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Remember to read how your voices are making a difference. We publish these success stories every week!
Monday 4/23 is the last day to register to vote in the primary runoff
Also on Monday: Tell Cruz and Cornyn to Vote NO on Kyle Duncan
Courtesy of Indivisible East Bay
Kyle Duncan has been nominated for a judgeship to the federal appeals court (Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals). Duncan has led a partisan, highly visible career as a warrior for the extreme right. He is on record.
- Against a woman’s right to choose
- Against LGBT rights
- Against voting rights by minorities
- Against immigrants’ rights
Duncan’s most famous case ended the mandate for employees’ contraceptive coverage under ObamaCare if this coverage offended the employer’s religious beliefs. It is highly likely that Duncan’s years of partisan fighting for these issues will affect his decisions as a judge.
The cloture vote on Duncan is scheduled for Monday 4/23 starting 3 pm EST.
Protect the Mueller Investigation
Summary of the latest developments from Celeste Pewter:
- Bipartisan group of Senators proposed a bill to protect Mueller.
- It’s on the Senate judiciary agenda for Thursday.
- McConnell refusing to bring it up for a vote.
- You should call and support efforts to push forward.
Also, be sure we have your mobile phone number, so that we can send text alerts in the event of Trump crossing the red line to try to end the Mueller investigation.
Tell your GOP House member not to pay for their Tax Scam by cutting nutrition assistance for children and seniors
Last year Congress passed and the president signed a massive tax cut bill that gave big banks $3.6 BILLION in tax cuts in just the first quarter of this year. Thanks to the tax cuts, the federal deficit is expected to increase to over $1 trillion in the next couple of years, despite Republican promises that growth would pay for the tax cuts and more. Meanwhile, most of us aren’t seeing any increases in our paychecks, and nothing has trickled down to us.
That’s the backdrop for Congress’ proposal to make historic cuts to food assistance programs (SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), while also adding more work requirements. Instead of developing policies like an increased minimum wage, universal health care, and affordable child care that support workers who are currently struggling to makes ends meet, Congress proposes to cut nutrition assistance programs that primarily help low-income children, seniors, and people with disabilities get the nutrition they need.
- 40 million Americans depend on SNAP to help feed themselves and their families
- SNAP provides emergency assistance in the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey
- About two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, seniors, and people with disabilities
- Two-thirds of voters OPPOSE any cuts to SNAP
- With SNAP, people use their benefits at local stores in their communities, supporting businesses, jobs, and local economies
- Our economy is out of balance, and Congress’ decision to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations means they no longer pay their fair share. Cutting nutrition assistance for children and seniors shows how Congress favors their big donors over everyday people.
You can learn more at http://www.thisissnap.org/.
- Tuesday, Apr. 24, 6-8 PM, Mood Bridwell Hall at Southwestern University – students and academics host ‘What is the Syrian War? A Teach-In & Forum’ with food and childcare provided (Facebook event)
- Wednesday, Apr. 25, Online – Indivisible TX-10’s Katie Graham releases her documentary featuring Indivisible Rosedale Huddle’s Karen Collins (Vimeo)
- Thursday, Apr. 26, 6:30-8:30 PM, Austin Public Library Cepeda Branch – No Ban No Wall Texas with other organizations co-hosts ‘Stereotyping Through Narratives of Violence’ about false violent stereotypes of communities of color (Facebook event)
- Sunday, Apr. 29, 12-7 PM, Huston-Tillotson University – Earth Day ATX 18 rescheduled (Facebook event | Volunteer signup)
Congress Critter: Rep. Lamar Smith & Scott Pruitt
Like Peas and Carrots…
… If peas and carrots controlled environmental policy, while simultaneously denying essential scientific knowledge about that policy. Yes, Rep. Smith found the Bonnie to his Clyde in EPA Administrator and prolific scandal generator Scott Pruitt. Rep. Smith has tried, unsuccessfully, to get Congress to pass his “HONEST Act,” which would implement extraordinary new requirements on any study being used to develop regulations. Honestly, the real purpose of the his “HONEST Act” is to cripple the government’s ability to develop scientifically-based regulations.
That’s why Rep. Smith can’t get it through Congress. But with his new buddy Scott Pruitt, he’s been able to have the policy implemented administratively at EPA.
The Union of Concerned Scientists discovered this new policy and Rep. Smith’s role, guiding EPA’s development of it through three separate FOIA requests. Perhaps not surprisingly, the only real concern expressed by EPA staff and Rep. Smith’s office was that the newly proposed regulations would cause problems with registering new pesticides. No concerns were expressed for the safety of the people of TX 21.
Get to Know: Workers Defense Project
Workers Defense Project (WDP) is a membership-based organization that empowers low-income workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing and strategic partnerships. WDP is a worker center that provides low-wage workers, concentrating on the construction industry, with legal solutions for wage theft, discrimination and injury cases, as well as ESL classes, safety classes, and the leadership development they need to improve their working and living conditions. With these important resources, WDP members are able to change the conditions that negatively impact working families.
In the wake of the 2016 election, WDP has renewed its commitment to fighting for the rights of low-wage workers and immigrants disproportionately affected by the policies of the current administration and its impact on local and statewide governance. This push back includes winning big changes in the construction industry and beyond, including:
- Passing an ordinance requiring paid sick leave for all employees within the City of Austin;
- Ensuring paid rest breaks for all construction workers in Austin and Dallas;
- Suing the State of Texas over the anti-immigrant law SB 4, and moving every major city in Texas to join the lawsuit;
- Winning fair pay and safe working conditions for more than 16,000 construction workers through WDP’s innovative Better Builder® program; and
- Recovering more than $1.7 million in unpaid wages for more than 1,800 workers.
Photo: Indivisible Austin on Twitter, @indivisibleATX
This is what the future looks like. Get ready.
On Thursday, April 20th, around 3,000 students assembled at the Texas Capitol Walkout for Gun Safety. In the words of one student speaker, they were “not just skipping school, but demanding change.” Students from across the broader Austin area converged on Wooldridge Park downtown before marching to the Capitol building for a rally. The program slate of speakers included students from many Austin-area schools, speaking from the heart about what it means to be part of the “Columbine generation,” and living with the daily threat of gun violence in their schools. State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez sponsored the students’ rally, and Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the only member of Congress to attend, was the opening speaker. The local event coincided with the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, as well as the #NationalSchoolWalkout day of action.
Photo credit: Ariana Garcia, Austin American-Statesman
Also, up in TX-31, over 150 students joined by their principal (!) walked out of Stony Point High and marched to Rep. John Carter’s office to deliver a petition signed by over 1,200 students! Representatives of the group met with staff to present their demands for gun reform. They were greeted with donuts, and staff promised to keep dialogue open with them.
Your Moment of Zen
Click through to enjoy the simple pleasure of an otter chasing a balloon!