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The Future of Advocacy in Texas. Presented by: Dennis Borel & Chase Bearden. Overview of Presentation. Is advocacy changing? For the better or worse Where is the power held in Texas Texas Legislative Cycle Traditional vs. Nontraditional partnerships

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The future of advocacy in texas

The Future of Advocacy in Texas

Presented by:

Dennis Borel & Chase Bearden

Overview of presentation
Overview of Presentation

  • Is advocacy changing? For the better or worse

  • Where is the power held in Texas

  • Texas Legislative Cycle

  • Traditional vs. Nontraditional partnerships

  • “Detractors Report cards & Missmessaging” change the game

  • Community Organizing – Shrink the State

  • Critical mass & Electoral politics

Texas power structure
Texas Power Structure

Texas has a total of 181 legislators, with 150 members of the House and 31 members of the Senate.

Texas senate
Texas Senate

Republican Party (19)

Democratic Party (12)

Texas house of representatives
Texas House of Representatives

Republican Party (95)

Democratic Party (55)

Texas legislative cycle
Texas Legislative Cycle

  • Texas has what's called a part-time legislature

  • Meets in January of odd number years

  • Session runs for 140 days

  • Special 30 day sessions may be called by the Governor

  • Constitutionally only the budget bill must be passed

  • Over 5,868 bills filed, 1,437 bills passed last session

Traditional non traditional partners
Traditional & Non Traditional Partners

How should the disability community move forward?

Traditional partnerships only can limit us
Traditional PartnershipsONLY, “CAN LIMIT US”


  • SILC

  • DRTX


  • Other disability related organizations

Non traditional partnerships
Non-Traditional Partnerships

These partnerships are where we find growth, money, influence, opportunity, change, access, information, etc.

  • Lobbyists

  • Providers

  • Economists

  • Industry

  • Think Tanks

  • Trade Associations

  • Opposition

  • Philosophical Differences

  • Corporations

  • Media

4,089 special interest groups hired lobbyist in 2013. Lobbyist in Texas are required to detail who hires them to influence legislation & public policy.


A lobbyist is an activist who seeks to persuade members of the government (like members of Congress) to enact legislation that would benefit their group. The lobbying profession is a legitimate and integral part of our democratic political process that is not very well understood by the general population.

  • Influence

  • Access

  • Opportunity

  • Information

    There are a limited number of projects and issues that can be funded or legislated and non-profit organizations need be able to compete to be heard above the noise.


A health care providers are individuals or businesses that provides preventive, curative, promotional or rehabilitative health care services in a systematic way to individuals, families or communities.

  • Opportunity

  • Change

  • Access

  • Information

  • Money

Opposition alliance

The day is ever changing – consistently reexamine your oppositions: stance, beliefs and willingness to compromise.

  • Growth

  • Opportunity

  • Influence

  • Change Access

com . pro . mise

: a way of reaching agreement in which each person or group gives up something that was wanted in order to end an argument or dispute

: something that combines the qualities of two different things

Detractors advocacy
Detractors & Advocacy

As the world has discovered through the grass-roots revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia —driven in part by messages on Twitter and Facebook—online social media can be powerful tools for spurring social change. And increasingly, both fledgling nonprofits and long-established charities are taking up those tools in issue advocacy.

- Maureen West

  • Missmessaging

  • Lies

  • Detractor

Tea Party 911 Score CardScore Card Rankings

Killer words
Killer Words

  • Mandate, Increased funding, Medicaid, Fiscal note

    EX. Of Mandate

    Chapter 1352 (Brain Injury), Insurance Code, extends medically necessary post-acute brain injury health care coverage to certain eligible policyholders. Most insurance carriers adhere to the intent of this statute, with one major exception. In this instance, this carrier has a huge market in this state. And its market now includes State of Texas employees and retirees.

    H.B. 2929 clarifies current provisions within the statute that have hindered a policyholder or enrollee from being admitted and otherwise would not be covered if a policyholder or enrollee within these groups sustain a brain injury.

    HB 2929 Hearing Video

How do we make a difference
How Do We Make A Difference

  • Work to develop relationships with the opposition & their legislative allies

  • Work to build our Non-Traditional partners and gain their numbers

  • Community Organizing – Shrink the state

  • Communications– E-news, social media, web, live stream, blog and develop media relationships

  • Regional Reps.

  • Give support and cover to legislators who work to better the disability community

  • Unified message– general unified disability message (EX. Tea Party messaging at their beginning)

  • Collaborations: disability + education + health +labor + faith, etc.

  • Electoral politics

Connect with Us

316 W. 12th Street, Ste.405

Austin, TX 78701

PH: (512) 478-3366