TX21Indivisible Action Alert for 2/21/17

We all know from living the Indivisible Guide how effective it is for citizens to lobby their Members of Congress. We are excited that, just seven weeks into our existence, we have three Action groups up and running in all three cities in our district where our Rep. Lamar Smith has offices: Austin, San Antonio, and Kerrville.

It’s an incredible boon to our group to have the leadership, critical mass, and momentum to organize action in the Hill Country. In case you hadn’t heard, a grassroots rally with 37 participants at Rep. Smith’s office last Thursday in Kerrville landed on the front page of the Kerrville Daily Times. The Hill Country is an area where Rep. Smith feels comfortable and safe from criticism. He needs to know that there are Hill Country constituents who are not satisfied with his leadership or policy decisions in Washington. Now that we’ve made a big splash in Kerrville, it’s time to turn that energy into repeatable waves of action, with regular visits to Rep. Smith’s Kerrville office. Read on for your Action.

Action for TX21Indivisible members living in the Texas Hill Country:

Please join your Hill Country-based Action organizers, Laura Pipkin-Kramer and Terry Casparis, in your inaugural Tuesday Action on Tuesday, February 21, at 9am. Read full details and RSVP for Kerrville action here.

Action for TX21Indivisible members in the San Antonio area:

Your Tuesday Action will also be on Tuesday, February 21, at 9am, led by Trish Florence. Read full details and RSVP for San Antonio action here.

Action for TX21Indivisible members in the Austin area:

Your Tuesday action will be led by Tom Lindsay on Tuesday, February 21, at 10:20am. Meet in the office building lobby, ground floor on the north side.

Save the date:

Please make plans to attend the town hall that TX21Indivisible is hosting for Lamar Smith:
Saturday, February 25, 2017
5:00-7:30pm
Historic Scoot Inn
1308 E. 4th Street
Austin TX 78702

More details to come.

Save another date:

IndivisibleATX Citywide Gathering
Sunday, March 5, 2017
2-5pm
Details TBA but what we know is here.

Action Items for Week of 2/13/17

Actions for the Week

First, here’s how your voices made a difference last week:

  • The 9th Federal Court of Appeals ruled unanimously to maintain the freeze on Donald’s immigration ban immediately for national security reasons, and they forcefully asserted their ability to serve as a check on the president’s power.
  • Rep Stephanie Murphy’s bill that would forbid Steve Bannon and other political partisans like him from serving on the National Security Council has passed review by the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Armed Services Committees. It has more than 90 House reps sponsoring it

Monday, Feb. 13

Check our Facebook group page for events happening this week!

All day. Call SENATORS and REPRESENTATIVES and demand a congressional investigation in Michael Flynn’s communications with Russia.

Michael Flynn, national security advisor to the Trump administration, contacted Russian officials prior to President Trump’s inauguration. Not only did Flynn act illegally, his relations with Russia continue to reveal a troubling relationship between the Trump camp and Russia. These actions must not only be condemned, but also congressionally investigated.

All day. Call SENATORS to oppose the nomination of Steve Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary.

Wall Street’s Favorite Nominee. Putting a former Goldman Sachs banker and hedge fund billionaire in control of the Treasury Department would set loose the biggest alligator the D.C. swamp has seen yet. At every opportunity, Mnuchin has taken advantage of vulnerable people in order to enrich himself. He will do the same to the American people if confirmed.

Foreclosure king. Mnuchin made millions off of the misery of American families by aggressively foreclosing on desperate homeowners during the depths of the housing crisis, including suing to foreclose on a 90-year-old woman’s home for a 27 cent payment error.

Racist history. Under his leadership as Chairman, subprime mortgage bank OneWest faced allegations that it consistently violated the Fair Housing Act by systematically refusing to locate bank branches in areas with high populations of racial minorities and refusing to grant mortgages to people of color.

Tuesday, Feb. 14

All day. Deliver valentines to your local MoC’s district office! Ask them to do a Town Hall, save the ACA, or other sweet nothings. (And remember: votes are not valentines; they are chess moves.)

All day. Call SENATORS and HOUSE REPS about Trump’s conflicts of interest. With Donald’s many conflicts of interest once again front and center given his attack on Nordstrom (and the appalling retweet from @POTUS) and Kellyanne Conway’s illegal infomercial for Ivanka Trump’s products in a news interview, we need to put pressure on the Senate to bring the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017 (which would require the president to put his investments in a blind trust and cooperate in annual reports on his financial interests) to a vote. It was introduced Jan 9 and the GOP has sat on it since. We must also demand our individual House representatives vote on HR 371, which is the companion bill in the house and has similarly been stalled by Republican lawmakers.

Here’s a simple sample script for your Senators:

My name is [______]. I’m a constituent calling about the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act of 2017. Please ask [Senator____] to support this resolution. The American people deserve a president who’s accountable to us, not his bank account. I expect my Congressmen to uphold the integrity of the presidency and support this resolution.
And for your House reps::
My name is [______]. I’m a constituent calling about H.R. 371, Rep. Katherine Clark’s Presidential Conflict of Interest Act. Please ask [Rep____] to support this resolution. The American people deserve a president who’s accountable to us, not his bank account. I expect my representatives to uphold the integrity of the presidency and support this resolution.

 

Wednesday, Feb. 15

Call your HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE and tell them to oppose the Electoral Assistance Commission Termination Act (HR 634). The bill recently passed out of committee and would eliminate the Electoral Assistance Commission (EAC), the only institution that oversees the security of voting systems, and states’ compliance with federal voting registration laws.

 

Thursday, Feb. 16

Call your SENATORS to oppose Trump’s stolen Supreme Court pick. Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the United States Supreme Court. Gorsuch does not belong on the Supreme Court – not just because he’s a conservative firebrand, far from the mainstream of American jurisprudence, nor solely because he’s been a hardline opponent of reproductive rights – though both of those things are deeply worrisome. No, Gorsuch doesn’t belong because Donald Trump should not have a vacancy to fill.

Friday, Feb. 17

Ask your Member of Congress to host a town hall about the ACA so you can encourage them to oppose repeal. We have lots of resources on the ACA.

Saturday, Feb. 18

Coming soon!

Sunday, Feb. 19

Self-care Sunday! If you need a break, do something nice for yourself.

Calls to Action for the Week of 2/6/17

MONDAY UPDATE

Thanks everyone for all your dedicated resistance – you are part of a nationwide movement, and we are having an impact!

News
——
Thanks to all who listened in on yesterday’s conference call. If you weren’t able to make it you can listen to it here: http://bit.ly/2lgbU8V . And if you have questions that didn’t get answered feel free to put them in a comment on this post and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Actions
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If you live in Austin and haven’t signed up for a Lamar Smith office visit then go to the attached spreadsheet and take a slot (you will need to scroll right to find the current dates). Right now we especially need some more people to go tomorrow!

If you have some time to make some calls today and haven’t already called the Senators about the Betsy DeVos nomination then call them today! The vote is this afternoon, and they need to hear from you!

I don’t know if you heard, but our representative, Lamar Smith, will be holding hearings starting tomorrow on “Making the EPA great again.” So let’s light up his switchboard and let him know that you think the EPA is ALREADY great, and are opposed to any cuts to the agency!

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

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

TUESDAY-FRIDAY ACTIONS COMING SOON

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

Pressure is Building ~a TX21 Indivisible Story

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San Antonio is not known as a city of protests. Perhaps this is because it is one of the most diverse cities in Texas and the Nation. I could quote statistics and cultural breakdowns, but hey, that’s what Google is for. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence, such as our Tex-Mex style Fiesta, The Greek Funstival, one of the largest Martin Luther King, Jr. parades in the nation, and the Chinese New Year celebration, which testifies to our diversity. Many different cultures – all getting along for the most part.

But times have changed. The long march toward absolute rule of the United States government by the Republican Party, culminating in the election of Donald Trump, has motivated the people of San Antonio like few events ever have.

For example, while cities across America experienced riots during the civil rights and Vietnam War protests, only a few hundred concerned citizens in San Antonio risked a misdemeanor ticket for congregating on the grass at Breckenridge Park. And about a thousand people marched down Commerce Street, then went back to having picnics on the grass at Breckenridge Park. Some parents did take measures to protect their children from the draft, but only a few. In fact the event that caused the most uproar in recent memory was the decision to build McAllister Freeway, aka 281, through Olmos Park. Several people chained themselves to bulldozers and delayed construction for a few days. It was good video for TV news, good ink and photos for the papers – there were two then – and dramatic audio for radio. In short, protests have been pretty rare. Until now.

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As of this writing, more than 1800 people have registered with TX21 INDIVISIBLE in Texas’ 21st congressional district. As a percentage of population, having this many people taking action in the Alamo City is . . . not normal. It’s unique, historical, unprecedented. Accurate descriptions, yes, and in danger of becoming cliched from over-use, as the ineptitude of governing demonstrated by the Republican Party is revealed day by day.

As a result of the continuing group visits to the offices of Congressman Lamar Smith, Senator John Cornyn, and Senator Ted Cruz, senior staffers are now coming out to face the activists.  Pressure is building. The District directors are probably marking their calendars in anticipation of the Tuesday event. This is not a one time phenomenon.

People are united in their civic duty like few other times in our Nation’s history. Every week sees an increase in activity in San Antonio.  Every visitor relates how they are individually impacted by the quirky way our government is being run.

Healthcare? Denied. Science? Denied. Clean air? Denied.  Drinking water? Denied. Majority rule? Denied. Our government as profit for the privileged few? Accepted.

The threat to the American form and style of government demonstrated by this Republican Administration has provoked a large and growing contingent of San Antonio citizens into action. They show no signs of going away.

You could say, “As San Antonio goes, so goes the Nation”.

Article contributed by Edgar Pace, a TX21 Indivisible member

What TX21 Indivisible Means to Me

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My name is Jeanie Valenzuela, and you may have seen me on the TX21 Indivisible Facebook page, ran into me at Lamar Smith’s, Ted Cruz’s, or John Cornyn’s office, or shared your stories with me on Twitter.  I wanted to take a minute to applaud everyone who is on the ground fighting this administration, and to also let you know why I’m right there with all of you.

First of all, I am a United States citizen.  A United States citizen who is just as horrified as you are by what has happened to our country since November 8, 2016.

Secondly, I am a proud Independent Texas citizen who is represented by at least 7 government officials who stand for everything I am against.

Third, I am a registered voter who cast my vote proudly in November for a candidate who not only won the popular vote, but because of an antiquated system, does not sit in the White House today.

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Fourth, I am a constituent of the before mentioned 7 government officials who are completely ignoring my opinions, my requests; my absolute presence in this state.

And finally, after 44 years with my head in the sand, I am now wide awake, and an activist. 

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I am an activist who takes 2-8 hours out of my day 5 days a week to do everything I can to stop this illegitimate President from destroying our country.  I am talking to, emailing, calling, writing, and standing in front of anyone who will listen and telling them to stop being pawns and stand up for our country and her values. 

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I am part of TX21 Indivisible and her 1800+ members who are working just as hard, or even harder than I am, to grow our grassroots movement to a size that even the illegitimate President cannot ignore.

So, when you ask me what TX21 Indivisible means to me it’s this.  Everything. 

 What does TX21 Indivisible mean to you?  Please comment below.