Are you an extrovert who loves talking to people about how to hold our lawmakers accountable? It’s Indivisible Austin table time again! This week we’re going to be at the Texas Capitol Walkout for Gun Safety on Friday afternoon, and at the Earth Day Festival on Saturday, talking to people about Indivisible, and helping them take action.
On Friday, April 20, students from across Austin will walk out of their schools as part of the ongoing student-led movement to demand stronger gun legislation that protects our schools and communities. They’ll converge at the Capitol for an afternoon of education, activism, voter registration, and more. We’ll be at the Capitol from 12:30-3:30.
On Saturday, April 21, we’ll be at the citywide Earth Day festival at Huston-Tillotson. This is shaping up to be an amazing day, starting with a march from the Capitol to the HT campus. We’ll be at HT from NOON until about 6 p.m.
Call your reps about Trump’s “sustained response” to Syria
Last week’s bombing in Syria raises many questions about the US commitment there, the legality of the campaign, and what to do about the ever-growing refugee crisis. We’re borrowing this week’s script from Celeste Pewter. Call Cruz, Cornyn, and your House rep, and demand the following:
- Push Trump to provide clarification on what a “sustained response” in Syria might look like. We cannot get into a sustained conflict in the region.
- Push for changes to presidential war powers, which allow the president broad leeway to carry out strikes, and that needs to be changed. Acts of war should require congressional approval. Similarly, we need a debate on the outdated Authorization for the Use of Military Force, passed in 2001. What scope does this authorization now cover?
- Address the fact that our country has taken in only 11 Syrian refugees this year. The refugee restrictions put forth by the Trump administration need to be reversed.
Nonprofits to support:
Oh, look. We’ve got more terrible judicial nominees!
If you’re ever in need of something to call your senators about, there’s always a terrible nominee or two to get you started! The latest nominees with a Texas connection are Wendy Vitter and David S. Morales. Vitter is nominated to a federal judgeship (lifetime appointment), and her history shows immense hostility toward reproductive freedom (she has made unsubstantiated claims linking birth control pills to a number of medical conditions and “violent deaths” while also lying about abortion). She also lied and omitted significant controversial statements in an effort to hide her real opinions from the Judiciary Committee. And yet she claims she can set aside her extremist views and be a fair-minded judge.
Call Sens. Cruz and Cornyn and ask them not to confirm this nominee.
David S. Morales intervened to shut down the Texas attorney general’s investigation into Trump University. As you may recall, Trump U defrauded nearly 500 Texans of of millions of dollars, and Paxton was set to file suit for $5.4 million in damages on their behalf. And then…he didn’t. Morales claims to be the person who made the suit go away. In 2013 and 2014 Trump donated $35,000 to Greg Abbott’s election campaign. Now it appears Trump has nominated Abbott’s errand boy as a reward.
Sens. Cornyn and Cruz are both on record supporting Morales, but they should know we’re watching them.
- Friday, Apr. 20, 8-10 PM, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church – Carrie Newcomer holds a concert to benefit the Austin Sanctuary Network (Facebook event; ticket link)
- Wednesday, Apr. 25, 6-8 PM, The Townsend – Got Marketing skills to spare? Looking to get more involved with Indivisible? Come check out the Indivisible Austin Marketing Volunteers Sign-up & Happy Hour (Facebook event)
Activist Spotlight: Karen Collins
Karen Collins is everywhere. She’s on an I-35 overpass holding a “Repeal and Replace Ted Cruz Banner” (copies of which she has sent to activists all around Texas). She’s counter-protesting Nazis. She’s attending civil-disobedience workshops. She’s registering voters at candidate forums. She’s blockwalking. She’s organizing in the Indivisible Rosedale Huddle.
Karen is also the subject of the short film, “Liberty Hill,” which debuted at SXSW and was directed by another Indivisible organizer, Katie Graham. And recently, she received a standing ovation at one of the Austin Town Halls for Our Lives.
Congress Critter: Rep. John Carter
“A lot of the attractive children are not making it to the border.”
What did he mean by this? The most generous interpretation, which we’re willing to entertain, is that it was a malapropism: That he meant only to express concern for immigrant children who fall victim to traffickers.
Whatever he meant, in the past he has expressed little concern for immigrants. Let’s go down the list:
- Supports Trump’s border wall
- Co-sponsored a birther conspiracy-theory bill that would require presidential candidates to show their birth certificates
- Supports reporting undocumented immigrants who receive hospital treatment.
- Co-sponsored a bill to specifically exclude “birthright citizenship” rights from children of undocumented immigrants. (Read more from ShareBlue.)
So whatever the hell Rep. Carter meant by “attractive children,” it’s not a good look. In normal times, this would have been a career-ender. If you’re in TX-31, one step toward normalcy is to tell Rep. Carter to step down.
Your Moment of Zen
A YouTuber chalked a hopscotch game and filmed the people who played it!
…And Now a Word from Our Treasurer
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