Sick of This: Help All Austinites Win Earned Sick Days on 11/16

Guest post from Work Strong Austin Coalition
(Abajo en español)

As Austin continues to grow, too many working people are left without the ability to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.

All workers, regardless of background, wage level, and occupation, should have access to earned sick days. Unfortunately, approximately 223,000 Austin workers – 37 percent of the total workforce – are at risk of losing wages or being fired if they follow doctor’s orders when they or a family member are ill.

In September, Austin City Council passed a resolution that would begin a public input process to bring Austin working families, business leaders, community groups and public health professionals together to discuss paid sick days. Please join us for the Second Stakeholder Meeting: November 16, 4:00pm – 6:30pm, Town Lake Center Assembly Room 130, 721 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Texas 78704. Come and support paid sick days. We need to make sure our voices are heard.

You can also provide feedback to the City of Austin about why it’s critical for all Austinites to have paid sick days on this online forum here. Can you please take a few minutes to fill out this survey.

Learn more about Work Strong Austin’s paid sick days campaign:
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La ciudad de Austin sigue creciendo, debido a esto demasiadas familias trabajadoras se estan quedando atras en la posibilidad de proveer y mejorar la calidad de vida de si mismos y de sus familias.

Todos los trabajadores, independientemente del tipo de trabajo que hagan o de cuánto ganan, deberían de poder cuidarse a sí mismos o a un ser querido en situaciones de necesidad.Desafortunadamente, aproximadamente 223,000 trabajadores en Austin — lo que equivale al 37 por ciento de la fuerza laboral — están en riesgo de perder salarios o ser despedidos si siguen las órdenes del médico cuando ellos o un miembro de su familia están enfermos.

En Septiembre el Concilio de Austin pasó una resolución para iniciar un proceso público en el cual familias de Austin, negocios, grupos comunitarios, médicos entre otros discutirán la posibilidad de una ordenanza de días de enfermedad pagados. Por favor acompáñenos a la segunda reunión de este proceso el 16 de Noviembre de 4:00pm – 6:30pm, Town Lake Center Assembly Room 130, 721 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Texas 78704. Venga a apoyar esta campaña, tenemos que asegurarnos que nuestras voces sean escuchadas.

También puede dar su opinión a la Ciudad de Austin de la importancia crítica para todos que todos los trabajadores tengan este derecho de días de enfermedad pagados. Puede llenar este cuestionario aquí.

How Your Voices Are Making a Difference: Russian Dominoes

The Russia dominoes seem to be starting to fall as Mueller’s investigation heats up:

Former Donald campaign chair Paul Manafort was indicted by a grand jury Monday in the first legal actions of Mueller’s investigation. Here’s a fantastic breakdown of the indictment, which includes conspiracy against the United States, money laundering, and making false statements, and here’s a great FAQ primer.

Donald’s foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal investigators, which has now shed light on other administration members’ potential involvement (and may get Jeff Sessions accused of perjury). In light of conservative voices like FOX trying furiously to get Mueller to step down, MoveOn.org is organizing “Nobody is Above the Law Marches” to mobilize immediately in case Donny fires Muller as the heat gets turned up.

In good news, a majority of Americans approve of Mueller and the Russia probe and think it should continue (and nearly half are pretty sure Don John has committed a crime, for what that conjecture is worth). But call your MoCs and ask that they support one of the three bipartisan bills designed to protect Mueller and his investigation: S.1735 & S.1741 in the Senate, and HR 3771 in the house.


Sam Clovis—the climate change skeptic Donald nominated as chief scientist of the Agriculture Department who has no academic credentials in either science or agriculture—has withdrawn himself from consideration after his name surfaced in the Russia investigations as one of the top officials on Donny’s campaign who was aware of George Papadopoulos’s efforts to meet with Russia for dirt on the Clinton campaign.


In tax news:

The National Association of Home Builders has declared war on the Republican tax plan, which makes no mention of property tax deductions so essential to promote home ownership. The National Association of Realtors has joined their opposition.

In response to other outcry against the ill-formed tax plan, the GOP has backed off their plans to lower taxes for the wealthiest Americans, and is making noises about making the proposed corporate tax-rate slash temporary instead of permanent, as originally proposed.


Elsewhere in Donald’s thwarted attempts to subvert the Constitution, a federal judge blocked enforcement of Donny’s spurious decision to bar transgender servicepeople from military service.

In the face of widespread consternation about Whitefish—the two-person utility company that was a strong Trump campaign donor before being awarded the $300 million Puerto Rico infrastructure contract in a no-bid campaign—Puerto Rico has canceled the company’s contract.

One of Donny’s far-right-extremist appeals court picks was knocked down by the American Bar Association committee as “not qualified,” citing his temperament and his ability to rule impartially on issues like abortion rights.

The 600-plus-page Climate Science Special Report, part of an even larger scientific review known as the fourth National Climate Assessment, or NCA4, has concluded that it’s “extremely likely” that man is the “dominant cause” to potentially catastrophic climate change and global warming. This report, the nation’s most authoritative assessment of climate science, directly contradicts this administration’s frequent denials that humans are the cause of climate change—or in fact that it exists, a fact that might be especially embarrassing to the White House considering the study’s authors include experts from leading scientific government agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA and the Department of Energy, as well as academic scientists.

Finally, in shocking news to no one, Donny’s approval ratings are tanking. Last Monday one poll showed they’d sunk to a new low of 33 percent—another poll Sunday had them at 37 percent, lower than any other president at this point in the presidency in seven decades of polling history. Donald loves superlatives, so let’s humor him by pointing out that these are the lowest approval ratings for a first-term president in modern history—disgraceful!—and one of the worst approval ratings of all time. As this article points out, there have been only two days in Don John’s entire reign where more people approved of him than disapproved—both within his first week in office. Sad!

We’re Showing Up for Texas Today

Today we have a message for the president. Texans are hurting from Hurricane Harvey, and it will take us years to recover. While it will be some time before the full damage estimates and economic impact of the storm are assessed, we can be sure that our great state’s recovery will take a long time. But we’re Texans, and we’re not afraid of the hard work ahead of us.

Texas has never seen a storm like Harvey. It is epochal.

On his Texas visit today the president will likely take advantage of some photo opportunities, and speak some self-described perfect words. He will no doubt make promises and try to burnish his presidential image. But the real measure of his response will not be if he appears more presidential, but rather his administration’s accomplishments in the weeks, months, and years ahead. Will that response tackle not only the misfortunes of the affluent in this disaster, but also the misfortunes of those his administration has habitually targeted from its start?

It is difficult to reconcile the forthcoming pledges to rebuild impacted areas of Texas with the president’s pardon of Joe Arpaio as the storm was bearing down on Houston (for ratings, he said), his refusal to close border patrol checkpoints on evacuation routes out of South Texas, his destruction of some of our state’s most treasured natural gems to make way for his border wall, and his imminent repeal of DACA. That’s why we’re showing up for Texas today during the president’s visit.

There has never ever been a natural disaster in the U.S. during which public officials have had to clarify numerous times that those seeking shelter from the storm and  flooding will not be deported.

The test is simple. Will this administration start to take the threat of climate change seriously and begin tackling the technological and infrastructure challenges necessary to reduce the impact of future disasters like this one? Will this administration make sure that the poorest communities and communities of color – which suffer disparate impacts of natural disasters – recover from this storm? Or will those communities be offered only platitudes and empty gestures? Time will tell, but the recent actions of this administration make clear its steadfast refusal to extend the same consideration to those communities that it extends to the well-to-do. We are showing up today to make sure the administration knows we will not allow these concerns to be swept under the rug in the usual post-disaster niceties.

We also cannot forget that many other policies this administration pursues have negative impacts on our state, and when combined with the devastation from Harvey, further harm our state and our people.

The proposed border wall means Texans will lose their land through eminent domain, and fragile ecological regions will be decimated; even our own Senator John Cornyn’s recent border “security” bill doesn’t include funding for the president’s vision of this folly.

The nation’s largest inland port, Laredo, is on the front lines of the president’s Twitter war against against NAFTA. In 2015, Texas exported nearly $100 billion in goods to Mexico, and some 382,000 Texas jobs are linked to trade with Mexico. Targeting NAFTA hurts Texans and hurts our economy.

The president’s intention to rescind DACA, which is expected to happen this week, will have a disproportionate impact in Texas. Of the nearly 800,000 young adults whose DACA status has been approved, more than 25 percent of them live in Texas. They may have come to the U.S. as undocumented children through no fault of their own, but they have followed specific requirements to remain in the U.S. legally. As a result, they have graduated from colleges, started Texas businesses, bought homes, and built lives in Texas. For that they are being used to score political points by an administration determined to take a hard line on all immigrants regardless of status. He has used them as scapegoats. He lies about crime statistics to stigmatize a vulnerable group, and to stoke fear and hatred of all immigrants.

Trump’s policies will harm the Texas economy, which will be deeply strained during the long road of recovery from Harvey. We are already gearing up for the budget fights in Congress that could stifle the emergency relief we so desperately need.

Harvey has to be our top priority right now, as we anticipate thousands of evacuees coming to Austin. We have been and will continue supporting the rescuers and aid givers who need our volunteer hours and our financial and material assistance. But today we also need to send a message: Texans are great, resilient people, and we will do all we can to protect our state from policies that harm our residents and their livelihoods. 

Indivisible Austin
Wilco Indivisible
Indivisible TXLege
TX10 Indivisible
TX17 Indivisible
TX21 Indivisible
TX35 Indivisible

 

CALLS TO ACTION for Friday, Jan. 27!

CALLS TO ACTION!!! – JAN. 27th, 2017 – TEMPLE PROTEST and PHONE CALLS TO CORNYN AND YOUR HOUSE MEMBER!

REMINDER! Many Indivisible folks will be heading to Temple this afternoon to join the Bell County Democrats in a protest outside the Convention Center where Sen. Cornyn is the key speaker.

There aren’t many opportunities for action against our senators directly, so come if you can make it! With Trump’s latest talk about walls and tariffs getting pushback from Texas Republicans, this is a perfect time to encourage them to defy the White House! Check out the the event page (where you can probably find a carpool if you need it!):

https://www.facebook.com/events/1141159165982939/

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO TEMPLE, you can still CALL Cornyn’s office and your rep’s office!

Trump has really put Texas Republicans in a tough spot. Economists expect any tariff on Mexico to negatively impact the Texas economy. Many of them are already considering opposing him on this. This is just the kind of issue that can drive a wedge between Trump and Congressional Republicans, so we’ve got to let our reps know that we want them to defy him!

CALL SEN. CORNYN and YOUR REP and ask them to oppose any Trump plan for financing the wall that negatively impacts the Texas economy!

SAMPLE SCRIPT:

“Hello, my name is ______________ and I am a constituent of [Sen. Cornyn or YOUR REP]. I’m calling to ask him to OPPOSE the 20% tariff on Mexican imports and any other plan that asks Texans to unfairly bear the burden of paying for Trump’s wall. Texas officials and businesses AGREE that this plan would threaten Texas jobs, weaken the Texas economy and drive up the cost of living for Texas families. I’m counting on my representatives to put the interests of their constituents first. Thank you.”

CONTACT INFO:

Sen. John Cornyn
Central Texas office: (512) 469-6034
Washington, DC office: (202) 224-2934

Congressional District 10
Congressman Michael McCaul
Austin office: 512-473-2357

Congressional District 17
Congressman Bill Flores
Austin office: (512) 373-3378

Congressional District 21
Congressman Lamar Smith
Austin office: (512) 912-7508

Congressional District 25
Congressman Roger Williams
Austin office: (512) 473-8910

Congressional District 31
Congressman John Carter
Austin office: (512) 246-1600

Congressional District 35
Congressman Lloyd Doggett
Austin office: (512) 916-5921

for more info:

http://www.chron.com/…/Trump-proposal-for-20-percent-tax-on…

http://www.khou.com/…/trumps-import-tax-on-mexico…/393802314

http://www.dallasnews.com/…/trumps-20-percent-tax-mexican-i…