The real crisis is Cornyn and Cruz’s spinelessness on the #FakeEmergency; Stop #SB15 | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

The real crisis is Cornyn and Cruz’s spinelessness on the #FakeEmergency

Cornyn and Cruz are the real constitutional crisis

When “Constitutional Conservatives” John Cornyn and Ted Cruz voted against Rep. Joaquin Castro’s resolution to end Trump’s fake emergency, they abdicated their duties as Senators. As usual, they expressed “concern” but continued to enable the autocrat-in-chief. Twelve other Senate Republicans actually did show a few molecules of spine, and voted for the resolution.

Had Cornyn, Cruz, and a few other Republicans upheld the Constitution and voted for the resolution, we could have had a veto-proof majority. Instead, Trump was able to veto the bill. Trump’s emergency declaration is predicated on lies. It is also incredibly dangerous for our Democracy. Cornyn and Cruz know this. They choose to pretend otherwise. Call them.

Read more about the #FakeEmergency from the national Indivisible team

Stop SB15 in the #TXLEGE

Remember the fight over paid sick leave—which Austin workers won? Now, not only does the state want to take away local control from communities like Austin, but the way the bill is worded would also override local nondiscrimination ordinances, such as protections for the LGBTQ community.

In short: This is bad. The bill almost came to a floor vote late last week, so it is likely to happen early this week.

Call or write your state senator now!

Suggested text:

My name is {name} and I am a constituent who lives in {town/district}. I am {writing/calling} to ask you to oppose SB15. On February 28, the Senate State Affairs Committee passed this bill, which would prohibit the state from interfering with a private employer’s terms of employment relating to employment leave, benefits, scheduling, or use of criminal history information.  In effect, this chapter would remove the state’s authority to enforce non-discrimination ordinances. This is unfair to the citizens of Texas and an abdication of responsibility on the part of the state. Please oppose SB15 as currently written.

More info:

A fight over paid sick leave is turning into a fight over LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinances (Texas Tribune)

Texas’ SB 15 Would Harm Texans and Could Gut Non-Discrimination Ordinances (Human Rights Campaign)

Bill tracker for SB15

How your voices are making a difference

  • The Senate voted 59-41 to reject the “national emergency”
  • The House voted unanimously to make Mueller’s report public
  • Hundreds of thousands of students around the world skipped school to draw attention to global warming.

Read: Congress is bucking Trump!

Events

View all TXLEGE lobby and advocacy days

Monday, March 18

All In For Equality Advocacy Day

Hosted by Equality Texas, ACLU of Texas and others

Facebook event

Join us at the Texas Capitol for All In For Equality Advocacy Day on Monday, March 18, 2019. This is an opportunity for YOU to ask state leaders to pass inclusive policies that protect all Texans, including our children; and end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

More details on the day’s events will be available soon.

RSVP today 

Wednesday, March 20

Build a Better Texas Rally

Hosted by Workers Defense Action Fund

Texas is the deadliest state for construction workers in the country, but we’re fighting to change that. Each legislative session we take on bills that hurt workers and help pass laws that better protect them. Like everyone else, they deserve to go home safe to their families at the end of each day. Join us at our statewide lobby day to help be their voice.

The day of action will include lobbying in the morning and a rally with speakers.

Funding the Fight

We don’t just fight in DC where Trump trashes the constitution and Senators Cornyn and Cruz do nothing to stop him. It’s not just in the legislature or in Austin generally. It’s in every city and town across Texas where people have had the decency to stand up and say that they believe in the dignity of work and the dignity of their fellow Texans who are members of the LGBTQ community.

This is what the authoritarians in our country and in our state do, and this is why we need your help today to fight them everywhere they push against dignity, decency, and democratic ideals.

Make a gift now. Please.

Your Moment of Zen

 

Congress Bucking Trump | How your voices are making a difference

Unflattering headshots of John Cornyn and Ted CruzIn a striking—but ultimately symbolic—rebuke of Donald’s circumventing of Congress to appropriate funds for his compensatory border wall, the Senate voted 59-41 to reject the “national emergency” Don John trumped up, with 12 Republicans joining Dems in voting against the executive order (here’s how every senator voted—and please note Cornyn and Cruz continued their enabling of this corrupt administration’s breaches of democratic norms by voting to uphold Donald’s attempted runaround of Congress and democratic procedures). The adult baby in chief immediately vetoed the legislation to get his own way despite both houses of Congress voting against it, and Congress likely lacks the two-thirds votes to overturn the veto.

The Senate also voted 54-46 to order the U.S. to end it support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, in a direct rebuke of Donald’s cozying up and ongoing defense of the Saudi crown prince despite U.S. intelligence agreement that Mohammed bin Salman was directly responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The House voted unanimously to make Mueller’s report public.

Republicans Against the Law

The New York attorney general subpoenaed financial records relating to the Trump Organization from two major financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, regarding four Trump projects and a failed bid to buy the NFL Buffalo Bills in 2014.

A federal judge struck down a law in Kentucky that disallowed abortions at six weeks.

A federal judge ruled that Betsy DeVos’s delaying for two years of a special education rule that compelled states to address racial disparities in special ed programs was “arbitrary and capricious,” and ordered immediate enforcement of the Obama-era rule.

The FEC found a Chinese-owned corporation and a pro-Jeb Bush super PAC broke federal laws guarding American elections form foreign interference and fined them nearly $1 million, the third-highest fine in the history of the Federal Election Committee.

The New York appellate court ruled that Summer Zervos’s defamation lawsuit against the adulterer in chief can proceed, rejecting Donald’s attempt to dismiss it.

The Connecticut supreme court ruled that Sandy Hook parents can sue Remington gun manufacturer for its marketing of the Bushmaster rifle, the weapon used to kill 20 students and 6 teachers in 2012, overturning a lower-court ruling

Two members of the white nationalist, pro-Trump hate group the Proud Boys (the group behind the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally that resulted in the deal of Heather Heyer) were charged with felony assault for their attack on a Portland man in 2018.

Remember the right wing losing its mind over the entirely false “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory? Republicans have been oddly silent about the actual prostitution ring scandal involving New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft at a massage parlor that’s part of a chain founded by a donor of the Republican Party and the Trump campaign who offered to sell Chinese clients access to Donald at Mar-A-Lago. This in-depth profile in the NY Times of her and her ties to the reprobate in chief is worth a read.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Hundreds of thousands of students around the world in nearly 100 countries, including the U.S., skipped school one day this past week to draw attention to the pressing need for governments to take action to combat rapid global warming.


Even Dick Cheney is criticizing Donald for his foreign policy—or complete lack of one—and his unwillingness to read intelligence reports or even heed warnings of his own intelligence experts, pointedly confronting Mike Pence at a closed-door retreat.

Advertisers are dropping Tucker Carlson and Jeanne Pirro’s shows after both FOX News telebrities made (more than usually) bigoted comments.

Advertisers are dropping Tucker Carlson and Jeanne Pirro’s shows after both FOX News telebrities made (more than usually) bigoted comments, and FOX subsequently dropped Pirro’s show from its prime-time lineup.

Feel-good Stories of the Week

The toddler in chief took more tirades to Twitter, which swatted him down like a whack-a-mole: First when Donald offered ludicrous justifications for his misstatement of Apple head Tim Cook’s name as “Tim Apple,” and then when he mocked Beto O’Rourke for his hand gestures. (O’Rourke had the best comeback, though, refusing to engage and reminding Donald that “people want us to rise above the pettiness, the smallness.” The smallness, y’all…get it? LIKE DONALD’S TINY HANDS.)

On the heels of last week’s “Hot Pence” gay lookalike dressing as Mike Pence from the waist up (and Lieutenant Dangle from the waist down) while collecting money for LGBTQ causes, and Nancy Pelosi revoking the office space Paul Ryan had awarded to Pence in the Capitol building, it hasn’t been the best couple of weeks for Mike Pence. The notoriously homophobic, anti-LGBTQ Pence received into his Washington, D.C., home the prime minister of Ireland—who brought his same-sex partner with him.

Despairing of the seemingly insurmountable polarity in politics and the world? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could listen to the Dalai Lama and do more of this.

H.R.1: Why are Cornyn and Cruz afraid of Democracy? Keep pressuring to #PurgeWhitley; Support the Children’s Health Coverage bill | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Hey Cruz and Cornyn: Why are you afraid of Democracy? Tell Sen. McConnell to bring H.R.1 to a floor vote.

Unflattering headshots of John Cornyn and Ted CruzH.R.1, the “For the People Act of 2019,” passed the House, with all Republicans voting against the bill. The bill includes Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s provision to ensure that we seek the business tax returns, as well as the personal individual returns of candidates for president.

From the Washington Post:

“The bill that Democrats voted on today would drain that swamp. It would require major presidential candidates to release 10 years of tax returns and require that presidents and vice presidents divest to avoid financial conflicts of interest. It would bolster transparency on campaign spending and fortify ethics rules constraining lobbyists in all kinds of ways. It would thwart voter suppression and extreme gerrymanders while making participation easier. Political scientist Lee Drutman has described the bill as “the most transformative pro-democracy package in decades.””

Sen. Mitch McConnell says that he will not allow this bill to come to a vote in the Senate. So our job is to:

  • Tell Cruz and Cornyn to pressure McConnell to allow a vote in the Senate
  • Ask your GOP House reps why they voted against H.R.1. What are they so afraid of?
  • Bonus: Thank Rep. Lloyd Doggett for his leadership

Resource: H.R.1: Strengthening Our Democracy

Keep saying NO to David Whitley for Texas Secretary of State

Say NO to David Whitley, say NO to voter suppression

While all 12 Democratic state senators are on the record as a “No” on the confirmation of David Whitley for Texas Secretary of State, we need to make sure they hold the line. Keep calling and writing, as a vote in the full senate is expected soon.

Write a letter to your state senator here

Read: If Democrats take a nap, Abbott’s nominee for secretary of state will come back to life (Daily Caller)


How your voices are making a difference

  • House Dems sent more than 80 letters seeking information from Trump World, including Donald Jr and Eric Trump
  • The Democratic National Convention rejected FOX News as a host for presidential debates
  • House Democrats introduced a bill to protect White House whistleblowers who signed NDAs

Read how the walls are closing in…


#TXLEGE Watch

On Tuesday at the Texas Capitol, the House Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on the Children’s Health Coverage bill. The legislation, HB 342, by Rep. Phillip Cortez, would allow eligible kids to stay enrolled in Medicaid insurance for a full year. Texas currently requires many parents to file additional paperwork month after month, resulting in some children temporarily getting knocked off of insurance — and missing out on health care — due to a paperwork snafu.There are three key ways you can to speak up to support children’s health care:

  1. Call Committee members to urge them to support the bill. If you contact Chairman James Frank, be sure to thank him for holding the hearing.
  2. Attend the hearing and register your name in the official record as a supporter of the bill.
  3. Use the League of Women Voters’ action alert to email your legislators about the bill.

Events

View all of the lobby and advocacy days at #TXLEGE

Monday, March 11

March on the Capitol for Texas Public Education

Hosted by Texas AFT and Texas AFL-CIO

Had enough of stagnant pay, overwhelming health-care costs and inadequate funding for our students? Join us for a rally at the Capitol where we intend to be 10,000 strong telling legislators that we are ready to Speak Out! and Stand Together! for public education.

Thursday, March 14

Day of Action for Immigrant Families

Hosted by Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA)

Facebook event

Texas is under attack. The current administration has used Texas and its communities as scapegoats to push their Wall agenda. As a result, Texas communities have been slandered and now, our Texas is in danger of suffering the consequences of decisions made by legislators who do not know us. It is time that we demand our state elected officials to stand up for Texas and demand the respect that our communities deserve.

Monday, March 18

All In For Equality Advocacy Day

Hosted by Equality Texas, ACLU of Texas and others

Facebook event

Join us at the Texas Capitol for All In For Equality Advocacy Day on Monday, March 18, 2019. This is an opportunity for YOU to ask state leaders to pass inclusive policies that protect all Texans, including our children; and end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.


Fire John Cornyn!

Fire John Cornyn!

This opinion piece in the Houston Chronicle captures the essence of what is wrong with John Cornyn.

“Texas’ senior senator doesn’t like the way President Trump has used the power to declare a national emergency to get his border wall built. Is the senator going to do anything about it? No, he isn’t.”

“That, in a nutshell, is the tragedy of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn as he prepares to battle his way to another term.”

“So why the inaction? It’s becoming a signature Cornyn approach: Raise thoughtful objections to mark disagreement with the president, but then explain why there isn’t anything that he can do about it.”

Read: The tragedy of John Cornyn

Take the pledge to fire John Cornyn


Your Moment of Zen


Funding the Fight

Even with the House flipping, it feels like everything is getting more chaotic.

The fear of accountability seems to have ratcheted up the cruelty and incompetence to new heights. That’s why having voices consistently, steadily pushing us forward, keeping an eye out for inflection points where real differences can be made, is so important.

That’s why Indivisible Austin is here, to keep us moving forward together, with our eyes open. Be a part of that work. Make a gift today.

 

 

House Dems sent more than 80 letters seeking information from Trump World | How your voices are making a difference

The Walls Closing In

House Dems sent more than 80 letters last Monday to Donald Jr and Eric Trump, as well as the CFO of the Trump Organization (specifically cited by Michael Cohen under excellent questioning by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez as the person who would have info on Donald’s tax returns and other financial interests) seeking documents and other information about the Very Stable Genius’s business, political, and White House operations.

Also in the wake of Michael Cohen’s revealing testimony, New York state regulators subpoenaed documents from the Trump Organization’s insurance broker.

House Democrats introduced a bill to protect White House whistleblowers subject to nondisclosure agreements by the Commander of Cheese.

On the heels of last week’s item about Donald pressuring for security clearances for Jared Kushner despite security concerns, Donald also pressured John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn to grant clearance for Ivanka against their recommendations.

Robert Mueller’s legal team notified a federal judge about Roger Stone’s Instagram post that could be a violation of the judge’s gag order.

Republicans Against the Law

A federal judge ruled in favor of the ACLU that all migrant families separated at the border should be part of a class-action lawsuit against the current administration.

A federal judge ruled that Wilbur’s Ross’s proposed citizenship question for the 2020 census violates the Constitution.

A ruling by a federal appeals court on Thursday broadened constitutional protections for undocumented immigrants at the border, opening a potential new legal gateway for some to stay in the country.

California became the first of 21 subsequent states to file suit against the federal government for Donald’s executive-order “gag rule”denying federal funds to organizations that offer information on abortions.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

After the Methodist church disavowed the LGBTQ community, Northhaven United Methodist Church in Dallas covered the “United Methodist” part of its sign with the Pride flag. Many in the congregation in the first service after the church’s decision, including the reverend, wore rainbow stoles in support of the LQBTQ community. <3

More than 50 years after her significant and largely unknown (until the 2016 Oscar-winning movie Hidden Figures based on her life), mathematician Katherine Johnson contributions to NASA’s space program are being honored with a NASA building named for her in her home state of West Virginia.

In the wake of a meticulously reported expose in the New York Times about the close ties between the FOX network and the Mentally Deranged Dotard that suggests the network is propaganda for Donald, the Democratic National Convention rejected FOX News as a host for presidential debates, stating that the network was not “in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates.”

Republicans Reconsidering

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly is happily contradicting Donald all over the place, stating that the border wall is a “waste of money” because the immigrants coming in at the southern border are “overwhelmingly not criminals.”

Ty Cobb—Donald’s short-lived White House lawyer, not the baseball player—called Robert Mueller “an American hero” and “a class act,” disagreeing with his former boss that his investigation is a baseless “witch-hunt.”


In what should make for superfun questions during presidential debates (on both sides), donor records reveal that Donald and Ivanka have donated to six of the declared or potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, including Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Republican lawmakers once again kept it classy with this appalling display.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Not necessarily a feel-good, unless rampant corruption floats your boat (but no, you aren’t Trump fans or you wouldn’t be here), but read this and see if it sounds familiar. Keep an eye on what happens with Netanyahu’s case—as Brexit revealed the first rumblings of a global far-right wave, this might presage the end of it at the hands of a divisive criminal misusing his office and cozying up to world despots.

This headline and picture alone…! But the story is even better. 😀

Take Action Newsletter: #FakeEmergency: Senate Edition; Lobby for Medicaid Expansion at #TXLEGE; Activist Spotlight on Cat Yuracka; Your Moment of Zen

Take Action

Tell Cornyn and Cruz to support the resolution to end the #FakeEmergency

Fake Emergency: Senate Edition

Now that the resolution has passed in the House, it’s time to shift our attention to our senators. Cornyn has already stated he will not support this resolution, but he also expressed concern about the precedent this sets. Cruz seems undecided.

So ask Cornyn and Cruz how they feel about the next Democratic president declaring a state of emergency to address actual crises like global warming and gun violence.

Or remind them, as Rep. Veronica Escobar did, that “military families are the ones who will lose out if the senate doesn’t reject this ‘emergency’ declaration. It is the money allocated for building day care and schools for them that will be raided. If senators can’t support the constitution, can they at least support our troops?”

Write Cornyn and Cruz a letter about the #FakeEmergency


How your voices are making a difference

  • The House passed a resolution to nullify Donald’s declaration of a phony national emergency
  • The House passed universal background checks for gun ownership
  • A federal judge blocked the GOP’s attempt to purge voter rolls in Texas

Keep reading… there’s more where this came from!


Events

Want to lobby at the TXLEGE? Sign up here!

Monday, March 4

Lobby Day: Let the People Vote! Texas Rally for Medicaid Expansion

Hosted by Indivisible Austin, Indivisible Houston, Cover Texas Now, Children’s Defense Fund Texas & many more

Texas leaders have had six years to expand Medicaid and they aren’t getting it done. So let the people vote!

Tuesday, March 5

8 a.m. PLEASE COME TESTIFY AT HOUSE INSURANCE COMMITTEE!

On Tuesday morning, Rep. Coleman’s Medicaid expansion bill HB 565 will get a hearing! This bill will both expand Medicaid and codify protections of the ACA in state law, including coverage of pre-existing conditions.

If you’ve ever thought, “hey, I want to testify on a health care bill at the #txlege,” this is your chance!

Here’s the hearing notice

And the bill text

Cover Texas Now has all the resources you could ever want on Medicaid expansion here. You can also use the bullet points above to help shape your testimony.

Wednesday, March 6

10 a.m. Weekly Cornyn Office Visits

Our friends at TX10 Indivisible are organizing weekly visits to Sen. John Cornyn’s Austin office. Space is limited. Cornyn’s Austin office holds five people. First come, first served.

RSVP to visit Cornyn’s office

7:00 p.m. How to effectively track bills—Texas Edition!

Join the Indivisible national webinar as they discuss bill tracking best practices, prioritization and identify key pieces of legislation at the Texas Legislature. Join here on Zoom.

Monday, March 11

March on the Capitol for Texas Public Education

Hosted by Texas AFT and Texas AFL-CIO

Had enough of stagnant pay, overwhelming health-care costs and inadequate funding for our students? Join us for a rally at the Capitol where we intend to be 10,000 strong telling legislators that we are ready to Speak Out! and Stand Together! for public education.

View more TXLEGE lobby days


Activist Spotlight: Cat Yuracka

Cat Yuracka in Handmaids UniformWe’re reposting this spotlight on activist Cat Yuracka. Since we last spoke with Cat, she has been bearing witness at child detention facilities, first in Tornillo and now in Homestead, Florida.

From our post last June:

The Resistance Choir of South Central Texas was the brainchild of TX21 Indivisibleactivist 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.

Continue reading…

Follow Cat and Witness: Tornillo on Twitter to see the latest posts from Homestead, Florida


Funding the Fight

This has been an absolute whirlwind of a week. The morally bankrupt circus that is the Trump administration continues in DC, and we’re helping mobilize people to pressure our representatives to speak out against the unconstitutional, fake border emergency. Here in Texas, we’re fighting on so many fronts at the legislature that we had to send an extra newsletter last week.

With so much going on, won’t you please make a gift now, to help us keep up the pace?


Your Moment of Zen

 

 

Nullifying the phony national emergency | How your voices are making a difference

Democrats Getting It Done

The House passed a resolution to nullify Donald’s declaration of a phony national emergency, with the support of 13 Republicans. The motion will be forced to the Senate floor for a vote now; it needs only 4 Republican Senators to vote for it in order to pass, and three GOP senators have already indicated support.

Meanwhile the governor of Wisconsin joined two other state governors in pulling his state’s National Guardsmen from the southern border, stating, “There is simply not ample evidence to support the president’s contention of a national security crisis at our southwestern border.”

The House Oversight Committee voted to subpoena Trump administration officials to hand over documents related to the separation of families at the border.

The House passed universal background checks for gun ownership and voted to extend the period of review time from 3 days to 10.

After the New York Times exposed a story about Donald DIRECTLY ordering security clearance for Jared Kushner, despite intelligence concerns (against advice from John Kelly and Don McGahn, who filed memos at the time registering their opposition), House investigators demanded the White House turn over security-related documents immediately.

And if you haven’t yet watched Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s incisive five-minute questioning of Michael Cohen, you should—the razor-sharp questioning lays the groundwork for the House to subpoena Donald’s tax returns.

Republicans Against the Law

The DC attorney general became the third government entity to subpoena financial records from Donald’s inaugural committee.

federal judge blocked the GOP’s attempt to purge voter rolls in Texas, calling it “unconstitutional” and “ham-handed.”

After threatening Michael Cohen in a tweet, GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz is under investigation by the Florida bar. Even Rick Scott is upset, y’all, calling Gaetz’s threats “embarrassing” and “disgusting.”

Wake County grand jury voted to indict Leslie McCrae Dowless, the operative working with Republican Mark Harris in the election where widespread fraud was revealed to have been perpetrated by the GOP campaign with absentee ballots. Harris announced he will not run in the new election due to health concerns.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Grace Slick licensed rights to a Jefferson Airplane song to Chick-Fil-A—then donated all her proceeds to LGBTQ causes in direct opposition to company’s known support for hard-right conservative causes, especially those that assail the rights of the LGBTQ community.

Wedding-planning mega site The Knot cut all ties with an anti-LGBTQ wedding videographer after he refused to film the ceremony of a same-sex couple.

A movement to transition to a popular vote rather than the electoral college is gaining momentum in several states, opposed mostly—to no one’s surprise—by Republicans, who have won two presidential elections in the last five election cycles in the electoral college that they lost thumpingly in the popular vote.

Your Feel-Good Stories of the Week

This guy became an Internet sensation for ten minutes.

This black man managed to get the “commander” of a longtime white supremacist Neo-Nazi hate group to sign over control of the group to him (it’s the second time he’s done something similar), and his first act was to recommend to a Virginia court that it find the organization guilty of conspiring to commit violence at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017 that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer. He will be using the organization’s social media and Web sites as a platform to offer education about the Holocaust, racism, and anti-Semitism to the millions of white supremacists that visit them each year. An extraordinary read if you have 15 minutes.

Take Action Newsletter: Support background checks at gun shows; end the #FakeEmergency; Roger Williams Town Hall; #TXLEGE lobby days

Take Action

Two big votes in the House this week:

Tell your reps: Support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R.8)

Congress is voting this week on H.R.8, which would close the loophole in the current law to require background checks for firearm purchases online and at gun shows. It’s a small, but important step toward ending the epidemic of gun violence. Rep. Lloyd Doggett is a cosponsor (thanks, Lloyd!) and the bill has five Republican cosponsors as well (none, sadly, from Texas).

If you have been personally affected by gun violence, and are able to share your story, your message will be even more persuasive. Tell your Republican reps:

  • Support H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019
  • The bill has five Republican cosponsors
  • The bill utilizes the current background checks process in the United States to ensure individuals prohibited from gun possession are not able to obtain firearms.
  • H.R.8 would close a loophole by requiring background checks for every firearm sale, including at gun shows and online.

Write your reps a letter now

Watch Rep. Roger Williams tell a student constituent why he does not support H.R.8.

Tell your reps: Support Rep. Castro’s resolution to end the #FakeNationalEmergency

Trump declared a national emergency to build his vanity wall after signing the funding bill that will lead to even more detention, deportation, and family separations at the border. This is a full-fledged attack on our democracy.

The House is voting this week on Rep. Castro’s resolution to end the Fake National Emergency. Then it will go to the Senate. Ultimately it will need a veto-proof majority.

So write your reps now!

Statement from Rep. Lloyd Doggett:

How your voices are making a difference

  • All 12 Senate House Democrats voted to block David Whitley’s nomination as secretary of state
  • Fifty-eight former national security officials signed a declaration against Donald’s national emergency
  • Student-led climate-change protests that began in the UK last week are sweeping across Europe and the world

“…a Capuchin monkey would be better at this point” — READ ON!


#TXLEGE Watch

  • Bills and hearings we’re watching: This week’s roundup of bills and hearings up at the #txlege this week. Several hearings are TODAY (Monday), so don’t delay.
  • We did it! Indivisible Austin joined with 30 groups in calling for the Texas Senate Democrats to block Secretary of State nominee David Whitley’s confirmation. Now all 12 Democratic state senators oppose Whitley, which means there are not enough votes to achieve the two-thirds majority needed for his confirmation.
  • Newly elected (and Indivisible-backed!) Rep. Erin Zwiener introduced a bill that would allow students to use their college IDs to vote. Considering that gun licenses are an acceptable form of identification in Texas—and with the caveat that Voter ID requirements are inherently disenfranchising—this bill makes a lot of sense. Give Rep. Zwiener your thanks—she’s on Twitter, Facebook, and on the web. You can email her at erin.zwiener@house.texas.gov.
  • Want to show up at the Lege? We’ve compiled grassroots orgs’ upcoming Lobby Days during the 86th Legislature. There are three happening this week!

Events

There are three Lobby Days at the Capitol this week!

Monday, Feb. 25

Lobby Day: Fuerza TX: Rally for our Rights

Webinar: Lobbying At The Lege, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 26

Lobby Day: TX Black Women Rise Up Advocacy Day at The Capitol

Thursday, Feb. 28

Social Justice Book Club

6:30 p.m. at the Twin Oaks Branch, Austin Public Library, 1800 S 5th St., 512-974-9991

The Twin Oaks Branch Library is excited to host a social justice book club! This new program series has been curated to encourage all community members to become well informed on critical issues of disparity, inequity, and difference. We hope to challenge the feelings of apathy and fear on important political issues through facilitated dialogue and a facts based approach to civic engagement. Books truly do have the power to raise consciousness and help us become more effective advocates for social uplift and justice both locally and beyond.

Friday, March 1

Lobby Day: Jolt Power Up Summit 2019

Monday, March 4

Lobby Day: Let the People Vote! Texas Rally for Medicaid Expansion

Hosted by Indivisible Austin, Indivisible Houston, Cover Texas Now, Children’s Defense Fund Texas & many more

Texas leaders have had six years to expand Medicaid and they aren’t getting it done. So let the people vote!


Congress Critter of the Week: Rep. Roger Williams

Roger Williams actually held a Town Hall!

A police officer, at the direction of Bee Cave mayor Monte Parker, intervenes when a participant asks a follow-up question of Rep. Roger Williams

Last week, with 24 hours’ notice, Rep. Roger Williams scheduled four Town Halls, one of them in Bee Cave, just outside Austin. Organizers from Indivisible Texas 25 East Austin and Driftwood/Dripping Springs groups scrambled to attend.  Bee Cave mayor Monte Parker moderated the event, and we got this dispatch from one of the attendees.


Your Moment of Zen


Funding the Fight

Even with the House flipping, it feels like everything is getting more chaotic.

The fear of accountability seems to have ratcheted up the cruelty and incompetence to new heights. That’s why having voices consistently, steadily pushing us forward, keeping an eye out for inflection points where real differences can be made, is so important.

That’s why Indivisible Austin is here, to keep us moving forward together, with our eyes open. Be a part of that work. Make a gift today.

 

There is no factual basis on which to declare a state of emergency | How your voices are making a difference

Fifty-eight former national security officials—including Madeleine Albright, Susan Rice, and officials from the administrations of Clinton, Obama, and both Bushes—signed a declaration against Donald’s fanned-up national emergency stating that there is “no factual basis” on which to declare a state of emergency.

In the first actual instance of widespread voter fraud, North Carolina election officials unearthed evidence of a “coordinated, unlawful, and substantially researched unlawful absentee-ballot scheme” on the part of NC Republican House candidate Mark Harris. Harris finally capitulated to the investigations into his campaign manager’s illegal tampering with mail-in ballots, saying that a new election is called for, at which point North Carolina election authorities finally called for one.

Mueller Time

Mueller’s investigation recommends no leniency for Paul Manafort, calling him a “bold” and “hardened” criminal who “brazenly” broke the law. His sentence should be handed down this week.

Just in case Donald pardons Paul Manafort to get him out of the recommended sentence of up to 25 years, the New York state attorney’s office has prepared a case and charges to swoop right in and put him back in jail—presidential pardons apply only in federal charges.

Meanwhile a panicking Donald attacked deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller to investigate credible allegations of election tampering and collusion, as “illegal and treasonous,” retweeting Fox’s and Senator Lindsey Graham’s attempts to frame discussions with then-FBI director Christopher McCabe as a “coup” attempt.

Republicans Against the Law

All 12 Senate House Democrats voted to block David Whitley’s nomination as secretary of state, after Whitley’s fiasco of fake voter-fraud allegations in releasing a list of tens of thousand of “noncitizens” who may have “voted illegally”—allegations that later turned out to be based on flawed data. The Dem blockade will be enough to keep Whitley from being confirmed if all show up for the vote.

coalition of sixteen states is suing the federal government over Donald’s misappropriation of funds in his nonexistent border emergency, as is the ACLU.

House Dems plan to file a resolution rejecting Donald’s declaration of a nonexistent national emergency. While the effort will likely be defeated in the Senate, it will be forced to the Senate floor for a vote, thus putting GOP senators on the record as supporting or rejecting it.

The New Jersey senate just passed a bill that will keep the Mentally Deranged Dotard off the ballot in that state in 2020 unless he releases his tax returns.

former Trump staffer filed a class-action lawsuit challenging Donald’s draconian nondisclosure contracts he forces all staffers to sign, which prohibit ever talking about or criticizing the Very Stable Genius. If successful, the lawsuit will invalidate hundreds of similar NDAs, freeing staffers to speak freely of their time in the madhouse.

The Office of Government Ethics refused to certify a financial disclosure by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross because he violated his ethics agreement by inaccurately reporting his stock holdings. Ross says he didn’t mean to.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled to limit the power of local and state governments to seize property and impose fines.

The Illinois governor signed a bill raising the minimum wage to $15 hour (from $8.25).

federal judge ruled that both children of a same-sex couple are entitled to citizenship rights after the U.S. Consulate in Toronto required DNA testing for both twins and then denied one child the birthright because his DNA came from his Israeli-national father instead of his American father.

R. Kelly is finally being charged for the many sexual misconduct allegations many victims have accused him of. Illinois brought 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse against the singer Friday, with his bond being set at $1 million.

After the publisher and editor of an Alabama paper called last week for the KKK to ride again and “clean out” Washington, the bigot apparently had a change of heart and stepped down, naming a black woman as the paper’s new editor.

The Kids Are All Right

A group of New Jersey high school students drafted a bill requiring civil rights cold cases to be collected in one place and released to the public without the necessity of delays and red tape under the Freedom of Information Act. The students lobbied for their bill, shepherded it through Congress, and saw it passed at the end of last year.

In a move partially led by the state’s teenagers, Colorado has proposed legislation banning abstinence-only education in public and charter schools and will mandate teaching on safe sex, consent, and sexual orientation.

Student-led climate-change protests that began in the UK last week are sweeping across Europe and the world, with French students walking out of class to protest government inaction on fighting global warming. Students around the world are planning more protests to come, with a worldwide strike on March 15.

Your Feel-Good Stories of the Week

Tenants of yet another Manhattan building voted to remove Donald’s name from its marquee. Immediately after that a second one—the sole remaining NY Trump property—followed suit, leaving exactly zero Trump-branded buildings in Donald’s hometown, down from six.

If this girl is the future of media, we’re going to be okay.

Finally, a word about the 2020 election and the wide field of Dem candidates. We have already seen evidence of cyber tampering with the focus of creating dissent among Democrats and splitting the vote. This is how we got Donald in 2016. Let’s not make the same mistake in 2020. Whichever Democratic candidate is the primary winner will be far better than the GOP candidate currently in the White House—and I can say that as a blanket statement, because really a Capuchin monkey would be better at this point, or at least kinder and more rational. It’s essential that we support—wholeheartedly—the only candidate with a chance at removing the current president, and that is the Democrat, whoever he or she is, because NO candidate is perfect, but any politician in the race is better than the known quantity we have: a proven liar who surrounds himself with felons while illegally profiting from his office, and systematically attacking civil rights and operating for the benefit of his crony 1% instead of the bulk of Americans. Please—please—don’t help make another victory for him possible by falling prey to GOP and Russian efforts to divide the opposition and let him win.

capuchin monkey: better than donald

That time Rep. Roger Willams actually held a Town Hall

Roger Williams Bee Cave Town Hall in which Bee Cave Mayor Monty Parker asked the cops to intervene with a followup question

Photos: TX25 Indivisible, Driftwood/Dripping Springs

Last week, with 24 hours’ notice, Rep. Roger Williams scheduled four Town Halls, one of them in Bee Cave, just outside Austin. Organizers from Indivisible Texas 25 East Austin and Driftwood/Dripping Springs groups scrambled to attend.

Bee Cave mayor Monte Parker moderated the event, and we got this dispatch from one of the attendees.

Congressman Roger Williams held a Faux Town Hall in Bee Caves Tuesday, February 19. With no more than 24 hour notice, his staff sent out a Facebook invitation to the 10:00 am event.  The moderator was Bee Caves Mayor, Monte Parker, who started with a stern warning to the constituents in attendance, we were to follow the rules, which he never explained.

Roger Williams made a speech, then Parker asked questions that had been submitted from the audience during registration. (You had to pick from a skewed list of topics.) Questions asked, Williams responds, no audience participation allowed.

Finally, a few audience members were able to ask questions, which Williams answered, but Parker made sure there were no follow-up questions, which is not how Town Hall—where concerned citizens have a dialogue with their Representatives—are supposed to work.

Mayor Parker was unprofessional and completely disregarded the first amendment in his handling of the situation, going so far as have a police officer come warn a citizen he would be removed because he asked a follow-up question.

The lack of respect for the citizens in attendance frustrated nearly everyone; one man was told if he didn’t like the way things were, he could leave—and so he did.

From the beginning, Mayor Parker set the adversarial tone, and he continued his heavy-handed approach throughout the one-hour meeting. This is not how Democracy works. We must hold our leaders to a higher standard. Mayor Parker needs to take a look at his bias before he moderates another town hall.

Watch Rep. Roger Williams tell a student constituent why he does not support H.R.8.:

Write your reps! Support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R.8)

Congress is voting the week of February 25, 2019 on H.R.8, which would close the loophole in the current law to require background checks for firearm purchases online and at gun shows. It’s a small, but important step toward ending the epidemic of gun violence. Rep. Lloyd Doggett is a cosponsor (thanks, Lloyd!) and the bill has five Republican cosponsors as well (none, sadly, from Texas).