Oct 31, 2011

Welcome to Our New Campaign Website

Texas State Representative Aaron Peña has launched a new campaign website, www.AaronPena.com. The campaign now has a new, cleaner and more user-friendly website where voters can get the latest information about Rep. Peña's re-election efforts. Visitors can view the Representative's blog posts and tweets directly on the website to keep abreast of the latest information on topics such as healthcare, jobs, education, border security and other important issues affecting our community.

“I am excited about our new website,” said Rep. Peña. “We are asking the community to join our team in fighting for a better Texas. We look forward to engaging voters on thoughtful and meaning discussions on issues that are important to them and their families. Please share your thoughts and get involved at www.aaronpena.com.”

The new site also offers supporters a way of getting involved with the campaign by participating in local advocacy through direct outreach and organizing. Visitors may also request campaign material, such as signs and bumper stickers. The site displays prominent links to Rep. Peña's social media pages to encourage public discussion on the issues that are important for South Texas voters. Visitors will also be able to sign up for email updates and to volunteer for the campaign.

“Communicating with my constituents is one of my top priorities,” said the Representative. “With frequent updates, blog, and video postings, I hope our new website will engage our community to be better informed about what is going on in Austin and our larger South Texas community.”

Representative Peña was amongst the early pioneers of social media in politics. He is one of the most active members on social media platforms, initially building a large audience with his blog, ACapitolBlog.com. He also has more than 3400 followers on Twitter (@aaronpena), 858 on @AaronForTexas, and a growing number of Facebook fans (facebook.com).

I Will Be Joining U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in Dallas

I've been asked to speak at the Dallas event welcoming United States Senator Marco Rubio. I'm looking forward to the event. You can join us as well. The event is free to the public. We will, however, need you to RSVP for the event. If you have any trouble, or have questions, regarding this, please feel free to contact me at my office at 956-720-0026.

Here is a story about the event.

AUSTIN - United States Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) will be in Dallas, Texas on November 4, 2011 as a special guest and featured speaker at the Texas Hispanic Leadership Forum. The event is hosted by the Associated Republicans of Texas (ART) as part of its Hispanic Voter Network, an ongoing effort to engage Hispanic voters in a long-term dialogue with the Republican Party.

The son of Cuban exiles, Rubio is widely considered to be a rising star in the Republican Party and a leader in connecting Hispanics to the conservative values of the Republican Party. His speech at the Texas Hispanic Leadership Forum will be his first appearance in Texas since he first took office in January of 2011.

"The conservative movement is about helping all Americans achieve their dreams and that is a message that resonates in Hispanic communities," expressed Rubio. "I applaud ART for their leadership on this crucial initiative to encourage Hispanics to be part of the political process."

Since launching earlier this year, the Hispanic Voter Network has hosted town hall-style local forums in Corpus Christi, McAllen, El Paso and San Antonio to begin a conversation with Hispanic voters. Ultimately, the Hispanic Voter Network aims to recruit Hispanic candidates for public office and consistently garner forty percent of the Hispanic vote in Texas, beginning in the 2012 elections.

"Our focus is to build a statewide network of pro-business, pro-family minded conservatives who are passionate about the role that Hispanics must play in the future of the Republican Party. The Hispanic Voter Network is one of ART’s top priorities not just for the 2012 election cycle, but for the future of the organization," said ART president Miguel Romano. "We are organized, prepared and committed to engaging Hispanic voters and we’re honored to have Senator Rubio in Texas to support our effort."

The Texas Hispanic Leadership forum will be held at 9:00 a.m. on November 4, 2011 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. Admission is free to the public. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by visiting www.hispanicvoternetwork.org by October 31, 2011.

Happy Halloween

Halloween, formerly called All Hallows Eve, was derived from the Celtic festival of the dead. It was observed through Samhain, a time when the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest. The thinning veil brought about demons, fairies, ghosts and all things dark and evil. They believed that the dead can mingle with the living since the souls that died throughout the year cross over to the otherworld at that time. The Celts lit bonfires to guide the dead on their trip and to lessen their interaction with the living. They sacrificed animals and offered fruits and vegetables.

Christians tried to convert the Celtic’s to Christianity because they believed the Celtic’s religious practitioners, the Druids, were evil worshipers. Christians also believed that the Celtic s’ underworld is the Christian equivalent of Hell. The Celtics that continued to practice their old religion were labeled as witches.

In order to continue Celtic traditions, a holiday called All Saints Day, or All Hollows, was created. The night before, though, was when activity between the living and dead was supposedly most intense. Eventually this day became known as All Hallows Eve and then Hallow Evening and eventually Halloween, the holiday that is celebrated today.

via Griffin's Talon

Oct 28, 2011

Liberty Enlightening the World

The Statue of Liberty or "Liberty Enlightening the World," as the statue was first called, was dedicated on October 28, 1886. Today is the 125th anniversary of that dedication.

The statue, a gift to the United States from the people of France, is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tablet evoking the law upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue has become an icon of freedom and of the United States.

A new feature that has been added to the Statue of Liberty is a series of web cameras, including one in the statue's torch. When turned on it offers viewers unobstructed views of the New York City skyline, the Hudson River, and ships in New York Harbor.


In other news, today I launched an updated version of our website at www.AaronPena.com. The latest version of our website, replaces our previous award winning site (at the same address) with a completely new interface and the most updated features currently in use.

Because we are seeking our sixth term in office and are in full campaign mode, we have added "volunteer," "contact," and "contribute" pages to compliment our efforts.

Due to the popularity of our Twitter, Facebook, Blog and YouTube mediums we have also made most of those available on the new website for your convenience.

In 2006 Capitol Inside recognized the first version of our website, one of the Top 5 in the state. I think this one is better than our last and would invite you to take a look.

Oct 19, 2011

Video of the Recent Opening Ceremony for the John Austin Peña Memorial Center

As reported in the Rio Grande Guardian: "Hidalgo County Public Affairs Department has produced a video of the recent opening ceremony for the John Austin Peña Primary Care and Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Edinburg. “John’s life and legacy will forever be memorialized,” said Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia."

Once again, my gratitude is extended to all those involved in bringing this journey to a positive and constructive conclusion. Now on to the positive work in front of us, to protect our children and the family members they love from the ravages of drugs.

Oct 16, 2011

Red Ribbon Week is Approaching

"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle." ~ Saint Francis of Assisi

"Red Ribbon Week, the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the United States will be held Oct. 23-31. Individuals are encouraged to wear a red ribbon to show a commitment to the hopes and dreams of our children by eliminating substance abuse. By committing to educating our youth and living a personal drug-free life ourselves, we are building towards the ultimate goal of a drug-free America.

The Red Ribbon Campaign was started in 1985 to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by Special Agent Enrique Camarena. Camarena died at the hands of drug traffickers in Mexico while fighting the battle against illegal drugs being brought into our country. Within weeks of his death, Congressman Duncan Hunter and friends of the special agent launched Camarena Clubs in his hometown of Imperial, Calif.

Hundreds of club members pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the sacrifices made by not only Camarena but all others that have lost their lives in the battle against illegal drugs.

As the wearing of red ribbons has evolved from the efforts of these clubs and coalitions, it has become nationally recognized and celebrated each year. Wearing red ribbons has become a symbol of support for those also continuing this effort through prevention and educational programs.

Many schools across the nation will be handing out red ribbons the week of Oct. 23 to students. Encouraging and educating our students and families about substance abuse is a vital step towards making our communities drug-free."

The Greatest Man I've Ever Known Turns 76 Today

Happy Birthday Dad!

Oct 15, 2011

Ron Paul's Pro-Life Message

I came across this television ad airing in Iowa by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). It is a powerful statement. In it he talks about seeing a late-term abortion performed while he was working as an obstetrician and not understanding why it was done. Not the kind of issue you normally hear from Congressman Paul's camp. It his however consistent with his adherence to constitutional principles such as life and liberty.

Oct 12, 2011

I Talk With The McAllen Cable Network Regarding The City's Recognitions

On Monday October 9, the McAllen City Commission honored me with a special recognition. Representative Ryan Guillen and I were both recognized for our "hard work in the 82nd Legislative Session."

I was was also honored with a proclamation, recognizing the opening of the first state constructed drug rehabilitation center. Both are very nice gestures and I am really touched by the acknowledgement. I am particularly glad that the City of McAllen and it's city commission took note of the special positive importance that our county's newest treatment center will provide to our community.

McAllen Cable Network reporter Ray Pedraza interviewed both of us following their recognition by the City Commission. Thanks again to all those involved in making this possible.

Oct 6, 2011

Mudslinging: First Words Out of Their Mouths

I had high hopes that my political challengers would rise above the petty politics of the "professional left" from the capitol city and stick to issues of concern. I had particular hope for one who I spent many years of my childhood with. Sadly, today the first words out of his mouth this campaign cycle is a personal attack against me. Funny, I had just days before asked him to run a positive campaign. I guess the desire to win at all costs pushes away friendship and common decency.

Is this the only way people conduct themselves in modern political campaigns? It is no wonder that people are disgusted with politics and turnout has diminished. I felt concern for my adversary yesterday and gave him a personal call because I feared that promises made to him by some may be broken as we moved forward. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, and would hope it was the questionable ethics of certain individuals behind the scenes that caused him to stray in this uncharacteristic direction. After all it is these same politicos that have repeatedly tried and failed to beat us at the ballot box over the past 10 years. People know who they are, I need not name them.

Desperate men will do the most vile things. I guess there is a lot at stake in this election. Years of neglect and the over use of the tired old political machinery of the boss age has left this community hungry for change and hungry for a choice. Competing for the hearts and minds of the people is not hard for the willing.

Sadly, mudslinging seems to be the choice made today. Let's hope for a better tomorrow.