TX21 Indivisible Visits Lamar Smith’s SA Office, Makes MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show

February 2, 2017 – Members of TX21 Indivisible, along with Indivisible groups nationally, continue to push their representatives to hear the rising chorus of voices demanding transparency and accountability from their elected officials.

As featured on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show:

TX21 Indivisible members visited and protested in front of U.S. Representative Lamar Smith’s San Antonio office on Tuesday, yet again demanding the Representative visit his district to meet with constituents. This visit, on the same day that thousands turned out in Austin in support of Texas Muslim Capitol Day, turns a spotlight on a rising progressive movement within Texas and across the country, to resist the Trump agenda and protect democratic values.

Twenty-five concerned citizens broke into two groups to alternately visit Mike Asmus, Lamar Smith’s District Director, while the other group remained outside protest on the access road. Jeanie Valenzuela, who led the delegation, explained “this was the second week in a row we met with [Asmus] asking the same questions” about when Smith will visit the district and getting the same answer that “there are no planned town halls in the foreseeable future.” Asmus assured the group he was passing their concerns on to the Representative but would not comment on whether he had received any response. The group insisted that Smith “is not serving as our representative in Washington if he doesn’t come back to hear what we think.”

In addition to demanding Smith return to his district to meet with constituents, TX21 Indivisible members expressed their extreme disappointment with cabinet confirmations and their opposition to Affordable Care Act repeal without a suitable replacement in place. Valenzuela says the group will be back next week, with an even better turnout, asking the same questions and holding Smith to account: “We need Lamar to stand up for the people, and for the morals of the country. He needs to come home and talk to us. He can’t keep hiding. We’ll keep going back until we get answers”

Article contributed by Claire Barnett – a TX21 Indivisible member

Texas Reps Overwhelmed and M.I.A.

The continued pressure on Texas reps by Indivisible members is mounting–and possibly has our elected officials on the run.

As the San Antonio Current published today, Texas Representative Lamar Smith and Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn appear to be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers visiting their offices this week. So great were the crowds, in fact, that the office interns and staffers who met them could do little more than say hello and offer canned responses with no real discussion. Some visitors were turned away outright for “trespassing.” In none of the situations, however, were citizens actually able to meet with their elected officials to be heard.

The pressure has only just begun, and while Texas reps may be able to dodge the masses for now, they won’t be able to forever. They should expect action visits by their constituents on a weekly basis.

For more details, check out the Current piece.

TX21 Indivisible Takes Demands to Legislators

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TX21 INDIVISIBLE TAKES DEMANDS TO LEGISLATORS

JANUARY 24, 2017 –   Between 10 AM and 1:30 PM, 16 activists, and one adorable and well-behaved infant from San Antonio congressional Districts 21, 28, and 35 descended on the offices of Rep. Lamar Smith, and Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn to express concerns about the new administration.  These actions coincide with the rapidly growing national Indivisible movement that took similar actions throughout the U.S.

The group represented a cross-section of the population including young professionals and parents, retirees on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and working people who used their lunch breaks or took the day off to attend.  The group focused on two of the most urgent issues, the Affordable Care Act and the President’s cabinet selections.

TX21 Indivisible – San Antonio member Jeanie Valenzuela served as the group’s introductory spokesperson but Rep. Smith’s District Director Mike Asmus and Senator Cruz’s Deputy Regional Director Javier Salinas were peppered with questions and comments from all the members.  “I’ve got a daughter with disabilities,” stated member Kelly Trout.  “ACA is critical for her care.  Without it, she will lose all support.”  Others chimed in with personal stories about how the ACA is literally a life and death issue.

Cabinet appointees were also passionately discussed, with Betsy DeVos as the primary focus.  “My children are six and ten,” stated one young mother.  “They will be in the educational system for many years and this woman could decimate their future with her inexperience and personal agenda.  The group was unanimous in sharing their genuine fear of the new administration to Senator Cruz’s staffer.

TX21 Indivisible members made further inquiries regarding their ongoing campaign to meet with our Congressman and Senators in a town hall format.  Both Smith’s and Cruz’s offices said that our requests would be relayed to Washington.  Again.

Senator John Cornyn’s office was unavailable.  Oddly, his office address was absent from the building directory.  Members proceeded to the suite indicated on his website, which also stated office hours were Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM.  After ringing the bell numerous times with no response, a gentleman from a nearby office informed the group that there is seldom someone there.  Members left a note on the door.

ABOUT TX21 INDIVISIBLE

Founded in 2017, TX21 Indivisible is a group of constituents of Texas’ 21st Congressional District who are working together to push back against the Trump agenda.  Our representative Lamar Smith, is a principal enabler of Trump, but we aim to do our part to halt their rollback of our nation’s most fundamental progressive principles.  We are formed in agreement with the principles of the Indivisible strategy:

 

  1. Resist Trump’s agenda. We believe Trump’s agenda is racist, authoritarian and corrupt. It must be stopped.
  2. Focus on local, defensive congressional advocacy. We demand that our own local members of Congress serve as our voice in Washington, D.C.
  3. Embrace progressive values. We model inclusion, respect, and fairness in all of our actions.

CONTACT:  Jason Sugg

TX21 Indivisible

Email Address:  jasonsugg@yahoo.com

Website URL: www.tx21indivisible.us

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The Resistance has Begun

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What an inspiring day yesterday was! A week ago I had a conversation with the executive director of the Travis County Democratic Party. She told me they were hoping for 5k-7k people at today’s march in Austin. According to the Austin Police Department, 50,000 showed up. San Antonio, where a march was just added in the last week or so, had over a thousand people.

Similar numbers were seen all over the country. In DC, 200k people were expected; 500k showed up. In LA, 80k were expected; organizers are saying 750k showed up. 75k were expected in Chicago; 250k showed up. 100k people showed up in Portland, another 100k in Seattle.

These numbers echo our experience here at TX21Indivisible. I started this group less than 3 weeks ago, inviting 10-20 friends; today we added our 600th member, with people hailing from every part of the district. What I have seen in the last few weeks is that we are ready to do something about the direction our country has gone in, and we are ready to start right here, in the 21st district, by holding Lamar Smith, Ted Cruz, and John Cornyn accountable.

Today’s numbers are inspiring. But they’re not enough, because they’re just today. If we really want to produce change, we have to commit to showing up over and over again in the coming months and years. I passionately believe that if we can do that, keep showing up again and again and again, that we and the other similar groups springing up across the country will have an enormous impact.

We are a little different from other political groups you may be affiliated with. You won’t get emails from us asking for urgent financial donations (we’re all volunteer!), or to sign our low-impact online petitions. We’re after something different – what we need is some of your time. Of course, everybody has to decide how much of that most precious resource they can dedicate – but even if you can just commit to calling Lamar Smith’s offices a couple of times a week it will have an impact. If you want to get more involved in helping us create a network of resistance here in the 21st district, then we also have a number of volunteer roles that we need help with.

Whatever the level of involvement you want to take on, it would be tremendously helpful to us if you would take a moment and fill out our intake survey (https://goo.gl/forms/SIRgI7Cgx1HFNOit2). This will help us coordinate our activities and know how and when you would like to be contacted by us.

I want to extend a personal thank you to each of you for being here and showing up. Let’s go out and change the world.

March With Us This Weekend!

IndivisibleATX is marching this weekend, and the 21st District will be there!

This Friday, January 20 at 5:00 p.m. is the One Resistance Inauguration Protest March, and this Saturday, January 21 at 11 a.m. is the Women’s March on ATX. If you intend to march on Friday, consider joining the IndivisibleATX group.

On Saturday, members of TX21 Indivisible will be meeting at 11am in front of the Texas Capitol Visitors Center (112 East 11th St). The IndivisibleATX folks will have signs that say #Resist and Indivisibleatx, and we’ll have a sign that says TX21 Indivisible.

Check out the IndivisibleATX website for full details for both events, or the Facebook events for each.

If you’re in San Antonio, check out the Facebook event for their Women’s March!

(Photo courtesy of Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT News.)