2018 Weekly Action Archives

Week of July 2, 2018

Take Action

Follow the 2-step strategy to win the Supreme Court fight.

Justice Kennedy’s retirement is a gut punch. Settled rights like abortion, marriage equality, and health care back under threat. There is a narrow path to victory, but it’s going to require levels of resistance not seen since last year’s ACA fight—perhaps even more.

Step One: Get to 51 votes.

There are 49 Democratic Senators. We need every single one of them to vote “no” on whoever Trump’s nominee is. Tell your friends and family in states with Democratic senators to apply maximum pressure: Especially in New York (where Charles Schumer is leader of the Democratic caucus), West Virginia, North Dakota, and Indiana.

We also need at least two Republican Senators. If have friends and family in Alaska or Maine, it’s time to activate them to call Senators Murkowski and Collins.

Our Senators in Texas are hard cases. But they still need to hear from you. Tie up their phones. Disrupt their workday. Make them feel the wrath of their constituents. Tell them that the people on Trump’s list are way outside the mainstream and not choices that their constituents want. McConnell doesn’t care, but you’re welcome to point out the hypocrisy of the so-called “McConnell Rule,” which prevented Obama nominee Merrick Garland from being considered during an election year.

Step Two: Take back the Senate

While our current Senators are immovable on most issues, Texas is one of the few states with a competitive Senate race in 2018. And we don’t need to tell you that Ted Cruz has got to go.

Beto O’Rourke is within five points of dethroning Lyin’ Ted, and we encourage everyone to support his campaign. With the retirement of Justice Kennedy, the stakes in this election just got even higher.  If we do the work now—if we phone bank, knock on doors, and send texts to voters—we can retake the Senate and stop confirmations of bad judges for the rest of Trump’s term.

Read more from Indivisible.org on the 2-Step Strategy to Win the Supreme Court Fight >>

Help reunite families separated by Trump’s cruel immigration policies

On June 26th, a federal judge in California issued a preliminary injunction on the family separation crisis. Under the injunction, the government MUST reunite parents who are currently in ICE custody with their separated children and allow communication with between parents and children within 10 days. This is good news.

However:

  1. The zero tolerance policy is still in place, meaning that people who cross the border are still being prosecuted. The difference is that now whole families are being detained.
  2. It’s hard to have confidence that ICE, DHS and other agencies can competently and quickly reunite families—despite the injunction.

Several organizations are stepping up to reunite families:

RAICES Texas launched a portal and hotline for legal service providers to find parents of separated kids. You may have already contributed to RAICES after their fundraising campaign went viral, but here’s why you can still feel good about giving them money.

ProPublica is gathering facts about immigrant children being held by our government, and you can help connect children and parents.

Torn Apart is a rich data visualization resource showing locations of ICE detention facilities across the country and loads of other info. It is a result of intense collaboration between xpMethod and Borderlands Archives Cartography.

Sign the Grassroots Leadership petition to free mothers at T. Don Hutto & reunite them with their children immediately! On Thursday, June 28, there was an order handed down by officials “higher up” in ICE to deny bond to all mothers separated from their children, keeping them detained indefinitely. And while you’re at it, feel free to donate to their bond and defense fund to free detained mothers.

Join the Austin Sanctuary Network Accompaniment Ministry to offer rides to local immigrants as they make the road trip from Austin to San Antonio for Immigration Court Hearings, ICE check-ins or monthly ankle monitor checks. Use your privilege to show support for community members and witness firsthand the out-of-control, for-profit immigration system. To sign up or for more info email insideamigos@austinuu.org.

How your voices are making a difference

  • Williamson County commissioners voted 4-1 to close the Immigrant Detention Center in Taylor, Texas
  • The House’s immigration bill that provided for $26 million in border wall funding was shot down
  • Protesters in the UK will fly a giant inflatable Trump baby over the capital during Trump’s visit next month

Read more >>

4th of July Events

Austin – Rosedale

Indivisible Rosedale Huddle has a float in the annual Promenade Around the Park.

The annual July 4th Promenade Around the Park begins at the NW corner of Ramsey Park at 10am. At 9:30am, neighborhood children and guests are invited to come to the park and decorate their bikes and wagons with streamers before the the promenade begins.

Wimberley

See the Wimberley Indivisible float in the 4th of July parade. They’ll be handing out fans, flags, popsicles and 1000 origami cranes! Roads close at 9am in Wimberley, so it’s critical you arrive on time. Parade starts at 10 a.m.

Congress Critter of the Week

Sen. John Cornyn can’t catch a break. Nor does he deserve one.

Poor, hangdog John Cornyn. The far-right has been attacking him for not being Trumpy enough. But progressives know that John Cornyn’s occasional appearance of reasonableness it an illusion.

Here is John Cornyn lying about Trump’s Zero Tolerance policy at the border:

Under Trump’s new policy, children who arrive with a parent are being designated “unaccompanied,” and separated from their parents. This is the part that is new and which created the current crisis. John Cornyn knows this, but chooses to lie about it.

For sheer venality and spinelessness, Sen. John Cornyn earns our condemnation this week. 2020 is right around the corner, Big John. We’ll be ready.

Action Spotlight: Families Belong Together ATX

From the Statesman:

“The rally, called Families Belong Together, was one of more than 700 taking place across the country on Saturday, with an anchor event planned in Lafayette Square in Washington D.C.”

Families Belong Together and Free Rally organizers estimate that over 15,000 people attended the rally despite the sweltering summer weather. If you attended the rally, don’t stop there: continue fighting for dignity and justice for immigrants by taking the actions we’ve outlined above and support local organizations fighting for immigrants and providing much-needed services.

Moment of Zen

If you’re anything like us, the past days have been the most challenging yet of this administration. It’s more important than ever for us to latch onto those things that keep us going. So, this week we bring you both sagacity and sweetness. First, click through for Ada Limón’s poem, Instructions on Not Giving Up. Next, check out this dad’s laundry-basket roller coaster:

Funding the Fight

127

We have 127 days to change the course of our nation. 127 days to prove that we won’t allow Trump and his Republican party to corrupt the values that are at the core of what America aspires to be. 127 days to stop them from rigging every part of the economy to benefit them and their donors at the expense of every other American. 127 days until the election.

Support Indivisible Austin at this critical moment in the fight to stop the Trump agenda and move us all forward to a more just nation.

Week of June 25, 2018

Take Action

Write a Letter to the Editor about Family Separation and Detention

Letters to the editor should include:

  • Facts to build an argument
  • An emotional hook to pull the reader in
  • A call to action to those in power & our fellow citizens

This is a sample letter to the editor on family separation at the border. Feel free to use it to help you craft your own.

These are helpful talking points about family detention prepared by the National Domestic Workers Alliance that you can use to build your letter.

Keep supporting immigrant advocates

We’ve compiled a list of organizations providing direct legal and supportive services for immigrants in Texas, as well as Texas-based organizations working on the border.

View the list of organizations >>

Support the Hutto Bond Fund

Our friends at Grassroots Leadership have set up a bond fund for women detained at the Hutto Detention Center. From Grassroots Leadership:

Just outside Austin in Taylor, TX, the Hutto Detention Center is the only all women’s facility in the country for asylum-seekers. Over 500 women are imprisoned there every day, locked up after escaping from violent gangs, domestic abusers, and others’ hatred & prejudice at their sexual identity or ethnicity. Many of the moms who crossed over recently seeking safety, their children cruelly stolen, were sent here.

All bond fund proceeds will be prioritized for these mothers. Funds will support the organizing of courageous people organizing at Hutto and if necessary, at other detention centers on an emergency basis, case by case.

Support the Hutto Bond Fund >>

Keep calling your reps

The House may–or may not–vote on a “compromise” immigration bill designed by Paul Ryan this week. So while we continue to urge groups to demand Trump reverse his zero-tolerance policy as quickly as he put it in place (which would end both family separations and the threat of limitless family detentions), it is also important

Here is a sample script and resources to make calls to the House.

In the Senate, both Sens. Cornyn and Cruz have proposals they claim would “end” family detention–both are inadequate proposals. But instead of debating any merits to their bills, we urge you to keep focus on urging the President to act:

The situation is not resolved and pointing to the House’s disorganization is not leadership. The quickest way to resolve this situation is to demand President Trump end the zero-tolerance policy.

As you know, your proposal [for both Cornyn/Cruz] has already met resistance. Children and families looking for help cannot be your bargaining chip. The President has already complicated the matter by telling Congress to give up on immigration reform–and while he won’t admit it, he can resolve this crisis as quickly as he started.

The executive order released last week does not remove the zero tolerance policy and would lead to jailing of immigrant families. That is unacceptable. Family jails is not the answer and I want you to oppose any efforts in the Senate that would create them–but I also urge you stand up to the President’s reckless actions and demand.

Thanks, Lloyd

Rep. Lloyd DoggettSometimes, it can be easy to lose sight that there are those in Congress who want to work with us instead of against. We thank Representative Lloyd Doggett for the amendment he plans to offer this week to keep federal funds from going to baby jails, one example of many he has taken to try to address the current border crisis.

In addition to urging our friends to watch the Representative’s recent remarks on the House floor, the Board issues the following statement of thanks:

“Representative Doggett is the only congressperson from the Austin area who has demonstrated real compassion throughout this fight, as the rest of our so-called representatives meekly follow the administration and bow down to bigotry. While those who support immigrants—and basic human decency—are currently in the minority in Congress, it is important that we all support, and work with, those trying to do good and put them in the majority this November. That is our only hope to stop President Trump’s relentless attacks on families seeking a better life in America.

We believe that it’s critical to use every opportunity to engage with our lawmakers on matters of policy, especially one as urgent as this. We look forward to all future opportunities to work with partners and affected communities in order to do so.”

How your voices are making a difference

  • A record-high percent of Americans think immigration is a good thing
  • A CNN poll found a nearly Nixonian level of pro-impeachment sentiment
  • Even the Mormons are pissed

Read more >>

Events

  • Monday, Jun. 25, 10 AM-3 PM, Texas State Capitol, Room E2.014 – Moms Demand Action TX voices support of red flag laws in #TXLege House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Hearing (Facebook event)
  • Tuesday, Jun. 26, 8-11 AM, Williamson County Courthouse (710 S Main St, Georgetown) – Grassroots Leadership organizes testimony as County Commissioners consider ending Hutto contract, with likely vote (Facebook event)
  • Wednesday, Jun. 27, 7:30-9 AM, Juan in a Million (2300 E Cesar Chavez) – Hispanic Advocates Business Leaders of Austin hosts panel discussion of status of family reunification efforts, fundraising, & calls to action (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, Jun. 30, 12-3 PM, Texas State Capitol Steps – Families Belong Together and FREE Rally by 20 partner organizations (Facebook eventRSVP linkWebsite)

Rally help needed: click to donate toward costs; click to volunteer at the event.

View more events on the border

Families Belong Together Volunteer Opportunities

Join NETA to deliver food/water to asylum seekers stuck at ports of entry or donate to them here – People currently showing at ports of entry seeking asylum are being  denied that right. When they arrive, officers tells them that the port of entry is at capacity and that they’re not processing asylum applicants. This backlog has created long lines of people (+50) who have essentially been living on the bridge, patiently waiting their turn. They’ve been sleeping on the hard concrete floors and have been enduring the Texas heat that reaches up to 110 degrees. Some have been there anywhere from 5 to 17 days, and they arrive with nothing. Join NETA to take these individuals food, water, and other necessities.

Volunteer at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen – Sacred Heart Church is working around the clock to help migrants who have been provisionally cleared and released by Border Protection with temporary papers a future court date (and an ankle monitor in tow). After being processed they are dropped off at the McAllen bus terminal where they wait before leaving to their next destination. The church picks up people from the bus terminal, brings them to their welcome center, and offers them their first warm meal, a bath, a change of clothes, hygiene products, a call home, and assistance with translating their paper work and travel itinerary. They need volunteers to help assist and prepare items for families.

Be a Volunteer Attorney with ProBar or donate to them here – ProBar, the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project. This is a project of the American Bar Association, and they are currently supporting over 1,000 ‘unaccompanied children’ in detention centers. They’re also working hard to reconnect these children with their parents. They’re looking for volunteer attorneys who could help with these children prepare for credible fear interviews (will take several days to a week), and in the longer term help with assistance for bond cases (some of this work could be remote, but would have to be periodically present). I’ve created the google doc above to try to help them identify volunteer attorneys.

Help Texas Civil Rights Project take declarations from families or donate to them here – Everyday, TCRP is taking declarations from families and need help with intake efforts in Brownsville, Laredo, El Paso and Alpine. They’re able to train people and organize legal intakes in these cities. They also need help in McAllen with interviewing families. Note — Volunteers are required to speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistance experience.

Your Moment of Zen

Louboutina the Golden Retriever isn’t just “a dog of the streets of New York City” who wants to hug everyone; she’s also Cesar Fernandez-Chavez’s family.

Funding the Fight

Families Belong Together - Austin, TX June 30 2018

The last few weeks have been extraordinary in both good and ways, but let’s be honest, mostly bad. We’ve all been horrified seeing our government tear children from their parent’s arms and put them in cages. It’s been heartening to see Americans cry out with enough ferocity that even Trump felt the need make a show of pretending to relent.

However, if you’re reading this far down in the email, you’re smart enough to know that THIS ISN’T OVER.

That’s why Indivisible Austin has joined more than 20 organizations hosting the Families Belong Together and FREE Rally this Saturday at the Capitol.

We are expecting THOUSANDS of Texans to join us for a moving day in support of children, refugees, asylees, families separated by Trump’s terrible policies, and more.

Can you help with a donation of any size to help the organizations hosting this event to cover costs?

Week of June 18, 2018

Take Action

Three more ways to end family separation

This cannot wait until Election Day. Trump’s new zero-tolerance policy on immigration has created a moral crisis on the border. The federal government is forcibly separating children from their parents. We must act now. Here are three ways to confront this evil.

  1. Call your reps. Yes, it may feel inadequate, but call anyway. They need to hear from constituents that their continued silence and rationalizing is unacceptable. Scripts are below, courtesy of Celeste Pewter. Cornyn has been touting his 2014 HUMANE Act as a solution to the current crisis. Read what Indivisible Houston has to say about that.
  2. Support on-the-ground organizations with experience advocating for immigrants.
    1. RAICES Bond Fund helps asylum seekers get released
    2. RAICES Leaf Fund provides legal representation to minors
    3. NETA distributes supplies to asylum seekers on both sides of the border
  3. Make signs for a rally in Brownsville on June 28th. On Sunday Beto O’Rourke led the March to Tornillo. The next big rally on the border is in Brownsville on June 28th. If you can’t go in person, you can still support the organizers by making signs here in Austin that will be shipped to Brownsville. (See event listings below.)

Here’s what you need to know about House anti-immigrant bills scheduled for a vote this week

How your voices are making a difference

  • The Austin City Council voted to pass a Freedom City policy
  • Multiple Texas organizations filed suit against the state for laws that restrict access to abortion
  • Paul Manafort is in jail

Read more  >>

Speaker Ryan announced this week that the House will vote on two immigration proposals the week of June 18, both of which have been backed by the Trump White House: the “Goodlatte bill” and one negotiated by Paul Ryan and the White House (“White House 2.0”). Neither of these bills would provide real relief for Dreamers, nor would they end the White House’s family separation policy. What they would do is fund Trump’s wall and turbocharge Trump’s deportation machine. Let’s break them down.

Read more on Indivisible.org >>

Events

On June 28, ACLU, Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, United We Dream, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Moms Rising, Move On, and America’s Voice will come together for the Families Belong Together Rally outside the federal courthouse in Brownsville. Organizers in Austin are hosting two sign-making parties this week. Signs will be mailed to the Brownsville organizers in advance of the rally. Sign-making supplies are needed; please bring posterboard and/or permanent-type markers.

  • Tuesday, Jun. 19, 12-3 PM, Children’s Defense Fund Texas offices (1910 E MLK; entrance on alley) – Sign-making party #1 (Facebook event)
  • Wednesday, Jun. 20, 5:30-8 PM, ABGB – Sign-making party #2 (Facebook event)
  • Monday, Jun. 25, 1:30-3:30 PM, Austin Bar Association Periscope account (event fully booked) – Austin Bar Civil Rights and Immigration Section training for attorneys to help families separated (Event information)

Action Spotlight

While Ted Cruz was enjoying a celebrity basketball game, his opponent Beto O’Rourke was organizing Sunday’s March to Tornillo, where children separated from parents are being held in detention. With 24 hours’ notice, people traveled from all over the country to make their voices heard. The Dallas Morning News posted a dispatch last night.

Abolish ICE

Photo: United We Dream

Your Moment of Zen

May you have moments of joy in your life as pure as these kiddos’ joy at finding themselves in front of Cristiano Ronaldo at #WorldCup2018.

Click for full GIF Action…

 

Further Reading…

Indivisible Austin’s board president, Lisa Goodgame, went to Washington last week! She met with Indivisible’s national team, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, and staffers from Sen. Cornyn and Rep. McCaul’s offices. Read her dispatches below. 

Indivisible Goes to Washington

A Day on the Hill

 

 

Week of June 11, 2018

Take Action

Testify at Texas Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools & School Security

On Tuesday, June 12 at 9 a.m. the select committee hearing issues related to the governor’s school safety proposals — which largely ignore gun violence prevention measures — will hear public testimony on armed school safety proposals, including school marshals and arming teachers in the classroom. Most teachers do not want to be armed. Most students do not want their teachers to carry guns. And there is no evidence that arming teachers will make schools safer — the evidence shows the opposite. The committee is hearing public testimony, and each person has 2 minutes to speak. Indivisible Austin will join a press conference organized by student gun violence prevention activists prior to the hearing.

How your voices are making a difference

  • The ACLU’s lawsuit to end family separation is proceeding
  • Ted Cruz was struck dumb for 18 interminable seconds
  • Kelly Sadler was fired

Read more  >>

Learn more from Everytown for Gun Safety about why arming teachers is a dangerous proposal >>

More information on the hearing on June 12, 9 a.m. in Texas Capitol E1.036 >>

Three Ways to Help People Seeking Asylum (including separated families)

  1. Donate supplies to Neta, a grassroots group in the Rio Grande Valley helping asylum seekers on both sides of the border.
  2. Donate to the RAICES Texas Bond Fund to help asylum seekers get released from ICE custody, or to the Leaf Fund to provide legal representation to unaccompanied children released from Office of Refugee Resettlement custody.
  3. Provide support to women at the Hutto Detention Center with Grassroots Leadership (must be conversationally fluent in a language other than English, including Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, French, or Portuguese).

Stop the deportation of a Round Rock construction worker in ICE detention

Workers Defense Project has been working on the deportation defense campaign of Alberto, a 19-year-old construction worker who was picked up by ICE at a Round Rock construction site while working. Alberto has been held at the South Texas Detention Facility since February 15, 2018. In April, a judge unjustly set his bond at $11,000. Alberto’s family has been struggling to gather the funds, and while WDP has tried to support them in amplifying the case, the family is still shy of their goal.

GoFundMe for Alberto >>

Events

  • Thursday, Jun. 14,6-8 PM, Austin City Hall – Grassroots Leadership, United We Dream Austin, Texas Advocates for Justice, & Workers Defense Project call for citizens to make their support known for Resolutions 73 and 74, making our city safer for people of color and immigrants (Facebook event; TribTalk by Council Member Greg Casar)
  • Saturday, Jun. 16, 11:30 AM-3 PM, Bullock State History Museum – World Refugee Day celebration (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, Jun. 16, 12-4 PM, Carver Museum – Annual Juneteenth Celebration (Facebook event)

Your Moment of Zen

In this, the second full week of an already simmering Austin June (happy second week of #PrideMonth!), we bring you a refreshing viral moment from our very own Barton Springs.

In case you need some encouragement today, here’s a video of a little girl jumping off the diving board for the first time as the entire pool cheers her on

Posted by Hannah Waitt on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Indivisible Austin Needs Your Help!

bolt cutters

A word from our Treasurer:

Last week we told you about how our storage locker was broken into. We lost more than $700 of supplies and equipment we use to work events.

Our fellow members of Indivisible stepped forward and have already given $444 to help us get the supplies we need.

As the treasurer of Indivisible Austin, I really want to be able to tell the rest of the board that we can get all the things we need to carry out our mission.

Can you be one of the people to help us close the gap by making a gift so we can get new supplies and equipment?

Week of June 4, 2018

Take Action

Tell Congress: Condemn the Trump Administration’s separation of families

Fact: The Trump Administration’s new policy of systematically ripping children from the arms of migrant mothers and fathers at the U.S. border—as punishment for seeking asylum in the U.S—is a moral crisis. There are babies as young as 18 months old being taken away from their parents at the border.

  • Even Mitch McConnell spoke out against Donald’s actions
  • A PA rep is retiring because “all I do is answer questions about Donald Trump”
  • Teachers are running for office in unprecedented numbers

Read more in “How Your Voices Are Making a Difference” >>

We rallied and marched over the weekend, and now we need to keep the pressure on. The national Indivisible team has a great new resource, including call scripts. There are also local organizations fighting this issue head on. Give them your time and money.

  • Grassroots Leadership is fighting for the rights of detainees in Williamson County
  • The Austin Sanctuary Network (of which Indivisible Austin is a member) supports asylum members here in Austin
  • RAICES welcomes volunteers and provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas

Hold a postcard party to block Trump’s awful judicial nominees

Trump’s time in office will be relatively short (knock on wood). But we will be feeling the effects of his judiciary picks for generations.

From Indivisible East Bay:

During President Obama’s terms, the Senate Republicans rejected his nominees for the federal courts at all levels. Their most egregious action was to ignore Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Republicans refused to even hold hearings to consider Garland’s nomination.

As a result of this program of obstruction, there are now many vacancies throughout the federal court system, and Trump and the Senate Republicans are ready to pack the court with very conservative, right-wing judges. We believe this situation is cause for alarm.

Indivisible East Bay has been doggedly tracking these nominees, and they have downloadable scripts that are perfect for postcards or calls to Cornyn or Cruz—both of whom are on the Judiciary Committee.

More from Indivisible East Bay >>

Learn about “red flag” laws in advance of interim hearings on June 25

After three days of closed-door roundtable meetings earlier this month with only invited parties (including the Texas state chapter of the NRA), Greg Abbott released his 40-point plan to address school safety. Big surprise, it’s light on any actual commonsense gun safety reforms.

However, there is one idea under consideration that would (temporarily) keep guns out of the hands of people at risk for violence. Among the recommendations is to study “red flag” laws that would allow a judge to temporarily seize a person’s gun if they were determined to be an imminent threat. These are also known as “extreme risk protection orders,” and Speaker Straus issued an interim charge for a House committee to study this issue and others.

Sign up to join Moms Demand Action at the June 25 House Criminal Jurisprudence hearing on “red flag” laws>>

Learn about “red flag” laws from Everytown for Gun Safety>>

Get detailed info on state extreme risk protection order laws already in place>>

Events

Action Spotlight:

National Day of Action for Children in Austin

United We Dream Austin banner

PHOTO: United We Dream Austin

In record heat, we stood with our allies to fight against Trump’s new family-separation policy. We heard from policymakers and advocates working to protect migrants, but more importantly we heard directly from several refugees and asylees like Sedrick Murhula who have fought through our broken immigration system to win their cases.

The event began with a rally at Republic Square Park, and then culminated with a march to the “Mavericks Conference” where Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, and Mike McCaul joined nine other speakers (only one of whom is female, not that we’re counting) at a $200-per-ticket sock hop for young conservatives.

Protesters rally in downtown Austin against family border separations >> (Statesman)

More photos from the Statesman >>

Q&A with Cat Yuracka of the Resistance Choir of South Central TexasCat Yuracka

The Resistance Choir of South Central Texas was the brainchild of TX21 Indivisible activist Cat Yuracka, who in April 2017 pulled together like-minded, “more enthusiastic than talented” activists to partake in the joy of communal singing. Since then, the Choir has brought traditional and contemporary protest songs, songs of social justice and “revolutionary snark” to meetings, marches, rallies, protests, candidate forums, parades, private parties, and one ill-conceived Special Session of the Texas Legislature.

Read our Q&A with Cat >>

Congress Critter of the Week: Big Lyin’ John Cornyn

The Trump administration’s policy of tearing children from parents of families seeking asylum is a barbaric and punitive deterrent.

In the normal course of a democratic republic like ours, citizens can object to a policy like this by contacting their elected representatives. This is not the normal course of things, and in Texas we rarely have representatives who represent us.

When Texans come out in droves to protest and register their objections to yanking toddlers away from their mothers, all John Cornyn can manage is to lie, taking a swipe at Democrats, instead of doing anything about the problem.

Assuming that the Senator is attempting to refer to something that occurred, instead of just firing off a nonsensical attack (surely that can’t be the case), none of the immigration bills that failed on the senate floor were focused on this issue. That’s because this wasn’t an issue at the time.

This evil had a specific, recent starting point, with Attorney General Sessions declaring that the Justice Department would prosecute asylum seekers and use that as a justification for tearing their children away from them, ultimately doing irreparable harm to many.

This isn’t a failure of the Democrats or even the result of a specific bad law. Solving this doesn’t require a legislative solution that will never actually show up but will provide a fig leaf for the Senator to pretend like he cares. This is an evil policy choice by the administration, and we need representatives like Cornyn to find the courage to stop lying and actually do the right thing, by telling Trump and Sessions to make a better choice.

Moment of Zen

June is #PrideMonth, in honor of 1969’s Stonewall riots. To kick off a festive and joyous month, please enjoy Becky McCabe and Jessa Gillaspie, who both proposed to one another on the same day at the Memphis Zoo:

Indivisible Austin Needs Your Help

bolt cutters

A few weeks ago, our storage locker was broken into. We lost almost everything we use to work events, from our folding table and pop up tent to protect us from the sun, to printed materials and signs, to the cart that we used to lug everything around.

All in all, it was more than $700 worth of supplies, and now the insurance company is giving us the runaround.

Can you be one of the people to help us recover by making a gift so we can get new supplies and equipment?

Week of May 28, 2018

Take Action

Tell your reps to stop separating families at the border

Earlier this month, Jeff Sessions announced a new policy to separate migrant children of asylum seekers from their parents, using them as pawns to force their parents to make impossible choices. According to John Kelly, the children “…will be put into foster care or whatever,” putting them into a child welfare system they should never have to encounter. (In April a report came out revealing that HHS lost track of almost 1,500 children who arrived during the Obama administration as unaccompanied minors. While that is a terrible situation, it is different from this new Trump Administration policy.)

  • Activists stopped grocery chain Publix from donating to the NRA
  • A federal judge ruled that Trump can’t block you on Twitter
  • A sinkhole has opened up on the White House lawn

Read more in “How Your Voices Are Making a Difference” >>

Under past administrations, asylum seekers with children were either granted a hearing date and released, or mothers were detained together with their children (fathers could have been detained separately or deported). While it’s true that administrations of both parties have separated families and deported immigrants, the new Trump policy to treat as criminals 100% of asylum-seeking families is unconscionably cruel.

From Politico:

Under existing law, children encountered at the border can be classified as unaccompanied minors if their parents are prosecuted and detained for criminal charges. In those circumstances, the children are transferred to the custody of the Health and Human Services Department until they can be placed with a guardian. Increased referrals of people suspected of illegally crossing the border would likely make such separations more common.

What you can do:

  1. Call your House reps, Cornyn and Cruz, and your state legislators. Celeste Pewter has detailed scripts and talking points here >>
  2. Contribute to the RAICES bond fund to help mothers separated from their children get out of detention and get them back.
  3. Show up at events in Austin and San Antonio on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Watch: Chris Hayes on “despicable” new Trump policy

Support candidates who will defend democracy

You voted in the primary election runoffs. (Right???) The results are in, and we have our 2018 midterm and statewide candidates. So what’s next? Here are some ways to fight back against the Trump regime between now and November.

  1. Donate to campaigns. Criss-crossing Texas ain’t cheap, and many candidates have put their careers on hold to run for office.
  2. Become a campaign volunteer. Candidates need blockwalkers, phone bankers, envelope stuffers—you name it.
  3. Amplify candidates’ messages: on social media, with friends and family, in person.

This is also a time to reflect on the past two years and to avoid repeating the mistakes that got Trump elected in the first place. Your preferred candidate might have lost. But remember: Our target is autocracy, not each other.

Events

  • Wednesday, May 30, 9 AM-1 PM, Sen. Cornyn’s Office (221 W 6th St, 78701) – “A group of moms, parents and decent people” demand #EndFamilySeparation (Facebook event)
  • Thursday, May 31, 7-8:30 PM, 1321 Solitaire, Round Rock, 78665 – Grassroots Leadership hosts Shut Down Hutto Canvassing & Outreach Training for practicing how to talk to people about your vision for the community (Facebook event)
  • Friday, June 1, 4:30-7:30 PM, Republic Square Park > Brazos Hall – A coalition of grassroots organizations joins a national day of action in response to the weaponization of the immigration system (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, June 2, 11 AM-1 PM, A.B.Cantu/Pan Am Park and Recreation Center – Moms Demand hosts a #WearOrange awareness-raising picnic event (Everytown RSVP; Facebook event)

Congress Critter of the Week

Rep. Lamar SmithWhat is the line between willful ignorance and absolute rampant ignorance? Rep. Lamar Smith of TX 21 led the Republicans of House Science, Space, and Technology Committee in an extensive exploration of that question during a recent committee meeting.

The meeting was intended to explore the use of technology to mitigate the effects of climate change, but Republicans on the committee seemed to want to use as much of the time as possible on questions about climate science that a 4th grader could answer (we checked). The questions ran from the usual, like denying the the earth is warming or that it’s man-made; to the audacious, like proposing that a global temperature rise of 3 degrees might be a good thing; to the ridiculous, like global sea rise is caused by rocks falling off the cliffs of Dover, into the water… Yes, a congressman said that out loud.

(Some really rough math indicates that submerging Mt. Everest in the ocean would raise global sea level by about 1 cm.)

While the likelihood of rampant ignorance is still strong for Smith and the other Republicans, we can’t help but think that the fact that the oil and gas industry is Rep. Smith’s top source of donations might have something to do with it too.

Moment of Zen

Let Dr. Eyal Simchi’s magic light up your week:

And Now a Word from our Treasurer…

Indivisible Austin tee shirtResisting the rise of authoritarianism is sweaty business, especially in the Texas summer. So you need lots of extra t-shirts, like our fantastic, original Indivisible Austin Tee!

Make a gift today and get a fabulous Indivisible Austin T-Shirt, our #BeATexasVoter stickers, or both.

Look cool, stay dry, defend democracy.

 

Week of May 21, 2018

Oh, Donald.

  • The Senate voted to overturn the FCC’s attempt to repeal net neutrality rules
  • Women won the living crap out of primary elections
  • Nobody in the private sector wants to hire anyone who worked for Donald

Read more ways your voices are making a difference >>

Take Action

Vote on Tuesday, May 22

Be A Texas Voter

Polls are open on Tuesday to vote in the primary election runoffs. If you didn’t vote during the early-voting period last week, this is your last chance. Here are three questions to ask yourself as you go to the polls.

  1. Which candidate will fight hardest for common-sense gun control? Last week, a gunman killed eight students and two teacher in Santa Fe, TX. We don’t need thoughts, prayers, or empty bromides from our politicians. We need legislation and we need it now. Vote for candidates who will fight the hardest to protect Americans from gun violence.
  2. Which candidate will stand up for immigrants? The Department of Homeland Security is planning to separate families and to warehouse children on military bases–possibly in Texas. This is not just cruel but unconstitutional and must not be tolerated.
  3. Which candidate will do the most to protect our care? Despite our successes at saving the Affordable Care Act, Trump’s GOP is still determined to dismantle health care as we know it. Most recently, the White House requested a $7 billion cut to CHIP. This fight is far from over.

Consider Tuesday’s vote a dress rehearsal for November. In the wake of yet another mass shooting, this headline from the Statesman says it all: In shooting wake, Texas Republicans pray, Democrats demand gun control.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett sums it up perfectly:

“There will never be enough horrifying shootings to force this NRA-controlled Congress to enact reasonable gun safety measures. The only way to ensure greater protection for our children is to replace this Congress with those committed to act. Enough moments of silence, we need moments of action to prevent other families from suffering the pain being suffered in Santa Fe.”

The stakes for voting have never been higher. We have the chance to change the face of power in Texas *right now* by heading to the polls and voting in the runoffs. Every election counts. Lives are on the line, and your vote can make a difference.

There are runoffs in the governor’s race, in TX10, TX21, TX25, and TX31, and in other down-ballot races.

Build your Texas primary runoff ballot >>

Find your polling place:

Get more primary election runoff resources >>

Events

  • Tuesday, May 22, 7-8 PM, 1-877-229-8493 & Code: 111954 V – Rep. Bill Flores hosts a Multimedia Town Hall for northern counties in TX-17 (Video will be broadcast on Facebook & Flores.house.gov/liveforum)
  • Thursday, May 24, 11 AM-12:30 PM, NeWorlDeli – Indivisible Women’s Lunchtime Coffee Meetup is still coming to you monthly on 4th Thursdays! (Facebook event)
  • Sunday, May 27, 5:30-7:30 PM, Journey of Faith United Methodist Church, 7301 CR110, Round Rock –  Shut Down Hutto Bi-Weekly Meeting (Facebook event)

Congress Critter of the Week: Dan Patrick

“Had there been one single entrance possibly for every student, maybe he would have been stopped.”

That’s our Lieutenant Governor, arguably the most powerful lawmaker in Texas, blaming doors for mass murder in Santa Fe, TX.

Later Patrick told ABC news that teachers are part of the “well-run militia” mentioned in the Second Amendment, a convenient malapropism from the man who wants to regulate bathrooms but not guns. Some of Dan Patrick’s positions are just inane, but some of of them are truly on the fringe and far outside the mainstream of the vast majority of Texans. (Read the full transcript, where he also blames abortions and video games for the mass murder in Santa Fe.)

Dan Patrick's mug on ABC News

We are fed up with Dan Patrick and every other NRA-backed politician refusing to face facts about the need for gun control in America.

There are candidates who are on the record as ready to fight for stronger gun laws. And there are candidates who are in bed with the NRA. The latter are not going to save our children and communities.

Mike Collier, who is running to replace Dan Patrick, is calling for urgent action to implement “a comprehensive strategy to assure school and public safety, including sensible gun laws” before the start of the 2018 school year. While it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a special session before November, together we must spend the next 6 months building a case for the legislature to pass stricter gun laws supported by the majority of Texas voters as soon as it’s back in session in January 2019. We are pleased to see Collier and other candidates making these strong calls for change with clear legislative priorities. This is what leadership looks like. We endorse Collier and will support other candidates who seek actual solutions to end gun violence.

Related: Texas Governor Who Recently Blamed Gun Violence on Godlessness Now Says He’ll Do Something (Mother Jones) >>

Moment of Zen

We understand: election season can be ruff. That’s why we endorse this hashtag for surviving even the most far-fetched primary contests: across the pond, voters’ best friends join in the fun with #DogsAtPollingStations. Pictured below: not a dog! But Pumpkin the guinea pig makes a good voting buddy, too.
Guinea pig snuggling with human companion at the polls

And Now a Word from our Treasurer…

Indivisible Austin tee shirtResisting the rise of authoritarianism is sweaty business, especially in the Texas summer. So you need lots of extra t-shirts, like our fantastic, original Indivisible Austin Tee!

Make a gift today and get a fabulous Indivisible Austin T-Shirt, our #BeATexasVoter stickers, or both.

Look cool, stay dry, defend democracy.

 

Week of May 14, 2018

Oh, Donald

  • Women won 16 of the 19 Democratic House primaries last Tuesday
  • Ben Carson is being sued
  • White House staff are pressuring Donald to fire Scott Pruitt

Read more in the latest “How Your Voices Are Making a Difference” >>

Take Action

Vote early, May 14-18!

Early voting in the primary runoff elections begin Monday. There are runoffs in the governor’s race, in TX10, TX21, TX25, and TX31, and in other down-ballot races.

Build your Texas primary runoff ballot >>

Find your polling place:

Get more primary election runoff resources >>

Call your representative to stop cuts to SNAP

About 3.8 million Texans — kids, the elderly, people with disabilities, veterans and workers who don’t earn enough to feed their families — turn to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly “food stamps”) to help buy food every month. It is the nation’s most effective anti-hunger program, and 80% of SNAP participants in Texas are in families with children. Republicans are trying to sneak huge cuts to food assistance into the Farm Bill and use the “savings” to enforce compliance with the harsh new work requirements, and to fund unproven, unscalable job training programs that are unlikely to help people find work—and certainly won’t do anything to replace their lost food assistance.

Learn more about SNAP cuts and get a call script >>

Ted Cruz thinks you don’t care about Trump’s corruption. Tell him otherwise.

Ted Cruz thinks Texans don’t care about Trump’s countless scandals.

The Stormy Daniels scandal appears to be just the tip of the corruption iceberg. Tell Ted Cruz that you do care. Ask Ted Cruz how he can continue to support such an obviously corrupt narcissist like Donald Trump, whose history of immoral and shady behavior goes back decades. Ask “Lyin’ Ted” how he sleeps at night.

Watch Cruz tell the state-run-media puppets on “Fox & Friends” that no one in Texas cares about corruption. (And maybe Ted should talk to real people, not his donors at the Redneck Country Club.)

Events

  • Monday, May 14, 1-3 PM, Texas State Capitol – Texas Poor People’s Campaign holds the first of six weeks of Nonviolent Moral Fusion Direct Actions (Facebook event)
  • Monday, May 14, 6:30-8:30 PM, Austin Public Library Cepeda Branch – #DecarcerateATX May meeting discusses input for community forums about making permanent our interim Police Chief Brian Manley (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, May 19, 10 AM-12 PM, Location TBD – TX21 Indivisibles of the Austin area hold a planning meeting; come meet, greet, and get down to work (Facebook event)

Get to Know: Austin Justice Coalition

Austin Justice Coalition (ACJ) is an organization that focuses on improving the quality of life for Black and Brown people and people who are poor. We believe change will only come if people of color and all others the pushed into the margins of society lead their own liberation. We partner with allies willing to work for and follow people of color and the impoverished. AJC has successfully lobbied for improved criminal justice policy at the Texas state legislature and led local policy reform, including significantly updating APD’s use of force policy.

Beyond local criminal justice advocacy, AJC recently joined the Project Orange initiative to register and allow incarcerated individuals, who have every legal right to vote, to exercise this right that has been essentially denied in practice. Project Orange is the brainchild of Houston Justice Coalition’s co-founder and Executive Director Durrel Douglas, whose first job out of high school was as a prison guard at a Texas prison. “When we sat down to plan Project Orange, our goal was to reach out to eligible voters who are often ignored,” said Douglas. “When people have paid their debt to society, they should be able to rebuild their lives. Point blank…we want as many eligible voters to register, and vote.” As part of the Project Orange initiative, volunteers will be escorted through the jail with voter registration cards that qualified inmates will be able to fill out. We hope supporters and volunteers of Austin Justice Coalition will join us in our efforts to make sure that eligible voters currently sitting in jail are able to have their voices heard.

We can use as many plenty more volunteers for this. Register to become a deputy voter registrar in Travis County—the county provides trainings on every 1st Tuesday and Saturday of the month. Then check AJC’s Facebook page for more information on completing an orientation before registering incarcerated individuals or come to our monthly meeting, the first Tuesday evening of each month. For questions please contact info@austinjustice.org or message us on Facebook for further questions.

Congress Critter of the Week

Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25)Rep. Roger Williams proudly cast a vote this week to make it possible to charge people of color more for car loans. Truth be told, every Republican member of the Texas delegation to the House voted for it, but this speaks to Roger’s special skill in using his office to enrich himself. Roger doesn’t simply forget to recuse himself in matters that directly affect his business; owning a car dealership, he leads the charge, to the point where even the Congressional Ethics Committee (AKA The fox guarding the hen house committee) investigated him.

This time, House Republicans scrapped a rule that specifically prohibited charging more for auto loans based on race. Decades of research showed over and over again that auto dealerships regularly charge people of color more for loans, even when their credit scores are as good as or better than white car buyers. Soon enough, African American, Latinx, Asian, and Native American car buyers will enjoy the freedom of once again being charged more for their car loans at dealerships all across the country, including those in Weatherford (which isn’t even in Williams’s TX-25).

Here’s a quick but powerful video of what “Auntie Maxine,” Rep. Maxine Waters had to say about this on the floor:

Your Moment of Zen

Seize your look, like this parrot giving itself a bargain makeover:

Bird Getting Makeover

And Now a Word from our Treasurer…

Indivisible Austin tee shirtIndivisible Austin…

The Resistance you need

The Fashion you crave.

Make a gift today and get a fabulous Indivisible Austin T-Shirt, our #BeATexasVoter stickers, or both.

You’re worth it… and so is our democracy.

Week of May 7, 2018

Oh, Donald.

  • Donald’s allies in the House have escalated attacks on Donald’s own DoJ
  • Donald is losing yet another member of his legal team
  • Eighteen states are suing Donald’s administration

Read more in “How Your Voices Are Making a Difference” >>

Take Action

Get to Know the Primary Election Runoff Candidates

The primary election runoff is almost here, and there are a slew of candidate forums and debates to help make you an informed voter.

We’ve got a rundown here >>

Tell Cornyn and Cruz NO on Andrew Oldham

No to Andrew Oldham

Courtesy of Indivisible East Bay

Trump’s judicial appointments will last much longer than any legislation he signs or his hold on the presidency. And at 39 years old, Andrew Oldham — who is Greg Abbott’s lawyer and Trump’s pick for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals — could be with us for a very, very long time.

An NRA member, Andrew Oldham was the architect of Texas’s strategy to block the expansion of DACA to additional Dreamers and parents of U.S citizens or green card holders. He defended Texas’s extreme anti-abortion law, HB2, which the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately declared unconstitutional in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. He was buddies with Scott Pruitt before Scott Pruitt was a household name.

Get scripts and more from Indivisible East Bay >>

Additional data on Andrew Oldham from Alliance for Justice >>

Tell Cornyn, Cruz, and your House rep to pressure Trump to remain in the Iran deal

The Trump administration has until May 12th to decide whether to pull out of the Iran deal. Over the weekend it emerged that Trump hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to dig up dirt on Obama-era negotiators of the Iran deal. The idea was to discredit these diplomats to undermine the deal in the public sphere.

Iran’s President Rouhani has said that there will be no renegotiation, and that if the US pulls out of the deal, Iran can begin producing highly enriched uranium within days.

Tell Cornyn, Cruz, and your House representative that US diplomacy must not be undermined by Trump’s erratic tweets and Nixonian dirty tricks.

Get additional talking points and a script from Celeste Pewter >>

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, May 8, 5:30 p.m. at Hotel Ella: Join Texas Tribune for Summer Salon: A New Wave of Activism for a conversation with young activists working on a range of issues. The panel features Indivisible Austin’s board member Shane Johnson. Eventbrite RSVP

Wednesday, May 9, 7 p.m. at Townlake YMCA: Join Literary Women in Action for a letter to the editor and op-ed writing workshop. Learn how to craft letters on gerrymandering and commonsense gun laws. Students are welcome and encouraged to attend! More info

Congress Critter Corner

Rep. Michael McCaulRep. Mike McCaul – Like most members of Congress from Texas, Rep. Mike McCaul doesn’t have much interest in actually representing his constituents. Why should he? They don’t get him elected, the PACs and “large individual” donors who make up more that 98% of his fundraising do.

But what’s special about Rep. McCaul is that he doesn’t even want to be in Congress. Deep down he wants to be the Secretary of Homeland Security. In fact, he was embarrassed to be passed over for the job at the beginning of the Trump administration and again when John Kelly left the department to become Chief of Staff for Trump. That hasn’t kept McCaul from continuing to polish his credentials for the spot though. He recently introduced a bill to make it even harder for asylum seekers, fleeing for their lives and the lives of their children from violence in their home countries. Plus, homeland security vendors, like Astrophysics, Inc. continue to be among those top, large dollar donors that he relies on to keep his job in Congress.

With the revolving door of the Trump administration, maybe he’ll still get his shot. TX-10 might be better off, but the country as a whole would probably be worse for it.

Action Spotlight: Repeal and Replace Ted Cruz

When Ted Cruz came to New Braunfels in support of TX-21 candidate Chip Roy, Indivisible groups from TX-21 and Rosedale Huddle were there to meet him. The results were spectacular.

Repeal and Replace Ted Cruz

Read more about the originator of these signs in our Q&A with Rosedale Huddle’s Karen Collins >>

Get to Know: CAIR

CAIR AustinCAIR-Austin is a chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a nonprofit, grassroots civil rights and advocacy organization.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization with affiliate offices nationwide. CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Your Moment of Zen

You, too, can get lost in the adorable eyes of this white floof in a backpack. Beware: you might be later for work than planned.

White floofy dog in a backpack
…And Now a Word from Our Treasurer

Indivisible Austin tee shirtIf Trump and the Republicans have their way, everyone outside of the 1% is going to lose their shirt. So, why not pick up an extra one while we all fight to stop them?

Make a gift to Indivisible Austin’s fight for our democratic ideals today. While you’re there pick between our original Indivisible Austin t-shirts and stickers as our thank you to you.

 

Week of April 30, 2018

Read how your voices are making a difference >>

Take Action

Tell Greg Abbott, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz that the NRA is not welcome in Texas

Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Greg Abbott

The annual NRA convention is in Dallas this weekend. Governor Greg Abbott and Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are speaking. It’s time to call BS on our elected representatives, for not representing our interests. The NRA represents gun manufacturers, not gun owners, not citizens, and definitely not Texas. We stand with the majority of Americans, including gun owners, in demanding commonsense gun legislation.

Why are our two senators and our governor to beholden to the NRA that they would speak at their convention—despite (or perhaps because of?) the massive nationwide backlash against what is essentially a domestic terrorist organization. Their presence at the convention is insulting to victims of gun violence and to all Texans. Remind Cruz and Abbott that this is an election year for them, and for Cornyn in 2020, and that you’re paying attention to their sleazy alliance with gun lobbyists.

And if you’re in the Dallas area, protests begin at noon at City Hall Plaza on May 5th. And Indivisible Women Tarrant County is holding a die-in the night before.

Get the sample script and more on our blog >>

Ask John Cornyn and Ted Cruz why they put party before country

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance a bill to prevent Robert Mueller from being fired. Republicans Chuck Grassley, Lindsay Graham, Jeff Flake, and Thom Tillis joined with Senate Democrats in a 14-7 vote.

This vote was important. While Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he has no intention of allowing a full vote on this bill, the bipartisan vote in the Judiciary sends a message that the Senate puts country over party when it comes to Russian election interference.

Who were among the seven No votes? John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Call and tell them that when our nation is attacked by a foreign adversary, you expect better of your representatives.

Tell Cornyn and Cruz to #BlockHaspel

Read more at haspel.indivisible.org >>

Events

  • Saturday, May 5th, 1:30 p.m. at T. Don Hutto Detention Center: A “People’s Tribunal,” where immigrant rights activists, community leaders and people who have been directly affected by the immigrant detention system will gather in front of the T. Don Hutto detention center to hold ICE accountable for its culture of secrecy and systemic abuse. Hosted by Grassroots Leadership. (Facebook)
  • Sunday, May 6th, 1 p.m. at Laura’s Library: Meet the runoff candidates in TX-25 and HD47. This nonpartisan event will give you an opportunity to speak with each candidate in a small group and ask them the questions that matter to you. Hosted by Indivisible Eanes/West Austin. (Eventbrite | Facebook)

Congress Critter Corner: Rep. Roger Williams

Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25)Rep. Roger Williams loves selling cars, and for some car dealers, part of selling cars is having plenty of unregulated credit floating around. Maybe that’s why he’s so chummy with payday lenders… that plus the fact that payday lenders are some of Roger’s biggest donors. They’ve already given him more than $40,000 just in 2018!

They can afford it, since they often charge their borrowers, who are almost universally financially insecure, 300%, 400%… 800% interest or more. The payday lenders keep bad car loans afloat, while crushing their borrowers with revolving debt; so Roger can sell more cars. The lenders keep Roger in power with campaign contributions, and Roger keeps regulators off of the payday lenders’ backs while giving no support to more consumer friendly alternatives.

Everybody is happy and making money! Except for their borrowers, and us, Roger. We’re not happy, not even a little bit.

Your Moment of Zen

We know nothing about this candidate, but might have to endorse him based on the doggy voiceover alone.

Get to Know: ECHO

The challenge of caring for our homeless neighbors and empowering them to live as full members of the community now has a comprehensive and widely accepted plan to address it. Thursday, Austin City Council endorsed a plan from ECHO, the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition, to provide comprehensive solutions, ending homelessness in Austin. Through a combination of robust case management and the greater resources in shelter, transitional, and permanent supportive housing, ECHO’s plan will address the many faces of homelessness in Austin. The city council’s endorsement is an important step. The plan will require a doubling of funding for homeless services to $30 million in funding, which ECHO intends to seek from a combination of governmental foundation and private sources.

…And Now a Note from Our Treasurer

Indivisible Austin tee shirtIf Trump and the Republicans have their way, everyone outside of the 1% is going to lose their shirt. So, why not pick up an extra one while we all fight to stop them?

Make a gift to Indivisible Austin’s fight for our democratic ideals today. While you’re there pick between our original Indivisible Austin t-shirts and stickers as our thank you to you.

Week of April 23, 2018

Love marketing? And/or mingling? Come to our first-ever “Marketing Volunteers Sign-up & Happy Hour

Remember to read how your voices are making a difference. We publish these success stories every week!

Take Action

Monday 4/23 is the last day to register to vote in the primary runoff

Visit our Primary Election Resources page >>

Also on Monday: Tell Cruz and Cornyn to Vote NO on Kyle Duncan

Vote NO on Kyle DuncanCourtesy 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.

Get scripts and additional resources on Kyle Duncan from Indivisible East Bay >>

Read “Kyle Duncan Is Unfit to Be a Judge” (New York Times) >>

Protect the Mueller Investigation

Summary of the latest developments from Celeste Pewter:

  1. Bipartisan group of Senators proposed a bill to protect Mueller.
  2. It’s on the Senate judiciary agenda for Thursday.
  3. McConnell refusing to bring it up for a vote.
  4. 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.

Here are the facts (via the Center for American Progress and Feeding America) to tell your representative about SNAP and why cuts to a program that HELPS people work hurts much more than it helps:

  • 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/.

Upcoming Events

  • 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…

Scott Pruitt and Lamar Smith fist-bumping (fake)… 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

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.

Learn more about WDP and how you can get involved>>

Action Spotlight

Texas Capitol Walkout

Photo: Indivisible Austin on Twitter, @indivisibleATX

Dear lawmakers:
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.

Texas Capitol Walkout, part 2

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!

Week of April 16, 2018

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.

Sign up here to volunteer

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.

Sign up here to volunteer

Take Action

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.

Upcoming Events

  • 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 CollinsKaren 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.

Read our Q&A with Karen Collins >>

Congress Critter: Rep. John Carter

“A lot of the attractive children are not making it to the border.”

Rep. John CarterThat’s what Rep. John Carter said to Rep. John Culberson at a hearing about US immigration and border agencies. You can watch the video here.

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!

Hopscotch

…And Now a Word from Our Treasurer

Indivisible Austin tee shirtGIVE to Indivisible Austin!
GET sweet resistance swag!

We’ve got vintage Indivisible Austin tees (they’re vintage in Trump time), plus our new #BeATexasVoter stickers. Just click to make a gift.

SPECIAL BONUS: You also get a citizen-led resistance movement defending our democracy from the Trump administration!!!

 

 

Week of April 9, 2018

Take Action

Stop Trump’s War Cabinet

Mike Pompeo’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of State will likely happen on April 12. Call Sens. Cruz and Cornyn this week and tell them that they must say no to Pompeo!

Thank Rep. Doggett for Opposing Trump’s Border Militarization

Rep. Lloyd Doggett
Rep. Lloyd Doggett

Last week, Trump filed a “Title 32” request to send the National Guard to the Mexican border. This means that state governors can approve or deny the request. Gov. Abbott did not hesitate to say yes, and on Friday, 250 Texas National Guard troops headed south from Austin.

Troops have been sent to the border before, including under Presidents Obama and George W. Bush. Bear in mind, however, that Trump in the past has fantasized about sending 100,000 troops to the Mexican border–and that past militarization of the border has backfired. In 1997, Esequiel Hernandez Jr. became the first American civilian to be killed by active-duty military troops since the Kent State massacre.

While most of our reps are falling all over themselves to praise Trump’s diktat, at least one, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, strongly opposed it. Give his office a call at 512-916-5921 and let him know you appreciate his spine.

Meanwhile, in Fox News land

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, Apr. 11, 3-5 PM, 1100 S. I-35 – ADAPT of Texas hosts their monthly Big Meeting on the second Wednesday of the month (Facebook event)
  • Thursday, Apr. 12, 6:30-8:30 PM, Congregation Beth Israel – Moms Demand Action-TX holds an Austin Member Meeting for engaging with current work (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, Apr. 14, 2-4 PM, Location TBD – Spread The Vote launches their Austin chapter with training on how to help people get the IDs they need to vote (Facebook event)

Congress Critter Corner: Blake Farenthold

Blake Farenthold in Ducky PajamasRep. Blake Farenthold (TX-27) resigned abruptly last week, after previously stating that he would finish this term in Congress. As of this writing he still had not paid back the $84,000 of taxpayer money used to settle a gender-discrimination lawsuit filed by a former aide. With Farenthold’s resignation, the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into additional misconduct will cease.

Texas’s 27th Congressional District includes parts of Bastrop County. According to the Statesman, it will be up to Gov. Abbott to decide whether to call a Special Election prior to November. There is already a May 22 runoff election to succeed Farenthold, in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.

Action Spotlight: Town Hall for Our Lives

Rep. Lloyd Doggett Town Hall for Our Lives
Photo: Sara Clough

Rep Lloyd Doggett and Rep Eddie Rodriguez, pictured above, speak with students about gun violence and gun violence prevention in Texas. All area Members of Congress and congressional candidates were invited to participate in this student-led town hall.

Twenty-four students from a range of Austin-area middle schools, high schools, and universities held a wide-ranging discussion on the realities and fears of going to school in an era when mass shootings are a scary fact of life.

No shows: Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Michael McCaul all received personal invitations from local students. Indivisible Austin also invited Reps. Flores, Smith, Williams, and Carter, none of whom responded.

Co-hosted by March for Our Lives Austin, Indivisible Austin, Voto Latino, Moms Demand Action, Texas Gun Sense, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas, National Association of Social Workers Texas chapter, Texas Capitol Walkout for Gun Safety, Literary Women in Action, ADAPT of Texas, Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas, Counter Balance: ATX, and Austin Justice Coalition.

Activist Spotlight: Susan “George” Schorn

Susan "George" Schorn

Susan “George” Schorn is active with TX21 Indivisible and Indivisible Austin. She leads workshops on protest safety and verbal self-defense, and is honing her skills as a prankster in the LOLt-right Marching Band aka “Clowns for Truth.”

“Violence is ultimately how we enforce injustice,” says Schorn. “So that’s the evil I’ve always chosen to fight. And it’s going on everywhere I look right now.”

Read more in our Q&A with George Schorn >>

Your Moment of Zen

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Today, his legacy motivates many, including these 20 young people from around our country. In the words of Santos Amaya Guevara: “[W]hen we are quiet about the things that matter, darkness gets stronger, injustice rules, and people suffer. This is why I believe that there is power in fighting for what we believe in, especially us, the youth.”

Santos Amaya Guevara
Santos Amaya Guevara. Photo: Juan Pacheco

…And Now a Word from Our Treasurer

Indivisible Austin tee shirtGIVE to Indivisible Austin!
GET sweet resistance swag!

We’ve got vintage Indivisible Austin tees (they’re vintage in Trump time), plus our new #BeATexasVoter stickers. Just click to make a gift.

SPECIAL BONUS: You also get a citizen-led resistance movement defending our democracy from the Trump administration!!!

 

Week of April 2, 2018

Take Action

Town Hall for Our Lives

Last week Parkland student David Hogg called for town halls on gun safety in every Congressional district next weekend. We are fortunate to have at least one member of Congress in the Austin area (so far) who has answered the call—Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX-35). Many groups, including student-led groups, have come together to co-host this community-organized town hall. Please save the date for the afternoon of April 8, and we’ll share details on our website, via email, and on Facebook as soon as the location is confirmed.

Ted Cruz is in Austin: Show Up and Get Loud

Senator Cruz is campaigning at the Mailroom in Austin, minutes away from where he can land his private jet. We’re joining Indivisible Rosedale Huddle to make some noise and try to get a rare glimpse of our jetsetting junior lawmaker. The fun times begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3. More info is on our website and on Facebook.

Call To Action: NO on Matthew Kacsmaryk

Matthew Kacsmaryk is an extremist judicial nominee even by Trump’s standards. Kacsmaryk is among a group of “zombie nominees” that Trump keeps sending back to the Senate even after their initial nominations expire. His nomination has been sitting on the Senate floor waiting for a final vote. It can happen at any time. Learn more about Kacsmaryk’s extreme views against LGBTQ rights here, and make calls to Sens. Cornyn and Cruz to oppose his nomination.

Upcoming Events

Org Spotlight: Austin Sanctuary Network

Austin Sanctuary NetworkThe Austin Sanctuary Network (ASN) is a coalition of faith communities, immigrants and other community members of civil society and organizations in and around Austin, Texas, that support immigrants fleeing violence or in danger of deportation, particularly undocumented immigrants who are being held unjustly and denied asylum status. ASN demands an immediate stop to raids and for-profit detention, an end to all deportations and updated immigration laws that are just, fair and humane. ASN seeks to create a community to provide physical sanctuary for immigrants who have exhausted their legal options and face deportation and offer companionship by giving rides to immigrant friends reporting to immigration court hearings, ankle monitor check-ins and other places in an effort to gain more pathways to safety for our neighbors. Indivisible Austin is a member of the Austin Sanctuary Network, and a sponsor of the ASN Benefit on April 20 (tickets still available!).

Congress Critter Corner

Ted CruzThis week, Ted Cruz is making 12 campaign stops over three days in cities all across Texas, from Tyler to Midland. How is that possible? It’s easy when you have a private jet and schedule your campaign events near out-of-the-way executive airfields.

And on Tuesday night, when your pets start acting weird, or you feel a sudden chill, or smell a hint of ozone in the air–that means Ted Cruz has landed in Austin. Do we have a plan to show up and get loud? Of course we do.

 

Honorable Mention: Rep. Roger Williams

Last week, Rep. Roger Williams spoke  in Austin at a private, Koch Brothers event and had the audacity to call it a public Town Hall. When ticketholdng TX-25 constituents from East Austin appeared, they were turned away.

Your Moment of Zen

Charlie the hippopotamus was rescued by a rhinoceros orphanage, becoming inseparable friends with Makhosi and thinking he was also a rhino. See their friendship and how Charlie learns to be a hippo!

Baby rhino and hippo
Photo credit: Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage

…And Now a Word from Our Treasurer

Indivisible Austin tee shirtGIVE to Indivisible Austin!
GET sweet resistance swag!

We’ve got vintage Indivisible Austin tees (they’re vintage in Trump time), plus our new #BeATexasVoter stickers. Just click to make a gift.

SPECIAL BONUS: You also get a citizen-led resistance movement defending our democracy from the Trump administration!!!

 

Week of March 26, 2018

Take Action

Help sort and deliver postcards collected at March for Our Lives

March for Our Lives postcardsWe succeeded in collecting 1,000+ postcards at the Austin march, calling on lawmakers to pass three commonsense gun laws! Now we need help looking up addresses, sorting the cards into Congressional districts, delivering the cards, and organizing visits to local offices during the recess (this week and next). If you can help with ANY of these needs, please email us at volunteers@indivisibleaustin.com.

Sign up to vote in Indivisible’s national endorsement process by Tuesday

The national Indivisible team has launched a process to endorse candidates and YOU can vote in it! Beto O’Rourke has cleared the national group’s initial hurdles to gain an endorsement (including nomination by local groups). To be able to vote on his (or any) endorsement when the time comes, you need to register to vote HERE by 11:59 PM Tuesday, March 27.

Make calls to Senators on upcoming nominations of Pompeo and Haspel

From Indivisible national: MoCs might be on recess, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not already thinking about their return. Right after recess, we’ll see both the nominations of Gina Haspel (explainer here) and Mike Pompeo (explainer here) come to the senate and we can stop these nominations in their tracks if we start working early. You can make call now to tell Sens. Cornyn and Cruz to reject them.

Action Spotlight: March for Our Lives

A note on calling/visiting/writing to our current members of Congress:

Marchers approaching Texas CapitolAt the March for Our Lives we had the pleasure of chatting with hundreds of Texans who shared their hopes for stronger, commonsense gun laws. They also shared their frustrations with many of our current members of Congress and the feeling that our calls, visits, letters, and postcards are an exercise in futility. We can’t deny that it feels that way sometimes. But we also know that if we make the calls and visits or send the letters, then each time a representative or Senator says “I’m just voting my district” or “There’s no public will to change gun laws” or something similar we can accurately say they’re lying.

Our movement successfully wore Congress down on ACA repeal and massive cuts to Medicaid. They now know that health care is the number one thing voters care about, and they’re pretty afraid to mess with it again. Let’s keep following the lead of these brave students on the issue of commonsense gun laws. We have two things we can do: 1) show up and hold members accountable for taking dirty gun lobby money while letting our kids die, and 2) work to change the face of power and elect new representatives who aren’t in the pocket of the NRA.

Upcoming events

  • Thursday, Mar. 29, 6:30-9:30 PM, ACC Riverside – Deeds Not Words together with a number of other local organizations hosts the third of three panels, ‘Here to Stay, Here to Work: Economic Opportunity for Immigrant Women’ (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, Mar. 31, 10:30 AM-12 PM, PP S. Austin Health Center – Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas holds informational session, ‘Reproductive Justice & Intersectionality 101,’ providing an intro to the much-discussed theory (Facebook event; RSVP/ticket link)

Congress Critter Corner

Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25)Roger Williams: A “God-fearing father and grandfather” who is super into lying to women

Recently, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in NIFLA v. Becerra. In the case, far-right lawyers are arguing that fake women’s health centers (often called “crisis pregnancy centers”) should be able to hide their anti-choice mission to women.

These centers, which pose as comprehensive reproductive health care organizations, oppose birth control and abortion care and are a powerful part of the anti-choice movement. They are willing to lie to women about the status of their pregnancies, make wildly inaccurate medical claims, and will resort to straight-up harassment if they don’t feel like they’ve “converted” a client to their way of thinking. Disregarding the importance of a woman receiving high-quality care early in pregnancy, fake women’s health centers prioritize their political agenda over the health of women.

Roger, on the day of oral arguments, tweeted his support for these fake centers. (Because of course he did.)

Here in Texas, fake centers that receive tens of millions of dollars from the state outnumber comprehensive clinics 9 to 1. If the Supreme Court rules on the side of the centers, the consequences could be catastrophic for women across the country.

Read more about the case here and here.

Your moment of zen

Humans weren’t the only protesters at Saturday’s March for Our Lives: dogs came out, too. This movement has everything, even miniature horses!

Indivisible Austin tee shirtGIVE to Indivisible Austin!
GET sweet resistance swag!

We’ve got vintage Indivisible Austin tees (they’re vintage in Trump time), plus our new #BeATexasVoter stickers. Just click to make a gift.

SPECIAL BONUS: You also get a citizen-led resistance movement defending our democracy from the Trump administration!!!

Week of March 19, 2018

Take Action

March for Our Lives-Austin

March for Our LivesFollowing the lead of the Parkland students and our own local student organizers, on Saturday, March 24, we’ll join thousands of Texans marching on the Capitol to demand real change from our lawmakers to strengthen gun laws. The Austin march is expected to be one of the largest in the country. Indivisible Austin is a supporter of the local march, and we’ll be marching and hosting an action table at the Capitol. We’ll work to get at least 1,000 signed petition postcards addressed to members of Congress and state legislators. There are local marches in Round Rock and Pflugerville, too.

Sign up to volunteer at the Indivisible Austin table!

RSVP for the March (on Facebook)

RSVP for the March (not on Facebook)

Support the March

Attend the poster-making party! Wednesday, March 21, 4-7 pm at Zilker Clubhouse, 200 Zilker Clubhouse Rd., 78704

Protect the Mueller Investigation

As Mueller closes in on Trump and the Trump Organization, the president is becoming increasingly desperate. The national Indivisible team has a guide to protecting our Democracy that includes these red lines, which must not be crossed:

  • If Trump fires Mueller
  • If Trump fires Rosenstein
  • If Trump pardons key witnesses
  • Note: firing Sessions does not qualify as one–though it does trigger coalition-wide push to register folks for the mobilization events, to prepare folks for subsequent line-crossing.

If any these lines are crossed, we take to the streets. Protests are pre-planned via MoveOn’s “Nobody is Above the Law” website. In Austin, we’ll gather at the state capitol.

Domestic Terrorism in Austin: Be Vigilant and Supportive

Breaking: As we were prepping this newsletter, there were reports of an explosion in SW Austin. We sincerely hope this is not another attack, and that everyone is okay.

The Austin Police Department and the FBI continue to investigate the recent package bombings. Anthony Stephan House and Draylen Mason were killed and Esperanza Herrera and Shamika Wilson (Draylen’s mother) were seriously injured in three separate package bombings in the last two weeks. DO NOT pick up unexpected or suspicious packages, especially if they have no mailing label. Call 911, and do not go near or allow anyone to go near the package.

Law enforcement agencies have increased the reward for information leading to the arrest & conviction of person/s responsible to $115,000. Please contact Austin Police at (512) 472-TIPS (8477) with any details.

Donation links:

Calendar Highlights

  • Monday, Mar. 19th, 9 AM, William B. Travis Bldg, Rm 1-104, 1701 N. Congress Ave. – Texas Commission on Public School Finance holds first meeting open to public comment on (Facebook event)
  • Tuesday, Mar. 20, 6-7 PM, Cactus Cafe – KUT’s Views and Brews hosts Yascha Mounk and James K. Galbraith discussing ‘What is Freedom?’ (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, Mar. 24, 12-3 PM, Austin City Hall to Texas State Capitol – Austin’s March For Our Lives, organized by local students, kicks off at noon at City Hall (Facebook event)

Action spotlight

Crowd at Community Town HallAustin Justice Coalition and Black Lives Matter Austin on March 15th co-hosted the East Austin Bombings: How We Must Unite to Protect Our Community town hall to discuss the recent attacks, with investigation updates from APD and community dialogue. Videos of the meeting can be found in the event’s Facebook discussion.

Photo credit: DaLyah Jones

Counter Balance: ATX and Black Pflugerville on March 16th co-hosted the Push for Peace Experience, a “journey to heal, commune, and support each other.”

Org Spotlight: Grassroots Leadership

Laura MonterrosaLaura Monterrosa was released from detention Friday evening, thanks to a sustained months-long effort by Grassroots Leadership. Laura broke her silence about sexual assault while in detention, for which she faced retaliation. Since then, activists leveraged an array of disruptive tactics: rallies in front of the detention center, phone calls and petitions by the thousands, direct advocacy of elected officials, and daily visits. Claudia Muñoz, immigration programs director at Grassroots Leadership, said, “This is a huge victory for Laura, for all the women who have organized and spoken out, and for the community that came to their support.”

Your moment of Zen

Bask in baby elephant love from the Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Baby elephant snuggling a human

…and now a word from our Treasurer

You’ve signed up for the newsletter.

You’ve opened it and read this far.

You’re disgusted that Donald Trump is in the White House.

Take one more step with us in the fight to change that.

Click on the link to make your contribution today!

Let’s save our country together.

Week of March 12, 2018

Take Action

You voted in the primaries. Plan to vote again in the runoffs.

Be A Texas VoterYou got out and voted! And in two months, you can get out and vote again. Several statewide and Austin-area races will proceed to a runoff election between the top two candidates. This includes the race for Governor, US House races in TX-10, TX-21, and TX-31, and the race for Texas House district 46.

Important Dates

(NOTE: When you vote in the runoff you must vote in the same party election as you did in the primary. You cannot switch to vote in the other party’s election.)

Last day to register to vote: April 23

Early voting: May 11 – May 18

Election day: May 22

Texas Tribune’s guide to the runoff elections >>

Keep calling BS!

The GOP-led Congress desperately wants to move on from gun legislation. They want the headlines to stop and the conversation to end. They want to silence you. Don’t let that happen.

There are several piece of gun legislation currently stalled in Congress, including the “Fix NICS” bill (which John Cornyn supports, and which Democrats want to expand). At this point, there is no excuse for stalling. Lives are at stake. Doing nothing is not an option, and our reps need to keep hearing about it.

How to call BS on guns >>

Prepare to March for Our Lives on March 24 >>

Calendar Highlights

  • Monday, Mar. 12, 6-8 PM, 816 Congress Ave #1600 – Run For Something co-founder Amanda Litman shares how RFS can help you or someone you know run and win (Facebook event; tickets)
  • Thursday, Mar. 15, 4-10 PM, Auditorium Shores – Voto Latino hosts free Dream Out Loud concert to highlight the risk of inaction for Dreamers and their communities (Facebook event; tickets)
  • Friday, Mar. 16, 12-2 PM, State Capitol to Texas Education Agency – Texas students, teachers and parents rally with Houston Justice Coalition, Next Generation Action Network in Dallas and Austin Justice Coalition to protest the privatization of public schools disproportionately affecting black and brown neighborhoods. (Facebook event).
  • Next Week: Monday, Mar. 19th, 9 AM, William B. Travis Bldg, Rm 1-104, 1701 N. Congress Ave. – Texas Commission on Public School Finance holds first meeting open to public comment on (Facebook event)

Congress Critter Corner

A Long Goodbye for Climate Denialist Lamar Smith

Rep. Lamar SmithClimate denialist Lamar Smith has always been an odd choice for chairing the House Science Committee. Washington Post:

“Smith…has used his position to criticize National Science Foundation grants, question climate scientists and try to curb climate research.”

Organizers in Smith’s District TX-21 applied steady pressure over the past year to send Rep. Smith into retirement. Now, Democrats Mary Street Wilson and Joseph Kopser, who won first and second place in last week’s primary, head to a runoff election in May. Both candidates list their positions on climate on their websites.

Wilson: “We only have one planet. There are no ‘do overs’ if we destroy it.”

Kopser: “Climate change is real and scientists globally accept that emission of carbon dioxide through human consumption of fossil fuels is its principal contributing cause.”

On the Republican side, neither candidate lists environmental issues on their websites, although Matt McCall says “We need to scrap all subsidies to renewable energy and promote natural gas.”

Read: Mary Street Wilson Wants to Break the Mold in Texas >> (Dame Magazine)

Read: An engineer and a mathematician will face off in Texas’s next primary election >> (Washington Post)

Action spotlight

Repeal and Replace Ted Cruz

Photo credit: Indivisible Rosedale FB

The Indivisible Rosedale Huddle greeted SXSW attendees with a special REPEAL AND REPLACE banner drop! They were joined by members of Indivisible Cypress, Beto campaign volunteers, and supporters from across the country. On a related note: Katie Graham has made a short documentary (Liberty Hill) about activist Karen Collins.

Organization spotlight

Activists from United We Dream

United We Dream Austin is an affiliate of United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation—a powerful nonpartisan network made up of 55 affiliate organizations in 26 states. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant  youth and families, regardless of immigration status. They seek to address the inequities and obstacles faced by immigrant youth and believe that by empowering immigrant youth, they can advance the cause of the entire community—justice for all immigrants.

UWD Austin organized an action last week on March 5th, the arbitrary deadline Trump gave to Congress to pass a permanent solution for over a million undocumented youth, to draw attention to this crucial moment and highlight the dignity and strength of immigrants. Since September 5th, immigrant youth have taken action in DC and across the country to demand a clean Dream Act, yet congress has chosen inaction. We stand with UWD and will not stay quiet or back down; we demand permanent protection as immigrant youth continue to lose their DACA protection and continue to be dehumanized.

Your moment of Zen

Just like house cats, big cats like boxes. Big Cat Rescue provides extra large ones, so they fits:

…and now a word from our Treasurer

You’ve signed up for the newsletter.

You’ve opened it and read this far.

You’re disgusted that Donald Trump is in the White House.

Take one more step with us in the fight to change that.

Click on the link to make your contribution today!

Let’s save our country together.

Week of March 5, 2018

Take Action

Be A Texas VoterVote in the 2018 Primaries on Tuesday

If you didn’t vote early, make sure you vote this Tuesday, March 6th. View our voter resources page for more information about candidates and polling locations. And be sure to send us your “I Voted” selfies on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Keep Calling BS on Guns

While gun control remains in the national spotlight, not one piece of federal legislation has passed or even been debated. Not even Sen. John Cornyn’s “Fix NICS” background check bill, cosponsored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), has come up for debate.

Now the GOP-led Congress wants to move onto other topics, like infrastructure and banking. Don’t let this happen. Call Cornyn, Cruz, and your House representatives and tell them the time for common-sense gun control is NOW.

Resist the NRA’s #1 Priority: Concealed Carry Reciprocity >>

Calendar Highlights

Today is the DACA cliff. Fight back with United We Dream!

Monday, March 5th, is the arbitrary deadline that Trump gave Congress to pass a permanent solution to benefit the millions of undocumented youth and young adults who qualified for DACA. Without it, thousands of recipients will lose their protections every day–beyond the 122 per day already being exposed to deportation. Join United We Dream from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Woolridge Park, 900 Guadalupe St.

Read more from the National Immigration Law Center on the latest DACA ruling in the Supreme Court, and what happens next >>

Congress Critter Corner

Rep. John Carter continues to ignore the crisis in his backyard

Rep. John CarterMore than 45 Congressional Representatives have called for investigation into sexual abuse at T. Don Hutto Immigrant Detention Center in Taylor, TX. Who’s not on that list? Rep. John Carter, whose 31st Congressional District includes Taylor.

If you live in TX-31, call John Carter and demand that he join his colleagues in calling for an investigation into the treatment of sexual abuse allegations at Texas detention centers, and an expedited audit to assess compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center.

Read more from Grassroots Leadership about the effort for #FreeLaura >>

Action spotlight

Send Out the Clowns!

Two clowns in front of the Austin capitolParticipants in the second annual “March 4 Trump” in Austin were met with the scariest form of resistance imaginable: clowns.

Calling themselves the LOLt-Right Marching Band, these clowns showed up with costumes and kazoos to confuse and roast the Trump supporters. Fun fact: these clowns were trained in nonviolent, de-escalation tactics to help people channel their energy in safe and affirming ways in the face of hatred.

You can follow these clowns’ shenanigans on Twitter: @loltrightband. And support the Clown Resistance through their GoFundMe page.

See more pictures from the Clown Resistance >>

Organization spotlight

ADAPT of Texas

Over the past year, activists from ADAPT have been on the front lines in the fight to save the ACA and Medicaid. Activists from the ADAPT of Texas chapter are a frequent sight at protests around town, fighting for their civil rights–and yours.

ADAPT’s mission is to “adapt” fights to free our people from nursing homes and other institutions.  They work for more accessible communities: including transportation, housing, public accommodations and governmental buildings and programs.  They believe the lives of people with disabilities should be valued.

Support ADAPT of Texas >>

Your moment of zen

Goat out the Vote, courtesy of Sunflower Farm Creamery:

 

Week of February 26, 2018

Take Action

Fight Back on Concealed Carry Reciprocity

As we watched the #NRAboycott unfold over the weekend, and as we sat in our local Moms Demand Action meeting with over 300 people (and nearly 100 outside), Congress is considering a bill that is a top priority of the NRA.

Concealed carry reciprocity would require states to recognize the gun laws of other states, even when they are less protective than that state’s existing laws. Texas has pretty reasonable concealed carry restrictions, but gun owners from states with minimal restrictions like Florida’s would be able to legally carry their weapons anywhere, whether or not they travel to a state that would normally have prohibited them from carrying a gun. This bill has already passed the House, and the Senate is expected to bring it up this year. Read the Indivisible Guide resource on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and use the call scripts to contact Sens. Cornyn and Cruz before this bill comes up for a vote!

Early Voting Looks…AMAZING This Year

Just five days are left in early primary voting. People in Travis County are voting like their lives depend on it, beating turnout in the last two presidential elections with unheard-of numbers. Here’s what Bruce Elfant, Travis County’s Tax Assessor and voter registrar, has to say about it:

Facebook screen capture from Bruce Elfant

Make sure you add yourself to the total. Use our resource page to help you get ready to vote this week. Tag @indivisibleatx on Twitter with a pic of your I VOTED sticker and use the hashtag #BeATexasVoter. 

Also, read how your voices are making a difference with our weekly success stories!

Calendar Highlights

  • Wednesday, Feb. 28, 12-1 PM, Texas State Capitol – Jolt hosts a pan dulce butterfly art installation to protest the end of DACA (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, Mar. 3, 9AM-5PM, Huston-Tillotson University Counter Balance: ATX holds second annual Womayn of the African Diaspora Summit (Event page; purchase tickets)
  • Saturday, Mar. 3, 10:30-11:30 AM, Travis County Tax Office – Saturday monthly VDR training is available again (Facebook event; additional dates/times)

Congress Critter Corner

Rep. Roger WilliamsThis week we’re calling out the alleged “deficit hawks” in Congress. Among the most hawkish is Rep. Roger Williams in TX-25, who has said that adding to the national debt is “morally wrong.”

Last September, Rep. Williams complained that the $15 billion Hurricane Harvey aid package was tied to a suspension of the debt ceiling. (He grudgingly voted yes.)

In October, he voted against the $36.5 billion aid package for Hurricane Maria survivors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

But, in December, Rep. Roger Williams enthusiastically embraced adding almost $1.5 trillion to the national debt for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

It’s one thing to be a principled conservative who opposes adding to the national debt. But when you cherry-pick the issues about you have principles, you lose all credibility.

Activist Spotlight

With the news that there 100,000 MORE REGISTERED VOTERS (!!!!) in Travis County this year than in 2016, let’s give a huge round of applause to our local volunteer deputy registrars! If you want to join the cool crowd and get folks registered in time for the May runoffs (deadline to register is April 23), you can get trained on Saturday, March 3!

Indivisible Rosedale Huddle’s VDR Resources table at the TX10 Indivisible candidate forum in January 2018
Indivisible Rosedale Huddle’s VDR Resources table at the TX10 Indivisible candidate forum in January 2018

Action Spotlight

NowThisNews reported on Laura’s situation over the weekend:

Join Grassroots Leadership’s fight for Laura’s life in Hutto Detention Center.

Laura Monterrosa came from El Salvador seeking asylum. Since she’s been detained at the privately-run T. Don Hutto “Residential” Center, she’s been sexually assaulted, put in solitary confinement to pressure her to recant during the FBI investigation, and most recently, attempted suicide for a second time. Grassroots Leadership, fighting against prison profiteering, mass incarceration, deportation and criminalization since 1980, has been leading the fight for Laura. In the face of mounting public pressure, ICE has now banned all known Grassroots Leadership staff and even elected officials from visiting Laura. The Grassroots team needs OUR help to go in where they can’t any longer. Sign up for shifts to go visit Laura here, or email Bethany Carson if you’d like to lead a three-hour shift orienting new visitors. As long as Laura has visitors, she can’t be in solitary confinement.

Your Moment of Zen

Meet this rooster named Frog and his favorite girl, Savannah:

Win Tickets to Pod Save America

GOOD NEWS! You’re already entered for a chance to win tickets to Pod Save America.

BETTER NEWS! You can increase your chances to win by encouraging your friends to sign up for the Indivisible Austin email list. Send them to the link below and be sure to have them enter your information under “Who sent you?”

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/enter-to-win-pod-save-america-ticketsPod Tours America

 

Week of February 19, 2018

TAKE ACTION

Early voting in the 2018 Primary Election starts this week!

Be A Texas VoterEarly voting in the primary starts on Tuesday, February 20. There are early voting locations (and even mobile voting locations) in all five Austin-area counties. If you’re used to voting early in November elections, make sure you double check that your usual polling location is in business! We’ve put together a resource page to help you get ready to vote this week. Tag @indivisibleatx on Twitter with a pic of your I VOTED sticker and use the hashtag #BeATexasVoter!

READ MORE

Demand Congress kick the NRA to the curb and combat gun violence

The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (and our students right here at home) have issued an ultimatum to our lawmakers: do not let any more of us die at school as a result of your inaction and our country’s ineffective gun laws. We join the brave students in their call to action, and we’ve gathered the details on how our Austin-area representatives have responded to recent demands to enact commonsense, effective gun laws. Our gun laws won’t change until our leaders do. Tag @indivisibleatx on Twitter and use the hashtag #ThrowThemOut to let us know you’ve made the calls!

READ MORE

Calendar highlights this week

  • Monday to Friday, Feb. 19-23, 12-5 PM – Grassroots Leadership visits Laura Monterrosa at Hutto Detention Center (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, Feb. 24, 2-4 PM – Moms Demand Action holds Austin Chapter Monthly Meeting,
    Terrazas Branch, Austin Public Library, 1105 E. Cesar Chavez (Facebook event)

View more events

Congress Critter Corner

Rep. Bill Flores: Social Media Snowflake

Rep. Bill FloresRep. Bill Flores (TX-17) is notorious for blocking his constituents on Twitter and deleting their comments on Facebook. In response, a North Austin software engineer created the Flores Filter–a Facebook page (and also Twitter handle) that allows you to see what Bill Flores considers too incendiary for his page. Here are some recent examples of the types of over-the-top, shrill comments that Rep. Flores doesn’t want his constituents to see:

“So you advocate increasing funding of the military and then balancing the budget on those needing Medicare and Medicaid?”

“Why did you not participate in the debate at Texas A&M last Friday? It would have been good to hear your point of view on several notable issues.”

“Bonuses are not equal to wages.”

And that’s the kind of radical, hateful rhetoric that’s too hot for Bill Flores!

Organization Spotlight

JoltEvery other week we’ll be showcasing a local organization working to change the future of Texas. Considering the rise in anti-immigrant sentiment since Trump’s election and the failure of elected officials to adequately stand up for a clean DREAM Act, the stakes for the Texas Latinx folks are ever higher.

Jolt is a Texas-based multi-issue organization that builds the political power and influence of Latinos in our democracy. Jolt knows Latinos have the power to make change and that we can have a say in how Texas is run. There are 10.8 million Latinos in Texas and together we can decide who gets elected, influence what laws get passed and lead on the issues that are most important to our families and communities. Learn more about Jolt at jolttx.org.

Action spotlight

Beginning Wednesday, February 14, local advocacy group Grassroots Leadership organized an ongoing protest bringing attention to the mistreatment of Laura Monterrosa, an asylum-seeker from El Salvador detained by ICE since May, at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center. Monterrosa was held in solitary confinement in retaliation for refusing to recant her report of sexual assault by a Center guard. Community allies will continue daily action at the center until Laura is released.

Your moment of zen

Click through for a reminder, courtesy of these two puppers, to enjoy some relaxing time with those you love:

Bathtime bliss

Win Tickets to Pod Save America

GOOD NEWS! You’re already entered for a chance to win tickets to Pod Save America.

BETTER NEWS! You can increase your chances to win by encouraging your friends to sign up for the Indivisible Austin email list. Send them to the link below and be sure to have them enter your information under “Who sent you?”

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/enter-to-win-pod-save-america-ticketsPod Tours America

 

Week of February 12, 2018

Important Dates:

  • February 20 to March 2 – Early voting
  • March 6 – Election Day!

Who’s on the Texas primary ballots in 2018? >>

Read how your voices are making a difference!  >>

New! Enter to win Pod Save America Tickets! >>

Actions

Demand a clean DREAM Act—before it’s too late

Last week, Congress passed a bipartisan budget with no protection for Dreamers. DACA expires March 6, and Congress will be in recess for much of the time between now and then.

“Each day of delay means more ruthless deportations and a further erosion of our nation’s values. But we continue to fight because this is our home and our eyes are set on freedom.”

— Greisa Martinez Rosas, Advocacy Director for United We Dream who would qualify for the Dream Act (full statement)

Call John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and your House representative and ask:

Will you commit to me, your constituent, that you will stop covering for Trump’s racist policies by voting to protect Dreamers before DACA expires on March 5? (Breaking: A Cornyn-sponsored bill that, in exchange for DACA protection, funds a border wall and limits legal immigration is expected to be announced Monday.)

Download the Immigrant Ally Toolkit from Indivisible Project >>

Read the February Recess Policy Priorities and Town Hall Questions from Indivisible Project >>

Tell your City Council member that workers deserve the right to earn paid sick leave

Austin working families need your support! Next week, Austin City Council will have the opportunity to guarantee the right of Austin residents to earn paid sick time in our city. Approximately 223,000 men and women do not have access to paid sick days in Austin and are at risk of losing their jobs if they stay at home to take care of themselves or a loved one.

Please reach out to your council member and ask them to support working families in Austin at the Council Meeting on February 15 and vote “yes” item #49.

Events

Black Unity Week is Feb. 12-17 at various times and locations.

Monday, February 12

7 p.m. Indivisible TX25 East Weekly Meeting, Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Dr.

Tuesday, February 13

6 p.m. Black Lives Matter general body meeting, 1705 E. 11th St. Join Black Lives Matter Austin for their February General Body Meeting. There will be several working committees: Education, Criminal Justice Reform, Health, Economics, Housing, Transportation, and Civics. “All are welcome at the table.”

Thursday, February 15

6 p.m. Final vote and rally for Paid Sick Days!, Austin City Hall, 301 W 2nd St.

6 p.m. #bbatx Community Caucus, “an annual gathering for activists, nonprofits and thought leaders to present issues, share ideas and discuss plans for effective change,” hosted by Boss Babes. Austin Central Public Library, 710 W Cesar Chavez St. Get tickets ($10) here.

Saturday, February 17

7 p.m. “Black Art Matters” Art Show/Fundraiser, Pio Rita 1203 Chicon, Austin, Texas 78702

Sunday, February 18

1 p.m. Meet the Primary Candidates for US Congressional District 25 and Texas House District 47, Laura Bush Community Library, 9411 Bee Caves Rd. Hosted by Indivisible Eanes/West Austin.

Upcoming

April 20th

Austin Sanctuary Network benefit concert featuring Carrie Newcomer
Legendary singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer is returning to Austin for a second concert benefiting the Austin Sanctuary Network on April 20th! Tickets are only $20, and space is limited so get tickets soon!

More information and tickets >>

View Facebook event >>

Support Indivisible Austin

Buy a “Be a Texas Voter” t-shirt!

New! Enter to win Pod Save America Tickets! >>

Be a Texas Voter

Archives of weekly actions >>

Read how your voices are making a difference!  >>

Week of February 5, 2018

Important Dates:

  • February 5 – last day to register to vote in the primary
  • February 20 to March 2 – Early voting
  • March 6 – Election Day!

Who’s on the Texas primary ballots in 2018? >>

Read how your voices are making a difference!  >>

PS: Don’t give in to Trump Fatigue >>

Actions

We still have no legislation to protect Dreamers and the government is about to shut down again

In other words: Just another week in the Trump administration. Here are a couple of angles you can take when calling your reps.

  1. About 2,000 Texas school teachers have DACA status. Let’s say they teach 30 kids on average (which is probably a low estimate). That’s 60,000 Texas children whose teachers are at risk of deportation. Will politicians like Ted Cruz, who oppose any path to citizenship for Dreamers, be the ones to tell these children? The Statesman profiled some of the DACA teachers in Austin.
  2. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sens. John McCain and Chris Coons (D-Delaware) plan to introduce a bill that would provide legal status and a path to citizenship to Dreamers and orders a study to determine what border-security measures are needed—with no border-wall funding. There is a nearly identical bill in the House (H.R. 4796), which also has bipartisan support. This kind of narrow legislation, while not a clean Dream Act, is worth keeping an eye on.

Tell Your MoCs to Denounce the Nunes Memo and Protect the Mueller Investigation

The substance of Nunes memo is not even worth debating. Facts don’t seem to matter anymore; instead Trump and most of the GOP are waging a propaganda war to see what they can get Americans to believe. This is dangerous and threatens our Democracy.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett is the lone voice among our Austin-area reps who sees the danger for what it is, cautioning that Trump has taken “another big step in the march to authoritarianism.”

Our other representatives in Congress? Not so much. Here’s the rundown as of Feb. 4:

When you call your reps, there are three basic asks:

  1. Denounce the substance-free memo for the justice-obstructing political stunt that it is
  2. Release the Democratic rebuttal into the public record
  3. Sponsor legislation (H.R. 3771/S. 1735 or S. 1741) to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller

More on the Nunes memo from Indivisible Project >>

More on protecting Mueller from Indivisible Project >>

Ask your MoC whether we still have co-equal branches of government

Last Monday was the deadline to impose sanctions on Russia for their interference in the 2016 elections. Congress voted nearly unanimously to pass these sanctions, creating a supposedly veto-proof bill. All of our reps voted in favor, yet the Trump administration let the deadline pass with zero consequences.

This is about more than Russian election interference. This is about the co-equal branches of government in our Democracy. Ask your senators and House representatives why they are allowing the executive branch to override Congress.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, once again, seems to be the lone voice in the wilderness, tweeting:

“More interested in holding hands with his pal Putin than holding him accountable, Trump refuses to implement bipartisan sanctions legislation approved overwhelmingly by Congress. His weakness threatens the state of our Union.”

Where are the missing spines of our other representatives?

Thank Rep. Lloyd Doggett for demanding information on ICE raids in Austin

While you’re thanking Rep. Doggett, check out this article on last year’s ICE raids in Austin. It seems that ICE underreported—by a lot—the number of immigrants they rounded up, and Rep. Doggett is on the case.

Events

Want your event to be considered for our community calendar? Fill out this form to let us know.

Monday, February 5

***Last day to register to vote in the March 6 primaries! Register in person at these tax offices.***

6:30 p.m. Far Northwest Progressives HD-47 Candidate Forum, Serranos at Lakeline (11100 Pecan Park)  All are welcome. Come meet the Democratic candidates running to unseat Paul Workman.

7 p.m. Indivisible TX25 East Weekly Meeting, Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Dr.

Tuesday, February 6

Various times: Monthly Deputy Volunteer Registrar Training, Travis County Tax Office – Main, 5501 Airport Blvd. Trainings are at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m.

12 p.m. Lunchtime Discussion: How to Build an Autocracy, St. Edward’s University, 3001 South Congress Avenue, Fleck Hall, Room 305. The Center for Ethics and Leadership invites current students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and guests to a lunchtime discussion of How to Build an Autocracy. Recommended reading: David Frum’s essay in the Atlantic by the same name.

3:30 p.m. Speak out against offshore drilling, 5901 N Interstate 35. Organizers will meet for a rally and press conference in the parking lot. If you can’t make it to the rally, you can still go into the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) meeting and tell officials your thoughts.

6:30 p.m. Austin Justice Coalition General Body Meeting, Carver Branch, Austin Public Library, 1161 Angelina St. Meetings are open to the public. Meet and greet starts at 6, meeting starts promptly at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 7

7 p.m. TX25 CAG/West Austin/Eanes joint meeting, Ce-Bar Fire Station, 353 Commons Ford Road.

Saturday, February 10

10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteer Training Opportunity: Workers Defense Project seeks volunteers to support local low-wage workers in and around the Austin community, who have experienced wage theft and other abuses on the job. Learn to assist workers by collecting information for their cases, and helping complete paperwork required to file a legal claim. To RSVP or for more information, please email Leslie at leslie@workersdefense.org or via (512) 289-7634 for more information.

5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Happy Hour for Paid Sick Days: Let’s come together before the City Council votes on Paid Sick Days on Feb 15th! We’ll be writing letters to our council members and preparing for those last days. Look out for updates! We may have some exciting guests joining us!

Sunday, February 11

3:30 p.m. TX17 US Congressional Candidates’ Forum, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 14311 Wells Port Dr. Join us to learn more about & ask questions of the candidates running to represent us in Congress in Texas’ 17th Congressional District. Please bring one or more cans of food to donate for our host location to help our neighbors in need.

Monday, February 12

7 p.m. Indivisible TX25 East Weekly Meeting, Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Dr.

Feb 12th – Feb 17th, various times and location, Black Unity Week

Upcoming:

Thursday, February 15

6 p.m. Final vote and rally for Paid Sick Days!, Austin City Hall, 301 W 2nd St.

Saturday, February 17

7 p.m. “Black Art Matters” Art Show/Fundraiser, Pio Rita 1203 Chicon, Austin, Texas 78702

Support Indivisible Austin

Buy a “Be a Texas Voter” t-shirt!

Be a Texas Voter

Archives of weekly actions >>

Read how your voices are making a difference!  >>

Week of January 29, 2018

Important Dates:

  • February 3 – Last Travis County VDR Training before primary election registration deadline (see details under Events, below)
  • February 5 – last day to register to vote in the primary
  • February 20 to March 2 – Early voting
  • March 6 – Election Day!

Who’s on the Texas primary ballots in 2018? >>

Read how your voices are making a difference!  >>

Actions

Hold Cornyn and Cruz Accountable for Voting to Deport Dreamers

There is bipartisan support for the Dream Act in both the Senate and House. Yet Senators Cruz and Cornyn would rather defend the administration’s racist policies and shut down the government than take a bipartisan deal to protect Dreamers, fund the government, and advance other critical priorities.

Get the “Dream Killer” script from Indivisible Project >>

Tell Your MoC to Reject the Republican Abortion Ban

TIME SENSITIVE: On January 29, the Senate is expected to begin a procedural vote on a bill to block access to abortion services after 20 weeks. According to the bill’s summary, the bill would “make it a ‘crime for any person to perform or attempt to perform an abortion if the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus is 20 weeks or more.’”

This bill (S. 1922 in the Senate) is a horrifying, extreme attack on reproductive health and a woman’s right to choose. Tell your Senator to stand up for women and families, and oppose the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Sample script from Celeste Pewter >>

Scripts from Indivisible Project >>

Tell your MoC to Protect Mueller and Deter Election Meddling

Last week, the New York Times confirmed April Ryan’s previous reporting that Trump attempted to fire Special Counsel Robery Mueller in June of 2017.

Our elected officials need to speak out and make clear that firing Mueller would be a red line that Trump must not cross. Senators can co-sponsor legislation to protect against a Mueller firing: S. 1735 led by Senators Graham and Booker, and S. 1741 led by Senators Coons and Tillis. Representatives in the House can co-sponsor H.R. 3771, led by Representatives Jones and Conyers.

The House has also introduced a bipartisan bill to deter future election meddling, which mirrors a previous Senate bill. .

Call your representatives and demand that they defend Democracy and support these bills.

Scripts from Indivisible Project >>

Tell Ted Cruz to Return Donations from Sexual Predator Steve Wynn

Sexual harassment and assault affects women and men from all backgrounds, all political parties. We support #metoo and other movements that address this issue head on. Victims should not be political footballs.

It’s also important to hold our elected officials to the same standards to which they hold others. In October, Sen Ted Cruz called on the DNC to return donations from serial sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. We agree that that’s the right thing to do.

Now it has come to light that RNC Finance Chair Steve Wynn is also a serial sexual predator. According to FEC records, Wynn donated several times to Ted Cruz’s campaigns. It’s not a large amount of money — under $10,000 — but Ted Cruz should return it on principle. Call him and tell him so.

Events

Monday, January 29

7 p.m. Indivisible TX25 East Weekly Meeting, Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Dr.

6:30-8:30 p.m. UWSA Dessert Social and Action Meeting Please join Undoing White Supremacy Austin for a dessert social (including vegan, non sugar, savory, gluten free options) and discussion about the work ahead for racial justice in Austin.

Tuesday, January 30

9 p.m. (ish) #PeoplesSOTUResponse online at NowThis News

This event is still developing and will be updated as details get finalized.

The live-streamed “People’s SOTU Response” Tuesday grew out of a Twitter conversation among activists who launched a petition demanding that the anti-Trump resistance be given airtime on CNN for a State of the Union response. The petition was the brainchild of Shannon Watts, the founder of gun control group Moms Demand Action and board chair of Rise to Run, which trains young women to run for office. Brittany Packnett, co-founder of Campaign Zero, will host the event, joined by Cristina Jimenez, Ady Barkan, Ilyse Hogue, Vanita Gupta, Sam Sinyangwe, and Sarah Silverman.

Wednesday, January 31

6:30 p.m. From Jaywalking to Jail: Justice for Jason How does one go #fromjaywalkingtojail? On December 12th, 2017, Jason Donald was arrested for jaywalking at the Signature Shell at 9th street and IH-35. He was subsequently beaten by Austin Police Department. Join Black Sovereign Nation and members of the broader community as we gather for a mass demonstration to demand that Jason’s charges be dropped, that the officers who assaulted him be fired and charged, and that the City of Austin take steps to incorporate stronger measures of police accountability and transparency. #justiceforjason.

6 p.m. Austin Paid Sick Days: Reproductive Justice Advocate Training, Texas AFL-CIO, 1106 Lavaca St #200.

Saturday, February 3

10 a.m. Black Lives Matter Austin February Neighborhood Canvassing, Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg. Join neighborhood canvassing/blockwalkings and spread community awareness and community education.

10:30 a.m. Volunteer Deputy Registrar Training, Travis County Voter Registrar’s, 5501 Airport Blvd. LAST TRAINING before the primary election voter registration deadline on Feb. 5. The Travis County Tax Office hosts VDR Trainings on the first Tuesday and first Saturday of each month. Indivisible Austin believes Getting Out the Vote in 2018 elections (and beyond) is essential. The first step in voting is getting registered. Volunteer Deputy Registrars play a key role assisting the Tax Office with community outreach and engagement. How close can we get to an ideal of 100% registration of eligible voters?

Monday, February 5

7 p.m. Indivisible TX25 East Weekly Meeting, Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Dr.

Upcoming:

Sunday, February 11

3:30 p.m. TX-17 Candidate Forum, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 14311 Wells Port Dr.

Thursday, February 15

6 p.m. Final vote and rally for Paid Sick Days!, Austin City Hall, 301 W 2nd St, Austin, Texas 78701

Saturday, February 17

7 p.m. “Black Art Matters” Art Show/Fundraiser, Pio Rita 1203 Chicon, Austin, Texas 78702

Support Indivisible Austin

Buy a “Be a Texas Voter” t-shirt!

Be a Texas Voter

Archives of weekly actions >>

Read how your voices are making a difference!  >>

Week of January 22, 2018

Important Dates:

  • February 5 – last day to register to vote in the primary
  • February 20 to March 2 – Early voting
  • March 6 – Election Day!

Who’s on the Texas primary ballots in 2018? >>

Read last week’s success stories!  >>

On Friday night, the the Republican-led Congress, rather than fund children’s health insurance or protect Dreamers, chose to shut down the government. 850,000 federal workers will be sent home, or forced to work without pay.

Remember that this is a manufactured crisis. CHIP expired on September 30th and could have been extended anytime. On September 5th, Trump rescind DACA, and the GOP-led Congress could have passed a DREAM Act anytime. Instead, two vulnerable populations—children and immigrants brought here as children— are being used as bargaining chips to pay for an untenable wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for in the first place.

Read an explainer on the shutdown from the Indivisible Project >>

Read the American Federation of Government Employees’ statement on the shutdown >>

Actions

Hold your GOP MoC accountable for enabling Trump’s racism

The Dream Act has bipartisan support, yet all of our GOP members of congress—Cornyn, Cruz, McCaul, Flores, Smith, Carter—would rather vote with Trump than work to protect Dreamers.

Get scripts for calling these “Dream Killers” >>

Thank Rep. Lloyd Doggett for fighting alongside Dreamers

Rep. Doggett was the lone Austin-area rep who voted to fight alongside Dreamers, instead of letting the Trump administration put hundreds of thousands at risk of deportation. Let him know you appreciate him!

Get scripts for “Dream Heroes” like Doggett >>

Hold MoCs accountable for their votes to expand US spying on American citizens

Last week, Congress voted to reauthorize and expand “FISA 702”, which enables the Trump administration to search–without a warrant!—a massive database of our emails, texts, and instant messages.

The votes were not along party lines:

Voted For Voted Against
John Cornyn

Michael McCaul

Bill Flores

Lamar Smith

John Carter

Ted Cruz

Lloyd Doggett

Roger Williams

Get more info and scripts for calling your reps about expanded government surveillance >>

Reject HHS Pandering to Social Extremists

At the end of this week, the Trump Administration ordered new rules to restrict access to health care and end essential civil rights protections.

First, Health and Human Services rolled back an Obama-era rule that protected patients’ ability to access their medical provider of choice—essentially encouraging states to remove providers like Planned Parenthood from their Medicaid programs. Unfortunately, here in Texas, we’ve seen the damaging impact of doing so firsthand as women have struggled to access basic health services, including birth control.

Then, HHS established an alarming new division to protect individuals who oppose comprehensive reproductive health care as well as those who oppose transgender people’s right to equal treatment and wish to deny medical treatment based on those beliefs. While the Trump Administration claims the division will only enforce existing law, the dramatic move to establish an entirely new office to “investigate” claims that individuals are being forced to provide services against their will (only 34 such complaints were filed even since Trump came to office) sets the stage for much more dramatic action to come.

Tell your MOC: restore Obama-era protections that help to ensure families can go to the medical provider of their choosing and oppose the Administration’s actions to prioritize extremists over patients.

Support Paid Sick Leave in Austin

Indivisible Austin supports the Work Strong Austin campaign. The city of Austin is poised to become the first city in Texas and the South to require paid sick days for all workers. City Council is expected to vote on a proposed ordinance in early-to-mid February.

Currently, 225,000 men and women in Austin do not have access to earned paid sick time, and Austin City Council has the power to change that. Without earned paid sick time, a sick low-wage worker in Austin who misses three days of work due to illness can lose pay equal to a month’s worth of groceries.

Send a letter to your Austin City Council member to the let them know you support paid sick days for all workers >>

Read the model ordinance for Paid Sick Days >>

Events

Tuesday, January 23

6:30 p.m. Decarcerate ATX – January Meeting, Cepeda Branch, Austin Public Library, 651 N. Pleasant Valley Rd. Hosted by Grassroots Leadership. “Join us as we formulate our strategy aimed at significantly reducing the jail population in Central Texas.”

Wednesday, January 24

6 p.m. Austin Paid Sick Days Community Briefing, Carver Branch, Austin Public Library. Join the Center for Public Policy Priorities and Work Strong Austin to learn more about a proposed citywide policy to ensure all workers in the City of Austin can earn paid sick days!

Thursday, January 25

11 a.m. Indivisible Austin Women’s Coffee Meetup, NeWorlDeli, 4101 Guadalupe. This is intended as a safe space to get to know each other, network, discuss our activism activities, check in about how we’re holding up, and see if we can offer help, resources, and connections for our various resistance activities. This will be a facilitated discussion and every attempt will be made to make sure everyone attending has a chance to be heard and offer their thoughts, struggles, questions, etc. View this event on Facebook.

12 p.m. Beyond The Courtroom: Public Deportation Defense Campaigns (Free CLE 4.0 hours), Scott Douglass & McConnico, LLP, 303 Colorado. Presented by Austin Bar Association – Civil Rights and Immigration Section, Grassroots Leadership, Workers Defense Project. Learn how legal and community pressure strategies can elevate a removal case into a deportation defense campaign, including best practices and ethical considerations to keep in mind when collaborating with community partners. View this event on Facebook.

Saturday, January 27

2 p.m. TX-10 Candidate Meet and Greet, Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto. Hosted by TX10 Indivisible. Learn about multiple TX-10 candidates in a single setting to help prepare yourself to vote in the 2018 mid-term elections.

Support Indivisible Austin

Archives of weekly actions >>

Read last week’s success stories!  >>

Week of January 15, 2018

Important Dates:

  • February 5 – last day to register to vote in the primary
  • February 20 to March 2 – Early voting
  • March 6 – Election Day!

Who’s on the Texas primary ballots in 2018? >> (Texas Tribune)

Read how your voices are making a difference >>

Actions

“Shithole.”

The President’s repugnant statements last week succeeded in taking attention away from the actual policies being debated. Instead of debating the flaws or merits of the deal, the press have been focused on yet another White House sideshow. We must turn our attention to ensuring Congress passes comprehensive protection for DREAMers—without harming other immigrant groups. We will allow for nothing less.

Read: A Racist Is Not Capable of Negotiating an Immigration Deal in Good Faith >> (Indivisible Austin)

Tell your MoCs to Vote NO on any spending bill that leaves children and DREAMers behind

Not only is the government only funded through January 19, but there is no deal in sight to protect DREAMers or provide long-term stability for CHIP.

Tell leadership of both parties: “A funding bill that neglects the health of children and the security of DREAMers is unacceptable. Vote NO on any spending bill that leaves children and DREAMers behind.”

Protect DREAMers

There are more than 120,000 DACA recipients in Texas alone — an estimated 20,000 of which are schoolteachers. Over 14,000 immigrant youth have already lost DACA protections, putting them at risk of deportation.

Demand your MoCs take the DREAMer Pledge >> (Indivisible Project)

See who the “DREAM Killers” Are >> (United We Dream)

Important information for DACA-recipients—please spread the word. US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that, “Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017. If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA request as a renewal request.”

Long-term stability for CHIP

Congress did the absolute bare minimum by providing only a few weeks’ extra funding for CHIP before the holidays. This type of reckless, stop-and-go funding threatens the health of children and pregnant women across the country.

Call your MoCs in both the House and Senate and tell them to fund the CHIP program before more Texas children and pregnant women lose coverage.

Read: The price of extending CHIP is now so low it saves the government money >> (Vox)

Read: 30+ Texas Health Groups Send Urgent CHIP letter to Washington >>

Events

Monday, January 15

9 a.m. to 3 p.m MLK March, Festival, and Food Drive, The Annual Community March celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multiculturalism in our city. The MLK Community March kicks off on Monday, January 15 at 9 a.m.with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus.

We will then march to the south steps of the State Capitol for a short program and marchers will continue on to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned. All businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals are invited to march and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.

MLK COMMUNITY FESTIVAL

The MLK Community Festival kicks off as soon the marchers arrive on location and will last until 3 p.m.; it will include all types of vendors and local musical artists to make this year’s celebration the best ever!

Wednesday, January 17

6:30 p.m. Sanctuary Cities: On-the-Ground Impact, LBJ Library, 2313 Red River. Join the Future Forum for a conversation on sanctuary cities from the diverse perspectives of those who witness the on-the-ground impact. View Facebook Event >>

Thursday, January 18

7:30 a.m. A Conversation with Lupe Valdez, Democratic Candidate for Governor, Capital Factory, 701 Brazos. Hosted by the Texas Tribune.

7 p.m. Indivisible Cedar Park Meeting & VDR Training, Twin Creeks Country Club, 3201 Twin Creeks Club Dr, Cedar Park, TX. RSVP to Melissa Crijns (melissa.crijns@gmail.com).

Saturday, January 20

Many have asked about a Women’s March. Being Austin, there will not be just one event, but three! We are not the organizers of any of these events but we will have a table at the Roe V Wade Rally. Stop by and say hello.

Here is the sequence of the day’s events:

  • 10 a.m. Impeachment Rally at City Hall
  • 12 p.m. Texas Handmaids procession from City Hall to the Capitol
  • 1 p.m. 45th Texas Roe V Wade Rally at the Capitol. Join the Texas Reproductive Rights Rally and celebrate the anniversary of the historic Roe V Wade Supreme Court Decision which guarantees the right to medical privacy in the event of a person seeking an abortion. This event is absolutely free of charge and open to all.

Support Indivisible Austin

Archives of weekly actions >>

Week of January 8, 2018

Primary Elections

  • February 5 – last day to register to vote in the primary
  • February 20 to March 2 – Early voting
  • March 6 – Election Day!

Who’s on the Texas primary ballots in 2018? >> (Texas Tribune)

Read how your voices are making a difference >>

Actions

Tell your MoCs to Vote NO on any spending bill that leaves children and DREAMers behind

Not only is the government only funded through January 19, but there is no deal in sight to protect DREAMers or provide long-term stability for CHIP.

Tell leadership of both parties: “A funding bill that neglects the health of children and the security of DREAMers is unacceptable. Vote NO on any spending bill that leaves children and DREAMers behind.”

Protect DREAMers

There are 138,440 DACA recipients in Texas alone — an estimated 20,000 of which are schoolteachers. Over 14,000 immigrant youth have already lost DACA protections, putting them at risk of deportation.

Demand your MoCs take the DREAMer Pledge >> (Indivisible Project)

See who the “DREAM Killers” Are >> (United We Dream)

Long-term stability for CHIP

Congress did the absolute bare minimum by providing only a few weeks’ extra funding for CHIP before the holidays. This type of reckless, stop-and-go funding threatens the health of children and pregnant women across the country.

Call your MoCs in both the House and Senate and tell them to fund the CHIP program before more Texas children and pregnant women lose coverage.

Read: 30+ Texas Health Groups Send Urgent CHIP letter to Washington >>

Tell Congress to Prevent a Nuclear First Strike and to Denounce Trump’s Dangerous Rhetoric

In what is becoming a sadly regular occurrence, Trump again threatened nuclear war with North Korea. Here are two scripts for your senators and House reps:

  • Senator Markey and Congressman Lieu have introduced bipartisan legislation that would make explicit that the President cannot launch a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war by Congress. Will you help constrain Trump’s authority to use nuclear weapons by co-sponsoring the bipartisan “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act”? (H.R. 669 in the House and S. 200 in the Senate)
  • Trump’s dangerous rhetoric is fanning the flames with North Korea. His words could provoke the unstable Kim Jong Un and further escalate tensions when our top priority should be de-escalation and diplomacy. Will you denounce Trump’s dangerous rhetoric that puts our national security at risk? Will you demand he come to Congress first before engaging in any sort of military operation against North Korea?

Read “Yes, Trump Can Start A Nuclear War. Yes, We Can Stop Him.” >> (Indivisible Austin)

Events

Monday, January 8

7 p.m. Indivisible TX25 East Weekly Meeting, Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Dr. Tonight’s meeting includes TX-25 candidate West Hansen.

Tuesday, January 9

6 p.m. Black Lives Matter Austin January General Body Meeting, 1705 E. 11th St. Join Black Lives Matter Austin for our January General Body Meeting. There will be several working committees: Education, Criminal Justice Reform, Health, Economics, Housing, Transportation, and Civics. “All are welcome at the table.”

Friday, January 12

7 p.m. Undoing Racism Workshop & Fundraiser, hosted by Undoing White Supremacy Austin and the Austin Justice Coalition. Amala Foundation, 1008 S. 8th St. $20 suggested donation.

Saturday, January 13

10 a.m. Unlearning Circle: Dr King’s Legacy & the Poor People’s Campaign, hosted by Undoing White Supremacy Austin. Wildflower Church, 1314 E. Oltorf.

Sunday, January 14

4 p.m. Texas Senate District 5 Candidate Forum, Round Rock Public Library, 206 E. Main St.

Monday, January 15

7 p.m. Indivisible TX25 East Weekly Meeting, Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Dr.

Upcoming:

Saturday, January 20

Many have asked about a Women’s March. Being Austin, there will not be just one event, but three! We are not the organizers of any of these events but will have a table at the Roe v. Wade Rally. Stop by and say hello.

Support Indivisible Austin

Archives of weekly actions >>

Week of January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Did you know that Texas holds the first primary in the nation? Here are important dates to know:

  • February 5 – last day to register to vote in the primary
  • February 20 to March 2 – Early voting
  • March 6 – Election Day!

Watch this space for more information on candidates and voting rights as we shift into election mode. There are also tons of new resources from the Indivisible Project at Indivisible435.org.

Read how your voices are making a difference: Holiday Double Whammy Edition >>

Actions

Tell your MoCs to Vote NO on any spending bill that leaves children and DREAMers behind

Republican leadership in the House—patting themselves on the back for passing a tax bill to benefit the wealthy while failing to reach a deal on DREAM or provide stability for CHIP—extended their holiday vacation for a week.

That means our Representatives will return to DC with only eight working days to reach a real spending deal that addresses these vital needs.

Tell leadership of both parties: “A funding bill that neglects the health of children and the security of DREAMers is unacceptable. Vote NO on any spending bill that leaves children and DREAMers behind.”

Demand your MoCs take the DREAMer Pledge >>

Thank Rep. Lloyd Dogget for voting to fight alongside DREAMers

Tell Congress to provide long-term stability for CHIP

Congress did the absolute bare minimum by providing only a few weeks’ extra funding for CHIP. This type of reckless, stop-and-go funding threatens the health of children and pregnant women across the country.

Call your MoCs in both the House and Senate and tell them to fund the CHIP program before more Texas children and pregnant women lose coverage.

Read: 30+ Texas Health Groups Send Urgent CHIP letter to Washington >>

Events

Tuesday, January 2

6:30 p.m. Austin Justice Coalition General Body Meeting, Carver Branch, Austin Public Library, 1161 Angelina St. Meetings are open to the public and we urge other community groups to come and share things they are working on and ways AJC can get involved.

Thursday, January 4

7 p.m. Equality Texas Austin January Happy Hour, Full Circle Bar, 1810 E. 12th St. Come one, come all to the first Equality Texas happy hour of 2018!

Friday, January 5

4:30 p.m. Banner Drop: You Cruz, You Lose in 2018! From Indivisible Rosedale Huddle: “Come join us for the first banner drop of the year—because the harder we work, the closer we get to a new senator in 2018! We need 4-6 people to to help hold the north- and southbound banners. Meet/park in the CVS/Bingo parking lot at 12th and IH-35.”

Saturday, January 6

10 a.m. Black Lives Matter Neighborhood Canvassing, Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Ln. Join neighborhood canvassing/blockwalkings in the Austin to spread community awareness and community education.

Sunday, January 7

2:30 p.m. Western Travis County Candidate Forum, Apache Shores Barn, 14919 General Williamson Dr. Get to know your Democratic candidates in the TX25 Congressional Race, HD47 House Race and running for Travis County Chair in a Q&A Town Hall style forum.

Monday, January 8

7 p.m. Indivisible TX25 East Weekly Meeting, Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Dr.

Support Indivisible Austin

Archives of weekly actions >>