Grassroots group aims to turn Victoria blue

Bianca Montes By Bianca Montes

Aug. 27, 2013 at 3:27 a.m.
Updated Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:28 a.m.

It's no secret that Crossroad Democrats want to turn Texas blue, and thanks to a grassroots movement spreading through the Lone Star state, they're ready to charge.

Battleground Texas, a group motivated by the low turnout of Texas voters, is looking to inspire voters to get outside of their comfort zone and start talking to their neighbors about politics.

"We're not just here to turn the state blue," field director Daniel Lucio told a crowd of about 200 people Tuesday night at Club Westerner in Victoria. "We're here to turn Texas to a battleground state so that Texas becomes a competitive state for the election."

During the 2012 presidential elections, about 56 percent of registered voters in Victoria showed up at the poles - a mere 29,106 people, according to data collected by the Victoria County Elections Administration.

"Our goal is to change that," Lucio said. "We want to engage people that haven't been spoken to in years."

Sean Buck, 20, of Victoria, said people in his age group tend to be liberal-minded but don't vote.

"We're taught in history class that our votes don't matter and that it's not worth voting," he said. "Not enough people my age are interested in politics. I want to change that."

Jane Bernal, newly appointed county chair for the Victoria County Democratic Party, said low voter turnout rates in Victoria were the reason behind her wanting be involved with the county party.

"I want to know why they're not voting," she said. "We need to go door-to-door when it comes down to it and bring a change for the better of the community."

Battleground Texas and representatives with the Texas Democratic Party will meet with leaders in Victoria and surrounding counties Wednesday to listen to the concerns of area officials and teach them how to motivate their community to show up at the polls.

"I want to wake up one morning and know that everyone is out of poverty and woman have a choice," Bernal said. "If we can bring that to Victoria and instill that in young people that one voice does count and one vote does matter, then I've done my job."



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