Endorsement: Mike Collier for Lt. Governor

Indivisible Austin proudly endorses Mike Collier for Lt. Governon

Mike Collier supports property tax reform, opposes gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement, and supports policies that would close the income inequality gap. His commitment to affordable health care for Texans, a top priority for Indivisible Austin, was a deciding factor in our endorsement.

Expanding health care for all Texans is an urgent need. Texas has the highest rate and highest number of uninsured people, including children (new data will be released this week—it could get worse). Nearly 17 percent of Texans don’t have health insurance—TWICE the national average of 8.8 percent. Ten percent of children don’t have health insurance.

The state’s current leadership has proven time and again its hostility to solving the state’s health care problems. Why would we expect any solutions if they’re re-elected?

Two things in Texas are inextricably linked: property taxes and school funding. For years the legislature has starved our schools by failing to adequately fund public education from state revenues, while forcing local governments to raise taxes to make up the difference. Mike Collier is the lieutenant governor we need to solve these problems.

After the school shooting in Santa Fe, the Texas Legislature had an opportunity to enact life-saving policy changes—and they blew it. When the incumbent Lt. Governor came out against any solutions to gun violence, the committee studying the issue failed to recommend a “red flag” law. Collier supports common-sense gun legislation including improved background checks and red flag laws.

On immigration, Collier opposes hateful legislation like SB4, and supports “a path to citizenship that is efficiently, fairly, and consistently administered.”

Since our initial primary endorsement, we’ve watched Collier and his campaign gain momentum. The Lt. Governor’s race is absolutely winnable, and extremely important for the future of Texas.

Incumbent Dan Patrick, with his fervent desire to discriminate against immigrants and the LGBTQ community and to restrict the economic security of all Texans, must go, and Collier is our pick to defeat him.

Endorsement: Justin Nelson for Attorney General

Indivisible Austin proudly endorses Justin Nelson for Attorney General

Indivisible Austin is proud to endorse Justin Nelson for Texas Attorney General. Nelson’s campaign has brought serious focus to issues that matter to Texans—and to the serious ethical malpractice committed by the incumbent. In this race, running against indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton, ethics is a serious issue, but not the only one.

As founder and former president of One Nation One Vote, a non-profit dedicated to fighting gerrymandering and overhauling the electoral-college system, Nelson shares our vision of a fair and functional democracy. A lawyer, UT professor, and former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Nelson also brings serious bona fides to an office sorely lacking adult supervision.

Nelson has committed to rescinding Texas’s lawsuit to end DACA on his first day in office. He calls the separation of families on our border a “humanitarian crisis,” and will finally bring the regulatory power of the state of Texas to bear on the actions of ICE, CBP, and their contractors.

As we write this, Texas—led by Ken Paxton—and 19 other states are going to federal court in an effort to end health care protections for millions of people, including the 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. The single most popular provision of the ACA, with broad support across the political spectrum, and Ken Paxton wants to take those protections away from us. Justin Nelson is committed to protecting health care for all Texans, fighting for protections for patients with pre-existing conditions, supporting women’s health, and fighting health care discrimination of all types.

Unlike his opponent, who is awash in personal and systemic political corruption, Justin Nelson is committed to combating public corruption, first by shining a light on the money that pervades Texas politics. Nelson has promised to defend the Texas Ethics Commission from several lawsuits intended to weaken its ability to regulate campaign finance. Paxton may refuse to fight these suits brought by his donors, but Justin Nelson believes that the government of the state of Texas should serve the people of Texas, not the highest bidder. He’ll fight to make sure we have a government we can trust.

We are pleased to endorse Justin Nelson. Texans deserve an Attorney General who will put their needs first, instead of protecting corporate interests and political patrons—or facing jail time.

Endorsement: Joi Chevalier for Comptroller

Indivisible Austin proudly endorses Joi Chevalier for Comptroller

For Comptroller, small-business owner Joi Chevalier would bring experience and humanity to the important role of managing the state budget.

Rather than waste our money on bathroom bills, further militarizing our border, and breaking up families, Joi Chevalier will focus on the role the state budget can play in fostering more, not less, opportunity in the state. For example, her commitment to diversifying revenue sources suggests Chevalier will bring new creativity and life into the Comptroller role, an energy that is sorely needed.

Endorsement: Kim Olson for Agriculture Commissioner

Indivisible Austin proudly endorses Kim Olson for Agriculture Commissioner

For Agriculture Commissioner, where Sid Miller has been a national embarrassment since 2014, Kim Olson gets our nod. Kim is a retired Air Force pilot and an organic farmer who is listening to the concerns of Texans in all of our 254 counties. Her campaign has demonstrated she is eager to listen to the concerns of both those who grow our food as well as the families that purchase it.

Her life has been one of service—often in a trailblazing manner—both during her military career and afterwards, as she worked in education and on behalf of veterans. In 2014, she was rightly inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame and we are proud to offer our endorsement to her race.

Meet the Primary Election Runoff Candidates!

Be A Texas VoterThe primary election runoff is May 22, with early voting from May 14-18. Several state and US districts are holding runoff elections. If you voted in the primary, you must vote in the same party’s runoff. But if you did not vote in the primary, you can vote in either party’s runoff.

Below are upcoming candidate forums, debates, and meet-and-greets. We’ll update this page as more events are confirmed.

Wednesday, May 2nd

HD46 Democratic Runoff Debate

7:30 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1164 San Bernard St. Hosted by KUT Austin.

Join us for a debate between the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for Texas House District 46.

Sheryl Cole for State Representative and Jose “Chito” Vela for State Representative are in the May 22nd runoff for the seat currently held by long-time State Representative Dawnna Dukes.

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/192246558223278/

Saturday, May 5th

Meet the TX10 & TX27 Candidates in Bastrop

11 a.m. at Neighbor’s Kitchen and Yard, Bastrop, TX. Hosted by the Bastrop County Democratic Party.

Featuring Tawana Walter-Cadien and Mike Siegel, who are running in TX10, and also Eric Holquin and Roy Barrera, who are running to represent TX27.

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/212009829391326/

Town Hall for Our Lives featuring TX25 candidate Chris Perri and HD47 candidate Vikki Goodwin

5 p.m. at James Bowie High School, 4103 W Slaughter Ln.

Student-organized discussion with local Austin leaders as well as candidates for Congress. Panelists will include the local leaders and candidates as well as students from James Bowie High School. Panelists will include:

  • Chris Perri (candidate TX-25)
  • Vikki Goodwin (candidate TX-47)
  • Chris Evoy (AISD Police Department)
  • Dr. Craig Shapiro (Associate Superintendent of High Schools AISD)

Join to hear a Q&A session between the students and local leaders. Audience members will be able to ask questions and get involved towards the end of the event. Principals from the AISD district will be formally invited to listen in.

Eventbrite:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/town-hall-for-our-lives-austin-tx-tickets-45186265336

Sunday, May 6th

Primary forum w/ TX25 candidates and HD47 candidates

1:30 p.m. at Laura’s Library, 9411 Bee Caves Rd. Hosted by Indivisible Eanes/West Austin and Cuernavaca Action Group

Come meet the candidates for Congressional District 25 and Texas House District 27. This non-partisan event will give you an opportunity to speak with each candidate in a small group and ask them the questions that matter to you.

1:30 – 2:15 TX25 – Candidates invited are Julie Oliver, Chris Perri, and Roger Williams

2:30 – 3:00 HD47 – Candidates invited are Elaina Fowler, Vikki Goodwin, and Paul Workman

Registration using Eventbrite is requested but not required:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-the-runoff-candidates-tickets-44930669843

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/231673737572107/

Monday, May 7th

A Democratic Candidate Forum for HD46 with Sheryl Cole & Chito Vela

6:30 p.m. at AFS Cinema, 6259 Middle Fiskville Rd. Hosted by The Texas Tribune.

Join The Texas Tribune for a candidate forum with the two Democratic hopefuls for House District 46.

Eventbrite:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-democratic-candidate-forum-for-hd-46-with-sheryl-cole-chito-vela-registration-44559574888

Friday, May 11th

Save the Date: Governors’ Debate with Lupe Valdez and Andrew White. 6 p.m.

6 p.m. at St James Episcopal 1941 Webberville Rd. Austin, Texas 78721

Join State Tejano Democrats, Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, Texas Young Democrats, Texas College Democrats, Texas Stonewall Democrats, and Travis County Democratic Party for a Grassroots Debate, with Lupe Valdez and Andrew White.

The debate will be moderated by Gromer Jeffers, political writer for the Dallas Morning News and Co-Host of Lone Star Politics on KXAS (NBC5). The event will be held at St. James Episcopal Church, ten minutes from downtown Austin. A live stream of the debate will be available at KXAN.com.

6:00 p.m. – Doors open
6:30 p.m. – Programing and instructions
7:00 p.m. – Debate

A limited number of tickets will be made available to the public on Tuesday May 8, at 6:00pm CST. The link will be published to this Facebook event page.

On the day of the debate, tickets will be honored up until 6:50pm, when all remaining available seats will be given to members of the public waiting in line at the venue.

Saturday, May 12th

***The Wilco Indivisible event originally scheduled for Saturday has been cancelled. We’ll update with any new events or if it’s rescheduled***

Monday, May 14th

TX21 Indivisible ATX Primary Runoff Candidate Forum

7 p.m. at FiberCove, 1700 S Lamar Blvd #338. Hosted by TX21 Indivisible.

Hear from candidates who want to represent Texas’ 21st Congressional District, and are headed to the primary runoff in just a few weeks:

  • Joseph Kopser (D)
  • Mary Wilson (D)

This is a rare chance to hear candidates from both parties at the same forum. There is only room for 100 attendees, so please arrive early to grab your seat.

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/187054998773639/

Saturday, May 19th

TX31 Candidate Debate

10 a.m. at Sun City Ballroom 2 Texas Dr. Bldg A., Georgetown, TX. Hosted by Sun City Democrats, Florence Indivisible, Sun City Indivisible, Wilco Indivisible, and Cedar Park Indivisible.

Please join us for a debate between TX31 Congressional Candidates MJ Hegar and Dr. Christine Mann, moderated by Patrick Svitek of the Texas Tribune.

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1661087147302406/

And in case you missed it…

Videos from the April 21 candidate forum for the Democratic runoff election in Texas’ 10th Congressional District

 

 

Tell John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and Greg Abbott to Cancel their NRA Convention Speeches

Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Greg AbbottPictured: NRA Tools

Arguably the three most powerful politicians in Texas (was Dan Patrick not available?) are joining Vice President Mike Pence at the annual convention of the NRA in Dallas May 3-6.

It’s time to call BS on our elected representatives, for not representing our interests. The NRA represents gun manufacturers, not gun owners, not citizens, and definitely not Texans. We stand with the majority of Americans, including gun owners, in demanding commonsense gun legislation.

Why are our two senators and our governor to beholden to the NRA that they would speak at their convention—despite (or perhaps because of?) the massive nationwide backlash against what is essentially a domestic terrorist organization. Their presence at the convention is insulting to victims of gun violence and to all Texans. Remind Cruz and Abbott that this is an election year for them, and for Cornyn in 2020, and that you’re paying attention to their sleazy alliance with gun lobbyists.

Sample, perhaps overly polite script:

It’s disappointing that you continue to align yourself with the gun lobby by speaking at the NRA convention in Dallas. Most gun owners want common sense gun control; the NRA’s only mission is to sell more guns.

In the wake of preventable shootings in Texas, Florida, and every other state, I hope you will reconsider your attendance at the convention.

Voters are paying attention to who your friends are.

And if you’re in the Dallas area, protests begin at noon at City Hall Plaza on May 5th. And Indivisible Women Tarrant County is holding a die-in the night before.

How Your Voices Made a Difference: Indictment

The big news…Despite the GOP attempting to deflect the investigation onto Hillary Clinton (in light of the revelation of her funding the infamous Steele dossier), the two are not a zero-sum proposition, and special investigator Robert Mueller continues digging into the campaign, business dealings, finances, and potential collusion of Donald and his cohorts. News broke over the weekend that Mueller may have filed the first charges in the investigation, though they’re sealed at the moment, and we won’t find out who is being taken into custody till Monday. (Update: We know.) Also, despite Jared Kushner’s denials, the lawyer he and Don Jr. met with to eagerly receive promised dirt on Hillary Clinton seems to have indeed been acting in direct conjunction with the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, amid rumors of the three congressional Russian investigations sputtering out, Brad Parscale, the director of Donny’s digital campaign, was summoned before the House Intelligence Panel. Michael Cohen, Donny’s personal lawyer, also appeared before the House and Senate intelligence committees, and Donny’s campaign consultant Carter Page will finally testify before the House Intelligence Committee next week, after months of dodging. Meanwhile Don John’s beleaguered former campaign chair Paul Manafort faces yet another money-laundering investigation, this time by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, in collaboration with Mueller’s probe already under way. Things are getting juicy—even if Congress shuts its investigations down, hopefully Mueller’s findings will get to the bottom of exactly how—and with whose help—Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.

Adding their voice to those of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and rural and industrial interests, the auto industry has launched a vocal defense of NAFTA in the face of Donald’s continued threats to withdraw the U.S. from the trade agreement. “We need you to tell your elected officials that you don’t change the game in the middle of a comeback. We’re winning with NAFTA,” the group said on its website.

The Government Accountability Office has launched a probe into Donald’s sham voter fraud commission, formed to try to justify his baseless claims that the 3 million votes that lost him the popular election were fraudulent. The secretive organization is headed by Kris Kobach, who has a long track record of voter suppression and racial profiling, and though it nods toward bipartisanship with a few Democratic members, those members have complained of a lack of transparency and being routinely excluded from even the most basic meetings and info.

Meanwhile the Republican Party is hemorrhaging moderates, as Texas’s own Joe Straus announced he will retire at the end of his term as speaker of the house, and on the national level Jeff Flake (Senator from Arizona) joins the ranks of those on the way out. The loss of nonextremist, rational voices is bad—but Flake’s district has a serious challenge from a Democrat—which is good. Also good—freed from the yoke of seeking reelection, these lawmakers are speaking out. John McCain continues his not-so-veiled criticisms of Donald, most recently regarding his dodging of service in America’s military (despite his attacks on veterans, war heroes, and Gold Star families), calling out wealthy scions who avoided service on trumped-up pretexts like “bone spurs”—Don John’s exact and repeated excuse for deferring his service during the Vietnam War, which in his own words was “not a big problem, but it was enough of a problem,” and magically cleared up once he was safe from being called to war.

Jeff Flake also began speaking quite freely as soon as he announced his retirement: “Without fear of the consequences and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe, we must stop pretending that the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal. Reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused as telling it like it is when it is actually reckless, outrageous and undignified…. It is often said that children are watching. Well, they are. And what are we doing to do about that? When the next generation asks us, why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up? What are we going to say? Mr. President, I rise to say, enough.”

Adding his voice to recent condemnations of Don John by George W. Bush and John McCain, Flake added that senators “must dedicate ourselves to making sure that the anomalous never becomes the normal. With respect, we fooled ourselves long enough that a pivot to governing is right around the corner, a return to civility and stability right behind it. We know better than that. By now, we all know better than that.”

Let us fervently hope that’s true. You can also check out Flake’s gloves-off op-ed about the Trump presidency here, and his lone-GOP-wolf opposition to racist, extremist senatorial hopeful Roy Moore here.

Kentucky judge resigned in the face of a pending ethics investigation into his abuse of his position, flouting of Kentucky law, and general douchebaggery in refusing to hear adoption cases where a parent was a “practicing homosexual.”

A generic ballot—reported on FOX, no less—suggests that if voting were held today for the 2018 elections, Democrats would lead by 15 points. Keep in mind that every FOX viewer just had a panic attack and is now more motivated to vote—so we have to keep getting the vote out!

Hang in there, warriors. Like so many things, the hallmark of successful activism is persistence, as this lifelong activist shares.

We’re Showing Up for Texas Today

Today we have a message for the president. Texans are hurting from Hurricane Harvey, and it will take us years to recover. While it will be some time before the full damage estimates and economic impact of the storm are assessed, we can be sure that our great state’s recovery will take a long time. But we’re Texans, and we’re not afraid of the hard work ahead of us.

Texas has never seen a storm like Harvey. It is epochal.

On his Texas visit today the president will likely take advantage of some photo opportunities, and speak some self-described perfect words. He will no doubt make promises and try to burnish his presidential image. But the real measure of his response will not be if he appears more presidential, but rather his administration’s accomplishments in the weeks, months, and years ahead. Will that response tackle not only the misfortunes of the affluent in this disaster, but also the misfortunes of those his administration has habitually targeted from its start?

It is difficult to reconcile the forthcoming pledges to rebuild impacted areas of Texas with the president’s pardon of Joe Arpaio as the storm was bearing down on Houston (for ratings, he said), his refusal to close border patrol checkpoints on evacuation routes out of South Texas, his destruction of some of our state’s most treasured natural gems to make way for his border wall, and his imminent repeal of DACA. That’s why we’re showing up for Texas today during the president’s visit.

There has never ever been a natural disaster in the U.S. during which public officials have had to clarify numerous times that those seeking shelter from the storm and  flooding will not be deported.

The test is simple. Will this administration start to take the threat of climate change seriously and begin tackling the technological and infrastructure challenges necessary to reduce the impact of future disasters like this one? Will this administration make sure that the poorest communities and communities of color – which suffer disparate impacts of natural disasters – recover from this storm? Or will those communities be offered only platitudes and empty gestures? Time will tell, but the recent actions of this administration make clear its steadfast refusal to extend the same consideration to those communities that it extends to the well-to-do. We are showing up today to make sure the administration knows we will not allow these concerns to be swept under the rug in the usual post-disaster niceties.

We also cannot forget that many other policies this administration pursues have negative impacts on our state, and when combined with the devastation from Harvey, further harm our state and our people.

The proposed border wall means Texans will lose their land through eminent domain, and fragile ecological regions will be decimated; even our own Senator John Cornyn’s recent border “security” bill doesn’t include funding for the president’s vision of this folly.

The nation’s largest inland port, Laredo, is on the front lines of the president’s Twitter war against against NAFTA. In 2015, Texas exported nearly $100 billion in goods to Mexico, and some 382,000 Texas jobs are linked to trade with Mexico. Targeting NAFTA hurts Texans and hurts our economy.

The president’s intention to rescind DACA, which is expected to happen this week, will have a disproportionate impact in Texas. Of the nearly 800,000 young adults whose DACA status has been approved, more than 25 percent of them live in Texas. They may have come to the U.S. as undocumented children through no fault of their own, but they have followed specific requirements to remain in the U.S. legally. As a result, they have graduated from colleges, started Texas businesses, bought homes, and built lives in Texas. For that they are being used to score political points by an administration determined to take a hard line on all immigrants regardless of status. He has used them as scapegoats. He lies about crime statistics to stigmatize a vulnerable group, and to stoke fear and hatred of all immigrants.

Trump’s policies will harm the Texas economy, which will be deeply strained during the long road of recovery from Harvey. We are already gearing up for the budget fights in Congress that could stifle the emergency relief we so desperately need.

Harvey has to be our top priority right now, as we anticipate thousands of evacuees coming to Austin. We have been and will continue supporting the rescuers and aid givers who need our volunteer hours and our financial and material assistance. But today we also need to send a message: Texans are great, resilient people, and we will do all we can to protect our state from policies that harm our residents and their livelihoods. 

Indivisible Austin
Wilco Indivisible
Indivisible TXLege
TX10 Indivisible
TX17 Indivisible
TX21 Indivisible
TX35 Indivisible

 

Statements from Our Lawmakers on the White Supremacist Violence in Charlottesville

These are in chronological order.

The offensive behavior displayed in Charlottesville is an attack on our American values. Racism and violence have no…

Posted by John Carter on Saturday, August 12, 2017

 

 

 

 

Conference Call with NARAL Pro Choice TX and CPPP: May 9, 2017 at 8 p.m. CT

Please join our next conference call on Tuesday, May 9 at 8 p.m. CT.

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)