Last Tuesday, the Texas State Senate floor was less of a political podium and more an off-Broadway stage hosting a one-woman show. Wendy Davis took center stage as she endeavored to stand for 12 straight hours, filibustering the state legislature known as SB5 (for the remainder of the June session, at least). The bill will put stricter regulations on abortions including a ban on abortions that take place after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Support for her endeavor, which would ultimately lead to the (possible) death of the bill, came from both inside the Senate (fellow politicians Leticia Van De Putte and Kirk Watson, as well as a raucous crowd) and outside, by the way of Twitter.
On Monday, June 24th, at 11:08 p.m., just before she was set to take her stand, Davis tweeted the following message to her 87k+ followers:
— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) June 25, 2013
Historically, senators have practiced filibusters by reading from phone books and recipes, but Davis’s use of Twitter was a first. Beyond soliciting stories, many people took to the social media platform to voice their support for her, using hashtags like #SB5, #txlege and #StandWithWendy. As this instance in Texas shows, social media, especially Twitter, offers the chance for government officials and their constituents to develop connections that run in both directions. In this case, which is becoming increasingly common (movements like Occupy and the Arab Spring), social media is getting people more engaged in how they are represented and governed: of the people, by the people, for the people indeed. As we approach our Nation’s Independence Day, what’s more American than that?
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://wpmaster.sjadv.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2013/04/Our-Space-The-San-Jose-Group.png[/author_image] [author_info] Kevin is a junior executive at SJG. A Texas native, he is currently working on obtaining a BA from Northwestern University in Comparative Literary Studies and Creative Writing, with a special interest in media and pop culture in Latin America and the Latino U.S. His love of TV is only outpaced by his love of his hometown San Antonio Spurs.[/author]