The Rights of Women and Girls
While the Texas legislature is no friend to comprehensive health care, this past week the state of Alabama’s new, near total ban on abortion dominated headlines. The law is so extreme that it would force a 12-year-old rape survivor to carry a pregnancy to term—and this in a state with abysmal education, child care, and public support policies for children writ large. While some may oppose abortion care for genuine reasons, Alabama’s law makes clear the political hypocrisy motivating too many who call themselves “pro-life.”
This law is designed to go to the Supreme Court and overturn—or at the very least gut—Roe v. Wade. Supporters want people to forget the women and girls taken to the ER after being preyed upon in back alleys or taking desperate measures on their own. We won’t forget.
And we also won’t forget that federal lawmakers are not powerless to act. Passing a federal law could codify a woman’s right to choose has always been a possibility, but always blocked by conservatives.
Urge our members of Congress to pledge to do anything it takes to make a stand for women’s rights—cosponsoring legislation, blocking judicial nominees in the Senate, and speaking out clearly against this affront of a law.
Zombie SB 9?
SB 9 appears to have died in the House Calendars Committee, and therefore cannot be passed before the May 21st deadline. More than 120 witnesses showed up to testify, the vast majority opposed to the bill. Your calls and letters rattled them!
We must remain vigilant, as provisions of the bill could be amended to other bills. We’ll need to fight any renewed efforts to suppress voters with the same tenacity we fought SB 9.
But the last week has shown: Activism works!
Close the “Dead Suspects Loophole” to the Public Information Act
This is a quick action for constituents of state Sen. Kirk Watson (basically all of Austin):
Texas law makes records non-public in criminal cases when the suspect dies. This means the government can withhold information in police shootings, jail suicides, and other situations where a defendant died before being convicted. These are the cases where we need accountability most!
- Support closure for families and loved ones of people killed by police
- Promote public accountability in the most serious death-in-custody cases.
- Restore public status of records that were open in Texas for 25 years w/o a problem.
How your voices are making a difference
- Michigan Rep. Justin Amash has become the first Republican to call for Donny’s impeachment
- The House passed a bill that will ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
- In Nevada, a majority-female legislative body is prioritizing women’s health and safety issues, prison reform, and gun safety
Imagine a world where Donald Trump is defeated but the Senate keeps its majority, and John Cornyn remains in office. Our job is to ensure that doesn’t happen. The Texas Tribune reports that three more people are considering a run against Cornyn:
- Amanda Edwards, an at-large Houston City Council member
- Dallas-area State Sen. Royce West
- Chris Bell, the former Houston congressman and 2006 gubernatorial nominee
In the House, Julie Oliver (TX25) and Christine Eady Mann (TX31) officially kicked off their campaigns.
Congress Critter of the Week: A Tale of Two Congressmen
Last week, Rep. Chip Roy had a public meltdown defending the rights of pharmaceutical companies to gouge patients and earn monopolistic profits. Elle Magazine put it best:
“Now you may say, what’s wrong with having a huge emotional response to the fact that a small number of drug executives are making more than most of the cast of Avengers: End Game made? Oh, because Roy was arguing in defense of that most maligned of social groups: Profits.”
Compare Rep. Roy’s statement to a House speech from Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who, like Roy, is passionate about drug prices, but unlike Roy, he wants them to go DOWN.
Let’s make room for more reps like Lloyd Doggett in the House. We can begin by firing Chip Roy.
Let’s talk about climate change
One of the best ways you can fight climate change is to talk about it. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Here are some conversation starters.
- The Guardian newspaper recently updated their style guide to replace neutral phrases like “climate change” with words that more clearly express what is actually going on: “Crisis,” “Emergency,” etc.
- Research shows that people respond better to photos of people fighting climate change than to, say, polar bears stranded on ice. Climate Visuals a photo library of people engaged in climate solutions.
- Use this shortcut to read and share the text of the the Green New Deal: indivisibleaustin.com/gnd
- Finally, here’s Bill Nye the Science Guy swearing like a sailor about climate change:
“The planet is on f**king fire!”
—Bill Nye the f**king amazing Science Guy. pic.twitter.com/iQHAmWcvAp
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) May 13, 2019
Funding the Fight
We’re in the thick of it at the Texas Legislature, and with your help, Indivisible Austin is leading the fight. Last week, we helped organize major resistance to the SB9 voter suppression bill at its committee hearing. Thanks to all the volunteers and allied groups, we were able to show a shocking and unexpected level of resistance to this terrible bill.
We need you to keep engaged with us at the legislature and we truly need your financial support to keep all our wheels turning. Support us in our efforts to be your voice of the legislature. Make a gift today.
Your Moment of Zen
(For best results play with the sound ON.)
"You know it's my job to create havoc in an office?"
Yun Wen (M) with Yun Wu (M) at Chengdu.
Credit: pandapia pic.twitter.com/GZNli67TBe
— Katykaybauer (@Katykay2018) May 14, 2019