Congressman Flores,

We are a non-partisan group of citizens, all residents of the 17th Congressional District. We represent no particular political party, business, church, or organization. Our only point of connection is that the campaign rhetoric and recent appointments of President-elect Donald Trump have left us concerned for the safety and protection of the dignity of many of our neighbors.

Every election ends with a segment of the population feeling defeated and demoralized. After a season of battling over ideas, one side wins while the other side experiences anxiety about what the results may mean for their future. Both the exuberance of the “winners” and the anxiety of the “losers” usually subside as the process of governing dulls the more extreme and aggressive political speech of campaigning.

This is not that.

The rhetoric and policy proposals of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign went beyond typical election year talk. On top of this, many of the more fringe elements in our country that supported Mr. Trump engaged in inflammatory activities and speech that went unaddressed by the candidate, as well as by his supporters. Our concerns about this should not be dismissed as the rumblings of a few “sore losers,” as more than half of the voters in the country have been accused of being for the past few weeks.

Thank you for agreeing to meet with us on Thursday, December 15th at 1:30 pm. At this meeting we would like to discuss the following issues:

  • Immigration Concerns                                                                                                           Since the election we have heard numerous stories from educators in our community about the fear and anguish of some of their students at the possibility that their parents may be arrested and/or deported. Those dubbed “DREAMers” are unsure of their standing in the country they love. These fears and uncertainties are not unsubstantiated, but emanate from concrete examples of the president-elect making statements that would suggest that this is their future. Although Mr. Trump has softened his tone on this since the election, it was his first point of emphasis in the election, and will be pressed by many of his supporters to return to a more hardline stance in the coming months. We understand that as a Republican, your first priority in this area is to border security. With these as a given, we believe you owe those in your district a statement about what you believe should happen to immigrants currently in the country.
  • Concerns of Women                                                                                                                   The Access Hollywood recording released in October, which revealed incredibly disturbing words from Mr. Trump, served as confirmation of what many already believed to be misogynistic tendencies of the candidate. Combined with previous interviews and sexual assault allegations, the video was the most alarming red flag for many that Trump represents the dangerous tendency in our culture of powerful men getting away with violence toward women. While many of his supporters labeled Trump’s language and history as “vile” and “disgusting,” and the product of a “filthy mouth,” claiming that it didn’t supersede some of the transgressions of his opponent, many women in our country were traumatized by what they heard as much more than “boys being boys” and “locker room talk.” What many of them heard was a step-by-step description of violence that had been done to them in the past. (Notable among those who recognized this as more than inappropriate language were prominent, conservative, evangelical women.) We believe you owe it to those in your district, particularly women, to share whether you believe the president-elect’s past behavior represents simply a “filthy mouth” or something much more dangerous.
  • Racial and Religious Minority Concerns                                                                            2016 has revealed that there continue to be deep racial divisions in our country. These have most clearly manifested themselves in what many believe are institutional biases against minorities woven into the criminal justice system. Groups that have protested against this have been labeled “extreme” and “violent,” regardless of how peaceful their gatherings have been. Additionally, many religious minorities in the country fear for their safety as they continue to be unfairly associated with extreme, violent people who claim to practice the same faith. Donald Trump has intensified these divisions. He was slow to denounce white nationalist voices of support for him, and has appointed advisors who, at the very least, have allowed racist voices to have a place at the table of our public discourse. His rallies often included violence against black protestors. He has suggested that “stop and frisk,” a method of policing that unfairly targets minorities, is acceptable. At one point he expressed potential support for a database of all Muslims living in our country. We believe you owe those in your district a specific explanation of where you stand on each of these issues.

Though many of us are concerned with a number of other issues with the coming Trump presidency, these we have outlined are those which have been uniquely heightened during this election season, and which represent the broadest agreement among the more than half of all voters who voted against Donald Trump.

As far as we can tell, you were mostly silent on many of these issues during the recent campaign season. One could conclude that the relative safety of your seat in Congress has rendered it unnecessary for you to wade into these sensitive waters. If this is true, then it is also true that the relative safety of your seat in Congress renders you uniquely poised to make courageous statements and propose legislation that will protect the most vulnerable of our neighbors. It is our hope in meeting with you that the latter will inform your upcoming fourth term in Congress more than the former.

We are grateful for your service to our district, and for agreeing to meet with us during such a busy time of the year.

Thank You,

Caroline Adams, College Station

Cindy Albert, Waco


Nathan Alleman, Waco

Berkeley Anderson, Waco

Dave Anfenson, Waco

Linda Autrey, Somerville

Emily Bartz, College Station

Joel Bell-Scott , Waco

BeckyBell-Scott, Waco

Marissa Binkoski, Waco

Monica Burmickey, Waco

Ryan Busby, Waco

Bethany Busby, Waco

Christopher Cantrell, Waco

Shannon Carl, Waco

Ana Chatham, Waco

Jessica Christian, College Station

Sarah Christian, Bryan

Carolina Meza de Clark, Waco

Jerrod Clark, Waco

Caitlin Clossen, Waco

Carolyn Cole, Waco

Patrick Danley, Waco

Lizzie Davis, Waco

John DeVries, Waco

Meredith Dieterich, Aquilla

Chris Doe, Waco

Brad Dressler, College Station

Kay Dunlap, Waco

Joleen Eiklenborg, Robinson

Cheryl Foster, Waco

Hallie Gammon, Bryan

Ginny Garrison-Tate, Bryan

Nancy Gatlin, Waco

Joe Gatlin, Waco

Sylvia Gonzales, Lorena

Jamie Graham, Waco

Jessica Green, Waco

Brett Greenfield, Waco

Bethany Grones, Waco

Misty Guy, Waco

Kim Haines, Waco

Sylvia Harrington, Waco

Gigi Harrison, Waco

Tammie Hartgroves, McGregor

Samantha Haynes, College Station

Melissa Hefferin Berquist, College Station

Claire Helton, Waco

Megan Henderson, Waco

Mallory Herridge, Waco

Matt Hess, Lacy Lakeview

Kimberly Hickman, Waco

Andy Hogue, Waco

Tiffany Hogue, Waco

Jeff Holcomb, Waco

DeShauna Hollie, Waco

Michael Honza, Waco

Sherri Honza, Waco

Emily Hunter, Waco

Sasha Jackson, Waco

Tammy Jackson, College Station

Alaina Jalufka, College Station

Amber Jekot, Waco

Dennis Jesinsky, Hewitt

Susan   Jesinsky, Hewitt

Linsey Jobe, Waco

Al Josephs, Waco

Susan Josephs, Waco

Jane Kittner, Woodway

Susan Kocian, Robinson

Katie Lairmore, Waco

Lucas Land, Waco

Deanna Leach, Waco

Kody Leland Bartley, Waco

Lilly Ettinger Leman, Waco

Bonnie Alexander Lesley, Waco

Gregory Lewis, Somerville

Sefra Lopez, Bryan

Jerri Love, Waco

Mary Mann, Mart

Nichole McNeese, College Station

Beth Milam, Bryan

Sarah Minnis, College Station

Marykate Moore, Woodway

Elyse Mowle, College Station

Hope Mustakim, Waco

Craig Nash, Waco

David Nelson, Bryan

Lai Ling Ngan, Hewitt

Jordan Ochel, Woodway

Catherine Osborne, Waco

Erin Payseur, Waco

Candice Prose, China Spring

Brittany Ramirez, Waco

Edith Ramirez, College Station

Jane Read Gherardi, Bryan

Charles Reed, Waco

Jacob Robinson, Waco

Dianne Ryan, Waco

Kim Ryser, Somerville

Carmen Saenz, Waco

Zach Sanger, Waco

Carolyn Schroeder, College Station

Jon Singletary, Waco

Jessika Smith, Waco

Tara Spence, Robinson

Tylor Standley, Waco

Faith Stringer, Bryan

Rhonda Struminger, College Station

Julie Svetlik, College Station

Stephen Swanson, Waco

Holly Tate, Waco

Adam Tilson, Waco

Eleanor Triplett, Waco

Beth Ullman, Waco

Marie Valentine Allen , Waco

Shannon Van Zandt, College Station

Meg Wallace, Woodway

Harrison Ward, Crawford

Becky Warren, Speegleville

Ann Whitaker, Woodway

Mike Whitenton, Woodway

Rachel Whitenton, Woodway

Julia Wiley, China Spring

Chris Williamson, Waco

Peter Witt, Bryan

Rae Wright, Waco

Jamey Yadon, Waco

Pat Yadon, Bryan

Mary Ziehe Moore, Waco

Andrea Zimmerman, Waco

One thought on “An Open Letter to Congressman Bill Flores From Citizens of the 17th Congressional District

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