Take Action: Tell Cornyn and Cruz to delay the 9/20 Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh

Endorsements

Mike Siegel for TX10

Mike Siegel is the Austin city attorney who sued Gov. Greg Abbott to stop SB4, the worst anti-immigrant law passed in recent memory. If that were the only thing we knew about him, we’d still probably give him our endorsement.

Read our full endorsement of Mike Siegel >>

Joseph Kopser for TX21

TX21 residents have a choice in this election: A veteran who served his country and now fights for progressive causes, or another GOP Swamp Creature. Joseph Kopser has our full backing as the person best qualified to protect our most vulnerable citizens and to provide an important check on executive power.

Read our full endorsement of Joseph Kopser >>

Julie Oliver for TX25

Julie Oliver goes everywhere, listens to and learns from anyone, and fearlessly explains how she and the Democratic party are fighting for them, even if they aren’t supporting her yet. It’s the only way to win over voters. It’s the right way to govern, and it’s why Indivisible Austin is proud to endorse her candidacy.

Read our full endorsement of Julie Oliver >>

View all of our endorsements >>

50 Days

Surfer on massive blue wave

NEW: Join our Big Ol’ Texas Postcard Party on Sunday at Brewtorium

On Sunday, Sept. 23 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. join us and March on Texas to send 90,000 (!) postcards to progressive Texas women who need a big reminder to get out and vote in the midterms. We’ll provide postcards and art supplies so you can let your creativity loose.

Ongoing Get-Out-the-Vote Activities

And most importantly, make sure you are registered and have a plan to vote.

Take Action

Tell Cornyn and Cruz to delay the 9/20 Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh

Courtesy of Celeste Pewter

Tell Cornyn and Cruz no on Kavanaugh

Add your comments to stop DHS from detaining children indefinitely

Two weeks ago, the Trump Administration issued a proposed rule would allow children to be detained indefinitely. The rule would overturn the Flores settlement, which has been the law since 1997 and prevents children from being detained longer than 20 days.

There is a 60-day period for public comment before the rule goes into effect. Here’s where you come in:

  1. Comment online
  2. Email: ICE.Regulations@ice.dhs.gov. Include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in the subject line of the message.
  3. Mail: Debbie Seguin, Assistant Director, Office of Policy, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, 500 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20536. To ensure proper handling, include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by the comment submission deadline.

The proposed rule is clearly in response to Trump administration’s manufactured crisis on the border, where hundreds of children remain separated from their families thanks to the so-called zero-tolerance policy. Rather than solve the problem, they are attempting to double down on the needless cruelty. Call your reps, too—they need to speak out, and will only do so under pressure from you.

Read more from Families USA >>

How your voices are making a difference

  • The Hispanic Caucus declined an invitation to the White House
  • DC residents petitioned to revoke Trump Hotel’s liquor licenses
  • Willie is Team Beto

Read more success stories >>

Activist Spotlight: Brian Clark

Activist Brian Clark from TX21 Indivisible“I was stunned to realize how Texas is such a terrible state in terms of voting, and there should be a cardboard cutout of our reps, because the non-vote wins all the time.”

Meet TX21 Indivisible activist Brian Clark >>

Your Moment of Zen

If you’re a fan of Atlantic staff writer Adam Serwer, you know how much his orange kitty cats mean to him. Butters was lost in San Antonio for a bit—but he came back!

Funding the Fight

This is it.

Truly.

November 6th is the most important election of our lives, because the 2016 election has put our democracy at such grave risk.

We can, and we are building the blue wave to protect our country from corruption and authoritarianism. Be a part of the work. Support Indivisible Austin.

 

Take Action: Stop DHS from detaining children indefinitely

Endorsements

Mike Collier for Lt. Governor

Indivisible Austin proudly endorses Mike Collier for Lt. Governon
We endorsed in the Lt. Governor’s race, in part, in recognition of the importance of this election to the Texas Legislature. 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.

Read our full endorsement >>

53 days

Surfer on massive blue wave

“The biggest threat to Democracy is indifference,” said President Barack Obama in a speech last week. That Blue Wave we’re all expecting? It won’t happen unless every single one of us do our share.

And most importantly, make sure you are registered and have a plan to vote.

Take Action

Stop DHS from detaining children indefinitely

Last week, the Trump Administration issued a proposed rule would allow children to be detained indefinitely. The rule would overturn the Flores settlement, which has been the law since 1997 and prevents children from being detained longer than 20 days.

There is a 60-day period for public comment before the rule goes into effect on November 6 (also known as the most important Election Day of our lives). Here’s where you come in:

  1. Comment online
  2. Email: ICE.Regulations@ice.dhs.gov. Include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in the subject line of the message.
  3. Mail: Debbie Seguin, Assistant Director, Office of Policy, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security, 500 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20536. To ensure proper handling, include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by the comment submission deadline.

The proposed rule is clearly in response to Trump administration’s manufactured crisis on the border, where nearly 500 children remain separated from their families thanks to the so-called zero-tolerance policy. Rather than solve the problem, they are attempting to double down on the needless cruelty. Call your reps, too—they need to speak out, and will only do so under pressure from you.

Read more from Families USA >>

How your voices are making a difference

  • Latinx USA raised money to rent a billboard in Texas featuring Donald Trump’s denigration of Ted Cruz
  • A U.S. District judge struck down Texas’s barbaric, unconstitutional “fetal remains” law
  • Plaid Shirt Guy broke the Internet

Read more success stories >>

Congress Critter of the Month: John Cornyn

John Cornyn and Dan Patrick standing in Patrick's office holding old-fashioned musketsSen. John Cornyn’s aggrieved-grandpa schtick was on full display yet again, this time during confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He threatened to have Sen. Cory Booker ejected from the Senate for revealing “committee confidential” material that turned out to have been approved for release. (To which Booker responded, famously: “Bring It.”)

In our opinion, Cornyn does not get enough attention from the Texas Resistance, mainly because the more obvious villain, Ted Cruz, overshadows him. (Go Beto.) So let’s give Cornyn some calls this week, and explain that:

  1. His pained mansplaining about civility and Senate rules would be more convincing were it not for two words: Merrick Garland
  2. Brett Kavanaugh is clearly the Forrest Gump of Bush-era legal malfeasance and should not be elevated to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. (Instead, he should be impeached.)
  3. Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator in multiple crimes and should not get to seat judges on the Supreme Court. This whole process (and presidency) is a sham.

And while you have Cranky Cornyn on the horn, remind him that 2020 is coming, and if he wants any chance of re-election, he’d better start listening to constituents.

Events

Tuesday, Sept. 11

Pizza. Postcards. Phone banking. Hosted by Indivisible Austin every Tuesday night through Election Day. (RSVP here.)

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Panel: Texas is Ground Zero for Immigration Policy, hosted by the Texas Observer. 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E. 8th St. (Facebook event)

Your Moment of Zen

Funding the Fight

NOVEMBER IS NOW!

Every week, every day, we’re working with our volunteers to make sure that in November we win a victory for American values and decency. Registering voters, phone calls, canvassing, postcards, all of it will combine with the work of thousands of other volunteers across Texas and all across America to achieve the victory we need.

But as the campaign season goes on, our budget is tightening, and every day, we are looking at the numbers making hard choices about what we can and can’t afford to do. Help us make sure that we don’t come up short, that we don’t leave work undone. Support Indivisible Austin’s midterm efforts today.

Take Action: Pizzas, Postcards and Phone Banks

Endorsements

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.

Read our full endorsement >>

63 Days

Activists from Indivisible Austin rocking Beto and #BeATexasVoter tees

Want one of our NEW awesome #BeATexasVoter t-shirts? Join us for Pizza, Postcards and Phone banks on Tuesdays and/or weekend blockwalking!

Pizzas, Postcards and Phone Banks

ADAPT of Texas, 1100 S. IH-35 frontage road, Sep. 4, 6:30-8:30 pm

Every Tuesday from now until early voting we’re gathering for pizzas, writing postcards to 4,000 Texas voters, and calling Austin-area voters to make sure they get out to vote. Bring your laptop or tablet, phone, and earbuds. We’ll provide everything else you need.

More info and RSVP here >>

Want to write postcards from home instead? Fill out this form to have some delivered! >>

GOTV Blockwalking on Sunday

Pan American Park Rec Center, 2100 E. 3rd Street, Sep. 9, 10:00 am-12:30 pm

The clock is counting down to Nov. 6 and It’s time to talk to voters! Charge up your Fitbit and join our team for weekly get-out-the-vote blockwalking. We’re not only working to turn out voters for Beto and other candidates endorsed by national and local Indivisible groups—we’re also building long-term progressive infrastructure and community in Texas.

RSVP on Action Network >>

Take Action

Paxton is going to court to strip protections for pre-existing conditions from millions of Americans

On Wednesday, September 5, Texas 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 (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, genetic conditions, depression, and even pregnancy). Indicted attorney general Ken Paxton is the ringleader.

The court case may or may not succeed. We don’t know. But this will not be the last effort to deprive Americans of health care. We fought for eight months to save the ACA. Let’s not relax for one second, as the GOP already has plans to continue their war on Obamacare in the next legislative session.

Keep calling your reps, writing letters to the editor, and make a plan to vote this November. Lives are on the line.

Letter from Indivisible Austin activists published in the Statesman about pre-existing condition protections

Demand investigation into why U.S. citizens are being denied passport renewals

“Birtherism is now federal policy,” tweeted columnist Max Boot, as news spread that a growing number of Latino citizens in Texas were having their citizenship questioned and being denied passports.

Call your reps—senators and House representatives—and demand answers. This questioning of citizenship, of who the “real” Americans are, invokes some of the darkest periods of history.

Hat tip to Celeste Pewter for these talking points:

  • I am calling to ask you to investigate the Washington Post report of U.S. citizens—including military personnel and border agents—being denied passport renewals and having their citizenship questioned.
  • We need immediate clarification on why this is happening and how the government plans to resolve the citizenship question for those caught up in this Catch-22. We also need clarification on why the State Department asserts that nothing has changed.
  • Will you condemn this latest move and do everything in your power to resolve the situation, and quickly?

How your voices are making a difference

  • A federal judge shot down a lawsuit to try to block DACA.
  • Gun control, teacher, and civil rights groups are prepared to sue Betsy DeVos’s Education Department
  • Beto is within a single point of Teddy

Read more ways your voices are making a difference >>

Your Moment of Zen

What is your pet’s top issue this election season?

Funding the Fight

NOVEMBER IS NOW!

Every week, every day, we’re working with our volunteers to make sure that in November we win a victory for American values and decency. Registering voters, phone calls, canvassing, postcards, all of it will combine with the work of thousands of other volunteers across Texas and all across America to achieve the victory we need.

But as the campaign season goes on, our budget is tightening, and every day, we are looking at the numbers making hard choices about what we can and can’t afford to do. Help us make sure that we don’t come up short, that we don’t leave work undone. Support Indivisible Austin’s midterm efforts today.

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: Tell John Cornyn and the Washington Post how we feel about Trump’s racism

Take Action

Tell John Cornyn and the Washington Post how we feel about Trump’s racism

“I’ve got more important things on my mind, so I really don’t have a comment on that.”

“I think the most important thing is to pay attention to what the president does, which I think has been good for the country.”

“I know you have to ask these questions but I’m not going to talk about that.”

—Senator John Cornyn, when asked by the Washington Post whether he or his constituents are bothered by Trump’s racism

What a profile in courage.

Our senator can’t find a single way to criticize a president who has called Mexicans rapists and black women dogs, and who tried to ban Muslims from entering the country.

Maybe John Cornyn isn’t hearing enough from constituents about the president who called the Nazis in Charlottesville “very fine people,” emboldening more Nazis to rally right here in Austin one year later.

And if calls to his office aren’t enough, the Washington Post should also hear directly from Texans who reject Trump’s overt racism and Cornyn’s pathetic capitulating.

Submit a letter to the Washington Post >>

Effing John Cornyn…again

In a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) directly calls out John Cornyn for his role in obstructing the release of Brett Kavanaugh’s White House records:

“Senator Cornyn — the Majority Whip and a senior member of the Judiciary Committee — said that the production of documents Judge Kavanaugh had “generated . . . authored…or contributed to” during his tenure as White House Staff Secretary should be produced to the Committee.  He stated that it “just seems to be common sense.”

“However, less than a week later, following a White House meeting with you on the records production on July 24, the Republican position abruptly and inexplicably shifted.”  …

“The American people deserve to know what changed during this pivotal, Republican-only meeting on July 24.”

What the hell is going on?

Read the full letter, and then call both Cornyn and Cruz (both of whom are on the Judiciary Committee) to ask what happened at that meeting, and why they don’t consider records from Kavanugh’s time as White House secretary to be relevant.

Indivisible East Bay has another great toolkit on Kavanaugh >>

Attend Texas’s Biggest Postcard Party to Stop Kavanaugh >>

How your voices are making a difference

  • The San Antonio City Council voted 9-2 to pass a new paid sick leave ordinance
  • More than 300 newspapers published op-eds defending freedom of the press
  • Donald’s masturbatory military parade was canceled

Read more >>

Events

Tuesday night phone banks

Come help build the blue wave, call by call, voter by voter, voting plan by voting plan—every Tuesday night from now until November 6th. Indivisible Austin is so grateful to have ADAPT of Texas graciously hosting us.

Weekly phone banks at ADAPT offices thru midterms

Sunday, August 26th

Action Spotlight: Austin Auntiefa

Austin Auntiefa

A certain 10-year-old in our lives raised this question: “If they are Trump supporters, why are they protesting? They’re getting exactly what they want.”

He was referring to Saturday’s “Rally Against Far-Left Violence” at the Texas Capitol, where Nazis and the Nazi-adjacent were vastly outnumbered by counter-protesters. We were there, as were a new group calling themselves the “Austin Auntiefa,” a spinoff of the LOLt-Right Marching Band, which we featured back in March.

This time around, the Austin Auntiefa got up in the grills of white nationalists, many of them armed, with cookies, balls of yarn, and ginger snaps. Compare these women’s bravery to the abject cowardice of, say, John Cornyn. As if we needed more reason to elect more women to Congress.

It’s also worth noting that the Nazis (and Nazi-adjacent. Whatever.) would not have been welcome at the Capitol without the sponsorship of a member of the Texas Legislature. State Rep. Dan Flynn not only signed the paperwork, but also spoke at the rally.

Bill Brannon is the Democrat running against Dan Flynn. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or donate to his campaign.

Your Moment of Zen

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: Three reasons to keep calling Cornyn and Cruz about Kavanaugh

Endorsements

Lloyd Doggett for U.S. House District 35

Indivisible Austin endorses Lloyd Doggett for TX-35

Indivisible Austin is proud to endorse Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX-35) for reelection.

Read our full statement >>

Take Action

Three reasons to keep calling Cornyn and Cruz about Kavanaugh

Indivisible San Antonio asked:

Honest question: Is it even worth my time calling Ted Cruz and John Cornyn offices to vote against Brett Kavanaugh?

Ezra Levin, co-executive director of Indivisible, gave three reasons to keep calling our most stick-in-the-mud senators, which we’ve expanded here:

  1. In closed-door GOP meetings, they report that even they are getting pushback.
  2. They probably will still vote the wrong way, but you can make them less outspoken.
  3. Lower their approval for future election. (Gotta get earned media for this though.)

Brett Kavanaugh at swearing-in with DubyaThis last point is important. Before the 2016 election, many of us didn’t know who represented us in Congress. (Decades of relentless gerrymandering will do that.) Now that we have our senators and representative on speed dial, they can no longer hide from their bad policies and failure to represent constituents. Because of this newfound awareness, all of our GOP-held House districts are in play, and Ted Cruz is neck and neck with Beto O’Rourke. This was unimaginable two years ago. So keep the pressure on: 2018 is here, and 2020 (when John Cornyn will get his time in the barrel) is right around the corner.

Meanwhile, Kavanaugh’s hearing is scheduled to begin on September 4th, and the National Archives has refused Democrats’ request to release records from Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary in the Bush White House.

Visit Indivisible.org for Kavanaugh talking points >>

Tell Cornyn and Cruz: No on David Porter for a lifetime judgeship

No lifetime appointment for David Porter

From Indivisible East Bay:

Remember David Porter, Trump’s judicial nominee who would have been happy to live 100 years ago? Sen. McConnell wants to bring this nomination to a final vote when the Senate returns from recess. He’s looking for enough votes from Senators to do this.

David Porter has criticized Supreme Court cases that supported FDR’s New Deal (yes, in 1933), and he belongs to a conservative think tank that says the minimum wage is unconstitutional. As an attorney, he has worked against the Affordable Care Act, women’s rights, marriage equality, environmental protection, and workers’ rights. Porter should never be a judge.

Learn more and download graphics from Indivisible East Bay >>

How your voices are making a difference

  • In a victory for unions, Missouri voters rejected a “right-to-work” law by a wide margin
  • The army suspended discharges of foreign-born recruits who enlisted through DACA
  • Thousands of antiracist protesters drowned out the Unite the Right rally in DC

Read more >>

Events

  • Wednesday, Aug. 15, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Cat Mountain Clubhouse 6007 Mt Bonnell Rd—Northwest Hills TX-25 Town Hall. Grab a slice of pizza and get to know your candidates for U.S. Congress Texas District 25. Democratic candidate Julie Oliver has confirmed that she will be available to answer questions and we’ve extended an invitation to Republican candidate Roger Williams. (Facebook event)
  • Thursday, Aug. 16, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., 1105 N IH35 – Indivisible Rosedale Huddle brings us banner drops Thursdays this August. This week: Cruz thinks Trump will help him! (Facebook event)
  • Saturday, Aug. 18, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Olamaie, 1610 San Antonio St. Texas Tribune Summer Salon: Families Divided. As the government works to reunite hundreds of migrant parents and children who remain separated under the Trump administration’s now-paused “zero tolerance” policy, hear from the lawyers, activists, lawmakers and journalists working on the front lines. (Eventbrite)
  • Save the Date: Monday, Aug. 27, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 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: 84 Days to November

BLUE WAVELast week, we suggested talking to the people in your life about their voter registration. That’s still a good idea! We also recommend you double-check your own current registration is correct and active. (The rate of voting roll purges has increased dramatically in Texas since the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013.)

Squared away? Great! Mark your calendars for our weekly phone banks, coming to you Tuesdays between now and November 6th!

For maximum effort: reach out to gotv@indivisibleaustin.com to get involved with the GOTV working group, or volunteer to host a phone bank or postcard party at your home or a local spot!

Congress Critter of the Week: Rep. Michael McCaul, TX-10

It’s August in Central Texas, and that means it’s hot and dry. It means a lot of brown grass and occasional wildfires. It also means water restrictions. We all cut back on our usage and are more mindful of what we’re doing with our water, because it’s part of the city’s regulations, but more than that, we do it because we know it’s the right and wise thing to do for our community. Well, most of us at least.

Mike Siegel

Rep. Mike McCaul TX-10 can’t be bothered to even consider water usage. His estate in Westlake Hills is regularly among the top water users in Austin, and in 2017 they used more water than ANYONE else in the city. We don’t know exactly how much water they used, because they chose to hide that from the public, but just the second highest water consumer used more than 1,400,900 gallons. That’s more than 200X the average household water use.

It makes you wonder what other important community needs he doesn’t bother to concern himself with.

Mike Siegel is running against Mike McCaul for the TX-10 seat in November.

Your Moment of Zen

How are you this week? We’re making sure to take some time to breathe, to connect—with our communities, including the natural one around us. Take a moment today to enjoy this human-goose flight team:

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: 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: Call Cornyn & Cruz before Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Hearing on Family Separation

Take Action

Call Cornyn & Cruz before Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Hearing on Family Separation

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which includes both John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, meets on Tuesday morning. The topic is “Oversight of Immigration Enforcement and Family Reunification Efforts.” Despite the court-ordered deadline to reunite families, more than 700 children remain in detention due to Trump’s zero tolerance policy, and more than 400 have had their parents deported with no apparent plan to reunite them. The hearing will be simulcast online.

Ted Cruz

Thanks to the show of public outrage, we’ve already accomplished a lot with our rallies, calls, and emails. This is another thing we can do to help. Script and bird-dogging courtesy of Indivisible East Bay:

Hi, my name is [name] and I’m a constituent from [zip code]. I’m calling to ask the Senator to thoroughly examine the immigration officials at the Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday, July 31. Please find out how this cruel family separation happened and how these families will be reunited. I have been so worried and appalled by our government’s treatment of these young children and their parents. The children might be damaged for life. Please make these immigration agencies take responsibility and fix the situation. Please also ensure that this is not the only hearing on the subject of family separation.

More ways to help:

Read: Immigrant Youth Shelters: “If You’re a Predator, It’s a Gold Mine” (ProPublica) >>

New RAICES fundraiser: Help reunify children separated from their families at the border by donating to pay for airfare, hotel, and personal items for children and parents released from detention.

While you’re chatting with Cruz and Cornyn: Demand the release of Brett Kavanaugh’s White House records

Also in their capacity as Judiciary Committee members, Senators Cruz and Cornyn signed off on a records request for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh with one glaring omission: records from Kavanaugh’s three years as staff secretary in the George W. Bush White House.

It is vital that these documents be made public so we know Kavanaugh’s involvement in some of the Bush Administration’s most controversial policies, including torture and privacy rollbacks.

Read Sen. Patrick Leahy’s statement >>

Help fill the funding gap in statewide races

Activists like you have successfully pressured your Members of Congress, and some progressive candidates are even outraising GOP incumbents. That is great news! Keep giving to candidates you believe in, and also remember the statewide races that aren’t getting as much attention or money.

For example:

These races are vitally important, too, and with less than 100 days until Election Day, now is the time to chip in.

How your voices are making a difference

  • Support for Roe v. Wade has reached a new high among Americans
  • Children led a sit-in at the Senate building to protest the separation of immigrant families
  • Youth voter registration is up 41 percent in Florida since Parkland.

Read more >>

Events

Repeal and Replace Ted Cruz banner drop, Thur. Aug. 2, 8:30 – 9:30 am

Monthly VDR training – Sat. Aug. 4 (multiple times)

Big Bake Sale for Border Families, Sat. Aug. 4, 10 am – 2 pm

Action Spotlight: #100DaysOut Phone Bank with Ezra & Leah

Members of Indivisible Austin's board with Ezra and Leah

Indivisible co-executive directors Leah Greenberg and Ezra Levin with members of the board of Indivisible Austin.

Phone bank in AustinOn Sunday, Indivisible Austin held a phone bank. With about 50 of our closest friends—you!—we  called 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. Indivisible groups held over 150 events nationwide, kicking off the 100 days until Election Day in November. Watch this space for news of future phone banks and actions.

See photos >>

 

Congress Critter of the Week: Rep. Bill Flores (TX-17)

Bill Flores as the Riddler (GIF)Q: When is a town hall not a town hall?

A: When Rep. Bill Flores has complete control over who can talk and for how long, without the audience being able to express themselves collectively or ever having to face them in person.

No, it’s not one of the Riddler’s clues. It’s what Bill Flores is making all his constituents deal with, rather than meeting his bosses in person.

The occasional audio town hall is a useful tool, only as a supplemental way to keep your constituents informed, Bill. You need to hear from them in person. Why wouldn’t you want to meet them? 

Book Club: It’s Time to Fight Dirty

It's Time to Fight Dirty

This month the Indivisible Austin Book Club read It’s Time to Fight Dirty, by David Faris. After years of losing ground in Congress and state legislatures, and facing the possibility of an extremist Supreme Court, remedies are needed to bring our democratic systems back into balance.

Read more >>

Your Moment of Zen

Tiffany Day shared this gem of a video earlier this year, but we find it refreshing in the middle of a busy, hot summer:

Funding the Fight

Be a Texas Voter Cake

The #100DaysOut phone bank with Ezra and Leah was just the beginning. For the next 99 days, Indivisible Austin will be working with you at phone banks, door to door, in homes and neighborhoods, and in countless other ways.

We can make November happen, together, but we need you to be a part of it, both as a volunteer and through your contributions.

Be a part of our (and your) movement! Make a gift today!

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.

Take Action: Two more ways to #SaveSCOTUS

Take Action

Help Lead Indivisible Austin’s GOTV Work

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.

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

Two more ways to #SaveSCOTUS

  1. Come to the rally on Tuesday between 11 and 2. 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. 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.)
  2. Phone bank with voters in Alaska and Maine. Here’s a great way to contact voters in states that have Senators not named John Cornyn or Ted Cruz. In other words, potentially movable senators like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. (Shifts appear to be closed for now, but go ahead and add your name; this fight is far from over.)

Tell Your MoCs: It is unacceptable that Trump’s policy is still separating families

Trump’s Executive order failed to end the zero tolerance policy and family separations continue, The number of family detention centers on the border is increasing dramatically. Any action taken by Congress to ameliorate this crisis must be grounded in established child welfare principles and must ensure children are not further exposed to traumatic situations that jeopardize their health, safety and wellbeing.

For an examination of how Trump’s policies have some of the worst impacts on women and girls, read this take in the TribTalk from one of our board members.

Policy Recommendations for all MoCs:

  1. Support the Keep Families Together Act (S.3036 / H.R. 6135), which prohibits government agencies and contractors from removing immigrant children from their parents. All Democratic Senators and nearly all Democratic House Representatives (including Lloyd Doggett and Beto O’Rourke) have co-sponsored.
  2. Institute True Alternatives to Detention. Family prisons endanger children’s health and safety and cost millions of dollars to maintain. Congress should reinstitute the cost-effective Family Case Management Program which allowed families to be freed with supervision and ensured 100% of families attended their hearings in court.
  3. End Family Separations, Reunite Families, End the Zero Tolerance Policy. Congress should focus on pressuring the administration to end its unnecessary family separation practices and zero tolerance policy and devoting resources to helping parents reunite with their children.
  4. Expand Access To Counsel. Congress should expand access to counsel for children and their parents to ensure they have the opportunity to present their asylum claims and seek relief from persecution and life-threatening violence.
  5. Preserve Current Protections for Children and Due Process in Asylum Law. No reform should weaken the current asylum laws in the United States, weaken protections for unaccompanied immigrant children, expand immigration detention, limit due process or otherwise make it more difficult for families to establish they have a valid claim for protection.

BONUS: Help reunify children separated from their families at the border by donating to pay for airfare, hotel, and personal items for children and parents released from detention

How Your Voices Are Making a Difference

  • Beto O’Rourke’s challenge to Ted Cruz garnered national attention (again)
  • A federal judge ruled that Donald cannot detain undocumented children longer than 20 days
  • Even Dubya is disgusted with this administration’s actions.

Read more >>

Events

  • Monday, Jul. 16, 6:30-9 PM, Wildflower Church (1314 E Oltorf St) – Undoing White Supremacy Austin holds a combined general body and campaign planning meeting focused on Austin Policy Department and Association accountability (Facebook event)
  • Tuesday, Jul. 17, 11 AM, Sen. Ted Cruz’s Austin Office (300 E 8th St) – #SaveSCOTUS Rally and Office Visit (Facebook event)
  • Sunday, Jul. 22, 5:30-7:30 PM, Journey of Faith United Methodist Church (7301 CR 110, Round Rock) – Shut Down Hutto effort holds biweekly campaign meeting (Facebook event)

Action Spotlight: London Hates Trump TooLondon Trump Blimp

Congress Critter of the Week

Rep. Lamar SmithRep. Lamar Smith continues to fail to meet even the lowest of standards this week. He spent some of his time last week making the despicable argument that the Bible doesn’t argue on behalf of immigrants, on the pages of Brietbart of all places. I won’t link to that website, but you can see the words Smith strung together here. Rather than address the fact that our government is tearing children from their parents and putting them in cages, he spends the entire article tilting at the strawman of “amnesty,” quibbling of the specific definition of words, and of course narrowly citing Romans 13: 1-7, the favorite passage of Nazi sympathizers, antebellum slave owners, proponents of apartheid, and British loyalists during the American Revolution. I’d say it was a new low, but I don’t want to bend down that far.

 

Your Moment of Zen

Last week we featured sled dogs—but IATX can’t choose a favorite animal. This week, enjoy a very talented feline musician:

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.