Hailing from a rather small town, Teresa Beckmeyer is a big voice in Texas politics. As the founder and writer for West Texas Voice, a popular blog educating readers on legislative and political happenings, Beckmeyer serves as a catalyst for citizen engagement. “My passion right now is educating as many people as possible about the [political] process, helping them to know how to become involved, getting them to understand the urgency of why they need to become involved, and helping them to educate others.”
While she was raised in a home where the topic of politics was frequently discussed, it wasn’t until moving to Washington, D.C. for her husband’s job that she decided to take her involvement beyond discussion.
“After moving to Washington and seeing what was going on in government at the national level and the corruption, we knew that we needed to move back to Texas as quickly as possible and get involved in politics,” Beckmeyer says. “Once we returned home to Texas, we started becoming involved in the local Republican Party in the towns in which we lived and in campaigns for candidates that we supported.”
In 2003, after living in various towns throughout Texas, the Beckmeyers settled in Colorado City and quickly plugged into the political scene. Teresa became the Mitchell County Republican Chair, which served as the first of many leadership positions to follow. Since then, she has served on the Rules and Credentials Committee, attended the National Convention as a guest, worked for numerous campaigns (in various capacities), is the Legislative Chair for the Republican Women of West Texas as well as the Hill Country Regional Director for the Texas Republican County Chairman’s Association, and has attended every state Republican Convention since 2004.
While her upbringing and experience in D.C. certainly played a role in Beckmeyer’s decision to become engaged in politics, it truly came down to “[her] children and belief in God,” she says. “I want my children to be able to live and raise a family in the same type of society that I did and I never want the most important right that I have, the freedom of religion, to ever be taken away.”
She cited the gradual diminishing of freedom that she has witnessed over the years and says she wants to stop it. “I do not want my children to live in a society that stifles their ability to become the individuals that God would have them become.”
Beckmeyer has utilized West Texas Voice to focus on and share bills that could stifle individual freedom – bills that she says are often ignored by the Austin media bubble that’s often sympathetic to big government. “Every session, there are about 1,500 bills passed and the only ones that the press focuses on are the ones dealing with education, transportation, water, and illegal immigration,” Beckmeyer says. “I focus on the bills that make us less free, the ones that we never hear about until one day we wake up and find out that something we have been doing all along is now illegal … never knowing that legislators were trying to take that freedom away from us.”
During both the legislative session and the interim, Beckmeyer doesn’t miss a beat. “For the past two legislative sessions, I have spent every week at the Capitol watching and reporting back to people in West Texas about what’s happening.” This past session, she started West Texas Voice where she publishes weekly articles and bill “watch lists” to let readers know what’s on the docket, so they might have time to contact legislators or testify in Austin if desired. During the interim, she often speaks to groups about the legislative session, educates them on how to be engaged, and publishes articles about candidates.
Given the strides made by West Texas Voice during the last legislative session, Beckmeyer has decided to expand from a regional focus to a state-wide focus and will soon be starting Lone Star Voice. “Through West Texas Voice,” she says, “I have found that the people of Texas want to become involved in their local and state government but may not know how to do this.” Beckmeyer has passionately and successfully taken on the task of teaching them “how.”
When she’s not blogging, visiting with local groups, or in Austin following the session, Beckmeyer and her husband run Browne Bros, Inc. – a family business established in 1963 that focuses on metal fabricating.
They have three children—two currently in college and one in high school. Beckmeyer also enjoys gardening and wishes she had more time to devote to it. She says, “There is something very therapeutic and relaxing about getting my hands dirty, planting a seed, and watching it grow to maturity. I guess, it’s the constant reminder that out of something as small as a seed, with the correct nurturing, concern, and attention, something of perfection and beauty can come about. It gives me hope for the future.”