Thoughts on getting out the vote and our impact.
By Jennifer Voss
Chair, Precinct 339
I met Phyllis Fitzgerald-Morris nine years ago at her home while attending my first neighborhood association meeting she hosted with her husband, Chris, who was on the board. Phyllis was the type of woman who makes an immediate impression on you. She was friendly, gracious, kind, full of energy, witty, happy, and engaged. Over the years, she and I became closer friends who could always share a laugh and like-minded thoughts.
In 2017, when the 2018 mid-terms were upon us and Blue Action Dems were starting up, Phyllis was ready and rearing to go, attending meetings and hosting block walking parties as early as the primaries. We were in frequent communication about our drive to make a change in SW Austin and Texas.
In March of 2018, I learned that Phyllis had been diagnosed with late stage cancer and I was devastated. She obviously had to pull back from her volunteering to pursue treatment. But…get this…Phyllis re-emerged several months later and was dropping lit on doors and filling out postcards. She did this even while getting chemotherapy treatments and battling cancer. She kept her spunk and passion for seeing a blue wave take hold in November 2018. I was amazed by Phyllis’ tenacity and strength; she kept a positive outlook every time we communicated. As time passed, she became quite ill but she stayed tough and even lamented that she didn’t have the energy to do more volunteering. I thought to myself that if we had more people in this world like Phyllis, what a world it would be. Here she was fighting for her life, but she didn’t give up fighting for what was right. I will always be in awe of Phyllis.
Phyllis passed away on Sunday, April 14, 2019. I haven’t cried that hard in a long time. A friend shared a sentiment with me when I told her about Phyllis’ passing. She said, “Hopefully the changes we make outlive us all, but it is devastating to lose someone along the way.”
Let’s honor Phyllis’ legacy and keep pushing to make a difference even when challenged. Let’s encourage our friends and family to find time to volunteer despite obstacles. Phyllis would be so proud.
Phyllis and Chris