Reaching out to Hispanic community in Kerrville

IMG_1276On April 11, the Hill Country TX21 Indivisible’s LatinX Outreach group presented its first Hispanic Role Model Learning Fair as part of the annual Dia de los Ninos event hosted by Schreiner University in Kerrville. The role model fair celebrated eight accomplished Hispanic men and women, ranging from a brain surgeon to an astronaut. Inspired by a desire to reach Hispanic voters, the project evolved to also provide a positive cultural experience for their children. A voter registration table was present to avail attendees with this service.

Dia de los Ninos was attended by more than 200 local residents with 48 children participating in the role model fair. Children visited each interactive learning station and participated in games, experiments and projects developed by a group of TX21 Indivisible teachers.

TX21 Indivisible members who headed up the project were Dana Armitstead, marketing; Alicia Boyett, theme and consulting; and Jeannette Ruark, project coordination. Teachers who participated were Heather Farmer, Jo Harrison, Doris Williams, Deb Edwards, John and Susan Cappozolli, Darla Flynt and Pat Kobe. Frank and Manuela Flores pitched in by enthusiastically staffing one of the learning stations. Barbara Veldhuizen created amazing life-size portraits of the role models and numerous other TX21 Indivisible members pitched in by providing muscle power and moral support.

After resting up, the organizers will regroup and move forward with plans for the next event to be held in conjunction with Notre Dame Catholic Church’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in Kerrville on May 4.

Cruz in TX21 Next Tuesday!

Repeal and Replace Ted CruzOur US Senator, Ted Cruz, is bestowing his presence upon a few supporters as he jets around Texas on Tuesday, April 3. Here’s information about two events. Get out and make your voice heard! 

From the Indivisible Rosedale Huddle: 6:30 – 8 pm.

We need to mobilize folks *all around town* on Tuesday, April 3 to help us hold 6 banners in response to Ted Cruz and his anti-ACA event in Austin! We need at least 50 PEOPLE to make our presence known at all entrances to this event. If you’ve ever wanted to participate in a Rosedale Huddle banner drop, this is a golden opportunity to wave it in Cruz’s face!

IMPORTANT PARKING INFO: Park at 8407 Wall St. – in the highest part of the HHS parking lot at 6:30 PM across from the Cruz event. (Cruz will be at 8606 Wall, Bldg 17, but that lot is private/towing enforced)

Feel free to bring your own signs and noisemakers, too!

From the Boerne Area Democrats: 3:45 – 4:30 pm.

Ted Cruz is flying his private jet into Boerne on Tuesday, April 3 and holding a town hall at La Hacienda Scenic Loop restaurant at 4:30. We are planning to stage a Beto Rally along the highway that leads from the airport to the restaurant. Gathering at 3:45 pm in full Beto gear. Please spread the word and let everyone know! Come join us if you can – it would be great to have about 100 people out there! (See the map below.)


Map for Boerne event:


Support March for Our Lives!

March for our lives

Students across our nation are rallying on Saturday, March 24 to demand that their safety become a priority. It’s called March for Our Lives. Read the mission statement here. As of today, there are 817 marches and rallies planned around the world. Student-led marches and other events are taking place across TX21. Please support the students by participating in one of these events or organize one in your community.

All take place this Saturday, March 24

Austin: 12 pm at Austin City Hall, 301 W 2nd St

San Antonio: 12 pm at San Antonio City Hall, 100 Military Plaza

New Braunfels: 2 pm at Main Plaza, downtown New Braunfels, 500 Main Plaza

Blanco: 12 pm, across Pecan Street from the Courthouse Square on the corner of Pecan and 4th Streets

GOTV and Democratic Values

We’re now past the primary,but in runoffs in many important races, including the TX21 congressional race. Candidates Joseph Kopser and Mary Wilson meet in a runoff on May 22.

Get Out The Vote (GOTV)

The Hill Country group has put together the attached document, entitled “Canvassing in Red Texas.” It is about their experiences with getting out the vote in the rural counties of TX21, but the basics are applicable to everyone, no matter where you live. We need everyone to participate in the democratic process to win in 2018. Please volunteer with a campaign or with your county Democratic party.

Canvassing in Red Texas

Democratic Values

Whether you identify as a Democrat, or are a reluctant Democrat, the choice in 2018 is clear. If you’re on this email list, you are in it to resist Trump and the Republican administration. The following brief editorial shares some the tenets of the Democratic Party platform.

“The Values of American Democracy,” by TC

“[We] believe democratic government exists to achieve as a community, state, and nation what we cannot achieve as individuals.

“We believe in equal opportunity, fairness, freedom, family, community, and a responsibility to ourselves and each other. These are the values our elders passed down to us, the values we hope to share with our children, and the values we expect from our elected officials.”

This is the opening of the Texas Democratic Party value statement. But does the source of these words matter? These values align with our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and are, therefore, truly American values.

Each paragraph from this statement outlines a unique aspect of our democracy. The first expresses that government is necessary and beneficial for our common good. The exact role of government has been debated from the beginning. Most Americans agree that national defense, taxation, and foreign affairs are necessary governmental duties, but we sometimes differ over other roles government might take.

American innovations such as public school education, the interstate highway system, Social Security, and Medicare have helped to make us a great nation. Through these programs, government has made it possible for America to “promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty” as is stated in the preamble to the Constitution. Consider this: would the general welfare be served if public school education was not guaranteed to every child?

The ideas of the second paragraph should require no explanation or defense. We all recognize the statement from the Declaration of Independence: “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Most of us have been taught by our parents and teachers to care for and help each other, particularly those who need it most. All Americans have the right and the duty to teach these American values to our children, regardless of political affiliation.

Texas is NOT a red state!

Gallup map

Did you think you’d live to see the day when a national polling organization would declare that Texas is no longer a red state? Check out this article from Gallup about the map you see above.

The implications of this shift in party affiliation, according the article, include the following:

Democrats regained momentum at the state level in 2017, with 10 states showing enough of a shift in residents’ party affiliation to change from a Republican state to a competitive one, or from competitive to Democratic. The 2017 shift was manifested in major Democratic victories in statewide elections in Virginia and Alabama, as well as close losses in congressional districts in Kansas, Montana and Georgia that had traditionally backed Republican candidates.”

But to make electoral victories happen in Texas, we must Get Out The Vote! Remember that Texas has the lowest voter turnout in the nation. We must change that in 2018. Check out our Get Out The Vote resources. We have guides for each county that include contact information for a point person who is a member of TX21 Indivisible. This is your contact to get started. Please leave questions in the comments section.

Why Vote in the Democratic Primary?

People votingHere in TX21, after 30+ years of Republican “representation” under Lamar Smith, we have the once-in-a-generation opportunity to choose a Democrat to represent us.

Voting in the Democratic primary is critical. Yet a phenomenon exists wherein Democrats vote in the Republican primary. One reason given is that doing so represents an attempt to select a “moderate” Republican to run against the Democrat in the general election. Another reason stated is that in TX21’s Hill Country counties, there are often no Democrats running in local county elections.

Daniel Cohen of Indivisible Houston wrote this compelling post about why Democrats must NEVER vote in a Republican primary. This goes for all you Independents too. We are at a critical juncture in our country and our progressive voices must be heard at the polls on primary election day.

Early voting for the primary election starts February 20. Election day is March 6.

WRITE: Here’s an easy guide

Many of us are looking for ways to influence others—not the 30% who are conservative zealots, but Independents and those who are open to hearing new ideas.

One way to do this is to write letters to the editor or to write articles to publish on community blogs or newsletters. This guide from the Center for Community Change provides an easy-to-follow template for crafting an effective letter or article. It suggests we start with our shared values, then clearly differentiate progressive values from conservative values, and espouse a vision.

If you have questions, need assistance, or write something you’d like to see published on this blog, please email it to or leave a comment here.

Cat Yuraka, organizer of Resistance Choir, receives Activist of the Year!


Last night at the TX21 Indivisible Birthday Party, the winner of the Ashley McAllen Activist of the Year Award was selected: Cat Yuraka of San Marcos! Cat is the organizer of the Resistance Choir of South Central Texas. The choir has performed at many TX21 Indivisible rallies and events in Austin, San Antonio, and the Hill Country.

Cat and the choir performed at the Women’s March in Austin on January 20, a performance featured in this video published by the New York Times (at 1.11 minutes). Cat is an activist extraordinaire and demonstrates by her actions that doing something you love brings success and recognition! Congratulations Cat!

Lamar Smith up to dirty tricks again


US Congressional District 21 Rep. Lamar Smith is up to his dirty tricks again. No, he’s not running for reelection, but he’s not finished with his job manipulating environmental regulations to suit Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, and Dow Chemical.

This article from The Intercept details Smith’s ongoing and dangerous war on science. Environmental pollution impacts the health of all us, but particularly children.

Call Lamar today and tell him what you think about this!

Washington, DC: 202-225-4236

San Antonio: 210-821-5024

Austin: 512-912-7508

Kerrville: 830-896-0154

Lamar Smith highly selective on criticism of vulgarity

LamarFrom the San Antonio Express-News, January 21, 2018. Lest we forget why we resist.

To The Honorable Lamar Smith:

Our families were well acquainted before your election. I remember with fondness attending elementary school as a classmate of your daughter. When you were first elected to Congress in 1987, I recall the excitement even among us young students. Those fond memories faded into shame and disgust as I read of your speech on the House floor recently.

You had a lot of harsh words for the media and their use of the exact phrase that President Donald Trump is reported to have used to describe African countries, Haiti and El Salvador. You lamented, “There was a time when the media would show some respect for family values, but no more,” implying that you are a man of high moral standing who would share those family values.

But you spoke not one word condemning Mr. Trump’s comments. Your speech had the sole purpose of enabling our president to use racist views and language in the process of crafting immigration policy. You spoke not one word standing up for American values or the Constitution toward which Mr. Trump has continually shown disdain.

It cannot be denied that Mr. Trump has such disdain. His open push for harsher libel laws are nothing but a transparent move against our beloved freedom of speech and critical freedom of the press, which he lambastes daily. He violates the Constitution through the profit of his Trump International Hotel in Washington, which is frequented by foreign diplomats and dignitaries in order to gain favor with the president. He violates the Constitution by pressuring NFL owners to punish or fire football players who protest him, indicating that they will receive favorable treatment if they do so.

On the topic of Mr. Trump’s reaction to NFL protests, it is one piece in a full puzzle depicting the president’s racism. The most recent example, of course, is his rant against immigrants hailing from what he refers to as “shithole” countries, all of whom all happen to be black and brown, while expressing a preference for immigrants from Norway, who are overwhelmingly white.

One might be able to brush off his stated preference as merely a poorly articulated argument. But there are more than enough other pieces present to portray a clear picture:

His characterization of a neo-Nazi group in Charlottesville as containing “good people.”

His insistence that a judge has no right to hear a case against him because he is of Mexican heritage.

His broad characterization of immigrants from Mexico as rapists and murderers.

His constant advocacy of a “Muslim ban” (his words, not mine) during the campaign, leading to three different attempts at such a ban under a different name.

Finally, his cringe-inducing attempt to point out an African-American for the cameras’ benefit during a rally, with comments like, “Look at my African-American friend over there! Look at him! Aren’t you the greatest?” to prove that he is not racist.

In case you forgot, America was founded on the idea that people could come here when they were not welcome, free or safe in their home countries. It is specifically when a man or a woman faces hardships imposed on them by their government, society or conditions that they have historically heard the call of the American Dream.

If the president’s words and policies are not enough to convince you that he does not hold the American ideal or Constitution dear, just look at leaders he chooses to praise and those he chooses to antagonize. He has expressed great admiration, respect and friendship for dictators like Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and Vladimir Putin of Russia, while straining relationships with our strongest democratic allies such as the United Kingdom’s Theresa May and Angela Merkel of Germany.

Do you want your legacy to be one of protecting and enabling an anti-American, racist narcissist? Or do you want your legacy to be one of rising above party, above self-interest and serving your country? It is time to choose. What do you want your great-grandchildren to read about you?

Edward O’Malley, a native San Antonian, is founder and CEO of Motiv Engines. He now lives in Boulder, Colorado.