The Rights of Women and Girls; Zombie SB 9; End the “Dead Suspects” loophole | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

The Rights of Women and Girls

While the Texas legislature is no friend to comprehensive health care, this past week the state of Alabama’s new, near total ban on abortion dominated headlines. The law is so extreme that it would force a 12-year-old rape survivor to carry a pregnancy to term—and this in a state with abysmal education, child care, and public support policies for children writ large. While some may oppose abortion care for genuine reasons, Alabama’s law makes clear the political hypocrisy motivating too many who call themselves “pro-life.”

This law is designed to go to the Supreme Court and overturn—or at the very least gut—Roe v. Wade. Supporters want people to forget the women and girls taken to the ER after being preyed upon in back alleys or taking desperate measures on their own. We won’t forget.

And we also won’t forget that federal lawmakers are not powerless to act. Passing a federal law could codify a woman’s right to choose has always been a possibility, but always blocked by conservatives.

Urge our members of Congress to pledge to do anything it takes to make a stand for women’s rights—cosponsoring legislation, blocking judicial nominees in the Senate, and speaking out clearly against this affront of a law.

Show up at the Capitol on Tuesday at 11 a.m. to #StoptheBans


Zombie SB 9?

SB 9 appears to have died in the House Calendars Committee, and therefore cannot be passed before the May 21st deadline. More than 120 witnesses showed up to testify, the vast majority opposed to the bill. Your calls and letters rattled them!

We must remain vigilant, as provisions of the bill could be amended to other bills. We’ll need to fight any renewed efforts to suppress voters with the same tenacity we fought SB 9.

But the last week has shown: Activism works!

Read the latest letter to the House Elections committee from Texas Civil Rights Project and other grassroots orgs


Close the “Dead Suspects Loophole” to the Public Information Act

This is a quick action for constituents of state Sen. Kirk Watson (basically all of Austin):

Texas law makes records non-public in criminal cases when the suspect dies. This means the government can withhold information in police shootings, jail suicides, and other situations where a defendant died before being convicted. These are the cases where we need accountability most!

  • Support closure for families and loved ones of people killed by police
  • Promote public accountability in the most serious death-in-custody cases.
  • Restore public status of records that were open in Texas for 25 years w/o a problem.

Send Kirk Watson a letter


How your voices are making a difference

  • Michigan Rep. Justin Amash has become the first Republican to call for Donny’s impeachment
  • The House passed a bill that will ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
  • In Nevada, a majority-female legislative body is prioritizing women’s health and safety issues, prison reform, and gun safety

Don’t panic! Read how your voices are making a difference


Texas 2020

Imagine a world where Donald Trump is defeated but the Senate keeps its majority, and John Cornyn remains in office. Our job is to ensure that doesn’t happen. The Texas Tribune reports that three more people are considering a run against Cornyn:

  • Amanda Edwards, an at-large Houston City Council member
  • Dallas-area State Sen. Royce West
  • Chris Bell, the former Houston congressman and 2006 gubernatorial nominee

In the House, Julie Oliver (TX25) and Christine Eady Mann (TX31) officially kicked off their campaigns.

For updates on these and other districts, bookmark our Central Texas 2020 Elections Resource page


Congress Critter of the Week: A Tale of Two Congressmen

Last week, Rep. Chip Roy had a public meltdown defending the rights of pharmaceutical companies to gouge patients and earn monopolistic profits. Elle Magazine put it best:

“Now you may say, what’s wrong with having a huge emotional response to the fact that a small number of drug executives are making more than most of the cast of Avengers: End Game made? Oh, because Roy was arguing in defense of that most maligned of social groups: Profits.”

Compare Rep. Roy’s statement to a House speech from Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who, like Roy, is passionate about drug prices, but unlike Roy, he wants them to go DOWN.

Let’s make room for more reps like Lloyd Doggett in the House. We can begin by firing Chip Roy.


Let’s talk about climate change

One of the best ways you can fight climate change is to talk about it. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. Here are some conversation starters.

  • The Guardian newspaper recently updated their style guide to replace neutral phrases like “climate change” with words that more clearly express what is actually going on: “Crisis,” “Emergency,” etc.
  • Research shows that people respond better to photos of people fighting climate change than to, say, polar bears stranded on ice. Climate Visuals a photo library of people engaged in climate solutions.
  • Use this shortcut to read and share the text of the the Green New Deal: indivisibleaustin.com/gnd
  • Finally, here’s Bill Nye the Science Guy swearing like a sailor about climate change:


Funding the Fight

We’re in the thick of it at the Texas Legislature, and with your help, Indivisible Austin is leading the fight. Last week, we helped organize major resistance to the SB9 voter suppression bill at its committee hearing. Thanks to all the volunteers and allied groups, we were able to show a shocking and unexpected level of resistance to this terrible bill.

We need you to keep engaged with us at the legislature and we truly need your financial support to keep all our wheels turning. Support us in our efforts to be your voice of the legislature. Make a gift today.


Your Moment of Zen

(For best results play with the sound ON.)

 

Don’t lose sight of progress | How your voices are making a difference

First off, don’t panic.

In the recent wave of anti-choice legislation—in Alabama, where 25 white male Republicans decided the issue; legislation in Georgia that criminalizes abortion for residents in or out of the state, and the GOP lawmaker in Missouri who voted along with the rest of his party to criminalize abortion, citing “consensual rape”—it’s easy to despair. But step back and see the bigger picture behind these frantic efforts to overturn established law of the land.

Don’t lose sight of progress: In Nevada, a majority-female legislative body is prioritizing women’s health and safety issues, prison reform, and gun safety, while reports of sexual harassment forced one male lawmaker to resign. Don’t forget that last September, only months after Ireland made abortion legal—for the first time ever—the conservative, Catholic country made them free.  Remember last March that Washington state passed a state law that ensures insurance companies will be required to pay for abortions. THIS is what happens when women–and other historical minorities (who are now a majority) finally have a voice.

This may in fact wind up being the very issue that galvanizes the vote, as these draconian, unconstitutional legislative acts get more and more media exposure—especially highlighting the GOP’s hypocrisy. In Pennsylvania, for instance, GOP representative Tim Murphy, a strong anti-abortion activist, resigned from the house after—wait for it!—reports surfaced that he’d asked his extramarital mistress to have an abortion. Alabama governor Kay Ivey, who signed the unconstitutional anti-women abortion ban in Alabama, said in a tweet, “this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God.” And then the next day she presided over an execution—her seventh in her tenure as governor.

Even staunch conservative Pat Robertson said Alabama “has gone too far.” Even House GOP leader Senator Kevin McCarthy. The GOP knows they’ve pushed women too far and the backlash is coming—remember the sizes of the crowds—globally—in the Women’s March the day after Donny was inaugurated? Don’t underestimate the numbers and power of the opposition to this antediluvian legislation and attitudes.

The world has changed, warriors, even if the old white male guard doesn’t want to believe it. Women, youth, and “minorities” are now the majority—and they will not go backward. We may have to struggle through the death throes of the terrified aging white man as he realizes his monopoly on controlling world events is ending, but it will end. Stay in the fight. If every woman, young person, and ethnic group voted we would put a stop to this regression in the very next election.

And just to put another little glimpse of the inevitable future in your view—this week Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage—the first Asian country to do so. Change is a-comin’, friends, whether the GOP wants it or not.

Republicans Reconsidering

And the tide turns elsewhere too. Michigan Rep. Justin Amash has become the first Republican to call for Donny’s impeachment, stating that AG William Barr “deliberately misrepresented” Mueller’s findings.

Despite being asked by the Mentally Deranged Dotard to state that he hadn’t obstructed justice, Donny’s former lawyer Don McGahn refused.

In fact a surprising wave of conservative and Republican lawyers are condemning Trump for abuses of power—and the letter from last week defending Mueller’s investigation and stating that the report showed plenty of grounds for obstruction of justice charges against the Very Stable Genius is up to more than 800 signatures, at last check, many of them Republicans.

Former TV host Larry Kudlow, now serving as Director of the National Economic Council (aside to future generations who may read this—no, really! This happened!), contradicted Donald’s laughably ignorant view of tariffs (that they will put “$100 billion into the U.S. Treasury” (no, really, future people, this happened!)—on FOX News, of all places, acknowledging that the trade war Don John has kicked off will hurt American consumers.

Some Republican lawmakers expressed growing concern that President Trump’s escalating trade war with China is hurting their constituents in rural America.

Voters are figuring out they’ve been had; this Midwestern farmer who voted for Trump is set to lose $150K thanks to Donny’s whose-dick-is-bigger tariff battle with China, and says he’d never vote for the Commander of Cheese again.

Mitt Romney, who every now and then grows a spine, spoke out against a judge supported by Don John and the rest of his GOP toadies, refusing to vote to confirm a federal judge appointee of Donny’s who referred to President Obama as “an un-American impostor.”

We also learned this week that top Department of Homeland Security officials challenged the Very Stable Genius’s plan to carry out mass family arrests—a likely cause of Donny’s subsequent purge of the department.

More Bad News for Don John!

His businesses are tanking (again). Mar-A-Lago’s revenue dropped 10 percent, and Donny can’t seem to give away condos at Trump Tower, New York’s least prestigious address. Donald’s Doral resort is also in steep decline, illustrating his mounting business problems. Eric Trump said the resort was “on fire,” but the company later said profitability was down 69%. (Maybe he meant it’s literally on fire?)

Donny’s boy Scott Pruitt, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency who resigned amid investigations into his inappropriate spending of taxpayer dollars, will be required to repay $124,000 of the more than $1 million excessive travel funds he spent while in office, on recommendation from the EPA internal watchdog. The best people!

The House in DA HOUSE

The House passed a bill that will ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. While it will likely not pass in the Senate (that’s if Mitch McConnell doesn’t stifle it first), it’s another indication of progress moving relentlessly forward, even as the old white men of the GOP cling to it by their fingernails.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Just when you think it can’t get any dumber, there’s this: Ted Cruz doubled down on his support of Donald’s ludicrous “Space Force” because—and I’m not making this up, “Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space.” You guys…BECAUSE SPACE PIRATES.

After one broadcaster realized the inequality of representation of women on TV news shows and corrected the imbalance, the movement has gone global, with hundreds of shows in Great Britain and across the world following suit to keep parity between the genders in guests and commentators.

If Howard Stern can reform into a decent human being, there’s hope for anyone.

Here’s a puppy high-five. Now fight on–we have work to do.

Last chance to stop SB 9; Demand that Barr be held in contempt of Congress | Take Action Newsletter

2020 Central Texas Election Resources

Happy (belated) Mother’s Day! ❤️

Every day thousands of mothers languish in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. Make a donation today to the National Bail Out Collective, the force behind the #FreeBlackMamas Mother’s Day bail-outs. Throughout the year, the collective also provides fellowship and employment opportunities for those they bail out. And they work with groups like the Texas Organizing Project to support ongoing bail reform efforts.


Take Action

Last chance to stop SB 9

I voted stickers

SB 9, the voter-suppression bill in the Texas Legislature that would charge voters with felonies for making honest mistakes, has a hearing in the House Elections Committee on Wednesday, May 15 at 8 a.m.

SB 9 seeks to make voting much more difficult, confusing, and scary for voters, all while creating more red-tape and bureaucracy for county election administrators. In 2018, a record number of Texans showed up to the polls to participate in our midterm elections. Instead of encouraging more democratic participation, SB 9 seeks to keep more and more Texans from voting in the future.

Read more about SB9

Call or email your rep—especially if they are on the Elections Committee:

Chair: Rep. Stephanie Klick (512) 463-0599

stephanie.klick@house.texas.gov

Vice Chair: Rep. Philip Cortez (512) 463-0269

philip.cortez@house.texas.gov

Rep. John H. Bucy III (512) 463-0696

john.bucy@house.texas.gov

Rep. Dustin Burrows (512) 463-0542

dustin.burrows@house.texas.gov

Rep. Briscoe Cain (512) 463-0733

briscoe.cain@house.texas.gov

Rep. Art Fierro (512) 463-0596

art.fierro@house.texas.gov

Rep. Celia Israel (512) 463-0821

celia.israel@house.texas.gov

Rep. Mayes Middleton (512) 463-0502

mayes.middleton@house.texas.gov

Rep. Valoree Swanson (512) 463-0572

valoree.swanson@house.texas.gov

Contact your state reps about SB 9


Demand that Barr be held in contempt of Congress

(Credit to Celeste Pewter for this action)

A quick recap of the constitutional crisis: House Judiciary voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt. As retaliation for Judiciary’s vote the DOJ urged Trump to assert executive privilege over the Mueller report/related documents—which he did.

Call your rep and insist that they vote Yes when the contempt resolutions comes to a floor vote. You can say:

  1. Barr should be held in contempt if he fails to meet the deadline set by Chairman Schiff and House Intelligence for  turning over an unredacted version of the Mueller Report and related documents to Congress.
  2. For all WH staff and cabinet members to be held in contempt and subject to measures like inherent contempt if they ignore subpoenas, and
  3. I also want [elected] to know, I want [electeds] to continue to discuss Barr resigning and/or being impeached. He’s proven repeatedly that his interests are serving Trump, and not the DOJ or the American people. Enough is enough.

While you’re at it: Demand your member of Congress support Rep. Tlaib’s Impeachment Resolution


How your voices are making a difference

  • The House Ways and Means Committee subpoenaed Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin
  • The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold the U.S. attorney general in contempt
  • The Austin City Council formally backed AOC’s Green New Deal

“Evil only wins when good is silent.” Read how your voices are making a difference


Events

Wednesday, May 15

SB 9 hearing with Elections Committee at Capitol, room E2.016

See SB9 action above. Show up in person to oppose voter suppression.

Optional RSVP on Facebook


Funding the Fight

Indivisible Austin’s fight for democracy includes fighting against the horrendous voter suppression bill, SB 9, sending more than 70 letters. Among many anti-democratic  provisions, SB 9 prevents pregnant women from voting absentee, even if they expect to be giving birth on the day of the election.

These are extraordinary times calling for extraordinary action. We’re making a difference together. You can be a part of it. Contact your legislators AND support our efforts to reach others like you by making a gift today!


Your Moment of Zen

 

“What happens now will redefine the future of our democracy” | How your voices are making a difference

Donald’s Taxes

Ten years of tax returns (1985-1994) obtained by the New York Times show Donny Boy sustained business losses of more than $1 billion—this during the time “Art of the Deal” was published (which clearly should have been in the fiction category); “In fact, year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer, The Times found when it compared his results with detailed information the I.R.S. compiles on an annual sampling of high-income earners.” He avoided paying taxes for eight of those ten years.

The House Ways and Means Committee subpoenaed Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig for Donny’s tax returns.

Ooooh, girl New York is pretty much coming for Donny boy. NYC doesn’t tolerate its own making a mockery of it—lawmakers in the state voted to create a pathway via which congressional committees can obtain a resident’s state tax returns—a process exempt from executive privilege.

Russia Investigation

The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold the U.S. attorney general in contempt for refusing to release to Congress—the coequal branch of government charged with oversight of the executive branch—the full unredacted Mueller report, which Mueller specifically stated should be released to Congress. Let that sink in, America—you have an attorney general operating primarily to protect the president—not our country, our democracy, or the American people—in direct defiance of the government set out by the Founding Fathers.

Meanwhile the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena for Beavis Don Jr. (who lacks executive privilege to skate past the law, as his father does) for further testimony regarding his role in facilitating contacts between his father’s presidential campaign and Russia. Acting White House chief of staff (goes without saying pretty much everyone in this administration is just acting like what they think their role is) Mick Mulvaney was apparently a bit put out that the White House wasn’t given a heads-up ahead of time. From Congress. Doing its job of oversight on the executive branch. (I do not think this administration understands how government works. Or the law.)

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff issued a subpoena to the Justice Department for “counterintelligence and foreign intelligence” from Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Amid Don John and his cronies’ attempts to delegitimize the Russia investigation, James Baker, a top former FBI lawyer, stated in no uncertain terms, ““There was no attempted coup.”

Donald’s FBI director Christopher Wray—whom he appointed—stated that he would not refer to the investigations into Donny’s campaign as “spying,” as Don John and his toadies (like AG William Barr) keep trying to assert, and stating he is aware of no evidence that spying occurred.

A growing list of former federal prosecutors—more than 800 at last count—signed a letter opining that if Don John weren’t president (still seems like a parody to write that), he’d have been charged with obstruction based on Mueller’s investigation findings.

But in all seriousness, we’re in what Rep. Adam Schiff termed a Constitutional crisis. By blanket-obstructing all subpoenas and blocking witness testimony, the president is actively impeding the legislative branch from doing its constitutional duties. This is truthfully when the ink gets set—Americans have to decide whether they support a president thwarting our democracy, our laws, our norms, or whether they support the country and its Constitution. I’m looking at YOU, GOP Congress. What happens now will redefine the future of our democracy—and whether there is one—and of our country.

So what can you do? SPEAK UP. Evil only wins when good is silent. Don’t let antifactual statements go unchallenged—even from your loved ones. There’s a way to gently and even lovingly present truth and encourage others to look at their premises without attacking their beliefs or them as people.

The House in Da HOUSE

The House passed a $19 billion disaster relief bill despite Trump’s opposition to funding for Puerto Rico.

Republicans Agasinst the Law

After Don John turned on Melania’s former adviser, the poshly named Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, stating that she was dismissed after excessively profiting as one of the leading contractors of his inaugural events, she is now cooperating with federal prosecutors in Manhattan investigating the inaugural committee, stating that she was “thrown under the bus” by Donny.

Random Good News

Turkey’s wannabe-dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan suffered a stinging defeat in recent mayoral elections. Unfortunately, the Turkish strongman leader then overturned the results and demanded a new election (which open flouting of their democracy, however, may presage an uprising against his regime from Turkish citizens).

The Austin City Council formally backed AOC’s Green New Deal, unanimously approving that resolution and another environmental resolution that explore ideas for a city climate resilience plan and to consider hiring a specialized resiliency consultant or chief resilience officer.

When one of the most outspoken Republicans in the hard-core far-right Freedom Caucus leaves the organization, that’s saying something.

After more than 500 days in captivity, two Pulitzer prize-winning Reuters journalists were released from a Myanmar prison.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Remember the anti-LGBTQ bill on the docket in the state lege last week that would have allowed individuals and organizations to legally discriminate against LGBTQ employees if they cited “religious conviction”? Dead, thanks to the efforts of the House’s LGBTQ caucus, formed this year.

At a rally in Florida (ever notice it’s dictators and tyrants who hold rallies unless they are campaigning? Remember how our other presidents just did their actual job instead of seeking the approval they so desperately needed?) Donny joked about shooting immigrants. No, no…really.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Cute doggo

Breaking slightly with the usual content of this category to extend the Austin Animal Center’s desperate plea for community support. (Because you know what feels good? Rescuing an animal and sharing your life with a furry soul mate.) Over the last three days they’ve taken in 214 animals, thanks to recent storms. Saturday, after only being open for an hour and half, they had taken in 21 animals and there was a line out the door of people bringing in more animals. The regular kennels are full, the holding kennels are full, the conference rooms are full and they’re already using every single popup kennel they have. If you are thinking of adopting a dog, now’s the time! Even if you can only do a week or two of foster, it would help. Please spread the word and help Austin remain no-kill!

Anti-Voter bill SB 9 turns the clock back on Democracy

Courtesy of Move Texas and the Texas Civil Rights Project

What is SB 9?

SB 9 seeks to make voting much more difficult, confusing, and scary for voters, all while creating more red-tape and bureaucracy for county election administrators. In 2018, a record number of Texans showed up to the polls to participate in our midterm elections. Instead of encouraging more democratic participation, SB 9 seeks to keep more and more Texans from voting in the future.

What does SB 9 do?

  • Threatens voters with jail time and enormous fines:​ Voters could be punished for innocent mistakes, such as filling out their voter registration form wrong.
  • Scares voters by weakening their right to a provisional ballot: ​Voters have a right to a provisional ballot when they sincerely believe they are eligible to vote, but this bill exposes them to possible jail time for doing so.
  • Creates new red tape for those who need assistance while voting, in particular elderly voters, voters with disabilities, and non-English speaking voters: ​Those who drive voters to the polls and assist them while voting will have to fill out burdensome new forms just to help people vote.
  • Injects partisanship into our elections: ​It allows partisan poll watchers to follow voters who need assistance into the privacy of the voting booth and watch them have their ballots marked.
  • Expands dangerous new powers to law enforcement: ​It gives law enforcement complete legal immunity from prosecution for committing election-related crimes, allowing law enforcement to conduct undercover sting operations against community-based organizations.
  • Exposes innocent people to arrest for vaguely defined conduct:​ Individuals who are assisting voters or exercising their right to free speech face new, confusing penalties for “impeding a walkway, sidewalk, parking lot, or roadway” up to 500 feet from a polling place, an area larger than a football field.
  • Gives state officials more access to voters’ private information:​ AttorneyGeneralKenPaxton would be given direct access to the electronic voter registration database, which includes Social Security Numbers, Driver License Numbers, and other personal information.

    What can I do to stop SB 9?

    SB 9 would make voting harder and scarier for thousands of our fellow Texans who just want to have a voice in their democracy. We must reject SB 9, and focus instead on holding our leaders accountable in making it easier for more communities to participate in our democracy.

Support the #txlege children’s health coverage bill; Guess who’s not running against Cornyn; Run Wendy Run | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Help Children’s Health bill HB342 get a vote in the Texas House!

Texas has the nation’s highest uninsured rate for kids and it is getting worse.

  • When kids get enrolled in Medicaid, they would get six uninterrupted months of coverage at a time.
  • The current process gives children month to month coverage for half the year and asks parents to submit paperwork up to 5 times a year – per child, greatly increasing the chance that eligible children will lose coverage.
  • This bill would keep more kids insured and healthy.
  • It would cut down on costly paperwork burdening the state, parents and doctors.

Email the members of the House Calendars Committee your support for the Children’s Health Coverage Bill – HB 342

Keep the pressure on your state senator to prevent the confirmation of David Whitley to Texas Secretary of StateSay NO to David Whitley, say NO to voter suppression

Activists like you have sent over 100 letters to their state senators to block David Whitley from becoming the next Texas Secretary of State. Can you make it 200? We especially need letters sent from outside the Austin area (i.e. outside Kirk Watson’s district).

Send a letter to your state senator


How your voices are making a difference

  • The Texas House added a provision to SB2486 that would offer discrimination protections to the LGBTQ community
  • Facebook (finally) barred right-wing extremists and white nationalists
  • Stephen Moore, Don John’s nominee for the federal reserve board who has a history of sexist and female-denigrating remarks, has bowed out after public outcry

“Unlawful, defenseless and condemnable”


2020 is coming

Take the grassroots pledge

Ezra Levin on Maddow video thumbnail

As seen on Maddow! Take the Indivisible pledge to:

  • Make the primary constructive.
  • Rally behind the winner.
  • Do the work to beat Trump.

Take the grassroots pledge at pledge.indivisible.org

Who’s not running against Cornyn?

The race for John Cornyn’s senate seat lost a serious contender, as Rep. Joaquin Castro announced somewhat inadvertently that he is staying in the House of Representatives. Props to the Left in Texas podcast for calling this one a couple of weeks ago.

We’re still 10 months from the primary, but this can only be good news for MJ Hegar, whose candidacy has baited Cornyn’s campaign into an ill-advised Twitter war with celebs Patton Oswalt and Rosie O’Donnell.

Take the pledge to fire John Cornyn

What’s up in TX21?

Map of TX21

Quick editorial: It’s been a month since former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis floated the prospect of running against freshman congressman Chip Roy in TX21.

Since then… nothing.

If anyone needs a serious challenge, it’s Chip, whose endless bloviating about chicken sandwiches and open borders reveals that he is far more suited for a gig at Fox News than as a representative of the people in his heavily gerrymandered district.

Join our friends at TX21 Indivisible to bring the fight to Chip

More 2020 Central Texas Election Resources!


Funding the Fight

Indivisible Austin is dedicated to fighting to preserve and advance the democratic ideals we hold dear. Together, we’re having a real impact on the future of democracy in Texas. So far this session, members of IATX have sent more than 140 letters against the confirmation of David Whitley as Secretary of State. That’s just letters sent through our online form.

It was Whitley who perpetrated the false report of non-citizens being registered and voting. Public pressure from groups like Indivisible Austin played no small role in the Secretary of State’s office folding in the lawsuit against using that report.

Indivisible Austin’s fight for democracy has reached to fighting against the horrendous voter suppression bill, SB9, again sending more than 60 letters. Among many anti-democratic  provisions, SB9 prevents pregnant women from voting absentee, even if they expect to be giving birth on the day of the election.

These are extraordinary times calling for extraordinary action. We’re making a difference together. You can be a part of it. Contact your legislators AND support our efforts to reach others like you by making a gift today!


Your Moment of Zen

 

“Unlawful, defenseless and condemnable” | How your voices are making a difference

Mueller Time

Donny admitted he talked to his lord and master, Vladimir Putin, about Mueller’s investigation. You know, the one that was top-secret and investigating election interference FROM RUSSIA.

Turns out Robert Mueller wrote a personal letter to AG William Barr after the latter’s sanitized four-page Cliff’s Notes version of Mueller’s 400+-page heavily annotated report, stating his concerns that Barr’s thumbnail sketch missed “the context, nature, and substance” of his investigation.

Meanwhile FOX News legal analyst (and usually Donald fanboy) Andrew Napolitano stated that he believes the Mueller report to indicate Don John did indeed obstruct justice, and called the Very Stable Genius’s actions “unlawful, defenseless and condemnable.” (To which Donald responded with a vitriolic tweetstorm, in a now-cliched plot twist, which Napolitano called “brilliant” as a way to distract attention from the actual damning conclusions of the Mueller report.)

Republicans Against the Law

A federal judge ruled that the emoluments case against Don John (reaping financial benefit from foreign governments) can proceed.

Federal judges found Ohio’s GOP-gerrymandered maps to be unconstitutional.

An increasingly panicky Donald and family are suing Deutsche Bank and Capital One, both financial institutions that offered loans/lines of credit to Trumps when no other banks would, due to their sketchy financial info. I wonder what on EARTH the Drumpfs could be hiding so desperately?

Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, well-known right-wing provocateurs and conspiracy theorists, were revealed to be behind the recent discredited false accusations of rape against presidential candidate (and mayor) Pete Buttigieg. The man the two approached, a gay Republican, subsequently recanted his statements and exposed Wohl and Burkman for the deceit.

The Swamp

Stephen Moore, Don John’s nominee for the federal reserve board who has a history of sexist and female-denigrating remarks, has bowed out after public outcry. Donny, of course, called Moore a “truly fine person.” You know, just like he did the white supremacists at the Charlottesville rally.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

With the backing of local business groups, the Texas House added a provision to a bill that would offer discrimination protections to the LGBTQ community from having employers pick and choose whether to extend benefits to them.

valedictorian at Brigham Young university used his speech to come out to his entire university and the Mormon community as gay —“I am proud to be a gay son of God”—and was met with an outbreak of applause.

On the verge of their confirmations into the Methodist church where they’d spent a year studying and preparing for the ceremony, a group of teen congregants stood up and walked out to protest the Church’s anti-LGBTQ stance.

Facebook barred right-wing extremists and white nationalist users from its site, including Alex Jones’s Infowars conspiracy theorist site and white-supremacist Milo Yiannopoulos.

Sports Illustrated’s next swimsuit edition will feature a model in a burkini and hijab. While it’ll be nice to get to where women aren’t objectified at all, at least we’re becoming equal-opportunity objectified… Progress?

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Read Patti Davis’s powerful, uncensored op-ed chiding Republicans to stop using her father, Ronald Reagan, to justify continued support for the Mentally Deranged Dotard:

“You have claimed [Reagan’s] legacy, exalted him as an icon of conservatism and used the quotes of his that serve your purpose at any given moment. Yet at this moment in America’s history when the democracy to which my father pledged himself and the Constitution that he swore to uphold, and did faithfully uphold, are being degraded and chipped away at by a sneering, irreverent man who traffics in bullying and dishonesty, you stay silent.”

Tech billionaire Marc Benioff donated $30 million to help combat homelessness in San Francisco.

Write your reps! Oppose SB9, which suppresses the vote by turning honest mistakes into felonies

SB9, in the Texas State Legislature, would sharply escalate the state’s ongoing campaign of voter suppression by making voting substantially harder for thousands of Texans and by spreading fear that people may be thrown in jail for honest mistakes while trying to vote.

Last chance to #PurgeWhitley; Say YES to Civics Education; Cornyn vs. Twitter comedians; Defend Paid Sick Leave | Take Action Newsletter

Early Voting runs through Tuesday in Williamson, Bexar, and parts of Travis County. Election Day is on May 4.

Take Action

Say no to David Whitley for Texas Secretary of State

Say NO to David Whitley, say NO to voter suppression

We won! Civil rights groups—and you—successfully pressured state elections officials into rescinding the attempted purge of almost 100,000 voters. Now it’s time to double down on ensuring that David Whitley, who orchestrated the purge, does not become our next secretary of state.

Send a letter to your state senator to say No to Whitley

Texas Civil Rights Project: Settlement Reached to End Texas Voter Purge and Protect Voting Rights

Tell your state rep you want Civics instruction in all Texas classrooms

HB 3009 will be voted on this week in the Texas House (possibly Tuesday!). The bill would mandate that civics instruction be a part of Texas public school curricula.

The organization Civics for Y’all is sponsoring a letter campaign to tell your reps to vote YES on HB 3009.

Tell your rep to support HB 3009

Related: the Texas Civic Ambassadors (TCA) Program is accepting applications


How your voices are making a difference

  • Texas has agreed to rescind its fallacious list of more than 100K “noncitizen” voters
  • The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed Don McGahn
  • John Cornyn picked an ill-advised fight with Patton Oswalt

Read “Every crevice of life under investigation”


2020 is Coming!

Tell presidential candidates to take the “We Are Indivisible” pledge

we are indivisible

The national Indivisible team is asking 2020 presidential candidates’ commitment to do three things:

  1. Make the primary constructive.
  2. Rally behind the winner.
  3. Do the work to beat Trump.

So far, seven candidates have signed on. You can also take the “grassroots pledge” yourself.

Visit pledge.indivisible.org

MJ Hegar is running against Cornyn; Cornyn is running against Twitter comedians

Last week, former helicopter pilot and TX31 congressional candidate MJ Hegar announced in a three-minute video that she is running for John Cornyn’s seat in the U.S. Senate. The video included a brief cameo from comedian Patton Oswalt. The brain-science ninjas running Cornyn’s social media decided to attack Oswalt for past “offensive” tweets that included naughty words like “penis” and “vagina,” which Cornyn’s team tastefully obscured.

The press has not been kind:

Meanwhile, Rep. Joaquin Castro is expected to announce this week whether he is running for Senate.

Take the pledge to fire John Cornyn

More 2020 Central Texas Election Resources!


Events

Wednesday, May 1

Stand Up! Fight Back! Defend Paid Sick Leave

8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Capitol, room E2.014. Hosted by Texas AFL-CIO, Workers Defense Project, Workstrong Austin, and others

ALERT! Let’s get ready for a “Solidarity Showdown” on Wednesday at 8:00AM – Rm. E2.014. There is a package of state interference bills scheduled for a public hearing that will stop local communities from making life better for workers.

No Texan should have to choose between going to work to pay their bills and staying home when they’re sick or to take a sick child or elderly parent to the doctor. And none of us want to be served our next meal by a waiter or a cook who came to work with the flu because they couldn’t afford to take a day off.

What works in big cities may not work in small towns, and that’s why we rely on local elected officials to know their communities and pass rules that work best for them.

View or RSVP on Facebook


Your Moment of Zen

 

“Every crevice of life under investigation” | How your voices are making a difference

SO MUCH great progress to report this week, but first, this slipped by me for last week’s list: the head of the vigilantes at the border interfering with migrants has been arrested. He looks stable, yes?

The House in da House

The House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed former Don John White House counsel Don McGahn, he of the leaky lips in Mueller’s report, to testify before the committee regarding the ten instances of Donny’s possible obstruction of justice laid out in Mueller’s report.

The House Oversight Committee moved to hold former White House personnel security director Carl Kline in contempt of Congress for failing to appear at a hearing investigating the White House security clearance procedures. Then after Rep Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the committee and a vociferously brownnosing Donny toady, pleaded with the White House, Don John relented and stated he would allow Kline to testify.

Meanwhile three House committees are investigating Stephen Miller’s role in the recent Homeland Security findings. (And the commander of cheese has of course ordered Miller not to testify.)

Republicans Against the Law

Donny is suing Congress and his own financial institution to desperately try to block release of his personal financial info. Yes, you read that right—the president of the United States is suing the coequal legislative branch to prevent it from doing its Constitution-provided job.

Desperate Donny is so panicked with every crevice of his life under investigation that he’s frantically picking fights with Congress to stave off the House’s prongs. Here’s a guide to help you keep Donald’s death-throe struggles straight.

The Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General has opened an investigation into whether six of President Trump’s appointees have violated federal ethics rules by engaging with their former employers or clients on department-related business.

A federal judge ordered Donny’s administration to identify within six months all the children it separated from their parents at the border.

The Kansas supreme court ruled that the state’s constitution protects abortion rights, blocking a state law that prohibited second-trimester abortions.

Federal judges ruled that Michigan partisan gerrymandering is illegal, calling it an “extremely grave” violation of the Constitution’s First and Fourteenth amendments “with the specific intent to discriminate against Democratic voters,” and ordered that all election maps be redrawn by 2020.

A federal judge issued a nationwide injunction temporarily blocking a Trump administration rule that would bar organizations that provide abortion referrals from receiving federal family planning money.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the Texas senate voted for a mandatory two-year waiting period before state senators and house reps can serve as special-interest lobbyists.

And in a settlement to a lawsuit partly spearheaded by the ACLU, Texas has agreed to rescind its fallacious list of more than 100K “noncitizen” voters and pay $450K in fines.

Sears is suing its ex-CEO as well as former board, which includes Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for stripping the retailer of billions of dollars of assets for personal gain and leading it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Secretary of the Treasury, in case you missed that.

Republicans Reconsidering

Herman Cain, a Donald crony who should never have been in the running for a seat on the Federal Reserve board, is out, thanks to four GOP senators who expressed their lack of support for his nomination.

Andy McKean, Iowa’s longest-serving Republican, announced he is leaving the GOP for the Democratic party after 40 years, blasting the Mentally Deranged Dotard’s “unacceptable behavior”: “If this is the new normal I want no part of it.”

Even FOX News called out FOX News for “sounding like a white supremacist chat room” when two commentators twisted themselves into racist pretzels trying to defend Donald’s renewed defense of the white supremacists at the Charlottesville white supremacist march, several of whom intentionally plowed a car into Heather Heyer and killed her.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Prince Harry has invited an organization that protects transgender kids to join the wellness efforts of his mental health charity.

The NRA appears to be crumbling from the inside. It’s also been named in a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission, one spearheaded by Gabby Giffords’s anti-gun-violence organization, for failing to take action against the NRA for campaign finance violations.

George Conway, Kellyanne’s hubs, a frequent and vocal critic of the Very Stable Genius, dubbed him “Deranged Donald” in a tweet, and boy, did the nickname start trending—to the #2 spot on Twitter worldwide.

John Cornyn picked an ill-advised fight with Patton Oswalt, and the backlash was epic.

Finally, if you haven’t read it, check out Hillary Clinton’s insightful op-ed in the Washington Post.