Davis was raised by a single mon with a sixth grade education; and started working at age fourteen to help support her siblings. At age nineteen, she was a single mom herself, living in a trailer park.
She escaped poverty by enrolling in a paralegal program at a local community college. Wanting to call the shots instead of just being an assistant, she transferred to Texas Christan University, where she graduated first in her class. She then went off to the Harvard Law School.
She was elected to the Fort Worth City Council in 1999 and served until 2008. In 2008, she was encouraged by Democrats to run for State Senate in the 10th District. She beat GOP incumbent Kim Brimer in a very close race. She managed to edge out a victory in 2012, as well; even though her district had been gerrymandered.
She is a strong liberal in the state senate, often adding many amendments to bills she disagrees with. The first time she filibustered something was in 2011 to stop $5 billion in cuts to education. She took just an hour and twenty minutes, which stopped the bill-but not for long; Rick Perry quickly called the state legislature into special session to pass it. However, she emerged a hero.The Republicans remembered her filibuster in 2013, when lieutenant governor David Dewhurst removed her from the Education committee in an effort to silence her.
On the issue of the discrimination against women in the legislature, Davis said, " It’s not OK.... I am able to disregard it; I’m able to let it roll off my back because there’s nothing to be gained in making an issue of it. But it certainly exists, and I think that the obligation that we have as women is to march forward regardless and to demand the respect that we deserve. That’s what I try to do.”
At 11:18 AM, the gallery full of orange-clad supporters, Wendy Davis began her filibuster. Unlike in Washington, where candy sustained Rand Paul, during his filibuster, the rules for her were strict: no eating; no drinking; no sitting; no leaning on your desk; no reading the phonebook (or anything else that isn't on topic). Oh, and no direct help. From anybody.
Davis started out by chiding her Republican colleagues for supporting the bill for political purposes and not to help women. The Republicans listened for a while. Then they went to lunch and plotted how to bring Wendy Davis down.
While Davis read letters from women who would be affected by the bill, some Republicans killed lots and lots of trees to send her a sheet of paper to her office for every abortion in 2011. Not exactly the best way to make life better for children.
Around 5:30, Davis was stopped by a Republican on the grounds that she strayed off topic. The Senate voted, along party lines; to give her an infraction. With three of them, the Republicans could silence Davis and get the bill passed.
An hour later, the filibuster was stopped by a senator Tommy Williams on the grounds that she had received help from a Democratic colleague in putting on a backbrace.
The Senate voted to give her another strike for the back brace, once again on party lines.
It was almost ten o'clock. The filibuster was nearing its eleventh hour and Wendy Davis was still going strong. She was talking about the sonogram law, which invaded Texas women's privacy by requiring they have a transvaginal ultrasound prior to getting an abortion. Not exactly off-topic.
According to the Republicans, in a move to silence Davis and pass the bill, it was. Just after ten o'clock and nearly two hours to go, the filibuster ended. It looked like all hope was lost for Texas women-
But then they stepped in. The crowd, who had been quiet for nearly the whole day, began shout "Shame!" before they began chanting "Let her speak. Let her speak."
Enter Capitol Security, who cleared many protesters from the gallery, including by means of arrest.
The Republicans attempted to end the session then with a vote, but the Democrats tried to appeal the ruling. They went on to rise to make parliamentary inquiries, including that by Leticia Van De Putte, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?"
After midnight, the Republicans cheated, forcing a vote anyway. The vote was declared void a few hours later and the bill had been (sadly, only temporarily) defeated.
After the filibuster, people started talking about Wendy Davis potentially running for governor. Then, on October 3, 2013, she announced: she's running. On the same stage where she graduated from high school, she announced her entry to the race. She will be facing Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, a crazy conservative. In Texas, the race will be an up-hill battle, but because she already has star power (and outside money), it will be better for Democrats then the last several elections.
The election is on November 5th, and if you're one of the unlucky people who live in Texas, you should definitely vote for her.
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