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It’s hard to believe we are 18 months into Texans for Vaccine Choice. To say it’s been a whirlwind would be a HUGE  understatement.

I will never forget the moment I received the text: a representative from Dallas by the name of Jason Villalba tweeted and went on the news stating he would introduce legislation to take away all non-medical vaccine exemptions in Texas. And while my exact words are not blog-appropriate, I think I uttered something along the lines of, “Over my dead body.” And I meant it. It was a pivotal moment in my life and, I would soon learn, the lives of MANY of us who have now formed together to create this movement – Texans for Vaccine Choice.

In 18 months WE have accomplished a LOT. We successfully defeated 16 vaccine-related bills in 2015 that were intended to limit our medical freedoms, our informed consent, and our basic medical privacy. We went on to campaign ALL across the State of Texas in various primary races. We proved ourselves and our dedication to the cause, earning praise from some very well-known, established, respected organizations and leaders in various political communities. Fortunately for us, we were very successful in numerous high-stake races.

Unfortunately, our number one race against Jason Villalba, the incumbent who started it all, did not turn out the way we had hoped. But we were ultimately victorious in proving we are a force to be reckoned with, and even Villalba himself had to admit that:

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Villalba went on to publicly state that he was NOT on a suicide mission and, again, that he would NOT re-file his bill to take away vaccine exemptions. Now, do I trust he will honor his word? Meh. Not sure, especially after he called us crackpots. Whether he does or not is irrelevant. Somebody, right now, somewhere, is gearing up to carry the torch, and the fight against us is mounting. And here we are – moms, dads, health care professionals, teachers, etc. – all joined together in this movement, ready to fight back.

As we now prepare for 2017 and lay out the long-term plans and vision for Texans for Vaccine Choice, I want to leave you with the inspiration and reason for this blog. Yes, it is to keep you informed. We like informed individuals. 😉 We also hope to share various events, actions alerts, and more. But we also want to show you the heart, the passion, and the faces behind this organization. Texans for Vaccine Choice is made up of many different, beautiful, amazing individuals – some with vaccine-injured children, some with non-vaccinated children, some with fully-vaccinated children, and everything in between. We have Democrats, Republicans, we have various religious and ethnic backgrounds. Really, you name it, we have it.

What makes us special though, what makes us unique, is the love, commitment and passion we have for OUR cause and our movement. We are strong because we are UNITED. We are strong because we stand on TRUTH. We WILL be out-spent, but we will not be outworked. We WILL once again come face to face with those who will scream at us, persecute us, spread lies about us, and seek to silence us. And once again, we WILL stand firm, stand bold, and stand united.

Texans for Vaccine Choice is a family and a movement. It is my sincere hope and prayer that wherever you are, whatever stage of life, if YOU believe in medical freedom, informed consent, and vaccine choice, that you find your place in this family, find your role and, with all your heart and soul, fill that role.

I hope too that we have some fun along the way. I will tell you it’s very easy to lose your joy when you are an advocate in this movement. It’s even worse when you have an injured child. But for our sanity, for our morale, it’s so important to keep smiling, and keep laughing. So maybe we will have a little fun in here too? Whatcha think? Are you with me?

With deepest love and gratitude for YOU, the members, the heart and SOUL of this organization,

Jackie Schlegel
Director, Texans for Vaccine Choice

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