March 13, 2013

Dear Fellow Democratic Precinct Chairs, After much thought, I have decided to run for Chair of the Travis County Democratic Party. I am writing to ask for your support and your vote. Many local Democratic elected officials have encouraged me to run and offered their support, including Senator Kirk Watson; Representatives Dawnna Dukes, Donna Howard, Elliott Naishtat, Eddie Rodriguez, and Mark Strama; County Attorney David Escamilla; and Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole. Democratic activists, such as former Rep. Glen Maxey, David Butts, Donna Beth McCormick, Gerard Washington, Beverly Reeves, Ian Davis, and Amy Everhart, are also supporting me. As you know, Andy Brown has announced that he is running for County Judge; I anticipate that he will resign his position as County Chair to begin that campaign in the coming months. Upon his resignation, the County Executive Committee will vote for an interim Chair to serve until after the March 2014 Democratic primary. I will be a candidate for both the interim position and the position on the 2014 primary ballot. It is more important than ever that Travis County remain a Democratic stronghold and help lead the way to turning Texas Democratic blue. After decades of involvement with Democratic candidates, organizations and causes, I have the values, background, experience, and willingness to work hard as the TCDP Chair. In running for this position, I honor the tradition and hard work of great TCDP Chairs such as Andy Brown, Chris Elliott, Scott Ozmun, Jay Brim, Kirk Watson, Gary Bledsoe, Mack Kidd, and Chuck Herring. I feel fortunate to have earned the support in this race of each of the living members of this outstanding group. I moved here in 1979 to start U.T. Law School, and like many immigrants from Houston, I stayed. My husband, Pat O’Connell, and our children, Brad (27) and Ally (22), were born in Austin, and all of us are lifelong Democrats. Since moving to Austin over 33 years ago, I have regularly voted in Democratic primaries and attended precinct conventions, and have volunteered for the local, state, and national Democratic parties and for numerous Democratic candidates, block-walking, phone-banking, organizing, fund-raising, advising, and preparing and mailing campaign materials. A summary of some of my political, community and professional activities is on the next page. I believe that working together, we can increase the Democratic vote in Travis County and help turn Texas blue. I think this requires the following: (1) persuading potential voters to register and motivating them to vote; (2) recruiting strong candidates for every open office, and assisting them with messaging, fundraising, and GOTV; (3) raising the funds for the TCDP to run a strong coordinated campaign every election cycle. By rolling up our sleeves and doing this important work together, we can keep Austin in the hands of Democrats, turn county and regional elected positions, such as those on the important Third Court of Appeals, solid blue again, and help change our beloved state from laughingstock to the wonderful Democratic state it can and should be. Since I first became involved in grassroots Democratic politics as a college freshman, canvassing for the 1976 Democratic candidates, I have remained active in Democratic politics. I would be honored to have your support and to serve as TCDP Chair, and I pledge to work ceaselessly to continue the important work we all share: electing Democrats. I’m compiling a list of precinct chairs who support me; if you’re willing to join my list, and you haven’t already told me, please let me know. Thank you for your consideration, Jan Soifer

JAN SOIFER, Candidate for Chair, Travis County Democratic Party
512.583.0451 (office)/512.657.0556 (mobile)
DEMOCRATIC PARTY, COMMUNITY, AND PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES • Delegate, Democratic National Convention, 2012 • County Democratic Convention, Co-chair, Credentials Committee 2012; Member Credentials Committee 2008 • Precinct Chair, Precinct 220; member, County Executive Comm. Finance and Rules & Procedures Comms., 2010-present • DNC Voter Protection Legal Team member, Cincinnati, OH, 2012 and 2008; Albuquerque, NM, 2004 • Rules Committee Member, Democratic National Conventions 2004 and 2008 • Chair, At Large Nominations Committee, Texas State Democratic Convention, 2008 (appointed by Senator Kirk Watson) • Obama legal team member, evaluating and advocating on credentials challenges for State Democratic Convention, 2008 • Austin Regional Coordinator and co-leader of legal training sessions, Obama Voter Protection Team, 2008 • President, North by Northwest Democrats, 2006 – 2008 • Vice President, Capital Area Democratic Women, 2006 – 2008 • Delegate, Democratic State Conventions, 1988, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 • Deputy Voter Registrar, 2004 – present • Finance Council Member, Travis County Democratic Party; Sustaining Member, Texas Democratic Party • Campaign Treasurer for Judge Wil Flowers, Judge Jim Coronado, Austin City Council candidate Perla Cavazos, and ACC Board candidate Ana Mejia-Dietche • President, Interfaith Action of Central Texas (formerly AAIM), 2010 – 2011 • Associate National Commissioner, Anti-Defamation League, 2011-present; Director, Southwest Regional Board, 2001present; Exec. Comm. Member, Austin Council, 2005-present; former Co-chair, Regional and Austin Civil Rights Comms. • National Advisory Council Member, J Street (a progressive pro-Israel, pro-peace group), 2011-present; Austin J Street Local Advocacy Chair, 2010-present • President, Congregation Beth Israel of Austin, 2003 – 2004 • Commissioner, Texas Access to Justice Commission, 2001 – 2004; member Legislative Comm., 2004 – present • Vice-President, Jewish Community Association of Austin, 1998 – 2002 • Trustee, Texas Bar Foundation, 1998 – 2001 • Leadership Texas, Class of 1998 / Leadership Austin, Class of 1993 • Director, State Bar of Texas, 1995-1998; Executive Committee Member 1996 – 1998 • Director, Texas Women Lawyers, 1995 – 1998 • President, Austin Bar Association, 1994 – 1995 • President, Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, 1991 – 1993 • President, Austin Young Lawyers Association, 1988 – 1989 • Treasurer, Travis County Women Lawyers Association, 1983 – 1984 PROFESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS • Lawyer with O’Connell & Soifer LLP, focusing on anti-fraud “qui tam” litigation. Our clients are whistleblowers seeking civil remedies to combat fraud; many have been subjected to retaliation for their efforts • Adjunct faculty member, University of Texas School of Law, teaching trial advocacy, 1992 – 2008 • Former Assistant Attorney General; Deputy Chief, Consumer Protection Division; and Chief, Charitable Trusts Section, Office of the Texas Attorney General, 1994 – 1997 • Board Certified – Consumer and Commercial Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 1996 – Present PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY HONORS • Honored as “Outstanding Alumnus” by Austin Young Lawyers Association, 2012 • Honored as a “Champion” by Capital Area Democratic Women, 2008 • Recipient of “Belief in Action Award” by National Council of Jewish Women, Texas Public Affairs, 2007 • Named a “Texas Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics and the publishers of Texas Monthly, multiple years • Award of Merit, Antitrust and Business Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, 2003 • Austin Jewish Community Leadership Award, 2000 • Outstanding Achievement Award, Travis County Women Lawyers Association, 1995 • J. Chrys Dougherty Award, Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, 1995 • Outstanding Achievement Award in Business / Professions, YWCA of Austin, 1993 • Outstanding Young Lawyer in Texas, Texas Young Lawyers Association and Outstanding Young Lawyer in Austin, Austin Young Lawyers Association, 1991 EDUCATION • University of Texas School of Law – J.D., 1982 • Yale University – B.A., 1979

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful