DEMOCRATS MAKE AP­PEAL

Beto O’Rourke, the Rev. Jesse Jack­son and oth­ers use a Fort Worth rally to call for the end of di­vi­sive pol­i­tics.

Star-Telegram (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY KA­LEY JOHN­SON kjohn­son@star-tele­gram.com

Beto O’Rouke, Rev. Jesse Jack­son and other speak­ers called for an end to the po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sive­ness they say is ram­pant in the U.S. at a Demo­cratic “Get Out the Vote” rally Satur­day in Fort Worth.

Jack­son spoke at about 4 p.m. at the For­est Hill Civic Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, where peo­ple were vot­ing through­out the day.

Jack­son ad­dressed the fa­tal shoot­ing of 11 peo­ple at a Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue on Satur­day, say­ing “seeds of vi­o­lence are be­ing sown, and they’re blow­ing ev­ery­where.”

“This morn­ing in Pitts­burgh, 11 Jewish cit­i­zens were killed,” he said. “A mas­sacre in the syn­a­gogue. Last week, we were on alert be­cause bombs were be­ing spread across the coun­try. Vi­o­lence is rain­ing down upon us. Rain comes from the top.”

Jack­son also ad­dressed ICE de­ten­tion cen­ters and the mi­grant car­a­van in Mex­ico.

“We can­not stand idly by and watch ba­bies suf­fer in cages in Texas. Or let the mil­i­tary stop refugees es­cap­ing for free­dom in South and Cen­tral Latin Amer­ica,” he said. “Be­ware how you treat ba­bies at the bor­der. Je­sus was a bor­der baby. Je­sus was a giver and be­came a refugee. We must care about the ba­bies in cages.”

Fi­nally, Jack­son en­cour­aged peo­ple to vote for Beto. “Texas is too great to have a sec­ond class sen­a­tor. It’s dark, but there’s a light com­ing out of Texas,” he said. O’Rourke spoke at about 5 p.m. in front of the crowd, which cheered and took pho­tos with him as he stepped out of his car.

O’Rourke be­gan his speech by say­ing that four years ago, at this point in the last midterm elec­tion, Tar­rant County had 88,000 votes. This year, he said, 220,000 votes have al­ready been cast.

“At this mo­ment of such di­vi­sion and po­lar­iza­tion in this coun­try, at the mo­ment when the United States of Amer­ica needs ev­ery sin­gle one of us to pull to­gether, to find that com­mon ground, to seek that com­mon cause so we can do that com­mon good — all that hope that we feel, all that in­spi­ra­tion that we are pro­vid­ing to one an­other, you right now are turn­ing into ac­tion and into votes at the bal­lot box,” he said.

In his speech, O’Rourke also ad­dressed in­creased ac­cess to health­care, le­gal­iza­tion of mar­i­juana, the need for af­ford­able men­tal health care and racism within the prison sys­tem.

“We on the 6th of No­vem­ber are go­ing to cel­e­brate a vic­tory for this state and this coun­try and this gen­er­a­tion and for the gen­er­a­tions that fol­low,” he said as the crowd cheered.

In an in­ter­view af­ter his speech, Con­gress­man Marc Veasey of Texas’s 33rd con­gres­sional dis­trict di­rectly ad­dressed the ef­fect of Trump’s rhetoric on the U.S. and the shoot­ing at a Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue.

“It would be very help­ful if the Pres­i­dent of the United States would not par­tic­i­pate in that, not talk about body slam­ming peo­ple and ask­ing peo­ple to be roughed up and call­ing peo­ple names and if he could lead by ex­am­ple,” he said. “I think there is no ques­tion that his rhetoric has caused a lot of di­vi­sion in this coun­try. I think that he pur­pose­fully does it. . . . I think he finds po­lit­i­cal value in that sort of di­vi­sive­ness. But he’s the leader of the United States and he needs to stop.”

Veasey said his prayers go out to the syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh, where Robert Bow­ers was ar­rested shortly af­ter the shoot­ing and re­port­edly made an­tiJewish com­ments af­ter he was ap­pre­hended, CNN re­ported.

“I thought that was ab­so­lutely ter­ri­ble,” he said. “Again, the fact that he quoted a lot of things that he had seen from the cam­paign is not good, and we all just need to try and get along bet­ter.”

Lo­cal can­di­dates fo­cused on pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion and health­care as they urged peo­ple to vote Satur­day.

Nancy Powell said Satur­day es­pe­cially should re­mind vot­ers why midterms are so im­por­tant, a ref­er­ence to the fa­tal shoot­ing of 11 peo­ple at a syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh ear­lier on Satur­day.

“We have great things we need to get done in the state of Texas and all over our na­tion. Im­por­tant things like ed­u­cat­ing our chil­dren, to mak­ing sure that folks have ac­cess to health­care, mak­ing sure we take care of our el­derly,” Powell said. “I’m

hope­ful that when we get to No­vem­ber 7th, we’ll have new lead­ers at the state level and at the na­tional level.”

Ryan Ray, the Demo­cratic can­di­date for Dis­trict 96’s House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives seat, said he is run­ning pri­mar­ily for pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion.

“This is the most im­por­tant midterm cer­tainly in my life­time,” he said. “Our state is go­ing in the wrong di­rec­tion when it comes to fund­ing ed­u­ca­tion. We’re just go­ing back­wards. And this is one of the most piv­otal elec­tions we’ve ever had.”

Ray en­cour­aged young and mid­dle aged peo­ple to vote, say­ing so far, 70 per­cent of vot­ers across the state have been over 55 years old.

“With ev­ery­thing go­ing on, if peo­ple aren’t mo­ti­vated to vote now, when will they be?” he said.

Cara Mor­ton is run­ning for the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion and said teach­ing chil­dren to think for them­selves can guar­an­tee a bet­ter elec­torate down the road.

“One of the most im­por­tant things to me is to make sure our kids are get­ting a sci­ence-based ed­u­ca­tion,” she said. “I want to make sure that what we teach kids is based on ac­tual em­pir­i­cal data.”

Nancy Bean, who is run­ning for Texas House Dis­trict 93, said she also thinks these midterms are a cru­cial mo­ment for Texas.

“I think peo­ple are wak­ing up to the im­por­tance of their vote. I think peo­ple out of fear and out of self de­fense are re­al­iz­ing they can’t rely on other peo­ple to make the de­ci­sions for their fam­ily, their com­mu­nity and their chil­dren. And they have to get out and vote them­selves.”

She is also fo­cus­ing on ed­u­ca­tion in her cam­paign.

“One of the big things that I want to fight for in Austin is fully funded, qual­ity pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, and that in­cludes Pre-K be­cause that’s where we get the most bang for our buck.”

Rev­erend Jesse Jack­son was ex­pected to speak at the rally at 4 p.m. and Beto O’Rourke was ex­pected to ar­rive at about 5 p.m.

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