Victoria Neave's Sophomore Effort As A State Lawmaker Begins With Dallas Women's March | KERA News

Victoria Neave's Sophomore Effort As A State Lawmaker Begins With Dallas Women's March

Jan 19, 2018

In 2017, the original Women's March drew millions of women who opposed the inauguration of President Donald Trump. And this year's event has a renewed sense of urgency, thanks to the #MeToo movement. 

State Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas, is helping lead the Dallas Women's March for a second time. 

"The fact that we have high numbers of women running for office across the country shows that women are ready and are stepping up to run for office," she said.

Neave has had success in her time as a state lawmaker. She earned "freshman of the year" honors from her fellow Democrats, in part for getting a law passed aimed at easing a backlog of rape kits.

But a few days after the legislative session ended, she had a car wreck and ended up pleading no contest to drunken driving. Neave says she knows that makes her a target for Republicans in her re-election campaign, but she wants to continue representing her district.

Interview Highlights

On how the Women's March and the #MeToo movement have influenced change:

We've been raising the flag all during [the  legislative session], trying to bring attention to the backlog of untested rape kits in our state. The fact that our sexual harassment laws in Texas have a very short statute of limitations — only 180 days to file a complaint — we plan on filing legislation to extend the statute of limitations. Women have had enough and that people are finally listening is the time that we can do something and pass laws. Momentum is on our side.

On whether her bill on untested rape kits does enough to address the issue:

"Our legislation will allow somebody to donate any amount when you apply for or renew your driver's license, commercial driver's license, personal ID and motor vehicle registration. [It's] expected to generate $1 million per year to help towards the testing of rape kits, but I'll tell you, we shouldn't be having to come to our fellow Texans to ask them to contribute a dollar. Our state should be fully funding this issue, and we are going to work hard next session to get additional appropriations to help test the backlog.

On whether she's made good on her promise to 'make things right' after her DWI arrest:

I think about that every day. I understand and I realize that little girls look up to me. I want to make sure that they see somebody who [takes responsibility]. I said I was going to take responsibility, and that's what I've done, but I'm not letting that stand in my way of representing our community.

Dallas Women's March will begin on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Dallas.