Beverly Volkman Powell said Saturday that she does not care whether you live in Southlake or Arlington or Forest Hill – regardless, she has a message of hope, strength and the need for change.
Speaking at the Baker Building during the kick-off for her candidacy for state Senate District 10, Powell, a Texas Wesleyan alumna, said she believes it is important to put children and education first, and that she will bring jobs that sustain a high quality of life and healthy, safe cultures to the area.
“Friends, there is no such thing as standing still,” she said to an audience of around 60 people. “We are either moving forward or losing ground and I promise you that under my leadership we will not fall back. We will push forward bringing economic development and great jobs to our communities.”
Powell will be trying to unseat state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, in the November 2018 election. She is running against fellow Democrat Allison Campolo in the March 2018 primary election.
“It’s time for is to get a new state senator down in Austin,” Powell said. “We need leaders who care more about families in Tarrant County than narrow ideology. That’s why I’m running for Texas Senate District 10.”
Powell said she has been a trustee of the Burleson Independent School District for 10 years, and president of the district’s board for two. She talked about her accomplishments in the district; she believes students’ education will determine their quality of life and of the jobs they will get. It is the Democratic Party’s job to make sure education comes first.
“The stakes here for the families in Tarrant County are simply too high,” she said. “Last fall, I began to think about my last months of my term in office as trustee for Burleson ISD, where I have served two years as President of that board and ten years as a trustee.
“In ten years we have seen our student body grow from 7,500 students to now nearly 12,500 kiddos. Our facilities improvements included the construction of five new elementary schools and a beautiful state of art high school that is one of the greatest schools in the state of Texas. We also repurposed an older building, it is beautiful, it is a like new campus for a STEAM Academy to help us deal with the overcrowding at the middle school level.”
Powell also said she is pleased with the outcome of the Rosedale Renaissance that she helped spearhead.
Several community leaders and Democratic politicians praised Powell, including Congressman Marc Veasey, State Rep. Chris Turner, Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks, Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter and Fort Worth City Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray.
Veasey, like Powell a Wesleyan board member, said she is the one that will step up to the plate and represent the entire district.
“It has been almost four years since Wendy Davis has represented us in that seat and we knew that we could depend on her every step of the way, she did a great job for us,” Veasey said. “Not only has (Konni) Burton not been around but she votes very badly and some of the things she stands for, let me tell you they could have bankrupted our state.”
Gray, another Wesleyan board member, said she was honored to support Powell.
“You only have to know what her leadership is like if you look around the campus, lots of great things have happened here at Texas Wesleyan under Beverly’s leadership,” Gray said. “We talk a lot about education and we only have to look at what is happening on Rosedale to know that Beverly understands economic development.”
Shetter, one of Powell’s sons, said that the Burleson ISD provides scholarships and book allowances for students that earn a 3.0 GPA, in part thanks to her.
“In ten years, the Burleson Opportunity Fund has awarded more than 800 scholarships,” he said. “We have achieved the goal of ensuring that every student in Burleson has access to higher education and it never would have happened without my mother’s hard work.”