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.

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 >>

Get to Know: Workers Defense Project

This is the first in a regular series of blogs spotlighting organizations tackling major issues in Central Texas.

Guest post from Workers Defense Project:

Workers Defense Project (WDP) is a membership-based organization that empowers low-income workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing and strategic partnerships. WDP was founded in August 2002 by employees and volunteers of Casa Marianella, a local Austin shelter, to address the problem of unpaid wages for Austin’s low-wage workers.

WDP is a worker center that provides low-wage workers, concentrating on the construction industry, with legal solutions for wage theft, discrimination and injury cases, as well as ESL classes, safety classes, and the leadership development they need to improve their working and living conditions. With these important resources, WDP members are able to change the conditions that negatively impact working families. WDP provides a source of power and hope for low-wage workers and is part of a national movement of organizations that seek to achieve sustainable change for working families. The organization is one of the most established worker centers in the South and a leader in fighting for fair conditions for working people.

WDP envisions a future where all low-wage and immigrant workers are treated with dignity and respect. In the wake of the 2016 election, WDP has renewed its commitment to fighting for the rights of low-wage workers and immigrants disproportionately affected by the policies of the current administration and its impact on local and statewide governance. This push back includes winning big changes in the construction industry and beyond, including:

  • Passing an ordinance requiring paid sick leave for all employees within the City of Austin;
  • Ensuring paid rest breaks for all construction workers in Austin and Dallas;
  • Suing the State of Texas over the anti-immigrant law SB 4, and moving every major city in Texas to join the lawsuit;
  • Winning fair pay and safe working conditions for more than 16,000 construction workers through WDP’s innovative Better Builder® program; and
  • Recovering more than $1.7 million in unpaid wages for more than 1,800 workers.
There are many opportunities to get involved with WDP, but none are more valued than our volunteers. Register HERE to attend our Monthly Volunteer Orientation and Volunteer Night, the first Thursday of the month at the Austin office. The next opportunity is May 3rd, 2018, 6-8PM. Contact elizabeth@workersdefense.org to learn more about the volunteer program or sign up for volunteer updates. Sign up HERE to receive our monthly e-newsletter, and click HERE to make a donation. We encourage you to visit our website or write info@workersdefense.org to learn more. WDP is grateful for the support of the community- we couldn’t do our work without you!

Introducing IT: Indivisible Technology

Introducing a new effort: Indivisible Technology Austin, the IT group that can help you #resist.

If you hate the Trumpist agenda but love technology, we’d love to have your help. We’ll have regular working meetings for whoever can join – the first will be on Thursday, Oct. 5. We also plan to have a Challenge Team in the upcoming ATX Political Hackathon. There’s lots to do, and the more help we have, the more we can achieve. Sign up today!

We’ll be posting the occasional technology-related items here on the blog, and the first one, on the critical topic of information security, is below. You may have seen similar posts in this space before, and you’ll probably see more in the future – this stuff is important!

This is from a resource page provided by the national-level Indivisible site:

DIGITAL SECURITY CHECKLIST

  1. Identify a trusted security expert or advisor for your group if possible.
  2. Take an inventory of your main communications systems and assess what your top information security priorities and risks might be.
  3. Keep all your systems up to date; install legitimate security patches.
  4. Review the privacy settings on your social media accounts.
  5. Use strong passwords on all your important accounts.
  6. Enable 2-Factor Authentication whenever possible.
  7. No security system is perfect; assume anything you write or send online may become public.

Read all the details here about each of these points, share this information widely, and take steps today to keep your online activity safe. If you have questions or need help, let us know.

How to Make a #WelcometoAustin Kit

The mayor announced that as many as 7,500 people could be coming to Austin soon, seeking shelter from Harvey’s wrath. There are a lot of ways to help, but one way is to provide a welcome kit for new arrivals. Like you, we’ve seen many lists of needed items, and different groups are collecting for different needs. But everyone needs something to get started with, and here’s a way to help.

The city is calling for 6,000 welcome kits to be delivered to Austin Disaster Recovery Network at their Hope Thrift Store location at

1122 E 51st Street
Austin, Texas 78723
Mon-Sat, 10AM-5PM

Prepping a welcome kit is not a totally inexpensive proposition, we get that. If you are in a position to give, that’s amazing, and it might also be a good project to share with a friend or another family. If you’re not, but you have time, Austin Disaster Recovery Network and many other organizations need volunteers. You can also make a contribution to ADRN or other local groups involved in Harvey relief.

See list of welcome kit contents below.

Welcome kits should include the following:

KIT ITEMS:

  • New Towel
  • New Washcloth
  • Soap
  • Tissue
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products
  • Shampoo
  • Comb
  • A note of encouragement

ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT ITEMS:

  • New Blanket
  • New Pillow
  • Wipes
  • Baby bottles/formula
  • Diapers
  • Baby food

HOW TO CREATE A WELCOME KIT:

  1. Get a reusable bag(s) or plastic container with a lid
  2. Fill the container with listed items
  3. Drop your donation off

PLUS: Austin Animal Center needs supplies for lost animals and pets of people in shelter:

  • 500 large crates
  • Used sheets and towels to line the crates

Donate to:
Austin Animal Center
7201 Levander Loop
Austin, TX 78702
11am to 7pm, 7 days a week

Additional Voter Registration Training Classes Available

Two new voter registration training classes have been added for us! Get trained to register voters in Travis County (plus, thanks to a  reciprocal agreement with Williamson County, you will be able to get a certificate to register there as well).

PLEASE NOTE YOU MUST RSVP HERE FOR THIS TRAINING.

Training dates are April 15 and May 20th 10 am to 11:30 at the First UU Church, 4700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756.

Train to Register Voters!

There is an easy way to help expand the voter rolls in Travis County and beyond. You can become a Volunteer Deputy Registrar (VDR) of voters. With 159 people a day (net) moving to the Austin area, according to this report, it is imperative that we stay on top of voter registrations.

Regularly schedule VDR training at the Travis County Tax Office, 5501 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751 is the first Tuesday of each month with session scheduled 10:30-11:30 am, 12:30-1:30 pm, and 6:30-7:30 pm. Call 512.854.9473 for more information.

Training only takes about an hour and thanks to our awesome Travis County Registrar of Voters staff, they have recently made available to us a number of additional training days. Please take advantage of this training as soon as you can. Once trained, your VDR credentials are good through December 2018! What’s more, if you like, you can take advantage of the generous reciprocal VDR opportunity with Williamson County, so that you can register voters who live in that county as well.

So, you’ll know how to respond the next time a coworker mentions that they just moved to a new apartment over the weekend or you get introduced to a new employee who just moved here from out of state. You can ask, “Are you registered to vote at your current address?” And you can make it easy for them to get registered!

Each training session requires an RSVP so that they can have the correct number of materials available. Below are the next three special training days. Sign up now!

Call for video submissions!

Hi all! We are producing a short video for the March 5th Indivisible event in Austin TX, and we want to include you! And guess what, taking part is SUPER EASY! We are looking for a diverse sampling of your voices to tell us WHY YOU STAND INDIVISIBLE. Just follow the filming instructions and submit your video files today. The deadline to submit is Monday, February 26th.

Click here for further instructions on submitting your video

How to Get More Involved with IATX

Your Indivisible Austin steering committee has been working hard over the last couple of weeks to figure out just what the heck we’re all doing as part of this incredible movement, and who and what we need to do even more.

We have needs, y’all. So many needs. And the good news is we have lots and lots of people. So we put out this little volunteer survey to match the people with the needs! Take the survey now and you (and we!) will be so happy you did!

Have you loved being part of our in-person actions? If so, are you interested in helping to plan more in the future? We have an opportunity for that!

Are you a #txlege political animal who knows the ins-and-outs of the business under the pink dome? That’s expertise we can use!

Maybe you’re a social media maven who can help us take our online message to ever greater heights?

Media or PR whiz? Need ’em.

Security experts? Want ’em.

“People” people who can help recruit folks, plan training opportunities, and just be all around nice folks to people who want to learn about Indivisible? Yes, please.

And so. many. more.

Take the survey now

Thank you!