Take it from Erin Brockovich.
Anybody can make a difference in their community. And it’s time they do, she said Thursday, because more people need to start giving back.
“We keep taking and taking and it is absolutely time for us to give back,” Brockovich told more than 700 people at the annual Planned Parenthood luncheon in Fort Worth’s downtown Omni Hotel. “I’ve always believed in the power of the people.
“They move the dial.”
Brockovich, the environmental advocate who drew national attention in 2000 when the movie bearing her name was released, spoke Thursday, trying to raise the profile of the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and help raise money for local healthcare services.
$232,000 The amount raised at Thursday’s Planned Parenthood luncheon
The luncheon, which raised more than $232,000 for local efforts, came one day after new FDA guidelines eased access to the abortion pill for many — and after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said there should be “some form of punishment” for women who get abortions if abortion is banned.
Fort Worth Rabbi Ralph Mecklenburger offered a brief prayer before the luncheon, saying, “We are really sorry about these national elections going on.
“We are better than what we have seemed,” he said in prayer. “We and this whole nation are better than this political campaign.”
Those at the luncheon included former state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth; Democratic state Reps. Nicole Collier and Ramon Romero of Fort Worth and Chris Turner of Grand Prairie; Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks; and Fort Worth Councilwomen Kelly Allen Gray and Ann Zadeh.
The movie about Brockovich, staring actress Julia Roberts, detailed her work in building a case — despite a lack of formal legal training — about contaminated drinking water against the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. of California. The case was settled in 1996 for $333 million.
Brockovich, who thanked Planned Parenthood workers and volunteers for everything they do, talked about two key lessons she learned from her parents: stick-to-itiveness and truthfulness.
Growing up dyslexic and being down on her luck too many times, she said she seemed to be waiting for Superman to appear to make things better.
“I’m here to let you know Superman is not coming,” she said, adding that his absence can be a really good thing. “You can be your own hero.”
She said she chose to get involved and try to make a difference.
“Do not be afraid to stand up and be your hero,” she said. “Only you can.”
When Erin Brockovich the movie came out, she joked, she never knew that it would be so confusing to so many people.
“They said, ‘Julia did good,’ ” she told the crowd. “I said, ‘Yes and I’m the real one.’ ”
I love your film and I use your ThighMaster all the time.
Erin Brockovich,quoting a woman who mistook her for someone else
But she often gets mistaken for other people. One woman, she said, told her, “I love your film and I use your ThighMaster all the time.”