November 2017 Newsletter

This will be my last note, as my reign and crown are fading.  It has been a pleasure and honor serving as your President these last two years. But I could not have done it without the amazing board members. 

Kathaleen, Wow she really set the bar high when it comes to providing fantastic programs. I can’t even begin to cover all the hosting, events, sponsorships and hours she contributed to VRW. 

Eleanor…. Membership Chair Extraordinaire! She took the Village Membership to new heights!  Her professionalism, follow up, friendliness, creativity, and cooking are second to none!!! 

Mary Grace sure found her passion and led us in Patriotism in so many wonderful ways. 

Rajada, while she is small, she cannot be ignored!  I could always count on her to step up when there was a need (Parliamentarian, hospitality, newsletter, etc).  Not only that, she won the 2017 TFRW award for Most Improved Newsletter!  Speaking of Rajada, she will only give me so much room on her newsletter so I cannot go into every member of the board, but THEY WERE ALL THE BEST a President could ask for and I am grateful to them! 

VRW won the highest awards NFRW and TFRW had to offer.  I was very proud to be able to represent you at the conventions.  Our club has a well-known reputation as an active, fun, profitable and supportive organization to the Republican Party here in Houston. I cannot tell you how many times I had elected officials and candidates tell me they were told they need to get our attention. VRW campaign center was the only satellite office that did not cost the party money… in fact, we made them money! Not to mention the thousands we contributed to the campaigns.  I could go on and on, but alas, Rajada won’t let me.

So,  thanks for the memories and I hope to see each of you at the Christmas  Party as we wind down this year and look forward to 2018!

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November Meeting – Revitalizing the Houston GOP in the Wake of Harvey

Leslie May

Leslie May has a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and has worked for a variety of major chemical companies.  She is also an election judge, forensic chemist, technical editor, veteran of the Boston Marathon and Special Assistant to Harris County GOP Chairman Simpson.  Leslie will speak about “Revitalizing the Houston GOP in the Wake of Harvey.”

The November Meeting will focus on celebrating our veterans.  Please bring a framed photo of a veteran you wish to honor as a centerpiece for the table.  We will present checks to Kelly Raley, Executive Director of Helping a Hero and Mea Williams, President/CEO of Grace After Fire. They will each spend 10 minutes to tell us about their organization and its impact on veterans.

~ Kathaleen Wall, Programs

October Meeting – Disrupt North Korea

Michael Dokupil

Michael Dokupil is the chair of the North Korea division of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF).  He first began working on HRFs “Disrupt North Korea” program in 2015 during a site visit to Seoul.  It was at this occasion that he was able to meet numerous defector and refugee partner organizations, and learn more about how outside information is the key to liberating the North Korean people.  In the past two years, Michael has helped the program grow through various initiates, events, and new partnerships as the organization continues to increase the flow of outside information into North Korea. 

Michael has met with many North Korean defectors about the regime and will share interesting perspectives. Michael is a life-long Houstonian and he co-founded SFC Management in 1999 where he focuses on statistical arbitrage trading strategies.

~ Kathaleen Wall, Programs

October 2017 Newsletter

As I write, the Texans are playing the Titans in a full stadium, following the singing of the National Anthem in which EVERYONE IN THE STADIUM WAS STANDING! A perfect example of the people of this great country, finally becoming outraged enough to band together and speak out for our principles!  I was prepared to act out my own protest… if all the players didn’t respect the anthem and stand, and Gary tried to watch the game, I was ready to boycott the kitchen and he would go hungry!

We still can make a difference, but we must stay vigilant!  One hurdle passed this week… After Governor Abbott agreed to send Mayor Turner 50 million for the flood repairs, Turner has decided not to go through with the vote on the property tax hike. I’d like to go to City Council and remind them these are the same people they voted to SUE over the sanctuary city laws.  I don’t believe he would have won, anyway. But there is still a lot to vote on in the coming election and  we will be giving you details.

I am so very proud of how generous VRW members have been to their sisters who were affected by the flood.  Mary Grace will be announcing soon,  the amount and how the money will be distributed.  Thank you ladies, for your big hearts!

Only 2 months left in this year for VRW but we have a full schedule.   Kathaleen has some awesome speakers for your meetings and a couple of fun, and informative extra events.  Also, Nancy Scott, the Chair of the 2016-17 fundraiser has decided due to the turmoil from Harvey, we are going to have a new twist on our fundraiser… A non-event event.

See ya at the Brunch!

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September Meeting – Overview of Legislative Sessions

Paul BettencourtTexas Senator (District 7) Paul Bettencourt will present an overview of the 2017 Texas legislature’s regular and special sessions.

First elected to the Senate in 2014, Paul Bettencourt represents Senate District 7, which includes portions of Harris County. He previously served 10 years as the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector, where he introduced “Smart Government” at the Harris County Tax Office and developed a customer service-driven organization. His team created the first major online property tax payment system and the first county tax office website with online automotive registration in Texas. (His motto was “Get on-line, not in-line.”)

In his first legislative session, Senator Bettencourt served as the chief Senate sponsor on 25 bills that the Legislature approved, including his amendment to SB 1760 that requires a 60% supermajority within a taxing jurisdiction to increase property taxes and has already prevented Dallas ISD from imposing a $100 million tax increase on its taxpayers. Senator Bettencourt also led the passage of the Andrea Sloan “Right to Try” bill, which allows terminally ill Texas patients access to drugs still in the FDA approval pipeline, and SB 1004, which expanded dual credit opportunities in Harris County.  He built upon this success in the most recent legislative session by passing legislation to stamp out inappropriate student-educator relationships and he reached across the aisle to establish ISD and Charter School Partnerships to give Texas students better access to educational opportunities. Additionally, he worked to pass HB 810, which gets government out of the way and allows adult stem cell treatments to be used for patients facing severe chronic illnesses.

During the interim session, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick appointed Senator Bettencourt to serve as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Property Tax Reform & Relief. The Select Committee toured Texas and heard almost 50 hours of public testimony, discussing ideas to reform the appraisal system and bring tax relief to Texans, as proposed in SB 2 (SB 1 in the special session), the Texas Property Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017.

Senator Bettencourt also serves on the Senate Finance, Education, and Higher Education committees, and is the Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee. Most recently, he was appointed Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Government Reform and unanimously elected by his colleagues to serve as the Chair of the Texas Senate Republican Caucus.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Senator Bettencourt is the CEO of Bettencourt Tax Advisors, LLC, a tax consulting company in Houston that has grown to more than three dozen employees. He is also a radio and television personality.

The senator and his wife Susan are active members of Saint John Vianney Catholic Church, where Paul is a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus.

 

 

 

~ Kathaleen Wall, Programs

September 2017 Newsletter

I hope you have all had a wonderful summer filled with opportunities to make great memories.

We have a packed agenda for the coming months. Our President and the Conservative Movement is being attacked everyday. We must continue, day after day, to stay vigilante and fight for our believes and principles. Look over the “Mark your Calendar” in this month’s newsletter and vow to get involved.

Please do not let the liberal media and the hate groups convince you all is lost and the President is going in the wrong direction.  Here are some of the accomplishments in his first few months:

  1. Supreme Court Judge Gorsuch
  2. 59 missiles dropped in Syria
  3. He took us out of TPP
  4. Illegal immigration is now down 70% (the lowest in 17 years.)
  5. Consumer confidence highest since 2000 at index 125.6
  6. Mortgage applications for new homes rise to a 7 year high
  7. Pulled out of the lopsided Paris accord
  8. Arranged 20% Tariff on soft lumber from Canada
  9. Bids for border wall are well underway
  10. Keystone pipeline approved
  11. NATO allies boost spending by 4.3%
  12. Allowing VA to terminate bad employees
  13. Allowing private healthcare choices for veterans
  14. More than 600,000. Jobs created
  15. Median household income at a 7 year high
  16. The Stock Market is at the highest ever In its history
  17. China agreed to American import of beef
  18. $89 Billion saved in regulation rollback
  19. Rollback of A Regulation to boost coal mining
  20. MOAB for ISIS
  21. Travel ban reinstated
  22. Executive order for religious freedom
  23. Jump started NASA
  24. $600 million cut from UN peacekeeping budget
  25. Targeting of MS13 gangs
  26. Deporting violent illegal immigrants
  27. Signed 41 bills to date
  28. Created a commission on child trafficking
  29. Created a commission on voter fraud
  30. Created a commission for opioids addiction
  31. Giving power to states to drug test unemployment recipients
  32. Unemployment lowest since may 2007
  33. Historic Black College University initiative
  34. Women In Entrepreneurship Act
  35. Created an office or illegal immigrant crime victims
  36. Reversed Dodd-Frank
  37. Repealed DOT ruling which would have taken power away from local governments for infrastructure planning
  38. Order to stop crime against law enforcement
  39. End of DAPA program
  40. Stopped companies from moving out of America
  41. Promoted businesses to create American Jobs
  42. Encouraged country to once again Buy American and hire American
  43. Cutting regulations 2 for every one created
  44. Review of all trade agreements to make sure they are America first
  45. Apprentice program
  46. Highest manufacturing surge in 3 years
  47. $78 Billion promised reinvestment from major businesses like Exxon, Bayer, Apple, SoftBank, Toyota…
  48. Denied FBI a new building
  49. $700 million saved with F-35 renegotiation
  50. Saves $22 million by reducing white house payroll
  51. Dept of treasury reports a $182 billion surplus for April 2017 (2nd largest in history.)
  52. Negotiated the release of 6 US humanitarian workers held captive in Egypt
  53. Gas prices lowest in more than 12 years
  54. Signed An Executive Order To Promote Energy Independence And Economic Growth
  55. Has already accomplished more to stop government interference into people’s lives than any President in the history of America
  56. President Trump has worked with Congress to pass more legislation in his first 100 days than any President since Truman
  57. Has given head executive of each branches 6 month time Frame dated march 15 2017, to trim the fat. restructure and improve efficacy of their branch. Observe the pushback, the leaks and the lies as entrenched POWER refuses to go silently into that good night!
  58. Last, Refused his Presidential Pay Check, donated it to Veterans issues.

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Summer CHAT – Human Trafficking Awareness

As the end of summer nears let us come together to learn more about the movement to end Human Trafficking and crimes against children. We will explore the facts and vulnerabilities the children in our community face, as well as the resources available to rescue them. Joining us are three guest speakers who will share their valuable knowledge, and with our support we can help change the course.

Wednesday August 23, 2017

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

(See email announcement for more details)

Guest Speakers

Congressman Ted PoeCongressman Ted Poe was instrumental in passing the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act that includes reforms that help individuals get the shelter and services needed to provide a fresh start. As a father and former judge, he believes in not only punishing those who commit the crime of sexual exploitation of children but also helping the survivors and affected families to rebuild their lives. He will share his experience in combatting these major issues of adolescent sexual abuse and human trafficking in our area.
Elaine StolteElaine Stolte, the Executive Director of the Children’s Assessment Center (The CAC) will tell about the safe haven The CAC provides for sexually abused children and their families. The CAC’s multidisciplinary team approach aids in the prevention, assessment, investigation, and treatment of child sexual abuse. She will share about volunteer opportunities at The CAC.
Luis Menendez-SierraSergeant Luis Menendez-Sierra of the Houston Police Department serves as the Commander of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task ForceThe Task Force, covering eight counties in the Houston Metro Area, along with 60 Task Forces nationwide actively seeks out child predators and brings them to justice. Sergeant Menendez’s primary objective is to save children from these predators and get them the help they need.

RSVP Here

May Meeting – Child Protective Services & Minor Sex Trafficking

VRW welcomes Ashley Davis-Nelson and Toni Macfarlan to our May 2017 meeting. These ladies will talk about Child Protective Services, sex-trafficking and Texas legislation around these critical problems.

ashley-davis-nelson

How CPS Led Me to Conservative Activism

Ashley was in and out of foster care until she was 12 years-old.  As she grew older, she decided to pay it forward and help vulnerable children in CPS.  She served as University of Houston’s College Republican President and as a Senator in Student Government Association.  After graduation, she worked with Blakemore and Associates, Ted Cruz’s Presidential Campaign and now Empower Texans.  She has been involved with CPS bills for the 85th Texas Legislative Session.

 

 

 

America’s Hidden Epidemic toni-macfarlan

Toni has been volunteering with Traffick911 to free youth from sex trafficking since college.  Traffick911 combats domestic minor sex-trafficking with prevention, identification and empowerment of survivors.  She’s currently the Fort Bend County Juvenile Detention Coordinator with Traffick911, a Field Representative for Congressman Pete Olson and a mom.

~ Kathaleen Wall, Programs

May 2017 Newsletter

I can’t believe it is May already!  One more meeting, then we break for the summer.  I am thrilled with the President’s first 100 days! On April 26, President Trump rolled out the first details of his tax plan, which will reform the complicated tax code, slash rates, and empower companies and workers to create jobs and keep more of their money in their own pockets.

 Personal Tax Reform

  • Provide Tax Relief for Middle Income Families
  • Simplify the Tax Code by Moving from 7 to 3 Brackets: 0, 10, 25, 35
  • Modernize Tax Code to Help Families Struggling with Child & Dependent Care Costs
  • Repeal 3.8% Obamacare Tax on Investment Income
  • End Alternative Minimum Tax
  • Eliminate Itemized Deductions Except Mortgage Interest & Charitable Contributions
  • End the Death Tax

Business Tax Reform

  • 15% Corporate Rate
  • Small Business Owner/Operators Eligible for Business Rate
  • Territorial Tax System to End Penalty on Companies Headquartered in the U.S.
  • Onetime Tax for Repatriation to Bring Back Trillions of Dollars from Overseas
  • Eliminate Tax Breaks for Special Interest

The Texas Legislators will be burning the midnight oil and they should be, they have accomplished very little at getting conservative bills passed by both houses. At the time I wrote this, only 3 bills out of 4,000 submitted have passed. I would like to give you an update on the Houston pensions issue, but it changes from minute to minute… stay tuned!

HB 2815 by Tom Oliverson is referred to as the “nursing home voting bill.”  It could help prevent the single source of voting fraud that is the topic of the highest number of complaints received by the Secretary of State after every election. 

HB 2139 by Mike Schofield brings organized election fraud under the state’s racketeering laws and makes it a felony to engage in organized election fraud activity like ballot harvesting. 

HB 3643 by Valoree Swanson increases penalties for illegally assisting voters and particularly for voter ambush. That’s were organized groups wait in the parking lots of polling places, lock arms with unsuspecting voters and proceed into the polling place to act as the “assistants” for voters with whom they have no prior relationship.

HB 3435 by Valoree Swanson gives the Signature Verification Committee of the election Ballot Board more flexibility in disallowing mail ballots for which the signatures displayed are clearly not the signatures of the voter.

Call or email your representative today to let them know this is important to you.  On the last page of this newsletter you can click on to find your representative.

What to say:  
Tell your representative there are 4 election bills that we need to improve election integrity in Harris County. Ask them to please do whatever they can to pull these 4 bills to votes by the House and Senate.  Your voices can make a real difference.

We have some exciting events and speakers planned for you next fall.  Have a happy, healthy fun summer and we will see you in August!

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Run for the Fallen 2018

Run for the Fallen 2018Honor and Remember Inc will kick off its Run for the Fallen in April 2018. The Run will specifically honor the men and women who have died during the War on Terror which began with the USS Cole bombing on October 12, 2000.

The Run will cover 19 states and 6100 miles to honor every fallen service member numbering nearly 20,000. Each mile of the route will be dedicated to an individual hero and their family.

Each relay team will stop at one mile intervals where they will place a “Hero Marker” and deliver a short tribute to waiting Gold Star family members, friends and patriots. They will cover 50 miles per day and conclude with an ending ceremony at planned stopping points in local towns.

Links of Interest:

Run Information

Route Map

Volunteer Information

Become a Virtual Runner

Honor and Remember