We Stand Indivisible Against Hate in Austin

UPDATE: Please scroll to the bottom of this post for an update from Scholz management.

An Indivisible Austin member was targeted for abuse by a group of white supremacists today and their car was vandalized.

Today, neo-Nazis held a hate-filled rally at the State Capitol in Austin to claim that “Tomorrow Belongs to Texas” (a reference to the song from Cabaret and a favorite of prominent racist Richard Spencer, despite the fact that it was written by a gay Jewish progressive). They then headed over to Scholz Garten for an after party. They lied and misrepresented their group’s true nature to the Scholz management. Reports suggest they represented themselves as a veterans’ group, not only hiding their own name, but stealing valor from real veterans.

Indivisible Austin happened to be holding an event at Scholz at the same time. We had a sign posted, and several members were wearing their IATX t-shirts or had bumper stickers on their cars. One of our members, dressed in an IATX shirt, left the meeting a little early, and was verbally attacked with anti-Semitic slurs and videotaped by these people. This person then found that their car, which had progressive bumper stickers, had been vandalized.

We have contacted the Austin Police Department, the Anti-Defamation League, and reached out to Scholz management to understand how and why this happened. We trust that they were deceived by a group with bad intentions.

If you were at Scholz’ around 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, June 17 and you witnessed any part of the assault, please contact us at Board@IndivisibleAustin.com or DM us through Facebook or Twitter.

Scholz Garten is well-known as the home of Texas progressive social gatherings, and Indivisible Austin will not stand by while bigots turn it into a home for hate groups. We have decided to carry on with our previously scheduled happy hour there next Saturday at 5:30 p.m. If you plan on coming, please show your solidarity with an Indivisible or other progressive t-shirt.

From Scholz management:
Hello Scholz Friends,First thank you for bringing yesterday’s incident to our attention, we share the same concerns as yourselves and are saddened that anyone was made to feel unsafe in our establishment.

We were asked, with rather short notice, to accommodate a party to be hosted Sat June 17. The group represented themselves to our staff as “TBT” and that they were a “Veterans group.”  While we searched for information on “TBT Veterans” we found nothing good or bad and confirmed the booking. There was no mention of participating in a march or their actual name. Based on today’s events we now understand they misrepresented themselves and misled our Scholz events team, management and staff. Please rest assured we would never give any group on the side of Hate a platform for any reason.

The question “Does anyone know anything about these Frank- Hot Dogs, Cold Beer people who are now running operations?” was posed.  The new operators have run many local businesses for decades that promote Diversity, Unity, Inclusion, and Love. The owners have spent time on many non-profit and charitable boards and have had a hand in raising awareness and funds for many righteous causes. We have prepared and distributed Thanksgiving meals for hundreds of Austin’s homeless and Safe Place, driven cargo trucks full of supplies to Standing Rock, Raised money for West Texas Fire Relief, Autism Awareness, Cancer Awareness, aGLIFF, Love-a-Bull, Boys and Girls Club of Austin, ACLU and more. We’re not patting ourselves on the back by any means but we do want you to know that we take Austin, Texas, our businesses, our guests, life, love, happiness and equality very seriously.

We will do everything to continue to support the great groups who call Scholz home and can reassure you Hate groups like Tomorrow Belongs to Texas are not welcome in this place of acceptance.

With love, Scholz Owners, Staff & Family

It’s a Stakeout! Conference call on the John Cornyn Stakeout

Guest Speaker:

Dan Epstein, TX-19 Congressional Candidate and founder of West Texans Concerned About Vladimir Putin

Dan Epstein is a Visiting Instructor at Texas Tech University. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2008. His research focuses on political parties, electoral competition, and political culture in developing countries in Eastern Europe and Latin America, with particular focus on Russia and Brazil.

Phone Bank to Demand a Special Prosecutor

This is an opportunity for everyone to influence Rep. Will Hurd in TX-23, regardless of where you live.

There will be a rally at Hurd’s San Antonio offices on Tuesday, May 16 to demand a special prosecutor to investigate Russian election interference. A phone bank has been set up that enables you to call constituents in his district, encouraging them to go to the rally.

Once you log in, there will be scripts for you to follow. If you don’t have a VPB account, it takes two minutes to create one.

Get started phone banking!

Event info:

Northside: Meeting at noon at 17721 Rogers Ranch Parkway.

Southside: Meeting at noon at Texas A&M University-San Antonio
One University Way, San Antonio, Texas 78224.

John Cornyn wants to hear your Obamacare stories

From Sen. John Cornyn’s newsletter:

Health care affects each and every Texan’s life. As the United States Senate continues the process of replacing President Obama’s healthcare law, I want to hear about your experiences and how we can do better.

Texans across our state have told me that under Obamacare, they haven’t been able to keep their doctors, plans have disappeared, and high deductibles and double-digit premium hikes have made coverage unaffordable. 

But, I’d like to hear from you. Let me know how Obamacare has impacted your family, your loved ones, or your business by replying to this email. As Congress crafts a new health care law, I want to be sure your voice is included in the conversation.

You can send your stories to newsletter_@cornyn.senate.gov with the subject “Tell Me Your Obamacare Story”

Update to the Update:

May 11, 2017: A reliable source tells us that Cornyn’s office is seeing your ACA stories; they are just having trouble with the auto-responder. So keep emailing!

Update

Emails are bouncing back with this message:

This is the original email, which we pasted verbatim (including links):

It is unclear whether Cornyn’s office is actually receiving messages, and forgot to turn off their auto-responder, or whether your ACA stories are going into a black hole.

Please call, fax, and snail-mail your ACA stories to  Sen. Cornyn’s offices and ask why your email bounced back!

Washington, DC Office
517 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-2934

Central Texas:
Chase Tower
221 West Sixth Street
Suite 1530
Austin, TX 78701
Main: 512-469-6034
Fax: 512-469-6020

East Texas:
Regions Bank Building
100 E. Ferguson Street, Suite 1004
Tyler, TX 75702
Main: 903-593-0902
Fax: 903-593-0920

North Texas:
5001 Spring Valley Road
Suite 1125 E
Dallas, TX 75244
Main: 972-239-1310
Fax: 972-239-2110

South Texas:
222 East Van Buren
Suite 404
Harlingen, TX 78550
Main: 956-423-0162
Fax: 956-423-0193

Southeast Texas:
5300 Memorial Drive Suite 980
Houston, TX 77007
Main: 713-572-3337
Fax: 713-572-3777

South Central Texas:
600 Navarro
Suite 210
San Antonio, TX 78205
Main: 210-224-7485
Fax: 210-224-8569

West Texas:
Wells Fargo Center
1500 Broadway, Suite 1230
Lubbock, TX 79401
Main: 806-472-7533
Fax: 806-472-7536

Austin-Area “Payback Recess” AHCA Events

The House voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a cruel bill designed to strip healthcare from millions of Americans while giving a tax cut to the rich.

So now it’s payback time. We’ll update this page with more detail as events unfold.

Tuesday, May 23

Noon. Die-In at John Cornyn’s Austin office, hosted by Indivisible TX-10.

TOPIC:

The senate is currently working on a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and implement “TrumpCare 2.0.” We must send a strong message to Senator Cornyn that stripping away healthcare from millions of Americans is simply unacceptable. A “die-in” creates a stark visual to remind our representatives that if protections for essential benefits and those with pre-existing conditions are erased, millions of Americans will lose their access to affordable healthcare, and people will die from preventable conditions. We cannot let this disaster of a plan pass. We must show Senator Cornyn what his actions will do. Join us for a die-in and bring a headstone with a message for the senator.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Signs in the shape of headstones with sayings like, “Lived under ACA, died under Trumpcare,” or “R.I.P. Affordable Healthcare.”
  • A blanket or mat
  • NOTE – This is a busy area of town, so people should lay single-file if necessary to avoid blocking the street and sidewalk and to maintain everyone’s safety.

WHAT TO WEAR:

  • Black or grey clothing
  • Costumes and/or masks such as the grim reaper
  • Any theatrical elements you think are appropriate

WHEN:

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 12:00 pm

WHERE:

Senator John Cornyn’s Austin Office
221 W 6th St #1530
Austin, TX 78701

PARKING INFO:
There are some metered spots along the street, and there are several parking garages in the area. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early to find parking and walk to the location.

Share as widely as possible! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/408221736227492/

VIRTUAL PHONE BANK to stop AHCA!

This is a request URGENT assistance from Will Hurd’s district, TX23. He is still undecided on the vote, according to his staff. If you can make some phone calls tonight and tomorrow, please help!

Hello Austin Resistors! As you know there may be a vote on the GOP Health Care Bill very soon. This bill is even more dangerous than the first GOP Health Care bill because it strips away protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

We stopped this bill once, and if we work together we can stop it again! There are lots of exciting things happening tomorrow in San Antonio to pressure Rep. Will Hurd to vote no. And there are many ways you can help!

  1. Come to the “die-in” and rally they are staging at Hurd’s north side office at noon: https://www.facebook.com/events/210978522738386/
  2. Make calls TONIGHT and TOMORROW to constituents in TX23, to ask them call Hurd’s office and urge him to vote no. You can do this by clicking this link: https://www.openvpb.com/vpb_bycode/960422Q-9588
  3. Make calls TONIGHT to recruit other resistors to attend the “die-in” and day of action. To do this please private message your email address to Amy Kroll.

Thanks for fighting with us!

It’s time to fight Trumpcare 2.0

Remember way back in history, five weeks ago, when we successfully fought the House bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and strip healthcare from 24 million Americans?

Well, here we go again. The latest version of the bill is even worse than Trumpcare 1.0, and will likely come up for a vote on April 28 the week of May 1.

Some of the finer points of this new bill:

  • Takes us back to the dark days when people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and cancer couldn’t get health insurance. The plan would allow insurers to charge more to people who are sick, leading to premium increases upwards of tens of thousands of dollars for coverage that is unlikely to meet their health care needs.
  • Allows states to get rid of the essential health benefits, which would roll back the clock to the days of skimpy plans without coverage for maternity care, substance use disorders or mental health services. This means, for example, that women will have to pay more for coverage that actually meets their health care needs.
  • Unbelievably, Congress has chosen to exempt themselves and their staffs from key provisions of this damaging bill. If it’s not good enough for them, why is it good enough for the people they represent?
  • The new plan also keeps intact draconian cuts to Medicaid, jeopardizing care for millions of low-income seniors, people living with disabilities, children and low-income parents.

Recommended script when you call your representative in the HOUSE:

Good [morning/afternoon]. My name is [NAME] and I live in [CITY/TOWN], [STATE]. As a constituent, I think it’s critical for all people to have affordable and high-quality health coverage, so I strongly oppose efforts to repeal the ACA. 

[OPTIONAL BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: ADD 2-3 SENTENCES ABOUT YOUR OWN PERSONAL STORY AND WHY THIS ISSUE IS IMPORTANT TO YOU]

The latest health care repeal plan would not only raise premiums and cause millions of people to lose coverage, it would allow insurance companies to deny coverage for basic health services like maternity care or prescription drugs, and it would gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It also exempts members of Congress and their staff. If it’s not good enough for you, it’s not good enough for me.

I’m asking that you oppose this plan.

Additional resources

ACA REPEAL SCHEME IS BACK WITH A NEW, TERRIBLE TWIST (CPPP)

ADMINISTRATION, CONGRESS CONSIDERING MORE DAMAGING NEW TWIST ON ACA REPEAL: TEXAS IMPLICATIONS (CPPP)

Community Catalyst

Social Media Graphics

Why is the ACA repeal bill not good enough for Congress?

Latest ACA repeal bill would charge women more

 

 

 

Four things you can do to stop SB4

The time has finally come–the Texas House of Representatives is going to debate and vote on SB4 on Wednesday.

SB4 is the so-called “sanctuary cities” bill that will undermine community policing efforts and will affect our neighbors, our workforce, kids in our schools, and the relationship between police and our communities. This doesn’t just affect the immigrant community, it impacts everyone who may be asked to prove he or she is a citizen.

Here are 4 things you can do to help stop this terrible bill:

  1. Call your Texas House rep and ask them to vote AGAINST SB4:
    “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.”
  2. Join Indivisible Austin’s emergency conference call TONIGHT at 8 p.m. with representatives from United We Dream and Workers Defense Project
    Dial-in Number: 1-(712) 770-8067
    Conference Code: 409542
  3. Join Texans from across the state at the Capitol on WEDNESDAY to fill the gallery–let our representatives know we’re watching
    There are several events scheduled at the Capitol on Wednesday:
    9am – TRUST Coalition press conference, WEST Steps of the Capitol (*location changed from South to West steps*)
    10am – Person to Person Outreach for Representatives Going Into the House Chamber
    6pm – Prayer Vigil in the Rotunda
  4. Call, text, or email your friends and family members in other parts of the state and ask them to do #1!
    Here’s a target list of Texas House reps who need to hear from their constituents! Our representatives in Austin are on the right side of this issue, but there are reps across the state who need phone calls.

We have ONE LAST CHANCE to stop SB4 and protect immigrant families in our state. Please join us in rising to the challenge to #StandIndivisible and give it all we can!

Additional Voter Registration Training Classes Available

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

PLEASE NOTE YOU MUST RSVP HERE FOR THIS TRAINING.

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

Train to Register Voters!

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets are no longer available.