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Cut recess short to pass legislation on gun violence; Cornyn has a $9 million war chest and a massive head start | Take Action Newsletter

NEW: Check out our video playlist of LIVE readings of the Mueller Report

Statement on Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Public Charge Rule

The board of Indivisible Austin joins with those fighting for the rights of immigrants in condemning the administration’s decision to make it harder for immigrants to become citizens. The final version of the public charge rule, which will go into effect in 60 days, was announced on the heels of the horrific act of domestic terrorism in El Paso perpetrated on the Latino community.

Read our full statement

What you can do:

  1. Ask your rep to support H.R.3222, the No Federal Funds for Public Charge Act of 2019
  2. Sign this petition by the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

Take Action

Tell Cruz and Cornyn: Cut recess short to pass legislation on gun violence

Congress is in recess until September 9. The House Judiciary Committee is cutting short the long summer break to work on gun control legislation. The Senate should do the same, and both John Cornyn and Ted Cruz sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Call Cornyn and Cruz with your support for an emergency session on gun violence prevention.

Local numbers:

  • Sen. Cornyn: 512-469-6034
  • Sen. Cruz: 512-916-5834

If you haven’t already: Write Cruz and Cornyn a letter, demanding common sense gun legislation

Script below by Celeste Pewter:

End recess early to pass common sense gun legislation


2020 is coming

Published in 1959, Eugène Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” — an absurdist play about the rise of fascism — describes Sen. John Cornyn and other Trump enablers perfectly. One minute they seem like normal human beings, the next they’ve grown horns.

Cornyn tweet it's summer chuck

Flipping Cornyn’s senate seat might be our biggest chance to effect change in 2020. If Trump loses the presidency, but we still have Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, all of the progressive legislation we’ve been fighting for—the Green New Deal, the DREAM Act, bills to protect our health care and reduce gun violence—will die.

We already have solid candidates in the senate race (most recently Jolt Texas founder Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez) and likely more on the way. With 27 weeks until the Texas primary elections, the time to pay attention is now. Donate, amplify, knock doors. Cornyn has a $9 million war chest and a massive head start.

Write Sen. Cornyn and tell him his stance on the climate crisis is a dereliction of duty

Additional reading:


Action Spotlight: Mueller LIVE

Mueller Report Live at North Door AustinWhen you hear the phrase “448-page legal document” you might not make an immediate mental leap to “six nights of free interactive entertainment.” But that’s just what our team of volunteers did this summer with the Mueller Report on a series of Sunday nights at North Door Austin. The best part is, all six nights were captured on video. We’re proud to share them for the first time here.

Download slides and watch the video of our LIVE readings of the Mueller Report


Events

Thursday, August 22

AbortionAccessATX Rally and Testimony

12:30 p.m. at City Hall, 301 W. 2nd St.

Hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity and others. Together, we have a real opportunity to ensure access to safe abortion care in Austin. But it’s going to take all of us to unite and take action.

  • 12:30 PM #AbortionAccessATX Rally on the steps of City Hall
  • 1:00 PM Pizza lunch in the City Hall Atrium
  • 2:00 PM Testimony before City Council begins

View this event on Facebook

Monday, August 26

Town Hall with U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett

5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Riveter Austin, 1145 West 5th Street

Rep. Lloyd DoggettJoin us for a town hall with US Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who represents communities from Austin to San Antonio. Hear from Congressman Doggett about the state of our federal government and how you can be even more civically engaged. Additional elected officials will be announced soon.

Congressman Doggett serves as Chairman of the Health Subcommittee on the House Ways & Means Committee and on the House Budget Committee.

Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Gun Legislation
  • Health care
  • Climate change
  • Immigration
  • Education
  • Economy

RSVP for this Town Hall


Funding the Fight

Sometimes doing the right thing isn’t the most popular or cost-effective course of action. One example: Our six nights of live readings of the Mueller Report. Staged in front of small but lively audiences in the dead of summer, we packaged a 448-page legal document—which is critically important for Americans to understand—into 18 hours of free, interactive entertainment. This was a large financial undertaking for us, not to mention the hundreds of volunteer hours spent and the mental toll from learning the depths of corruption of the Trump Administration.

Help us recoup some of these expenses by making a gift today.


Your Moment of Zen

 

 

 

Video and Slides from our Live Readings of the Mueller Report at North Door Austin

Over the course of six nights at The North Door in Austin, TX, we read all 448-pages of the Mueller Report, complete with interactive slides (scroll down to download) and celebrity guests.

One outcome of this project is that the organizers who participated are very familiar with the contents of the report. Here is what they had to say:

“Mostly I learned that everyone connected to the trump campaign and admin only cares about how their position can help themselves. Not a one cares about democracy, the constitution, or the situation of US citizens.”

“Mueller laid a road map for congress to impeach.”

“Easier to read and understand than I thought it would be”

Downloads

Write Your Reps! Dear John Cornyn: Your failure to act on the climate crisis is a dereliction of duty

“One theory of government is that it only reacts to a crisis; trouble comes when we cannot even agree on what a crisis is.”

—Molly Ivins, on the danger of climate change denialism, in 1995.

It’s taken a generation for leaders in Congress to begin taking seriously the threat of climate catastrophe, and now it may be too late. It will certainly be too late if the most powerful people in the world—including members of the United States Senate—continue to ignore facts.

Sen. John Cornyn is the embodiment of climate change denialism and dereliction of duty. His flippant attitude toward the crisis is completely unacceptable.

 

Our job in 2020 is to vote out John Cornyn and other climate deniers who put fossil fuel profits above the lives of their children and grandchildren. But until then, we must tell lawmakers that the climate crisis is real, it’s happening now, and that anything short of an “all hands on deck” response to the catastrophe is incredibly dangerous.

Statement on Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Public Charge Rule

The board of Indivisible Austin joins with those fighting for the rights of immigrants in condemning the administration’s decision to make it harder for immigrants to become citizens. The final version of the public charge rule, which will go into effect in 60 days, was announced on the heels of the horrific act of domestic terrorism in El Paso perpetrated on the Latino community. The rule is part of the administration’s calculated plans to make America less diverse and less welcoming to those seeking to build a better life. In Texas, where more than one in four of our children live with immigrant parents, the impact can’t be overstated. President Trump doesn’t stand alone in attempting to push this racist vision on our country. Our Republican elected officials who are silent in the face of his anti-immigrant policies — or who directly support him — aid him in doing so. They bear responsibility for the ongoing affliction of these harms on the immigrants we call our neighbors and friends. It is up to all Texans who support the promise of the United States to ensure those elected officials feel the impact of these decisions at the ballot box.

Demand a #txlege special session on Gun Safety in Texas; Tell Cornyn and Cruz: We need stronger gun laws now | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Demand Governor Abbott call a special session on Gun Safety in Texas

We don’t often circulate petitions, but this one was started by state Rep. Roland Gutierrez in the wake of the El Paso massacre. Our state leadership has failed to be proactive and adopt laws that would allow gun safety. All Texans should feel safe in their communities. Every year we lose too many to gun violence. Over 3,353 gun-related deaths occur in Texas each year. One death is too many. It’s time for change.

We can End Gun Violence. Make It Stop.

Tell Cornyn and Cruz: We need stronger gun laws now

Since the El Paso shooting, Cornyn and Cruz have hinted at willingness to pass laws to make it harder for guns to get into the wrong hands. That’s not nearly enough. There is actual legislation, which the House passed with bipartisan support, and which is stalled in the Senate thanks to Sen. Mitch McConnell’s obstructionism. Our job is to pressure our senators to pressure McConnell. Tell them you care. Tell them how gun violence has affected you or someone you know.

  • H.R.8 would close the loophole in the current law to require background checks for firearm purchases online and at gun shows. It’s a small, but important step toward ending the epidemic of gun violence. It passed the House with bipartisan support, yet Mitch McConnell has refused to allow a vote in the Senate.
  • H.R. 1112, the “Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019,” also passed the House with bipartisan support. The bill would revise background check requirements on firearm transfers from a federal firearms licensee (e.g., a licensed gun dealer) to an unlicensed person.
  • S. 184, the Gun Violence Prevention Research Act, authorizes the appropriation of funds to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.

Write Cruz and Cornyn: It’s time to end gun violence in America.


How your voices are making a difference

  • A Nebraska Republican lawmaker called out the GOP—and Donald directly—for “enabling white supremacy
  • President Obama made a rare public rebuke
  • Republicans—even Mitch McConnell—are making noise about actually introducing legislation for sensible gun reform

Read more ways your voices are making a difference


Let’s talk about the climate crisis

The #1 thing you can do to fight for a better climate future is to talk about the problem. 

City of Austin: This is an emergency

Austin City Council approved a resolution last week declaring a climate emergency and calling for immediate and coordinated mobilization by the City to address the causes and consequences of climate change and directing the City Manager to take appropriate action.

In part, the resolution directs the City Manager to:

  • Provide options for more aggressive interim targets to accelerate the reduction pathway to achieve net-zero by 2050;
  • Incentivize non-fossil fuel heating sources
  • Promote a shift to 50 percent of trips being independent from single occupancy cars
  • Incorporate climate resilience policies
  • Identify innovative policy approaches to address the climate crisis’s causes as well as mitigation strategies, including the promotion of natural systems, green infrastructure, and carbon sequestration; the role of tree planting as a carbon offsetting strategy; public cooling spaces to combat heat waves; and updated information about the heat island effect in Austin and strategies to mitigate this effect.

We applaud councilmember Alison Alter for drafting this resolution and the Council for approving it. Austin now joins New York, Los Angeles and other cities in declaring a climate emergency. The resolution itself should have come sooner, and could be stronger—for example, divesting the city’s pensions from fossil fuels—and we look forward to deeper analysis from 350 Austin and other orgs. But this is a step in the right direction.

Take a moment to thank Austin City Council for their leadership on the climate emergency.


Events

Wednesday, August 14

Unwelcome Reception: Rally Against ALEC

4:30 p.m. at Fareground at One Eleven, 111 Congress Avenue

Read: ALEC is coming to Texas. Here’s why that’s bad. (Progress Texas)

**Meet outside Fareground at 4:30PM**

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is convening in Austin from Aug. 14-16 at the J.W. Marriott for their 46th annual meeting.

We must show them THEY ARE NOT WELCOME! We must TAKE BACK OUR STATE!

ALEC is just another way for corporate interests to control our government.

  • They take power away from everyday Texans and put it into the hands of the wealthy few.
  • They’re behind bad legislation like “Stand Your Ground” gun legislation and Voter ID.
  • They use corporate contributions to sell prepackaged conservative bills that hurt our communities.

Let’s take back our power! Let’s take back our state! Join us for our Unwelcome Reception and Rally!

Tell Texas lawmakers that corporate lobbyists have no place governing the lives of Texans.

Saturday, August 17

Community Forum on Redistricting

10 a.m. at Colorado Tower, 303 Colorado St.

The League of Women Voters Austin Area and Fair Maps Texas invite you to take part in a Community Forum on Redistricting aimed at mobilizing our community for the Texas Legislature’s upcoming public input hearings.

RSVP for the community forum on redistricting

Monday, August 26

Town Hall with U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett

5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Riveter Austin, 1145 West 5th Street

Rep. Lloyd Doggett

Join us for a town hall with US Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who represents communities from Austin to San Antonio. Hear from Congressman Doggett about the state of our federal government and how you can be even more civically engaged. Additional elected officials will be announced soon.

Congressman Doggett serves as Chairman of the Health Subcommittee on the House Ways & Means Committee and on the House Budget Committee.

Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Health care
  • Climate change
  • Immigration
  • Education
  • Economy

RSVP for this Town Hall

Your Moment of Zen

 

The majority of Americans favor tighter regulation of weapons | How your voices are making a difference

The Web company used by 8Chan, the hate site where recent El Paso shooter posted his white supremacist hate messages against immigrants before driving nine hours to the border town, announced it will no longer provide services to the racist site, effectively shutting down the 8Chan page.

A Nebraska Republican lawmaker called out the GOP—and Donald directly—for “enabling white supremacy.” “I of course am not suggesting that all Republicans are white supremacists nor am I saying that the average Republican is even racist,” wrote McCollister, who represents an Omaha-area district. “What I am saying though is that the Republican Party is COMPLICIT to obvious racist and immoral activity inside our party.”

President Obama made a rare public rebuke—ostensibly of racism in general, but his tweet was very pointed toward the Very Stable Genius—or at least thin-skinned Donald thought so, lashing out in reply that he is the “least racist person in the world.” Obama’s tweet simply asked Americans to “clearly and unequivocally” reject language from leaders that “feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.”

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department and the FBI, stating that he was fired just before his retirement as politically motivated punishment by Don John for being insufficiently loyal. McCabe stated that Donald “purposefully and intentionally” pushed the Justice Department to demote and terminate him as part of an “unconstitutional plan” to discredit and remove Justice Department and F.B.I. employees who were “deemed to be his partisan opponents.”

The House Judiciary Committee filed suit against Donald’s former counsel Don McGahn to force him to testify before Congress.

Republicans—even Mitch McConnell—are making noise about actually introducing legislation for sensible gun reform, in response—at last—to the majority of Americans who favor tighter regulation of weapons.

Your Feel-good Story of the Week

Check out these TED talks on how to engage in productive political discussion that may help mend, rather than continue to worsen, our ideological divides.

It’s time to end gun violence in America; Call your local reps’ offices to demand impeachment | Take Action Newsletter

RSVP: Final night of the Mueller Report LIVE featuring voice actor Shannon McCormick and other guests!

Take Action

This is not normal. It’s time to end gun violence in America.

Our hearts are broken for the victims and survivors of mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, and everywhere. Our hearts are broken for the 36,000 Americans killed by guns every year. Our hearts are broken for the 22,000 of them who die by gun suicide. And our hearts are broken for the 3,000 children, also killed each year by firearms in America. Our hearts are just broken.

The shooting in El Paso is the natural byproduct of lax gun laws and white supremacy. (The shooter drove nine hours to kill immigrants.) It’s exactly the kind of stochastic terrorism our president encourages at his rallies, yet later claims plausible deniability in the ensuing acts of violence. It’s what happens when the people in power don’t care about the people they represent. We can stop it. But it’s going to take all of us.

What you can do:

  1. Call or write your reps. There is common sense gun legislation that has already passed the House and on which Mitch McConnell refuses to hold a vote in the Senate. Remember, too, that your reps are in town this month for the August recess. Call their local offices. Tell your story. Speak your truth.
  2. Get organized for 2020. We Texans are represented by some of the most venal politicians in America. John Cornyn’s senate seat is in play, and of course every House seat is flippable. Make sure you are registered to vote; become a VDR so you can register others to vote; donate to and blockwalk for candidates who support legislation to end gun violence. The Texas primaries are approaching fast.
  3. Support organizations doing the work to end gun violence. Here are a few:
    1. Texas Gun Sense
    2. Moms Demand Action
    3. March for Our Lives

We don’t have to die this way. Write your Senators. 

It’s August recess: Call you local reps’ offices to demand impeachment

Rep. Doggett supports an impeachment inquiry

Your House reps are in town for the August recess, which is an opportunity to pressure staff at their local offices to demand an impeachment inquiry for Donald Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanors.

During his time in the White House he’s become more emboldened, more overt in his hostility toward anyone outside his white, male Fox New base. He’s separating children from their mothers and locking them in camps. He sold out our nation to Russia, and obstructed Robert Mueller’s investigation into that fact. There are multiple, credible allegations of sexual assault against him. He continues to try to deprive millions of Americans of quality healthcare—a basic human right. Need we go on?

Call your House reps at these numbers. (If Lloyd Doggett, is your rep, call to thank him, as he supports an impeachment inquiry.)

Who represents me?

  • Rep. McCaul: (512) 473-2357
  • Rep. Flores: (512) 373-3378
  • Rep. Roy: (512) 871-5959
  • Rep. Williams: (512) 473-8910
  • Rep. Carter: (512) 246-1600
  • Rep. Doggett: (512) 916-5921

If you are unable to call, send your House rep a letter in just a couple of clicks


How your voices are making a difference

  • John Ratcliffe is out as Donald’s head of intelligence
  • A Baltimore church booted Ben Carson off its property
  • Rick Perry admitted that global warming is manmade

Learn to bear with fortitude


Events

Tuesday, August 6

Pride is Still a Protest ATX

5:30 p.m. at Impact Hub Austin, 411 W Monroe St.

Sponsored by ACLU of Texas: “Join us and our partners at the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) to celebrate Pride and take action for trans justice in our state.”

RSVP with ACLU of Texas

Austin Vigil for Voting Rights

6:00 p.m. at David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 2211 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.

Sponsored by Public Citizen, Texas Civil Rights Project, Indivisible Austin and Common Cause Texas: to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and urge Congress to restore the Voting Rights Advancement Act

Facebook event

Wednesday, August 7

Screening of “When They See Us” with Austin Justice Coalition

7 to 9 p.m. at Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, 1156 Hargrave St.

Join Austin Justice Coalition and our community partners for screenings and small community town halls throughout the month of August 2019.

***This is a FREE community event***

Each Wednesday, beginning August 7, we will screen Ava DuVernay’s four-part mini-series, “When They See US”. Following each screening, we will have short community drive discussions revolving around issues that arise in the series.

Get tickets

Wednesdays, August 7 to September 11

Empower U Austin Leadership Training

6-week community workshop provides participants with the skills and connections to achieve the changes they want for their families and community. We help individuals turn their passion for community change into reality. Our curriculum is presented by experts in their fields and covers topics such as:

  • Activism and Community Change
  • Understanding the Local Power Structure
  • Building Communities for Action and
  • Collaboration/Coalition Building
  • Growing Your Movement Through Messaging

Dinner provided. Free!

Facebook event

Website calendar

Sunday, August 11

FINAL SHOW: Live Readings from Volume II of the Mueller Report

TX25 candidate Julie Oliver reads from the Mueller Report on August 4, 2019

Doors open at 5 p.m. at North Door Austin, 501 Brushy St.

Join voice actor Shannon McCormick and other special guests for the grand finale of our series of live readings from the Mueller Report.

RSVP to let us know you’re coming!

Wednesday, August 14

Unwelcome Reception: Rally Against ALEC

4:30 p.m. at Fareground at One Eleven, 111 Congress Avenue

Read: ALEC is coming to Texas. Here’s why that’s bad. (Progress Texas)

**Meet outside Fareground at 4:30PM**

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is convening in Austin from Aug. 14-16 at the J.W. Marriott for their 46th annual meeting.

We must show them THEY ARE NOT WELCOME! We must TAKE BACK OUR STATE!

ALEC is just another way for corporate interests to control our government.

  • They take power away from everyday Texans and put it into the hands of the wealthy few.
  • They’re behind bad legislation like “Stand Your Ground” gun legislation and Voter ID.
  • They use corporate contributions to sell prepackaged conservative bills that hurt our communities.

Let’s take back our power! Let’s take back our state! Join us for our Unwelcome Reception and Rally!

Monday, August 26

Town Hall with U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett

5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Riveter Austin, 1145 West 5th Street

Join us for a town hall with US Congressman Lloyd Doggett, who represents communities from Austin to San Antonio. Hear from Congressman Doggett about the state of our federal government and how you can be even more civically engaged. Additional elected officials will be announced soon.

Congressman Doggett serves as Chairman of the Health Subcommittee on the House Ways & Means Committee and on the House Budget Committee.

Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Health care
  • Climate change
  • Immigration
  • Education
  • Economy

RSVP for this Town Hall


Your Moment of Zen

 

 

Learn to bear with fortitude | How your voices are making a difference

John Ratcliffe, Donald’s nominee for head of intelligence despite his having little experience and having embellished his credentials, lying about his accomplishments, is out.

New York state prosecutors are continuing their investigation into Donald’s payment of hush money during his campaign to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, subpoenaing related documents from the Trump Organization.

Speaking of Stormy (Stephanie Clifford), the five police officers responsible for her harassment arrest last year are facing internal discipline for violating departmental rules of conduct.

This was last week’s story, but I missed it and it’s too good to leave out: in North Carolina, home of the “bathroom bill” that attempted to force people to use the bathroom that matched their birth certificate, a federal judge approved a legal settlement brought by the governor and several LGBTQ rights groups, thus allowing people to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. Pee freely, friends.

Baltimore church booted Ben Carson off its property as the Housing Sec tried to hold a presser on its grounds without permission, following Donald’s Twitter attack on the city.

Donald’s own Energy Secretary, Rick Perry (still seems like a joke, we know) directly contradicted the Very Stable Genius on climate change, stating that global warming is a man-made phenomenon. “The climate is changing. Are we part of the reason? Yeah, it is.” (Excuse the poor grammar, but…Rick Perry.)

Your Feel-good Story of the Week

It’s hard to find a feel-good in a couple of weeks with three mass shootings and zero GOP action. Take heart from this patient Great Pyrenees—may we all learn from him to bear with fortitude.

“We stuck together like neighbors are supposed to do.” | How your voices are making a difference

No doubt you’ve read plenty about Mueller’s testimony before Congress this past week, so we won’t rehash it here—but watch Donny deny things Mueller clearly said in this video comparison.

Major automakers bypassed the White House’s resistance to upholding higher standards for gas mileage in vehicles by secretly negotiating a climate deal with California to limit vehicle emissions.

A House congressional committee voted to authorize subpoenas for all White House work communications sent via personal email and cellphone, expanding a probe into violations of government laws regarding record-keeping.

federal judge in California halted the Mentally Deranged Dotard’s latest asylum ban—the third such judicial block, if you’re counting.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

New Hampshire passed a law requiring free feminine-hygiene products in public schools. (And check out the picture of activists, school representatives, and lawmakers present—THAT’S what a roomful of people making laws about women’s bodies should look like.)

Two Louisiana police officers were fired after one posted and one liked a Facebook post suggesting AOC should be shot: “needs a round…and I don’t mean the kind she used to serve.” Their police chief called their behavior “an embarrassment” to the department, “alluding to a violent act be conducted against a sitting U.S. [congresswoman], a member of our government [and] we are not going to tolerate that.”

So far this year Texas has generated more electricity from wind than coal for the first time ever.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Hope you didn’t miss this hilarious image of Don John obliviously standing in front of a fake presidential seal, created by a former Republican disgusted with the Very Stable Genius, which featured a version of the Russian Federation coat of arms and a set of golf clubs, as well as the slogan, in Spanish where the Latin “E Pluribus Unum” usually is, “The president is a puppet.”

Nashville residents spontaneously banded together to prevent ICE officers from deporting a longtime member of their community: ““We stuck together like neighbors are supposed to do.”

People can be wonderful.