Call Congress to Protect SNAP on May 8

What: Call-In Day to Protect the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

When: Tuesday, May 8

​Who: Call your member of Congress at 888-398-8702

Please share this action alert widely and use the downloadable social media graphics from Children’s Defense Fund-Texas below 

Adapted from CPPP‘s SNAP action alert:
About 3.8 million Texans — kids, the elderly, people with disabilities, veterans and workers who don’t earn enough to feed their families — turn to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly “food stamps”) to help buy food every month. It is the nation’s most effective anti-hunger program.

Now, SNAP is at risk because of proposals in the Farm Bill, the legislation that includes this vital program. The Farm Bill would make it harder for millions of working mothers to put food on the table by taking away or cutting their food benefits. In all, the proposal would cut the actual money families receive to buy food by more than $17 billion and instead would spend billions setting up a new system of untested work programs and requirements with punishing penalties.

RSVP on Facebook to join the National Call-in Day and let Congress know you oppose cuts to the SNAP program

Call your member of Congress on May 8 at 888-398-8702

Sample script/talking points:

  1. Identify yourself as a constituent calling about pending legislation.
  2. Tell them you want your representative to oppose the current Farm Bill, because it would:
    1. Cut food assistance for struggling families in your community, and
    2. Misuse those same funds to expand a bureaucracy that sells the promise of work, but won’t deliver results.
  3. Give a concrete example from your experience to demonstrate why you care.
  4. Provide your full mailing address and ask to receive a response from your member of Congress.
  5. Thank the staff member!

 

Right click to download and share these images on social media:

Protect SNAP national call-in day

Protect SNAP national call-in day

Protect SNAP national call-in day

Protect SNAP national call-in day

Call To Action: NO on Matthew Kacsmaryk

Thanks to Indivisible East Bay for their ongoing work focused on the federal judiciary. They have researched and prepared many calls-to-action, including this one, to push back on Trump’s extremist judicial nominees.

Background: Matthew Kacsmaryk has been nominated for a judgeship in federal district court (Northern District of Texas). He is now a lawyer for the First Liberty Institute, known for its extreme opposition to women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights. He has opposed the rule under ObamaCare for coverage to include contraceptives. In Washington State he opposed a law that pharmacies are required to provide emergency birth control.

Kacsmaryk’s writings even include criticism of no-fault divorce.

On equality for LGBTQ persons, Kacsmaryk has opposed same-sex marriage, and he has supported laws allowing hospitals, businesses, and landlords to discriminate against LGBTQ persons because of religious beliefs. Kacsmaryk appears to have worked against any effort to ensure equality for the LGBTQ community.

This nominee’s extremism is noteworthy even among Trump’s other court picks, who are often very conservative. Please call your Senators to vote against Kacsmaryk’s nomination for a lifelong appointment as a federal judge.

Script: Hi, my name is [name] and I’m a constituent calling from [zip code]. I’m calling to urge you to vote NO on the nomination of Matthew Kacsmaryk to the federal district court. Kacsmaryk’s career has been to oppose women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights to an extreme degree. I am worried that Kacsmaryk will be a partisan and extreme judge, and I am against his nomination for a lifelong position on the federal court. Please vote NO on Kacsmaryk’s nomination.

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

More information:

Alliance for Justice report on Matthew Kacsmaryk
Vetting Room report on Matthew Kacsmaryk
People For the American Way: Letter Against Kacsmaryk’s Nomination
National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA): Letter in Opposition to Kacsmaryk’s Nomination

 

April 8th: Town Hall for Our Lives in Austin

This post will be updated as details emerge. 

View this event on Facebook

SAVE THE DATE: Town Hall for Our Lives.

Sunday, April 8th 2-5 p.m.

William B. Travis High School
1211 E. Oltorf St, Austin, Texas 78704

Save the date! All area Members of Congress and candidates are invited to participate in a town hall to discuss gun violence and gun violence prevention in America/Texas. Participants to be added as they RSVP. More details will be updated shortly.

Confirmed participants to date:
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX-35)
State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (HD-51)
Mary Wilson (D candidate, TX-21)
Christine Mann (D candidate, TX-31)
Julie Oliver (D candidate, TX-25)
Chris Perri (D candidate, TX-25)
Joseph Kopser (D candidate, TX-21)
Mike Siegel (D candidate, TX10)

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

Please take note of the parking directions below. The entrance to the school’s parking is on Oltorf, and parking will be in the main lot behind the school. There is a short walk to the auditorium’s entrance.

This is an accessible event, and ASL interpretation will be provided thanks to ADAPT of Texas. Accessible parking is available in the main parking lot and a few spots in front of the school.

Please share this event RSVP with all the students in your life. We look forward to seeing you at tomorrow’s town hall.

Ted Cruz Chose His Campaign Stops Based on Where He Can Land His Private Jet

Ted Cruz is campaigning in some unusual Texas locales. The Mailroom in Austin? La Hacienda Scenic Loop in San Antonio? Some genius on Facebook speculated that it might be because he needs to stay close to the general aviation airports where he’s landing his private plane. We followed up and…they’re right.

See the events and maps below, and if you live near any of these places, how about meeting Ted at the airport and snapping his picture descending the steps of his private jet, while, of course, observing trespassing and all other applicable laws? Bonus points if you get the tail number of the plane, which would allow us to find out who it is registered to.

Send your photos to tips@indivisibleaustin.com. (And also let us know if you think we got something wrong here.)

Mon, April 2, 2018

9:30 a.m. Beaumont

This one is obvious: He’s not even leaving the airport to campaign.

Jack Brooks Regional Airport Firehouse
5000 Jerry Ware Drive
Beaumont, TX 77705

12:30 p.m. Tyler

John Soules Foods
10150 Farm to Market Road 14
Tyler, TX 75706

The campaign stop is 17 minutes from the Tyler Airport.

3:30 p.m. Waco

Schmalreide Farm
1775 Plainview Road
McGregor, TX 76657

This is billed as a Waco event, but it’s really in McGregor, and conveniently 14 minutes from the executive airport.

7 p.m. Stafford

Redneck Country Club
11110 West Airport Boulevard
Stafford, TX 77477

Good thing the Redneck Country Club (no comment) is right on Airport Blvd! We’re guessing he’ll use Sugar Land, which is 14 minutes away.

Tuesday, April 3

9 a.m. McAllen

National Border Patrol Council
4179 Crosspoint Blvd.
Edinburg, TX 78539

Conveniently located 20 minutes from the airport.

1 p.m. Corpus Christi

Ortiz Center, Kleberg Room
402 Harbor Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78401

Just a 15-minute hop, skip, and jump from the airport.

4:30 p.m. San Antonio

La Hacienda Scenic Loop
25615 Boerne Stage Road
San Antonio, TX 78255

We’re guessing Ted is flying into Boerne Stage Airfield, a mere six minutes away.

7:30 p.m. Austin

Texas Mailhouse Inc
8606 Wall Street
Suite 1740
Austin, TX 78754

We had never heard of the Mailhouse prior to this campaign event. Lo and behold, it’s only 15 minutes from Austin Executive Airport and 18 minutes from ABIA. And yes, we are planning to show up.

Wednesday, April 4

9 a.m. Midland

Discovery Operating, Inc.
2600 Mockingbird Lane
Midland, TX 79705

12 p.m. Amarillo

West Texas A&M University
3301 4th Avenue
Canyon, TX 79015

Tradewind Airport would put Ted 10 minutes closer to his destination than if he flew into Rick Husband International.

3 p.m. Wichita Falls

The Kitchen
1000 Burnett Street
Wichita Falls, TX 76301

Twelve minutes, baby!

6:30 p.m. Fort Worth

River Ranch
500 Northeast 23rd St
Fort Worth, TX 76164

There are a few possibilities, including DFW (30 minutes away) and Fort Worth Alliance (20 minutes), but Meacham is only eight minutes away so we’re going with that.

Now, compare and contrast:

Beto in a truck

Cruz in Austin – Emergency Banner Drop! April 3 at 6:30 p.m.

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Repeal and Replace Ted Cruz

WHAT: We need to mobilize folks *all around town* to help us hold 6 banners in response to Ted Cruz and his anti-ACA event in Austin! We need at least 50 PEOPLE to make our presence known at all entrances to this event. If you’ve ever wanted to participate in a Rosedale Huddle banner drop, this is a golden opportunity to wave it in Cruz’s face!

IMPORTANT PARKING INFO: Park at 8407 Wall St. – in the highest part of the HHS parking lot at 6:30 PM across from the Cruz event. (Cruz will be at 8606 Wall, Bldg 17, but that lot is private/towing enforced)

Feel free to bring your own signs and noisemakers, too!

WHEN: Tuesday, April 3, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

WHERE: 8606 Wall St.

 

What to do if Mueller is fired

Since the Cornyn Stakeout in May 2017, and the appointment of Robert Mueller as special prosecutor in the Russia investigation, we have shied away from Russia-related calls to action. Our movement is built on empowering  individuals to make a difference, and it’s hard to see where we can make a difference on this front.

Now, with the alarming uptick in chants of “fire Mueller” on Fox News and other media, and the complicity of our MoCs, we’re encouraging people to prepare for Mueller’s firing. Use this tool from MoveOn to find out what’s happening in your area. This is the plan in Austin, which will be updated in the event of Mueller’s firing

We’ll be sure to post updates here, on social media, to our email list, etc.

In case you missed it, our John Cornyn seems pretty comfortable with the prospect of Mueller getting fired.

Firing Mueller is a third rail that cannot be touched. Call your Senators and House representatives. Tell them that you support the Mueller investigation, wherever the facts lead, and that it must be protected by Congress. Senators on both sides of the aisle have introduced bills to protect Mueller, but so far, the GOP doesn’t think it’s necessary.

And by the way, this is what John Cornyn had to say about Bob Mueller last May:

“Robert Mueller is perhaps the single-most qualified individual to lead such an investigation, in my view, and he’s certainly independent. As a former F.B.I. Director, the longest-serving F.B.I. Director since J. Edgar Hoover, he, by any measure, has the experience and the credibility and the credentials to conduct a nonpartisan investigation and come to a conclusion based on the facts alone.”

We’ll update this post as new information comes in.

12/18: How Congress Stole Christmas: Santa Resists

View & RSVP to this event on Facebook

How Congress Stole Christmas: Santa Resists

Does this holiday season leave you feeling like it’s a wonderful life… if you’re in the 1%?

It’s never too late to tell our elected officials how we feel, and probably more important now than it’s been all year, with competing heinous versions of tax bills dancing like rotten sugarplums through our nightmares. So join Santa Claus in a visit to Senators Cruz and Cornyn, to let them know why they are getting stockings full of coal for Christmas 2017.

We’ll kick off a short program with a guest speaker or two at 3pm outside Sen. Cruz’s office, and then take some video of regular constituents telling why they are giving him a lump of coal in his stocking. When the stocking is full, Santa and his elves will present Sen. Cruz’s staff with the stocking, and the rest of us will carol our way 6 blocks to Sen. Cornyn’s office by about 3:45 for the same (program, video, Santa visit). We plan to end at 4:30 with some closing thoughts about this year of resistance.

We will have some paper and markers at both offices for you to write your reasons for giving lumps of coal, but if you want to come prepared, make sure you write yours on black paper or cardstock because that’s the color of coal! And that’s all they get.

Sponsors:
ADAPT of Texas
Austin DSA
Children’s Defense Fund- Texas
Indivisible Austin
Indivisible Rosedale Huddle
Indivisible SATX
Indivisible TX 25 East
Left Up To Us
Muslim Solidarity ATX
Our Revolution Central Texas
Our Revolution South Austin
Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas (PACT)
Planned Parenthood Texas Votes
Progress Texas
TARA (Texas Alliance of Retired Americans)Austin chapter
Texas Sierra Club
The Texas Drought Project
TX-10 Indivisible
TX21Indivisible
University Democrats
Workers Defense Project

Check back for updates in the coming days as we add event sponsors, speakers, and other details, and refine the timeline.

Rally Against Robbery: Shine a Light on the GOP Tax Scam

No #GOPTaxScam - Rally Against Robbery

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WHEN: Thursday at 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
WHERE: Austin City Hall. 301 W 2nd St.

If you think the tax bill being considered by Congress will harm Texans, please come to this nonviolent rally to send a powerful message to ALL Texas politicians both in the US Congress and the Texas Legislature. IF NOT NOW – WHEN!!!

Schedule of Events:

30-minute program outside City Hall, after which we’ll be marching to and lining up on both sides of Congress Avenue Bridge

Speakers:

Gina Hinojosa, Texas House of Representatives
Greg Casar, Austin City Council
Cristina Tzintzun, Jolt
Selina Fernandez, Southwestern University student & activist
…more to be announced

What to bring:

FLASHLIGHTS (to form a light brigade on the overpass)
Signs and posters of your own making
Dress for cold weather and possible rain

Co-hosts:
ADAPT of Texas
ADC-Austin Chapter
Austin DSA
Children’s Defense Fund – Texas
Indivisible Austin
Indivisible SATX
Jolt
Left Up To Us
Muslim Solidarity ATX
NASW Texas
Our Revolution Central Texas
Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas
TARA (Texas Alliance for Retired Americans) Austin
TX10 Indivisible
TX21 Indivisible
TXLEGE Indivisible
Voto Latino

Why Net Neutrality Matters and What You Can Do About It

The debate over Net Neutrality can sound like a “first world problem” compared to life-or-death issues like DACA and healthcare.

Here’s are two reasons why it matters:

  1. Net Neutrality is the concept that everyone should have equal access to websites and other Internet services. The FCC, helmed by former Verizon executive Ajit Pai, wants to end Net Neutrality. This would enable Verizon and other ISPs to charge extra for some websites, or block them entirely. Voters getting information from a limited set of news sources is what gave us the Trump presidency. Without net neutrality, those voters might be literally unable to access any major news website other than Foxnews.com*. Put another way, ending net neutrality is the atom bomb in Trump’s war on the truth.
  2. There is another, more free-market and Austin-centric argument for preserving Net Neutrality: It encourages entrepreneurship. Net Neutrality allows tech companies to compete on a level playing field. For the last 25 years, US tech companies have thrived in an environment where small startups can reach millions of users. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram—they all benefited from this environment. If you throttle that environment, companies like Verizon get to decide which websites you visit.

Not surprisingly, both Ted Cruz and John Cornyn oppose Net Neutrality.  Also, not surprisingly, both senators are utterly beholden to telecom companies. From the San Antonio Current:

“Since 2012, Cornyn had racked up $160,000 in political contributions from top internet providers, and Cruz has taken in more than $115,000 — above and beyond what other senators have been handed. AT&T alone has given the pair a combined $107,000.”

All five Austin-area GOP reps also oppose Net Neutrality, with varying degrees of fervor. (Back in March, all five also voted to allow ISPs to sell your private data.)

On December 14, the FCC is scheduled to make a final decision on Net Neutrality. There are two ways for you to make your voices heard:

  1. Contact your MoCs. They may be entrenched on this issue, but it’s still our job to hold them accountable.
  2. Contact the FCC and let them know what you think of these changes.

To file written comments, go to https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?proceedings_name=17-108

Toll-Free Voice:
1-888-CALL FCC (225-5322)

Toll-Free Fax:
1-866-418-0232

Ajit Pai, Chairman
Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov

Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner
Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov

Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner
Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov

Brendan Carr, Commissioner
Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov

Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner
Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov

 Net Neutrality is a safeguard against autocracy. If we lose it, our Democracy suffers.


*Technically, this could work the other way, with ISPs charging extra for Foxnews.com while giving away MSNBC.com for free. Either way would be wrong. And given how much media consolidation as favored the far right, it’s safe to say who would be more likely to benefit from the repeal of Net Neutrality.

Take this quiz to see if you get a tax break from the Trump Tax Scam

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Call Senators Cornyn and Cruz NOW

Caller: Hello! My name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [part of state]. I’m calling to let Senator [Cruz / Cornyn] know that I strongly oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This tax bill is a scam that will give massive cuts to the wealthy, paid for by leaving tens of thousands of people in Texas uninsured, raising premiums, and raising taxes on middle-class families.

Staffer: The Senator is in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. He thinks it is important that we reform our broken, complex tax code so that middle-class families can benefit.

Caller: This tax bill won’t help middle class families get ahead. Every single provision intended to help the middle-class expires, but the corporate tax cuts are forever. Even worse, the CBO estimates that health insurance premiums will increase 10% more per year than they would without this bill and we know 13 million more people will be uninsured!

Staffer: I’ll pass your thoughts along to the Senator.

Caller: Yes please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know what the Senator decides to do.