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

Krystina Martinez
State. Rep. Victoria Neave, D-Dallas, represents District 107, which includes parts of Dallas, Mesquite and Garland.

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.

Former KERA staffer Krystina Martinez was an assistant producer. She produced local content for Morning Edition and She also produced The Friday Conversation, a weekly series of conversations with North Texas newsmakers. Krystina was also the backup newscaster for the Texas Standard.
Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.