A Wall of Honor and an Opportunity

Chris attended the Tarrant County College District’s official unveiling of its Veterans’ Wall of Honor on February 20, 2012.

This new feature of TCC’s Southeast Campus pays tribute to veterans who are current students, alumni, faculty and staff of the Tarrant County College District.  Featured speakers at the event included State Senator Wendy Davis, Tarrant County College District Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley, and TCC Southeast Campus President Dr. Bill Coppola.   Each delivered a message of gratitude for the service of our nation’s veterans and expressed a strong desire to continue the remarkable outreach and support that TCC offers to veterans.

Chris also had the pleasure of visiting with a retired member of the Marine Corps who served in Operation Desert Storm and was one of the veterans honored at the event.  By supporting programs such as tuition assistance, career counseling, financial planning guidance, housing support, and college admission workshops, Chris will work hard to ensure that today’s veteran has access to the educational opportunities they have earned and deserve.

Chris has a proven record of leadership on veterans’ issues: he was the author of the bill that created the veterans scratch-off lottery ticket, which has raised more than $16 million for veterans’ assistance programs in just two years.  Chris also authored and passed legislation requiring Texas colleges and universities to have a designated financial aid officer for veterans, so that returning service members are able to fully access the benefits they have earned under the new Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and the Texas Hazlewood Act. With more than 250,000 Texans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last ten years, it is more important than ever that Texas have strong support systems in place so veterans – and their families – can take advantage of education and workforce opportunities.  Honoring the service and sacrifice of today’s veterans both in word and in deed will continue to be one of Chris’s top priorities.

End the Perry Pension Loophole

Late Friday, The Texas Tribune reported that Governor Rick Perry “retired” in January. If only that were really the case.

Perry, as we know, is still governor.  But he found a loophole in state law that allows him to “retire” and collect a state pension while he is still in office.   We, the taxpayers of Texas, pay Perry a salary of $150,000.  Now we learn he is double-dipping an additional $92,000 per year from the Employee Retirement System of Texas – for a total of $242,000 annually.

This is just wrong. Very wrong.

It would be wrong even if times were good. But in a year in which so many families are struggling and in which Perry and the Legislature passed a draconian budget that forces public schools to lay off teachers and other employees, cuts college financial aid loans for middle class families, and further shreds Texas’ flimsy safety net for our most vulnerable citizens, it’s just outrageous.

You would think that Perry would have the judgment to not game the system and double-dip a salary and a pension. No chance.

It’s this kind of politics-as-usual, sweetheart deal that justifiably makes people so cynical about government. These are the kinds of practices we have to end – and that’s one of the reasons I am running for the Legislature. So today I need your help:

  1. Sign this petition, which demands an end to the Perry Pension Loophole. I’ll file legislation to make sure no politician can ever do this again – and I’ll take your voice with me to Austin.
  2. Contribute to my campaign today. We need your help to reach our end-of-year goals and to win the Democratic primary election (now set for April 3, 2012).
  3.  Forward this email to your friends, post our petition on Facebook, and share it on Twitter. We need to bring more people into our campaign to change the way business is done in Austin.

Let’s put an end to the Perry Pension Loophole – you can lead the way by joining our campaign today.

Tarrant Commissioners Court urged to create third minority JP/constable district

BY STEVE CAMPBELL | Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Sep. 20, 2011

FORT WORTH — Democrats and community activists pushed Tuesday night for the creation of a majority-minority justice of the peace/constable precinct at a public hearing on Tarrant County redistricting.

County commissioners were presented with a proposed “minority opportunity” map that carves out a compact Precinct 7 in east Arlington and Grand Prairie that would be made up of 57 percent minorities.

Precinct 7 currently anchors the southeast quadrant of the county. The proposed map would turn it into a long, slender slice of eastern Arlington and south Grand Prairie.

Democrats as well as NAACP and LULAC representatives said that under the current precinct map, only two of eight precincts give minority voters a chance to elect a justice of the peace and constable.

Opponents said the new map would create unwieldy administrative districts by stretching the current Precinct 2, now centered in central Arlington, from Grand Prairie to the southern edge of the county.

Before the public hearing, Commissioner Roy Brooks, the lone Democrat on the commissioners court, vehemently denied rumors that he was involved in drawing the new map.

Wendy Burgess, a Mansfield City Council member, said the changes would cause unnecessary administrative expenses and noted that Precinct 3 is represented by a minority constable and justice of the peace.

Former Democratic state Rep. Chris Turner of Arlington supported the new map.

“In a county where the bulk of the population growth has occurred in minority populations, it’s only fair that minority voters have increased opportunities to elect the candidates of their choice,” Turner said

Kelly Cannon, a tea party member from Arlington, said the proposal is racially motivated.

“It is a sad day when skin color motivates district lines,” she said.

After the public hearing, Commissioner Andy Nguyen, the first county commissioner of Vietnamese heritage, drew an ovation when he told the crowd that the real challenge for minority communities is the lack of engagement, not the lack of representation.

“If we increase the number of voter registrations from the minority community by about 5 percent and if we learn to work together, then we will have representation and that is really the challenge,” he said. “It’s about the quality of your idea and the quality of your leadership — it’s not about the color of your skin.”

Read more

The New District 101

Due to dramatic population growth, Tarrant County has gained another seat in the Texas House – the new District 101. While redistricting has yet to be settled – there are numerous pending lawsuits challenging the validity of these districts due to the discriminatory and unfair manner in which Republicans drew the new maps – I was proud to announce my candidacy for District 101 in case the Tarrant County portion of the map stands.

District 101 is a microcosm of Texas – it’s a diverse community, made up of hard-working people who want the best for their children and their families. Including much of east and south Arlington and the Tarrant County portion of Grand Prairie, District 101 truly represents the values, ideas, and aspirations of all Texans, not just those offered by Rick Perry and out-of-touch politicians in Austin.

District 101 is truly representative of the diversity of Texas:

District 101 is also a solidly Democratic district — in fact, in 2008, President Obama received 62% of the vote here. District 101 deserves a state representative who will be a strong and effective voice for the priorities we share – more jobs, good schools, affordable health care, dignity, and fairness for all Texans – priorities that are currently being ignored in Austin.

With your help, we can give District 101 a unified voice – a unified voice for voters who are fed up with draconian cuts to our children’s public education, insensitive attacks on women’s health care, and irresponsible accounting tricks that only worsen our state’s budget crisis.

Over one-third of District 101 was previously in District 96 – an area I proudly represented in the Texas House from 2009 until 2011 – and I look forward to working again on behalf of families, teachers, veterans, and small business owners. Lisa and I have deep ties to Arlington, having lived there for almost a decade, and we are excited to be a part of a community that reflects the Democratic values that I’ve been fighting for since my days at the University of Texas. Over the next few months, through conversations with you, your family, your friends, and your neighbors, I’m looking forward to helping unite our diverse new district under the same Democratic priorities and principles that we all share.

Since announcing my candidacy earlier this month, I continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support and encouragement I’ve received. I hope you will sign up to volunteer or contribute to the campaign when you visit my website. Your time and your talent are critical in the work that lies ahead. I update my Facebook page frequently, so please check in daily for the latest campaign news and follow me on Twitter.

With your help, we can win this race and build a better future for all Texans.

About Chris

080717-1658

Lifelong Texan

Chris Turner is a lifelong Texan who has spent his adult life working for the basic principles of the Democratic Party: expanding opportunity for all Texans to have access to good jobs, quality schools and affordable health care and protecting the civil rights and workers rights of all Americans.

The son of a teacher and grocer, Chris grew up in a middle class family in Dallas.  Chris attained the rank of Eagle Scout at 16 and attended Skyline High School, where he served as senior class president.  Chris knew early on that he was drawn to public service, so he majored in government in college and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin.  It was at UT that Chris worked on his first of many Democratic campaigns.

Working for Democratic Principles

Not long after graduating, Turner returned to North Texas to become the executive director of the Tarrant County Democratic Party.   It was in Arlington that he met Lisa, whom he would marry in 1999.  Lisa and Chris lived the better part of a decade in South Arlington and their two kids graduated from Mansfield Summit High School.

Chris served as a campaign manager for Congressman Chet Edwards in four tough elections – successfully directing the campaigns that gave Edwards the distinction of representing the most Republican district in America to be held by a Democrat.  Chris also served as Edwards’ district director in his congressional office.

Serving Tarrant County in the State House

In 2008, Chris ran for the Texas House of Representatives in southern Tarrant County and unseated a three-term incumbent in a district that had been in GOP hands for two decades.  As a state representative, Chris’s priorities included reforming our insurance system to protect the interests of consumers, providing veterans the benefits they have earned, fighting for better funding for public schools, making college more affordable, strengthening DWI laws to protect families from repeat offenders, and lowering utility rates for Texas families.

Making a Difference for Texas Families

Chris had significant legislative successes in his first session: he passed the landmark law that established a dedicated lottery scratch off ticket to benefit the Permanent Fund for Veterans Assistance, generating up to $9 million per year to pay for much-needed benefits for Texas veterans and returning soldiers. Chris also wrote the law that requires electric utility companies to provide notice to consumers when their contract is about to expire.

His work on veterans’ issues led to Chris receiving numerous awards including: “Legislator of the Year” by the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars, “Legislator of the Year” by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Texas State Council and the bi-partisan Legislative Veterans’ Caucus’ “Freshman of the Year.”  He was also given the “Leadership Award” by the Texas Veterans Commission.

In addition, Chris was named “Freshman of the Year,” by Texas Watch for his work on consumer protection issues and “Best of the House” by the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT).

Chris’s primary focus as a representative was attending to the needs of his constituents and district.  He attended hundreds of community meetings in his term in office and he hosted numerous town halls and seminars to provide constituents with information on how to pay for college, lower utility bills and get help with veterans benefits.

July 24, 2010 Comments are off Admin2

State Rep. Chris Turner Named Legislator of the Year by the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars

First Freshman to Receive Prestigious Award

AUSTIN – Today State Representative Chris Turner was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). With over 90,000 members and 403 posts across the state, the Texas VFW is the largest veterans organization in the state. The award was presented during the opening joint session of the annual VFW state convention.

VFW_sq

According to the Texas VFW, Turner is the first freshman legislator to receive this award.

“Representative Chris Turner has been a staunch advocate for our state’s veterans and their families,” said Roy Grona, Texas VFW State Adjutant-Quartermaster. “Because of his work and leadership on veterans issues, more Texas veterans are getting the help they need and deserve.”

“I am incredibly honored and humbled by this recognition,” Turner said. “The Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars are the true heroes to the 1.7 million veterans in our state. I am proud of the work we did to pass the lottery scratch-off bill, which is benefitting countless veterans across the state of Texas.”

During the 81st Legislative Session, Representative Turner authored and passed several pieces of legislation benefitting veterans and their families. Most notably, Turner authored House Bill 1299, creating a scratch-off lottery ticket to benefit the Permanent Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (FVA). The FVA provides grants to aid veterans and their families in times of financial need and support PTSD counseling and other veterans’ services. The lottery ticket was released on November 9, 2009 and has raised over $5.5 million for the FVA.

Turner, who was named “Freshman of the Year” by the bipartisan House Veterans Caucus and given the “Leadership Award” from the Texas Veterans Commission and “Legislator of the Year” by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Texas State Council, also passed legislation requiring institutions of higher education to designate a financial aid specialist to be trained on issues related to veterans’ programs, including the GI Bill and the Hazelwood Act.

He was also the House sponsor of legislation to allow state employees, who are members of military reserves or National Guard, to continue to accrue their sick and vacation leave time while they are on active military duty.

June 10, 2010 Comments are off Admin2

State Rep. Chris Turner Named “Legislator of the Year” by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Texas State Council

AUSTIN – Today State Representative Chris Turner was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Texas State Council. Turner is the only member of the Texas House of Representatives to receive the honor.

TTVA

(L-R) Duncan McGhee, Texas Veterans Commission (TVC); Charles Buerschinger, TVC; State Rep. Chris Turner (HD96); John Miterko, Texas Coalition of Veteran Organizations; James Nier, TVC; Roy Grona, VFW of Texas; Morgan Little, Texas Coalition of Veteran Organizations

“Representative Chris Turner proved to be a staunch advocate for Texas veterans during the 81st Texas Legislature,” said John Miterko, Legislative Liaison, Texas Coalition of Veteran Organizations. “Turner has placed the well-being of Texas veterans and their families as his number one priority for which we are all grateful, and which makes him the uncontested choice for the Vietnam Veterans of America, Texas State Council, Texas House Legislator of the Year Award for 2010.”

“I am incredibly honored and humbled by this recognition,” Turner said.  “The Vietnam Veterans of America worked hard to pass the veterans lottery bill and it is they and other veterans leaders who really deserve the credit for its success. I am just happy I could be part of this important effort that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of many veterans across Texas.”

The award reads: “VVA Texas State Council, 2010 Legislator of the Year, Presented to State Representative Chris Turner, In Appreciation For Your Work For The Texas Vietnam Veterans.”

During the 81st Legislative Session, Representative Turner authored and passed several pieces of legislation benefitting veterans and their families. Most notably, Turner authored House Bill 1299, creating a scratch-off lottery ticket to benefit the Permanent Fund for Veterans’ Assistance (FVA).  The FVA provides grants to aid veterans and their families in times of financial need and support PTSD counseling and other veterans’ services.  The lottery ticket was released on November 9, 2009 and has raised over $5.2 million for the FVA.

 

Turner, who was named “Freshman of the Year” by the bipartisan House Veterans Caucus and given the “Leadership Award” from the Texas Veterans Commission, also passed legislation requiring institutions of higher education to designate a financial aid specialist to be trained on issues related to veterans’ programs, including the GI Bill and the Hazelwood Act.

He was also the House sponsor of legislation to allow state employees, who are members of military reserves or National Guard, to continue to accrue their sick and vacation leave time while they are on active military duty.

May 28, 2010 Comments are off Admin2

Top Law Enforcement Organization Names Rep. Chris Turner “Best of the House”

CLEAT praises Turner as Strong and Effective Voice for Texas Law Enforcement

CAPTION: (From Right to Left) State Representative Chris Turner receiving CLEAT's "Best of House" award from Arlington Police Association President Randle Meadows,  Charley Wilkison, CLEAT's Director of Public Affairs, and Tony Molina, Vice President of the Arlington Police Association.

(From Right to Left) State Representative Chris Turner receiving CLEAT’s “Best of House” award from Arlington Police Association President Randle Meadows, Charley Wilkison, CLEAT’s Director of Public Affairs, and Tony Molina, Vice President of the Arlington Police Association.

ARLINGTON – Yesterday State Representative Chris Turner received the “Best of the House” award from the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) in recognition for his work to protect Texas families and support public safety officers. Turner is among a small group of members of the Legislature to be named “Best of the House.”

“It is truly an honor to be named ‘Best of the House’ by the largest law enforcement association in the State of Texas,” said Turner. “It is an even greater honor to represent so many brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect Tarrant County families every day.”

“Representative Turner has always been a strong advocate of the law enforcement community,” said Charley Wilkison, Director of Public Affairs at CLEAT. “His deep commitment and support of law enforcement legislation included landmark legislation toughening penalties for criminals.

“We consider Representative Turner a true friend of law enforcement, and look forward to working with him next session in not only looking after the rights of officers, but also continuing to ensure that our communities are kept safe,” continued Wilkison.

Wilkison and Randle Meadows, President of the Arlington Police Association (APA) presented Turner with the award at the Thursday, May 27th APA meeting.

Search


Latest News

  • I filed

    Today, I filed for re-election in House District 101 and I released the following statement: “Serving th

    Read More
  • 2018 Campaign Kickoff

    To RSVP,

    Read More
  • 2017 Constitutional Amendment Election...

    This week marks the start of early voting for the 2017 Constitutional Amendment election. While these constitutional ame

    Read More
  • ACA & District Spotlight...

    There has been a lot of talk in recent days (and weeks and months) about the Affordable Care Act (ACA

    Read More

Recent Posts

Upcoming Events

  • No events