Pillow Talk – Advocacy Tip #10 – Know How to be a Gracious Winner  

by Perry Pillow, Director of Government Affairs, AATC

Last month, we explored AATC Advocacy Tip #9: Know When to Walk Away. The key takeaway from last month: never burn a bridge; leave your matches at home. It is amazing how often you will wake up one day down the road and find yourself a partner with a previous opponent in the political arena. This month will explore our final Top Ten advocacy strategy, Tip #10: Know How to be a Gracious Winner.   

It is tempting in these hyper-partisan, tribal politics times to brag long and loud about even minor political victories. Everyone loves a winner, but everyone hates a gloater. Thankfulness prevents boastfulness. Genuine humility cures swollen heads. Gratefulness conquers pride.    

To ensure you are a classy winner, thank everyone who helped you succeed: elected officials, elected officials’ staff, career government staff, researchers, friends, political consultants, coalition partners, government relations professionals, etc.       

Text, email, and phone are great, but the absolute best way to express your gratitude is with a handwritten note. A simple “Thanks so much for your support” on your personal or corporate stationery shows you took the time and effort to acknowledge their contribution to the cause. Nothing is more valuable than your time—a handwritten thank demonstrates how important the recipient is to you.  

When you win in the political game, do not spike the football; quietly hand the ball to the referee and head back to the huddle and prepare for your next political play.    

FY21 AATC MUNICIPAL FEE SURVEY: Local governments adopt their fiscal year taxes and fees in October. AATC posted this information on the AATC website on November 1st. Click on the following link  https://www.aatcnet.org/local-fees-and-taxes to see the population, fee, and tax information for Fiscal Year 2021 for the ten largest cities in Tarrant County. Significant takeaways from this year’s data include: 

  1. Each city has gained population, with Fort Worth approaching 900,000 and Arlington at more than 400,000. 
  2. City tax rates remained flat, with Arlington slightly reducing its rate. 
  3. Water rates continue the recent upward trend.  

AATC ENDORSED CANDIDATES WON: Even though Joe Biden announced he has enough electoral votes to be president, we may not officially know the winner of the presidential election and ultimate control of the U.S. Senate until January. We do know that all AATC, TAA, & NAA endorsed 2020 candidates won in Tarrant County, including AATC member Republican state representatives Stephanie Klick (HD 91) and Craig Goldman (HD 97). Below is a list of AATC, TAA, & NAA endorsed winners in Tarrant County:  

U.S. Senate  

  • John Cornyn (R) – 51%  

U.S. House  

  • Ron Wright (R – TX6) – 53%  
  • Kay Granger (R – TX12) – 64%  
  • Beth Van Dyne (R – TX24) – 49%  
  • Roger Williams (R – TX25) – 56%  
  • Michael Burgess (R – TX26) – 61%  
  • Marc Veasey (D – TX33) – 67%  

TX Senate:  

  • Jane Nelson (R – SD12) – 62%  

TX House  

  • Ramon Romero (D – HD90) – 73%  
  • Stephanie Klick (R – HD91) – 64%  
  • Jeff Cason (R – HD92) – 51%  
  • Matt Krause (R – HD93) – 55%  
  • Tony Tinderholt (R – HD94) – 51%  
  • Nicole Collier (D – HD95) – 100%  
  • David Cook (R – HD96) – 51%  
  • Craig Goldman (R – HD97) – 53%  
  • Giovanni Capriglione (R – HD98) – 68%  
  • Charlie Geren (R -HD99) – 100%  
  • Chris Turner (D – HD101) – 100%   

Constables  

  • Jon Siegel (R – P6) – 52%  
  • Michael Campbell (D – P8) – 100%  

Arlington City Council  

  • Victoria Myers – 48% (December 8th runoff)  

Other significant races that AATC was not involved in:  

  • Republican incumbent Sheriff Bill Waybourn (53%) won.  
  • Two long-serving, Tarrant County Republican constables lost: David Woodruff (P2) and Clint Burgess (P8)  
  • Ruby Woolridge (51%) defeated John Hibbs for city-wide Arlington City Council District 6  
  • Mansfield Mayor’s race (Newsom – 31% vs. Evans – 39%) going to a runoff  
  • Chris Fletcher defeating long-time Burleson incumbent Mayor Ken Shetter.  

RENTAL ASSISTANCE DECEMBER 9TH DEADLINE – Residents seeking rental assistance must apply by Wednesday, December 9th. If you have residents that need rental assistance, urge them to contact the City of Arlington, City of Fort Worth, and Tarrant County housing officials. You can use the following link to help your residents:  https://www.aatcnet.org/coronavirus.html 

If your property is in Fort Worth, call Sonia Singleton at sonia.singleton@fortworthtexas.gov or (817)392-5774. For Arlington properties, contact Love Kelly at love.kelly@arlingtonhousing.us or (817) 276-6762. For all other properties in Tarrant County, contact (817) 850-7940.  

CDC EVICTION ORDER – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) filed an order in the Federal Register on September 1st, 2020, to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The CDC order prohibits evictions of renters in residential housing until December 31st, 2020.   

The order:  

  • applies to virtually all rental housing providers.   
  • prohibits any eviction action during the covered period; and  
  • states that any person or organization that violates the order may be subject to up to $500,000 in fines per violation and/or jail time.    

The order DOES NOT:  

  • prevent evictions based on the lawful reasons articulated in the order.   
  • prevent housing providers from charging late fees and penalties;
  • and eliminate the resident’s obligations under the lease. 

For renters to be eligible for the order’s protections, they must provide a declaration under penalty of perjury to their housing provider indicating the following:  

  • The individual has used their best efforts to obtain rental assistance.  
  • The individual expects to earn no more than $99,000 (no more than $198,000 when filing jointly); was not required to report income in 2019 to the IRS; or received a stimulus check pursuant to the CARES Act.  
  • The individual is unable to pay their full rent due to several factors that remain unconnected to COVID-19.  
  • The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments; and  
  • Eviction would likely render the individual homeless or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting because the individual has no other available housing options.  

This guidance is not intended to be state-specific. It should be used in conjunction with local legal counsel’s advice to interpret these requirements considering existing federal, state, and local eviction laws.  

Perry Pillow is AATC’s Director of Government Affairs. For more information, contact Perry at   pillow@aatcnet.org or call 817-616-0354.