Take Action: No Supreme Court Pick for Unindicted Co-Conspirators

Endorsements

Indivisible Austin endorses Beto O'Rourke for U.S. Senate

Indivisible Austin is proud to endorse Beto O’Rourke for U.S. Senate. We have watched O’Rourke’s campaign closely over the last several months, and we have been excited to see him criss-cross the state to meet with Texans at hundreds of public meetings. In sharp contrast to the incumbent, who seems to spend more time in Iowa than in Texas, O’Rourke has met with thousands of Texans this August alone, welcoming questions from people of all political stripes, and rejecting PAC and large donations.

Read our full endorsement >>

Countdown: 70 Days

It’s 70 days to Election Day—and only 55 days until Early Voting begins. Here are some ways to continue building the Blue Wave:

Take Action

Tell Cornyn and Cruz: No Supreme Court Nomination for Unindicted Co-Conspirators

“Given the possibility of criminal wrongdoing by the President, doubts that Judge Kavanaugh believes a president can even be investigated, and the unprecedented lack of transparency regarding this nominee’s record, we should not move forward with hearings.”

Letter to Chairman Grassley from all 10 Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee

The level of corruption in this presidency is mindblowing, yet, so far, GOP enablers like John Cornyn and Ted Cruz continue riding the Trump Train. Both of our Senators are members of the Judiciary Committee on which their Democratic colleagues took a stand. Call and tell them that corruption will not be tolerated, and that they will be on the wrong side of history if they allow Kavanaugh’s nomination to proceed.

Judiciary Staff Email addresses:

Tell your GOP House Rep to cosponsor renewal of Violence Against Women Act

(And thank you, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, for co-sponsoring)

From the Huffington Post:

“The Violence Against Women Act — which directs the national response to crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking — will expire at the end of September if lawmakers don’t act fast.”

The VAWA has been reauthorized three times since 1994 with bipartisan support. The bill currently has 126 Democratic cosponsors and zero Republican. It’s time for GOP reps like Mike McCaul, Bill Flores, Lamar Smith, Roger Williams, and John Carter to get onboard with this popular legislation that protects half of their constituents.

Read the bill >>

How your voices are making a difference

  • Election officials Georgia rejected the proposal to close 7 of 9 polling places and fired the consultant who proposed it
  • Wyoming Republicans rejected the nominee for governor endorsed by the very stable genius
  • Expanding Medicaid will be on the ballot in Nebraska

Read more ways your voices are making a difference >>

Events

Tuesday, Aug. 28

  • 2:30 p.m. Rise Up: A Rally for Criminal Justice, Meet at African American History Memorial (100 W. 11th St.) and march to the Capitol for a rally at 3 p.m.. The event will include two-time Grammy and Stellar Award-winning producer, writer and singer Billy Dorsey. Congressman Beto O’Rourke will be speaking to the audience about criminal justice reform. There is also a picnic to continue the conversation about Criminal Justice Reform and how we can initiate change in Texas.
  • 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. GOTV phone bank with Indivisible Austin, ADAPT of Texas Office, 1100 S IH 35 Frontage Rd.

Friday, Aug. 31

Tuesday, Sept. 4

  • 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monthly VDR Training, Travis County Voter Registrar’s office located at 5501 Airport Blvd. October 8th is the last day to register before midterms. We need everyone registered before then!

Action Spotlight: Texas’ Biggest Postcard Party

Your Moment of Zen

It’s still that uncomfortable-verging-on-intolerable period of Texas summer, so we fully relate to this baby condor:

View post on imgur.com

Funding the Fight

Indivisible Austin is dedicated to making sure that our voices are heard here in Texas and in Washington, D.C. during the midterm elections. Soon we’ll be organizing groups of volunteers to canvas neighborhoods. We’ll be educating voters and working to boost turn out.

We can’t just send volunteers out alone with no preparations or supplies, though. We need clipboards, printed leave-behind material, ID tags, water and dozens of other things that you wouldn’t immediately think of, in order to do it right.

All of these things cost money, and that means we need you. Make a gift to Indivisible Austin today.  Add your drops to this year’s wave. Heck, add your buckets if you can.

Take Action: No Kavanaugh hearings before midterms

By August 7: Tell the Census Bureau to remove its citizenship question from the 2020 census form

United State Census 2020For the first time since 1950, the Census Bureau will ask all U.S. households about citizenship status, specifically, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?”

Because of the rapid growth in the Texas population in the last decade, Texas is poised to gain up to three new congressional representatives and millions of dollars for our state. However, the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census could prove to be a barrier between this new representation and funding if many Texans are concerned about filling out the Census because of the climate of fear caused by today’s politics.

The Census is not intended to count the number of U.S. citizens in each state. The Census is intended to count every person in the state regardless of their citizenship status.

Submit your comments to the Commerce Department by Tuesday, August 7 >>

Read “Why a 2020 Census citizenship question is a loser for Texans” (CPPP) >>

Tell Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos to give high school students the vote

Map of Texas high school voter registration compliance

From the Texas Observer:

“Abysmal compliance with a decades-old state law is leaving at least 180,000 high school seniors off the current voter rolls, according to a new report.”

“The authors of the report…call on the secretary of state’s office to automatically send the forms to schools, rather than requiring administrators to request them; offer online trainings for voter registrars; and create a publicly available database showing which schools are registering students.”

Contact Secretary Pablos:

Phone: (512) 463-5555
Email: secretary@sos.texas.gov

Tell Cornyn and Cruz: No Kavanaugh hearings before midterms

Unflattering headshots of John Cornyn and Ted CruzOur dear old friends John Cornyn and Ted Cruz sit on the Judiciary Committee, deciding things like whether hearings can be held on a Supreme Court nominee whose millions of pages of records have not been released. The National Archives needs until October to compile the initial request from Senator Grassley—which still does not include records from Kavanaugh’s time in the White House. Yet, the GOP-controlled Senate appears to be pushing for September hearings.

Celeste Pewter has a script just for Judiciary Committee members:

I am asking [Cruz/Cornyn] to commit to a thorough vetting and questioning of Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications for the Supreme Court.

We need to know where Judge Kavanaugh stands on key legal rulings, his conduct and ethics in office, and his employment track record. This includes a full recounting of his documents while serving as staff secretary for President Bush White and all documents available from the National Archives.

With that in mind, I’m calling on [Cruz/Cornyn] to ensure that the National Archive has until October to finish their full review of documents—as requested. We cannot and should not proceed without a full picture of Kavanaugh’s background.

How your voices are making a difference

  • In Austin, local activists and lawmakers pressured ICE to drop a request to detain a woman jailed two weeks ago for assault while she was experiencing a mental heath crisis
  • A record number of states are introducing reform measures to combat partisan gerrymandering
  • A federal judge ruled that Donny must fully restore DACA

Read more >>

Events

  • Thursday, Aug. 9, 8:30-9:30 AM, 1105 N IH35 – Indivisible Rosedale Huddle brings us banner drops Thursdays this August. This week: make Ted sweat his constituents! (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, Aug. 11, 11AM-11PM, Fiesta Gardens (festival) & Texas State Capitol > Congress Ave (parade) – Happy Pride, Austinites! Free parade portion runs 8-11 PM, starting at the Capitol, continuing down Congress onto 4th (Facebook event) More events at the Austin Pride website and the Chronicle’s Gay Place roundup.
  • Save the Date: Monday, Aug. 27, 9AM-2PM, Robert B. Rowling Hall, 300 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd – Texas Disability Issues Forum (TDIF) brings together members of the Texas disability community, major candidates for statewide office, and disability advocates (Event link at REV UP!)

Countdown: 91 Days to November 6

BLUE WAVEWith only thirteen weeks between now and midterms, every hour of effort, every weekend of work counts. This week, add your drop to the growing #BlueWave:

Ask three people you know or meet if they are registered to vote at their current address. If they’re not sure, help them check using the Texas Secretary of State’s tool here. If they aren’t registered, help them change that by reaching out to us at ask@indivisibleaustin.com, and we’ll get them in touch with an Indivisible VDR. If they or you have any questions about voter registration, please use the same address!

Texas is overwhelmingly a non-voting state. Changing that reality starts by changing our shared culture—which also means talking (early and often!) about voting.

Congress Critter of the Week: Rep. Pete Sessions

Pete SessionsPete Sessions isn’t one of ours, but he is a representative from Texas, and he did hit peak Republican this week.

In attempting to explain his virtuous view of how to handle divorce proceedings, Pete managed to blame, for her own murder, a woman killed by her husband. He also blamed the divorce court judge—because they were unfair to the wealthy, presumably white, man.

His own words explain why he’s this weeks Critter better than we can:

“A big-time guy in Highland Park, who went and killed his wife, just gunned her down. And that was because the judge was unfair, and the woman was unfair. And she demanded something, and he was out. And it was frustration.” 

Running against Pete Sessions in TX-32 is Colin Allred, who was just endorsed by President Obama.

Your Moment of Zen

It could’ve happened in Austin, but didn’t: 118 goats freely roamed a Boise, ID, neighborhood on Friday after escaping the enclosures of the local We Rent Goats business.

Funding the Fight

Taco plate from Taco DeliThey say an army marches on its belly. That’s true for an army of block walking canvassers, phone bankers, and letter writers too.

Be a part of the movement by making a contribution today! Your gift of $25 or $50 could provide the coffee and breakfast tacos that get us and America over the line.

Take Action: Rebuke Trump for the Debacle in Helsinki

Take Action

Tell your reps that Trump must be rebuked for his comments in Helsinki

But first, here’s Lyin’ Cornyn:

“Nobody disputes the fact that they were unsuccessful in changing a single vote or affecting the outcome.”
—Sen. John Cornyn, speaking on the Senate floor after Trump’s abysmal, traitorous performance in Helsinki.

It’s a lie. And a common lie among Republicans unwilling to accept an uncomfortable truth: that Russian information warfare might very well have swung the election to Trump.

Because it seems like a year ago, read the Washington Post’s chronology of the Helsinki debacle to refresh your memory. Then, call your reps!

Talking Points
(with a hat tip to Celeste Pewter)

  • Censure the President for his remarks.
  • We need new, bipartisan sanctions—stronger than the previous ones, and actually enforced.
  • Get a transcript of what was said privately between Trump and Putin.
  • Support legislation to protect the Mueller investigation.
  • The translator and the U.S. national security team that accompanied Trump to Helsinki must testify on Capitol Hill.
  • Condemn any suggestion of, or hesitation over, Russia interrogating members of our intelligence community.
  • A second meeting with Putin—at the White House, no less—sends exactly the wrong message. It’s galling.

Bonus script for Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos:

secretary@sos.texas.gov
(512) 463-5555

“Given the additional indictments concerning attempts to hack into our election system, and with November midterms coming up, I would like to know how Secretary Pablos is protecting the integrity of elections in Texas.”

Tell John Cornyn and Ted Cruz that Brett Kavanaugh’s White House records must be released

During Elena Kagan’s nomination process, 11,000 of her emails and 160,000 documents from her tenure in the Clinton White House were released to the public. So why would Brett Kavanaugh—who served in the George W. Bush White House—be treated any differently? That is the question for Senators Cornyn and Cruz, both of whom serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Call and ask them. We have a right to know.

Read more on why we must stop Kavanaugh from becoming Trump’s next Supreme Court Justice >>

Our government continues to separate families at the border and putting toddlers on trial—demand a stop to it!

The Russia news overshadowed the ongoing border crisis last week. It’s important to remain focused on the cruelty that the Trump administration continues to inflict on blameless children and their frequently desperate parents. July 26th is the court-ordered deadline to reunite most families. The Texas Tribune has expanded its coverage at the border. Get caught up—and then call your reps.

“The Trump administration has summoned at least 70 infants to immigration court for their own deportation proceedings since Oct. 1, according to Justice Department data provided to Kaiser Health News.”

—Texas Tribune, “Immigrant infants too young to talk called into court to defend themselves”

“On the brink of being released from detention and reunited with children separated from them sometimes months ago, migrant parents are held at a South Texas facility in a sort of limbo — not free to leave, but without access to phones or commissary accounts that regular detainees get.”

—Texas Tribune, “Incommunicado in South Texas: Migrant parents await reunification in seclusion

Also read:

TribTalk: “Americans — and American values — support immigration and compromise” by our friend Tiffany Yates Martin >>

ACLU: “Inside the Family Separation Legal Drama” >>

Indivisible Austin: Tired of calling your reps? Write a letter to the editor! >>

How your voices are making a difference

  • Will Hurd penned a startlingly frank op-ed
  • A federal judge temporarily halted deportations of families
  • The big angry Trump baby is coming to America

Read more >>

Featured Event

#BeATexasVoter Phone Bank with Indivisible founders and co-executive directors Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin

Ezra Levin and Leah GreenbergSunday, Jul. 29, 1-3 PM, Austin History Center Come join Indivisible Austin and our special guests, Indivisible founders and co-executive directors Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin, at our #BeATexasVoter kickoff phone bank! We’ll be just about 100 days out from the November midterms, and we’re celebrating by calling prospective voters to make sure they know why this election is so important, and to get them engaged NOW so they’re ready to go to the polls as soon as early voting starts. There will be snacks and swag for all phone bankers!

YOU WILL NEED TO BRING:

  • a laptop or tablet
  • your cellphone
  • earbuds

If you’ve never participated in a phone bank, it’s easy! We’ll teach you!

(IATX event info; Facebook event)

Also:

  • Thursday, Jul. 26, 11 AM-12:30 PM, NeWorlDeli – IATX Women’s Coffee Meetup (Facebook event)

Congress Critter

From Republican strategist John Weaver:

Moment of Zen

It’s record-breakingly hot in Austin this week. Elsewhere, Buttercup the bulldog enjoyed a kiddie pool of ice:

Funding the Fight

You made it! You’re all the way at the bottom of the email, but if you look back at the top you’ll see something very important: Help Lead Indivisible Austin’s GOTV Work.

We have to knock on doors, call, text, mail, organize and build community throughout Central Texas to do our part to bring some accountability and decency to DC and to our own capitol here in Austin.

You know how important this is. Be a part of the solution by supporting our efforts NOW so we can bring change in November.

Rally to #SaveSCOTUS (& Democracy)

Rally to Save SCOTUS on Tuesday 7/17

***UPDATE***

Given Trump’s frightening display of fealty to Vladimir Putin today, we welcome all who want to use this rally as a chance to voice their Russia-related concerns to Ted Cruz.

And the issues are related: Kavanaugh is on record stating he doesn’t think a sitting president can be indicted.

Let’s show up and get loud and protest the government branch of your choosing. (Please comment with ideas for signs that pull double duty!)

WHEN: Tuesday, July 17th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (feel free to come for some or all of the time)

WHERE: Outside Ted Cruz’s office at 8th and San Jacinto

WHAT: Join us at the intersection of 8th & San Jacinto to amplify the movement to #SaveSCOTUS from Trump’s extremist nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Yes, our senators are named John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. But there’s good reason to gather: history shows that mass constituent pushback is the only way to stop a Supreme Court nominee, and gathering together this Tuesday will facilitate many actions—like contacting friends and family in other states—to keep Austin plugged into the #SaveSCOTUS movement.

HOW TO HELP:

In preparation for the rally we need your help too—email shane@indivisibleaustin.com if you can bring supplies or volunteer:

  • Supplies: poster board/cardboard, water/drinks, megahorns, postcards/letters, pens and markers
  • Volunteer roles: chant leader (directly-impacted people strongly preferred); voter registration; video/photography; social media; performers—such as singing, improv/acting, wearing a costume, creating an art piece there; possible translation services (Spanish, ASL, etc.)

View this event on Facebook >>

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

 

The 18 Judicial Nominees to Block this Week

Cross-posted from Indivisible East Bay

UPDATE: Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris were appointed to the Judiciary Committee today.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is ramming through 18 nominees for federal judgeships this coming Thursday, Jan 11. Count ’em! This must be a record number of judicial nominees up for a vote in Committee, ever.

Some of the nominees, like Thomas Farr (known for voter suppression in North Carolina), are among the most controversial of Trump’s court picks.

After the resignation Sen. Al Franken, the Democrats are short by one member/vote on the Committee. The Republican leadership realizes this is prime time for them to rush these nominees for a vote.

We’re asking our membership to call our Senator Feinstein, who is a Committee member, to ask for a delay in voting out any more nominees from the Judiciary Committee, until another Democratic senator is assigned there.

Please ask your membership to do the same! Please call your Senators, Cruz (202-224-5922) and Cornyn (202-224-2934) and ask them to urge a delay in voting any more nominees out of Senate Judiciary Committee, until another Democratic senator is assigned there.

How your voices are making a difference: Roll Tide!

Our feature story: The Crimson Tide turned blue this week as Alabama decided to send demagogue, scofflaw, and accused child molester Roy Moore packing (and the horse he rode to the polls on), handing the win to Democrat Doug Jones, a man who made his mark defending a little girl against the KKK in 1963. While we might hope that the spread between decency and depravity had been greater than 1.5 points—even in Alabama—it’s a positive sign: the victory narrows the GOP majority in the Senate to just 2, and sends the first Democrat to Congress from Alabama since 1992.

Austin City Council took a step toward police reform by rejecting the police union contract that Campaign Zero called one of the worst in the nation.

The FCC voted to roll back net neutrality rules, despite that it places control over end users’ internet access and costs in the hands of corporations, despite that the large majority of Americans—including three-quarters of Republicans—support net neutrality rules, and despite that 18 attorneys general asked the FCC to delay the vote until allegations of widespread commenting fraud could be investigated. But the ACLU, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and other groups have already announced they will sue to oppose the rollback and defend a free and open internet.

Two of Donald’s more controversial federal judge nominees—and that’s saying something—will not be confirmed, says Chuck Grassley, head of the committee responsible for confirming them. Jeff Mateer—who called a transgender first grader part of “Satan’s plan”—and Brett Talley have made public comments that were racially and gender discriminatory, and Talley—who has practiced law for just three years and never tried a case—was nominated in a party-line vote despite being rated as “not qualified” by the American Bar Association. Donny, who hates it when he is doing so much losing, pulled his nominees—and may wind up pulling another, who couldn’t answer even the most basic legal questions in his nomination hearing.

federal judge smacked down Donald’s attempt to ban transgender people from military service, and beginning January 1 all people have equal rights to serve our country.

Meanwhile, while the GOP attacks Mueller and his investigation and tries to make it a partisan battle, in his testimony Wednesday, Deputy Director Rod Rosenstein, asked directly whether he had reason to fire Robert Mueller, stated simply and categorically, “No.”

And Donald Jr. spent nine hours (yep, nine) in cloistered testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee answering questions about Russia.

Donald’s campaign adviser (and conspiracy theorist) Roger Stone is working on a book called The Fall of Trump, predicting that Mueller and the many (17 at last count) sexual-harassment allegations against Donald will bring him down.

Donald’s own UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, weighed in against Donald to state that the women accusing him of sexual harassment should be heard. That didn’t sit well with the pussy-grabber-in-chief, who continues to deny the accusations brought by 13 women against him so far…despite his own admission to sexually predatory behavior on the Access Hollywood tapes.

Meanwhile, in the wake of senators Conyers and Franken leaving office over sexual harassment allegations, three senators have asked Donald to step down as result of all of his. Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas—accused sexual predator and harasser—has announced he will not seek reelectionin 2018.

And—dare we hope it?—Paul Ryan is allegedly making rustlings about retiring from office as well.

Five Native American tribes are suing the federal government to prevent the stripping of 85 percent the formerly protected Bears Ears monument in Utah.

Donny’s approval ratings continue to tank, now down to 32 percent. Here’s a fact the hyperbole-loving Donald might appreciate: these are the lowest ratings for Donny ever. Tremendously low. Sad!

His popularity might be summed up by the normally neutral USA Today, who joined the chorus of voices declaring Donald is unfit for office, but went even further in an editorial, saying he is “uniquely awful. His sickening behavior is corrosive to the enterprise of a shared governance based on common values and the consent of the governed…. A president who’d all but call a senator a whore is unfit to clean toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes.”

And with that, happy holidays to you all, and may Robert Mueller bring us something we all really, really want this year.