Write Your Reps! Tell Greg Abbott: Call a special session to #DoSomething about gun violence in Texas

The day before a gunman—specifically targeting Mexican immigrants—killed 22 people in an El Paso Walmart, Gov. Greg Abbott sent a fundraising letter that warned:

“Unless you and I want liberals to succeed in their plan to transform Texas—and our entire country—through illegal immigration.”

Since then, Gov. Abbott has acknowledged that “mistakes were made,” a dodge so pervasive in politics that it has its own Wikipedia page. Abbott went on to assemble a “domestic terrorism task force” whose membership insures that absolutely nothing will be done to prevent gun violence or to dampen the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has become the hallmark of the Texas GOP.

It’s time we let Gov. Abbott know that half-measures and passive, non-apology apologies aren’t going to cut it this time.

Write Your Reps! Dear John Cornyn: Your failure to act on the climate crisis is a dereliction of duty

“One theory of government is that it only reacts to a crisis; trouble comes when we cannot even agree on what a crisis is.”

—Molly Ivins, on the danger of climate change denialism, in 1995.

It’s taken a generation for leaders in Congress to begin taking seriously the threat of climate catastrophe, and now it may be too late. It will certainly be too late if the most powerful people in the world—including members of the United States Senate—continue to ignore facts.

Sen. John Cornyn is the embodiment of climate change denialism and dereliction of duty. His flippant attitude toward the crisis is completely unacceptable.

 

Our job in 2020 is to vote out John Cornyn and other climate deniers who put fossil fuel profits above the lives of their children and grandchildren. But until then, we must tell lawmakers that the climate crisis is real, it’s happening now, and that anything short of an “all hands on deck” response to the catastrophe is incredibly dangerous.

Write your reps! Demand an impeachment inquiry now.

Trump’s election in 2016 was the Molotov cocktail that ignited the Indivisible movement, including Indivisible Austin. Broadly speaking, our primary means of resisting Trump is congressional advocacy. For a lot of us, this strategy provides a coping mechanism: We can actually do something—that is proven to work. We call our representatives! We track bills! We win elections! No doubt this is important work and we will keep doing it. 

We’ve had notable victories—especially the 2018 midterm elections—but let’s reflect on the man who sparked the movement: President Donald J. Trump. During his time in the White House he’s become more emboldened, more overt in his hostility toward anyone outside his white, male Fox New base. He’s separating children from their mothers and locking them in camps. He sold out our nation to Russia, and obstructed Robert Mueller’s investigation into that fact. There are multiple, credible allegations of sexual assault against him. He continues to try to deprive millions of Americans of quality healthcare—a basic human right. Need we go on?

Congress can do more than pass bills. Congress can—and should—initiate impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

Write Your Reps! No additional funding for immigration enforcement

The week of June 24, House Democrats will vote on a bill to provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with additional funding. The Senate will also be voting on its own bill, which will contain nearly $5 billion for DHS.

This is money that Trump can use to expand his detention and deportation machine. This is in the same week that Trump has threatened to launch nationwide arrests of immigrants. We’ve seen that Trump will use every dollar he is given to terrorize communities and lock up families.

Tell your Members of Congress (MoC) in the House and Senate and demand that they not give Trump any additional money for enforcement.

Write your reps! Support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R.8)

Congress is voting the week of February 25, 2019 on H.R.8, which would close the loophole in the current law to require background checks for firearm purchases online and at gun shows. It’s a small, but important step toward ending the epidemic of gun violence. Rep. Lloyd Doggett is a cosponsor (thanks, Lloyd!) and the bill has five Republican cosponsors as well (none, sadly, from Texas).

Write Your Reps! Say NO to David Whitley for Secretary of State

Say NO to David Whitley, say NO to voter suppression

Take action today and tell your State Senator that voter suppression has no place in Texas, and that they must vote NO on the confirmation of Secretary of State David Whitley.

In January the Texas Secretary of State — who is a nominee and NOT confirmed yet — issued an advisory that drove Ken Paxton, Greg Abbott and even Donald Trump into a froth of voter-fraud-conspiracy theorizing.

To recap: Texas officials flagged 95,000 voters for citizenship reviews. Now their entire case is falling apart. The vast majority of people on the list likely registered to vote after becoming naturalized citizens. But unless the SOS rescinds the advisory, every county in Texas is expected to commit resources to checking the citizenship status of people on the list. Some counties have already sent out letters, while others continue to check the rolls and clean up the mess the Secretary of State made.

In 2018 Texans voted in record numbers for a midterm election, and much of the growth in turnout came from Latino voters. The timing of this attempted voter purge is suspicious, and despite the massive data failures lawmakers are using the purge as the basis for enacting more vote-suppressing legislation this session.

In just his first few months in office, David Whitley has proven his incompetence and that he’s inadequate to the task of managing elections and voter rolls. He has lost the public’s trust and shown a chilling lack of respect for our citizens’ right to vote. We believe a Secretary of State should protect, defend and expand our access to the ballot, not create a climate of fear to suppress the vote.

As of now, three lawsuits regarding the attempted voter purge are pending against Whitley. As of Thursday, February 14, the Senate Nominations committee had yet to vote on his nomination, despite having held two hearings.

We join with our allies who have filed these lawsuits, and the many others who believe David Whitley must not be our Secretary of State.

More background:
Commentary: The GOP doesn’t really care about democracy — only power (by Jolt Texas’s Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez)

TCRP Responds to Secretary of State David Whitley’s Confirmation Hearing (Texas Civil Rights Project)

Where the hunt for voter fraud is worse than the crime itself (Washington Post)

In addition to calling, emails are an effective way to reach your elected representatives. If your reps don’t appear in these campaigns, you can usually find a contact form on their website. Another alternative is ResistBot, which allows you to contact your reps via text message, Twitter, or Facebook—it’s fun!