By Mia Garza McCord, President. March 8, 2021
A couple of years ago, I went out and purchased a framed photo of the Fearless Girl Statue in New York City. Very specifically, I set out to find a photo that depicted this pony tailed bronze statue staring down the Wall Street Bull. This photo is on the wall directly in front of me, again a position carefully chosen. It is my daily reminder to show up and be in the arena every day.
Today is special as we celebrate International Women’s Day. And, personally, this week is special. On Thursday, I get to stand on stage to recognize three incredible conservative Texas Women at our 2021 Black Tie & Boots Gala. As the first woman to be part of the leadership here at TCCRI, I have made it a priority to encourage and celebrate the accomplishments of the women who work in the fields of politics, policy, and above all else, service.
As conservatives, these women have not only broken political glass ceilings, but have served Texans with humility, fierce intelligence, and fearlessness. They were some of the original Fearless Girls walking the halls of our state Capitol. As a young woman in this business, I wanted to take a moment to share a little about these incredible women from my point of view, the view of someone who looks upon these women with great admiration and gratitude.
Representative Geanie Morrison
As a young legislative staff member in 2009, I vividly remember the first day I was in the same room as Rep. Morrison. The Texas House Republican Caucus had just selected my then boss to head up the caucus’s policy committee and Rep. Morrison was the first legislator to arrive, well before 8am, for an organizational meeting. Not only was she perfectly poised, but she was also kind, graceful, and thoughtful throughout the meeting. I quickly decided that she was someone to watch!
Representative Morrison has held many leadership roles throughout her time in the Texas House, but her servant leadership truly shined when her district was devasted by Hurricane Harvey. She immediately rolled up her sleeves and got to work both on the ground and in the Capitol. Her constituents should be proud of her work and the role she played in ensuring that our entire state will be better prepared should we see this same type of devastation again. Her passion for getting her community back on its feet was inspiring. She is a woman of compassion and she daily displays an unfaltering dedication to the people she represents.
Senator Jane Nelson
As someone who is self-labeled “House Trained,” the Texas Senate was somewhat of a foreign body, up until I moved onto the Senate with Senator Hancock. With a neighboring district, I remember looking to Chairwoman Nelson’s office for guidance as we adjusted to the upper chamber. But, one of the first things that struck me was her pride in her family. She has never shied away from announcing a new grandbaby or showing off her children and grandchildren in her yearly Christmas Card. To understand my admiration for this simple gesture, but you have to look back at her start as a teacher, volunteer, businesswoman, and mother. Senator Nelson has shown Texas women our only limits are those we place on ourselves. We can successfully raise a family and be advocates for our communities. As the first woman in Texas legislative history to ever chair a standing budget-writing committee, she has proven time and again that hard work is always the answer.
Perhaps one of my fondest memories of Chair Nelson happened just a couple of years ago. I had brought our son over for a visit to the Capitol and as she rushed to Senate Finance with a hearing about to start, she took the time out of her busy schedule to stop and talk to us in the hallway. Our son was beaming after the encounter. She is truly one of a kind!
Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick
My first memory of Chairwoman Craddick was my very first day as a legislative intern. Her father, then Speaker Tom Craddick, was being sworn in. I remember looking at her in admiration. She stood on the dais with her family in her tailored skirt suit, dark hair perfectly in place, and an infectious confidence.
Make no mistake, Chair Craddick has not lived in her father’s shadow. She has commanded her own way in Texas politics through hard work, hard work, and more hard work! She is one of a handful of women who know the usually male dominated Texas Oil & Gas Industry backwards and forwards. While this alone is incredibly impressive, one of my favorite characteristics of Chair Craddick is her commitment to the next generation of young women. As a single mom of a beautiful daughter, Christi is an inspiration and example of what can be achieved with dedication and persistence.
All three of these women are in the arena daring greatly, every single day. They have forged a way for women like myself in this business, and future generations, like my four-year-old, strong-willed daughter who wants to be just like mom when she grows up. My gratitude and admiration for these women are part of why I keep fighting the fight. The inscription of the Fearless Girl Statue perhaps sums these women up perfectly “know the power of women in leadership.”
Happy International Women’s Day and Congratulations Representative Morrison, Chair Nelson, and Chair Craddick!