February 2019 Newsletter

Black History Month Spotlight:
AZIE TAYLOR MORTON (1936-2003)

“Azie Taylor Morton was a teacher, politician and the only African American to hold the position of Treasurer of the United States. Taylor was born to Fleta Hazel Taylor, who was deaf and mute, on February 1st, 1936 in the small community of St. John Colony of Dale, Texas.

Although she was not blind, deaf or an orphan, she attended the Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School during her high school years because there was no high school for African Americans in Dale. She graduated at the top of her class at age 16. In 1952 Taylor enrolled in Huston-Tillotson University, an all-black college in Austin, Texas. Four years later she graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in commercial education.

Taylor then attempted to enroll in the University of Texas graduate program but was denied admission on the grounds that she had insufficient undergraduate courses. Because of the state’s segregationist policy barring the enrollment of blacks in undergraduate programs, she was not able to complete the admission requirements.

Taylor instead took a job as a teacher in a state-sponsored school for delinquent girls. She held that position for a year and then was hired as Huston-Tillotson’s assistant to the President. She remained at Huston-Tillotson for a few months until she was hired to work at the Texas AFL-CIO state headquarters in Austin.

In 1961 she was invited by President John F. Kennedy to work for the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. She remained with the committee for 20 years, filling various positions. Taylor married James Homer Morton in 1965. In 1977 Morton accepted President Jimmy Carter’s invitation to serve as the 36th Treasurer of the U.S.  She held the post from September 12th 1977 until January 20th, 1981. In addition she was a member of the American Delegation to Rome, Italy for the Enthronement of Pope John Paul II in 1978; Chair of the People to People Mission to the Soviet Union and China in 1986; and an Election Observer for Presidential elections in Haiti, Senegal and the Dominican Republic. She also was a representative to the first African/African American Conference held in Africa.

After returning to Austin, Morton served on the Austin Housing Authority Board of Commissioners (HACA) from 1999 to 2001. In honor of her service, the HACA created the Azie Morton Scholarship Fund for low-income students at Huston-Tillotson.”

Jackson, J. (2011, June 02) Azie Taylor Morton (1936-2003). Retrieved from https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/morton-azie-taylor-1936-2003/

“Our most urgent work is to realize Americans’ dreams of today and tomorrow. To carve a path to independence and prosperity that can last a lifetime. Children deserve an excellent education from cradle to career. We owe them safe schools and the highest standards, regardless of ZIP code.”

Stacey Abrams

Upcoming Lobby Days

With the Texas Legislature back in session, let’s seize this opportunity to directly influence our state representatives

  • Sign up to attend Texas Moms Demand Action Advocacy Day – February 13 at 9 AM at the State Capitol.
  • Rally for Public Education – Texas Federation of Teachers and TSTA – March 11 at 12 at south steps on the Capitol.
  • Planned Parenthood Lobby Day – April 11.

More advocacy groups to follow:

  1. Texas Gun Sense
  2. League of Women Voters – Texas
  3. Lone Star Sierra Club
  4. Grassroots Leadership (Austin)
  5. RAICES
  6. Texans Care for Children
  7. Cover Texas Now
  8. Texas Civil Rights Project
  9. Texas Freedom Network
  10. Bump The Dump

Business Update

We met for our monthly meeting at Lockhart Arts & Craft on Monday Feb. 4th where we held a quick meeting, voted and approved the 2019 budget before watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Join us on March 4th over at the Masur for a potluck and guest speaker (TBA).

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