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Messages from Mike - Archive for January 2009

New Speaker: New Era for San Antonio and Texas House

Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 1:59:17 PM

Today, the Texas House made an historic decision in unanimously electing Joe Straus III (R- San Antonio) to serve as speaker. Joe Straus is an urban lawmaker.  This is only the second time in Texas history that the House speaker has been from an urban area.  Straus is also the first San Antonio member to serve as speaker since 1913.  This presents a unique opportunity for those of us working to improve our quality of life in San Antonio.  It is a chance to present real solutions to the challenges our city faces on improving public transportation, educating our children and advancing other key issues.

But perhaps just as significant as where Straus is from, is who he is as a leader.  Straus is a true statesman and has demonstrated his willingness to put policy before partisanship.  He’s publicly committed to reducing the influence of special interests on the legislative process. In short, he offers what has been missing in recent years - an opportunity to roll up our sleeves and tackle the very real challenges that face our state. 

We have many days of hard work ahead of us.  We need to navigate through our current economic recession, create a 21st Century energy policy for our state, and make college accessible and affordable to all students who choose to pursue it.  Click here to read more about my legislative priorities for this session.

I will need your help in taking full advantage of this historic moment for San Antonio.  We will inform you about opportunities to sign petitions, testify at hearings, or make phone calls at key moments.  Please help us to grow the movement of folks working together on the issues that matter to San Antonio by telling your friends and neighbors about my website and weekly updates about the Texas Legislature.

For more analysis of the Straus’s election or key issues facing the Legislature check out these links:

News and commentary on the Legislature from the Express News team

Insights on Texas politics from Texas Monthly’s bloggers


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Great opportunity for students - Honorary Page Program

Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009 5:35:51 AM

During the legislative session, very few people have access to the House floor while members of the Legislature debate the issues; typically only reporters and select members of the House staff.  Lobbyists, advocates and members of the public must watch the action from the gallery or on television.

But the Legislature provides a unique opportunity for students ages 8 -18 to serve as an "honorary page" and witness history in the making on the House floor for one day during the legislative session.  It is an amazing chance for young people to learn as they watch lawmakers debate the issues, and vote on legislation. During their half day of service, honorary pages are accompanied by college students who serve as House Seargants.  Parents are responsible for transportation to and from the capitol in Austin.

Each member of the legislature is allowed to nominate a limited number of students for this opportunity, and reservations are made on a first come first serve basis.  Students who are interested to participate should send an email to telling the Representative a little about yourself and why you are interested to be an "honorary page".

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