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Lauren Ashley Simmons’ Run for Office Sparked by Rep. Thierry’s Support for Senate Bill 14

Lauren Ashley Simmons

 

Lauren Ashley Simmons knew she had to run for state representative when Rep. Shawn Thierry, a Democrat from Houston, announced she was breaking with her party to support Senate Bill 14, which bars gender-transitioning care for children and teens.

“I was appalled by Rep. Thierry’s vote,” Simmons says. “Only she knows why she has turned against LGBTQ+ families, but it’s time for her to go, for that and many reasons.”

For Simmons, who is running for State Rep. in District 146, this isn’t just reclaiming a place at the table for the LGBTQ+ community; it’s about fighting for what’s right. She has never run for elected office, and says district residents encouraged her to run after a video of her criticizing the State takeover of Houston ISD went viral online. With two children in the district, Simmons says she’s worried about Republican attacks on public education and feels Thierry was unresponsive to constituents about the issue. 

“Thierry voted with Abbott to ban books in school libraries, and she skipped the vote to impeach disgraced Attorney General Ken Paxton,” she says. “Thierry’s biggest backer is an anti-abortion billionaire who gave more than $1 million to Abbott and $850,000 to former president Donald Trump. Thierry has also refused to publicly condemn Abbott for his state takeover of HISD schools or his voucher plan that could ultimately close neighborhood public schools. My kids are in HISD schools and are being harmed by Gov. Abbott and Rep. Thierry.”

Simmons says her past work history gives her the skills necessary for this position, and she promises to be a strong voice for equality in the Texas House if elected.

“I am a union organizer with a proven track record of fighting for the very people that Greg Abbott and his allies are trying to keep down.” —Lauren Ashley Simmons

“I am a union organizer with a proven track record of fighting for the very people that Greg Abbott and his allies are trying to keep down,” she says. “I educate, organize, and mobilize. I currently organize Black low-income women and Black migrant women to get fair wages and benefits, improved working conditions, and better job security. I have been an organizer and fierce advocate for Texas state employees and Houston teachers. I am a proud CWA member and shop steward.

I will bring all those skills with me into office, and that will inform my continued advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community. I will become a member of the House LGBT caucus, prioritize hiring staff from our community and ensure that my office is a safe space for our community when issues arise that cause LGBTIA+ groups to mobilize.”

Simmons says her progressive stance on several issues makes her the ideal candidate for this position, and she promises to fight for all — no matter race, gender or sexuality. 

Simmons says she opposes the censoring of LGBTQ+ books and other diversity books in schools or libraries. She also promises to pursue legislation that is intersectional and is committed to blocking legislation that attacks not only the LGBTQ history, but Black history, Native American history, Latino history, Asian history, women’s rights and more

“I am fighting to keep our public schools strong by supporting teachers, students, and parents, Simmons says. “I am fighting to get health care for people who have to choose between paying for medicine or paying the rent. I am fighting for living wages for the very people that Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton are trying to keep down. I am fighting against the continued and accelerating erosion of our civil rights and the erasure of Black history. And I am fighting to protect LGBTQIA+ people from family separation, violence, and death.”

Early Vote begins Tuesday, February 20, and continues through Friday, March 1. Primary Election Voting is on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

For more information on Simmons’ campaign, go to laurenashleysimmons.com

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Connor Behrens

Connor Behrens is a communications graduate from the University of Houston. He has written for the Washington Post, Community Impact Newspaper and the Galveston County Daily News (the oldest newspaper in Texas). When he's not writing stories, he is likely watching the latest new release at the movie theater.
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