Blog

Statement from Indivisible Austin on Trump’s visit to the Farm Bureau’s Annual Convention in Austin, Texas

President Donald J. Trump, for the third year in a row, will address farm and ranch families at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 101st Annual Convention. The address is scheduled for January 19 in Austin, Texas, at the Austin Convention Center.

When Trump was in Austin last November, Indivisible Austin helped to organize a rally opposing his presence in our city.

This time around, we are choosing instead to focus on local organizing to vote Donald Trump and his enablers out of office at all levels of government. (We will support any individuals or groups who feel called to organize a protest of Trump’s visit.)

Trump and Farmers

Trump speaking to farmers does raise some interesting points. First, is his lie that smaller farms and farmers are “big beneficiaries” of cash payments intended to ease the effects of Trump’s tariff war with China.

Trump lies about payouts to small farms

According to a study by the Environmental Working Group, “the ‘richest of the rich’ — the top 1% — received 13% of the federal payments, or more than $177,000 each. The bottom 80%, on the other hand, got an average payment of $5,136.”

Additionally, according to the Washington Post, the past two years have been marked by a sharp rise in bankruptcies in the nation’s deepest farm country.

Get Involved

As we gear up for 2020, we’ll need all hands on deck. Sign up here to be notified of regular get-out-the-vote meetups and other volunteer opportunities. Feel free to indicate whether you have special skills or interests. Everyone is welcome!

Sign up to volunteer for upcoming meetups and blockwalks

Resources

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-vowed-to-help-small-farmers-but-heres-where-the-aid-is-really-going-2019-12-03

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/12/21/after-miserable-farm-sector-still-came-out-ahead-thanks-government-assistance/

 

Letter from Australia; Who is Chip Roy? 2020 Texas election resources | Take Action Newsletter

Climate Crisis

EXCLUSIVE: Australian Bushfires Highlight Political Failures to Consider Climate Change

The bushfires currently decimating large swaths of Australia, a country the size of the continental US, were both foreseeable and largely preventable. However, failure to effectively consider climate change impacts and adaptation, coupled with some misguided land management practices, have led Australia to the current catastrophe. This will have long-term impacts on politics, the economy, sustainability and entire communities.

Australia brushfires

Photo: Charlie Emery, General Manager of Soilco

Read more in this exclusive post by Russ Martin, an American environmental expert living in New South Wales, Australia


Take Action

Demand Cruz and Cornyn support a fair and open impeachment trial

Ted Cruz and John Cornyn

Remind John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of the oath that they took to support and defend the Constitution and demand they support a fair and open trial in the Senate to fully hear the evidence and hold Trump accountable for his actions. If they don’t, they’ll become accomplices in Donald Trump’s coverup.

Write a letter to John Cornyn and Ted Cruz

Get connected to your senators now

Write Your Reps!

In addition to calling, emails are an effective way to reach your elected representatives. Another alternative is Resistbot, which allows you to contact your reps via text message, Twitter, or Facebook Messenger—it’s fun!

Recent letter campaigns:

No War with Iran

Demand your Senators support a fair and open impeachment trial

Tell Greg Abbott: Call a special session to #DoSomething about gun violence in Texas

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

Tell Your Senators We Need Stronger Gun Laws Now


2020 is here

Add Texas 2020 election dates to your calendar (Texas Tribune)

Monday, February 3 is the last day to register to vote in the March 3 primary. Make sure you are eligible to vote.

Visit our 2020 Election Resources page

Texas House

In 2018, 17 State House Republicans won by less than 10 points. Eight of those won by less than five points. Beto won in nine of those districts, and in all but one of the counties where these districts live.

Get involved to flip the Texas House

Support Dr. Eliz Markowitz in the Jan. 28 special election runoff in HD-28

U.S. Senate

Indivisible Houston, Indivisible Katy Huddle, and the national Indivisible team hosted an issue forum with seven of the Democratic candidates running for John Cornyn’s senate seat. Here are some of the candidates running:

Watch Indivisible Houston’s candidate forum

U.S. Congress

There are competitive races in all of our districts that have Republican incumbents. Several of the candidates that Indivisible Austin endorsed in the 2018 general election—Mike Siegel, Rick Kennedy, and Julie Oliver—are running again in 2020.

Get to know the candidates


Congress Critter of the Week: Who Is Chip Roy?

Hey, we’re just asking questions. But who is Chip Roy, TX21’s representative in the U.S. Congress? Who is he… really?

who is chip roy?

Find out more at whoischiproy.com

RSVP for the TX21 candidate forum on January 18


Events

Tuesday, January 14

CD 17 Congressional GOP Candidates Forum

6 to 9 p.m. at Smitty K’s, 12601 SH 30, College Station, TX 77845

Grassroots Victory 2020 for CD-17 invites you to “Get to know the CD 17 GOP Congressional Candidates” in this Q&A forum. Currently 8 of the 12 GOP candidates are scheduled to attend.

Facebook event

Saturday, January 18

Women’s March ATX: Rally at the Capitol

The Women’s March ATX – Rally at Texas Capitol will be on Saturday, January 18, 2020.  We will gather on the south steps at the Capitol Building for a rally 12:00pm – 3:00pm.

More information at www.womensmarchontexascapitol.org

Sign up to volunteer

TX21 candidate forum

6:30 p.m. at Opal Divine’s Austin Grill, 2200 South Interstate 35 Frontage Road

Please join TX-21 Indivisible for an Austin-area Congressional Candidate Forum! Invited candidates: Wendy Davis, Jennie Lou Leeder, Chip Roy. Confirmed candidates as of January 7, 2020 are Wendy Davis and Jennie Lou Leeder.

This will be a moderated forum with questions submitted by audience members before the event (with this invite RSVP, at sign in, and in a final Q&A session, time permitting).

RSVP for the candidate forum

Monday, January 20

MLK Community March

The Annual Community March celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multiculturalism in our city. All businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals are invited to march and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy.

The MLK Community March kicks off on Monday, January 20, 2020 at 9 a.m.with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus.

At the conclusion of the program at the MLK Statue, we will march to the south steps of the Capitol for a rally.

After the Capitol program, the march will proceed to the historic Huston-Tillotson University, where exciting activities are planned.

More information at mlkcelebration.com


Your Moment of Zen


Volunteer with Indivisible Austin

Be A Texas VoterAs we gear up for 2020, we’ll need all hands on deck. Sign up here to be notified of regular get-out-the-vote meetups and other volunteer opportunities. Feel free to indicate whether you have special skills or interests. Everyone is welcome!

Get involved

EXCLUSIVE: Australian Bushfires Highlight Political Failures to Consider Climate Change

Guest post by Russ Martin, exclusive to Indivisible Austin

The bushfires currently decimating large swaths of Australia, a country the size of the continental US, were both foreseeable and largely preventable. However, failure to effectively consider climate change impacts and adaptation, coupled with some misguided land management practices, have led Australia to the current catastrophe. This will have long-term impacts on politics, the economy, sustainability and entire communities.

With the bushfires, climate change, land management and disaster preparation are no longer abstract concepts, and concerns span previously disparate voting blocks as people and animals die, homes and livelihoods are lost, whole cities choke on hazardous air and resources and patience are tested as never before. We’ve become the canaries (and koalas and kangaroos) in the coal mine, and we’re dying.

Business as usual and politics as usual get tossed out the window when catastrophe causes impacts to truly hit home. As we struggle to protect lives and mitigate further damage, there is an opportunity to better target political will and take positive actions for moving forward.

Impacts to Date

Bushfires in Australia have gotten so bad that they’re generating their own weather patterns[1] and fire projections can’t keep pace[2]. The bushfires have already killed 25 people and burned over 10 million hectares (25 million acres) of land[3], more than 10 times the area lost in the Amazon 2019 fires and far more than lost in the US in 2019[4]. An estimated billion animals have died[5].

Our national capital[6] and largest capital cities have been encircled by fires and blanketed in hazardous smoke. The fires and smoke have affected six of our eight states and territories, and the smoke, visible from space, has even spread across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand and on to Chile and Argentina.

Around New Years in my home state of New South Wales (NSW) alone, 20 people have died and over 500 homes have been lost[7], including lives and homes of our brave volunteer firefighters. Nearly 1,600 homes have been lost in NSW since the start of bushfire season just a few months ago. Other large states, Victoria and South Australia, have lost two lives each due to the bushfires, while over 2,000 homes have now been lost Australia-wide[8]. Damaged power substations also threaten energy supplies.

Latest impact assessment graphic

For perspective, Australia’s population is around 25 million (between Texas and Florida in size) and generally clustered around major coastal cities. We’ve had towns where thousands of residents and tourists scrambled to beaches for shelter as their towns burned[9] and we’ve seen the military called in to help conduct Australia’s largest mass evacuations[10].

Shortages of food, water, fuel and power, as well as significant road closures, have affected peoples’ ability to either bunker down or to evacuate. Securing feed and water for animals, already limited by drought, is problematic. Some farmers have reported shortages of bullets to put burned animals out of their misery.

Tourism is taking a beating from climate change and the bushfires. Half of the Great Barrier Reef[11], the world’s largest reef and visible from space, has died from ocean warming[12] and bushfires are damaging key tourism areas. Half of Kangaroo Island, Australia’s third-largest island and known for its fine food, tourism and conservation, has been lost to fire[13]. Over 9,000 insurance claims have been lodged for the current bushfire so far, with many more expected[14].

We’ve had several days where everyone was advised to stay indoors due to extreme heat and ‘apocalyptic’ air conditions 11 times ‘hazardous’ levels[15]. Air conditioning systems struggle to keep up with the heat some days. Discussions around which face masks are most effective against inhalation of bushfire smoke and wearing face masks to protect against the smoke in metro cities have become commonplace.

Personally, I’ve largely been spared the worst; certainly, nothing like the many that have suffered. I did stay up one night following the Fires Near Me (the most Googled term) app and news reports to see if I’d have to evacuate my kids and myself due to a fire 3km away from our home. A nearby neighbourhood was protected only by dumping fire retardant by plane and because backburning had been conducted just two weeks prior[16].

Screen shot of Fires Near Me app

Mates I’ve long known and respected have faced much worse as they and their families have fought to save family businesses, from a composting business and rental properties south of Sydney to timber operations up the North Coast.

Australia brushfires

Photo: Charlie Emery, General Manager of Soilco

Australia brushfires

Photo: Charlie Emery, General Manager of Soilco

This was Foreseeable and Largely Ignored by Elected Officials

The most frustrating aspect for me and many others is that this was foreseeable and many of the worst impacts were largely preventable. Australia has long had droughts and bushfires, but these have been affected dramatically by climate change. Certain land management policies and limited opportunities to do controlled burns have also led to large fuel loads under these adverse conditions.

For millennia, Aboriginal people set and managed fires in controlled ways through mosaic burning; fires were considerably smaller, more frequent and a regular part of life, with minimal impacts on people and wildlife. Prescribed burning now revolves around population densities, drier climate and fuel loads, resources to manage burns properly, impacts of smoke on populated areas, habitat conservation, management policies and regulatory approvals, all of which impact on the ability to undertake preventative burning.

For decades, detailed projections have shown that extreme weather events would be more frequent and more severe globally. If anything, most projections have understated the extent of actual severity. Public reports and government inquiries have consistently highlighted impacts, risks and the need for adaptation.

Decade after decade, heat records have been broken. A year ago, all 15 of the world’s hottest temperatures were in Australia[17]. Western suburbs in Sydney have exceeded 48.9C (120F)[18]. Droughts have become so prevalent that entire states have been in drought and the definition of drought changed to reflect the new reality[19].

As in the US and elsewhere, defence officials in Australia have warned of the national security implications of climate change and the geopolitical implications of climate change, including increased conflicts and relocation of climate refugees[20].

Australia was a world leader in understanding and addressing climate change when I chaired the Australian Greenhouse Conference 2000, and we had good government support for designing emissions trading schemes including bringing out carbon traders from New York and London. However, we’ve long since lost that leadership.

Australia eventually placed a price on carbon, only for that to be repealed, and much of our current claimed progress against climate change targets[21] is due largely to accounting methods and negotiations rather than substantive action[22].

The world has failed to effectively address climate change and adaption, then attacked those that speak out as their worlds are either flooding or burning down around them. More people take to the streets demanding action, while the science to support better decision-making is attacked, belittled or suppressed. Australia’s political leadership has failed to show their understanding of the full significance of these issues.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has horribly mismanaged and misjudged the situation. Morrison had actively promoted coal in Parliament and repeatedly denied the connection between climate change and Australia’s worsening conditions, as had previous PM Tony Abbott (to his credit, Abbott has been serving as a volunteer firefighter)[23].

In a leadership spill, Morrison had replaced former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who was vocal about the need to address climate change and cast aside by the right wing of his party, with climate change deniers and skeptics holding undue influence due to electoral politics. Then, in an election focused on climate change with the opposing Labor party widely expected to gain power, Morrison and his coalition party reaffirmed that all politics is local as their support for large coal mines in the key state of Queensland helped cause Labor to lose the ‘unlosable election’[24]. The local economic impacts of the Adani mine in particular were crucial to Australia’s elections, even though the Adani Group is India-owned and the mined coal was destined for power generation in India[25].

As PM, Morrison also refused to meet with 23 former fire and emergency chiefs that warned of the need for additional fire-fighting aircraft and other capacity[26]. The PM then took pains to not address the smoke enveloping Sydney[27], instead promoting his ‘religious discrimination’ bill[28] that actively condones discrimination as long as it’s done in the name of religion. Morrison promptly left for an unannounced holiday in Hawaii, keeping his whereabouts secret while Australia burned until public outcry became overwhelming.

When he eventually returned following the death of two volunteer firefighters, Morrison struggled with damage control due to overwhelming public criticism for his lack of leadership and physical presence. Morrison also said he wouldn’t take as personal the angry residents and firefighters that refused to even shake his hand for photo ops, including the firefighter who had just lost his home while saving those of others[29].

Morrison eventually committed additional Federal resources to help fight the bushfires, but has failed to consult effectively with local politicians[30] and leaders on the ground like the NSW fire chief[31]. Morrison also eventually postponed a planned trip to sell more Australian coal to India.

Moving Forward

Some argue that now is not the time to cast blame or to question political leadership. However, domestic and international attention are now focused on Australia’s conditions and elected officials have prime opportunities to redeem themselves for past inaction.

State and Territory governments are largely responsible for dealing with natural disasters, and they often exert the most control over policies that affect the scale of disasters (such as land management). The NSW government’s response to the bushfires and leadership have been perceived as strong, but governments’ leadership and ability to adapt will continue to be tested.

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean understands the significance, recently stating “Longer drier periods, resulting in more drought and bushfire. If this is not a catalyst for change, then I don’t know what is.” and “We need to reduce our carbon emissions immediately, and we need to adapt our practices to deal with this kind of weather becoming the new normal.” [32].

Comprehensive climate change and energy policies are essential, but they must be paired with sensible climate change adaptation strategies, land management and resource allocation for emergency management as Australia seeks to recover and prepare for the future.

High temperatures, drought, some land management policies and concerns about smoke levels have reduced the windows available for conducting controlled burns. Harvesting extra vegetative matter for bioenergy and adopting some traditional Aboriginal practices can significantly reduce fuel load risk and improve biodiversity while giving wildlife opportunities to escape or recover from fires.

Oftentimes, things have to get worse before they can get better. Calling out these injustices and voting accordingly are actions that individuals can take, and the fact that people are increasingly speaking up and trying to hold institutions more accountable in order to bring about change is what gives me some optimism in otherwise dark days. While bushfires have had devastating impacts across Australia, the attention they’ve brought about can and should be channelled to adopt and fund sustainable practices to reduce future risks. Aussies deserve at least that much, considering what they’ve been through.


Author Bio

Russ Martin (@RussMartinMS2) has over 29 years’ experience in product stewardship, public policy, bioenergy and sustainability, both in government and as an advisor to industry and governments. These roles have been in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Middle East. He moved from the US to Australia in 1997, and Sydney has been his home ever since.

Primary responsibilities include serving as CEO of the not-for-profit Global Product Stewardship Council, Director of consultancy MS2 (MS2.com.au) and Founder of the International Stewardship Forum series. Russ was awarded the Global Green Future Leadership Award by the World CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Congress.


[1] https://www.sciencealert.com/the-bushfires-in-australia-are-so-big-they-re-generating-their-own-weather

[2] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-03/scientific-modelling-not-coping-with-current-bushfires/11839356

[3] Timber NSW estimate as of 7 January 2020, confirmed in https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/how-the-2019-australian-bushfire-season-compares-to-other-fire-disasters/news-story/7924ce9c58b5d2f435d0ed73ffe34174.

[4] https://7news.com.au/news/bushfires/australian-bushfires-burn-more-land-than-amazon-and-california-fires-combined-c-632478

[5] https://www.ecowatch.com/australia-wildfire-deaths-2644394434.html

[6] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-05/nsw-fires-blanket-canberra-in-thick-smoke/11841546

[7] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-03/nsw-bushfires-death-toll-and-homes-destroyed-rises/11835982, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2020/jan/06/nsw-fires-live-updates-victoria-bushfires-south-australia-fire-sa-australian-bushfire-near-me-rfs-cfa-latest-news-morrison

[8] https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/what-we-know-so-far-on-the-nsw-and-victorian-bushfires/news-story/9e0268f8b13102c57370df951a6d1483, https://apnews.com/0cdb881db8142cb75e3765bd780667ba

[9] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-03/navy-starts-bushfires-evacuations–in-mallacoota/11838424

[10] https://apnews.com/0cdb881db8142cb75e3765bd780667ba

[11] https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2018/04/19/half-of-the-great-barrier-reef-coral-has-died-since-2016/#665959385f9f

[12] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/great-barrier-reef-dying-climate-change-caused-decrease-in-new-coral-study-says/, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/08/explore-atlas-great-barrier-reef-coral-bleaching-map-climate-change/,

[13] https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/all-hell-is-breaking-loose-massive-fire-threatens-all-of-kangaroo-island/news-story/6fbad55c97d304431786471fa20c88dd

[14] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-07/nsw-bushfire-threat-dry-windy-weather-to-return-friday/11844556

[15] https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-bushfires-apocalyptic-health-effects-of-sydney-s-toxic-air-20191211-p53ixc.html

[16] https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/really-lucky-flames-come-within-metres-of-sydney-homes-20191112-p53a0h.html

[17] https://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/the-world-s-15-hottest-sites-were-all-in-australia-amid-significant-heatwave-20190116-p50rmr.html

[18] https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/penrith-press/penrith-hits-record-temperature-of-485c-as-heatwave-strikes-nsw/news-story/dcf054647fa47a6fb4e8195515d835fc

[19] https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/how-bad-is-this-drought-and-is-it-caused-by-climate-change-20191024-p533xc.html

[20] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-15/defence-lacks-overarching-strategy-for-climate-change-conflict/11304954

[21] https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/publications/factsheet-australias-2030-climate-change-target

[22] https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Climate-Cuts-Cover-Ups-and-Censorship.pdf

[23] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/mar/03/climate-change-australia-sunburnt-country-csiro

[24] https://www.smh.com.au/federal-election-2019/queensland-helps-return-coalition-to-government-amid-labor-bloodbath-20190518-p51ost.html

[25] https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-adani-mine-was-a-key-factor-in-the-government-s-election-win-now-what

[26] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-14/former-fire-chief-calls-out-pm-over-refusal-of-meeting/11705330

[27] https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-releases-new-draft-of-religious-discrimination-bill-20191210-p53iho.html

[28] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/14/religious-discrimination-bill-what-will-australians-be-allowed-to-say-and-do-if-it-passes

[29] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-03/scott-morrison-responds-to-angry-criticism-bushfire-victims/11839674, https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/firefighter-refuses-to-shake-prime-minister-scott-morrisons-hand-in-cobargo/news-story/beb7a2ef6f7f8efe90369d8aede75514

[30] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-03/scott-morrison-got-bushfire-welcome-he-deserved-says-liberal-mp/11838476

[31] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-05/fires-nsw-rfs-confirms-updated-number-of-homes-destroyed/11841386

[32] https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/this-is-not-normal-minister-urges-action-on-climate-change-20191210-p53ip1.html

No War with Iran | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

No War with Iran

(talking points by Celeste Pewter)

Without consulting Congress—other than golfing buddy Lindsey Graham—Trump directed the US airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, one of the most powerful officials in Iran and the architect of Tehran’s terrorist campaigns around the region.

Soleimani was a bad actor, and not a friend of the United States.

But with that in mind, here’s why this matters (and points we should respond to):

  1. The Trump Administration didn’t seek Congressional approval for this,
  2. The Administration clearly have no strategy for the likelihood of blowback,
  3. They likely don’t have a game plan for what happens when Iran gets their proxies to take actions on their behalf,
  4. Trump has a track record of erratic behavior, and taking chaotic actions against Iran, (anyone remember the pullback in June?)
  5. We have a decimated State Department, who would be necessary right now to help negotiate this situation, as well as a chaotic NSC,
  6. There will likely be widespread chaos in the region.

Next steps:

  1. Demand our electeds get an answer for why the administration undertook this without Congressional authorization,
  2. Demand our electeds get access to the legal justification for the assassination,
  3. Demand the Gang of 8 be briefed,
  4. Make sure our troops/embassies get the support, protection and resources they need,
  5. Have electeds determine next steps, including reiterating no war with Iran w/out Congressional approval.

Send a letter to your reps 

Call your reps

WATCH: Frontline documentary on Iran and Saudi Arabia

On Twitter:

Demand Cruz and Cornyn support a fair and open impeachment trial

Ted Cruz and John Cornyn

As Trump warmongers in the Middle East, let’s not overlook the stunning new information from the Mueller Report and about his withholding of funds from Ukraine.

Remind John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of the oath that they took to support and defend the Constitution and demand they support a fair and open trial in the Senate to fully hear the evidence and hold Trump accountable for his actions. If they don’t, they’ll become accomplices in Donald Trump’s coverup.

Write a letter to John Cornyn and Ted Cruz

Get connected to your senators now


Climate Crisis

3D rendering of Australia brush fires

Australia Brushfires: How You Can Help (NSW Rural Fire Service)

There are a number of funds which have been established to support those affected by the bush fires. These include:

READ: Five Times the Effects of Climate Change Loomed Over Texas in 2019  (Texas Observer)

Next Week: An Indivisible Austin exclusive dispatch from Australia


Let’s make change happen in 2020

Monday, February 3 is the last day to register to vote in the March 3 primary. Make sure you are eligible to vote.

Visit our 2020 Election Resources page

Texas House

In 2018, 17 State House Republicans won by less than 10 points. Eight of those won by less than five points. Beto won in nine of those districts, and in all but one of the counties where these districts live.

Get involved to flip the Texas House

U.S. Senate

Indivisible Houston, Indivisible Katy Huddle, and the national Indivisible team hosted an issue forum with seven of the Democratic candidates running for John Cornyn’s senate seat. Here are some of the candidates running:

Watch Indivisible Houston’s candidate forum

U.S. Congress

There are competitive races in all of our districts that have Republican incumbents. Several of the candidates that Indivisible Austin endorsed in the 2018 general election—Mike Siegel, Rick Kennedy, and Julie Oliver—are running again in 2020.

Get to know the candidates


Events

Monday, January 13

Elected for Inclusion: A Presidential Forum on Disability Issues

The American Association of People with Disabilities and REV UP Texas cordially invites you to Elected for Inclusion: A Presidential Forum on Disability Issues. This national nonpartisan event will take place on January 13, 2020 at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

RSVP by January 6

Tuesday, January 14

CD 17 Congressional GOP Candidates Forum

6 to 9 p.m. at Smitty K’s, 12601 SH 30, College Station, TX 77845

Grassroots Victory 2020 for CD-17 invites you to “Get to know the CD 17 GOP Congressional Candidates” in this Q&A forum. Currently 8 of the 12 GOP candidates are scheduled to attend.

Facebook event

Saturday, January 18

Women’s March ATX: Rally at the Capitol

The Women’s March ATX – Rally at Texas Capitol will be on Saturday, January 18, 2020.  We will gather on the south steps at the Capitol Building for a rally 12:00pm – 3:00pm.

More information at www.womensmarchontexascapitol.org

Sign up to volunteer

Your Moment of Zen

Write Your Reps! No War with Iran

Without consulting Congress—other than golfing buddy Lindsey Graham—Trump directed the US airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, one of the most powerful officials in Iran and the architect of Tehran’s terrorist campaigns around the region.

Soleimani was a bad actor, and not a friend of the United States.

But with that in mind, here’s why this matters (and points we should respond to):

  1. The Trump Administration didn’t seek Congressional approval for this,
  2. The Administration clearly have no strategy for the likelihood of blowback,
  3. They likely don’t have a game plan for what happens when Iran gets their proxies to take actions on their behalf,
  4. Trump has a track record of erratic behavior, and taking chaotic actions against Iran, (anyone remember the pullback in June?)
  5. We have a decimated State Department, who would be necessary right now to help negotiate this situation, as well as a chaotic NSC,
  6. There will likely be widespread chaos in the region.

(h/t Celeste Pewter)

Demand Cruz and Cornyn support a fair and open impeachment trial; Let’s make change happen in 2020 | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Demand Cruz and Cornyn support a fair and open impeachment trial

Ted Cruz and John Cornyn

Remind John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of the oath that they took to support and defend the Constitution and demand they support a fair and open trial in the Senate to fully hear the evidence and hold Trump accountable for his actions. If they don’t, they’ll become accomplices in Donald Trump’s coverup.

Write a letter to John Cornyn and Ted Cruz

Get connected to your senators now


Let’s make change happen in 2020

At Indivisible Austin, we work tirelessly to celebrate, protect, and expand democracy and human rights to drive justice, equity, and inclusion.

As we head into 2020, we have BIG plans for helping to uplift democratic norms and values.  With your help, we can work even harder to ensure we are successful! Please join us in our efforts by making a gift before December 31!

We have nine weeks until the Texas primary on Tuesday, March 3. Now is the time to mobilize: Get to know the candidates, and then volunteer and donate.

U.S. Senate

Indivisible Houston, Indivisible Katy Huddle, and the national Indivisible team hosted an issue forum with seven of the Democratic candidates running for John Cornyn’s senate seat.

Texas Senate Issue Forum #IndTXForum

Support Indivisible Houston at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/indivisiblehouston #IndTXForum

Posted by Indivisible Houston on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Learn more about the candidates

Watch the candidate forum

U.S. Congress

There are competitive races in all of our districts that have Republican incumbents. Several of the candidates that Indivisible Austin endorsed in the 2018 general election—Mike Siegel, Rick Kennedy, and Julie Oliver—are running again in 2020.

Get to know the candidates

Texas House

In 2018, 17 State House Republicans won by less than 10 points. Eight of those won by less than five points. Beto won in nine of those districts, and in all but one of the counties where these districts live.

Get involved to flip the Texas House


Events

Saturday, January 4

Wells Branch Candidate Forum

1 p.m. at Wells Branch Recreation Center, 3000 Shoreline Dr.

Rick Kennedy

Wells Branch Democrats host TX17 candidate Rick Kennedy and TX House Rep. James Talarico.

Facebook event

Monday, January 13

Elected for Inclusion: A Presidential Forum on Disability Issues

The American Association of People with Disabilities and REV UP Texas cordially invites you to Elected for Inclusion: A Presidential Forum on Disability Issues. This national nonpartisan event will take place on January 13, 2020 at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

RSVP by January 6


Your Moment of Zen

 

Write Your Reps! Demand your Senators support a fair and open impeachment trial

Remind your Senators of the oath that they took to support and defend the Constitution and demand they support a fair and open trial in the Senate to fully hear the evidence and hold Trump accountable for his actions. If they don’t, they’ll become accomplices in Donald Trump’s coverup.

Rally in Austin to impeach Donald Trump | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Attend the Austin impeachment rallies on Tuesday, December 17

IMPEACH AND REMOVE

Join this historic nationwide mobilization on the eve of Trump’s impeachment vote. Events will be visible, family-friendly, public gatherings to demonstrate to our lawmakers that their constituents are behind them to defend the Constitution—and that Trump has left them no alternative to uphold their oath of office but to support impeachment and removal.

Attend one or both Austin rallies to impeach Donald Trump—because nobody is above the law.

If you cannot attend:

Ask your reps #OneSimpleQuestion: “Do you think it’s OK to ask a foreign power to interfere in our elections?”

Send a letter to Cornyn, Cruz, and your Congressman asking this #OneSimpleQuestion


2020 is Coming

Watch the Texas Senate Issue Forum

Last week, Indivisible Houston, Indivisible Katy Huddle, and the national Indivisible team hosted an issue forum with seven of the Democratic candidates running for John Cornyn’s senate seat. The forum was moderated by the Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek, who has a write-up here.

Texas Senate Issue Forum #IndTXForum

Support Indivisible Houston at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/indivisiblehouston #IndTXForum

Posted by Indivisible Houston on Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Watch the video from Indivisible Houston

Take the pledge to fire John Cornyn


Events

Tuesday, December 17

“Nobody is Above the Law” — Impeachment rallies in Austin

Upcoming: January 13, 2020

Elected for Inclusion: A Presidential Forum on Disability Issues

The American Association of People with Disabilities and REV UP Texas cordially invites you to Elected for Inclusion: A Presidential Forum on Disability Issues. This national nonpartisan event will take place on January 13, 2020 at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in Austin, Texas.

RSVP by January 6


Your Moment of Zen

 

Are you a potential plaintiff in a lawsuit for voting rights? | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Are you a potential plaintiff in a lawsuit for voting rights?

Texas Civil Rights Project is seeking plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the State of Texas (DPS and the Secretary of State, specifically) for failing to comply with the National Voter Registration Act. The law requires Texas to provide voter registration to people when they get or update their drivers’ license.

Potential plaintiff description: the person is (1) a Texas resident who is eligible to register to vote, (2) has recently moved from one Texas county to another Texas county, (3) has either not yet updated their drivers’ license address or has recently updated their drivers’ license address online, AND (4) has not yet updated their voter registration/or is unregistered to vote. Also, ideally, the person would meet (1)-(4) AND (5) know that they are going to move again in the near future (next 1-5 years).

If you know (or know of) anyone who meets the above description and they are interested in being connected with us, contact Beth Stevens at Texas Civil Right Project (beth@texascivilrightsproject.org).

Get involved with Texas Civil Rights Project

Sign up for the Austin impeachment rally & ask your reps #OneSimpleQuestion about impeachment

Impeach and Remove

NOTE: The impeachment rally at Austin City Hall is planned to take place the day before the House floor vote to pass articles of impeachment for Donald Trump. That vote is not yet scheduled—but you can still sign up!


Ask your reps #OneSimpleQuestion: “Do you think it’s OK to ask a foreign power to interfere in our elections?”

We know – there’s lots of breaking news every day and it’s confusing! Here’s all you need to know:

  • Trump pushed Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 elections.
  • He used US military aid to pressure them to dig up dirt on his political opponent.
  • Then, he tried to cover it up.
  • If the average person did this, they’d go to jail.

No matter what else we learn, or what desperate tactics Trump tries to use to distract, the facts here are what matters. It’s critical that Congress move forward with impeachment because nobody is above the law.

Make Calls to Ensure a Fair and Open Impeachment Trial in the Senate

Send a letter to Cornyn, Cruz, and your Congressman asking this #OneSimpleQuestion


Events

Monday, December 9

Film screening: “Ay Mariposa”

7 p.m. at Galaxy Highland Theater, 6700 Middle Fiskville Rd

Austin Border Relief is pleased to host a screening of Ay Mariposa, a documentary film about two women and a rare community of butterflies standing on the front lines in a battle against the US-Mexico border wall. Featuring a Q&A with Zulema Hernandez, human rights activist; Marianna Treviño Wright, director of the National Butterfly Center; and Paul Sanchez-Navarro of Defenders of Wildlife—with Gus Bova of the Texas Observer

Please RSVP to reserve your seat! To RSVP, please send a message to Austin Border Relief and you will receive a confirmation reply of your reservation.

A suggested $10 donation will be so appreciated.

LOCATION: Galaxy Theater

Tuesday, December 10

Indivisible Texas U.S. Senate Candidate Issue Forum (Houston)

7 p.m. at Lillygrove Baptist Church, 7034 Tierwester Street, Houston, Texas.

Join Statewide Indivisibles and Indivisible Houston right here in our hometown for a Senate Candidate Forum featuring Democratic primary candidates for Senate, moderated by Patrick Svitek of the Texas Tribune.

RSVP on Facebook

Thursday, December 12

Forum on the Latino Family Agenda in Texas

11:30 a.m. at Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) Raul Salinas Community Room, 600 River St.

Hosted by Unidos US Action Fund and the Center for Public Policy Priorities

A wide network of affiliates, allied partners and local elected officials have been invited for this roundtable discussion. Lunch provided.

RSVP on Eventbrite

Sunday, December 15

Medicare for all & How we Win It

1 to 4 p.m. at North Door Austin, 502 Brushy St.

Join us to talk about the answer to that question as well as the question of how we overcome the barriers to winning health justice in this country. We’ll be joined by a phenomenal panel of speakers including:

  • Amy Vilela: 2018 congressional candidate in District NV-4 featured in Netflix original documentary  “Knock Down the House” alongside AOC. Amy continues to organize in the fight for health justice, speaking about the need for M4A.
  • Sofia Sepulveda: San Antonio activist who mobilized her community to win Paid Sick Days in her city and organizes in Texas for M4A.
  • Tim Faust: Author of “Health Justice Now: Single Payer and What Comes Next” who traveled the country on a tour to speak to working class audiences about M4A.
  • Louis Malfaro: Former president of Education Austin, the Austin Federation of Teachers, & Texas AFT who organizes for M4A with the Debs Jones Douglass Institute.

View Facebook Event

Congress Critter of the Week: Michael McCaul (again)

Rep. McCaul, from his perch on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, signed a letter demanding that House Democrats focus on “meaningful legislation” rather than the “political charade” of impeachment. He fails to acknowledge that the Democratic-controlled House has passed or agreed to 389 bills and 151 resolutions—including restoration of the Voting Rights Act, which McCaul voted against.

Shot:

 

Chaser:

Your Moment of Zen

Rep. Michael McCaul wrote grifter Mina Chang’s letter of recommendation; Sign up for the Austin impeachment rally | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Sign up for the Austin impeachment rally & ask your reps #OneSimpleQuestion about impeachment

Impeach and Remove

NOTE: The impeachment rally at Austin City Hall is planned to take place the day before the House floor vote to pass articles of impeachment for Donald Trump. That vote is not yet scheduled—but you can still sign up!


Ask your reps #OneSimpleQuestion: “Do you think it’s OK to ask a foreign power to interfere in our elections?”

We know – there’s lots of breaking news every day and it’s confusing! Here’s all you need to know:

  • Trump pushed Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 elections.
  • He used US military aid to pressure them to dig up dirt on his political opponent.
  • Then, he tried to cover it up.
  • If the average person did this, they’d go to jail.

No matter what else we learn, or what desperate tactics Trump tries to use to distract, the facts here are what matters. It’s critical that Congress move forward with impeachment because nobody is above the law.

Make Calls to Ensure a Fair and Open Impeachment Trial in the Senate

Send a letter to Cornyn, Cruz, and your Congressman asking this #OneSimpleQuestion


Congress Critter of the Week: Rep. Michael McCaul

Michael McCaul

Mina Chang landed a plum State Department gig thanks to an embellished resume and a fake Time magazine cover—and a letter of recommendation from Rep. Michael McCaul.

The letter begins:

“I would like to give my strongest recommendation of Ms. Mina Chang…to assume a leadership position within either the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations or the Bureau of Counterterrorism of the U.S. Department of State.”

Read the whole letter. 

Ready to boot McCaul? Support the candidates running against him. 

Events

The impeachment rally at Austin City Hall is planned to take place the evening before the House floor vote to pass articles of impeachment for Donald Trump. That vote is not yet scheduled.

Wednesday, December 4

ADAPT of Texas Disability Film Night

4:30 to 7 p.m. at ADAPT of Texas, 1100 S IH 35 Frontage Road.

DEFIANT LIVES is a triumphant film that traces the origins of the world-wide disability rights movement.

It tells the stories of the individuals who bravely put their lives on the line to create a better world where everyone is valued and can participate.

Featuring interviews and rarely seen archival footage, the film reveals how these activists fought to live outside of institutions, challenged the stigmas and negative image of disability portrayed by the media, demanded access to public transportation, and battled to reframe disability rights as a social responsibility relevant to us all.

Please RSVP at (512) 442-0252

Tuesday, December 10

Indivisible Texas U.S. Senate Candidate Issue Forum (Houston)

7 p.m. at Lillygrove Baptist Church, 7034 Tierwester Street, Houston, Texas.

Join Statewide Indivisibles and Indivisible Houston right here in our hometown for a Senate Candidate Forum featuring Democratic primary candidates for Senate, moderated by Patrick Svitek of the Texas Tribune.

RSVP on Facebook

Your Moment of Zen