Chair: Joseph Thomas
Quoting from the American Legion Extension Institute Program “The destiny of The American Legion does not lie in nationwide concepts. It rests upon the vision of Legionnaires who are willing to work at their local levels to ensure a solid foundation for strong states and an invincible nation. It is this spirit of community service that permeates the organization.” The Extension Institute further explains. “The Legion has been able to maintain its prestige and influence not by money (the veterans organizations are banned by law from making campaign contributions) or arm twisting, but by presenting logical, knowledgeable arguments and consistently demonstrating its expertise especially in Veterans’ affairs and national defense, and by mobilizing response among its members.”
The American Legion Department of Texas Legislative Commission is comprised of four members (one from each Division) appointed by the Department Commander and approved by the Executive Committee and The Department Convention. The Chairman of the Commission is appointed by the Department Commander and also is approved by the same process. There is also a Department Legislative Council consisting of one member from each Legion District in the Department of Texas appointed by each District Commander and ratified by the same process as the Commission.
The purpose of the legislative program is to maintain communication between the American Legion and our elected officials on the State and National levels and to furnish information to them and to our members on important issues concerning, but not limited to veterans’ benefits, health care, family issues, child welfare, and rehabilitation for the disabled.
We do this through “Grassroots Lobbying Techniques” developed by cooperation between 14,000 posts of the Departments and the National Organization. In Texas we concentrate mainly on issues we can influence through our communities and State.