Wendy Davis will speak at SMU’s women’s symposium

Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis AP

Former state Sen. Wendy Davis will be the keynote speaker Wednesday at the Southern Methodist University Women’s Symposium.

Davis, a Democrat and the party’s 2014 gubernatorial candidate, will speak at the daylong student-planned gathering at SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Student Center that this year has the theme, “My Body, Not Their Politics.”

“We invited Wendy Davis to be our keynote speaker because she was a major advocate for women during her time in the Texas Senate and during her gubernatorial campaign,” said Aurora Havens, the symposium co-chair. “We believe she is an inspiration to all women, especially in Texas.”

Davis, a former Fort Worth city councilwoman, represented Fort Worth in the state Senate. Since her gubernatorial bid, she moved to Austin and travels around the country for various speaking engagements.

The symposium is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, go online to www.smu.edu/womsym

Freedom Caucus

A handful of Tarrant County lawmakers have joined the Texas Freedom Caucus in the Texas House of Representatives.

The group is geared to work with grassroots Texans to “amplify the voice of liberty-minded grassroots Texans who want bold action to protect life, strengthen families, defend the bill of rights, restrain government and revitalize personal and economic freedoms in Texas,” according to a statement.

State Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, serves as vice chair, and state Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, serves as secretary-treasurer. Other local members include Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, and Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford.

The caucus recently announced a number of priorities, including support for measures that: call for an end to abortion, support a transgender bathroom bill, protect religious freedom, allow more gun rights such as Constitutional Carry, ban sanctuary cities, limit state spending, enact property tax changes and reform the Child Protective Services system.

“The Texas Freedom Caucus chose these priorities because they represent the issues of concern to the ordinary Texans who work hard and pay the taxes that we spend in Austin,” said state Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, who heads the caucus. “Our mission is to empower the grassroots through close engagement before, during and after the legislative session.”

Sidelined lawmaker

As for Tinderholt, the Arlington Republican has a new, temporary way of navigating the Texas Capitol — in a wheelchair.

Tinderholt is sidelined from walking around the large Capitol complex as he recovers from hernia surgery.

He said he will soon be back on his feet.

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley