Marching Orders: 1/27/18

The Marching Orders blog is an occasional roundup of news about lawmakers, candidates, and legislation that we are tracking at LEAP Forward.

The Austin Monitor had a write up of a different sort of candidate forum last week. LEAP Forward endorsed candidate Joseph Kopser took part in a pro-science forum organized by advocacy organization 314 Action, and talked about the importance of scientific literacy when running for office:

All three panelists shared the view that bringing issues such as climate change and energy policy to a ground-level conversation has to become a more commonplace tactic in political brokering.
“Take these really hard science problems we have, take them to people who don’t think about those things very often, and create a bridge to their values, so we can get out of a discussion about whether the climate is changing,” Kopser said.
“Instead, talk to peach farmers in the Hill Country about the reason why we’re selling North Carolina peaches at the farmers market right now: because the weather here didn’t get cold enough for our peach crops.”

We're happy to hear this sort of forum is happening, and hope that a renewed focus on science in our political discourse will also include a scientific analysis of gun violence in America.

A more traditional forum was held in Arizona, where 8th district Democratic candidates Hiral Tipirneni (who we have endorsed) and Brianna Westbrook had their first debate. While gun policy didn't come up, there's a good local report from KJZZ on the candidates' take on immigration, health care, climate change, and, of course, Donald Trump's treatment of the DREAMers, promting this from Tipirneni:

"It breaks my heart to think that these kids are essentially being held hostage, and political partisanship is basically being played at their expense," she said of the program created by former President Barack Obama via executive action to shield from deportation immigrants brought into the country without authorization as children. "These DACA kids, the 'dreamers,' are our neighbors, they're teachers, they're soldiers, they're students, they're valuable members of our community."

The Democratic primary in Arizona will take place on February 27.

Chuck Schumer is causing some consternation among Texas Democrats for attending an event hosted by TX-29 candidate Tahir Javed while Javed is engaged in a primary with, among others, state Sen. Sylvia Garcia. Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke is also slated to attend. Garcia has the endorsement of outgoing Rep. Gene Green, EMILY's List, and several other members of the Texas House delegation, as well as from LEAP Forward. 

The Victoria Advocate has announced it will be hosting a Democratic primary debate for the Democrats running in retiring Rep. Blake Farenthold's 27th district on February 12 at 5:30 PM. LEAP Forward candidate Eric Holguin will be appearing alongside Democratic opponents Vanessa Foster, Roy Barrerra, and Ronnie McDonald.