Come on Down to the Indivisible Central Texas Roundup and Town Hall with Ezra Levin!

Please join us on June 24th at the Indivisible Central Texas Roundup and Town Hall with Ezra Levin!

Indivisible groups in Central Texas have become POWERHOUSES of activism. We want to celebrate all that you’ve done, and build for the future. So we’re excited to invite y’all to come on down for the Indivisible Central Texas Roundup with our special guest Ezra Levin, Co-Executive Director of The Indivisible Project!

The Roundup includes an afternoon of learning, networking, and recharging for Indivisible group leaders, super-volunteers, and passionate supporters – folks who are very engaged in their local Indivisible groups and ready to take their activism to the next level. Our learning sessions will be followed by a Town Hall (ticketed and open to the public) with Ezra.

You can order your Central Texas Roundup T-shirt here (women’s and men’s styles available)!

When
Sat, June 24, 2017
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM CDT (Full schedule below)

Roundup location and additional program details will be provided after registration.

Tickets: $20. Please RSVP here.

Full Schedule

12:30 Check-in
1:00 Welcome + Icebreaker
1:20 Transition to sessions
1:30 Organizing 101 (this session covers both breakout periods)
1:30 Protest Safety/Verbal Self-Defense Training
1:30 Tech Resources for Organizers
1:30 Q&A: Legal & Financial Concerns for Indivisible Groups
2:25 Break
2:35 Media Training for Organizers
2:35 Tech Resources for Organizers
2:35 Q&A: Legal & Financial Concerns for Indivisible Groups
3:30 Mix & Mingle break, transition to Town Hall
4:00 Town Hall with Ezra Levin, Co-Executive Director, Indivisible Project
5:30 Happy Hour at Scholz Garten (no host, no ticket required)

How Your Voices Made a Difference Last Week: We Remember Those Who Fought Before Us

Courtesy of 5 Minute Activism

You marvelous patriotic people are keeping the heat turned up to 11 on Russia–and things are starting to cook:

  • Fired national security director Michael Flynn has taken the Fifth and refused to surrender his personal records regarding his possible collusion with foreign governments to Senate subpoena. Combined with his previous (refused) request for immunity, it’s growing ever clearer that there’s plenty to hide. The Senate Intelligence Committee followed up with two new subpoenas to Flynn’s businesses.
  • The Washington Post has learned that in March, Donald asked the heads of two U.S. intelligence agencies to publicly deny James Comey’s revelations that Donald’s campaign was under criminal investigation by the FBI. “The problem wasn’t so much asking them to issue statements, it was asking them to issue false statements about an ongoing investigation,” a former senior intelligence official said.
  • Oh, and remember that mysterious highly placed White House Trump adviser who was also coming under the FBI’s microscope for possible affiliations with Russia? Yeah…it’s Kushner. To be clear, that doesn’t mean he’s a target, or central focus, of the investigation, but a person of interest who may help shed light on the extent of Russia’s meddling into our last elections.
  • And in another sign that those with vested interests in Donald and his agenda are panicking, conservative blowhard and conspiracy theorist Sean Hannity showed his hand in a tweet this week. In trying without any evidence to connect slain DNC staffer Seth Rich with the hack of the DNC, rather than Russia, as all 17 intelligence agencies have agreed, Hannity openly revealed his endgame: to try to shift blame from and exonerate Donald. Yet another sign that GOP loyalists are feeling the noose tighten around their necks.
  • In other good news, Donald’s unconstitutional, racist Muslim ban was once again frozen by a federal court–this time on appeal–and once again the court cited Donald’s own words about the ban in defending its decision.
  • The White House backed down in the face of unyielding demands from watchdog agency the Office of Government Ethics (and public outcry) and has agreed to provide the ethics waivers the OGE requested for lobbyists lobbying in the fields in which they recently worked, against regulations, which it had previously refused to release.
  • In New Hampshire, voters flipped a reliably Republican house seat blue, and in Long Island (which Donald won by 23 points), voters flipped a state assembly seat Democrat as well.
  • The Supreme Court struck down racially gerrymandered districts in North Carolina this week. Following on the heels of three federal courts doing the same in Texas, this is a positive development for fairer representation in these artificially manipulated districts.
  • Advertisers are fleeing Sean Hannity’s FOX show in response to his dogged perpetuation of a baseless and debunked conspiracy theory about slain DNC staffer Seth Rich (even in the face of direct pleas from Rich’s family). It’s yet another brick in the FOX crypt, amid a flurry of other signs (like its recent third-place drop in ratings) that America may be fed up with the network’s stream of misinformation and propaganda.

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

 

 

 

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.

Upcoming Protest Safety/Verbal Self Defense Training

On Saturday, March 18, we’re offering another session on protest safety and verbal assertiveness from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Northwest Family YMCA, 5807 McNeil Drive, Austin, TX 78729. Please RSVP here (note that this site only accommodates 25 people, so don’t wait to register). We’ll cover

  • Grounding and emotional self-regulation techniques for public speaking/civic conflict situations
  • De-escalation and other group safety skills
  • Tactical nonviolence planning essentials
  • How to take control of a conversation (being rude for the right reasons)

To help make this session as focused and practical as possible, you’ll be asked to answer a few questions after you register.

This meeting will be free and non-partisan. Tell your friends!

Sign Up Now to Take Action on ACA Repeal!

Is health care repeal one of your top concerns? Then we hope to see you at the Capitol on March 6, along with 1000+ other health care activists and advocates!

While ACA repeal or replace or who-knows-what will happen in Congress, much of the implementation will be left to the states, especially with respect to Medicaid. That means we need to get in front of our #txlege members and tell them what Texans need!

If you want to #ProtectOurCare, join Indivisible Austin and the Cover Texas Now coalition on March 6 for the Rally to Protect Health Care + Lobby Day. In addition to the morning rally and press conference, you’ll be able to meet with lawmakers and staff in the afternoon. Austin locals may visit their own lawmakers, or they may join up with groups of concerned citizens from across the state–we’ve got people joining in from Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston, the Rio Grande Valley, and El Paso! RSVP is required to prepare materials and lobby groups.

RSVP NOW

REMINDER: 2/25 Protest Safety/Verbal Self Defense Training

Next Saturday will be a busy day in Austin! We have a session on protest safety and verbal assertiveness from 1-3 p.m. at the Manchaca Road Branch library, 5500 Manchaca (at the intersection with Stassney). Please RSVP here. We’ll cover

  • Grounding and emotional self-regulation techniques for public speaking/civic conflict situations
  • How to take control of the conversation (being rude for the right reasons)
  • Coordinating group action at an event
  • Tactical nonviolence planning essentials

Also, the No Ban, No Wall rally will be happening at the Capitol from 2-5 p.m., so you can head up there after the training session and try out your new skills. (Tip: the No. 3 and 103 buses run direct from the library up to Lavaca near the Capitol!)

And if you’re one of Rep. Lamar Smith’s lucky constituents, there is a Town Hall from 5-7:30 p.m. that he could potentially attend if he were into that sort of thing which, unfortunately, he does not seem to be. But the event will be at the historic Scoot Inn at 1308 E 4th Street, a great place to gather after the rally as District 21 residents voice their concerns.

Hope you can make it to one or more of these events!

Thank you for filling out the volunteer survey (and why it’s taking us some time to respond)

Y’all, we have no words. Well, almost no words. We were shocked and amazed to wake up and discover that 500 people (!) had answered our call for volunteers!

So we’re trying to sort through the data as quickly as possible right now, and to help people get connected with the right teams and with their district groups.

Thank you for your enthusiasm! We’re excited to meet you and get connected. We need YOUR help to move forward with the work.

Actions for January 16-22, 2017

This is it, folks, the week when Trump officially seizes power. If ever there was a time to march in the streets, it is now. Here are some opportunities to do just that. If you prefer to act from the relative safety of your cubicle or underground bunker, make some calls to your reps about the ACA, Betsy DeVos, and Texas’s very own “bathroom bill.”

For late-breaking events, check out our calendar. 

Monday, Jan. 16

MLK Community March

The Annual Community March celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy while uplifting diversity and multi-culturalism in our city. The MLK Community March kicks off on Monday, January 16, 2017 at 9 a.m.with a short program at the MLK Statue on the University of Texas campus. 

Tuesday, Jan. 17

Lamar Smith Office Visit

Residents in District 21 should plan on dropping in on Lamar Smith for an early lunch (11 a..m – 12 p.m.)

2211 South IH-35, Suite 106 Austin, TX 78741

Contact the TX-21 Indivisible group for details.

Join the District 21 Facebook Group

Follow District 21 on Twitter

Call your Senators about Betsy DeVos.  Here’s a script!

Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary

Weekly Conference call – 8 p.m. CT

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

Wednesday, January 18

This is a great day to call all of your reps about the ACA. Share personal stories. Ask why they want to strip basic healthcare from millions of Texans. We have scripts!

Office Visits to Cruz and Cornyn! See our calendar for details. 

The Affordable Care Act

Also call senators about the nomination of Tom Price for HHS Secretary.

Tom Price Appointment as Health & Human Services Secretary

And Scott Pruitt for EPA!

Statement from Sierra Club:

“Having Scott Pruitt in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires. He is a climate science denier who, as Attorney General for the state of Oklahoma, regularly conspired with the fossil fuel industry to attack EPA protections.

“Nothing less than our children’s health is at stake. Scott Pruitt, whose own bio describes him as ‘a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda’ cannot be trusted to head the EPA, an agency charged with protecting all Americans from threats to their water, air, and health. We strongly urge Senators, who are elected to represent and protect the American people, to stand up for families across the nation and oppose this nomination.”

Thursday, January 19

Call your state representatives about SB6, the so-called “bathroom bill.” More info and, yes, more scripts!

Oy, here we go with the “bathroom bill!”

Friday, January 20

One Resistance Rally and Protest

When: Fri, January 20, 5pm – 6pm
Where: We’ll meet by the box office at the Long Center, and then walk over and join the main crowd.

Saturday, January 21

Women’s March on Austin

When: Sat, January 21, 12pm – 1pm
Where: Meet at Capitol Visitors Center

More on this weekend’s marches