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/

Thank you. Here’s what’s next.

We just had an amazing experience at Huston-Tillotson University with Rep. Lloyd Doggett, State Rep. Celia Israel, and 700 of our closest friends. If you were there, or there in spirit, you know that Indivisible is a positive, uplifting movement. It is bringing together people from all walks of life to oppose authoritarianism and defend democracy.

Plus, we had food trucks.

One thing we ran out of time for was this video from Indivisible Guide cofounder Ezra Levin—who could not join us personally but his mom was in attendance!

So what’s next for the #Resistance? How can we channel all of that positive energy into action?

Join in a citywide action at Sen. Cruz’s office on Tuesday, March 7 to demand a thorough investigation of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia!

Sen. Ted Cruz: We Demand an Investigation!
12 to 1:30 p.m. at Sen. Cruz’s office
J.J. Pickle Federal Building, 300 E 8th St
Tell Senator Cruz that we demand a full investigation by a Special Prosecutor into ties between Trump and Russia. When a hostile foreign government meddles in our elections and members of the administration lie about their connections, we have to uncover the truth!  

RSVP here

Facebook event

If you can’t join us Tuesday, here are plenty of other #Resistance actions to keep you busy this week, and more is listed on our calendar.

See more weekly actions.

If you’ve read this far, we’d like to give you one more hearty thank-you for your commitment to defending democracy. Your actions are making a difference. You’re making phone calls and attending rallies, and looking for opportunities to do more, and to resist harder.

With your support, we can plan more events like today’s, more frequently, in larger venues, and with even more live music and food trucks. And we can plan new trainings like Protest Safety and Verbal Self-Defense, Media Training for Activists, Personal and Digital Security in the Age of Trump, and many more. If you have the means to make a donation, however small or large, you can do that here.

Actions for January 30 – February 5, 2017

Events unfold quickly. This post will be updated throughout the week.

Monday, Jan. 30

All day: Call your SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES and ask if they support Trump’s Executive Order to Limit Refugees Into the U.S. aka the Muslim Ban.

Updates:

Also call SENATORS and demand they cancel vote on Jeff Sessions because of his reported involvement with the Executive Order.

ACLU statement on Muslim Ban:

“‘Extreme vetting’ is just a euphemism for discrimination against Muslims. Identifying specific countries with Muslim majorities and carving out exceptions for minority religions flies in the face of the constitutional principle that bans the government from either favoring or discriminating against particular religions. Any effort to discriminate against Muslims and favor other religions runs afoul of the First Amendment.”

6-7 p.m.: Refugees Welcome: Interfaith Community Vigil
First English Lutheran Church
3001 Whitis Ave, Austin, Texas 78705

8 p.m.: Emergency Call to Stand Against Trump’s Muslim and Refugee Bans

Indivisible (the national team) is co-hosting a big planning call with Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), and National Immigration Law Center (NILC-IJF)

RSVP HERE

Tuesday, Jan. 31

9 a.m. Texas Muslim Capitol Day
Read more about this call to action. 

All Day: Call SENATORS to vote NO on Betsy DeVos.

8 p.m. Weekly Indivisible ATX conference call

Dial-in Number: 1-(712) 770-8067
Conference Code: 409542

Tuesday is insane. See our calendar for more. 

Wednesday, Feb. 1

Call SENATORS to vote NO on Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. Read this for updated information. 

We also have extended Jeff Sessions scripts.

If you are reading this from out-of-state, call your DEMOCRATIC SENATOR and bolster their courage to vote NO on Trump’s Supreme Court pick. Republicans held up Merrick Garland’s confirmation for a year.

2 p.m. TX-10 visit to Rep. McCaul’s office

Thursday, Feb. 2

8:15  – 9:30 a.m. Hearing on SB4 scheduled in Texas Senate Chamber. If you can’t be there, call Lt. Dan Patrick and voice your opposition to SB4, the anti-sanctuary city bill. More details are on the Commonsense Immigration Website.

While you’re at, call Gov. Greg Abott and tell him you support Sally Hernandez, the Travis County Sheriff who refuses to be bullied by his executive overreach on sanctuary cities.

Friday, Feb. 3

All day: Call SENATORS to vote NO on Betsy DeVos. Keep the pressure on Cornyn, especially.

All Day: Call Gov. Abbott at (512) 463-1782 and tell him that his ban on “Sanctuary Cities” and his withholding of funds to Travis County violates his own belief in local control of government. Much more information is here…

12 p.m. Visit to Roger Williams.

Saturday, Feb. 4

11 a.m. TX-25 is holding a meetup at Black Star Coop
7020 Easy Wind Dr, Austin, TX 78752

Emergency Texas #MuslimBan Actions

This post will be updated as we get more information. Here is what we know so far:

Austin Airport: Protest planned for 2 p.m. Meet downstairs in front of the garage at the arrival terminal.
https://www.facebook.com/events/760757904100266/

Houston Airport: Protests began at 1 p.m. at Discovery Green
https://www.facebook.com/events/386770058353091/

Rally Against Hate at 5 p.m. – Terminal E
https://www.facebook.com/events/1675293846102406/

San Antonio Airport: Protests began at noon today in Terminal A, baggage claim, and are still ongoing.

DFW: Protests began last nigh and continue. People are still detained.

Tuesday is Texas Muslim Capitol Day

***Please see this post to for details on how to be a peaceful supporter for this event on Tuesday***

___

Y’all, I missed a lot of the news yesterday and this morning I was struggling to believe what I was reading.

I don’t know why I was surprised. When an autocrat tells you something, believe him.

Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable. – Masha Gessen, Autocracy: Rules for Survival

About 10 days ago Texas state Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R- New Braunfels) sent a letter to Muslim organizations across Texas demanding they fill out a poll about their beliefs. He followed it up with a forum on Thursday at the State Capitol called “Defending Against Radical Islamic Terrorism in Texas,” which featured controversial speakers, some of whom claim that Texas Muslims want to overthrow our government and institute sharia law, and that they have, “a different methodology for the destruction of Western civilization…”

All of this was leading up to Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Tuesday, January 31. It’s a citizen lobby and advocacy day that happens every legislative session, and many religious groups have similar lobby days throughout the session. In recent years the event has drawn nasty and angry protests and reactions from lawmakers.

In 2015, then-Representative Molly White (R- Belton), who was not re-elected, demanded that any Muslims who came to her office recite an oath of loyalty before her staff would speak to them. She also, weirdly, left an Israeli flag on her desk. Participants in the lobby day, including school kids,  were verbally harassed and spat at.

This year’s lobby day is happening in what is probably the most hostile climate for Texas Muslims since 2001. A couple weeks ago the Islamic Center of Lake Travis’ under-construction mosque burned. Last night the Victoria Islamic Center’s mosque burned.

On Tuesday at 9 a.m. there is an opportunity to show up and stand with Texas Muslims who are engaging in participatory democracy. “Peaceful protectors” will gather to create a buffer zone between the event’s participants during their morning program on the Capitol steps, and the counter protesters. Texas Muslim Capitol Day organizers hope to get at least 200 people as Peace Observers. Representatives organized by Rep. Celia Israel and other faith leaders are expected to join in the protective action.

This is a chance to stand, indivisible, with Texans whose rights are under attack.

CALL TO ACTION: Peaceful Protectors at Texas Muslim Capitol Day

On Tuesday January 31 at 9 a.m. there is an opportunity to show up and stand with Texas Muslims who are engaging in participatory democracy. This call to action is unique–this is not an “Indivisible” action or protest or rally. It’s a call to stand with marginalized members of our community as they engage in our democratic process.

BACKGROUND:

Texas Muslim Capitol Day is a biennial citizen lobby day taking place at the Capitol. This year’s lobby day is happening in what is probably the most hostile climate for Texas Muslims since 2001.

“Peaceful protectors” will gather to create a buffer zone between the event’s participants and the expected counter protesters during their morning program on the Capitol steps. Representatives organized by Rep. Celia Israel and other faith leaders are expected to join in the protective action.

This is a chance to stand, indivisible, with Texans whose rights are under attack.

From the organizers:

Code Of Conduct –

#1 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS – This is literally and figuratively the #1 rule. We are not there to engage, debate, one-up etc. We are there to form a human chain and act as a barrier. Any communication that might possibly need to happen between Peace Observers and Protesters will be handled by designated liasons.

#2 Remember that you are indirectly representative of the event and the community taking part – We are standing in solidarity with a marginalized community and thus we are not acting as individuals and we must consider the way our behavior could reflect on the people with whom we want to show solidarity.

#3 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS

#4 Keeping #2 in mind, even amongst each other, please keep language, gestures, etc G-rated.

#5 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS

#6 Keeping #2 in mind, please wear clothing with only G-rated messages (or no messages, obviously.)

#7 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS

#8 Do not bring signs, banners, flags, etc. – This is NOT a counter protest.

#9 DO NOT ENGAGE PROTESTERS

FAQ:

Q: What time do we meet up?

A: 9 a.m. in front of the Capitol (south steps). The morning program will end before lunch.

Q: Is there anything else I can do?

A: Nope! Just invite people to help and show up. Keep it simple.

Texas Muslim Capitol Day on Facebook

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…

URGENT #txlege Opportunity for Action on Jan. 31

URGENT! TEXAS SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE HEARING ON HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, JANUARY 31, 2017!

UPDATE: We just received word that this hearing will recess sometime around 10:30 am, and will likely reconvene some time after NOON. Please plan your day accordingly if you plan to attend to give testimony.

PLEASE RSVP and plan to join us at the Capitol on Tuesday starting at 9 a.m. in room E1.036!

Texans targeted by drastic cuts to the state’s health and human services (HHS) budget (Article 2) need your support on January 31st!

If you think Texas should have a robust Medicaid program, strong supports for children with special needs, provide services to adults with disabilities so they can work and live full lives, and don’t want the Texas legislature to slash funding, SHOW UP.

Come to the Capitol and show your support for resisting the Senate’s proposed budget. We need folks who can:

  • Attend the hearing and keep the room full to show our support for halting cuts to Medicaid
  • Sign up to give oral testimony (more details to come in comments below)
  • Write and turn in written testimony (more details to come in comments below)
  • Speak with the media about how cuts to the state’s Medicaid budget harm them and/or their families.

BACKGROUND:
The committee is taking public testimony on the HHS section of the Senate Budget put forth by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. Jane Nelson. The Senate budget includes nearly half a billion dollars in cuts to health and human services, which would devastate medical care and services that Texas children and families rely on. The Senate bill also fails to provide funding to cover Medicaid for the full two years of the next budget.

People who will be harmed by these cuts include:

  • Children who get their health insurance through Medicaid
  • People with disabilities
  • Low-income seniors, and
  • Pregnant women

Your presence and your testimony can make a difference for millions of Texans.

Questions to ask your MoCs about Trump’s Executive Orders

The Washington Post’s 5-minute fix has a write-up of the difficult corner into which Trump’s executive orders have backed your members of congress (MoCs). It includes questions that MoCs now have to try to answer or deflect:

  • Do you agree that as many as 5 million people voted illegally in November?
  • Do you support a proposal to revive secret CIA prisons, and possibly torture?
  • What about a draft ban on resettling refugees? 

Here in Texas, we would add:

  • Do you support building a wall across the entire U.S./Mexico border?

(The Texas Tribune asked this question of all 38 Texans in Congress and none of them endorsed it. So it’s an especially interesting question to ask in light of Trump’s position.)

Give them a call and report back in the comments.