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A true hero.
AUSTIN (Rixstep) — Something big happened in Texas last night, something that has any number of ramifications, not the least of which is the utter stupidity of the gits in the legislature who still don't understand that nothing can be hidden anymore in the age of the Internet.
But at the centre of the event was Wendy Davis, Texas senator. A strikingly good looking woman with an impeccable CV, Davis proved again that she has more cojones than all her opponents, not the least of which is governor Rick Perry himself.
Let Cenk and Ana lead you into the story.
Here's some more background from the Fox affiliate in Dallas.
Who is Wendy Davis?
Wendy grew up in Rhode Island but moved with her family to Fort Worth at age 11. She got her first jobs at age 14, selling newspaper subscriptions and waitressing. She married at 18 and had daughter Amber, but a year later was back on her own. And somehow she struggled, with true grit and determination, to get all the way to Harvard Law School. Score one big point.
Wendy worked thereafter as a law clerk, practiced law with a specialty in litigation, got into Forth Worth politics in 1999 as a council member, and was reelected four times in a row. Which takes us to 2009.
Today Wendy represents district 10 in the Texas senate. She was reelected in 2012, and today is vice-chair on the Select Committee on Open Government and a member of the senate committees on economic development, transportation, veterans affairs, and military installations. In 2011 she filibustered against a bill threatening to cut $4 billion from state education.
Wendy's awards and honours, which began already in her first term, are legion.
She won a 'Bold Woman Award' from Girls Inc, 'Freshman of the Year' from AARP, the 'Champion for Children Award' from the Equity Centre, and 'Texas Women's Health Champion Award' from the Texas association of OBGYNs. Texas Monthly named her 'Rookie of the Year' already in 2009. She was chosen by readers of Fort Worth Weekly as 'Best Servant of the People' and she was listed by Governing Magazine as '12 state legislators to watch in 2012'.
She's paid her dues. Back to yesterday's filibuster.
What Wendy had to do was run out the clock on the extra session of the senate. She had to do this by speaking on topic for thirteen hours, talking continually, no breaks allowed. She wore special shoes for the occasion, pictured below. She couldn't break for the bathroom and she couldn't grab a bite. She had to wear out the clock, from before noon until past midnight.
She did it.
Wendy gets a hug beforehand. The colleague looks tense. Wendy's collected and ready to do battle.
Wendy speaking before the senate. She has to hold that posture for 13 hours. No leaning, no pauses.
Wendy holding her only permitted prop: her microphone. Stand there and talk on topic until midnight.
People come and go but Wendy keeps on talking. Those who listen are waiting for her to slip up.
The famous shoes. Wendy did not falter.
The legislature tried to squeeze in a vote anyway, despite the fact Wendy made it to the finish line and the extra session was officially closed. They had the audacity to backdate the vote to make it appear legit, something that's a punishable offence in Texas. And it could have worked, but for the myriad smartphone photos that were posted to Twitter.
The world needs more women like Wendy Davis. Wendy is a true hero.
Wikipedia: Wendy Davis (politician)
Texas Senate: Wendy Davis District 10
Austin Chronicle: The Citizens' Filibuster
Austin Chronicle: Senate Filibuster Photos
Rachel Sklar/LadyBits: Messing With Texas
Telegraph: Wendy Davis and her marathon filibuster photos
Telegraph: Thank goodness for Wendy Davis and her trainers
Telegraph: Rick Perry tries to push through bill after filibuster
Telegraph: Filibuster by Wendy Davis blocks Texas abortion bill