Houston-based Texas Progressive Executive Council, or TPEC, unveiled its election strategy on Wednesday to a standing-room only crowd of the region’s top elected officials. TPEC, through its sister political action committee, is committed to raising significant funds in support of regional and statewide candidates running for office in 2019 and 2020.
U.S. Reps. Lizzie Fletcher and Al Green, Harris and Ft. Bend County district attorneys Kim Ogg and Brian Middleton, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, and 45 judges attended the election debrief at the Texas Justice Center. City Council Member Amanda Edwards, who is considering a run for the U.S. Senate, was also in attendance.
TPEC is a coalition that provides those who historically have been underrepresented with a voice in the political process. The coalition is comprised of prominent leaders from the Chinese, Indian, Muslim, Arab, Iranian, Korean, Sikh, Jewish, Hispanic, LGBTQ, labor, gun safety, and environmental communities.
“Our end goal is to look at candidates with the same progressive values and support them,” said Amir Mireskandari, TPEC’s co-chair. “Those historically underrepresented in politics are a large voting block, and we’re now organized to flex that political muscle.”
The city of Houston is the most diverse in the country, according to WalletHub’s most recent rankings.
“TPEC was organized after the 2016 election because so many groups and individuals were not civically engaged, because they did not have the proper information, or didn’t believe their voices would make a difference,” added TPEC co-chair Sima Ladjevardian. “We decided we could fill that void and unite everyone.”
Upcoming elections were on the minds of the event’s attendees.
“I think 2020 is our year,” Rep. Green told The Texas Signal. “And when Texas goes blue, the country goes blue.”
“The things we’re doing to right past wrongs [in the criminal justice system] should invigorate our base and hopefully rebuild that valuable community trust,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
TPEC publishes its endorsed candidates – in both primary and general elections – prior to Election Day. Candidates are invited to fill out the group’s questionnaire and attend a screening process.