Help Lead Indivisible Austin’s GOTV Work

GOTV volunteer announcement

We are ramping up our voter engagement and mobilization push for the 2018 election and we’re looking for a number of volunteers who can help lead this exciting phase of our work! Everyone knows how important the 2018 elections are, with so many key challenges at stake. Indivisible Austin is developing our midterm field program in conjunction with Indivisible national’s statewide plan, and will use their voter outreach tools to organize canvassing, phone banking, texting, and more.

Our first event is on July 29th with special guests Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin, founders and co-executive directors of Indivisible.

We’re looking for folks who have the following interests, skills and abilities:

  • Commitment to Indivisible values: we defend democracy, resist authoritarianism, hold our elected officials accountable, and fight back against the administration’s horror-show policies especially in the areas of healthcare, immigration, and gun violence prevention
  • Enthusiasm to change the face of power in Texas and in Congress
  • Flexibility, both in terms of time and attitude
  • Past experience leading canvassing, phone banking, and other activities is an awesome bonus!
  • GOTV work is most likely to take place in the evenings and on the weekends. Occasional weekday/daytime availability is helpful but not required.

Interested? Let us know by emailing our Treasurer Tony Weber at tony@indivisibleaustin.com

Families Belong Together: Events and Volunteer Opportunities

Families Belong Together - Austin, TX June 30 2018

Today we’re sharing all the information we have so far about confirmed events on the border in Texas in the coming days, as well as events in Austin. Please send any additional event information to tips@indivisibleaustin.com.

If you are not from the border communities and you’re headed down for the day or a few days, please consider how your actions will impact people who live in these communities everyday. Please consider how your actions will impact the community organizations that have been working with immigrants families for generations. We all have a deep desire to help and to take action, but we believe that it’s incredibly important to follow the lead of those who have been in this fight for many years, and who best understand the needs of their own communities.

Events in the Austin Area

June 26 – Jericho March: Tear down the walls dividing families

9:30 – 11 AM
710 S Main St.
Georgetown, TX

Join Grassroots Leadership for a show of moral force as faith leaders and women formerly detained testify before County Commissioners. Immediately following testimony, we will march outside and circle the walls of the County Courthouse 7 times, as in the Old Testament Joshua circled the walls of Jericho and they came tumbling down. We call for the walls of the detention center and the power structures that uphold it to be torn down. Let’s reunite these families and end prosecutions of people seeking safety and a better life.

Facebook event >>

June 27 – HABLA Platica: Families Belong Together!/¡Familias Unidas No Divididas!

7:30 – 9 a.m.
Juan in a Million
2300 E Cesar Chavez St., Austin, Texas 78702

We will have a distinguished panel of guests discussing the latest status of efforts to reunite children with their families, fundraising efforts and calls to action. Please join us for this important HABLA platica! HISPANIC ADVOCATES BUSINESS LEADERS OF AUSTIN (HABLA) is a “THINK TANK” group and forum made up of local Hispanic/Latino community and business leaders committed to discussing and developing sustainable solutions on current affairs, public policies and quality of life issues impacting our local Austin Hispanic/Latino community.

Facebook event >>

June 30 – Families Belong Together and FREE Rally

12 – 3 p.m.
Texas State Capitol
Austin, TX

On June 30, we’re joining with people rallying in Washington, D.C. and around the country to tell Donald Trump and his administration to end this cruel and inhumane zero tolerance policy, to end dehumanizing immigrants and migrants, and to end family​ detention and separation.

Facebook event >>

June 30 – REUNITE FAMILIES, STOP HUMANITARIAN ABUSES

10 a.m. to noon
Congressman Bill Flores’ Bryan District Office
3000 Briarcrest Dr, Ste 406, Bryan, Texas 77802

Join the the national march of FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER in our sister vigil in Bryan/College Station. Meet on the Briarcrest sidewalk in front of the Wells Fargo building to show support for those 2,300 children who have been needlessly separated from their parents at our border in the last several weeks, and to demand a better alternative to Trump’s current, cruel executive order.

Facebook event >>

Events to Support Immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley

Via Neta RGV

McAllen Area

June 25 – Parents Everywhere Care

10 AM – 2 PM
Ursula Child Detention Center (3700 Ursula Ave)
McAllen, TX

This event is being organized by a grassroots group of individuals. Although originally the rally was focused on the practice of separating children from parents, following the Trump administration’s executive order, one of the event organizers stated that the event would continue in opposition to the “indefinite jailing and detention of individuals and families.”

Facebook event >>

June 28 – Vigil for Claudia Gomez Gonzalez

7 PM – 9 PM
Harlon Block Sports Complex (1020 W. 18th St)
Weslaco, Texas

This event, which is being co-organized by the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, the RGV No Border Wall Coalition, and La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE), will seek to “bring awareness to the injustices and transgressions of Border Patrol on border communities and honor the lives of those that have passed.”

Facebook event >>

Brownsville/Harlingen Area

June 23 – March to Defend Families! Immigration Reform

12 PM – 2 PM
Location Details: International Gateway Bridge-Port of Entry, Brownsville, TX
Meeting Place: Xeriscape Park, Brownsville TX. (Front of the International Gateway Bridge in the Flag area.)

This event is being organized by Frontera Progressives, a group that states it came together after the 2017 Women’s March around issues regarding the “assault on peace, justice, equality and the environment.” According to a press release, Frontera Progressives is organizing this event “to demand an end to the Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy, for fair treatment of asylum seekers according to international norms, and for the immediate reuniting of families separated by the administration’s separation policy.”

Facebook event >>

June 28 – Families Belong Together Rally at the Border

11 AM – 2 PM
Linear Park (1501 E 7th St.)
Brownsville, TX 78520

Organized by the ACLU Border Rights Center. According to the Facebook event page, “families, advocates, and allies will hold a rally in the park across the street from the Brownsville Federal Court, where immigrants are being prosecuted en masse for crossing the border into the United States, and then separated from their children.” The event is being co-organized by a wide coalition of organizations.

Bus Transportation will be available from the following locations and is limited, click the following links to reserve your spot:

Laredo: https://goo.gl/forms/UcJMrLmpueaPmVvY2

Dallas: https://goo.gl/forms/3SBNl6M492MVTAOe2

Austin: https://goo.gl/forms/vzUnmeNkdsfFJgbn1

Houston: https://goo.gl/forms/6vhAfX6xzEKyuh2h2

San Antonio Waitlist: https://goo.gl/forms/mY8hbPUrcqElekdD2

Facebook event >>

Events in the Tornillo/El Paso Area

June 23 – Physicians & Nurses March to Tornillo: Families Belong Together!

9:30 – 11 a.m.
18051 Island Guadalupe Rd, Fabens, TX 79838
Texas physicians & nurses will MARCH in support of keeping families together and ending this immoral and cruel practice of separating children from their parents. We have a responsibility to these children to first, DO NO HARM.

Facebook event >>

June 24th – #EndFamilyDetention Action

9 – 11 a.m.
Tornillo Port of Entry, El Paso, TX

Led by Voto Latino. “For thousands of children in detention centers, nothing has changed. This is why we will be in Tornillo, TX on June 24 at 9am. We demand a PLAN and a PROMISE that these children will be REUNITED with their families. Moreover, reunification in DETENTION CENTERS is not a solution. Jailing families together is trauma as well.”

***OVERNIGHT BUS FROM AUSTIN leaves at 10 p.m. Saturday night from UT campus***
Email Irving with Voto Latino to reserve your spot.

More information >>

June 27th – Direct Action to Stop and #AbolishICE

Led by United We Dream. “Our fight to reunite families continues. We won’t rest until immigrant detentions across the state and the country end, UNTIL the profiting from the suffering of families ends and until Congress abolishes ICE & CBP to end the perpetration of abuse, violence, and deaths towards immigrant youth and families. We demand #FreedomForImmigrants and that Congress Defund ICE & CBP.”

More information and sign-up >>

Volunteer Opportunities

Join NETA to deliver food/water to asylum seekers stuck at ports of entry or donate to them here – People currently showing at ports of entry seeking asylum are being  denied that right. When they arrive, officers tells them that the port of entry is at capacity and that they’re not processing asylum applicants. This backlog has created long lines of people (+50) who have essentially been living on the bridge, patiently waiting their turn. They’ve been sleeping on the hard concrete floors and have been enduring the Texas heat that reaches up to 110 degrees. Some have been there anywhere from 5 to 17 days, and they arrive with nothing. Join NETA to take these individuals food, water, and other necessities.

Volunteer at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen – Sacred Heart Church is working around the clock to help migrants who have been provisionally cleared and released by Border Protection with temporary papers a future court date (and an ankle monitor in tow). After being processed they are dropped off at the McAllen bus terminal where they wait before leaving to their next destination. The church picks up people from the bus terminal, brings them to their welcome center, and offers them their first warm meal, a bath, a change of clothes, hygiene products, a call home, and assistance with translating their paper work and travel itinerary. They need volunteers to help assist and prepare items for families.

Be a Volunteer Attorney with ProBar or donate to them here – ProBar, the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project. This is a project of the American Bar Association, and they are currently supporting over 1,000 ‘unaccompanied children’ in detention centers. They’re also working hard to reconnect these children with their parents. They’re looking for volunteer attorneys who could help with these children prepare for credible fear interviews (will take several days to a week), and in the longer term help with assistance for bond cases (some of this work could be remote, but would have to be periodically present). I’ve created the google doc above to try to help them identify volunteer attorneys.

Help Texas Civil Rights Project take declarations from families or donate to them here – Everyday, TCRP is taking declarations from families and need help with intake efforts in Brownsville, Laredo, El Paso and Alpine. They’re able to train people and organize legal intakes in these cities. They also need help in McAllen with interviewing families. Note — Volunteers are required to speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistance experience.

Full list of immigrant advocacy organizations >>

Write a Letter to the Editor about Family Separation and Detention

Like everyone else, you’re probably wondering WHAT CAN I DO? One thing you can do is to write a letter to the editor (LTE) to your local paper. It may not get published, but if a LOT of people write on the same issue, there’s a good chance some of those letters will get published.

Most papers limit the length of LTEs to 150-250 words. You can usually find the guidelines and a submission portal or email address on the Opinion page of your local paper’s website. If you are feeling REALLY motivated and have a lot to say, consider extending your letter into an op-ed, which has a more generous 600-700 word limit.

This is a sample letter to the editor on family separation at the border. Feel free to use it to help you craft your own. Please note, it includes elements that are common to successful LTEs:

  • Facts to build an argument
  • An emotional hook to pull the reader in
  • A call to action to those in power & our fellow citizens

On May 6, Donald Trump chose to create a humanitarian and moral crisis by implementing a policy to have children of border-crossers taken from their parents. Since then, more than 2,000 children, including infants and children with disabilities, have been stolen away. All this to deter future border crossings and, more importantly, to use as leverage against Democrats.

Americans have risen to the challenge of this crisis, in part because, for now, the media has found the courage to call lies lies and stay focused. We have been horrified at the pictures of children being taken from their parents and put in cages. Our hearts have broken at the sounds of children in custody crying out for their parents, because we know their cries will go unanswered.

Trump bowed slightly to pressure, signing a vague order, mostly to relieve pressure from the media. At best, it will result in families being held in prison together, possibly for years. At worst, Trump will resume stealing children from their parents after the 20-day limit for family detention expires. Regardless, the order does nothing to reunite the families already torn apart. Trump created this crisis. He can and must choose to fix it. We must put even more pressure on to reverse the policy and reunite the children and parents. Remember, that little girl looking up at her mother still doesn’t know what’s happening. The children crying for their parents on the audio recording still haven’t been answered. This isn’t over.

Tony Weber
Indivisible Austin

Other topics you might want to build an LTE around:

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.

View this event on Facebook

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.