John Carter Town Hall, Redux

Guest post by Dr. Christine Eady Mann

John Carter Town Hall in Leander 🤠
A rare sighting of Rep. John Carter, captured in this blurry photo before the elusive subject could flee

By now you have probably read Felicia Miyakawa’s excellent write up of John Carter’s once-in-a-blue-moon Town Hall in Hutto. Well, believe it or not, he had a second Town Hall in Leander. I attended both. My observations of the first Town Hall were exactly as presented by Felicia.

As was true of the Town Hall in Hutto, the event in Leander was poorly advertised and difficult to attend for constituents. An email went out one day in advance via email for those on his list and on his website. Attendees were required to register in advance and registration was cut off a couple of hours before the mid-afternoon workday event, limiting constituents’ ability to attend. I’d speculate as to why he held both events during the workday rather than in the evening or on the weekend, but I’m guessing that we all know the answer to that.

The Leander event was “protected” again by heavily armed police who created a perimeter around the event venue, and was held inside a gun-free venue. “Guns for me but not for thee,” I suppose.

The Congressman started this Town Hall exactly as he did the first: with a couple of personal anecdotes, followed by a recap of how very bipartisan he is, because evidently working across the aisle on very narrow bills is the definition of “bipartisan.” Oh, and he shares a hallway with Democrats, so there’s that.

The first question was about protecting Social Security. Congressman Carter did not provide an answer for how he would do this or if he even thought we should save it. He said repeatedly that the program will “go broke” if we don’t do something, but offered no solutions. When the questioner noted that he is double taxed on his Social Security income, Congressman Carter simply noted that he too is double taxed.

Next up was a constituent who did not have a question, but simply came to praise Congressman Carter, talking about how much she admired him, how when she was in Washington all the other Congressmembers revered him, and how appreciative she was that he had helped her family. She thinks it would be a mistake to replace him given the level of power he holds.

“Congressman Carter said yes, of course, without realizing that she was setting him up for a question about why he stands by our lying, cheating President.”

The next questioner asked the Congressman what he would do with a platoon member who continually lied and cheated, wondering if he would fire that person. Congressman Carter said yes, of course, without realizing that she was setting him up for a question about why he stands by our lying, cheating President. When she noted that, the Congressman pushed back aggressively, asserting that none of those things had been PROVEN about Donald Trump, and that he stood by the President.

A questioner asked what he thought about the attacks on Twitter on John McCain. To his credit, Congressman Carter noted that those attacks were inappropriate.

I asked him if he would commit to debating whomever the eventual Democratic nominee was in 2020, and he agreed. I have this on tape, so hopefully we can get him to follow through.

The most telling part of the event involved questions about healthcare. As he noted at the Town Hall meeting in Hutto, he “doesn’t like Socialism” and doesn’t want “socialized medicine” in the US. He told a story about a relative and the care that she got abroad vs. in the US, insinuating that the care abroad was substandard. Speaking as a physician, the story he told had so many holes in it, I’m not sure I can explain them all in the course of this short write up. Suffice it to say, the story did not hold water.

At that point, a friend of mine who is a naturalized citizen from the UK, stood to talk about her experiences all over the world in her travels in her work in cyber security and other areas of expertise. She noted the benefits of systems in which access to healthcare is considered a normal function of government and how citizens benefit from this. As a UK native, her accent is unmistakable.

As she finished up what she was saying, a gentleman from the other side of the room, the mayor of Leander Troy Hill, chimed in with “and yet, your’re here,” followed by a chorus of attendees suggesting that she should leave the US and go back “home.” We all know this idea exists here, but it was jarring to experience it in real time. It was uncomfortable seeing it up close. And it was disturbing hearing it from an elected official.

To his credit, Congressman Carter shut them down. But I have a hard time giving him too much credit, as he fully supports the President, who foments this kind of attitude.

I’m not sure what motivated the Congressman to hold two Town Halls in one week, after having none in years, but I would speculate that almost losing his seat in 2018 had something to do with it. I had hoped that almost losing would convince him to modify some of his stances to take into account the changes in the demographics of his district, but that doesn’t seem to have happened. While he was combative at the first Town Hall and less so at the second, he still clearly is not open to changing course any time soon. We will have to keep working to replace him.


Note: Dr. Christine Eady Mann ran for Rep. John Carter’s seat in the 2018 Democratic primary.

That time Rep. John Carter held a town hall in Hutto

John Carter at a town hall in Hutto, TX

Photo: Christine Eady Mann

Guest post by Felicia M Miyakawa

Read Part Two, by Dr. Christine Eady Mann

On Tuesday, March 19, I attended an extremely rare event: my Congressman, John Carter, held an actual in-person town hall, for the first time since at least 2013. It was poorly advertised (Facebook announcements began to circulate two days in advance), required advance registration (tickets were free), and held in a small space (the Hutto ISD Administrative Board Room). Nevertheless, about 50 people gathered to ask our long-absent Congressman questions.

I was one of the first guests to arrive, so I got to see the event preparations, which included a SWAT team and Williamson County sheriff’s department doing a security check and setting up a perimeter. Yes, a SWAT team. There were several armed police officers at the entrance even after we were seated. There was also at least one bodyguard. I didn’t do an official count, but I think there were six to eight obviously armed personnel on the premises. Presumably, this security team was provided by taxpayer dollars. For readers who don’t live in TX 31, let me put this into context: our Congressman has done nothing to advance gun control measures and actively opposes any kind of commonsense gun reform. Two years ago I personally contacted his office to ask about in-person town halls, and they told me that after Gabby Giffords got shot, they weren’t going to take any chances and instead were doing tele-town hall meetings. The presence of the SWAT team was therefore the height of irony. I can only assume that John Carter is clearly terrified of his constituents, yet he does nothing to protect us.

The town hall itself was a typical question-and-answer format. I expected that his staff would pre-screen questions, but this was not the case. Congressman Carter took questions for about an hour, and it was my impression that everyone who wanted to ask a question was able to do so. He opened with a statement about being there to learn from us and to have real conversation. Unfortunately, each time he was asked a question that did not conform to his worldview, his responses devolved into partisan pivots and whataboutism.

Admission ticket to Hutto Town Hall with John Carter

The very first question, from a veteran who lives in Cedar Park,* was about (a) Carter’s campaign donations from private prisons and other organizations that benefit from private prisons and detaining migrants, such as CoreCivic, and (b) whether or not it is fiscally responsible to lock up so many people for low-level drug offenses. Carter first denied receiving any donations beyond what is federally allowable. (For organizations, this limit is $5,000. In reality, Carter received $30,000 from CoreCivic.) Congressman Carter also described ICE detention centers such as the T. Don Hutto detention facility in Taylor (which he specifically named) as “safe” for people coming across the border illegally. (I could have spent the rest of the hour debating him just about this. What we know, and he apparently chooses not to believe, is that many women have been sexually assaulted at this detention center. The case of one young woman, Laura Monterrosa, brought national attention to the facility.)

As for the fiscal sense of locking up low-level drug offenders, Carter pivoted to “marijuana is illegal!” When reminded that he actually works in a body that could legalize marijuana, Carter said he can’t really do anything about this because he’s only one vote in the House. “And besides,” he reminded us sternly numerous times, “marijuana is illegal!”

Residents of TX 31 have been objecting to lack of access to our Congressman for years. In her question, Dr. Christine Eady Mann (who ran for the Democratic nomination for TX 31 in 2018) reminded Carter that back in 2017 his office banned her from coming back to talk to them any more about health care; they even threatened to call the police. She wanted to know if his office would continue to abide by this policy, or if they would open their office up to constituents who disagree with his positions. He responded that folks who disagree with him are welcome to come back, but not about the same issue. It is, apparently, a waste of his time to talk to people more than once about an issue.

Curiously, he didn’t seem to notice that the social security benefits he admitted receiving are “socialist” benefits.

Nevertheless, many folks wanted to discuss health care; there were questions about the broken VA medical system, expanding health care for the elderly and for disabled children, and how he will support the overlapping medical and education needs of children with disabilities. One constituent asked a specific question about whether or not we could divert some of our discretionary military funding into health care. Carter argued the specifics of how much is discretionary and in the end declared “I’m not a socialist. I do not support socialist ideas. Socialism doesn’t work.” Curiously, he didn’t seem to notice that the social security benefits he admitted receiving are “socialist” benefits.

In the midst of responding to one of the health care questions—a very serious plea for help for a chronically ill child—Carter suddenly called out Christine Mann (“that young lady over there”) as a “demonstrator”: “she demonstrates outside my office all the time!” If there was a contextual link to the constituent’s question, I missed it.

If I had been looking for an indication that my Congressman understands climate science, I did not find it in his response.

I asked a question about the environment. Given the uptick in natural disasters and recent volume of scientific studies showing that we are already dealing with climate change and that it’s only going to get worse, I wanted to know what he’s doing to leave a livable planet for our children and grandchildren. He said he’s in favor of all forms of energy: wind, solar, hydroelectric, and “clean” coal. “If this is really the disaster we’re talking about,” he said, then scientists would come up with a plan. And they haven’t yet, he said, so there’s nothing specific to do.  Furthermore, he said, other countries (he named China and India) aren’t doing anything about climate change; why should we pay for it when they aren’t willing to do the work? In perhaps my favorite pivot of the day, he pointed out that every time we exhale, we add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere but we can’t very well kill people off just to save the planet. If I had been looking for an indication that my Congressman understands climate science, I did not find it in his response.  

Two constituents asked him about H.R. 1, which he voted against. When asked which section of H.R. 1 he disagreed with, he said “All of it. It’s about Democrats win and Republicans lose.” When asked about whether or not he supports term limits: “no; it’s hard to even know where the bathrooms are after 6 years.” When asked if he supports independent redistricting committees he said “no,” and pointed to the example of California: “Nothing good comes out of California,” he informed us. One constituent asked him what he’s doing about immigration reform. He informed us that he’s got a bill ready in his desk and he has shopped it around to both parties, but neither party wants the bill. He gave us no details about the bill.

While most of his responses reflected partisan bias, insufficient understanding of the issues, or deliberate deflections away from the actual issues, I found common ground with Carter when he answered a question about how we, a community divided by politics, can work together to solve problems. He told us we need to get to know our neighbors, socialize with each other, and learn about our commonalities rather than focusing on our differences. Unfortunately, he did not model how to do this within the town hall. I left unconvinced that he sees us as anything other than partisan demonstrators. He certainly did not work with us to solve the problems we face every day.

*I have kept all constituent names except for my own and that of Dr. Christine Eady Mann anonymous to protect their privacy.

Next week: PART TWO! Dr. Christine Eady Mann covers Rep. Carter’s second town hall in Leander.

Rep. John Carter dossier

That time Rep. Roger Willams actually held a Town Hall

Roger Williams Bee Cave Town Hall in which Bee Cave Mayor Monty Parker asked the cops to intervene with a followup question

Photos: TX25 Indivisible, Driftwood/Dripping Springs

Last week, with 24 hours’ notice, Rep. Roger Williams scheduled four Town Halls, one of them in Bee Cave, just outside Austin. Organizers from Indivisible Texas 25 East Austin and Driftwood/Dripping Springs groups scrambled to attend.

Bee Cave mayor Monte Parker moderated the event, and we got this dispatch from one of the attendees.

Congressman Roger Williams held a Faux Town Hall in Bee Caves Tuesday, February 19. With no more than 24 hour notice, his staff sent out a Facebook invitation to the 10:00 am event.  The moderator was Bee Caves Mayor, Monte Parker, who started with a stern warning to the constituents in attendance, we were to follow the rules, which he never explained.

Roger Williams made a speech, then Parker asked questions that had been submitted from the audience during registration. (You had to pick from a skewed list of topics.) Questions asked, Williams responds, no audience participation allowed.

Finally, a few audience members were able to ask questions, which Williams answered, but Parker made sure there were no follow-up questions, which is not how Town Hall—where concerned citizens have a dialogue with their Representatives—are supposed to work.

Mayor Parker was unprofessional and completely disregarded the first amendment in his handling of the situation, going so far as have a police officer come warn a citizen he would be removed because he asked a follow-up question.

The lack of respect for the citizens in attendance frustrated nearly everyone; one man was told if he didn’t like the way things were, he could leave—and so he did.

From the beginning, Mayor Parker set the adversarial tone, and he continued his heavy-handed approach throughout the one-hour meeting. This is not how Democracy works. We must hold our leaders to a higher standard. Mayor Parker needs to take a look at his bias before he moderates another town hall.

Watch Rep. Roger Williams tell a student constituent why he does not support H.R.8.:

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.

OMG We are SO Tired of This Repeal BS! Here’s What We Need to Do

We know you are tired of beating back health care repeal bills. We are, too. We’ve been doing this for months, and it doesn’t get any easier.

The only saving grace is that the the Senate Republicans can only attempt to repeal the ACA through the gimmick called reconciliation until September 30. (And really, it’s September 29, since the Senate won’t be voting on Yom Kippur.) That’s only eight days away!

The time is short, so we have to work fast! Here’s what you can do right now to help stop this final attempt at repeal:

    1. Call Sens. Cornyn and Cruz at 202-224-3121 and tell them:
      My name is [Name] and I am one of your constituents. I want Senator [Cruz/Cornyn] to oppose Graham-Cassidy because it will take healthcare away from millions including children, people with disabilities seniors and even victims of natural disasters like Harvey and Irma. (If you also have a personal story to share, it really helps.)
    2. Sign up for a timeslot in our call relay! The goal is to get enough people signed up every day to make calls all day long so the DC office phones never stop ringing. This page will reset each day until we #KillTheBill. (You can still call whenever you want!)
    3. If you’ve called both Sens. Cornyn and Cruz and you’re asking yourself: what more can I do? How can I influence Republicans in red states who may be on the fence? You can sign up to call constituents in the target states and ask them to call THEIR senators!
    4. Join us this Sunday, Sept 24 at 8:30 a.m., for a Public Square Town Hall to take a last stand against ACA repeal and Medicaid cuts! Sens. Cruz and Cornyn will be just steps away from our event, speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival!
    5. Sign up here to get email and occasional text alerts for urgent actions.

BONUS: Submit comments to the Senate Finance Committee by Monday at noon! 

Thank you for supporting Texans who depend on the ACA and Medicaid for their healthcare!

Austin-Area “Payback Recess” AHCA Events

The House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a cruel bill designed to strip healthcare from millions of Americans while giving a tax cut to the rich.

So now it’s payback time. We’ll update this page with more detail as events unfold.

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Monday, May 8

3:30 – 5 pm at Michael McCaul’s Austin office, hosted by TX-10 Indivisible

TOPIC:

We want the answer to one question: “Why did Representative McCaul vote ‘YES’ for the AHCA?”  We want to know the logic behind Representative McCaul’s ‘YES’ vote knowing the following about the AHCA:

  • It will remove the requirements to cover ‘essential health benefits’, such as emergency services, maternity care, and hospitalization
  • It will allow insurance to charge whatever they want (ie exorbitant premiums) for people who are sick or have pre-existing conditions
  • It has drastic cuts to Medicaid
  • It had zero public hearings and zero transparency
  • It will lead to more than 24 million people losing health insurance, while giving a wind-fall in tax breaks to the top 1%

We will also let his staffers know why the ACA is so important in our lives and what we think about his ‘YES’ vote on the AHCA.

WHAT TO BRING:

This will be a rally outside his office; so please bring big signs that say ‘Why?’, ‘Explain Yourself’, ‘Holding You Accountable’, or anything that is healthcare related.  Also, please write a letter that you can read aloud about why the ACA is so important in your life and/or what you think about McCaul’s ‘YES’ vote on the AHCA.  Make your letter personal and please include your full address (including your 9-digit zip code).  You don’t have to speak if you don’t want to — supporting others willing to speak is just as important.  Hopefully a staffer will come out to explain McCaul’s ‘YES’ vote and take notes about our concerns; but if not, we’ll still record the event (for those who wish to be recorded) and hold a peaceful rally.  And as always, children and babies are welcome!

WHERE:

Rep. Michael McCaul’s Austin Office
9009 Mountain Ridge Drive
Austin Building, Suite 230
Austin, TX 78759

We’ll meet in the office park parking lot at 3:30 PM promptly.  FYI: It’s a corporate office park off 360, so it’s a bit hidden.  There is plenty of parking in the building lot and on the street.

4 – 5 pm Die-in at Bill Flores’ AUSTIN Office, hosted by Indivisible TX-17
It’s been 6 months since America has made the worst decision in its lifetime. Let’s show the world we’re not backing down. This is a protest to show our commitment to our cause of unity and freedom, and to show our outrage over the healthcare bill that Bill voted to pass. We pledge allegiance to the liberation of all people, and to each other. Just as we pledge our allegiance to each other, we will remind our members of Congress of their allegiance to us—the voters. https://www.womensmarch.com/pledge

This will be a “die-in” to represent the harm that the GOP #deathcare bill will have on the public (special shout out to Black Lives Matter for inspiration for this style of protest), and show Mr. Flores what his yes vote will lead to. This is a PEACEFUL protest. See below for a toolkit to help you prepare and know the “do’s and don’t’s” to make this demonstration a huge success! Everyone is free to protest in their own individual way, if that means lying-in, sitting-in or chanting loudly outside, go for it!

-We will use no violence (physical or verbal) towards any person.
-We will not destroy or damage property.
-We will not carry anything that can be construed as a weapon, nor possess (or consume) any alcohol or drugs.
-We will all hold each other accountable to respecting these agreements.

WHERE:
Rep. Bill Flores’ Austin Office
14205 Burnet Rd, Suite 230
Austin, TX 78728

4 – 7 pmLie-in/Protest at Congressman Bill Flores Bryan-College Station Office, hosted by Indivisible TX-17BCS

WHERE:
Rep. Flores’ BCS Office
3000 Briarcrest Dr #406
Bryan, TX 77802

Tuesday, May 9

11 am Indivisible Austin rally at Sen. John Cornyn’s office to protest the AHCA.

WHERE:
Sen. Cornyn’s Austin Office
Chase Tower
221 West Sixth Street
Suite 1530
Austin, TX 78701
RSVP NOW

8 pm Indivisible Austin conference call with NARAL Pro Choice TX and the Center for Public Policy Priorities

Guest speakers:

  • Dr. Valerie R. Peterson, who is on the Board of Directors of NARAL Pro Choice Texas. Dr. Peterson also shared her personal abortion story in the New York Times and continues to be engaged with reproductive rights in the Texas Legislature.
  • Stacey Pogue, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP)

To join:

1-(712) 770-8067
Code: 409542

NOTE: This is a change from the previously posted dial-in

Facebook Event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1911682312441317/

Thursday, May 11

2:30 – 4 p.m. ACA Die-In at Rep McCaul’s Office

TOPIC:
Michael McCaul just voted to strip away healthcare from millions of Americans and replace it with a plan that would be disastrous for our country. Let’s show him what the results of his actions will look like. A “die-in” is meant to create a stark visual to remind our representatives what the consequences of their actions are: Little or no access to healthcare for millions of Americans, higher rates of preventable death and disease, and poorer health for us all. If the ACA is repealed and replaced with the AHCA, an estimated 52 million people would have no healthcare coverage by 2026. And the latest version of the bill lets individual states decide whether insurers must cover those with pre-existing conditions. We can’t let this disaster of a plan pass. We must show Michael McCaul what his actions will do. Join us for a die-in and bring a headstone with a message for McCaul. Reference: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52486

WHAT TO BRING:
– Cardboard signs in the shape of headstones with sayings like, “Here lies the ACA,” or, “Trumpcare killed me,” or “McCaul voted to take away my healthcare.”

WHAT TO WEAR:
– Black, white, or grey clothing
– If possible, costumes such as the grim reaper
– Any other theatrical elements you think are appropriate
NOTE – People should lie down in shifts to prevent exhaustion and overheating.

WHEN:
Thursday, May 11, 2:30 – 4:00pm

WHERE:
Congressman Michael McCaul’s Austin Office
9009 Mountain Ridge Dr #203
Austin TX 78759

PARKING INFO:
Please park along the street near the office building called Mountain Ridge Drive.

Share as widely as possible! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, May 13

11:45 am – 2:15 pm TX-25 Congressional District Town Hall, hosted by Indivisible TX-25 East

Did you know that 45% of Congressman Roger Williams voters live in Travis County?

Austin constituents from Texas Congressional District 25 are hosting a town hall meeting for Congressman Roger Williams in the King-Seabrook Chapel at Huston-Tillotson University on May 13 from 12:00 p.m. (noon) to 2:00 p.m. Doors open at 11:45 am.

We will have a moderator and non-partisan policy experts lined up to answer your most pressing questions if Congressman Williams chooses not to attend.

Make your voice heard!

RSVP Here

Tuesday, May 16

1:30 to 3 p.m. Die-In at Sen. Cruz’s Office: R.I.P. = Republican Insurance Plan

The AHCA passed the House last week and now goes to the Senate for review. Let’s show Senator Cruz exactly how we feel about Trumpcare and the number of lives this bill will impact.

  1. Bring your STORIES! Do you (someone you know) rely on the ACA? How will the changes affect your friends/loved ones? Write a letter and bring it with you.
  2. Come with PROPS for visual effect – tombstones, RIP signs, etc. This is a die-in format which means we want to be dramatic with our props. WEAR BLACK. The AHCA will impact access to care for millions and lives are at risk.
  3. It’s recommended you bring a yoga mat or blanket to put on the ground. For those able, we will lie down to reinforce the dying effect.

See you next Tuesday! Dump Trump and Cruz.

Hosted by Indivisible Rosedale Huddle.

Facebook Event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1861280994139294/

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Tuesday, May 23

Noon. Die-In at John Cornyn’s Austin office, hosted by Indivisible TX-10.

TOPIC:

The senate is currently working on a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and implement “TrumpCare 2.0.” We must send a strong message to Senator Cornyn that stripping away healthcare from millions of Americans is simply unacceptable. A “die-in” creates a stark visual to remind our representatives that if protections for essential benefits and those with pre-existing conditions are erased, millions of Americans will lose their access to affordable healthcare, and people will die from preventable conditions. We cannot let this disaster of a plan pass. We must show Senator Cornyn what his actions will do. Join us for a die-in and bring a headstone with a message for the senator.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Signs in the shape of headstones with sayings like, “Lived under ACA, died under Trumpcare,” or “R.I.P. Affordable Healthcare.”
  • A blanket or mat
  • NOTE – This is a busy area of town, so people should lay single-file if necessary to avoid blocking the street and sidewalk and to maintain everyone’s safety.

WHAT TO WEAR:

  • Black or grey clothing
  • Costumes and/or masks such as the grim reaper
  • Any theatrical elements you think are appropriate

WHEN:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 12:00 pm

WHERE:

Senator John Cornyn’s Austin Office
221 W 6th St #1530
Austin, TX 78701

PARKING INFO:
There are some metered spots along the street, and there are several parking garages in the area. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to find parking and walk to the location.

Share as widely as possible! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/408221736227492/

Upcoming Protest Safety/Verbal Self Defense Training

On Saturday, March 18, we’re offering another session on protest safety and verbal assertiveness from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Northwest Family YMCA, 5807 McNeil Drive, Austin, TX 78729. Please RSVP here (note that this site only accommodates 25 people, so don’t wait to register). We’ll cover

  • Grounding and emotional self-regulation techniques for public speaking/civic conflict situations
  • De-escalation and other group safety skills
  • Tactical nonviolence planning essentials
  • How to take control of a conversation (being rude for the right reasons)

To help make this session as focused and practical as possible, you’ll be asked to answer a few questions after you register.

This meeting will be free and non-partisan. Tell your friends!

How Your Voices Made a Difference Last Week: Feb. 27, 2017

Amid the usual cyclone of horrific news from the Republican administration’s White House, there is this enormous sign of our growing impact and reason for hope: The spirit of opposition that emerged after the inauguration spilled over into town hall meetings held across the country by Republican lawmakers on recess, and the GOP sees us now, and realize we are many and mighty–and they are afraid, as seen by their continuing efforts to discredit this huge grassroots movement as “paid protesters” of “liberal extremists,” rather than the organic bipartisan efforts of more than half the country to oppose the unconstitutional, unethical, potentially illegal actions of Donald and his toadies. Keep the heat on!

Constituents of Lamar Smith (TX-21) Gather to Ask Questions of their Missing Rep

Here in Austin and surrounding areas, more than 2,000 people attended Town Hall meetings for representatives in all five Republican congressional districts, plus one for Sens. Cruz and Cornyn.

This is just a sampling of the press that these events generated:

In Texas, Trump resistance offers town hall theater to mixed reviews (Austin American-Statesman)

Grassroots Group Holds Town Halls Despite Lack of Lawmaker Appearances (Spectrum News)

Voters Shame Cowardly Reps with Town Halls Hosted by Cardboard Cut-Outs (CommonDreams)

`Roger, Roger, Town Hall Dodger.’ Indivisible confronts a cardboard congressman (Austin American-Statesman)

Central Texans Are Holding Town Halls – With or Without Their Local Congressmen (KUT)

Hundreds seek audience with U.S. Rep. Roger Williams at Dripping Springs restaurant (Austin American-Statesman)

Constituents host mock town hall in Dripping Springs with messages to Congress (KEYE CBS Austin)

New groups looking to local congressmen for questions and scorn (KXAN)

B/CS citizens hold town hall to discuss Trump administration (KBTX)

Central Texas Republicans sidestep calls for town hall meetings (Austin American-Statesman)

During Visits to Districts, Austin’s Republican Congressmen Are Forgoing Town Halls (KUT)

UPDATED: Upcoming Town Halls – Really!

One of the core tactics in the Indivisible Guide is to attend Town Halls where you can speak directly to your Members of Congress (MoCs). But what do we do when our MoCs refuse to hold a Town Hall–even during next week’s recess when they are supposed to be in their districts?

Answer: You hold one anyway!

Below are the “mock” Town Halls scheduled so far. In each case, the MoC has been invited to attend and may even show up. But that won’t stop constituents from gathering and raising their concerns. We hear cardboard cutouts, puppets, and other MoC stand-ins will in attendance.

TX17 Indivisible Bill Flores Town Hall (Bryan-College Station)

Sunday, February 19, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Texas A&M Hillel

800 George Bush Dr, College Station, Texas 77840

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1862559110683658/

TX25 Town Hall/Town Howl Roger Williams

Sunday, February 19, 4:30-6 pm

Flores Mexican Restaurant, 2440 E Hwy 290, Dripping Springs, TX 78620

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1418162568218197/

Cruz/Cornyn Ghost Town Hall

Monday, February 20, 6-8 p.m.

Spider House Ballroom

2906 Fruth Street, Austin, TX 78705

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1447442305307711

TX17 Indivisible Bill Flores Town Hall (Pflugerville)

Wednesday, February 22, 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Blackhawk Amenity Center

3111 Speidel Dr., Plugerville, TX 78660

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/175693349589186/

TX31 Wilco Indivisible John Carter Town Hall

Wednesday, February 22, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

3830 Brushy Creek Rd, Cedar Park, TX 78613

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/727964680696280/

TX10 Indivisible Michael McCaul Town Hall

Thursday, February 23, 6:30-8 p.m. NOTE, this IS the correct date. An email went out with a typo 🙁

Congregation Beth Israel, 3901 Shoal Creek Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

RSVP HERE

TX21 Indivisible Lamar Smith Town Hall

Saturday, February 25, 5 p.m

The Scoot Inn, 1308 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78702

Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/1360916700598119/

We’ll update this page as new info comes in.