Divest from White Supremacy | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Tell Steve Adler, Spencer Cronk, and Austin City Council to Divest from White Supremacy

Last week, after hours of testimony decrying racist violence by the Austin Police Department—including the murder of unarmed Michael Ramos and the maiming of at least two protesters with “less lethal” rounds of ammunition—our City Council still voted to increase APD funding.

Voted FOR increased APD funding

  • Mayor Steve Adler
  • District 3 – Sabino “Pio” Renteria
  • District 5 – Ann Kitchen
  • District 7 – Leslie Pool
  • District 8 – Paige Ellis
  • District 9 – Kathy Tovo
  • District 10 – Alison Alter

Voted AGAINST increased APD funding:

  • District 1 – Natasha Harper-Madison
  • District 2 – Delia Garza
  • District 4 – Greg Casar
  • District 6 – Jimmy Flannigan

Find your City Council district by entering your address here or by looking at the map here.

Then:

Sign and send this petition to City Leadership from UWSA

Read Mayor Adler’s statement

One more way to tell the City to divest from APD

40% of our budget goes toward policing. The City has extended its 2021 budget survey, where Austin residents have a voice in how we allocate the city budget. Imagine a city in which that money was invested back into our community.

Take the survey before July 1:
CITY OF AUSTIN | FY 2021 City Budget Feedback


Congress Critter of the Week: Chip Roy, Fascist

who is chip roy?

“The opposite of ‘Black Lives Matter’ is not ‘All Lives Matter.’ The opposite of ‘Black Lives Matter’ is ‘Black Lives Don’t Matter.’” 

—As heard on the “Oh This World” podcast

Likewise, the opposite of antifascist is pro-fascist—or, just “fascist.” When TX21 Indivisible accurately called Chip Roy a fascist, his feelings got hurt. He screamed on Twitter about “ANTIFA” (caps his) and doubled down on his fascism:

“Fascism,” from Merriam-Webster

  • a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
  • a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

Words matter, and TX21 Indivisible chose the right word to describe Rep. Roy’s cheering for “forcible suppression of opposition” and his “tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.”

Chip Roy is a fascist.

Read: “Antifa” is an obvious excuse to teargas Trump’s enemies (Los Angeles Times)


Virtual Events

View all Texas Democractic Party virtual phone banks here

Monday, June 8

Help new Texans register to vote

Beto O’Rourke’s Powered by People organization is holding virtual phone banks to call new Texans to ensure they register to vote.

Register for the June 8 phone bank

Find another phone bank or host your own

Wednesday, June 10

A Reckoning: An Appeal to White America

6:30 p.m. on Zoom

This is not the time for outrage, anger and social media hysteria that is not followed by action. We want to continue to see our brothers and sisters of color join us in the work we do, but this plea is to White America that continues to perpetuate a system of fear, violence and disgust. Join us as we hear from the Austin Justice Coalition’s Executive Director Chas Moore deliver pointed words about how we must be forward

RSVP for A Reckoning: An Appeal to White America

Thursday, June 11

Q&A with Jared Yates Sexton

7 p.m. on Facebook Live. Indivisible Houston hosts author, political analyst, & host of The Muckrake podcast Jared Yates Sexton. Join to discuss an equitable recovery from Covid-19, the role of the press & restoring our democracy.

RSVP on Facebook

Saturday, June 13

Unlearning Circle: Liberal White Women & the Violence of White Supremacy

10 a.m. on Facebook Live, hosted by Undoing White Supremacy Austin (UWSA). UWSA’s Unlearning Circles provide an opportunity for primarily white identifying people to come and explore white supremacy culture and our role and responsibilities in undoing racism. UWSA’s June Unlearning Circle focuses on liberal white women’s role in perpetuating the violence of White Supremacy especially on Black bodies. White people have imagined danger into the bodies of Black people, when the inverse is actually true.

RSVP for the Unlearning Circle

Monday, June 15

Last day to register to vote in the July 14 runoff elections. (Early voting starts June 29.)


Local Protest & COVID-19 Resources

Austin Protests

GoFund me for Mike Ramos

The mother of Mike Ramos, who was shot to death by APD in April, is asking for donations. Read the letter sent to City Manager Spencer Cronk after Ramos’s killing.

GoFundMe for Saraneka “Nemo” Martin

Nemo was shot with projectiles by APD in her abdomen and in her back while pregnant

Levi Ayala Went to an Austin Protest to Watch History and Instead Became a Tragic Part of It (Texas Monthly)

GoFundMe for Brad Levi Ayala

APD shot Brad Levi Ayala in the head at an Austin protest on May 30,2020.

Opinion: His name is Justin Howell (The Batt)

GoFundMe for Justin Howell

Justin Howell was critically injured by Austin Police during protests Sunday, May 31st

GoFundMe for Anthony Evans

Supports medical costs for Anthony Evans was shot in the face with a “bean bag” bullet by APD while protesting

Austin Emergency Legal Fund

Support Black-owned businesses (List on KVUE website)

Austin City Council Contact Information

More Texas-wide protest resources, donations, & actions 

Regularly updated list of Austin resources (Indivisible Austin)

COVID-19

‘Like we don’t exist’: Black lawmakers say their pleas about COVID-19’s impact have been ignored

How to protect yourself while protesting during the coronavirus pandemic (CNET)

COVID-19 Information (City of Austin)

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information (Travis County)

City of Austin Utility Bill Relief


Your moment of Zen

 

#BlackLivesMatter | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Listen to Black Voices.

This past weekend, police violence roiled Austin and many other cities. The police slayings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Michael Ramos in Austin, and countless other unarmed Black people in the United States sparked unprecedented protest—mostly peaceful, sometimes not.

Austin Justice Coalition planned a march on the Capitol on Sunday—with speakers including Michael Ramos’s mother—which was canceled after the Austin Police Department fired rubber bullets and pepper spray at protestors on Saturday. Despite Sunday’s cancelation, hundreds still showed up to protest the treatment of Black bodies by police in the United States of America.

There is a lot of confusion about what, exactly, happened this weekend. But before anyone criticizes the tactics, consider that there has never been a “right way” to protest.

Going back further in history, Austin Justice Coalition executive director Chas Moore reminds us that our nation was founded on the “looting” of land from Native Americans and the “looting” of Black bodies from Africa.

Event canceled. More details coming soon!

Posted by Chas Moore on Sunday, May 31, 2020

This post from AJC ally “Grits for Breakfast” also sums up the moment:

“I’m told by state and local officials repeatedly that I’m asking for too much and must understand that change takes time. But I’ve been involved in efforts to effect change at the Austin Police Department for fully a quarter century and objectively, we’ve achieved very little. From my perspective, I’ve been incredibly patient. Almost certainly too patient. Yesterday, Austin officials got a taste of what it looks like when a community runs out of patience.”

What’s next? Read these “Steps You Can Take Today” by Austin Justice Coalition

Become a Texas poll worker

Last week the Texas Supreme Court ruled that fear of getting COVID-19 is not reason enough to justify voting by mail. (The ruling leaves it to the individual to determine other reasons for claiming disability and voting by mail—which is confusing as hell.)

One thing is clear: Texas will need more poll workers. And especially poll workers who are not in coronavirus high risk groups. Below are resources about becoming a poll worker to share with friends and family.

Travis County Temporary Election Positions

Williamson County Poll Worker Resources

Hays County: Become an Election Worker

Guadalupe County: If you are interested in becoming an election worker, please contact the Elections Office at 210-945-4199.


Virtual Events

Help new Texans register to vote

Beto O’Rourke’s Powered by People organization is holding virtual phone banks to call new Texans to ensure they register to vote.

Register for the June 1 phone bank 

Register for the June 8 phone bank

Find another phone bank or host your own

Tuesday, June 2

Austin Justice Coalition General Body Meeting

6:30 p.m. on Zoom.

RSVP on Zoom

View Facebook event

Sunday, June 7

Austin Justice Coalition Policy Team Meeting

3 p.m. on Zoom. Feel free to come and learn about local and statewide policy/ legislation and way you can get engaged with us or just as a concerned citizen.

Join Austin Justice Coalition’s Policy Team as we continue our efforts in making sure Texas is equipped with best practice policies in criminal justice and other areas of concern for our organization.

RSVP on Zoom

View Facebook event

Wednesday, June 10

A Reckoning: An Appeal to White America

6:30 p.m. on Zoom

This is not the time for outrage, anger and social media hysteria that is not followed by action. We want to continue to see our brothers and sisters of color join us in the work we do, but this plea is to White America that continues to perpetuate a system of fear, violence and disgust. Join us as we hear from the Austin Justice Coalition’s Executive Director Chas Moore deliver pointed words about how we must be forward

RSVP for A Reckoning: An Appeal to White America

Thursday, June 11

Monday, June 15

Last day to register to vote in the July 14 runoff elections. (Early voting starts June 29.)


Central Texas Coronavirus News & Resources

COVID-19 Racial Disparities Could Be Worsened By Location Of Test Sites : Shots – Health News (NPR)

Only 7 states limit vote-by-mail access based on age. Texas is one of them. (Progress Texas)

Some Texas hospitals continued to sue patients for unpaid medical bills during the coronavirus pandemic (Texas Tribune)


Your moment of Zen

 

Share your Texas healthcare story; Tell Spencer Cronk to Bring In Progressive Police Leadership | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Share your Texas healthcare story

Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation for children, adults, and women of childbearing age. Gov. Abbott’s failure to expand Medicaid in the midst of global pandemic exacerbates the deadly conditions that kill more Texans. The #SICKOFITTX coalition is collecting Texans’ healthcare stories to share with lawmakers.

Tell your healthcare story

RSVP for the Covid19 in Black and Latino Communities Virtual Town Hall

Call Cornyn and Cruz and demand they pass the HEROES Act

On Friday, May 15, House Democrats passed the fourth coronavirus package, the HEROES Act. The bill improves significantly on the CARES Act, especially on democracy and protections for immigrants, and provides additional financial relief and public health measures.

Connect to your senators via Indivisible’s calling tool

Tell John Cornyn to stop blaming China for Trump’s death toll

Donate to support UT’s undocumented students and their families

Donate to Support UT’s Undocumented Students and Their Families

Although many in our community received relief from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), racist and xenophobic political leaders’ changes won out: immigrants were cut from provisions for COVID-19 testing, care, and economic relief. But it’s even worse for our undocumented family, friends, and neighbors. Undocumented students at UT, trying to accomplish dream of a college education, were not only denied CARES Act relief funds but were also misinformed about eligibility for these funds. So what can you do about it?

Donate directly to undocumented students through the student organization University Leadership Initiative (ULI) (@ulitx in Venmo)


Action of the Week

Austin Justice Coalition’s Virtual Tribunal on APD Chief Brian Manley

Austin Justice Coalition livestream of APD Chief Brian Manley tribunal

Last week more than 30 groups and individuals—including Indivisible Austin—participated in a virtual “tribunal” in which each person spoke about their own struggle with the Austin Police Department and its leadership.

Austin Justice Coalition is a Racial Justice Group that educates and builds community power for people of color who live in Austin, Texas that need support, community, and liberation during a time of systemic injustice in America.

The deadly shooting last month of Mr. Mike Ramos by Austin police , following closely on the publication of reports affirming a culture of racism within the police department, patterns of racial profiling in policing, and a fear of retaliation against those who report it, require us to call for new leadership over public safety.

WATCH: Austin Justice Coalition – Chief Manley Virtual Tribunal (Facebook Live)

UPDATE: Manley exonerates Mike Ramos’ shooter in report to Ken Paxton filled with false statements (by Scott Henson, interim executive director at Just Liberty)

ACT: Tell the City Manager to Bring In Progressive Police Leadership (Just Liberty petition)


Endorsement

TX-21 Indivisible endorses Wendy Davis for Congress

TX-21 Indivisible is proud to announce that their members have voted unanimously to endorse Wendy Davis to represent Texas’s 21st District in the United States House of Representatives.

TX-21 Indivisible has always been about the power of people on the ground, in their communities. In that spirit we strongly encourage TX-21 residents to volunteer for and support Wendy Davis as we head toward the November election.

Read the full endorsement from TX-21 Indivisible


Virtual Events

Tuesday, May 26

Covid-19 Report on the Economy, with Reps. Celia Israel and Donna Howard

2 p.m. on Facebook Live. The representatives will be joined by Steven Pedigo, Director of the The LBJ School of Public Affairs Urban Lab.

Sign up and watch on Facebook Live

Wednesday, May 27

Indivisible “Safe Voting” Town Hall with Elizabeth Warren

4 p.m. Central. Indivisible and Elizabeth Warren team up for this virtual town hall on safe voting!

RSVP here

Texas Railroad Commissioner Candidate Forum

7 p.m. on Zoom. This year Texans will elect a new commissioner to the state agency that is responsible for regulating pollution from oil and gas development to uranium and coal mining. Join the conversation on how we can make this agency more accountable to the people of Texas – not just special interests.

RSVP on Zoom

View Facebook Event

Thursday, May 28

Covid19 in Black and Latino Communities Virtual Town Hall

6 p.m. on Facebook Live. As the opening of Texas is starting, the peak of the pandemic is too and with it, higher deaths in black and Latino communities. Join us for a conversation with medical professionals in Texas addressing the disparity of healthcare, effects on COVID-19, and what we must do to protect Black and Latino communities in Texas.

RSVP with Texas Organizing Project and #SICKOFITTX

View Facebook event

Friday, May 29

Vote by Mail Lawsuit update

11 a.m. on Zoom. Please join TX Civil Rights Project and the ACLU of Texas on Friday, May 29 at 11:00AM to get an update on the status of vote-by-mail in Texas, and how we can ensure that we have a safe in-person voting option. This event will also be an opportunity to directly ask the legal team any questions that you or your community have around vote-by-mail or in-person voting during the pandemic.

RSVP on Zoom


COVID-19 News & Resources

Sarah Eckhardt criticizes Greg Abbott’s reopening, coronavirus actions (Texas Tribune)

Lawmakers question $295M emergency deal to expand Texas contact tracing network (Houston Chronicle)

Many in Texas lose health insurance during coronavirus (Texas Tribune)

Opinion | Texas’s Republican leaders are fighting to keep voting unsafe (Washington Post)

You Don’t Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing. Here’s How It Works. (ProPublica)

Do I Know Enough to Get a Job as a Contact Tracer? (ProPublica)

Study estimates 24 states still have uncontrolled coronavirus spread (Washington Post)

How the coronavirus spreads in those everyday places we visit (Salt Lake Tribune)

How We Reopen Safely  (Andy Slavitt / covidexitstrategy.org)


Your moment of Zen

 

Tell John Cornyn that shifting blame to China will kill more Texans | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

A special message for John Cornyn: China didn’t make the US the epicenter of the coronavirus. Trump did.

Sen. John Cornyn is taking it upon himself to single-handedly shift blame for the US death toll from COVID-19 away from Donald Trump and onto…China. Cornyn’s shameless sycophancy will get people killed. It will also likely raise millions of dollars for John Cornyn.

Cornyn blame-shifting fundraising letter

Regardless of the source of the virus, or whatever missteps China made in slowing its spread, Cornyn’s “blame China” reelection strategy makes absolutely no sense, except as propaganda. Every other country, with access to the same set of facts about the virus, has handled it better than the US has. With 88,000 deaths in the US—and counting—compared to 4,000 in much-larger China, there is no way to spin such a catastrophic failure of government.

Taking China out of the equation—they may very well have underreported their statistics—the US has 272 deaths per million. Germany? 96. South Korea? Five.

These numbers are shameful and they are not getting better. The reason they are not getting better has nothing to do with China, and everything to do with the uncaring, incompetent response of Donald J. Trump and his coterie of enablers like John Cornyn. In his desperation to retain power, Cornyn is trying to agitate a diminishing base of low-information voters. Let’s push back on this cynical strategy. Let Cornyn know he has blood on his hands. And just as important, let’s vote him the hell out of office.

Write or call Cornyn now

Important Election Dates:

June 29 to July 10: Early voting in primary runoff election. MJ Hegar and Royce West are vying for the nomination to defeat John Cornyn.

July 14: Primary Runoff Election Day

October 19 to October 30: Early voting in General Election.

November 3: Election Day

Action of the Week: Body Bags at the Governor’s Mansion

Indivisible Austin was proud to coordinate with two other states to pull off this socially distanced action at the Governor’s Mansion—drawing attention to the inadequate response by Gov. Greg Abbott to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tell Greg Abbott that mass casualties is not a plan


Virtual Events

Wednesday, May 20

Public Tribunal for why changes are needed in Austin Police Department leadership

6 p.m. on Zoom. In the wake of the shooting death of Mike Ramos, Austin Justice Coalition hosts an online public event to allow folks from across the community to lay out the reasons for calling for firing police leadership.

Sign the Petition

RSVP with Austin Justice Coalition on Zoom

Saturday, May 23

Webinar: The renters’ guide to eviction defense

2 p.m. In many parts of Texas, evictions may resume starting May 18. Learn the basics of eviction law and how to protect yourself. (Please note, the City of Austin, Travis County have postponed evictions for nonpayment of rent until July 25, and some other local jurisdictions have as well)

RSVP on Zoom

Swing Left’s National Virtual Letter Writing Party – the Texas Edition!

2 p.m. Now’s the time to work on the 2020 elections! Even though lots of us are isolated right now to protect our communities, we can still get together virtually to make an impact. Join Swing Left staff and volunteers from around the country for a virtual letter writing party supporting races up and down the ballot in Texas.

RSVP on Mobilize

Tuesday, May 26

Doctors in Politics Candidate Forum with Dr. Christine Eady Mann

8 p.m. Visit doctorsinpolitics.org to join.

Dr. Christine Eady Mann

Upcoming: Tuesday June 2

Texas Senate Runoff Debate with MJ Hegar and Royce West

Livestreamed on KXAN and other stations. Details to come.


COVID-19 News & Resources

New Risk-Based Guidelines to Help the Community Stay Safe During COVID-19 Pandemic (City of Austin)

Is Texas Inflating Its COVID-19 Testing Numbers by Including Antibody Tests? (Texas Observer)

Texas officials to voters: Risk your health to vote or risk criminal prosecution (Texas Civil Rights Project)

City of Austin Utility Bill Relief application (City of Austin)

I Enrolled in a Coronavirus Contact Tracing Academy (Wired)

View more Coronavirus actions & resources for Central Texas (Indivisible Austin)

Editorial: Paxton’s actions hinder efforts to keep us safe (Statesman)


Your Moment of Zen

 

Fight COVID-19 disinformation; Tell Cornyn, Cruz & Abbott they can’t cowboy their way through this | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Three things Texans can do to fight COVID-19 disinformation and political hackery

Abbott and Trump at White House

America’s massively disproportionate COVID-19 body count was completely preventable. But prevention would have required leadership. We don’t have leaders anymore. We have lapdogs and pundits. They all need to be replaced in November, but in the meantime we have to slow the bleeding. We can do this in three ways:

  1. Pressure Gov. Abbott to ignore Trump and follow the science on COVID-19
  2. Pressure Cruz and Cornyn to pass meaningful COVID-19 legislation
  3. Fight disinformation by sharing the facts on COVID-19 with friends and family (more in the link below)

Continue reading “Three things Texans can do to fight COVID-19 disinformation and political hackery”

View all of our COVID-19 actions and resources


Virtual Events

Monday, May 11

Instagram Live: How to Access Reproductive Healthcare Amid COVID-19

5:30 p.m. on Instagram Live, hosted by Voto Latino and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Watch on IG Live

Tuesday, May 12

Indivisible Virtual Town Hall with Co-Executive Director Leah Greenberg

Indivisible Virtual Town Hall

6 p.m. Central Time. Please RSVP for log-in details. Leah Greenberg will be moderating a joint discussion with congressional candidates Arati Kreibich (NJ-05) and Melanie D’Arrigo (NY-03).

RSVP to attend this virtual Town Hall

Wednesday, May 13

We Demand More – Protect Our Elections Phonebank

12 p.m., hosted by Supermajority. Each Wednesday in May we will be calling voters to encourage them to contact elected leaders and demand that they stand up for women during this unprecedented crisis. Our first campaign will be focused on expanding access to fair and safe elections as we approach rescheduled primary elections and the general election in 2020.

RSVP for this virtual phone bank

Upcoming: Saturday, May 23

Swing Left’s National Virtual Letter Writing Party – the Texas Edition!

Swing Left Texas Letter Writing

Ongoing

National Virtual Letter Writing Parties from Swing Left

Join Swing Left staff and volunteers from around the country for a virtual letter writing party, where we’ll be writing letters to potential voters asking them to vote in critical elections.

RSVP to write letters with Swing Left


Recommended Podcast: Oh This World

Oh This World Logo

We’ve been enjoying “Oh This World,” a locally produced podcast for people, like you, who are inclined to take action. From the co-hosts:

“Our mission is to help Texans and people across the country hold our leaders accountable, and build an America that leaves no one behind. Join hosts Antoinette Perez and Lucas Schaefer as they explore the best actions to take as responsible citizens in this supremely uncertain new world (dis)order.”

Subscribe to Oh This World


Your Moment of Zen

Virtual #SickOfItTX Rally to Expand Medicaid | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Join the Medicaid for Texas Virtual Rally

Join the #SICKOFITTX coalition for a virtual rally May 5 at 6 p.m. on Facebook Live as we raise our voices collectively to Gov. Abbott and tell him to expand Medicaid now! Speakers will include lawmakers, advocates, and Texans who, like millions of others in our state, deserve health coverage NOW.

RSVP at #SICKOFITTX

Facebook Live link

Call your City Council member about APD’s deadly shooting of Mike Ramos—and demand reform of the Police Academy

On April 24, Austin police shot Mike Ramos as he was standing by his car with his hands up, then killed him as he tried to drive away. This follows closely on the publication of reports affirming a culture of racism within the police department, patterns of racial profiling in policing, and a fear of retaliation against those who report it.

Read the letter sent to the City by Austin Justice Coalition, Indivisible Austin and other grassroots groups

Please consider contributing to this GoFundMe for Mike Ramos’s funeral expenses and to this MealTrain to help his mother with food.


Virtual Events

Tuesday, May 5

Medicaid for Texas Virtual Rally

6 p.m. Join the #SICKOFITTX coalition for a virtual rally May 5 at 6 p.m. on Facebook Live as we raise our voices collectively to Gov. Abbott and tell him to expand Medicaid now! Speakers will include lawmakers, advocates, and Texans who, like millions of others in our state, deserve health coverage NOW.

RSVP at #SICKOFITTX

Facebook Live link

Saturday, May 23

Swing Left’s National Virtual Letter Writing Party – the Texas Edition!

Ongoing

National Virtual Letter Writing Parties from Swing Left

Join Swing Left staff and volunteers from around the country for a virtual letter writing party, where we’ll be writing letters to potential voters asking them to vote in critical elections.

RSVP to write letters with Swing Left

Coronavirus News & Resources

Latest News

Austin police arrest 22 people in apparent rent strike protest (Statesman)

Restaurants open, and Chip Roy takes his family for Tex-Mex (Statesman)

Coronavirus Contact Tracing Efforts Underway At Google And Apple (Buzzfeed News)

Resources

Demand that Greg Abbott expand testing in Texas

COVID-19 Testing Information (City of Austin)

TX10 Resource Guide (Mike Siegel campaign)

TX17 Resource Guide (Rick Kennedy campaign)

TX21 Resource Guide (Wendy Davis campaign)

TX25 Resource Guide (Julie Oliver campaign)

TX31 Resource Guide (Christine Mann campaign)

TX35 Resource Guide (office of Rep. Lloyd Doggett)


Your Moment of Zen

Four words for Greg Abbott | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Ask Gov. Abbott “Where are the tests?”

Gov. Greg Abbott is rolling out plans to reopen Texas businesses. He needs to hear from us that, without adequate testing and other measures, this will be a death sentence for many Texans.

ProPublica interviewed experts and frontline officials from Italy, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea and identified the commonalities needed to contain the virus, including:

  1. Testing on a scale far greater than what we have today.
  2. Contact tracing—other countries are deploying thousands of people to do this.
  3. Humane ways to isolate people suspected of having the virus.

Additionally—and specifically to Texas—Governor Abbott needs to EXPAND MEDICAID to provide health care to millions of currently uninsured Texans.

Write a letter to Gov. Abbott

Demand that federal COVID-19 relief helps people, not corporations

Here’s what a moral and ethical government would do right now:

  • Keep people on payrolls: Stop mass layoffs, and preserve employment relationships for all businesses, including small businesses. Ensure federal dollars go to workers and small businesses, not enriching CEOs and Wall Street.
  • Provide financial relief: Expand aid for the most vulnerable in the COVID-19 epidemic, including direct cash assistance, increased food aid, debt relief, and eviction protections.
  • Protect public health: Guarantee full health coverage for all COVID-19 care and protections for all frontline workers.
  • Defend elections: Enact a vote-by-mail requirement for 2020 federal elections while maintaining access to in-person voting for those who do not have access to mail voting.

Call your representative

Write your representative

Keep supporting the USPS: Buy stamps and demand full funding

Not coincidentally, as vote-by-mail gains traction, Trump and the GOP are trying to gut the U.S. Postal Service. In addition to being a public utility, encoded in the Constitution, the USPS provide jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans, including a disproportionate number of veterans and minority groups.

Buy stamps

Write your reps


Virtual Events

Monday, April 27

Virtual Roundtable with Julie Oliver—Mental Health

6 p.m. Join Julie, along with Melanie Dyer, Cassandra Hulsey and Tarik Daniels, for a virtual roundtable on mental health and remaining socially, but not emotionally, distant during this time. They will be discussing how we can approach mental health, and talk through ways we can support one another and stay healthy while weathering this uniquely challenging time.

Please RSVP to this event

Last day of the #TXLEGE “Week of Giving” to local food banks

The Texas House Women’s Caucus and the Mexican American Legislative Caucus held a “Week of Giving” to local food banks. Rep. Vicki Goodwin: “Nearly 1 in 7 Texans are food insecure, and we know that has likely risen with COVID-19. Please consider donating or volunteering this week and help spread the word by using #iGaveTX.”

Give to or volunteer for Central Texas Food Bank (and continue giving after today!)

Tuesday, April 28

Special City Council Meeting on COVID-19

Beginning at 9 a.m. City Council will meet to discuss matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic and response efforts, including the public orders that are in place.

Watch live

Physician Town Hall with Dr. Sang and Dr. Johannsen (hosted by State Rep. Erin Zwiener

State Rep. Erin Zwiener will be joined by Dr. Lee Cal Johannsen, MD (Chief Medical Officer at Christus Santa Rosa – San Marcos), and Dr. John E. Lee Sang, MD (Pathologist, Tri County Medical Society) for a discussion on COVID-19.

Watch on Facebook Live

Ongoing

National Virtual Letter Writing Parties from Swing Left

Join Swing Left staff and volunteers from around the country for a virtual letter writing party, where we’ll be writing letters to potential voters asking them to vote in critical elections.

RSVP to write letters with Swing Left

Congress Critters of the Week: Reps. Michael McCaul & Chip Roy

Reps. Michael McCaul and Chip Roy were two of three Texas GOP reps who refused to wear protective face coverings on the House floor last week. (The third was Louie Gohmert, if that’s any indication of the company these critters keep.)

This might seem like Texans trying to look tough “cowboy” their way through a crisis, but let’s remember that the point of the masks is not to protect yourself but to protect others. Mike and Chip could very well be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 and just willingly put their colleagues at risk of contracting the deadly disease.

Are these guys your reps? Give ‘em a call. McCaul: (512) 473-2357. Roy: (512) 253-4420.

Find your rep here

Read more in the Dallas Morning News


Activist Spotlight: “Oh This World” podcast

Austin activists Lucas Schaefer and Antoinette Perez—both very active in TX21 and TXLEGE Indivisible groups—have a new podcast called “Oh This World.” And it’s delightful. Tune in each weekday for their warm and whipsmart banter, and for recommendations on “the best actions to take as responsible citizens in this supremely uncertain new world (dis)order.”

OhThisWorld (@OhThisWorldPod) on Twitter

Oh This World (BuzzSprout)

Listen on Spotify

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts


Coronavirus News & Resources

COVID-19 Testing Information (City of Austin)

TX10 Resource Guide (Mike Siegel campaign)

TX17 Resource Guide (Rick Kennedy campaign)

TX21 Resource Guide (Wendy Davis campaign)

TX25 Resource Guide (Julie Oliver campaign)

TX31 Resource Guide (Christine Mann campaign)

TX35 Resource Guide (office of Rep. Lloyd Doggett)

Texas, Fort Worth need more coronavirus testing to reopen (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

I just lost my job. How do I get health insurance? (CPPP)

How New Mexico Jump Started Aggressive COVID-19 Testing (TPM)

COVID Near You

In times of crisis, progressives show how leadership is done (Progress Texas)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces team to restart the economy, loosens some restrictions (Texas Tribune)

Editorial: Grocery store workers also on front lines (San Antonio Express News)

COVID-19: How You Can Help (RAICES)

National Endorsement

Indivisible TX 25 East and Wimberley Indivisible nominated Julie Oliver for a national endorsement. If you would like to join their groups or get involved, you can find them on their Facebook pages: Wimberley Indivisible and Indivisible TX25 East Austin.

From the national Indivisible Project:

Julie Oliver was another Texas candidate whom we endorsed in 2018 and also came closer than ever to flipping a red district. We are endorsing Julie to represent Texas’ 25th district once again because she has shown she is still committed to the issues that matter and is again running a people-powered campaign. Julie was spurred to run after seeing Republicans attack the healthcare of the sick, the elderly, and people with disabilities. She wants to go to Congress to stand up for these people instead of taking away the services their lives depend on. Indivisible is proud to endorse Julie and is committed to fighting alongside her, in the campaign trail and in Congress. 

Congratulations, Julie!


Your Moment of Zen

 

Tell Gov. Abbott: Expand Medicaid to save our lives and protect our hospitals | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Call Gov. Abbott TODAY and urge him to expand Medicaid to save our lives and protect our hospitals

Please call him using this patch-through number: 1-877-880-6704 with the following message:

Please expand Medicaid for the Texans who are uninsured and need healthcare, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. When any one of us can’t get the care we need, all of us are at risk for infection, complications, and even death. Our health depends on the health of the person next to us, and the person next to them. Please expand Medicaid.

Learn more at #SICKOFITTX

DOUBLE WIN: Support the USPS and the Indivisible Rosedale Huddle

Action from Indivisible Rosedale Huddle

The United States Postal Service is in trouble and buying stamps is a way to help them. Coincidentally, Indivisible Rosedale Huddle needs stamps for our TX10 GOTV postcard writing project. Buying postcard stamps and donating them to the project could help both at the same time.

Your options:

  1. Buy postcard stamps and have them mailed directly to us:

Rosedale Huddle
4613 Shoalwood Ave
Austin, TX 78756

(This will be recorded as a donation to the Rosedale Huddle PAC)

  1. Donate money to the Rosedale Huddle directly, and we will use your donation to buy postcard stamps from USPS. All donations made between now and July 1st will be used for stamp purchases.
  2. Buy postcard stamps and mail stamps and receipt to the address above. And we still need postcards written! We are still about 3,000 postcards short of our goal so KEEP WRITING!

Write a Letter to the Editor Demanding Congress Pass a People’s Bailout

Submit a letter to the editor now to explain to your neighbors and Congress the importance of a People’s Bailout and urge your neighbors to get involved in this fight.

Get started with help from the Indivisible Project


ICYMI: Last Week’s Actions

Write a letter to Greg Abbott demanding vote-by-mail in Texas

  • Update: District Court Judge Tim Sulak signed an order saying all Texans can now request a mail ballot citing fear of coronavirus as a “disability” preventing in-person voting. This is the current law of the land but will surely be challenged. (It doesn’t hurt to keep sending letters, since Abbott/Paxton will continue to fight to disenfranchise you.)
  • Download and print a vote-by-mail application or request one here.

Write to your reps to save the USPS <—This is still important!


Virtual Events

Tuesday, April 21

Young Texans Town Hall w/ Rep. Doggett

MOVE Texas Facebook Live event with Rep. Lloyd Doggett

5 p.m. on Facebook Live. MOVE Texas hosts a virtual town hall with Congressman Lloyd Doggett. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many young Texans have questions about how the Federal Government is responding. As part of our Social Justice for Social Distancing series, Congressman Lloyd Doggett will join MOVE Texas for a Facebook Live town hall on how the CARES Act and other pieces of legislation are going to impact our community.

Facebook Live Event

Virtual Roundtable with Julie Oliver — Immigration

Immigration roundtable with Julie Oliver

6 p.m. – RSVP for details. Join Julie, along with Pooja Sethi, Adriana Quiroga and Juan Benitez, for a virtual roundtable to come together as a community and to discuss available COVID-19 resources in #TX25. The focus will be on resources to support immigration in Texas and how best we can weather the crisis while supporting and showing solidarity for one another.

Please RSVP to this event

Saturday, April 25

Indivisible Community Call

7 p.m. on Zoom. This virtual get-together is a chance to connect with Indivisibles from across the country for some fun!

Come enjoy music, laughter and connection with Indivisibles from across our network for a little reprieve from the challenging times we’re in.

Please RSVP for this webinar from the national Indivisible Project


Coronavirus News & Resources

TX10 Resource Guide (Mike Siegel campaign)

TX17 Resource Guide (Rick Kennedy campaign)

TX21 Resource Guide (Wendy Davis campaign)

TX25 Resource Guide (Julie Oliver campaign)

TX31 Resource Guide (Christine Mann campaign)

TX35 Resource Guide (office of Rep. Lloyd Doggett)

Texas Had a State Office That Could Have Investigated Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Cases. Lawmakers Defunded it Three Years Ago. (Texas Observer)

Coronavirus in Texas: How many cases, deaths and tests (Texas Tribune)


Your Moment of Zen

Save the U.S. Postal Service | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Tell Gov. Abbott: We Demand Safe Voting

The coronavirus pandemic is a public health emergency and economic crisis for Texans—and it’s also a serious threat to the state’s upcoming elections.

Write a letter to Greg Abbott demanding vote-by-mail in Texas

Tell your reps: Save the U.S. Postal Service

Not coincidentally, as vote-by-mail gains traction, Trump and the GOP are trying to gut the U.S. Postal Service. In addition to being a public utility, encoded in the Constitution, the USPS provide jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans, including many veterans and minorities.

Call Senators Cornyn and Cruz, as well has your House representative and tell them this:

Script by Celeste Pewter

You: Hi, my name is [name], I’m calling from [zip code].

You: I’m calling because I am asking [elected] to take urgent action around USPS Postmaster General’s request for financial relief for $75 billion in the next phase of the stimulus package.

You: I think the breakdown of:

  1. $25 billion in direct funding
  2. $25 billion in “unrestricted borrowing authority from Treasury”
  3. $25 billion in grants

Needs to be considered, particularly as the USPS continues to serve the public in critical ways throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including the delivery of urgent medical supplies and medication. They are helping frontline medical personnel with their needs and allowing the customers they serve to stay at home.

You: We need to consider their long-term future, particularly as the USPS will undoubtedly play a critical role in helping deliver a future COVID-19 vaccine to rural regions, and ensuring all individuals can take part in the democratic process of voting in upcoming primaries and this November.

You: I also want [elected] to consider the request from the last round of stimulus negotiations to eliminate the USPS’s debt around pre-funding. The USPS is an invaluable system that we cannot take for granted, and we have to take their requests for support urgently.

You: [Optional comments]

You can also write to your reps to save the USPS here

Tell Your Rep to Prioritize a Coronavirus People’s Bailout

We need to continue demanding that any coronavirus response legislation puts people’s needs ahead of corporate profits — in other words, we need a People’s Bailout.

Write your representative to demand a People’s Bailout

More info at peopleoverprofits.indivisible.org


Congress Critter of the Week: John Cornyn

John Cornyn is at his most dangerous when he’s at his most stubborn. By aligning himself with the “get back to work, consequences be damned” faction of the Republican Party, he is putting Texans’ lives at risk.

Progress Texas has this damning video of Cornyn’s Covid-19 denialism. Lately he’s been downplaying the U.S. death rate, to which TX31 candidate Dr. Christine Eady Mann has this brilliant rebuttal:


Candidate Responses

Mike Siegel (TX10)

siegelfortexas.org

Rick Kennedy (TX17)

rickkennedyforcongress.com

Wendy Davis (TX21)

wendydavisforcongress.com

Julie Oliver (TX25)

julieoliver.org

Dr. Christine Eady Mann (TX31)

christine4congress.com

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX35)

doggett.house.gov

MJ Hegar (US Senate)

mjfortexas.com

Royce West (US Senate)

roycewest.com


Call for Volunteers

During the Covid-19 pandemic we’re holding weekly video calls. Now is a great time to connect with others and prepare for November.

Sign up to be an Indivisible Austin volunteer


Your moment of Zen

Coronavirus actions to do from home: Save local businesses, send letters to voters | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Help Save a Local Business

Buy a gift card now, use it later, and help save a local business (or two).

Buy gift cards at Austin businesses (USA Today)

Send meals from local restaurants to Austin health care workers (Frontline Foods)

Send letters to voters

Vote Forward Logo

Indivisible has launched a partnership with VoteFWD. It’s a nationwide letter-writing campaign to reach voters in key states before the 2020 election to maximize impact and increase turnout.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up to write letters by clicking here.
  2. Then, VoteFWD provides you with names, addresses, and a template to write letters to voters in important states.
  3. Save your letters and send them right before the election so that voters receive them at the perfect, most-strategic moment.

Start writing your letters to voters


Coronavirus Resources

Actions

  1. Call your senator and tell them to prioritize a Coronavirus People’s Bailout. We need a package that prioritizes protecting our democratic systems, providing accessible health care for all, and direct economic support to everyone. Call your senators now to demand they support the People’s Bailout.
  2. Call your representative and tell them the same. Millions of people could be left behind while corporations rake in trillions of tax-payer dollars. The House needs to make this right. Call your representatives now and demand that they support the above provisions be included in the next coronavirus package.
  3. Email your representative and two senators and demand they prioritize a People’s Bailout. Use our tool to send a letter to your three members of Congress, which outlines what a People’s Bailout would include.
  4. Record a video demanding your members of Congress prioritize a People’s Bailout and tell us how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted your life. We’ll uplift you and show reporters and members of Congress that even though we’re not rallying in the streets, Indivisibles are still working hard to hold their members of Congress accountable and build a sense of shared community. Use this opportunity to use your voice to control the narrative.

News & Opinion

Estimated Costs of Covid-19 Election Resiliency Measures (Brennan Center)

Doggett: What we now endure was largely preventable (Statesman)

My job was to cover the coronavirus pandemic, until I became part of it (Statesman)

Candidate Response

 


Action of the week


Call for Volunteers

During the Covid-19 pandemic we’re holding weekly video calls. Now is a great time to connect with others and prepare for November.

Sign up to be an Indivisible Austin volunteer


Your moment of Zen