Archived Actions for the Week

Find your rep with this tool:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

The Legislature is in session, so bookmark this page and check back often, as new info might get to us and as we try to stay on top of the lege as items are moving through the legislative process at the Capitol.

Do-or-die time. The 85th Legislative session is in its last two weeks. Constituent pressure works. Let’s use it. It’s time to leave it all out on the field.

You’re going to be calling, tweeting, Facebook-ing at your Texas House Rep and Senator every day. We’ve set up a tool with all 150 House Reps Twitter, Facebook, and phone numbers here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1C9e5BGZezb-TPSB3Y_B0zjbze0CDhvXuK7AzVxh-iVM/edit?usp=sharing

You’re going to get everyone you know in any Texas district to do the same.

Here’s a list of all the Committee Hearings in the House this week:

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Committees/MeetingsUpcoming.aspx?Chamber=H

And here is a list of all the Senate Committee Hearings this week:

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Committees/MeetingsUpcoming.aspx?Chamber=S

Call Republican Senators to stop harmful legislation during the special session
Things are moving fast. The Texas Senate passed several bills out of committee over the weekend and plan to bring several of them to a vote on the Senate floor tomorrowMonday 7/24. It’s time to flood the Senator’s phone lines! Since the Senate typically votes on party lines, many of the bad bills are likely to pass, but we can help slow them down, and help our Democratic Senators as they work on amendments to weaken, neutralize, or improve Senate bills. So the strategy is different than usual: call Republican Senators, if they’re your Senator or not, and do not call Democrat Senators who’ll need their staff working nonstop on amendments.

Bills up for a vote Monday: Vouchers (SB 2), School Finance Reform (SB 16), Defunding Planned Parenthood (SB 4), Increasing Abortion complication reporting requirements (SB 10), Partial Birth Abortion Bill (SB 73), Extending Maternal Mortality Task Force (SB 17), Patient Protections Relating to Do Not Resuscitate (SB 11)

Descriptions and Scripts: 2017 Special Session Agenda Items: Descriptions and Scripts

Targeted calls: 

Senator Don Huffines

Capitol: (512) 463-0116
District: (214) 239-6131

Senator Joan Huffman
Capitol: (512) 463-0117
District: (281) 980-3500

Senator Donna Campbell
Capitol: (512) 463-0125
District: (210) 979-0013

Senator Konni Burton
Capitol: (512) 463-0110
District: (817) 882-8157

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Capitol: (512) 463-0001
Capitol: (512) 463-5342

2. Keep calling your State Representative on bills you’re for or against for the special session

Texas women, school children, teachers, and even our very cities including police, firefighters, and municipal workers are at risk for losing so much this special session. Make sure you’ve let your Representative know that you support Texas women, you support Texas children, and you support local control over state-overreach.

2017 Special Session Agenda Items: Descriptions and Scripts

3. Share your activism story

You’re working hard to keep our government accountable and working for a better life for Texans. Share your story and inspire others to join in!

4. Volunteer to help out with Indivisible TX Lege

In the coming weeks, and importantly to prep for the 2018 elections, Indivisible TX Lege needs your help! Let them know how you can help create a Texas that better reflects the rich diversity and empathy of its residents.

Indivisible TX Lege – I want to help!

Week of July 17, 2017

1. Get to know us better!

Texas’ 85th Legislative Session brought some truly awful legislation with it. From state-sponsored racism (SB4), to state-sponspored discrimination (HB3859), to even MORE legislation that puts women’s health at risk (SB8), the Texas legislature did a lot to hurt the lives of Texans. Indivisible TX Lege is taking the principles of the Indivisible Guide and applying them at the state level. Dan Patrick, Greg Abbott, and many of our State Senators and Representatives are not serving the will of the people, and we will hold them accountable!

2. Join a huddle group to focus on one of five issues for the TXlege Special Session

The Special Session that Greg Abbott’s called is scheduled to start July 18, and there is a lot of awful legislation on the docket. From transgender rights to women’s access to reproductive health care, to school vouchers, to property taxes, there aren’t many topics that go untouched.

Indivisible TX Lege has created 5 issue huddles to coordinate actions and strategies to combat harmful, hurtful legislation. Here are the 5 groups. Join the one (or multiple!) that is a priority for you.

3. Keep learning about bills that are on the Special Session Agenda

In the special session, bills start from the very beginning of the legislative process. So although no bills have been filled yet, (and can’t be until Abbott officially files his special session proclamation) we have a pretty good idea of what each is about. For example, “Privacy” is the bathroom bill that requires people to use restrooms that match their birth certificate gender (fka SB6), and “pro-life insurance reform” is the bill that requires women to pay extra for a health insurance plan that covers abortion and allows employers to deny abortion coverage (fka SB20). To fight this legislation, we all have to understand to what each bill is actually about, instead of listening to the spin (and outright lies) that Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott want us to believe.

Summary of bills: Texas Tribune: Gov Abbott Calls Special Session on Bathrooms, Abortion, School Finance
For more: Texas Tribune: Gov Abbott Plots Aggressive Approach To Special Session
Have questions?: kut.org: Ask Questions about the Special Session

4. Join a TX Lege group focused on your State MoCs

We each have 1 State Representative and 1 State Senator. Some of them are great and work to improve the lives of Texans. Some…not so much. With voter turnout relatively low in state elections, it won’t take many votes to flip many of the state legislature seats in 2018. Let’s work together to vote out legislators who push through hurtful, harmful laws, and vote FOR candidates who will work for us, the people of Texas.

Week of June 19, 2017

Keep the fight up against SB4

Several Texas cities have joined a lawsuit against the State of Texas over SB4, the “show me your papers” bill that forces city police to question folks’ immigration status if they’re stopped for any reason. Even though the bill hasn’t taken effect yet, it’s already damaging our communities and at least one group has pulled their planned event from the state.
Houston: Call your city council person and urge them to vote to join the lawsuit against SB4. Show up with United We Dream on Tuesday, June 20 from 12 – 4 pm at City Hall

2. Stand up for Texas civil liberties

Remember that bill we talked about a few weeks back, the one that makes it legal for adoption agencies to discriminate based on religion, marital status, or sexual orientation? Well Governor Greg Abbott signed it into law last week, and we can’t wait for the courts to deem it unconstitutional. For that to happen, there needs to be a strong case against it, with a legal team that works hard to uphold Texas civil liberties. ACLU Texas has been with Texans every step of the way this legislative session, and they are doing some incredible work. If you can, we suggest becoming a sustaining member. If you can’t, any amount helps, or consider volunteering with them!

Become a Monthly Donor: aclu.org: Fight Back Against Attacks on Our Civil Liberties

Make a one-time gift: aclu.org: Support ACLU Texas
Volunteer: aclutx.org: Make a Positive Impact
Learn: aclutx.org: Act

Week of June 12, 2017

1. See which items are on the docket for the Texas Legislature’s special session

Greg Abbott pulled the proverbial trigger last week and called for a special session of the Texas legislature, with 20 items on the agenda. The session starts July 18, and includes the bathroom bill, women’s health restrictions, and school choice (vouchers). Plus, it’ll cost Texas taxpayers $800,000 extra.

List of special session items: CNN: Texas Special Legislative Session

Read: Texas Tribune: What to Expect in a Special Session

 
2. Ask your state MoCs to work the special session without pay
The special session wouldn’t have been needed if Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick hadn’t sat on legislation that’s needed to fund several state agencies. He is irresponsibly holding Texas legislators and tax dollars hostage to push his hateful, harmful agenda.

Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I’m calling to urge them to work the special session without pay. I understand the session will cost Texas taxpayers $800,000 which could have otherwise been used for the good of Texas citizens. This is outrageous and NOT what an effective government looks like. Alternatively, the Senator/Representative could push Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick to personally pay for the session. My zip code is ____.”

 
3. Call your state MoCs to oppose SB6, the bathroom bill
We’ve written extensively about this one, and thought Abbott might leave it out of the Special Session, but no such luck. The bathroom bill bullies transgender kids, and will hurt the Texas economy. It has got to be stopped.

For more: Elite Daily: How Merely Introducing Anti-LGBTQ Legislation Harms LGBTQ Youth

ReadBecoming Nicole – a book that tells the story of a transgender girl and explains the complexities of gender and policy

Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I’m calling to urge them to vote against the bathroom bill, SB6, in the special session. It’s a harmful, hurtful bill that targets our most vulnerable children. On top of that it’s bad for the Texas economy. I urge the Senator/Representative to vote AGAINST it. My zip code is _____.”
4. Keep up opposition to SB4. Houstonians – call your city council person to urge them to join the SB4 lawsuit

This week a federal judge in San Antonio called part of SB4, the show me your papers bill, unconstitutional. That’s a great first step, and we need to keep up the vocal opposition to SB4 to make sure the public knows how bad it is. Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner has asked the City Council to vote on joining a lawsuit over SB4, the show me your papers bill. Make sure your city council person knows that you do not support the unconstitutional, racist legislation that will hurt our community.

ReadSan Antonio Current: Federal Judge Calls a Critical Part of Texas Sanctuary Cities Crackdown Unconstitutional

Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Councilperson _____ and I’m calling to ask them to vote to join the lawsuit against Texas over SB4. It’s unconstitutional, amounts to overreach, and will hurt our community. My zip code is ____.”

Week of June 5, 2017

The legislative session may be over, but there’s still work to do!

1. Call your Mayor and City Council to join litigation against SB4
Austin and San Antonio have filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas over SB4, alleging it violates the 1st, 4th, and 14th amendment of the US Constitution. Make sure your community joins them in the fight against racial profiling and government overreach. Note: the law is set to take effect Sept 1.

For more: Texas Tribune.: San-Antonio, Austin suing Texas over Immigration Law

Say: “Hi, I’m a resident of _____ and I’m calling to urge the Mayor/City Councilperson to join in San Antonio’s lawsuit against SB4, the “show me your papers” bill. It not only infringes on the rights of Texans, but it will lead to racial discrimination and profiling, and amounts to government overreach. How dare the Governor tell OUR police chief and sheriff how to do their job. SB4 is not what the people of Texas want. My zip code is ____.”

 
2. Keep calling Governor Greg Abbott to keep SB6 out of a special session
Abbott is expected to call for a special session this week (he punted last week). Let’s make sure he remembers how much Texans oppose state-sponsored hate and discrimination.

For more: Times Record News: With Session’s End, Gov Abbott’s Powers are Heightened

Say: “Hi, I’m a Texan who’s concerned about the health and wellbeing of our trans children, and also very concerned about the harmful economic impact to our state if SB6 is passed during a special session. I urge the Governor to do the right thing for Texans and NOT include SB6 on the agenda should a special session be called. My zip code is ____.”

 
3. Help us work to flip the State Senate and House in 2018
The Texas State Senate voted on party lines nearly every single time this session. We need a Senate that’s willing to stand up against Dan Patrick (should he be reelected) and stand FOR the people of Texas. Texas State Senators serve 2 years for their first term, followed by 4 year terms.
In the House, a group called the Freedom Caucus worked to block many bills that should have been no brainers. All of the State Representatives are up for reelection in 2018. Many Reps and Senators either had no Democratic challenger, won by a narrow margin, had very low voter turnout, or a combination of the three.

View: State Senate District Map  (notice the gerrymandering!)
View: State House Map
ReadTexas Tribune: House Freedom Caucus Blocks Maternal Mortality Bills
GOP Senators up for reelection in 2018: 2-Hall, 3-Nichols, 5-Schwerter, 7-Bettencourt, 8-Van Taylor, 9-Hancock, 10-Burton, 16-Huffines, 17-Huffman, 18-Kolkhorst, 25-Campbell, 31-Seliger
Start a sub-group in your existing Indivisible, Swing Left, or other organization to focus on your State Senator if they’re not serving the people of Texas

Week of May 29, 2017

Though the 85th Legislative Session officially ended today, our work is not done! Governor Abbott is likely to call a special session (see #2 below), and we have a lot of work to do before the 2018 elections where we can make sure state legislators who support hateful, hurtful laws are voted out. We can do it y’all, as long as we have to work together! Check out the incredible turnout at the Capitol today: videoarticle. So proud of Texans for showing up!
 
1. Call your state MoCs to give them feedback on their record this session
Enter bill # in “Search Legislation” (e.g, SB8 or HB2899) This is near the bottom of the page
Hit Search button  – the bill should show up with a description
Click the Votes Tab
Click “View” for the last action in each chamber
We’re going to work on getting a summary of roll calls for all of the major bills that passed this session. Please contact us if you’re willing/able to help with that effort.
2. Call Governor Greg Abbott’s office to urge him to leave SB6 off the table should a special session be called
Although the session is officially over, Abbot is expected to call a special session (which costs Texas taxpayers $800,000!). Make sure he knows that Texans do not support the transgender discrimination of SB6.
Say: “Hi, I’m a Texan who’s concerned about the health and wellbeing of our trans children, and also very concerned about the harmful economic impact to our state if SB6 is passed during a special session. I urge the Governor to do the right thing for Texans and NOT include SB6 on the agenda should a special session be called. My zip code is ____.”
3. Call Governor Greg Abbott’s office (512-463-2000) and urge him to VETO SB8 / HB200
While the House and Senate passed this bill that uses politically driven words instead of sound medical science, Greg Abbott can still veto it. In short, the bill bans fetal tissue donation, requires burial of fetal remains, and outlaws dilation and evacuation which is the safest type of second trimester abortion.
Say:  “Hi, I’m a Texan calling to urge Governor Abbot to VETO SB8/HB200. The bill interferes with women’s right to make their own health care decisions without government interference. As someone who supports small government, I trust that Governor Abbott understands that this bill is an intrusion into the doctor-client relationship. On top of that, if it becomes law, it will lead to even MORE taxpayer dollars wasted in litigation that is certain to find this bill unconstitutional, just like HB2 of 2013 and the previous fetal burial law that a federal judge blocked. Stop wasting our money! My zip code is _____.”
4. Call your State Representative to censure Rep. Matt Rinaldi of Irving
Today amidst SB4 protests, Mr. Rinaldi called ICE on protestors and threatened to put a bullet in his colleague’s head. Texans deserve better.
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent or Representative ____. I’d like to urge the Representative to censure Mr. Rinaldi for his hateful, harmful actions in the House earlier this week. His actions are not fit for the legislature of this great state. My zip code is _____.”
5. Show up for the Cornyn Stakeout!
It’s here! Join Texans across the state to push Cornyn, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, to initiate an independent, nonpartisan investigation into Russia’s influence on the election. So far the Senate’s investigation has 0 full-time staffers assigned to it, whereas the Benghazi investigation had 46 full-time staffers.
Details/Schedulehttp://cornynstakeout.com
Be social: Share photos and videos using #CornynStakeout
6. Meet Mike Collier for Lieutenant Governor and donate to his campaign to defeat Dan Patrick
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has been setting much of the racist, bigoted tone in Austin this session. Let’s make sure we get someone in office who will work for ALL Texans!

Week of May 22, 2017

SUPPORT TRANSGENDER YOUTH AGAINST WITCH HUNT!

TELL DAN PATRICK TO STOP HIS BATHROOM BILL!

Courtesy of TX-10 Indivisible:

Amid threats by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of a special legislative session over the “bathroom bill,” the Texas House on Sunday took a last-minute vote and approved a proposal that would keep transgender students from using school bathrooms in line with their gender identity.Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is hell-bent on making transgender kids into scary villains. His witch hunt against them is wrong and abusive. In North Carolina a similar wrong-headed attack on transgender people backfired – expensively – for former Governor Pat McCrory. Even with the history of legal and financial losses, Patrick continues his obsession, ignoring the voices of Texas’s business, civic and education leaders about sensible, proven ways to protect everyone’s privacy in restrooms.

There is no reason to target transgender people and prevent them from using the restroom which conforms to their gender identity other than plain meanness and to score cheap political points with bigots.

CALL Lieutenant Governor Patrick and tell him that Texas is a friendly state that believes in limited government and that it’s not any business of his to dictate to schools what their transgender bathroom policy should be.

SAMPLE SCRIPT

Hello, my name is _________ and I am a citizen of Texas. I am calling to express my disgust with Lieutenant Governor Patrick and his witch hunt against transgender youth. Things are hard enough for these kids and it’s shameful to use them as a political punching bag. Our school administrators know far more about their schools than he does and he shouldn’t interfere with local control and decision making regarding how best to serve all their students including the transgender ones.

CONTACT INFO:

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick
(512)-463-0001

Call Greg Abbott (512-463-2000) to voice opposition to HB3859 and SB2078

Both of these bills have passed the House and Senate, with Abbott’s signature the only hurdle left. You may remember HB 3859 from the last two weeks’ emails. It allows adoption agencies to discriminate potential parents based on religion, sexual orientation, or marital status. State-sanctioned religious discrimination is not only unconstitutional, Texas foster kids are in dire need of help, and a loving family no matter the religion is far better than no family.

We haven’t mentioned SB 2078 before, though it’s a “narrow version” of SB6, the “bathroom bill”. What did they narrow it to? Transgender children. The Texas legislature passed a bill that requires transgender children, some of the MOST at risk kids, to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate.  Unconscionable.

Say: “Hi, I’m calling to urge Governor Abbott to veto bills HB 3859 and SB 2078.” The operator is only tallying for/against. If you want to say more or share a personal story, they’ll put you through to someone else.

Roll call: See who voted for SB 2078See who voted for HB 3859

Stand up with the Hispanic community by attending the #HeretoStay rally at the capitol Monday, May 29

Since SB4, the “show me your papers” or “anti-sanctuary cities” bill passed only a week ago, Texans have been showing their opposition for the new law. But we can do more!

Show up: Texas Fights Back: No SB4

Be social: Use the hashtags #HereToStay, #SB4isHate, #StopSB4 and share the event link
Donate: Help Texas Organizing Project and Texas Civil Rights Project fund their lawsuit against the state

Call your State Representative for a NO vote on SB5 / HB2481 – voter ID law

Despite a federal judge ruling that Texas’ voter ID law is unconstitutional, the Texas GOP wants to bring it back, continuing the history of disenfranchising voters who would likely vote against them.

Read: Times Record News: Texas Voter ID Bill to be Heard Wednesda

Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Representative ______ calling to urge him/her to vote NO on SB5. Texans believe in fairness, and stripping away a constitutional right if someone can’t access or afford a photo ID goes against what our state stands for. My zip code is _____.”

Call your State MoCs to urge them to drop a school voucher provision in School Finance Reform

Last year the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the school finance system in Texas was flawed, but not unconstitutional (which is debatable). This session, legislators worked for some school finance fixes, but at the 11th hour, Larry Taylor of Friendswood tacked on a school voucher amendment. The provision is rather small, but our state started small with women’s healthcare restrictions and look where we are today. We have got to stop vouchers in their tracks, as they essentially funnel public education funding to well-to-do parents and their children.

For more: US News: Texas Senate Attaches Voucher Plan to School Finance Fix

Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator/Representative _____ and I’m calling to urge him/her to oppose a voucher program, no matter how small it may seem. Voucher programs threaten to erode the quality of public education in the country, which is a cornerstone of our success and ingenuity as a nation. My zip code is _____.”

Week of May 15, 2017

Last Thursday was the final date for bills to pass through the House, but a special session is expected to be called in order to get some state agencies funded. During a special session, other bills may be voted on also – including the bathroom bill. Let’s keep up the pressure!

Call your state Senator for a NO vote on SB 892 / HB 3859 – the anti-adoption bill

This bill’s House companion HB 3859, a bill that allows prospective parents to be turned down if they’re Muslim, Jewish, LGBT, interfaith, or single was passed by the State House last week. Senators need to know that Texans are against this discriminatory bill that would hurt Texas children and families.

Read: Dallas News: Texas House Passes Bill to Turn Away Prospective Parents
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator _____. As a [parent/teacher/citizen] in the great state of Texas, I’m concerned about SB 892 / HB 3859. Our CPS system is in a state of crisis in which 252 children died in 2016 due to abuse and neglect. 22,000 children are currently awaiting placement. We cannot prioritize politics over the interest of vulnerable children in need, and we simply cannot afford to turn away any family that is willing and able to welcome them into a loving home. Support the children of Texas and vote NO for SB 892. My zip code is ____.”

Call your state Senator to vote against defunding Planned Parenthood 

Under the Obama administration, Texas lost millions in federal funding when it attempted to unlawfully block Planned Parenthood from participating in Medicaid. Now Texas is asking for the federal government to reinstate funding, even though PP is still excluded from Medicaid. If that happened, it would send a signal to many states that they can take Planned Parenthood off of Medicaid, and not be penalized for it. Why is that important? Since Texas dropped PP, reimbursement claims for contraception in Texas has dropped by 30%. That means that Texas women less able to afford contraception they need to prevent unplanned pregnancies. In addition, countless women’s health centers have closed and Texas now has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country. Texas women deserve better.

Read: The Guardian: Texas seeks Federal Financing to Defund Planned Parenthood
For more: CNN: Maternal Mortality Trends Double in Texas
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator ______ and I’m calling to urge the Senator to reinstate funding to Planned Parenthood. Since the state cutoff funding, the maternal mortality rate of Texas women has doubled. Texas women are literally dying because of the actions of the state legislature. I respectfully demand that my tax dollars go to funding Planned Parenthood which has a proven track record of improving the health and well being of women. My zip code is _____.”

Call your state Senator for a NO vote on HB 39, a bill that would bar doctors from vaccinating foster kids

While the majority of HB 39 is designed to improve the health and safety of children in CPS, an amendment was added to it in the House that effectively bars doctors from vaccinating foster kids. Republican Representative Bill Zedler even went as far as to say that “no vaccine cures a disease.” No sir, vaccines PREVENT diseases.

Read: My Statesman: How Texas Foster Care Bill Veered into Vaccination Debate
For more: Fortune: Texas Foster Bill Shows Anti-Vaxxer Sentimen Gaining Steam
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Senator ____ and I’m calling to urge the Senate to remove the amendment to HB 39 that would bar doctors from vaccinating foster kids. Not only do vaccinations keep children healthy, they prevent diseases that are costly to Texas taxpayers. Support our kids in foster care. Let them be vaccinated! My zip code is _____.”

Keep calling your State Representative for a NO vote on SB 6 / HB 2899, the “bathroom bill” or “transgender discrimination bill” should the Congress be called to a special session

 

Monday, May 8

1. All day. Call your Texas state House Representative and urge them to vote NO on HB 3859 which would allow child welfare caseworkers to disqualify loving LGBT families from Texas’s foster and adoption system simply for being who they are.
Parents seeking to adopt children in Texas could be rejected with no explanation by state-funded or private agencies with “religious objections” to a couple’s being Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, or interfaith. The bill’s primary author is James Frank (R-Wichita Falls), and the co-sponsors are a who’s who of Republican Texan lawmakers for whom discrimination against minority communities will have been their sole legacy.
Texas’s CPS system is in crisis. 22,000 children are currently waiting for placement. In 2016, 252 children died of abuse and neglect. We simply cannot afford to turn away any loving families who are willing and able to welcome vulnerable children into their homes.
 
 
Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Representative _____. As a [parent/teacher/citizen] in the great state of Texas, I’m concerned about HB 3859. Our CPS system is in a state of crisis in which 252 children died in 2016 due to abuse and neglect. 22,000 children are currently awaiting placement. We cannot prioritize politics over the interest of vulnerable children in need, and we simply cannot afford to turn away any family that is willing and able to welcome them into a loving home. Support the children of Texas and vote NO for HB 3859. My zip code is ____.”
Also: 
Also: You can text HB3859 to 30644 to be connected to your Representative
2. All day. Call your Texas  House Representative and urge him (there are only 29 women in the Texas House) to vote NO on HB 200, which bans the donation of fetal tissue from abortion clinics for research purposes and contains a copy of a federal ban on a common, extremely safe medical procedure misleadingly called partial-birth abortion.

HB 200 is on the House calendar for Tuesday, May 9th.  The bill bans the donation of fetal tissue from an elective abortion as well as creating other limits on the availability of fetal tissue for research.  The current controversy surrounding the use of fetal tissue is a reaction to the widely discredited undercover Planned Parenthood videos.  Research on human fetal tissue from induced abortions has benefited millions of people.  This research will contribute to continuing advancement of basic science, as well as the development of lifesaving vaccines and therapies.  This bill would greatly limit the amount of tissue available for research and increase state regulation of university research.  Tissue from a miscarriage cannot be used for most research because the cause of the miscarriage may invalidate the research.

The decision whether to donate fetal tissue should remain with the individual, not be given to the state.

The selling of fetal tissue is already against federal law.  There is no need to make it against state law as well.

The bill also bans an extremely safe medical procedure, using the inflammatory and misleading term “partial-birth abortion” An explanation of the procedure and reasons for it can be found here.  http://www.npr.org/2006/02/21/5168163/partial-birth-abortion-separating-fact-from-spin).

“Partial-Birth” abortion is not a medical term.  This bill is an attempt to stigmatize one form of abortion and substitute the judgment of politicians for the judgment of the doctor with firsthand knowledge of the needs of his or her patient.

“Partial-Birth” abortion is already against federal law.  There is no need to make it against state law as well.

The Guttmacher Institute provides comprehensive information on reproductive health and related public policy. https://www.guttmacher.org/  Articles on reproductive health policy and law in Texas can be found here: https://www.texastribune.org/tribpedia/reproductive-health/

Here’s a basic script for any abortion-related bill.

“Hi, my name is _________, my zip code is _____, and I’m calling to urge _________ to vote against [Senate/House] Bill ___. This bill interferes with a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions without government interference, it is a state intrusion into the doctor-client relationship, and it will likely lead to more taxpayer dollars wasted in defending legislation that should never have been taken up in the first place.

2. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.  Bill list for Monday, May 8http://bit.ly/ResistMay1

Tuesday, May 9

1. 8:30 am. SB4 Protest at the Governor’s Mansion. We need as many as possible to show up. FB Event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/721279708052670/

2.  All day. HB 200 is on the House calendar for today.  Call your Texas  House Representative and urge him (there are only 29 women in the Texas House) to vote NO on HB 200, which bans the donation of fetal tissue from abortion clinics for research purposes and contains a copy of a federal ban on a common, extremely safe medical procedure misleadingly called partial-birth abortion.  (See background and script above.)

3. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.  Bill list for Tuesday, May 9http://bit.ly/ResistMay2

Wednesday, May 10

1. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. HB 200 


HB 200 did not get a vote yesterday and is back on the calendar today. So there’s time to call or call again and ask your rep to vote no.

This bill threatens research on fetal tissue, research that benefits everyone. It also substitutes the judgment of Texas lawmakers (who don’t even know enough to use the right medical terms) for the judgment of physicians on what is best for patients.

Don’t think “abortion bills” only matter to women who might face unwanted pregnancies (as if that’s not enough of a reason.) Bills like this one attack a procedure often used when a wanted pregnancy results in a fetus that will not survive. Families in this situation do not need the “help” of Texas lawmakers in deciding, with their doctor, how to proceed.

Here’s a call script.

“Hi, my name is _________, my zip code is _____, and I’m calling to urge _________ to vote against House Bill 200. This bill interferes with a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions without government interference. It is a state intrusion into the doctor-client relationship, substituting the judgment of legislators fo the medical professional when determining the best procedure. It will have a huge negative effect on fetal tissue research, research that benefits everyone. And it will likely lead to more taxpayer dollars wasted in defending legislation that should never have been taken up in the first place.

 

Thursday, May 11

2. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

 

Friday, May 12

TBA

Saturday, May 13

Check Indivisible Austin’s calendar for community events happening this weekend.

Monday, March 13

1. First thing in the morning. SB6 heads to the Senate today. Call your State Senator’s office. Demand that they oppose SB6.

Last week, after over 16 hours of overwhelming testimony against Senate Bill 6, the Senate State Affairs committee voted 8-1 to allow the so-called “bathroom bill” to advance to the Senate floor. It will be presented in the Senate tomorrow, Monday March 12, for a full vote. Some of the “invited experts” were a David-Duke-affiliated hate-group leader, and a “bootcamp pastor” who was jailed on a $100,000 bond for tying a 15-year-old girl to his van and dragging her down a gravel road.

Lucio’s vote in favor of SB6 is a simultaneous uppercut to the gut and slap in the face, as it now gives Dan Patrick 18 of the 19 required votes for this hideous and idiotic bill to pass and to the House for a vote. Lucio’s “Aye” is only the most recent vote the nominal Democrat has cast with Texas Republicans. Let’s be totally clear: Eddie Lucio sold the LGBTQ community out. He will be primaried. 

While you’re making calls, consider making a call to one of the senators above and letting them know how you a feel. Here’s a script and some more info:

Hello, I’m calling to ask my Senator/Representative to vote NO on SB6. This legislation is not actually about public safety; it discriminates against transgender people and would inhibit their participation in public life. We trust our teachers and principals who know our kids to make the appropriate accommodations for their students and keep them safe. A blanket law that prohibits student accommodations wrongly takes those decisions out of our teachers’ hands.  

And I know Senator Kolkhorst and Dan Patrick are trying to sell this to the public as a “public safety” measure, but outlawing transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify doesn’t make anyone safer. Transgender Texans have been using bathrooms for years with no reports of them doing anything inappropriate in those spaces. This bill is a “solution” in search of a problem. Thank you for your time.

Prioritize calling your district Senator first.  You can find them easily here:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

But in case you want to tell the senators from the State Affairs Committee and let them know how you feel, here are the Republicans (and Democrat) who voted in favor of this hideous bill:

  • Joan Huffman (R-Houston): 512-463-0117
  • Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola): 512-463-0101
  • Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury): 512-463-0122
  • Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe): 512-463-0104
  • Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls): 512-463-0130
  • Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville/McAllen): 512-463-0127
  • Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound): 512-463-0112
  • Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown): 512-463-0105

Again, Dan Patrick and the GOP keep trying to use a widely debunked “bathroom predator myth” to nominally support this bill. There is 0 evidence for this claim. It endangers the trans community to spread misinformation like this. 

More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here.

2. All day: Call your State Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”.

SB21 and HJR2, resolutions that call for a Convention of States, have already passed the State Senate.

If its companion, HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.

  • Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Representative ______ and I’m calling to request (s)he vote NO on HJR 39. This resolution is a distraction from the pressing needs and priorities of Texans and as a tax payer, I’m appalled that our state legislators are wasting limited resources on this initiative.”

You can read about Empower Texans, a huge, single-donor lobby that is the money behind this push for a Convention of the States here, and while you’re at it read about how the Koch brothers own Greg Abbott here and here.

Tuesday, March 14

1. All day. Call State HOUSE REPS and ask them to vote No on SB4, Greg Abbott’s anti-immigrant sanctuary cities bill, and House Rep Charlie Geren’s companion bill HB 889, which criminalizes anyone who refuses to participate in mass deportations. The kind of mass deportations that Donald Trump wants to force us to participate in are ruining the lives of our friends and neighbors. This runs counter to everything we have been taught and believe that we stand for as Americans. Tell your House Representative that we cannot be bullied out of our humanity, and they should refuse to let Greg Abbott bully them out of theirs.

Sample Script:

“Hi, my name is _________ and I’m calling to urge _________ to go on the record and reject Senate Bill 4. This bill will only increase mistrust in law enforcement, and will do nothing to actually keep us safe. The research shows that legislation like State Bill 4 only drives undocumented crime victims and witnesses into the shadows, and we’ve already seen in the ICE raids in Texas that these deportation raids are not targeting criminals, as over half of the arrests made were of immigrants who didn’t have criminal records, including a woman with a brain tumor being treated for cancer whom agents removed from the hospital, a woman in court who was arrested on a tip by the man who abused her, and hard-working families, now torn apart.

Governor Abbott’s position on sanctuary cities is a cowardly, overt attempt at capitalizing on the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that Donald Trump exploited during his campaign. But that doesn’t have any place in Texas. We, Rep____’s constituents will not forget ______ position on this matter, and urge him/her to get on the right side of history, or we will be voting him out of office when he/she seeks re-election.”

Read our explainer on SB4 here.

Wednesday, March 15

8:30 a.m. Testimony against SB4 at the Capitol. Room E2.036. Sign up to testify or register your opposition.

The House State Affairs Committee has set a hearing for Wednesday, March 15, for Senate Bill 4, Charles Perry and Greg Abbot’s anti-sanctuary cities bill. SB4 is a racist, unconstitutional law, that leaves ALL Texans less safe. But racist and “in violation of the U.S. Constitution” certainly hasn’t stopped this Legislature in the past.

Location: Room E1.036 of the Texas Capitol Extension.

The hearing is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. sharp. Testimony will run through most of the day.

An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Testifying against SB4 is just one way we’re going to show up and fight back.

Here’s how testimony works:

  • The committee will have a table outside the hearing room for people to register to testify. The clerks at the table will explain the procedure.
  • If you simply want to register your position on the bill or provide written testimony without speaking at the hearing, you can register at one of the electronic kiosks in the hallway behind the hearing room.
  • If you also want to submit written testimony, give 20 copies to the committee clerk with your name on each copy.
  • Public testimony will be limited to ~2 minutes per person.
  • We expect the hearing room to be full. So be prepared to wait a while for your turn to testify. The committee plans to have overflow rooms available.

The hearing will begin with invited testimony only. 

We’ve got an excellent set of arguments against SB4 with facts, discussion points, and data here. Print these out and use them in your personal testimony.

We need to make the same points over, and over, and over! Often Committee members will come and go throughout testimony. So even if you’ve heard them said in previous testimony, keep driving the point home.

If you need some more reading to get you ready for testimony:

Of course, immigrants commit less crime than native born Americans.

Crime is down in Texas cities, and Austin’s crime rate has plummeted.

If you need a few talking points about how immigrants contribute to Texas’ economy, the CPPP has got you covered.

Again, here are the Texas House Representatives on the House State Affairs committee. If you live in one of these districts or know anybody who lives in one of these districts get these reps on the horn and demand that they oppose SB4:

  • Byron Cook (R-Corsicana): (512) 463-0730
  • Helen Giddings (D-DeSoto): (512) 463-0953
  • Tom Craddick (R-Midland): (512) 463-0500
  • Jessica Farrar (D-Houston): (512) 463-0620
  • Charlie Geren (R-Ft. Worth): (512) 463-0610
  • Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City): (512) 463-0416
  • Ken King (R-Canadian): (512) 463-0736
  • John Kuempel (R-Seguin): (512) 463-0602
  • Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas): (512) 463-0367
  • Rene Oliveira (D-Brownsville): (512) 463-0640
  • Chris Paddie (R-Marshall): (512) 463-0556
  • Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin): (512) 463-0674
  • John T. Smithee (R-Amarillo): (806) 372-3327

3. All day. There are a whole sheaf of extremist women’s reproductive health laws under consideration. Call State Senators and tell them you oppose radical anti-abortion bills SB8, SB415, HB35, and HB201. (See Action items for Thursday).

Read more on SB8.

Read more on SB415.

Thursday, March 16

Keep the pressure on.

Reminder: you can find your State House Representative and Senators here:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

1. Testify against SB 3, the school voucher bill.   9 AM,  Room E1.028

The Senate Education Committee has set a hearing for Thursday, March 16, for Senate Bill 3.  If passed, this bill would undermine both public education and the separation of church and state.  It would take taxpayers’ dollars away from public schools and allow them to be transferred to charter or private schools, including church-sponsored schools, without any oversight of the effectiveness of those schools.

Here’s an outline of concerns from the Texas Association of School Boards.

This bill is also unpopular with many conservatives and home-school advocates.

Here’s the text of the bill and a plain-language commentary.

2. All day. Depending on what happens with Monday’s vote, call your Texas State House Representative and demand that they oppose Senate Bill 6, Dan Patrick’s bathroom bill. (Script above.)

3. All day. Call your Texas State House Representative and demand that they oppose Senate Bill 4, Greg Abbott’s racist anti-immigrant, anti-sanctuary cities bill.

4. All day. Several reproductive health calls to make. House Bill 35 and House Bill 201, both fetal tissue burial bills, were left pending in Committee last week. HB 35 would require women who has a miscarriage to pay for a funeral. HB 201 is similar, but would not create a registry of organizations to pay for the burials.

During testimony for the Committee, far-right extremist activists argued that none of these bills go far enough, and that abortion should be outlawed completely. We sat through most of the testimony  and live-tweeted it, and that thread is here. Read the Texas Tribune’s recap of Wednesday’s testimony here.

In addition to HB35 and HB201, there’s:

• Senate Bill 8 – Charles Schwertner‘s ban on the donation of fetal tissue for scientific research (Schwertner argues this bill is necessary to stop for-profit sale of fetal tissue, basing his claims on a widely debunked “sting” video by a far-right “investigative journalist”, but this practice is in fact already illegal. It’s against federal law.)

Senate Bill 415 – Charles Perry‘s ban on safe, second-term abortion procedures. Anti-abortion conservatives exploit graphic, intentionally inflammatory language to try to steer the debate, and this is one of those bills, which Perry says bans “dismemberment” (which doctors and women refer to as a Dilation & Evacuation procedure). Perry’s law doesn’t outlaw D & E (as that would be unconstitutional), it just requires that the fetus be deceased. D&E is the only remaining legal option for second trimester abortions — comprising roughly 10 percent of abortions — that doctors consider safe. In other words, a safe, legal alternative to D & E does not exist, if it is outlawed. There’s no reason for this law to exist.

Senate Bill 258 – Don Huffine‘s law requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains. Essentially the same as HB35. During initial testimony, Kirk Watson (D-Austin) pressed both Charles Schwertner and Don Huffines on it, asking“Can you point me to anything in this bill that enhances the pregnant women’s health and safety?” Medical leaders and opponents of bills like this correctly point out that it provides no exceptions for miscarriages and nonviable fetuses.

SB 258, which, under the pretext of enhancing human dignity, does nothing but burden doctors and women with additional “informed consent” requirements.  The bill requires doctors to provide a notice that “describes the options for the disposition of the unborn child’s remains” requires the woman to sign it before receiving an abortion, and requires the doctor to keep the record for seven years.  The language of the bill suggests that a fetus is legally equivalent to an “unborn child” but does nothing to improve medical care for women or children.  The notice focuses on burial or cremation and the costs, only briefly mentioning the ordinary methods of disposing of medical waste, which are still legal.

This bill should not be confused with the regulations on disposing of fetal remains passed by the Texas Department of State Health Services in 2016.  An order issuing a temporary injunction to stop those regulations was issued January 27, 2017.

The text of the bill can be found here: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/SB00258I.pdf#navpanes=0

A plain-language explanation of the bill can be found here: https://rewire.news/legislative-tracker/law/texas-bill-regarding-disposition-fetal-remains-sb-258/

Sample script:

“Hi, my name is _________ and I’m calling to urge _________ to vote against Senate Bill 258. This bill increases the burdens on doctors and women of complying with bureaucratic paperwork without doing anything to protect the health of women and children.  

5. All day. Call your Texas State House Representative and demand that they vote No on a Convention of States. (see above).

Friday, March 17

1. Action TBD: Call your House Representative about House Bill 4260 Friday, which would fine men $100 for masturbating and require that they read a booklet about “men’s health” procedures like vasectomies and colonoscopies.

On Friday, before the deadline for filing when lawmakers were all rushing to get their last minute filings in, we noticed that Jessica Farrar had filed a law called the “Man’s Right to Know Act.” Farrar’s HB4260 is a work of Swift-ian genius that points out the hypocrisy in the way Texas (male) lawmakers try to legislate women’s bodies and health choices in very real, very restrictive ways, every time the Legislature meets. (See fetal burial bills above.)

From the Texas Tribune:

That’s why the the Houston Democrat on Friday filed House Bill 4260, which would fine men $100 for masturbating and create a required booklet for men with medical information related to the benefits and concerns of a man seeking a vasectomy, a Viagra prescription or a colonoscopy. The bill would also let doctors invoke their “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs” in refusing to perform an elective vasectomy or prescribe Viagra, among other proposed requirements in the bill.

While Farrar knows her “proposed satirical regulations” will not become law, she hoped the bill’s filing would at least foster a deeper discussion about what should be a priority during session years.

“What I would like to see is this make people stop and think,” Farrar told The Texas Tribune. “Maybe my colleagues aren’t capable of that, but the people who voted for them, or the people that didn’t vote at all, I hope that it changes their mind and helps them to decide what the priorities are.”

We’re going to whole-heartedly and loudly voice our full support for this bill. Check back here often for updates on this. We are dead serious. There needs to be a discussion about the fact that men in the Texas legislature regularly try to impose their religious beliefs on American women in oppressive and humiliating ways.

Finally, it’s important that you keep the pressure on your lawmakers. Keep making those calls to your State Reps and Senators.

But equally important: Remind your friends and coworkers to call. Who do you know in some of the other cities and counties in Texas? Call them up or shoot them an email and let them know about what the Texas Legislature is trying to do.

Saturday, March 18

Check our calendar for community events happening today.

Sunday, March 19

TBA.

Finally, don’t forget to take care of business with your US reps, namely calling about saving the ACA, calling for Jeff Sessions’ resignation for lying under oath, and calling for a full, 9/11-style, bi-partisan investigation into Russian intel’s interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

Monday, March 20

1. All day. Call your State House Reps to demand that they oppose SB6 and SB4 (and any companion bills–see items for Tuesday).

You can find your Representative easily here:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Here’s a script and some more info:

Hello, I’m calling to ask my Senator/Representative to vote NO on SB6. This legislation is not actually about public safety; it discriminates against transgendered people and would inhibit their participation in public life. We trust our teachers and principals who know our kids to make the appropriate accommodations for their students and keep them safe. A blanket law that prohibits student accommodations wrongly takes those decisions out of our teachers’ hands.  

And I know Senator Kolkhorst and Dan Patrick are trying to sell this to the public as a “public safety” measure, but outlawing transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify doesn’t make anyone safer. Transgender Texans have been using bathrooms for years with no reports of them doing anything inappropriate in those spaces. This bill is a “solution” in search of a problem. Thank you for your time.

Dan Patrick and the GOP keep trying to use a widely debunked “bathroom predator myth” to nominally support this bill. There is 0 evidence for this claim. This reckless lie endangers the transgender community.  

More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here.

If you need some more reading on SB4, see below:

Immigrants commit less crime than native born Americans.

Crime is down in Texas cities, and Austin’s crime rate has plummeted.

If you need a few talking points about how immigrants contribute to Texas’ economy, the CPPP has got you covered.

2. All day: Call your State Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”.

SB21 and HJR2, resolutions that call for a Convention of States, have already passed the State Senate.

If its companion, HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.

  • Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Representative ______ and I’m calling to request (s)he vote NO on HJR 39. This resolution is a distraction from the pressing needs and priorities of Texans and as a tax payer, I’m appalled that our state legislators are wasting limited resources on this initiative.”

You can read about Empower Texans, a huge, single-donor lobby that is the money behind this push for a Convention of the States here, and while you’re at it read about how the Koch brothers own Greg Abbott here and here.

Tuesday, March 21

1. 9 a.m. at the capitol. Sign up to testify or register your opposition to SB3. SB 3, the school voucher bill, is scheduled for public hearing at 9 am in room E1.028. School vouchers are one of Dan Patrick’s pet issues, because it’s one of the issues that wealthy lobbyists want to see pushed through. Simply put, school vouchers in Texas are a terrible idea.

If passed, this bill would undermine both public education and the separation of church and state.  It would take taxpayers’ dollars away from public schools and allow them to be transferred to charter or private schools, including church-sponsored schools, without any oversight of the effectiveness of those schools.

The Texas Association of School Boards has created a very useful outline of concerns here.

Conservatives and home-school advocates also really hate this idea.

Here’s the text of the bill and a plain-language commentary.

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=85R&Bill=SB3

https://apps.texastribune.org/texas-school-choice-bill-annotated/

Not sure how to testify at the capitol, or does it seem intimidating? Not to worry! There’s nothing to it. We’ve put together a friendly guide on how to provide committee testimony at the capitol for you.

Need talking points on why school vouchers are such a bad idea? Here you go.

2. All day. Continue to call House Reps to vote No on SB4, Greg Abbott’s anti-immigrant sanctuary cities bill, and House Rep Charlie Geren’s companion bill HB 889, which criminalizes anyone who refuses to participate in mass deportations. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). The kind of mass deportations that Donald Trump wants to force us to participate in are ruining the lives of our friends and neighbors. This runs counter to everything we have been taught and believe that we stand for as Americans. Tell your House Representative that we cannot be bullied out of our humanity, and they should refuse to let Greg Abbott bully them out of theirs.

Sample Script A:

“Hi, my name is _________ and I’m calling to urge _________ to go on the record and reject Senate Bill 4. This bill will only increase mistrust in law enforcement, and will do nothing to actually keep us safe. The research shows that legislation like State Bill 4 only drives undocumented crime victims and witnesses into the shadows, and we’ve already seen in the ICE raids in Texas that these deportation raids are not targeting criminals, as over half of the arrests made were of immigrants who didn’t have criminal records, including a woman with a brain tumor being treated for cancer whom agents removed from the hospital, a woman in court who was arrested on a tip by the man who abused her, and hard-working families, now torn apart.

Governor Abbott’s position on sanctuary cities is a cowardly, overt attempt at capitalizing on the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that Donald Trump exploited during his campaign. But that doesn’t have any place in Texas. We, Rep____’s constituents will not forget ______ position on this matter, and urge him/her to get on the right side of history, or we will be voting him out of office when he/she seeks re-election.”

Sample Script B:

Hi, My name is __________.  As a concerned constituent of the state of Texas, I urge Representative _______ to oppose SB 4 and all companion bills – HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308.  I care about keeping Texans safe and together, this includes my immigrant neighbors. During the SB4 hearing in the House, there were a total of 638 testimonies out of which 619 were against SB4.  I urge Representative _________ to listen to the concerns of those 619 testimonies, which represent the concerns of our communities.  I urge him/her to also consider the testimony of representatives from law enforcement agencies from around the state, such as Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, that said that this bill will erode public trust in police.  In addition, SB4 will lead to racial profiling, which is un-American and un-Texan.  Senate Bill 4 goes against our values as Texans and many Texans oppose this bill, including faith, business, and law enforcement leaders, and I would like to ask Representative ____________ to also oppose SB4.

Read our explainer on SB4 here.

Wednesday, March 22

1. 10:30 a.m. at the capitol Testimony against HB200 at the Capitol. Room JH4 140. Sign up to testify or register your opposition to HB200.

Testify at the public hearing on HB 200 at 10:30 am in Room JHR 140.  House Bill 200 is the companion to SB 8, which has already passed the Senate.  The bill bans donation of fetal tissue and is a reaction to the widely discredited undercover Planned Parenthood videosReducing fetal tissue donations will reduce beneficial medical researchThe bill also bans so-called “partial-birth abortions.”  Partial-Birth abortion is not a medical term; it is a term made up by abortion opponents to demonize a rare procedure designed to be a safe alternative for abortions after the start of the second trimester.  This type of abortion is already against federal law. In other words, there is no reason for this bill other than to pander to the extreme anti-abortion voter.

The text of the bill can be found here.  http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/HB00200I.pdf#navpanes=0

During the Senate hearing for SB 8 Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) slammed his gavel down so hard that he broke a glass table while trying to silence a UT student and intern with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.

2. All day. Keep calling State House Representatives. Oppose SB4, SB6, all fetal burial bills, and all Convention of States bills.

3. All day. There are a whole sheaf of extremist women’s reproductive health laws under consideration. Call State Senators and tell them you oppose radical anti-abortion bills SB8, SB415, HB35, and HB201. (See Action items for Thursday).

Read more on SB8.

Read more on SB415.

2. All day. Call to support key voting rights bills in the Texas Legislature–HJR 32, HJR 118, HJR 74, and HB 369. Call your House Representative, Senator, and members of the House Committee on Redistricting and the Senate State Affairs Committee. (Thanks to Degerrymander Texas. More info here.)

  • Vice Chair/Representative:  Rep Eric Johnson (TX-100) (512) 463-0586 or email
  • Representative:  Rep Drew Darby (TX-72) (512) 463-0331 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Ana Hernandez (TX-143) (512) 463-0614 or email **Note that Rep Hernandez has said she supports bills
  • Representative :  Rep Armando Martinez (TX-39) (512) 463-0530 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Will Metcalf (TX-16) (512) 463-0726 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Tan Parker (TX-63) (512) 463-0688 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Eddie Rodriguez (TX-51) (512) 463-0674 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Drew Springer (TX-68) (512) 463-0526 or email

Here’s a sample script with a Representative’s office:

Hi, I’m [NAME] and I’m a constituent of [HOME REPRESENTATIVE] from [ZIPCODE]. I’m calling because on March 10, 2017, a federal appellate court ruled that some of our state’s 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act.
Will [COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE] support current legislation on redistricting reform?  (these are bills HJR 32, HJR 118, HJR 74, and HB 369)  [wait for answer – you will likely get a fluff answer, don’t press]  This is the time to fix this problem once and for all AND let Texas keep control of the redistricting process.  I’ve called my representative and senator to ask for their support of of these bills to put control of redistricting into the hands of a bi-partisan commission.   [don’t forget to thank the staffer for their time]
  •  Last step:  follow-up with an email!
SENATORS ON STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
  • Senator:  Brian Birdwell  512-463-0122 or email
  • Senator :  Brandon Creighton 512-463-0104 or email
  • Senator :  Craig Estes 512-463-0130 or email
  • Senator :  Eddie Lucio, Jr  512-463-0127 or email
  • Senator :  Jane Nelson 512-463-0112 or email
  • Senator : Charles Schwertner  512-463-0105 or email
  • Senator :  Judith Zaffirini 512-463-0121 or email

Here’s a sample script with a Senator’s office:

Hi, I’m [NAME] and I’m a constituent of [HOME SENATOR] from [ZIPCODE].  I’m calling because of current events.  On March 10, 2017, a federal appellate court ruled that some of our state’s 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act.  Will [COMMITTEE SENATOR] support current legislation on redistricting reform?  (these are bills HJR 32, HJR 118, HJR 74, and SB 209)  [wait for answer – you will likely get a fluff answer, don’t press]
This is the time to fix this problem once and for all AND let Texas keep control of the redistricting process.  I’ve called my representative and senator to ask for their support of of these bills to put control of redistricting into the hands of a bi-partisan commission.   [don’t forget to thank the staffer for their time]
  • Last step:  follow-up with an email!

Thursday, March 23

Keep the pressure on.

Reminder: you can find your State House Representative and Senators here:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

1. All day. Call your Texas State House Representative and demand that they oppose Senate Bill 6, the bathroom bill. (Script above.)

3. All day. Call your Texas State House Representative and demand that they oppose Senate Bill 4, Greg Abbott’s racist anti-immigrant, anti-sanctuary cities bill.

4. All day. Several reproductive health calls to make. House Bill 35 and House Bill 201, both fetal tissue burial bills, were left pending in Committee last week. HB 35 would require women who has a miscarriage to pay for a funeral. HB 201 is similar, but would not create a registry of organizations to pay for the burials.

During testimony for the Committee, far-right extremist activists argued that none of these bills go far enough, and that abortion should be outlawed completely. We sat through most of the testimony  and live-tweeted it, and that thread is here. Read the Texas Tribune’s recap of Wednesday’s testimony here.

In addition to HB35 and HB201, there’s:

• Senate Bill 8 – Charles Schwertner‘s ban on the donation of fetal tissue for scientific research (Schwertner argues this bill is necessary to stop for-profit sale of fetal tissue, basing his claims on a widely debunked “sting” video by a far-right “investigative journalist”, but this practice is in fact already illegal. It’s against federal law.)

Senate Bill 415 – Charles Perry‘s ban on safe, second-term abortion procedures. Anti-abortion conservatives exploit graphic, intentionally inflammatory language to try to steer the debate, and this is one of those bills, which Perry says bans “dismemberment” (which doctors and women refer to as a Dilation & Evacuation procedure). Perry’s law doesn’t outlaw D & E (as that would be unconstitutional), it just requires that the fetus be deceased. D&E is the only remaining legal option for second trimester abortions — comprising roughly 10 percent of abortions — that doctors consider safe. In other words, a safe, legal alternative to D & E does not exist, if it is outlawed. There’s no reason for this law to exist.

Senate Bill 258 – Don Huffine‘s law requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains. Essentially the same as HB35. During initial testimony, Kirk Watson (D-Austin) pressed both Charles Schwertner and Don Huffines on it, asking “Can you point me to anything in this bill that enhances the pregnant women’s health and safety?” Medical leaders and opponents of bills like this correctly point out that it provides no exceptions for miscarriages and nonviable fetuses.

SB 258, which, under the pretext of enhancing human dignity, does nothing but burden doctors and women with additional “informed consent” requirements.  The bill requires doctors to provide a notice that “describes the options for the disposition of the unborn child’s remains” requires the woman to sign it before receiving an abortion, and requires the doctor to keep the record for seven years.  The language of the bill suggests that a fetus is legally equivalent to an “unborn child” but does nothing to improve medical care for women or children.  The notice focuses on burial or cremation and the costs, only briefly mentioning the ordinary methods of disposing of medical waste, which are still legal.

This bill should not be confused with the regulations on disposing of fetal remains passed by the Texas Department of State Health Services in 2016.  An order issuing a temporary injunction to stop those regulations was issued January 27, 2017.

The text of the bill can be found here: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/SB00258I.pdf#navpanes=0

A plain-language explanation of the bill can be found here: https://rewire.news/legislative-tracker/law/texas-bill-regarding-disposition-fetal-remains-sb-258/

Sample script:

“Hi, my name is _________ and I’m calling to urge _________ to vote against Senate Bill 258. This bill increases the burdens on doctors and women of complying with bureaucratic paperwork without doing anything to protect the health of women and children.  

5. All day. Call your Texas State House Representative and demand that they vote No on a Convention of States. (see above).

Friday, March 24

1. All day: Call your House Representative about House Bill 4260 Friday, which would fine men $100 for masturbating and require that they read a booklet about “men’s health” procedures like vasectomies and colonoscopies.

On Friday, before the deadline for filing when lawmakers were all rushing to get their last minute filings in, we noticed that Jessica Farrar had filed a law called the “Man’s Right to Know Act.” Farrar’s HB4260 is a work of Swift-ian genius that points out the hypocrisy in the way Texas (male) lawmakers try to legislate women’s bodies and health choices in very real, very restrictive ways, every time the Legislature meets. (See fetal burial bills above.)

From the Texas Tribune:

That’s why the the Houston Democrat on Friday filed House Bill 4260, which would fine men $100 for masturbating and create a required booklet for men with medical information related to the benefits and concerns of a man seeking a vasectomy, a Viagra prescription or a colonoscopy. The bill would also let doctors invoke their “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs” in refusing to perform an elective vasectomy or prescribe Viagra, among other proposed requirements in the bill.

While Farrar knows her “proposed satirical regulations” will not become law, she hoped the bill’s filing would at least foster a deeper discussion about what should be a priority during session years.

“What I would like to see is this make people stop and think,” Farrar told The Texas Tribune. “Maybe my colleagues aren’t capable of that, but the people who voted for them, or the people that didn’t vote at all, I hope that it changes their mind and helps them to decide what the priorities are.”

We’re going to whole-heartedly and loudly voice our full support for this bill. Check back here often for updates on this. We are dead serious. There needs to be a discussion about the fact that men in the Texas legislature regularly try to impose their religious beliefs on American women in oppressive and humiliating ways.

Finally, it’s important that you keep the pressure on your lawmakers. Keep making those calls to your State Reps and Senators.

But equally important: Remind your friends and coworkers to call. Who do you know in some of the other cities and counties in Texas? Call them up or shoot them an email and let them know about what the Texas Legislature is trying to do.

Saturday, March 25

Save Texas Schools, a statewide organization of parents, students, teachers and community, will be rallying at the State Capitol this Saturday from 10 am to noon in support of public education. Y’all come on out and rally for good schools in Texas!

Since 2011, STS has brought over 30,000 Texans to the Capitol to stand up against underfunding and over-testing Texas children. A strong attendance is expected this year, as well, with barebones education and higher ed budgets being proposed.

Speakers will include state and local leaders, as well as parents, teachers and students. Confirmed local and state leaders include Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Sen. Kirk Watson, Rep. Lance Gooden, Rep. Gina Hinojosa, and Rep. Celia Israel. Student performers will also be present.

Also, check our calendar for community events happening this weekend.

Sunday, March 26

Intro to the Texas Legislature

Location: FiberCove, 1700 S Lamar Blvd, Suite 338, Austin, TX 78704

In this nonpartisan workshop led by Texas legislative veteran Stephanie Chiarello Noppenberg, learn how the Texas legislature works and how best to make your voice heard by your representatives. Learn the basics of how legislation moves through the Texas legislature; pro tips for writing, calling, and visiting your legislators; and how to improve your testimony in a committee hearing. Just announced bonus topic: watching from the Senate or House gallery—to throw, or not to throw (hint: do not throw!). Learn how to advocate for issues you believe in.

Join TX21 Indivisible for this informative yet entertaining presentation by Chiarello Noppenberg, who does policy analysis for the Texas legislature by day and improv at night (check out her show Over the Lege, which returns in September!).

Please bring a computer/tablet if you would like to set up a personalized tracking system for the legislative bills you care about during the workshop.

BYO beer, wine, and snacks!

Finally, don’t forget to take care of business with your US reps, namely calling about saving the ACA, calling for Jeff Sessions’ resignation for lying under oath, and calling for a full, 9/11-style, bi-partisan investigation into Russian intel’s interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

 

Do-or-die time. The 85th Legislative session is a little over halfway complete. It’s time to leave it all out on the field.

Constituent pressure works. Let’s use it.

We’ll be at the capitol every day, Monday to Thursday, as a point of contact to those testifying in committee hearings, as well as for those who just want to register support or opposition at a kiosk.

You’re going to be calling, tweeting, Facebook-ing at your House Rep and Senator every day.

You’re going to get everyone you know in any Texas district to do the same.

And, new this week, you’re going to be contacting your District party chairs and Precinct party chairs, and telling them that the legislation you support must get all the way through to the Governor’s desk.

We’re rolling out a new set of tools this week to help with that. The first, focused on SB6, can be found here. Share that link as widely as you can. It has links to all 150 members of the House, with infographics to post on social media just by clicking buttons out of the doc, and call scripts to use. It is dynamic so we’ll be adding links to other activists in each House members constituency as well. There’s also a survey to report your results included in the tool for every call. It’s critical that everyone fills out the survey and encourage everyone else to do the same so we can improve the tool and gather information about where to exert pressure.

Monday, March 27

1. All day. Call your State House Reps to demand that they oppose SB6 and SB4 (and any companion bills–see items for Tuesday).

You can find your Representative easily here:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Use and spread this tool as well, found here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1C9e5BGZezb-TPSB3Y_B0zjbze0CDhvXuK7AzVxh-iVM/edit?usp=sharing

Here’s a script and some more info:

Hello, I’m calling to ask my Representative to vote NO on SB6. This legislation is not actually about public safety; it discriminates against transgendered people and would inhibit their participation in public life. We trust our teachers and principals who know our kids to make the appropriate accommodations for their students and keep them safe. A blanket law that prohibits student accommodations wrongly takes those decisions out of our teachers’ hands.  

And I know Senator Kolkhorst and Dan Patrick have tried to sell this to the public as a “public safety” measure, but outlawing transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify doesn’t make anyone safer. Transgender Texans have been using bathrooms for years with no reports of them doing anything inappropriate in those spaces. This bill is a “solution” in search of a problem. Thank you for your time.

Dan Patrick and the GOP keep trying to use a widely debunked “bathroom predator myth” to nominally support this bill. There is 0 evidence for this claim. This reckless lie endangers the transgender community.  

More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here.

If you need some more reading on SB4, see below:

Immigrants commit less crime than native born Americans.

Crime is down in Texas cities, and Austin’s crime rate has plummeted.

If you need a few talking points about how immigrants contribute to Texas’ economy, the CPPP has got you covered.

2. All day: Call your State Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”.

SB21 and HJR2, resolutions that call for a Convention of States, have already passed the State Senate.

If its companion, HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.

  • Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Representative ______ and I’m calling to request (s)he vote NO on HJR 39. This resolution is a distraction from the pressing needs and priorities of Texans and as a tax payer, I’m appalled that our state legislators are wasting limited resources on this initiative.”

You can read about Empower Texans, a huge, single-donor lobby that is the money behind this push for a Convention of the States here, and while you’re at it read about how the Koch brothers own Greg Abbott here and here.

Tuesday, March 28

1. #txlege Resistance at the capitol.

1. 8 am. Room E2.014. The Homeland Security Committee has scheduled a public Hearing for HB1911 and HB375, two rotten “permitless carry” bills. Drop by if you can, and call your reps if you can’t.

HB 1911 makes the License to Carry a handgun optional and would allow people without background checks or any training to carry in public.

HB 375 is the same proposal, but even more egregious since it ties the hands of law enforcement, puts their lives at greater risk, and limits their ability to protect us.

The gun community will be well represented, and common sense gun control proponents could use support on Tuesday with public testimony. But even a call or email to the committee would be helpful.

Here are the members:

http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/committee/?committee=C420

2. All day. Call your State Senator to demand that they oppose SB3. Texas’ relentless war on public education is typified in SB 3, the school voucher bill. School vouchers are one of Dan Patrick’s pet issues, because it’s one of the issues that the wealthy lobbyists backing him want to see pushed through. Simply put, school vouchers in Texas are a terrible idea.

If passed, this bill would undermine both public education and the separation of church and state.  It would take taxpayers’ dollars away from public schools and allow them to be transferred to charter or private schools, including church-sponsored schools, without any oversight of the effectiveness of those schools.

The Texas Association of School Boards has created a very useful outline of concerns here.

Conservatives and home-school advocates also really hate this idea.

Here’s the text of the bill and a plain-language commentary.

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=85R&Bill=SB3

https://apps.texastribune.org/texas-school-choice-bill-annotated/

Talking points on SB3 are here.

2. All day. Call your House Rep to vote Yes on HB 1336.

3. All day. Continue to call House Reps to vote No on SB4, Greg Abbott’s anti-immigrant sanctuary cities bill, and House Rep Charlie Geren’s companion bill HB 889, which criminalizes anyone who refuses to participate in mass deportations. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). The kind of mass deportations that Donald Trump wants to force us to participate in are ruining the lives of our friends and neighbors. This runs counter to everything we have been taught and believe that we stand for as Americans. Tell your House Representative that we cannot be bullied out of our humanity, and they should refuse to let Greg Abbott bully them out of theirs.

Sample Script A:

“Hi, my name is _________ and I’m calling to urge _________ to go on the record and reject Senate Bill 4. This bill will only increase mistrust in law enforcement, and will do nothing to actually keep us safe. The research shows that legislation like State Bill 4 only drives undocumented crime victims and witnesses into the shadows, and we’ve already seen in the ICE raids in Texas that these deportation raids are not targeting criminals, as over half of the arrests made were of immigrants who didn’t have criminal records, including a woman with a brain tumor being treated for cancer whom agents removed from the hospital, a woman in court who was arrested on a tip by the man who abused her, and hard-working families, now torn apart.

Governor Abbott’s position on sanctuary cities is a cowardly, overt attempt at capitalizing on the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that Donald Trump exploited during his campaign. But that doesn’t have any place in Texas. We, Rep____’s constituents will not forget ______ position on this matter, and urge him/her to get on the right side of history, or we will be voting him out of office when he/she seeks re-election.”

Sample Script B:

Hi, My name is __________.  As a concerned constituent of the state of Texas, I urge Representative _______ to oppose SB 4 and all companion bills – HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308.  I care about keeping Texans safe and together, this includes my immigrant neighbors. During the SB4 hearing in the House, there were a total of 638 testimonies out of which 619 were against SB4.  I urge Representative _________ to listen to the concerns of those 619 testimonies, which represent the concerns of our communities.  I urge him/her to also consider the testimony of representatives from law enforcement agencies from around the state, such as Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, that said that this bill will erode public trust in police.  In addition, SB4 will lead to racial profiling, which is un-American and un-Texan.  Senate Bill 4 goes against our values as Texans and many Texans oppose this bill, including faith, business, and law enforcement leaders, and I would like to ask Representative ____________ to also oppose SB4.

Read our explainer on SB4 here.

Wednesday, March 29

1. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. All day. Call and email Senators in the Senate Veteran Affairs & Border Security Committee to oppose SB1018, which would allow DFPS to license ICE-operated family detention centers. Essentially, these would be state sanctioned concentration camps for immigrants. Click here for a fact sheet.

  • Senator Donna Campbell (512) 463-0125 or donna.campbell@senate.texas.gov
  • Senator Don Huffman (512) 463-0116 or don.huffines@senate.texas.gov
  • Senator Dawn Buckingham (512) 463-0124 or dawn.buckingham@senate.texas.gov
  • Senator Bob Hall (512) 463-0102 or bob.hall@senate.texas.gov

2. All day. Call to support key voting rights bills in the Texas Legislature–HJR 32, HJR 118, HJR 74, and HB 369. Call your House Representative, Senator, and members of the House Committee on Redistricting and the Senate State Affairs Committee. (Thanks to Degerrymander Texas. More info here.)

  • Vice Chair/Representative:  Rep Eric Johnson (TX-100) (512) 463-0586 or email
  • Representative:  Rep Drew Darby (TX-72) (512) 463-0331 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Ana Hernandez (TX-143) (512) 463-0614 or email **Note that Rep Hernandez has said she supports bills
  • Representative :  Rep Armando Martinez (TX-39) (512) 463-0530 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Will Metcalf (TX-16) (512) 463-0726 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Tan Parker (TX-63) (512) 463-0688 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Eddie Rodriguez (TX-51) (512) 463-0674 or email
  • Representative :  Rep Drew Springer (TX-68) (512) 463-0526 or email

Here’s a sample script with a Representative’s office:

Hi, I’m [NAME] and I’m a constituent of [HOME REPRESENTATIVE] from [ZIPCODE]. I’m calling because on March 10, 2017, a federal appellate court ruled that some of our state’s 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act.
Will [COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE] support current legislation on redistricting reform?  (these are bills HJR 32, HJR 118, HJR 74, and HB 369)  [wait for answer – you will likely get a fluff answer, don’t press]  This is the time to fix this problem once and for all AND let Texas keep control of the redistricting process.  I’ve called my representative and senator to ask for their support of of these bills to put control of redistricting into the hands of a bi-partisan commission.   [don’t forget to thank the staffer for their time]
  •  Last step:  follow-up with an email!
SENATORS ON STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
  • Senator:  Brian Birdwell  512-463-0122 or email
  • Senator :  Brandon Creighton 512-463-0104 or email
  • Senator :  Craig Estes 512-463-0130 or email
  • Senator :  Eddie Lucio, Jr  512-463-0127 or email
  • Senator :  Jane Nelson 512-463-0112 or email
  • Senator : Charles Schwertner  512-463-0105 or email
  • Senator :  Judith Zaffirini 512-463-0121 or email

Here’s a sample script with a Senator’s office:

Hi, I’m [NAME] and I’m a constituent of [HOME SENATOR] from [ZIPCODE].  I’m calling because of current events.  On March 10, 2017, a federal appellate court ruled that some of our state’s 36 congressional districts violate either the U.S. Constitution or the federal Voting Rights Act.  Will [COMMITTEE SENATOR] support current legislation on redistricting reform?  (these are bills HJR 32, HJR 118, HJR 74, and SB 209)  [wait for answer – you will likely get a fluff answer, don’t press]
This is the time to fix this problem once and for all AND let Texas keep control of the redistricting process.  I’ve called my representative and senator to ask for their support of of these bills to put control of redistricting into the hands of a bi-partisan commission.   [don’t forget to thank the staffer for their time]
  • Last step:  follow-up with an email!

Thursday, March 30

Keep the pressure on.

Reminder: you can find your State House Representative and Senators here:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

1. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. All day. Call your Texas State House Representative and demand that they oppose Senate Bill 6, the bathroom bill. (Script above.)

3. All day. Call your Texas State House Representative and demand that they oppose Senate Bill 4, Greg Abbott’s racist anti-immigrant, anti-sanctuary cities bill.

4. All day. Several reproductive health calls to make. House Bill 35 and House Bill 201, both fetal tissue burial bills, were left pending in Committee last week. HB 35 would require women who has a miscarriage to pay for a funeral. HB 201 is similar, but would not create a registry of organizations to pay for the burials.

During testimony for the Committee, far-right extremist activists argued that none of these bills go far enough, and that abortion should be outlawed completely. We sat through most of the testimony  and live-tweeted it, and that thread is here. Read the Texas Tribune’s recap of Wednesday’s testimony here.

In addition to HB35 and HB201, there’s:

• Senate Bill 8 – Charles Schwertner‘s ban on the donation of fetal tissue for scientific research (Schwertner argues this bill is necessary to stop for-profit sale of fetal tissue, basing his claims on a widely debunked “sting” video by a far-right “investigative journalist”, but this practice is in fact already illegal. It’s against federal law.)

Senate Bill 415 – Charles Perry‘s ban on safe, second-term abortion procedures. Anti-abortion conservatives exploit graphic, intentionally inflammatory language to try to steer the debate, and this is one of those bills, which Perry says bans “dismemberment” (which doctors and women refer to as a Dilation & Evacuation procedure). Perry’s law doesn’t outlaw D & E (as that would be unconstitutional), it just requires that the fetus be deceased. D&E is the only remaining legal option for second trimester abortions — comprising roughly 10 percent of abortions — that doctors consider safe. In other words, a safe, legal alternative to D & E does not exist, if it is outlawed. There’s no reason for this law to exist.

Senate Bill 258 – Don Huffine‘s law requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains. Essentially the same as HB35. During initial testimony, Kirk Watson (D-Austin) pressed both Charles Schwertner and Don Huffines on it, asking “Can you point me to anything in this bill that enhances the pregnant women’s health and safety?” Medical leaders and opponents of bills like this correctly point out that it provides no exceptions for miscarriages and nonviable fetuses.

SB 258, which, under the pretext of enhancing human dignity, does nothing but burden doctors and women with additional “informed consent” requirements.  The bill requires doctors to provide a notice that “describes the options for the disposition of the unborn child’s remains” requires the woman to sign it before receiving an abortion, and requires the doctor to keep the record for seven years.  The language of the bill suggests that a fetus is legally equivalent to an “unborn child” but does nothing to improve medical care for women or children.  The notice focuses on burial or cremation and the costs, only briefly mentioning the ordinary methods of disposing of medical waste, which are still legal.

This bill should not be confused with the regulations on disposing of fetal remains passed by the Texas Department of State Health Services in 2016.  An order issuing a temporary injunction to stop those regulations was issued January 27, 2017.

The text of the bill can be found here: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/SB00258I.pdf#navpanes=0

A plain-language explanation of the bill can be found here: https://rewire.news/legislative-tracker/law/texas-bill-regarding-disposition-fetal-remains-sb-258/

Sample script:

“Hi, my name is _________ and I’m calling to urge _________ to vote against Senate Bill 258. This bill increases the burdens on doctors and women of complying with bureaucratic paperwork without doing anything to protect the health of women and children.  

5. All day. Call your Texas State House Representative and demand that they vote No on a Convention of States. (see above).

Friday, March 31

1. All day: Call your House Representative about House Bill 4260 Friday, which would fine men $100 for masturbating and require that they read a booklet about “men’s health” procedures like vasectomies and colonoscopies.

On Friday, before the deadline for filing when lawmakers were all rushing to get their last minute filings in, we noticed that Jessica Farrar had filed a law called the “Man’s Right to Know Act.” Farrar’s HB4260 is a work of Swift-ian genius that points out the hypocrisy in the way Texas (male) lawmakers try to legislate women’s bodies and health choices in very real, very restrictive ways, every time the Legislature meets. (See fetal burial bills above.)

From the Texas Tribune:

That’s why the the Houston Democrat on Friday filed House Bill 4260, which would fine men $100 for masturbating and create a required booklet for men with medical information related to the benefits and concerns of a man seeking a vasectomy, a Viagra prescription or a colonoscopy. The bill would also let doctors invoke their “personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs” in refusing to perform an elective vasectomy or prescribe Viagra, among other proposed requirements in the bill.

While Farrar knows her “proposed satirical regulations” will not become law, she hoped the bill’s filing would at least foster a deeper discussion about what should be a priority during session years.

“What I would like to see is this make people stop and think,” Farrar told The Texas Tribune. “Maybe my colleagues aren’t capable of that, but the people who voted for them, or the people that didn’t vote at all, I hope that it changes their mind and helps them to decide what the priorities are.”

We’re going to whole-heartedly and loudly voice our full support for this bill. Check back here often for updates on this. We are dead serious. There needs to be a discussion about the fact that men in the Texas legislature regularly try to impose their religious beliefs on American women in oppressive and humiliating ways.

Finally, it’s important that you keep the pressure on your lawmakers. Keep making those calls to your State Reps and Senators.

But equally important: Remind your friends and coworkers to call. Who do you know in some of the other cities and counties in Texas? Call them up or shoot them an email and let them know about what the Texas Legislature is trying to do.

Saturday, April 1

Also, check our calendar for community events happening this weekend.

Sunday, April 2

Monday, April 3

1. Call Cindy Burkett, chair of House Redistricting Committee, and Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives about Congressional district Redistricting. (Thanks to Degerrymander Texas. More info here.) Ask why there aren’t hearings being held on bills that could end hyper-partisan, racist gerrymandering of Congressional districts in Texas. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.

2.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter. Highlighted in-person actions today:

Tuesday, April 4

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. All day. Continue to call House Reps to vote No on SB4, Greg Abbott’s anti-immigrant sanctuary cities bill, and companion bill HB 889, which criminalizes anyone who refuses to participate in mass deportations. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). The kind of mass deportations that Donald Trump wants to force us to participate in are ruining the lives of our friends and neighbors. This runs counter to everything we have been taught and believe that we stand for as Americans. Tell your House Representative that we cannot be bullied out of our humanity, and they should refuse to let Greg Abbott bully them out of theirs.

Sample Script A:

“Hi, my name is _________ and I’m calling to urge _________ to go on the record and reject Senate Bill 4. This bill will only increase mistrust in law enforcement, and will do nothing to actually keep us safe. The research shows that legislation like State Bill 4 only drives undocumented crime victims and witnesses into the shadows, and we’ve already seen in the ICE raids in Texas that these deportation raids are not targeting criminals, as over half of the arrests made were of immigrants who didn’t have criminal records, including a woman with a brain tumor being treated for cancer whom agents removed from the hospital, a woman in court who was arrested on a tip by the man who abused her, and hard-working families, now torn apart.

Governor Abbott’s position on sanctuary cities is a cowardly, overt attempt at capitalizing on the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that Donald Trump exploited during his campaign. But that doesn’t have any place in Texas. We, Rep____’s constituents will not forget ______ position on this matter, and urge him/her to get on the right side of history, or we will be voting him out of office when he/she seeks re-election.”

Sample Script B:

Hi, My name is __________.  As a concerned constituent of the state of Texas, I urge Representative _______ to oppose SB 4 and all companion bills – HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308.  I care about keeping Texans safe and together, this includes my immigrant neighbors. During the SB4 hearing in the House, there were a total of 638 testimonies out of which 619 were against SB4.  I urge Representative _________ to listen to the concerns of those 619 testimonies, which represent the concerns of our communities.  I urge him/her to also consider the testimony of representatives from law enforcement agencies from around the state, such as Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, that said that this bill will erode public trust in police.  In addition, SB4 will lead to racial profiling, which is un-American and un-Texan.  Senate Bill 4 goes against our values as Texans and many Texans oppose this bill, including faith, business, and law enforcement leaders, and I would like to ask Representative ____________ to also oppose SB4.

Read our explainer on SB4 here.

Wednesday, April 5

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. The House of Representatives will vote on their budget on Thursday April 6. Extremists are trying to do everything they can to add non-germane language to amendments to any piece of legislation they can, and the House budget is no exception. Obviously, we vehemently oppose any effort to do so. Additionally, several reps have added amendments that we want everyone to forcefully demand that their House rep support. This is incredibly important. Blow up your reps phones between now and the vote on Thursday. Tell them we’ll be watching how they vote on the budget amendments on Thursday and will not forget in 2018. These amendments are pre-filed, so for example you can just say, “I want the representative to vote Yes on Representative Anchia’s amendment that prohibits ISP’s from selling customers’ data without their permission,” and the staffer should know what you’re talking about.

Support:

Oppose:

  • Valoree Swanson (R-Spring) has filed an amendment that would cut off funding to state agencies or governmental units that use public funds to “construct, renovate, or reclassify” a restroom to “allow or enable a man to enter a women’s restroom facility.” Link: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/amendments/prefiled/pdf/SB00001H2_851131.PDF
  • Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park) has filed an amendment targeting transgender prisoners. It would ban the Texas Department of Criminal Justice from using its funding to pay for gender transitioning or sexual reassignment surgery. Link: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/amendments/prefiled/pdf/SB00001H2_851105.PDF; Cain has also filed two amendments that would bar state funding from subsidizing fetal tissue research or any other research “which involves the destruction of a human embryo.” Demand that your rep vote against all of these amendments.

And several lawmakers are looking to boost funding for taxpayer-funded “crisis pregnancy centers”:

  • Matt Krause, (R-Fort Worth), has introduced an amendment that would cut $35 million from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Mike Lang, (R-Granbury), would cut about $16 million from the Texas Lottery Commission;
  • Matt Shaheen, (R-Plano), would cut $16 million from the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Find your House Rep with this tool. Tell them you demand that they vote against the cuts above, and for the amendments we support.

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Thursday, April 6

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. Keep calling your House Reps on harmful amendments and the amendments we want to see supported above.

Friday, April 6

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. All day. Call your State House Reps. Remind them you’re watching how they vote on any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like SB6, and any legislation that punishes so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to participate in mass deportations, like SB4

You can find your Representative easily here:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Here’s a script and some more info:

Hello, I’m calling to ask my Senator/Representative to vote NO on SB6. This legislation is not actually about public safety; it discriminates against transgendered people and would inhibit their participation in public life. We trust our teachers and principals who know our kids to make the appropriate accommodations for their students and keep them safe. A blanket law that prohibits student accommodations wrongly takes those decisions out of our teachers’ hands.  

And I know Senator Kolkhorst and Dan Patrick are trying to sell this to the public as a “public safety” measure, but outlawing transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify doesn’t make anyone safer. Transgender Texans have been using bathrooms for years with no reports of them doing anything inappropriate in those spaces. This bill is a “solution” in search of a problem. Thank you for your time.

Dan Patrick and the GOP keep trying to use a widely debunked “bathroom predator myth” to nominally support this bill. There is 0 evidence for this claim. This reckless lie endangers the transgender community.  

More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here.

If you need some more reading on SB4, see below:

Immigrants commit less crime than native born Americans.

Crime is down in Texas cities, and Austin’s crime rate has plummeted.

If you need a few talking points about how immigrants contribute to Texas’ economy, the CPPP has got you covered.

Saturday, April 7

Also, check our calendar for community events happening this weekend.

Sunday, April 8

Monday, April 10

1. Here’s an Action Item via Indivisible Austin. Call TEXAS HOUSE REPS to support HB2702. The House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee will hold a hearing on HB2702, the Sandra Bland bill on Tuesday, April 10. This bill would limit police searches during stops, add reporting requirements for racial profiling, and create an independent ombudsman to monitor inmates’ rights and services. If you can’t be at the Capitol tomorrow to register your support, call your TEXAS HOUSE reps to express your support. Read more about it at the Texas Tribune here.
2. Continue to call Cindy Burkett, chair of House Redistricting Committee, and Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives about Congressional district Redistricting. (Thanks to Degerrymander Texas. More info here.) Ask why there aren’t hearings being held on bills that could end hyper-partisan, racist gerrymandering of Congressional districts in Texas. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.

3.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter. Highlighted in-person actions today:

Tuesday, April 11

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. On Thursday, April 12, there’s a House Federal Power & Responsibility Committee hearing on one of the far-right’s highest priorities: HJR39, to call a “Convention of States.” Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”.

SB21 and HJR2, resolutions that call for a Convention of States, have already passed the State Senate.

If its companion, HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.

  • Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Representative ______ and I’m calling to request (s)he vote NO on HJR 39. This resolution is a distraction from the pressing needs and priorities of Texans and as a tax payer, I’m appalled that our state legislators are wasting limited resources on this initiative.”

You can read about Empower Texans, a huge, single-donor lobby that is the money behind this push for a Convention of the States here, and while you’re at it read about how the Koch brothers own Greg Abbott here and here.

Wednesday, April 12

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. The House Federal Power & Responsibility Committee meets tomorrow, Thursday April 13. Keep calling House Reps to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. (See above).

Thursday, April 13

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter. HJR 39, the dangerous “Convention of States” bill, is being heard in the State & Federal Responsibility Committee at 8 a.m., Room E2.036.

2. All day. Call House Reps to vote No on SB4. Yesterday, the House State Affairs Committee approved a sanctuary cities ban that changes parts of the Senate’s proposal but maintains the bill’s more controversial provisions. SB4 and companion bill HB 889 both criminalize anyone who refuses to participate in mass deportations. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). The kind of mass deportations that Donald Trump wants to force us to participate in are ruining the lives of our friends and neighbors. This runs counter to everything we have been taught and believe that we stand for as Americans. Tell your House Representative that we cannot be bullied out of our humanity, and they should refuse to let Greg Abbott bully them out of theirs.

Sample Script A:

“Hi, my name is _________ and I’m calling to urge _________ to go on the record and reject Senate Bill 4. This bill will only increase mistrust in law enforcement, and will do nothing to actually keep us safe. The research shows that legislation like State Bill 4 only drives undocumented crime victims and witnesses into the shadows, and we’ve already seen in the ICE raids in Texas that these deportation raids are not targeting criminals, as over half of the arrests made were of immigrants who didn’t have criminal records, including a woman with a brain tumor being treated for cancer whom agents removed from the hospital, a woman in court who was arrested on a tip by the man who abused her, and hard-working families, now torn apart.

Governor Abbott’s position on sanctuary cities is a cowardly, overt attempt at capitalizing on the wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that Donald Trump exploited during his campaign. But that doesn’t have any place in Texas. We, Rep____’s constituents will not forget ______ position on this matter, and urge him/her to get on the right side of history, or we will be voting him out of office when he/she seeks re-election.”

Sample Script B:

Hi, My name is __________.  As a concerned constituent of the state of Texas, I urge Representative _______ to oppose SB 4 and all companion bills – HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308.  I care about keeping Texans safe and together, this includes my immigrant neighbors. During the SB4 hearing in the House, there were a total of 638 testimonies out of which 619 were against SB4.  I urge Representative _________ to listen to the concerns of those 619 testimonies, which represent the concerns of our communities.  I urge him/her to also consider the testimony of representatives from law enforcement agencies from around the state, such as Austin Police Chief Brian Manley, that said that this bill will erode public trust in police.  In addition, SB4 will lead to racial profiling, which is un-American and un-Texan.  Senate Bill 4 goes against our values as Texans and many Texans oppose this bill, including faith, business, and law enforcement leaders, and I would like to ask Representative ____________ to also oppose SB4.

Read our explainer on SB4 here.

In case you need some background:

Sanctuary cities are safer and more productive, with better economies.

The effects of sanctuary policies on crime and the economy.

Sanctuary cities do not experience an increase in crime.

Fact check: Immigration doesn’t bring crime into U.S., data say.

Urban crime rates and the changing face of immigration: evidence across four decades.

Anatomy of a statistic: do 80% of Americans oppose sanctuary cities?

The myth of the US immigration crisis.

Texas cities see crime rates dropping.

The trouble with immigration detainers.

City of Houston Police Chief’s Message to the Senate State Affairs Committee.

Law enforcement Senate State Affairs testimony against SB4.

Judge shoots down Miami-Dade detention policy adopted to follow Trump deportation order.

Austin ICE Raids: Meet the immigrants arrested.

President isn’t living up to his promise on immigrants.

Immigration agents deport Houston father of two.

ICE detains woman seeking domestic abuse protection at Texas courthouse.

 

Friday, April 14

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. All day. Call your State House Reps. Remind them you’re watching how they vote on any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like SB6, and any legislation that punishes so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to participate in mass deportations, like SB4

You can find your Representative easily here:

http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Here’s a script and some more info:

Hello, I’m calling to ask my Senator/Representative to vote NO on SB6. This legislation is not actually about public safety; it discriminates against transgendered people and would inhibit their participation in public life. We trust our teachers and principals who know our kids to make the appropriate accommodations for their students and keep them safe. A blanket law that prohibits student accommodations wrongly takes those decisions out of our teachers’ hands.  

And I know Senator Kolkhorst and Dan Patrick are trying to sell this to the public as a “public safety” measure, but outlawing transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender with which they identify doesn’t make anyone safer. Transgender Texans have been using bathrooms for years with no reports of them doing anything inappropriate in those spaces. This bill is a “solution” in search of a problem. Thank you for your time.

Dan Patrick and the GOP keep trying to use a widely debunked “bathroom predator myth” to nominally support this bill. There is 0 evidence for this claim. This reckless lie endangers the transgender community.  

More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here.

If you need some more reading on SB4, see below:

Immigrants commit less crime than native born Americans.

Crime is down in Texas cities, and Austin’s crime rate has plummeted.

If you need a few talking points about how immigrants contribute to Texas’ economy, the CPPP has got you covered.

Saturday, April 15

Also, check our calendar for community events happening this weekend.

Sunday, April 16

Monday, April 17

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.  Bill list for April 17: bit.ly/resistApril17.

2. Call the House Homeland & Public Safety Committee to urge the members to oppose HB 1911 and HB 375, two extreme “permitless carry” bills. These bills are so extreme that even the NRA won’t back them.

HB 1911 makes the License to Carry a handgun optional and would allow people without background checks or any training to carry in public.

HB 375 is the same proposal, but even more egregious since it ties the hands of law enforcement, puts their lives at greater risk, and limits their ability to protect us.

Phil King (512) 463-0738
Poncho Nevarez (512) 463-0566
DeWayne Burns (512) 463-0538
Gina Hinojosa (512) 463-0668 *already opposes
Justin Holland (512) 463-0484
Jarvis Johnson (512) 463-0554
Will Metcalf (512) 463-0726
Matt Schaefer (512) 463-0584
John Wray (512) 463-0516

3. Every day. Keep the pressure on. Here is the list of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

Tuesday, April 18

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter. Bill list for April 18: bit.ly/resistApril18.

2. Every day. Keep the pressure on. Here is the list of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

Wednesday, April 19

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. 10:30 a.m., Room JH 140. The House State Affairs committee is holding a hearing on HB2899, the revised, insidious “bathroom bill.” There’s been a lot of news out surround the Texas Senate’s vile, discriminatory bathroom bill  after North Carolina’s state legislature agreed to a  “fake repeal” of its own bathroom bill, HB2. Now, in Texas, following widespread public outcry and condemnation, the Texas Legislature’s House of Representatives is offering up their own kind of “fake repeal” of , called HB2899. is being sold to the press as a “milder” version of SB6, but this is not the case. In many ways, HB2899 is worse than SB6 in that it would bar all local ordinances protecting LGBT Texans from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. To prepare for your testimony, use this fact sheet from Equality Texas. If you’d like, the Texas Freedom Network and Equality Texas have a Facebook invite here, or use Indivisible Austin’s Action Buddy to carpool.

3. Every day. Keep the pressure on. Here is the list of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

Thursday, April 20

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter. HJR 39, the dangerous “Convention of States” bill, is being heard in the State & Federal Responsibility Committee at 8 a.m., Room E2.036.

2. Every day. Keep the pressure on. Here is the list of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

Friday, April 21

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. Every day. Keep the pressure on. Here is the list of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

 

Saturday, April 22

Also, check our calendar for community events happening this weekend.

Sunday, April 23

Monday, April 24

1. This is going to be a dramatic week. The House votes on SB4 on Wednesday. We need to flood State House Reps with calls to oppose SB4. Read our post here. If your Republican House Rep bills themselves as a “Constitutionally minded fiscal conservative,” remind your reps that not only is SB4 immoral, it is unconstitutional and fiscally disastrous. Lines of argument here.

These are the most important calls to make. If you live in any of these districts, please tell everyone you know to call these Reps.

“Hi, my name is ________ and I am calling to demand that the Representative OPPOSE Senate Bill 4 in any form. [My family / Texas students / Texas children] deserve/s to live without fear, and to live lives of dignity and prosperity. Please tell the Representative that Texans OPPOSE SB 4 and they must too.”

Remember: the vote that is cast on Wednesday is going to impact the lives of the children and students. We watched as children pleaded with committee members not to drag their parents away. And now we’ve see cases in which DACA recipients are being dragged into deportation proceedings and are being deported outright. These kids are counting on you.

Joe Straus 121 (512) 463-1000 San Antonio 78233
Todd Hunter 32 (512) 463-0672 Corpus Christi 78401
John Zerwas 28 (512) 463-0657 Fulshear 77406
Byron Cook 8 (512) 463-0730 Corsicana 75109
Charlie Geren 99 (512) 463-0610 Lakeside 76108
J.M. Lozano 43 (512) 463-0463 Mathis 78368
Dennis Bonnen 25 (512) 463-0564 West Columbia 77486
Dan Huberty 127 (512) 463-0520 Kingwood 77325
Trent Ashby 57 (512) 463-0508 Lufkin 75901
Phil King 61 (512) 463-0738 Springtown 76082
Tracy King 80 (512) 463-0194 Carrizo Springs 78834
James White 19 512-463-0490 Woodville 75979
John Frullo 84 (512) 463-0676 Lubbock 79414
Angie Chen Button 112 (512) 463-0486 Garland 75044
Will Metcalf 16 (512) 463-0726 Panorama Village 77304
Jodie Laubenberg 89 (512) 463-0186 Lavon 75166
Drew Darby 72 (512) 463-0331 San Angelo 76901
Sarah Davis 134 (512) 463-0389 West University Place 77005
Lyle Larson 122 (512) 463-0646 San Antonio 78260
Cindy Burkett 113 (512) 463-0464 Sunnyvale 75182
Larry Phillips 62 (512) 463-0297 Bonham 75418
Tan Parker 63 (512) 463-0688
Dan Flynn 2 (512) 463-0880
Ken King 88 (512) 463-0736
Four Price 87 (512) 463-0470
Geanie Morrison 30 (512) 463-0456
Jim Murphy 133 (512) 463-0514
Linda Koop 102 (512) 463-0454
Kyle Kacal 12 (512) 463-0412
Chris Paddie 9 (512) 463-0556
Dade Phelan 21 (512) 463-0706

2. RSVP to United We Dream’s Wedneseday SB4-vote Vigil at the Capitol here.

3.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.  Bill list for Monday, April 24http://bit.ly/resistApril24

4. Every day. Keep the pressure on. Here is the “Evergreen List” of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

Tuesday, April 25

1. Call the Representatives on the House Public Health Committee for a NO vote on HB 1124 which will allow parents to more easily opt out of immunizations. Immunizations are important. Immunizations are why our children no longer get polio, measles, diphtheria, rubella, and many other communicable diseases that are life threatening. This bill would allow parents to simply sign a sheet of paper to send them to public school without vaccinations. It’s scheduled to be debated in committee this week, so the time to call is now. If you care about the health of our children, get on the phone and call! Ensuring a bill doesn’t make it out of committee is the most effective way to ensure it dies.

Read: CDC.gov: What Would Happen if We Stopped Vaccinations?

Committee members to call: House Public Health Committee

Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) (512) 463-0470

Rep J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville) (512) 463-0628

Rep. Diana Arevalo (D-San Antonio) (512) 463-0616

Rep. Cindy Burkett (R-Garland) (512) 463-0464

Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston) (512) 463-0524

Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Dallas) (512) 463-0716

Rep. Phillip Cortez (D-San Antonio) (512) 463-0269

Rep. Bobby Guerra (D-McAllen) (512) 463-0578

Rep. Stephanie Klick (R-North Richland Hills) (512) 463-0599

Rep. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress) (512) 463-0661

Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) (512) 463-0374

Say: “Hi, I’m a parent/citizen/teacher/healthcare professional in Texas and am appalled that our honorable Texas House of Representatives is considering bills like HB 1124 which would put our children’s very lives at risk. I urge Representative ____ to immediately call for a NO vote in committee of this incredibly irresponsible and life threatening bill.”

2. Continue to call State House Reps to oppose SB4. Read our post here. If your Republican House Rep bills themselves as a “Constitutionally minded fiscal conservative,” remind your reps that not only is SB4 immoral, it is unconstitutional and fiscally disastrous. Lines of argument here. If you haven’t yet, RSVP to United We Dream’s Wednseday SB4-vote Vigil at the Capitol here.

Joe Straus 121 (512) 463-1000 San Antonio 78233
Todd Hunter 32 (512) 463-0672 Corpus Christi 78401
John Zerwas 28 (512) 463-0657 Fulshear 77406
Byron Cook 8 (512) 463-0730 Corsicana 75109
Charlie Geren 99 (512) 463-0610 Lakeside 76108
J.M. Lozano 43 (512) 463-0463 Mathis 78368
Dennis Bonnen 25 (512) 463-0564 West Columbia 77486
Dan Huberty 127 (512) 463-0520 Kingwood 77325
Trent Ashby 57 (512) 463-0508 Lufkin 75901
Phil King 61 (512) 463-0738 Springtown 76082
Tracy King 80 (512) 463-0194 Carrizo Springs 78834
James White 19 512-463-0490 Woodville 75979
John Frullo 84 (512) 463-0676 Lubbock 79414
Angie Chen Button 112 (512) 463-0486 Garland 75044
Will Metcalf 16 (512) 463-0726 Panorama Village 77304
Jodie Laubenberg 89 (512) 463-0186 Lavon 75166
Drew Darby 72 (512) 463-0331 San Angelo 76901
Sarah Davis 134 (512) 463-0389 West University Place 77005
Lyle Larson 122 (512) 463-0646 San Antonio 78260
Cindy Burkett 113 (512) 463-0464 Sunnyvale 75182
Larry Phillips 62 (512) 463-0297 Bonham 75418
Tan Parker 63 (512) 463-0688
Dan Flynn 2 (512) 463-0880
Ken King 88 (512) 463-0736
Four Price 87 (512) 463-0470
Geanie Morrison 30 (512) 463-0456
Jim Murphy 133 (512) 463-0514
Linda Koop 102 (512) 463-0454
Kyle Kacal 12 (512) 463-0412
Chris Paddie 9 (512) 463-0556
Dade Phelan 21 (512) 463-0706

3.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter. Bill list for Tuesday, April 25http://bit.ly/resistApril25.

4. Every day. Keep the pressure on. Here is the “Evergreen List” of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

Wednesday, April 26

1. SB4 Vote Vigil at the Capitol. Wear black. Details at FB Event page here.

2.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

3. Every day. Keep the pressure on. Here is the “Evergreen List” of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

Thursday, April 27

1. Call the House Calendars Committee to urge the members to oppose HB 1911 and HB 375, two extreme “permitless carry” bills. These bills are so extreme that even the NRA won’t back them.

HB 1911 makes the License to Carry a handgun optional and would allow people without background checks or any training to carry in public.

HB 375 is the same proposal, but even more egregious since it ties the hands of law enforcement, puts their lives at greater risk, and limits their ability to protect us.

2.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter. HJR 39, the dangerous “Convention of States” bill, is being heard in the State & Federal Responsibility Committee at 8 a.m., Room E2.036.

3. Every day. Keep the pressure on. Here is the “Evergreen List” of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

Friday, April 28

1.  #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. We’ll be in the building in the morning as a point of contact. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

2. Every day. Keep the pressure on.Here is the “Evergreen List” of calls to keep making to your Texas state HOUSE REPS:
  • FIGHT GERRYMANDERING: Call House Redistricting chair Cindy Burkett (512) 463-0464 Email: cindy.burkett@house.texas.gov. Demand that she schedule a redistricting hearing to address Texas’ racist gerrymandering. Bills awaiting hearing in committee are HJR 32/HB 369, HJR 74, and HJR 118. NONE of any redistricting bills introduced over the past 4 cycles have been called to hearing. That means that in the past 8 years, every effort to de-gerrymander Texas has been ignored.
  • FIGHT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION POLICY: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose SB4, its House committee subsititute and its companion bill HB 889. (You should also tell your Rep to oppose all of the companion bills to these bills: HB 611, HB 754, HB 889, and HB 1308). Read our post on SB4 and this issue here.
  • FIGHT DISCRIMINATION: Call your House Rep and demand that they oppose any legislation that approves “bathroom bill”-type legislation like HB2889 or SB6More from us on SB6 here. Fact sheet here. Deep dive on “bathroom predator myth” here. HEARING AT THE CAPITOL IS ON HB2889 WEDNESDAY.
  • FIGHT DARK MONEY BUYING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Call your State House Representative to oppose the call for a “Convention of States”. If  HJR 39, passes the State House, Texas would become one of the 34 states needed to have a US Constitutional Convention. 28 States have approved such measures so far. Given the current political climate, there’s no telling what changes would be made to our Constitution, and how it would impact the separation of powers. If this doesn’t alarm you, it should.
  • FIGHT FOR TEXAS WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTHTexas’ maternal mortality rate has doubled since the legislature cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Here’s a list of all the bills that extremists in the Texas Legislature are using to wage war on Texas women. Call state Senators and House reps and fight back.

 

 Saturday, April 22

Also, check our calendar for community events happening this weekend.

Sunday, April 23

Monday, May 1

1. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.  Bill list for Monday, May 1http://bit.ly/ResistMay1

2. Call your state Representative for a NO vote on HB 1911 which allows handguns to be carried without a license.

The bill has been toned down a bit since it was debated three weeks ago (thanks to those who testified!), but still has troubling components including allowing guns to be carried in places of worship and people over 21 to carry a gun without a license (unless they’re in a “street gang”)

For more: Austin American Statesman: HB 1911 House Committee OKs Gun Carry without License

Read (includes summary of all gun-related bills in the TX lege): Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Texas Lawmakers Ready to Let Gun Owners Carry without Licenses?

Say: “Hi, I’m a constituent of Representative _____. As a [parent/teacher/citizen] in the great state of Texas, I’m concerned about HB 1911 which would allow Texans to carry handguns without a license. Texas is an example of responsible gun ownership, which includes proper training on how to use and store guns to protect our children. If passed, this bill would undermine that, and allow unsafe and untrained people to own and carry guns. It will also make it harder for our police to do their job safely and effectively. Support the children and police of Texas and vote NO for HB 1911. My zip code is ____.”

Tuesday, May 2

1. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.  Bill list for Tuesday, May 2http://bit.ly/ResistMay2

2. SB 6 / HB 2899 update

As you all likely know, SB6 (the bathroom bill) passed the Texas State Senate back in March. I was hoping that the more sensible State House of Representatives would let it die in committee, but it looks like its House companion HB 2899 is gaining support in the House, as reported by Patrick Svitek on Friday: Texas Tribune: Patrick Expresses Support for House Companion Bathroom Bill.
Please call your state representative this week and ask them 1) if they read the books we distributed and 2) how they’ll vote on HB 2899 if it comes up for a vote. If your Rep votes FOR discrimination, make sure they know you will VOTE THEM OUT!
Here’s a list of Representatives on the Texas House of Representatives State Affairs Committee.

Wednesday, May 3

1. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

Thursday, May 4

1. #txlege Resistance at the capitol. If you can be at the capitol to register your support or opposition to a bill, please join us.  See our post on this initiative here. If you’d like to reach out, the best way to reach us is via DM on Twitter.

Friday, May 5 

TBA

Saturday, May 6

Also, check our calendar for community events happening this weekend.

Sunday, May 7

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