Notes & Noticias: Gearing Up

Dear Friends,

Labor Day is approaching, and that means it’s almost officially campaign season!

In 2014, I will be seeking re-election to House District 51.

If you support the work I have done in the last 10 years in the Texas House and in the Austin community in general, please reply to this email and let me know that I can count on your public support.

This past session I was able to pass a number of important items to improve college and workforce readiness while reducing high-stakes testing, support local businesses, and provide free meals for more school children who would otherwise go hungry.

I am excited to continue advancing our shared progressive values at the Legislature next session, but I’ll need your support to get there.

Please reply to this email or contact me directly at and let me know that I can count on your support for my re-election!

Tejano Democrats Convention Keynote

This past weekend, I was honored to give the keynote speech at the statewide Tejano Democrats Convention in Dallas. It was great to see so many friends from across the state in attendance.

Special recognition is due to Sandra Tenorio for her successful year as Chair of the organization. I’m also excited that Austin’s own Fred Cantu has been elected treasurer!

I wish the new state chair, Othon Medina Jr of El Paso, all the best as we head into 2014.

Spotlight On: Johnny Limon

Ann Richards once said, “if you’re in Austin and you don’t know a Limon, you don’t know anyone.”

That’s certainly true in East Austin, where my friend Johnny Limon and his family have been working hard in the community for decades.

I sat down with Johnny at Joe’s Bakery on East 7th to share stories about his family and their work to organize Hispanic voters and improve the community. His parents moved from Creedmoor to East 5th in the early 1930’s, where five members of his family still live. Much of the family moved to the Govalle neighborhood in the 1960’s.

The Limons are famous for their family reunions, which started in 1986 with over 1,500 people in attendance. This year, they expect close to 3,000 relatives. They’ve been featured in magazines, documentaries, and even on Good Morning America!

It was at one of the Limon family reunions that Congressman J.J. “Jake” Pickle came up with the idea to rename the street where Johnny and many of his relatives reside to “Calle Limon,” which was later sponsored and passed by Austin City Council member John Trevino, a cousin of Johnny’s.

Pickle was a key figure in Johnny’s interest in political activism. He credits Pickle for uniting the Latino constituency in East Austin by inviting them to get involved in his campaign. Johnny’s parents taught their kids the importance of voting, a message that the Limons have successfully passed down through generations. Johnny’s parents had to pay poll taxes for many years in order to vote. He carries their legacy onward as he emphasizes the importance of cultivating voters at a young age.

Johnny’s top political issue is affordable housing. He is currently helping the Keep Austin Affordable campaign, which is urging voters to pass the affordable housing bond that will appear on the November ballot.

Johnny and I discussed the impact of the Homestead Preservation District (HPD) legislation I passed in 2005 along with several additional affordable housing bills that I have passed since. As a board member of the Guadalupe Neighborhood Development Corporation, Johnny told me how these bills have provided important tools to improve affordable housing in East Austin. GNDC is currently considering using a “land trust” made possible by the HPD for one of their affordable housing projects.

“This law helps all of us affordable housing advocates by giving us the funding options to build affordable housing,” Johnny told me. “When non-profits develop affordable housing, they are there forever. Unlike other developers, they don’t just develop, sell, and leave. We make sure these properties are managed correctly and remain affordable.”

Johnny also formed the Govalle Neighborhood Association, of which he remains the President to this day. The organization was initially formed to force a tank farm owned by major oil and gas companies to move. Johnny and his fellow members provided evidence of major spills that residents were never notified about. The tank farms were forced to leave the community, which was a huge victory for the Govalle neighborhood.

In his spare time, Johnny is a dedicated volunteer with Meals on Wheels, bringing hot food to those in need. He celebrates his 21st anniversary of helping the organization this October.

Johnny and many members of the Limon family have supported me since I first ran for the Legislature. I won my first election by just over 100 votes, and I know I wouldn’t be here without their support. I look forward to presenting Johnny’s mom Eloisa, the matriarch of the family, with a resolution to honor her 100th birthday this year on November 1st.

I’m so appreciative of the work the Limons do in our community, and I’m proud to call Johnny Limon a friend.

Thanks Again!

Thanks again for reading another edition of Notes and Noticias.

As we enter the campaign season, I’d be honored to count on your support for my re-election.

If I can list you as a public supporter, please reply to this email or contact me at and let me know.

Thanks again!