Blog

ACA Do or Die Week

We had the opportunity to meet and talk with Indivisible founder Ezra Levin and the newly hired Indivisible national organizing director, Isaac Bloom, this past weekend (with a hundred or so other Indivisibles from central Texas!)

ezra levin isaac bloom

They had many great things to say, but what they made clear was that this is the week we either stop TrumpCare or it becomes the law of the land. There’s a few things you can do to make sure this comes out the way that doesn’t take health insurance away from millions. At this point, most close watchers are expecting a vote this Thursday.

  1. Call Senators Cornyn & Cruz and tell them that this bill sucks and the process for creating it has been an insult to democracy. If you can, visit their offices in Austin or San Antonio in person and
  2. Contribute your story to http://protectourcare.us/ . Mitch McConnell has been cleverly shepherding TrumpCare through the Senate in secret to minimize media attention. And it has been working. Gathering these stories allows us to start to tell the larger TrumpCare story that the media will cover.
  3. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Even if it’s not published it sends a signal that this is news, and you expect them to be covering it. TrumpCare cannot withstand scrutiny, so our best bet is to put as much attention on it as possible.

Cruz – DC: (202) 224-5922
Austin: (512) 916-5834
San Antonio: 210-340-2885

Cornyn – DC: (202) 224-2934
Austin: (512) 469-6034
San Antonio: 210-224-7485
Houston: (713) 572-3337

We haven’t forgotten about Lamar Smith, but this is where we’re needed right now!

Monday, June 26

8 a.m. to noon San Antonio: Rally to Block Show Me Your Papers Law SB4

655 E Cesar E Chavez Blvd, San Antonio, TX

From the organizers:

On the day of the first hearing in the lawsuit to stop Texas’ show-me-your-papers law, SB4, we’re going to gather outside of the courthouse to show that Texans reject hate in their state. We reject SB4 because it encourages and legalizes the racial profiling of immigrants and people of color. We will show we stand united against oppression, racism and hatred.

El día de la primera audiencia en la demanda para detener la ley Tejana Mostrame Tus Papeles, SB4, vamos a reunirnos fuera de la corte para mostrar que los tejanos rechazan el odio en su estado. Rechazamos SB4 porque alienta y legaliza el perfil racial de inmigrantes y personas de color. Mostraremos que estamos unidos contra la opresión, el racismo y el odio.

Facebook Event

Tuesday, June 27

Call Senators Cornyn and Cruz!

Wednesday, June 28

Call Senators Cornyn and Cruz!

Thursday, June 29

Likely day of TrumpCare vote!

Saturday, July 1

Comfort, TX, 10 a.m., Independence Day Parade

Comfort, TX – We are full throttle to have our own TX21 Indivisible float in the Comfort parade on July 1! We will be rock’n rollin’ down the street, passing out candy and TX21 labeled water. Once again we will deliver our positive message of patriotic resistance to attacks on America’s core values to the Hill Country using our cheer, “Indivisible we Stand!” Come join us as a participant or join the crowd to watch. Be sure to visit the BBQ and vendor market after the parade to enjoy some ‘Q and purchase TX21 merchandise from our table! For more information contact us at hillcountry@tx21indivisible.us

Facebook event

Sunday, July 2

Austin, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. #ImpeachmentMarch

Texas State Capitol

From the organizers:

Calling all Patriots! The US is experiencing a Constitutional crisis and our system of checks and balances is being called into question. On July 2, 2017 in Austin, Texas, we march in solidarity with Impeachment March across the country to demand the removal of Donald J. Trump from the office of President.

For more info and to volunteer, visit impeachmentmarchaustin.org

Thanks for all you are doing! I know it may not feel like it, but we are making a difference!

Jason

Save Our Healthcare Rally in Fredericksburg – June 23

TX21 Indivisible is hosting the Save Our Healthcare Rally on June 23 at the Fredericksburg Marketplatz in the center of town. The event will begin promptly at 4:30 PM and end at 6:00 PM. Marketplatz Information

The Trump Administration and Congress are attempting to rush his legislation through passage because they do not want scrutiny and informed criticism of their harmful actions. Unfortunately, the coalition of the far-right has the upper hand and our nation’s health is at risk. Healthcare is the ultimate nonpartisan issue and attacks on preexisting conditions, Medicaid, older Americans, and Planned Parenthood could eliminate healthcare for 23 million people. We must make it clear that we are watching, angry with their tactics, and will not be silent.

Here are two things you can do to help magnify our message:

  • Make signs that express your thoughts about rejecting AHCA and instead making ACA better — join our street-side protest
  • Consider telling your personal healthcare story to our rally audience or allowing us to video your telling. See examples here: Healthcare Testimonials. If you wish to participate, please contact: hillcountry@tx21indivisible.us

Defend the ACA!

You’ve probably heard that Governor Abbott has called a special session of the Texas legislature. It promises to be a disaster – if you’re not already following Indivisible TX lege then we would encourage you to do so. You can find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/IndivisibleTXLege/ or their website at http://txlege.indivisible.blue/.

While the nation was distracted by the unfolding drama of the Comey hearing this past week, a group of 13 all-male Senators were busy working (behind closed doors, of course) on the Senate version of TrumpCare. It’s time for us to show them we can walk and chew gum at the same time – so please join with other Indivisibles from across the country on:

Wednesday, June 14

Stop Trumpcare National Senate Call-In Day

Join with other Indivisibles from across the country to make our voices heard in the Senate. Call Senators Cruz and Cornyn (both part of the Senate AHCA working group) and demand that they oppose any ACA replacement that:

  • Hasn’t been scored by the CBO
  • Reduces the number of Americans covered by health insurance
  • Doesn’t preserve protections for pre-existing conditions
  • Cuts Medicaid funding

You can find scripts here.

Cruz – DC: (202) 224-5922

Austin: (512) 916-5834

San Antonio: 210-340-2885

Cornyn – DC: (202) 224-2934

Austin: (512) 469-6034

San Antonio: 210-224-7485

Houston: (713) 572-3337

Weekly Update

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks for TX21Indivisible! You’ve helped us host or participate in town halls, candidate forums, tax marches and marches for science, a rally to Keep the Hill Country Beautiful, a call to action with Joaquin Castro, and surprise ambushes across the district, with highly unsatisfying responses from Lamar Smith. The TX21Indivisible video team put together this short video detailing our efforts to speak with our representative – take a look!

As a general rule, we at TX21Indivisible are more interested in getting a bit of your time than in getting a bit of your money. But if you would like to kick in a few dollars to help us keep this thing running and help us continue putting on these kinds of events you can now do so here! If you have the resources and would like to make it a recurring monthly donation that would also be appreciated! Contributions and gifts to TX21Indivisible are not tax deductible.

We’ve got a couple of federal legislative actions that need your attention this week, and then we’ll list several other upcoming trainings or events below.

Actions

Defend the ACA…again

Call Lamar Smith and tell him NO on the latest attempt to repeal Obamacare

If you have a pre-existing condition or other personal story, include it when you call. Here is a script to get you started:

“I’m calling to oppose the new proposal altering the American Health Care Act. I don’t like the fact that it gets rid of Essential Health Benefits and Community rating, which allow sick people to get insurance, and make sure insurance is worth having.”

The Budget: Now that your MoCs are back in Washington this week, they have to pass a stopgap funding bill, known as a “CR” (Continuing Resolution), to fund the government past April 28. But with his 100-day report card looming on that same day, Trump is desperate for any legislative win he can get—so much so that his cronies in Congress may be willing to risk a government shutdown by including unpopular policy riders in the funding bill, such as:

  • Defunding of ACA cost-sharing subsidies (CSRs) that millions of Americans rely on to keep coverage affordable
  • Defunding Planned Parenthood and other family planning initiatives
  • Additional funding for Trump’s mass deportation force, including his border wall, detention facilities, and more ICE agents
  • Restricting federal funding for cities that take up sanctuary policies
  • Defunding the EPA and other climate protection programs

Ask your MoC not to risk a shutdown and to oppose any of these policy riders in any funding bill.

Lamar Smith – DC: 202-225-4236
San Antonio: 210-821-5024
Austin: 512-912-7508
Kerrville: 830-896-0154
Fax: 202-225-8628

Upcoming Events

Let’s Celebrate TX21 Indivisible Awesomeness in Boerne!

Sunday April 30, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Random Beer Garden: 11 Upper Cibolo Creek Rd, Boerne, TX 78006

It is hard to believe that we are four months old but it is amazing what we have accomplished in that four months! Come join our celebration of passion for change, our accomplishments, and our spirit! Great movements begin over sharing of ideas, finding common goals, and taking action. Following the example of our founding fathers, a little fun and a little beer along the way does not hurt.

In the spirit of RESIST-REST-REPEAT, please join with TX21 Indivisibles from Austin, San Antonio, and the Hill Country for an afternoon of food, family-friendly fun, and live music provided by some of our own TX21 Indivisibles. There’s a special song debut you will not want to miss!

Random is a wonderful family-friendly location with food trucks, playground for the kids, dog-friendly (on leash), beer and wine, and the coolest guests in District 21. All food and drink is pay as you go. Visit Random on Facebook

Everyone is welcomed — Indivisible members, your family, your friends, people you just met. People have heard about TX21 Indivisible and we know that many want to join our movement and the fun!

Voter Activation Virtual Huddle

Wednesday April 26, 12 pm

We’re closing in on the end of the first 100 days of this administration, and though we’ve had some great success so far it’s time for us to start making plans for the most crucial step of politics – getting voters to the polls. Come help us start the process of defining our voter activation strategy – including plans for registering voters, filling precinct chair positions, and getting out the vote when the time comes. If you can’t make this call, then don’t worry – this is just a kickoff, and there will be plenty of other opportunities to be involved in the planning and execution of this very important effort.

RSVP here for call-in info: https://actionnetwork.org/events/virtual-huddle-voter-activation

Protest Safety and Verbal Self-Defense Workshop

TX21Indivisible’s very own George Schorn will be offering this workshop in Austin on how to de-escalate challenging protest situations. She has offered this workshop to glowing reviews through IndivisibleATX, and we are excited to host her!

https://actionnetwork.org/events/protest-safety-verbal-self-defense-workshop

Office Visits

We have weekly visits to Lamar Smith’s offices in San Antonio (Tuesdays), Austin (Thursdays), and Kerrville (Wednesdays). See the calendar on our website for more information!

Thanks for all you are doing – we are making a difference!

Together in resistance,

Jason

Recap of Last Week’s San Antonio City Council Candidate Forum

Thanks to one of our TX21Indivisible volunteers for this great write-up of last week’s San Antonio city council candidate forum!

SA town hall

Tuesday, April 11, San Antonio — Lamar Smith in a pussy hat. The Resistance Choir debut. A renowned civil/voting rights expert and advocate. Four progressive city council candidates. TX21’s very own Jason and Antoinette. And several dozen committed activists and concerned citizens. On Tuesday night, TX21 Indivisible held a town hall and candidate forum at Bigz Burger Joint on the north side of San Antonio, opened with a touching rendition of the Star Spangled Banner sung by Paula Jarvis. Lamar himself was there but in two dimensions, but wore a pink hat and a smirk, while those in flesh and blood attendance listened and engaged in thoughtful dialogue with Professor Al Kauffman and a panel of candidates running for a handful of open seats on the San Antonio city council. Bigz, which donated the space, proved an ideal venue for the agenda-full evening of democracy-in-action.

Professor Kaufman discussed the history and current state of civil and voting rights in Texas, including voting ID laws and redistricting. The recent judicial rebuke of the Texas voter ID act—which found that the law not only had a discriminatory effect against minority voters, but also held discriminatory intent—could put Texas back under Justice Department supervision, requiring the state to preclear any changes to its voting laws. Within the past week, a three judge panel also found that three of the state’s U.S. Congressional Districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered to intentionally minimize the voting power of Latinos in the state. The court will compel the state to redraw these districts, which include two adjacent to TX21 (districts 23 and 35).  Such redrawing of these districts will by necessity entail changes to the borders of district 21; however, Professor Kaufman says the court will try to minimize, to the extent possible, the effect on districts not part of the ruling.

Before turning the floor over to the city council candidates, TX21 Indivisible founders, Jason Sugg and Antoinette Perez, discussed district-wide activities and successes and praised the efforts of the San Antonio core volunteer team, led by Trish Hastings Florence and Shannon Perez, in putting together Tuesday’s event and building energy and momentum for ongoing actions in the city. And, of course, no event in TX21 would be complete without some words for Lamar Smith, who as Jason expressed, considers his “partisan politics to be more important than your voice.” Trish delivered a special thank you to Lamar for bringing the group’s members together and inspiring such committed political activism, activism that has seen tangible results, including the shuttering of a local, anti-Muslim hate group. Finally, Shannon highlighted the attention the group has garnered from both the media and high profile activists and politicians, including San Antonio’s own Joaquin Castro, who will be headlining an event with TX21 Indivisible next week.

For the final part of the evening, Shannon MCed a Q&A with four candidates for city council running to fill three north side seats that represent portions of the TX21 congressional district—Manny Palaez in district 8, John Courage in district 9, and Diana Kenny and Ezra Johnson in district 10. In a dialogue that ranged from traffic to the “bathroom bill” to public safety, the candidates shared their positions on local issues, as well as their thoughts on how to get more San Antonio voters turning out to vote, starting at the local level. The candidates held largely similar positions on most issues, with differences in communication style and specific implementation details, consistent with the different backgrounds and professional expertise of each candidate.

To conclude the forum, Shannon asked the candidates how a city with such low voter turnout and shared civic commitment can get its “mojo back.” Manny called on the need for leaders to “show up” and to practice dignity and respect for all citizens. John said the city needs “thoughtful thinkers who ask hard questions” to understand and solve the city’s problems. Diana called for a renewed focus on the inequities of the city and how San Antonio can be one, with wealthier areas investing in lower income areas to the benefit of all. Ezra said increased civic engagement will happen “one block at a time, one neighborhood at a time” through engagement of groups like TX21 Indivisible and volunteering for local campaigns.

In a call to action earlier in the evening Jason urged to all in attendance, “These are the good guys. Help these candidates. Call bank for them. Block walk. Give them money.”

Learn more about the candidates and contact them via their campaign websites:

·       Manny Palaez: www.vote4manny.com/

·       John Courage: www.couragefor9.com/

·       Diana Kenny: dianakennydistrict10.com/

·       Ezra Johnson: www.ezra4sa.com/

Congressional Recess Week!

Congress is in recess for the next 2 weeks. This is that time when members of Congress are meant to be back home, hearing from their constituents. As you probably suspected, Lamar Smith has NO public town halls scheduled for this period. So, once again, we have taken it on ourselves to do his job for him.

To that end, we will be hosting a town hall/city council candidate forum in San Antonio on Tuesday, April 11, 5:30-7:30pm, at Bigz Burger Joint (2303 N Loop 1604 W, San Antonio, TX 78258). Not only will we be hearing from Professor Al Kaufmann about restoring civil rights in Trump’s America, we will also be hearing from city council candidates for district 8, 9, and 10.

In Austin, we will be hosting a town hall on Thursday, April 13, 7-9pm, at The Scoot Inn (1308 E 4th Street, Austin, Texas 78702) and featuring Jim Hightower, Degerrymandering Texas, and a number of the candidates either running or thinking of running in the 21st district in 2018. We promise this event will be both educational and entertaining!

Lamar Smith won’t be holding town halls, but what he is doing – as usual – is meeting with select groups of people who he knows will agree with him. Tonight, for example, he is meeting with the Bulverde Women’s Republican Club at the GVTC auditorium (36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels, TX 78132-5903), in a closed door event. If you live anywhere near there, come out and help us demand that Smith hold a town hall for everybody! This is a private event center, and we won’t be able to go in the gates, but we will be in the right of way making sure our voices are heard!