RON SIMMONS’ PURPLE PROJECT: PRIMER TO GETTING BILLS PASSED AND TO GETTING THINGS DONE
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN YOU COMBINE RED AND BLUE TOGETHER? THE COLOR PURPLE. WHEN PEOPLE WORK TOGETHER, THINGS GET DONE.
The Texas House of Representatives (lower chamber of the Texas State Legislature), alongside with the Texas State Senate (upper chamber of the Texas State Legislature), forms the legislative branch of the Texas state government while working together with the Governor of Texas – to establish a state budget, as well as creating additional needed legislation.
Legislative authority and responsibilities of the Texas House of Representatives include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, tax policy, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes.
A Gallup poll in 2017 with a random sample of national adults, indicated that “fifty-four percent of Americans want political leaders” to work together to “get things done.” When Simmons was elected in 2013, he parlayed his experience in running Retirement Advisors of America to navigating the Texas State Capitol landscape, in producing results for his constituents. In the world of finance, it can be said that a company is able to flourish only if its Board is able to create value for shareholders. In the world of politics, it can be said that an elected official is re-electable only if he is able to deliver results to his constituents.
To this end, Simmons stated that when society creates a label onto the American government — such as Republicans are “Red” and Democrats are “Blue” — this can result in a battle between warring tribes behind closed doors. To get things done, both parties and members of the Texas House must work together, as a collective enterprise, closing the gap on differences and focusing instead on commonalities, and reducing conflict and turning potential chaos into cooperation.
It was this firm belief, that led Simmons to start the “Purple Project,” as when the color of “Red” and “Blue” are mixed, the resulting color is “Purple.” Simmons indicated that “the partisan bickering” can be counterproductive and prevents opposing factions from working across the aisle. Hence, he started “Purple Thursdays” in 2013, “where legislators wore purple on Thursdays to remind us that when we work together as elected officials, Texans are better served.” Simmons’ track record in uniting parties, to work for the common good is evident in the prolific number of bills where he either Authored, Co-Authored, Sponsored, and/or Co-Sponsored.
Today, the idea that government should be open, focused and responsive before it can lead to productive change has never been more needed.