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. 

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Indivisible Austin Statement on the August 26 “Indivisible March”

A California-based group set up Facebook events for an Indivisible March in dozens of cities nationwide for August 26. While we wholeheartedly support the idea of nationwide collective action, we have decided not to participate in this particular event. Others who wish to participate are welcome to contact the organizers.

There are about 6,000 groups that follow the principles outlined in the Indivisible Guide. As a decentralized movement, most of these groups have no formal affiliation with each other, or with the national Indivisible Project.

The group that organized the Indivisible March — Indivisible Suffragists — did not coordinate with Indivisible Austin or other Austin-area district groups, and this event has not been endorsed by the national Indivisible Project. Indivisible Suffragists acknowledge as much on their Facebook event page. As part of our decentralized movement, we respect this group’s autonomy to create, promote, and host resistance events, and we have no reason to think the group is acting in bad faith.

As part of the national Indivisible movement, Indivisible Austin fights to resist authoritarianism and defend our democratic institutions — and basic human rights — against the Trump administration and its allies in Washington and our state legislature. To learn more about our initiatives, such as ProtectOurCare.us, our progressive activist training and our ongoing efforts to pressure our elected officials to stand up for their constituents, visit IndivisibleAustin.com.

Statement by the Indivisible Austin Board about the Alexandria Shooting

The community and board of Indivisible Austin were saddened to learn about the shooting of a member of (TX 25) Representative Roger Williams’ staff in Alexandria yesterday. Indivisible supporters interact with congressional staff every day, and we deeply value and respect their work and commitment to our democratic processes.

Indivisible Austin’s Code of Civility specifically calls out the importance of treating staff with respect. Our sympathy goes out to Zach Barth and all the Members of Congress and staff who were affected by the shooting.

Local Constituents in Austin to Hold #ResistTrumpTuesday Rally to Oppose Trump’s Corrupt Cabinet and Resist Trump’s Agenda at NOON, January 24

On Tuesday, January 24, local constituents will gather outside the office of Sen. Cruz at NOON for a peaceful rally to urge Congress to stop Donald Trump’s cabinet of corruption.

The rally is one of dozens planned nationwide by Indivisible and MoveOn.org to urge the Senate to delay Cabinet confirmations until Americans can learn more about each nominee, their ethics conflicts, and in some cases, the real threats they pose to the agencies they’ve been tapped to lead.

WHAT: Stop Trump’s Corrupt Cabinet Rally—we will rally outside of Sen. Cruz’s office and share our messages about why we oppose Trump’s Cabinet

WHERE: Senator Cruz’s Austin Office

300 E 8th
Suite 961
Austin, TX 78701

WHEN: Tuesday, January 24, 2017, NOON

VISUALS: The rally will feature excellent visuals with creative props and as many as 100 activists

On Tuesday, we’re sending a clear message to Sen. Cruz, the media, and the public that Trump’s corrupt cabinet is not what America wants or needs,” said Katie Graham, the Indivisible Austin member coordinating the rally. “They need to hear from us before confirming a Cabinet that will attack working people, civil liberties, and the environment, while benefiting the top 1% and corporations.”

The rallies build on thousands of community organizing meetings across the country that have taken place over the last several weeks. Indivisible Austin has more than 3,000 members of our citywide and congressional district groups. Every day supporters are taking action, and working hard to connect with their members of Congress, fight for progressive values at every level of government, and defend our communities from the Trump administration.

For more information about this event, please contact Katie Graham at media@indivisibleaustin.com. To speak with a national MoveOn.org representative, please contact press@moveon.org.