Linda Curtis is a co-founder of LIV and longtime political independent and serves as our volunteer Chief Organizer for LIV. We respect and listen to her advice -- and, sometimes even follow it!
The fact is, Linda is known for going in the opposite direction, as pictured here crossing the Rio Grande for Mexico (presumably legally), with her friend in the background. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she got to Texas, as the saying goes, "as soon as I could" -- 1992.
Linda serves as our "chief bottle washer" at LIV, doing the heavy lifting while serving as a board advisor. She and we are all volunteers.
Linda has a 40-year history advocating for non-aligned independent voters. It all started for her with the history-making presidential campaign of Lenora Fulani, the first woman and African American to get on the ballot for President in 50 states (1988). In 1992, Fulani, a progressive, joined forces with some of the leading "militant moderates" in the Ross Perot movement convincing Perot to lead the formation the National Reform Party in 1994. Fulani also worked alongside conservative, Pat Buchanan, teaching us how to bring about cross-partisan efforts.
Linda said this about the cross-partisan efforts:
"We all wanted to see Perot's 19% of the vote turned into a viable third party not just a pressure group."
Linda became the Texas Reform Party State Organizer serving under State Chair, Paul Truax of Dallas (now deceased). In 2000, the Reform Party collapsed. This is a long story that cannot be cut short. Linda threatens to write a book about it someday stating,
"I never regretted this experience -- it was fun, frustrating and made me yearn even more to get out from under two-party rule in America."
Linda is a ballot access expert for new parties, independent candidates and citizen's petitions in Texas. She is leading LIV's effort to bring together the tools to share with those doing citizen's petitions we call, "Homegrown Petitions."
In 2001, Linda helped form a political action committee, Independent Texans (IndyTexans.org).
See the latest Gallup poll. In January 2021, our numbers (50%!) have never been higher.
ARLAN FOSTER was born in Pasadena and settled in Liberty County in 1994. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran and a "Texas working man".
Though having lost his dear wife, Carolyn, a few years ago who also supported our work at LIV, Arlan has an extended family he looks out for in a myriad of ways.
After the military, Arlan became a Deputy Constable with the Harris County Constable’s office. He worked in law enforcement for over 19 years and was an officer with the Department of Criminal Justice for 12 years. Arlan also worked construction out of Ironworkers Local 84, Pipe fitters Local 211 and “turnarounds” as a boilermaker/pipe fitter for Austin Industrial, AJ Mundy Company, Brown & Root and other contractors after the decline of the building trade unions during the Reagan years.
In 2006, Serving as President of AFSME, Council 7, Arlan won the union over to endorsing Carole Keeton Strayhorn when she ran against Rick Perry as an independent for Governor. He says today,
“I never regretted that endorsement, despite that Carole lost. With Carole’s help, we Texans united across party lines to defeat Perry’s Trans-Texas Corridor land grab and a blight on the black-land prairie – some of the richest farm soil in the world.”
Arlan ran for State Representative of House District 18 in 2008. He said then, “I know the struggles of the people of East Texas; I live them,” says Foster. “I’m a working man.”
Arlan ran as a Democrat in that race and saw how straight ticket voting harms those running in “down ballot” races. He fully supports the League of Independent Voters’ commitment to open and competitive elections. Mr. Foster lives in Dayton, in Liberty County.
The League has our very own resident federal budget nerd, JEFF HARPER, of Ft. Worth. Jeff is the author of Uncle Sam’s Checkbook. It is a reference booklet on federal spending the size of a checkbook. Harper does speaking engagements that allow citizens to quickly see what is actually spent where and to propose their own budget and revenue plan.
In 1998, Jeff served as team leader of the Budget Committee in Ross Perot’s Reform Party. Harper was also the State Issues Director in the Reform Party of Texas, until its demise in 2000.
In 2001, Jeff was a founder of Independent Texans, a citizens PAC. On behalf of Independent Texans, Jeff personally contacted editors of all 88 Texas daily newspapers, during the 2003 Texas legislative special session on redistricting. He asked editors if they would support an independent non-partisan redistricting system similar to those used in Arizona and Iowa. Not surprisingly, the response was overwhelmingly positive. All major newspapers wrote editorials or stated their clear support for a citizens redistricting commission.
Harper drafted the 36 non-gerrymandered districts for the League's board. Harper lives in Bastrop County and is active with national organizations working on the federal budget.
DAVID JONES grew up in Ohio and is a US Air Force Veteran and came to Austin in the early 90s. David is an experienced, accomplished, and dynamic Health and Wellness Advocate with over 20 years of experience. He has a master’s degree in business management. He previously worked as a Code Enforcement Assistant, Licensed Insurance Agent, and HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention Specialist. He has volunteered for a number of organizations in Austin focused on tenant's rights. David is also an experienced Toastmaster speaker. David helped create and design the LIV website. Mr. Jones lives in Austin.
David is someone who loves you "all the time" simultaneously, he is mad as hell and won't take it no more on Texas's bad politics.