While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making history as the first female Democratic presidential nominee, we feel inclined to ask, “Where the hell is our hometown feminist, Wendy Davis?” One minute she’s protecting vaginal rights, the next she’s leaving Cowtown’s womb. This Saturday marks the third anniversary of Davis’ 11-hour filibuster on the Texas Senate floor to kill a Republican-backed attempt to create stronger abortion restrictions and, ultimately, shut down most of the state’s abortion clinics. Davis’ pink running shoes became a national talking point as well, and the publicity set her up as a legitimate contender to become governor.
The former Fort Worth councilmember turned state senator turned big-time lawyer and women’s rights advocate has kept it on the down low since losing her bid for governor in 2014 to fetus-loving Greg Abbott. She hauled tail to Austin and hasn’t spent much face time with Cowtown. We caught up with her over the phone recently, and the first thing out of her mouth was “Hey, how’s my hometown doing?”
How sweet. We’re doing just fine, thankyaveramuch. After that, Davis conducted herself in a business-like manner, answering our questions quickly without digressing much. She has no current plans to run for office. But this doesn’t mean that she’s staying out of politics. She has traveled to 16 states campaigning for Clinton. “I believe so strongly in Clinton’s capability,” Davis said.
Seems to us that campaigning for Clinton is a tough job, kind of like taking someone to a dog pound with only two dogs to adopt –– one a fake, slightly rabid terrier married to a stray hound dog, the other an orange basset hound that’s all bark and no bite.
Davis stays in the loop by updating her Facebook and Twitter pages. She had a lot to say online about U.S. Senate Democrats filibustering on gun control. And she shamed the transgender potty policeman Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for his “reap what you sow” tweet that was sent after the massacre in Orlando (and deleted after the ensuing uproar). In short, Davis is still on the up and up for liberal politics.
But Davis has bigger –– er, younger –– fish to fry. In May, she created the nationwide nonprofit Deeds Not Words to connect millennials to a plan of action. She has their attention, and she’s putting ’em to work.
“They are the future,” Davis said.
Organization members aim to inspire young people to take stands on issues such as reproductive rights and equal pay. Kids can find local resources and volunteering opportunities through the nonprofit’s online hub. Davis said she hopes to build an “army of women” to influence public policies and private employers. No word on whether her army will wear those cool brassieres with machine gun nipples like the Fembots in the Austin Powers movies. But you know they’ll be wearing pink army boots.
Though Deeds Not Words is her focus, she said, she has not given up on running for office. She said she might want to get back into government when the time is right.
“I would love the privilege of serving again,” she said.
We asked Davis what office she would want if she could have any of them. The answer? Boy, she really wanted that Texas governor job. But who knows. If Abbott keeps going off the rails to the right, he might open the door for a contestant on the left. And there’s no bigger Democratic threat in Texas than the Fort Worth lawyer in the pink running shoes.