Take Action at #txlege: Week of Feb. 18

Contributed by Felicia Miyakawa, Special Education Advocate

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, The House Public Education Committee will hear meet for the first time to discuss proposed bills hear public testimony about those bills. The hearing will start around 11:30 (or whenever the house adjourns) and it’s going to be LONG: there are 12 bills on the schedule! These bills cover a variety of topics: bonds, trustee elections, teacher training, sex trafficking prevention, class size limits, notification about physical fitness assessments, etc. You can find the livestream here.

As a Special Education advocate parent of two young people who receive Special Education services, I will be watching a few of these bills closely. (If you are also watching these bills and have different takes on the meaning of the bills, I’d love to hear your thoughts!)

1. HB 65 is about mandatory reporting of out-of-school suspensions. This bill would require schools to report certain demographic information about students who are suspended, as well as reasons for which the student was suspended.

Why this matters: Students of color and students with disabilities are suspended and otherwise punished with disciplinary actions at rates that are hugely disproportionate, and for issues that have little or nothing to do with the student code of conduct.

2. HB 116 is about teacher training and preparation. This bill would mandate that all K-12 educators-in-training receive instruction in how to help students of ALL abilities access the curriculum.

Why this matters: a vast majority of students who receive Special Education services do so in the General Education environment for at least part of their day. (It’s very important to understand that Special Education is a service, not a place.) Currently, there is no mandated training for general education teachers to learn the specialized approaches that Special Education teachers are supposed to learn. Yet in many cases, those teachers serve the same students. Federal law requires that we educate kids in Special Education with their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible, but when General Education teachers don’t have this training, they are unprepared to include our students.

3. HB 165 is about amending the Education Code to allow students who receive Special Education services to receive endorsements in high school, and provides ways for these endorsements to be determined.

Why this matters: an increasing number of kids in special education are college-bound. (More and more colleges and universities are offering tailored programs for students with disabilities to meet the growing demand.) Currently, however, students who need modifications to their curriculum or who struggle to pass standardized tests like STAAR cannot earn endorsements on their transcripts. Allowing these students to earn endorsements helps them with entrance into college.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  1. If any of these issues are important to you personally, consider going to the capitol to give testimony. If you can get to the Capitol but don’t want to give testimony, please know that you can still weigh in. There are computer kiosks located close to the hearing rooms where you can register and indicate whether or not you support a bill and whether or not you want to testify. You can hang out and watch the hearing or leave. This is a great option for folks who don’t enjoy public speaking.
  2. If you would like to submit written testimony and can’t get to the capitol, let me know and I can try to connect you with someone who can help you.
  3. For everyone else, please call or email YOUR representative to discuss your stance on these bills. As a reminder, James Talarico is on the Public Education committee. If you live in HD 52, he will really want to hear from you!

Remember: you can watch a live stream of committee hearings. Bookmark these links:
House committee hearings

Senate committee hearings

Take Action at #txlege: Week of Feb. 11

Contributed by Felicia Miyakawa, Special Education Advocate

For those of you trying to keep up with #txlege, here are some action items regarding special education and medically fragile kids/adults.

This week there will be several hearings about funding and appropriations. For those of you who have less familiarity with these issues, please know that we need you to amplify our voices.

1. The Senate Finance Committee will be meeting about education matters in SB 1 on Monday morning at 10. SB 1 is the Senate’s budget bill. You can watch the hearing here once it’s live.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: the current bill does not provide for the $50 million identified as necessary to fix the Special Education plan TEA has already laid out (aka, the Corrective Action Plan), an action that is required because of a Federal Department of Education investigation. Public testimony is allowed at this hearing for a maximum of 3 minutes. Written testimony will be accepted. Please see the hearing notice for details.

2. House Appropriations Article II subcommittee will meet Monday morning at 8 to discuss Health and Human Services. You should be able to watch the hearing here once it’s live.

KEY ISSUES HERE: currently there is a 10+ year waitlist for kids with disabilities who need state resources. We need HHS to fund the “waivers” so we can get these kids off waitlists and get them the support they need. Public testimony will be allowed at this hearing for a maximum of 3 minutes. The hearing notice does not specify anything regarding written testimony.

3. House Appropriations will meet again on Thursday at 8, and one of the topics that day is Early Childhood Intervention. Over the past few sessions we’ve had HUGE cuts to these programs, and many rural providers have stopped providing services. We have huge gaps in service now, to say the least. Public testimony will be heard at this hearing, too. Please see the hearing notice for details. Watch here.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. If any of these issues are important to you personally, consider going to the capitol to give testimony.
2. If you would like to submit written testimony and can’t get to the Capitol, let me know and I can try to connect you with someone who can help you.
3. For everyone else, please call members of the above committees to support these funding needs.

House Appropriations Article II Subcommittee members

Senate Finance Committee members (includes Watson and Campbell from Central Texas districts)

 

Rally at Cornyn’s to end the #TrumpShutdown, Jan. 23 at 11:30 a.m.

Trumps siad he woud be the one to shut down government over wall and he did. Source: indivisible.org

Update: If you can’t make it to the rally, sign up to phone bank instead!

Hosted by TX10 Indivisible

WHEN: Wed. Jan. 23 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: This is the Chase Tower on the corner of 6th and Congress. The tower has paid parking, and the 801 and 803 CapMetro buses stop nearby.

WHAT: Federal workers are working for free and struggling to pay their bills. National parks are being desecrated. Court trials are being postponed. Tax refunds may be delayed. Where is Sen. Cornyn in this? Pinning the blame on Democrats and holding out for a pointless and destructive $5 billion wall.

Asked by the Washington Post whether he was receiving a lot of calls to end the shutdown, Cornyn replied “not many, not many.” Let’s send a message he can’t ignore! Visit Cornyn’s office in downtown Austin and tell his staff the government needs to re-open, and we don’t want Trump’s ridiculous wall. Bring letters or postcards to the Senator as well.

RSVP with MoveOn or on Facebook (or just show up)

Write a Letter to the Editor About the #TrumpShutdown

Update 1/23/19: New Talking Points from the #DefundHate campaign

The federal government is shut down for very dumb reasons: Namely, so that Trump can avoid looking foolish over his obviously foolish wall, and because Sen. Mitch McConnell won’t allow a vote on something the Senate approved 100-0 just last month.

What can we do? We can support Rep. Lloyd Doggett and other House Dems. They must not cave. They must not offer any funding for the foolish wall, for which Trump is trying to extort $5 billion from American taxpayers even though he said Mexico would pay for it. So far, House Dems are holding strong! Call Rep. Doggett and say thanks, or “@” him on social media.

We can also call Senators Cornyn and Cruz. Cornyn is up for reelection in 2020 and might be more movable on this. Then again, he is a giant crybaby, so who knows. At least is staff is usually nice, so give them a call and a piece of your ear.

The other thing we can do is write letters to the editor. This is especially needed if you are a government worker or contractor affected by the shutdown. 

How to write a letter to the editor

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 very motivated and have a lot to say, consider extending your letter into an op-ed, which has a more generous 600-700 word limit.

Common elements of 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

Read more tips on writing an LTE

Talking points to include

  • Trump says he could keep shutdown going for “months or years.”
  • Responsibility for reopening the government falls squarely on the United States Senate.
  • In December, The Senate voted 100-0 to fund the government through February. Why won’t McConnell allow another vote to the floor? His stated reason is that Trump won’t sign it, but Trump breaks promises all the time.
  • Senators Cruz and Cornyn need to realize:
    • Many federal workers live paycheck-to-paycheck and are struggling to pay bills
    • The shutdown negatively impacts the stock market
    • Contractors generally don’t get back pay after a shutdown
    • Why wasn’t this funding secured during the two years that GOP had complete control of government?

Once, again make your letter personal—how does the shutdown affect you or someone you know? Making it personal will drastically increase the likelihood that your letter is published.

Major Texas publications

Austin American-Statesman

http://www.statesman.com/opinion/letters/form/

Edited letters typically address a single idea and do not exceed 150 words.

San Antonio Express-News

letters@express-news.net

No hard word limit, but “shorter is better.” More details here:

http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/article/Sharing-your-views-with-the-San-Antonio-6744466.php

Houston Chronicle

viewpoints@chron.com

Max. 250 words. More details here (scroll to the bottom):

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/

Dallas Morning News

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/2017/02/09/submit-letter-editor

Max. 200 words

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/submit-letter/

Max. 200 words

El Paso Times

http://static.elpasotimes.com/lettertoeditor/

Max. 225 words

McAllen Monitor

https://www.themonitor.com/site/forms/online_services/letter/

Max. 300 words (very generous!)

Corpus Christi Caller-Times

http://static.caller.com/submit-letter/

No word limit stated

Waco Tribune-Herald

https://www.wacotrib.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/submit/

Max. 300 words

Lubbock Avalanche Journal

http://www.lubbockonline.com/opinion/20180731/write-stuff-how-to-submit-letter-to-editor

Max. 250-300 words

What’s next

What’s next

Last night we flipped the U.S. House of Representatives, including at least two seats in Texas. This represents a seismic shift in the direction of our country. The incredible wins in the Texas House show that many Texans are ready for change at the #txlege, even if we weren’t able to change statewide leadership. Yet.

Of course we are disappointed, as you are, about Beto O’Rourke’s loss, and about losses in other statewide and US House seats around which we’ve been organizing for the past two years. A major silver lining is in the Texas legislature, where 12 House seats flipped, including four seats in Central Texas races where we endorsed. (Congrats to newly minted reps Zwiener, Goodwin, Talarico, and Bucy!)

Our next steps remain the same. We will continue to defend our most vulnerable community members against the rising tide of global authoritarianism. We will continue to hold our elected officials accountable. And we will begin to focus on the next round of elections.

At the state level, the 2019 Texas Legislative session begins in January. This will be a critical time to stay engaged. There are likely to be bills on gun violence prevention, immigration, health care, public education and other important issues that affect our lives directly.

Click here if you're interested in TXLEGE

At the federal level, in addition to all of the same House seats we’ve grown to love and hate, Senator John Cornyn is up for reelection in 2020. Beto O’Rourke showed us what was possible statewide. We have two years to fire John Cornyn. We invite you to take the pledge to do just that.

(And psst! Check out senatorjohncornyn.com!)

Commit to firing John Cornyn. Pledge Now.

It’s also important to remember that our objectives go beyond electoral politics. Our friends at TX10 Indivisible identified four reasons to celebrate:

  1. We have created a broad network of progressive activists like nothing that ever existed before in Texas.
  2. We have succeeded in changing the conversation in policy areas such as healthcare and immigration.
  3. We have developed tools to make our elected officials more accountable to progressives and we have learned new ways to engage them more effectively.
  4. We have become a more knowledgeable and engaged electorate.

An engaged citizenry is good for democracy. We’re all due for a rest after this wild midterm election cycle. But we’ll soon be back at it, and glad to have you by our side.

 

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