SPEAKERS & PANELS
Beto O’Rourke is a fourth-generation Texan, born and raised in El Paso where he has served as a small business owner, a City council representative and a member of Congress. He founded and currently leads Powered by People, a Texas-based organization that works to expand democracy and produce Democratic victories through voter registration and direct voter engagement. Powered by People has helped register over 200,000 Texans to vote since its inception in December 2019.
Beto is married to Amy O’Rourke and together they are raising Ulysses, Molly and Henry in El Paso’s historic Sunset Heights.
TDP Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa
Born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, Gilberto Hinojosa attended public schools and was the first in his family to graduate from college. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Returning to Texas, he became the managing attorney for the Brownsville office of Texas Rural Legal Aid.
Governor Ann Richards appointed Gilberto to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, overseeing the Texas prison and parole system. He has served his fellow Texans as a county, district court, and court of appeals judge in both appointed and elected capacities. Gilberto is currently in private practice in Brownsville.
Since 2012, Gilberto has served as the chair of the Texas Democratic Party.
US SENATE PANEL
Candidates in the primary to become the Democratic nominee for US Senate
NEXT GEN PANEL
A panel of young Democrats who are leading the charge for future generations
My name is Youcef Daddi. Currently, I serve as State Representative Mihaela Plesa’s Deputy District Director. This year, I was elected Region II TJCSGA Secretary and a Collin College SGA Senator. I was a candidate for my high school Senior and Junior class Presidency, and I had the most formative experience serving in the JROTC Plano Wildcat Battalion, achieving the rank of Cadet Major. My goal is to do all that I can to turn Texas blue and make my family, my friends, and all of you proud. My vision is to return to the days of competent and compassionate government we saw under Ann Richards and to see champions for all we stand for, like Eddie Bernice Johnson, elected. One fun fact about me is that I am a MASSIVE Star Wars fan.
A first responder spouse and mom of 3, Kat saw a need to reach young voters, particularly millennial women missed by traditional outreach strategies. She began her @howdypolitics Instagram page where she provides real time bill tracking, easy to understand analysis, and action items at the local, state, and federal levels with a focus on the issues most important to Texans. In her first year, Kat has amassed a following of over 16k Texans and successfully activated women across the state by being their “political bestie” they trust to get them the information they need at the polls and beyond.
Representative Mihaela Plesa - Moderator
Representative Mihaela Plesa is a lifelong Texan who is proud to serve the residents of Texas House District 70, which covers portions of Dallas, Plano, Richardson, and Allen. She is the first-generation daughter of Romanian immigrants who fled Soviet communism to pursue the American Dream.
Rep. Mihaela Plesa owned and operated her own small business in fashion merchandising and design, focusing on Texas-made products, while helping other entrepreneurs start and grow their own small businesses. Ultimately, she felt compelled to serve her community in a more meaningful way and sold her successful business to pursue a legislative career. Before running for the Texas House, Plesa served as a legislative director for three regular sessions, four special sessions, including redistricting during 2021. During her tenure as a legislative director, Plesa worked to pass legislation that expanded the Texas’ Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force, expanded medicaid to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), and passed a constitutional amendment that was overwhelmingly ratified by the voters to deliver property tax exemptions to gold star families (Prop. 8, 2021). Representative Mihaela Plesa is proud to stand on her legislative record of bipartisan achievements for the people of Texas.
During the 88th Legislative Session Representative Plesa’s top legislative priorities include increasing public school funding, reducing property taxes, addressing recapture that siphons millions of dollars from Plano ISD, economic development that uplifts small businesses and hardworking families, and making childcare affordable.
Rep. Plesa is the proud product of Texas public schools. She earned her diploma from Newman Smith High School, a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas, and a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University. Representative Plesa is proud to be the first democratic woman elected to represent Collin County in the Texas Legislature, and the first Romanian-American elected in the great state of Texas.
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