Wendy Davis holds rally on filibuster anniversary

News Editor

It has been one year since Senator Wendy Davis stood for nearly 13 hours to delay a controversial vote on abortion legislation.

June 25, 2014 marks the one-year anniversary of the filibuster heard around the world.  Shortly after the filibuster, Davis announced her candidacy for governor of Texas running alongside candidate for Lt. Governor, Leticia Van de Putte. The two came together for a one-year anniversary rally and celebration of the filibuster that launched Davis into the spotlight.

Over 1,000 Davis supporters filled the Palmer Events Center Wednesday creating a sea of orange- many attendees sported the color as a sign of support. Dozens donned pink tennis shoes, much like the shoes Davis wore at her filibuster, as the rally began.

Van de Putte and Davis reminisced on the night of the filibuster, one year ago.

“At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” Van de Putte recalled her words from last summer.

“We won’t be silenced, we won’t be ignored, and we will be listened to,” Van de Putte said.

Cecile Richards, daughter of former Gov. Ann Richards and President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said that the night of Davis’ filibuster “changed everything.”

“We shook the capital to its foundation,” Richards said.

Throughout the night, Davis and Van de Putte spoke of the “people’s filibuster” and how it was group effort to delay the vote that night.

“We were a team in ‘plain ole raw Texas fight’ (a year ago today),” Davis said. “I couldn’t see all of you or hear all of you, but I literally felt your voices (that night).”

Many remember watching the filibuster online or traveling to Austin to have their voices heard said Senator Kirk Watson. Davis was not alone that night, Watson said.

“We functioned as one and it was an awesome display of democracy in action,” Davis said.

Moving forward in her campaign, Davis still trails behind in the polls, according to the Austin-American Statesman. But Davis appeared unaffected by poll statistics and assured her supporters of November’s outcome.

“We may have lost the battle last year, but together I know we can win the war we are fighting together this year,” Davis said. “Texas, we are finishing this fight and we will win this fight.”

Speaking of the movement that was created last summer, Richards said that something was started that cannot be stopped.

“We’re going to do any damn thing it takes,” Richards said.

Speakers at the rally talked about how many thought Davis was just a “fluke” and she would be forgotten shortly after her filibuster. Davis reassured her supporters at the rally.

“We were not silenced then and we will not be silenced now,” Davis said.

Nancy Cardenas, recent UT grad, attended the rally wearing orange to show her support.

“(The filibuster) wasn’t just a fleeting moment, it was a dramatic moment in Texas politics,” Cardenas said.

Many communities are “severely” affected by lack of reproductive services, Cardenas said. Although Senate Bill 5 was passed, in a special session the day after Davis’ filibuster, effectively closing many Planned Parenthood facilities in the state, fighting for Texas women is what Davis promises to do.

“It is time for someone who will keep our promise that says no one gets left behind,” Davis said.

Without “collective hard work” Davis will not win, she said. Supporters were encouraged to knock on doors to get the message out there and vote, at the rally.

“We will deliver on the promise of Texas that says no matter who you are, where you’re from, your gender, what you look like, your race, no matter how rich or poor you are, you have a place and you will be heard,” Davis said as she closed out the rally.