Posts in 1st Reading
First Reading, 2019 vol. 1

How can it be that my first “First Reading” post of the year is being written in June? Color me embarrassed, but also color me a lobbyist and it’s #sinedie yal. So yes, here we are. I’m traveling as usual - writing this from always sunny Philadelphia. But now that I’m not pouring over bill trackers and hopping on last minute strategy calls I have time to share some of the news and thoughts of the moment.

It feels good to be here. If you’re new to Pink Granite as I suspect many folks may be - welcome. I’m so happy you’re here too.

Let’s get to some quick reads and interesting bits.

Texas News

National Drama

I hate to perpetuate this fighting and I’m not normally an advocate for Nancy Pelosi but I do believe that she handles her role as a female (yes I’m going there) Speaker of the House masterfully. She’s raised children and as a result seems to handle the White House just fine.

Frivolous and Fun

  • Did you know drowning your guacamole may just keep it greener longer? This is the truth according to Real Simple magazine.

  • If you’re not following @things.I.bought.and.liked on Instagram you’re truly missing out. Sarah is a delight - a delight that may leave you poorer than you were before this post. She’s from Houston and is that friend that researches little things we may not always need but make life easier, prettier and at times more fun. It’s all very low key and her commentary is solid gold.

That’s probably enough for now, let’s ease back into this thing shall we?

January Was a Tough Year
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We’re still 113 days until sine die and things seem to be moving more quickly than in the past. Committees are already in place and budget hearings begin next week. Don’t hold me to it but the biggest issues this session are expected to be property tax bills, school choice and school (gun) safety. Plus everything else you and/or your boss or clients care about.

In a very un-2019 move, the House Republican Caucus floor leadership is comprised of white men. Oh - and once again there is only one woman seated on the caucus policy committee. Thanks to Representative Noble for representing all the ladies.

Now that that's over...
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Let us get back to it all. The election is behind us. No one needs me to recap that the Texas Tribune did a great job here. Debt is being retired as. we. speak. and everyone is moving on - including Beto. It certainly was the year of the woman across the country. Let’s hope that doesn’t have to be a think again. In the best news I saw all day, NPR highlighted Susan B. Anthony’s gravestone being flooded with I Voted stickers.

There are three more women in the Texas house than last session, although Carol Alvarado is making a move for Texas Senate and is largely expected to soon move to the “upper” chamber. Two other ladies canceled one another out in the Senate with Beverly Powell unseating Senator Konni Burton. We lost Linda Koop in the Beto wave but hung on to Sarah Davis down in Houston despite the Governor’s best efforts to unseat her.

In the last month the Speaker’s race was all anyone was talking about, and then suddenly it was wrapped up with a neat little bow. Those involved closely will argue it was nothing of the tidy kind, and let’s just say it - no women filed for the job (deep sigh). Nonetheless I’m impressed with solidarity and organization in November. Representative Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Governor Patrick even shared a press release to announce a commitment to working together. Representative Stickland is even tweeting his support of Bonnen as well. It IS the most wonderful time of the year.

Presumptive Speaker, Representative Dennis Bonnen has named his longtime Chief of Staff Shera Eichler to serve as Director of the Office of the Speaker so a big Pink Granite high five to her.

Here’s what I’ve been screenshot-ing this month, while clearly avoiding the effort of an actual post. I hope its not stale now.

  • The Boy Scouts let girls in, and the Girls Scouts sued. Equality can be hard. Via The New York Times.

  • If you’re really missing a midterm break down, consider Samantha Bee’s effort. P.S. Harris County elected not one or two but 17 black women to judicial seats. Here’s another nice breakdown on the women running in Texas this year via the Texas Tribune.

  • Vogue asks why the white girls keep voting against their “own interests.” Read more here. Do you agree? The NYT tells us it was a banner year for women - except those in the GOP.

  • CBS News on Americans being more comfortable with women as executives than as lawmakers. Hmmm… what do other rich countries think about women in power? Via Reuters.

  • As a mother should you be able to file childcare as a campaign expense? Spoiler alert - that’s a yes. For any primary caregiver IMHO.

  • In a very House of Cards style one Supreme Court Justice fell and broke some ribs but the Notorious RBG bounced right back.

1st ReadingAmy WhitedComment
First Reading, 2018 vol. 19

I’ll be trotting over to Atlanta today - and in a shocking turn of events I’ve actually pre-organized some blog posts for the group. I think this is what “real” bloggers do so I’m giving it a whirl. So if you see something you like this week please do let me know - use that comments section. And if by the time Girl Friday rolls around and some global crisis or (additional) natural disaster occurs, a sink hole swallows the pink dome, etc. you’ll know why I don’t mention it. I’m not clueless or insensitive, I’m just writing these on Sat-ur-day.

So here we go:

  • An opinion piece on why Bobby Jindal is no Nikki Haley, here. And other piece on how her stock is rising since leaving the Trump Administration. Does anyone else wonder if her “campaigning for his one…” remark could be as a potential VP pick?

  • Al Jazeera says the U.S. is behind when it comes to women in politics. Here.

  • The politics of men v. women in the ‘burbs. Where do you stand?

  • This article credits (now) Justice Kavanaugh with tipping the balance of SCOTUS clerks to majority-female.

  • Julie Oliver volunteers are well-canvassing my neighborhood. Did you know TX Congressional District 25 stretches from Central Austin all the way up to Fort Worth? That’s democracy my friends. Here’s a link the Austin Chronicle’s recent interview with Oliver.

  • Here’s a good reminder that “up” Isn’t always the best way to move in your career. It’s not a ladder it’s a jungle gym. Via Quartz.

  • Meet the first openly gay female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Her first job was the very best. Spoiler it was shucking corn. Via Money. What was your first job? Mine was McDonald’s!

  • Are you a people pleaser? Even at work? Here’s an interesting argument for not giving away credit for your own good work. Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable things in the world. Via the Ladders. Also from the Ladders, how to surround yourself with supportive women.

  • And finally - just for fun, would you ever wear a full on hot pink suit? Here’s one that’s very affordable from JCP if it’s your thing a la Busy Philipps. Have you read her new book? It’s on my list!