July 9, 2020
Convention Delegates and Alternates,
Thank you to the hundreds of you that joined us Tuesday night for a Convention Town Hall Update and the hundreds of you that joined us last night for the New Delegate Training Call.
Last night, on our New Delegate Training, we informed those on the call that the Republican Party of Texas had received the letter from the Houston First Corporation late yesterday afternoon with notice to cancel our Convention.
This morning, the Republican Party of Texas filed suit against the Houston First Corporation, City of Houston, and Mayor Sylvester Turner requesting an injunction and a temporary restraining order on their actions and move forward with hosting our Convention on Monday. The hearing was held this afternoon and not surprisingly, our request was denied in the liberal Harris County District Court. We will be immediately appealing to the Texas Supreme Court.
Make no mistake, the cancellation of our contract is a political play from Mayor Turner. He could have cancelled at any time. We have been working with his team for months now on logistics and accommodating pandemic guidelines and recommendations. He chose the timing, and we are fighting back against this Democrat shutdown of Texas conservatives. Turner is holding Texas Republicans to a different standard, and we are holding him accountable.
Just last Thursday the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) voted overwhelmingly to hold an in-person convention in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center – and the Republican Party of Texas is fighting tooth-and-nail against a Democrat shutdown. Should the convention center become unavailable, the SREC voted on Sunday night to move forward with a contingency plan taking the convention activities online. Any other planning that may be occurring is not official Convention activities. Convention activities for the Republican Party of Texas are duly voted upon by only the Republican Party of Texas State Republican Executive Committee (SREC).
If we have to go online, safe, local gatherings absolutely may be organized so that while Convention business and electronic voting is being conducted with online systems, we can enjoy being with fellow delegates.
I have called an SREC meeting for Saturday at 5:30 p.m. CT to finalize arrangements based upon the status of the court case. We will send an email immediately following the SREC meeting with the outcome so that you can update your travel arrangements as necessary.
Should we get to a situation where you need to cancel hotel rooms, the Convention hotels have a 24 – 48 hour cancellation notice. If you booked outside the RPT room blocks, you will need to check with that hotel’s cancellation policy.
If you are booked at the Four Seasons and need to cancel on Saturday, please email Katie Hrkman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As announced on our Convention Town Hall call this week, the convention schedule has been shortened to accommodate these unusual circumstances. We have removed some of our beloved pageantry – speeches from elected officials, fun interludes, etc. – to keep to the critical business of our convention this year of which the penultimate moment will be electing our electors to cast Texas’ 38 electoral votes for President Donald J. Trump!
If we must move to our online contingency plan, the schedule will remain intact.
Today we took the next steps in executing agreements to use the Zoom platform to hold our caucus meetings and general sessions and to use Meeting Pulse for electronic voting for our elections, including those for National Delegates and Alternates, Presidential Electors, RPT Chair, RPT Vice Chair, RNC National Committeeman, and RNC National Committeewoman. We are contracting with a third party to oversee and administer the elections.
If we are forced to implement our online contingency plans, you will receive much more information about the Zoom platform and training about how to vote with the Meeting Pulse electronic system.
Serving as a Delegate or Alternate Delegate to the Republican Party of Texas is a significant responsibility. We appreciate your commitment and sacrifice, and we are committed to ensuring the best possible convention in spite of these unprecedented challenges.
We will keep you updated as things progress.