Demand Governor Abbott call a special session on Gun Safety in Texas
We don’t often circulate petitions, but this one was started by state Rep. Roland Gutierrez in the wake of the El Paso massacre. Our state leadership has failed to be proactive and adopt laws that would allow gun safety. All Texans should feel safe in their communities. Every year we lose too many to gun violence. Over 3,353 gun-related deaths occur in Texas each year. One death is too many. It’s time for change.
Tell Cornyn and Cruz: We need stronger gun laws now
Since the El Paso shooting, Cornyn and Cruz have hinted at willingness to pass laws to make it harder for guns to get into the wrong hands. That’s not nearly enough. There is actual legislation, which the House passed with bipartisan support, and which is stalled in the Senate thanks to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s obstructionism. Our job is to pressure our senators to pressure McConnell. Tell them you care. Tell them how gun violence has affected you or someone you know.
- H.R.8 would close the loophole in the current law to require background checks for firearm purchases online and at gun shows. It’s a small, but important step toward ending the epidemic of gun violence. It passed the House with bipartisan support, yet Mitch McConnell has refused to allow a vote in the Senate.
- H.R. 1112, the “Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019,” also passed the House with bipartisan support. The bill would revise background check requirements on firearm transfers from a federal firearms licensee (e.g., a licensed gun dealer) to an unlicensed person.
- S. 184, the Gun Violence Prevention Research Act, authorizes the appropriation of funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.
How your voices are making a difference
- A Nebraska Republican lawmaker called out the GOP—and Donald directly—for “enabling white supremacy
- President Obama made a rare public rebuke
- Republicans—even Mitch McConnell—are making noise about actually introducing legislation for sensible gun reform
Let’s talk about the climate crisis
The #1 thing you can do to fight for a better climate future is to talk about the problem.
City of Austin: This is an emergency
Austin City Council approved a resolution last week declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by the City to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing the City Manager to take appropriate action.
In part, the resolution directs the City Manager to:
- Provide options for more aggressive interim targets to accelerate the reduction pathway to achieve net-zero by 2050;
- Incentivize non-fossil fuel heating sources
- Promote a shift to 50 percent of trips being independent from single occupancy cars
- Incorporate climate resilience policies
- Identify innovative policy approaches to address the climate crisis’s causes as well as mitigation strategies, including the promotion of natural systems, green infrastructure, and carbon sequestration; the role of tree planting as a carbon offsetting strategy; public cooling spaces to combat heat waves; and updated information about the heat island effect in Austin and strategies to mitigate this effect.
We applaud councilmember Alison Alter for drafting this resolution and the Council for approving it. Austin now joins New York, Los Angeles and other cities in declaring a climate emergency. The resolution itself should have come sooner, and could be stronger—for example, divesting the city’s pensions from fossil fuels—and we look forward to deeper analysis from 350 Austin and other orgs. But this is a step in the right direction.
Wednesday, August 14
Unwelcome Reception: Rally Against ALEC
4:30 p.m. at Fareground at One Eleven, 111 Congress Avenue
**Meet outside Fareground at 4:30PM**
The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is convening in Austin from Aug. 14-16 at the J.W. Marriott for their 46th annual meeting.
We must show them THEY ARE NOT WELCOME! We must TAKE BACK OUR STATE!
ALEC is just another way for corporate interests to control our government.
- They take power away from everyday Texans and put it into the hands of the wealthy few.
- They’re behind bad legislation like “Stand Your Ground” gun legislation and Voter ID.
- They use corporate contributions to sell prepackaged conservative bills that hurt our communities.
Let’s take back our power! Let’s take back our state! Join us for our Unwelcome Reception and Rally!
Saturday, August 17
Community Forum on Redistricting
10 a.m. at Colorado Tower, 303 Colorado St.
The League of Women Voters Austin Area and Fair Maps Texas invite you to take part in a Community Forum on Redistricting aimed at mobilizing our community for the Texas Legislature’s upcoming public input hearings.
Monday, August 26
Town Hall with U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett
5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Riveter Austin, 1145 West 5th Street
Join us for a town hall with US Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who represents communities from Austin to San Antonio. Hear from Congressman Doggett about the state of our federal government and how you can be even more civically engaged. Additional elected officials will be announced soon.
Congressman Doggett serves as Chairman of the Health Subcommittee on the House Ways & Means Committee and on the House Budget Committee.
Topics we’ll cover include:
- Health care
- Climate change
Your Moment of Zen
Catch me if you can!😂🤗❤ pic.twitter.com/hutbE4ywW6
— The Puppies Club (@thepuppiesclub) August 9, 2019