on me to fight vigilantly for its’ passage. 

#StandWithTexasWomen = #ElectTexasWomen

The movement that began with Senator Wendy Davis’ heroic filibuster must go on – the next thing we can do to #StandWithTexasWomen is #ElectTexasWomen! If you agree I hope you’ll take a minute to watch and maybe even share our new video which pays tribute to this historic movement

Our First Fundraising Deadline!

Friends,

Wow what a week!  It’s truly amazing what can happen when thousands of people rise up and demand a legislature that reflects their priorities. I was especially moved by last week’s events because the women’s health issue has always been near to my heart, both as an activist, donor and longtime supporter of organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Today, I’m more anxious than ever to fight the war on women from inside that Capitol building as a legislator.

I can’t get there without your help. Would you consider making a contribution online today?

If elected, I intend on carrying on Mark Strama’s tradition of being a strong voice for House District 50.

To get there, I really need to have a strong showing in this first fundraising period that ends tomorrow at midnight.

Any contribution of any size that you can make online today will make a huge difference. 

Thank you so much for your consideration and support!

Jade

The Time for Texas Women is NOW

The following is a message from my dear friend Aimee Boone. – Jade

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Friends,

As I’m writing you today, the Texas Legislature is making national news as they attempt to pass unprecedented restrictive, dangerous and unnecessary legislation to limit Texas women’s access to safe and legal abortion.

Thanks to the heroic efforts of women like Representative Jessica Farrar and Senator Wendy Davis, who is filibustering this awful legislation on the Senate floor as we speak, Texas women are standing up and speaking out.  But if we are to win the fight for women’s reproductive rights, we must elect more strong, pro-choice women to the Texas Legislature.

That’s why I’m supporting my friend Jade Chang Sheppard for Texas House District 50.

Will you join me in supporting Jade’s campaign with a contribution of $100, $50 or $25

With your help, we can send a true champion for women’s health to fight anti-choice extremists like Rick Perry and David Dewhurst.  Jade will make us proud as a tireless advocate for women and families all over the state – and with Republicans at the helm, we need it.

I hope you’ll join me in contributing to Jade’s campaign before the critical June 30th deadline.

Let’s work together to elect Jade to the State House and together, we can make Texas a better place for all women.

Sincerely,

Aimee Boone