DO YOU VALUE THE WORK of TEXAS AUTHORS and EDUCATION?
IF SO, PLEASE READ!
During the week of November 14th, I sent out letters to each member of the Texas House of Representatives and to the Texas Senate (a copy of which can be seen by going to this web link: https://texasauthorsinc.wildapricot.org/legislative-letter). I am now asking for you to send a letter directly to your Representative and Senator and let them know you want the same fair access and promotion of Texas Authors since they give to music, dance, agriculture and all other groups that produce a Texas-made product and art.
While you may not be an author, we are still asking that you support for Texas Authors for a simple and vital reason: this affects you too!
The three items we are asking the Texas Legislature to consider, at the bottom of this letter will help you create opportunities for your patrons to enjoy more author readings and writing programs. In addition, the increased tax revenue this will create will benefit your local communities, which means more money for you and your organization. These changes provide a multiple level win for everyone, especially for our children and adults through more educational opportunities.
GoTexan has determined that Texas Authors do not make a Texas product unless their books are printed in Texas with Texas-made paper and ink, both of which are no longer made in Texas.
The Texas Commission of Arts spent $7 million in 2016 and only 0.013 percent (about $100,000) was spent on authors and writing programs.
To be clear, we are NOT asking for increased funding of the programs that already exist. Instead, we seek fair and honest access to those funds such as other creative groups have, in addition to those programs that promote Texas-made products.
You are a Texan and you enjoy great books. You have CREATED opportunities that help improves lives of Texans through education by means of reading. In addition, for every dollar you spend on writing and reading with a Texas author, that money changes hands five times which increases the Texas economy by millions.
With the support and access to the programs that exist, the estimated $250 million in economic value could grow to $1 billion in a very short period. That means more money for schools, libraries, roads and so much more.
Here is what we have asked the Texas legislature to implement in this session:
GoTexan should set aside 10% of its budget for the promotion of Texas Authors and rethink the ink and paper barrier that exists today.
Texas Commission on the Arts should create an Author Tour Roster and make this available to schools and libraries in connection with the DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) Texas program and the Texas Authors, Inc. organization. In addition, the Commission should set aside no less than 10% of its budget for this program and others that promote reading, writing, and Texas authors.
The Legislature should create a grant to begin construction of the Texas Authors Institute of History Museum. This is the only museum of its kind dedicated to Texas Authors, past, present and future. It would provide the rich center for learning about the impressive authors Texas has produced including many which are familiar today like Laura Bush or Marcus Luttrell, as well as all of those who have contributed to making Texas the great state it is.
None of this can happen if they don’t hear from you and every other person who shares in the love of the written word in Texas. Get the word out, let them know that Texas authors are a vital part of the Texas economy and should be respected and treated as such.
If you value the work of Texas authors and want them earn a fair income from it, which increases your opportunity to have more programs in writing and reading, then it’s only fair that they are treated by your State Legislature with dignity and respect.
B Alan Bourgeois