This has been an exciting first month in our office! We've filed our first bills, received our committee assignments, held our first two town halls, and launched our Community Advisory Boards. This edition of the Bucy Bulletin will cover that as well as introduce our staff, discuss community events, and legislative updates, and highlight our Artists of the Month.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve you, HD 136, and the people of Texas. Please do not ever hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments or if there is anything my office can do for you.
All the best,
John Bucy III
Texas House District 136
MEET THE STAFF
Max Lars, Chief of Staff
Max was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and is a graduate of Southern University. He started his political career in 2013 as a Field Organizer for Wendy Davis’ gubernatorial campaign. In 2014, he moved to Austin to work for former State Rep. Craig Eiland as a Policy Aide. He brings experience in the Texas Legislature as a Senior Policy Analyst for State Rep. Donna Howard. He also has a background in campaigns as a Field Director for State Rep. Sheryl Cole's campaign. Before joining Rep. Bucy's office, he was the Political and Programs Manager for Annie's List. Outside of work, he is an avid movie-goer, a life-long fan of the New Orleans Saints, and loves all things hip-hop.
Allison Heinrich, Legislative Director
Allison is a native Houstonian and proud graduate of the University of Texas. She is a political consultant primarily working in Williamson County and the Central Texas region. Allison previously managed the campaigns of State Rep. John Bucy, Justice of the Peace KT Musselman, Round Rock City Council Member Hilda Montgomery, and Austin City Council Member Jimmy Flannigan, among others. In her free time, Allison enjoys reading biographies and classics, watching March Madness and the U.S. Women's National Soccer team, cooking, and traveling off the grid.
Sara Groff, Director of Constituent Services
Sara, a UT graduate, comes to our office with a wealth of district knowledge and private sector experience in customer service and human relations. She grew up in Corpus Christi and has lived in HD 136 with her husband and two kids since 2000. In that time, Sara has built lasting relationships and been active in organizations within the community, including volunteering with the League of Women Voters and serving on the Cedar Park Planning and Zoning Commission. Her love for HD 136 is what guides her work as our Director of Constituent Services.
Jose Reyes, Legislative Aide
Jose is a senior at the University of Houston majoring in Political Science. He is a Hobby Fellow and has previously worked for different departments in the city of Houston. After graduation, he hopes to continue working for local government before heading to law school.
Emily Gilby, Legislative Aide
Emily is a sophomore at Southwestern in Georgetown, Texas where she is majoring in Political Science and Economics. She is the co-chair of SU Dems and on the Mock Trial team. After graduation, Emily plans on attending law school. She is also a resident of HD 136, which gives her the insight she needs when helping constituents.
COMMUNITY EVENTS & HAPPENING
Celebrating Tony Patrick: I had the honor of recognizing my constituent Tony Patrick on the occasion of his retirement after 20 years in the State Auditors Office. Prior to working for the State of Texas, Tony served our country in the US Air Force, retiring with the rank of Captain. I want to thank Tony for his service to our state and nation and wish him well in retirement.
Leander Fire Station Opens: On January 19, Leander celebrated the grand opening of Fire Station #1. The fire station is a beautiful building filled with amenities specifically designed with the needs of our first responders in mind. I'm so grateful to the communities members who came out and made a great show of support.
Texas Muslim Capital Day: We celebrated Texas Muslim Capitol Day on the 29th. I was honored to speak to those in attendance at the rally and host some constituents in my office. I’m committed to a Texas as good as its promise, which means one that is welcoming and inclusive of all of us.
Pastor of the Day: I was proud to host the Rev. Dr. Fred Morgan of Anderson Mill as Pastor of the Day. Fred is a retired Presbyterian minister who is elected to the Anderson Mill Limited District Board, serves on the Austin Parks & Recreation Board, and is a member of the Northwest Austin Rotary club.
Special Olympics Winter Games: It was my honor to present the Most Inspirational Athlete Award to Kristal Leos, who competes in bowling with the Boerne Blaze. This year's games featured nearly 3,000 athletes competing in 3 sports across 6 different venues.
Two CenTex Town Halls: Nine members of the Central Texas Delegation held two town halls on Saturday, Feb. 2 to present their legislative priorities and listen to community concerns. Stay tuned for an upcoming Town Hall in HD 136 later this spring.
COMMUNITY ADVISORY BOARDS KICK-OFF
On January 23 we held our Community Advisory Board kick-off event. Each board covers a different topic area: Education, Healthcare, City and County Affairs, Criminal Justice, the Environment, and Social Justice & Equity. We're so excited to work toward being as proactive, inclusive, and engaging as we can to truly represent our district and speak to the needs of the community. As these boards progress, we will provide updates of their findings and work.
HD 136 ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Each month at our Capitol Office we are so proud to display and feature work from local artists. We are honored to have David and Mary Schwindt as our HD 136 Artists of the Month for January. David's beautiful paintings highlighted some of our favorite parts of the Texas landscape and Mary's photographs brought some Texas flair to our walls.
I am so excited to be named to the Elections and the Culture, Recreation & Tourism (CRT) committees. This session I will be working hard to protect every eligible person's right to vote as well as working to improve the election code to make it easier for folks to inform themselves and participate electorally. I am interested in CRT because I firmly believe in the importance of parks and greenspace as well as that art, culture, and history enrich our lives. We also have a unique opportunity to create local jobs and revenue through tourism.
The first pieces of legislation I filed were HB 840 and HJR 46, which would expand Medicaid in Texas by constitutional amendment and allow the people of Texas to vote on it. Medicaid expansion would provide nearly 1.5 million Texans with access to healthcare, bring $10 billion into our state annually, and lower all of our insurance premiums. I look forward to working with my colleagues to join 37 other states including Louisiana, Nebraska, and Utah in providing needed care to many of our neighbors.
This legislative session we need to make it easier for Texans to vote, not harder. That's why I've filed legislation to make Election Day a state holiday (HB 935) and grant counties the option to expand early voting through the Monday before Election Day (HB 1237). In addition, we are trying to increase accessibility and transparency by requiring counties to post candidate information (HB 1238) and contact information for their elections offices and polling locations on their websites as well as the Secretary of State's website (HB 933). We are also working with activists to increase access to voting for people with disabilities as well as disenfranchised voters.