Beto O’Rourke’s Grassroots Campaign for the Senate


by Swati Joshi, NDTDW Board member and volunteer with DFW for Beto Beto O'Rourke

Beto O’Rourke, a confident, cool, caring, handsome candidate, is running for US Senate, in a bid to displace Ted Cruz. Robert (Beto) O’Rourke grew up in El Paso and since childhood adopted the name “Beto” from the Spanish word for Robert (Roberto). Beto was elected to the US House of Representatives to represent Texas Congressional District 16, in 2012, when he defeated Barbara Carrasco by winning 65% of the votes. Lucky for us, Beto is now running for US Senate for the seat currently held by Republican Ted Cruz.

DFW For Beto

Soon after Beto announced that he was running for US Senate to represent Texas, a group of concerned activists formed DFW For Beto, with the goal to spread the word about Beto throughout the DFW Metroplex. This group of citizens has formed a grassroots movement that is now over 275 people strong and growing daily. The group consists of the Executive committee, City Ambassadors, and very active volunteers. City Ambassadors organize their city with block walks, phone banks, and voter registration. The volunteers come from all over the Metroplex and are the backbone of the organization.

Importance of the DFW Metroplex

The DFW Metroplex is a critical area in getting Beto elected to US Senate, and thereby unseating Ted Cruz. First, approximately 23% of the registered voters in Texas live in the DFW Metroplex. In the last general election (on November 8, 2016 – a day that we all recall and cringe!), Dallas went Blue, but the other counties in the Metroplex (Collin, Tarrant, & Denton) did not go Blue. Here are the statistics – Collin County 38.6% Clinton, 55.2% Trump; Dallas County 60.2% Clinton, 34.3% Trump; Denton County 37.1% Clinton, 57.1% Trump; Tarrant County 43.1% Clinton, 51.7% Trump. These numbers have to change, in order for Beto to win! And it can be done.

How can we help Beto win?

The pressure lies with us in the DFW Metroplex, because Harris County (Houston area) was blue in the last general election and so was Travis County (Austin area). In fact Travis County went Blue with 65.8% of the votes for Hillary; and Harris county went blue with 54% of the votes for Hillary! We can help Beto win the four counties in the DFW Metroplex by making the voters aware of Beto, his policies, and his political record AND by VOTING. By introducing Beto to the voters at a grassroots level, Beto is able to personally speak with them and answer questions that concerned citizens / voters have. The DFW for Beto organization is holding monthly Town Hall meetings with Beto to do just that, i.e. to allow citizens/voters to personally meet Beto and have him answer their questions and address their concerns. The last meeting was held in Plano (remember Collin County went red in 2016) on November 9th, 2016.

First – help people get to know Beto

Town Hall Meeting in Plano

The Town Hall Meeting in Plano was projected to have about 400 attendees, when in fact over 800 registered and over 1000 indicated on FaceBook that they were interested in attending. The turnout was phenomenal! The organizers of this event, the DFW For Beto executive committee and volunteers, were thrilled and excited at the number of people that attended the Plano event (as well as the UTA event the following day). But additionally, the organizers were also overwhelmed at the level of participation, the number of excellent questions, and the huge line of people who wanted a picture with Beto! Overall, between the Plano event on November 9th and the UTA event on November 10th, there were over 800 attendees!

Second – Increase voter registration and voter turnout during ALL elections

The message from DFW For Beto is simple, volunteer and help spread the word about Beto and VOTE. As Democrats, we don’t take voting as seriously as we should; i.e. it’s not a part of our lives as it is for others! This is easy to change if we register to vote and are conscientious about getting out and voting at each and every election. Make voting a habit and a part of your life. There were voter registrars at the Town Hall Meetings registering voters. In addition, DFW For Beto will be holding “Voter Registration Happy Hours,” periodically throughout the year to help get more voters registered. We can definitely increase the voter turnout and flip all of the DFW Metroplex to BLUE!

The level of participation and engagement is rising as voters get to know Beto. The Plano Town Hall meeting is a perfect example of this, as seen by the long line of attendees being checked-in by the volunteers and the resounding North Texas / Collin County welcome that Beto received as he entered the hall. The momentum is building within the Democratic party, as seen in Virginia and New Jersey. DFW for Beto is working hard to keep this momentum up and growing for Beto O’Rourke. Let’s get Beto elected and remove Cruz from a position that he’s really not that interested in!