The Kerrville Daily Times ran a front-page article about Civic Saturday, a community conversation hosted by TX21 Indivisible.
Texas Public Radio (TPR) was in Fredericksburg for our Healthcare Rally in June. Listen to the National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast here.
Sharon Lerner of The Intercept visited TX21 Indivisible in San Antonio and the Hill Country for this article. Read the article here.
President Donald Trump signed two executive orders on Thursday that may have mortally wounded the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also called “Obamacare”). This article from the New Yorker provides an easy-to-understand explanation.
Senator Ted Cruz is gushing all over Twitter, fully supporting the executive orders, and patting himself on the back, saying he urged Trump to make these moves. Senator John Cornyn, on the other hand, is quoted in this article from The Hill saying he is concerned about one aspect of the executive orders, which may destabilize the health insurance markets and cause chaos.
“‘I‘m not for further complicating the lives of Texans just to make a point,’ Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said when asked before the recess about the argument from some Republicans that ObamaCare should be allowed to fail.”
Cornyn’s concern is for the cost-sharing reductions that Trump’s executive orders ends. These payments are made from the federal government to insurance companies in order to reimburse them for giving discounts to low-income ACA participants. The concern is that without these funds, insurance companies will drop out of the market.
Surprising, right? The one time out of three tries that the Senate managed to bring Trumpcare (version #2) for a vote, Cornyn voted for it. A few weeks ago, at the Texas Tribune Fest, he said he supported Trumpcare version #3 and planned to vote for it.
His tireless fight against “Obamacare” is proudly chronicled on his website.
Here’s an article from June, calling Cornyn the “top salesman” for repeal of “Obamacare.”
And Trumpcare was worse than the executive orders because it also threatened Medicaid coverage for adults and children with disabilities and elderly folks in nursing homes.
So our question for Senator Cornyn is, “which is the real Cornyn?” Is it the one who says he’s concerned about Texans? Or is the one who has wholeheartedly supported the repeal of the ACA with no thought or consideration for the millions of Texans who will be affected?
Call Senator Cornyn and ask his staffers this question. And while you’re at it, please also reiterate that we request a public town hall so that we can share our concerns about healthcare and hear what he has to say.
Senator John Cornyn
San Antonio: 210-224-7485
Latinx activists Maria Milner and Leandra Blei spoke to us in Kerrville on Wednesday. Here are notes from their presentation. We will schedule a follow-up to give us an opportunity to ask questions. *Note that Latinx is a term that replaces Latino/Latina. Thanks a million HF for these amazing notes!
Part I: Statistics/Political History/Voter Outreach
- Traditional getout the vote methods don’t work.
- Political empowerment happens only when we become fully and consciously integrated in the community – ALL communities.
- No expectation without reciprocation.
- People need to be treated as humans.
Voter Engagement Barrier History/Generational Beliefs
- Financial/Economic: Poll tax (1902-1964); Laredo began first GOTV movement in 1911, along with ACLU
- Generational Issue: Impression that voting “costs something”
- Discrimination: White primaries (1929-1945); creation of LULAC, GI Forum, and Delgado vs. Bastrop ISD (1945 – Hispanics considered “white”) ended these
- Generational Issue: Voting is racial.
- Time: Annual voter registration (1966-1971); Southwest Voter Registration Education Project started by Willie Velasquez helped end this
- Generational Issue: Unawareness and apathy
- Paperwork: Extension of the Voting Rights Act (1975) allowed Hispanics to vote “comfortably”
- Generation Issue: Unawareness and apathy
- Convenience: Texas Voter ID Law (2011-2015 – still in courts but a result of partial repeal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965); weekend voter rights act (2015)
- Generation Issue: Lack of education about SB14 and disenfranchisement with ID law
- Generational Issue: Belief that voting doesn’t affect Latinx
2016 Presidential Candidates Approaches
- Trump: Outreach through religious communities created by his advisory council caused a Latinx bump in Republican voting so that 18% voted for him.
- Hillary: Her attempt to become “everyone’s Abuelita” on a surface level was seen as “Hispandering” and she could not connect with immigration or poverty issues and was unrelatable. Most Hispanic women Democrats wanted Bernie Sanders and this caused the division in voting.
- In 2011 71% of Latinx voted for Obama, but in 2016 only 66% voted for Hillary, proving that Latinx are not monolithic.
Hope vs. Reality in the Latinx Community
- 27% of Latinx in Texas are eligible to vote (⅓ of the population)
- Only 14% of Latinx in Texas are registered to vote
- 2.6 million Latinx in Texas are eligible to vote but are not registered
- In 2014 48% of Latinx voted for John Cornyn
- In 2014 44% of Latinx voted for Greg Abbott
- It is a myth that whites can connect to the disenfranchised Latinx community. White privilege is the reality.
- Voting beliefs/attitudes/behaviors are generationally taught.
- Latinx women will not speak up or out.
- Latinx men are expected to stay strong.
Reality Engagement and Empowerment – Changing the Conversation
- Expectation MUST be followed by reciprocation. Our presence in the Latinx community must be ongoing. Voter outreach and candidate success must include keeping up the relationship in communities. Believing in a candidate comes when helping out in a community is a reality.
- A Seat at the Table is non-negotiable. Equality without equity – equal opportunity – is simply an invitation.
- Latinx are NOT monolithic. Not all speak Spanish and most communities reject the connection to Spain.
- Latinx live with the reality of a caste system. Because of historical Spaniard separation of color, communities believe that “money whitens,” even within immigrant communites
Latinx Community Needs
- Compassion (poor white communities need this as well)
- Genuine concern beyond politics
- Loyalty and reciprocation
Part II: What Do We Do Now?
- Deal with out whiteness by doing the following (from the “Charlottesville article”):
- Get involved and figure out what the community asks of you.
- Realize you won’t always be paralyzed.
- Know that becoming involved with and part of the community is not a linear path.
- Acknowledge that telling a community that they are “voting against their own self-interest” is condescending.
- Recognize that assimilation creates a dichotomy of “I was born here and I am not one of them.”
- Practice empathy.
- Get Into Communities. Be visible and listen. Don’t set up tables just at Dies y Seis celebrations. Go to Latinx community celebratons, laundromats, meat markets, everyday life activities.
- State ideas and platforms simply and directly. Be clear and concise and connect it to Latinx families and communities.
- Be accessible.
- Be visible. Leave voting information (dates, locations, “how does this affect me?” “who’s on the ballot,” “how do these policies help or hurt me, my family, and my community?”) in non-white spaces.
- Be present. Do something. Do anything.
This week, Congressman Lamar Smith advocated for gun rights over innocent lives and voted in favor of a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks, citing “fetal pain.” Lamar also sat on his hands while funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expired on Sept. 30. Are you tired of representation that doesn’t reflect your values? We are!
Come out on Sunday for the fourth in our series of TX21 Congressional candidate meet-and-greet events, this week featuring Derrick Crowe.
Sun, October 8, 11am – 1pm
LENOIR, 1807 S 1st St, Austin
Derrick describes himself this way:
“Derrick worked in Washington, D.C. for senior Democrats, including the House Democratic Leader (Nancy Pelosi) and the top Democrats on agriculture (Charlie Stenholm) and counter-terrorism (Adam Smith). As a senior staffer, he contributed to messaging effort that helped Democrats retake the House in 2006. He also coordinated press appearances for the top Democrat on counter-terrorism, who was acting as a national security surrogate for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign.”
“In the nonprofit sector, Derrick focused on supporting those in crisis, as well as improving government transparency and ethics. As communications director for an organization focused on family and intimate partner violence, Derrick helped lead a successful advocacy effort to win more city funds to process backlogged rape kits, provide justice to survivors of sexual assault, and get serial rapists off the street.”
Learn more about Derrick here:
Yesterday, on a beautiful evening in the posh Terrell Hills neighborhood of San Antonio, District 21 representative Lamar Smith came to a private residence to raise funds for his reelection campaign. He makes time for fundraisers but has not appeared at a public event in almost a year.
Lamar keeps his in-district outings very quiet. He usually visits schools or small companies and speaks only to children, those who agree with him, or campaign contributors. Fortunately, our members are resourceful, and we heard about this fundraiser.
So we showed up, with a banner, signs, American flags, and our Indivisible spirit to let Lamar know that we demand an opportunity to speak with him and share our thoughts and concerns about the direction of our country.
One of our pressing concerns: Trump and the Republicans in Congress have allowed funding to expire for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This program, which has enjoyed bipartisan support since 1997, provides low-cost health insurance to 9 million children. What happened? Graham-Cassidy, AKA Trumpcare 3.0, took precedence over a bipartisan effort to fund CHIP in the closing weeks of September.
What can you do? Call your members of Congress! Tell them it is unacceptable to take healthcare away from 9 million children!
Rep. Lamar Smith
San Antonio: 210-821-5024
Senator Ted Cruz
San Antonio: 210-340-2885
Senator John Cornyn
San Antonio: 210-224-7485