How to Become a Texas Silver-Haired Legislator: Election Process
The Texas Silver-Haired Legislature (TSHL) conducts elections in the early months of odd-numbered years. TSHL has 123 delegates with the boundaries of the 28 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) serving as the political boundaries for election. All Area Agencies on Aging will elect 4 representatives with the exception of urban areas that may elect members as follows: Bexar County (6), Capital Area (6), Dallas County (6), Harris County (6), Houston/Galveston (5) and Tarrant County (6). Some Area Agencies on Aging may have additional members based on the Membership Supplementary Provision (refer to TSHL Elections and Credentials Manual). Each Area Agency on Aging in Texas coordinates and distributes candidacy forms and conducts TSHL elections. The Director of each Area Agency on Aging works closely with the Chair of the TSHL Election & Credentials Committee.
Requirements & Expectations
Determine if you meet the TSHL requirements and expectations
Fill out the Candidate Information Form (Form 103)
Contact and submit your form to your local Area Agency on Aging office.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a member of the TSHL and meets the candidacy requirements listed below should read the Member’s Expectations section and data on this website. It is highly recommended to contact a current member of TSHL for more information and requirements of members. Then, the prospective member should contact the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and communicate with the Director. The Director is the contact person from candidacy to certification of the TSHL election.
To determine in which Area Agency on Aging a prospect lives, please refer to the AAA map of Texas and determine the associated name and number of the appropriate AAA. Then, see the list of AAAs to find the contact information for each of the AAAs.
Candidacy Requirements and Expectations
A candidate for the TSHL must meet the following criteria:
- Must be 60 years or older prior to filing for election.
- Must be a resident of the AAA district to file as a candidate in that area.
- Must be a registered voter of the State of Texas. The Candidate Information Form
(Form 103) will be used for certification.
- Must be willing to participate in all activities required and expected of Texas Silver-Haired Legislators.
- Must provide a postal address, an email address and a phone number where constituents can contact the member. The email address must be available for publishing in TSHL documents and on the TSHL website.
- Must file for candidacy. Candidates must read, sign, agree to comply with, and complete the forms listed below. Each Area Agency on Aging maintains these forms, or they may be found on the website. These forms must be completed and submitted to the appropriate AAA Director.
a. Form 103: Candidate Information Form
b. Form 104: Hold Harmless Statement
c. Form 104.1: Code of Conduct Statement
d. Form 105: Official Candidate Petition (Completed only by new candidates; 25 signatures required of registered voters, age 60 or older at time of signing and who live in the district the candidate will represent. Qualified voters may sign a petition for only one candidate per election cycle.)
With the submission of these required forms, the person becomes an official TSHL candidate. A candidate may not take part in any balloting procedures or validation of any election process in which he/she is a candidate.
A full description of the election process is delineated in the Election Kit sent to each AAA Director prior to the TSHL election cycle. It may also be found in the Election & Credentials Manual of the TSHL Official Documents book.
Each Area Agency on Aging will conduct an election or declare an election unnecessary and verify the results, according to the TSHL election procedures. If the verification process is accurate, the election results shall be certified as correct. The local AAA Director will provide a copy of the completed Certification of Election (Form 110) to each elected candidate and will send the TSHL Election and Credentials Committee Chair a copy of all submitted forms and election results.
Elected members are expected to
- Incur certain costs such as transportation, lodging, and meals when attending general sessions, meetings, and engagements representing TSHL. Individual members are expected to cover their expenses. Some of the expenses for the Orientation session may be covered through the TSHL Foundation; the Speaker of TSHL will notify members about the specifics.
- Attend the Orientation Session, usually in July of odd-numbered years to be sworn in and become an official member.
- If the newly-elected legislator is unable to attend the Orientation Session in Austin, then the elected candidate must have a Texas state senator, representative, local judge or other elected official administer the Oath of Office. The AAA Director will provide the form for the Oath. Upon completion of the Oath, the appointed individual becomes an official TSHL member. The original signed and completed Oath of Office will be sent to the Chair of the TSHL Election and Credentials Committee. A copy of the Oath will be kept by the appropriate AAA, and the member may keep a copy for his/her records. A photo of the occasion should be sent to the local media for publication in local newspapers, announced on social media or radio programs, etc.
- During the Orientation Session members will be presented detailed information concerning the history of TSHL, our purpose, how we are organized and function, members’ duties, and the TSHL legislative results during the years since 1985. For members and for the TSHL to be successful, it is very important that members attend and take an active part in all of the sessions.
- Attend the Training Session during the fall of odd-numbered years (usually 3-4 days in length, and usually held in Austin).
- Attend the Legislative Session in the spring of even-numbered years (usually 4-5 days in length, and usually held in Austin).
- Serve on one Legislative Issues Committee and one Administrative Committee during the 2-year term. The Speaker appoints members to committees; Forms 202 and 203 are used to indicate personal preferences.
- If elected to the Executive Committee, the member will report results of the Executive Committee meetings to other TSHL legislators in his or her AAA district within 10 working days after committee meetings.