Thanksgiving is just a week away, and like you, I have so many reasons to be grateful. At the top of my list are two dear CPPP colleagues who have reached a great milestone. Associate Director Anne Dunkelberg and Senior Fiscal Analyst Dick Lavine are celebrating their 20-year CPPP anniversaries this month. Anne is one of our state’s most prominent health care experts. She can rattle off statistics about the number of uninsured Texans in each county. She can tell you which legislator voted to cut funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program a decade ago. Anne can argue like a Jesuit and wise-crack like a cowgirl. She’s a true Texan, and one of the hardest working, most committed people I have ever known.
Dick Lavine is a well-known figure around the Capitol. Some lawmakers think he was born with that white beard, which can be seen anywhere state officials are evaluating how to raise funds to invest in education and other state needs. Dick has patiently walked hundreds of lawmakers, staff members and colleagues through the intricacies of Texas investments. And he is an award-winning photographer, voracious reader and political junkie.
It is rare these days for anyone to spend 20 years with the same employer, and it’s even rarer at a non-profit organization where funding and priorities can vary over time. What is most remarkable about Anne and Dick’s dedication, however, is that they are doing their hard work in Texas. Our state can be challenging for those working to ensure that all Texans have a chance to reach their full potential. Yet Anne and Dick wake up each morning motivated and prepared to work their hardest. Texas and CPPP are so lucky to have them.
It will take all of our hard work – and your support – to ensure success in the upcoming legislative session. With many newly elected lawmakers and the new staff members they bring with them, this session will require CPPP to advocate strategically for solutions that give everyone the chance to compete and succeed in life. It’s hard to predict which issues will catch fire this session, but we’ll be presenting analysis and sharing stories about health and wellness, expanded economic opportunity and investments in our future.
Please give your thanks to Anne and Dick on our 20th anniversary tribute page. Happy Thanksgiving!