Thank You & Upcoming Events

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Thank you so much for the outstanding support for our 2015 Johnson Bentsen Richards Dinner! Please enjoy the pictures by David Thomas Photography and Joan Gross Brook Photography.
Senator Bernie Sanders delivered an inspiring speech on how important a thriving middle class is to keeping our economy strong and advancing social justice. We also had the pleasure of honoring the Freedom to Marry Champions who are leading the way for marriage equality in Texas. The funds we raised will go to keeping our party strong during 2015 so we can keep our momentum going as we begin to prepare for the 2016 presidential election.

It’s that time of the legislative session when all of the bad bills we warned about during last year’s election campaign are being heard in committee before being sent to the floor for a vote. Please help us fight back and continue to hold our elected officials accountable when they propose laws that pander to right-wing extremists at the expense of Texas families and our economy.

The outrage from the public and business community over bills that target our LGBT communities has already prompted some Republicans to reconsider or scrap plans that use religion as a weapon of discrimination. Let’s keep up the pressure against the bills to de-fund our public schools, allow guns on campus and open carry of guns, target our immigrant community for discrimination, harm reproductive healthcare, and other extremist legislation.

Below are some important upcoming legislative hearings, events, and volunteer opportunities to help fight against extremism and support the progressive movement in Texas. You may also find the latest info and keep up with legislative alerts on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

Tuesday, April 7 – HB 1865 will receive a hearing today in the House Environmental Regulation Committee at 8 a.m. in room E1.026. It would shorten the contested case period for permits to certain polluters. The Alliance for Clean Texas (including Sierra Club, Air Alliance Houston, etc.) is urging people to call/email members of the Committee and express their opposition.
Tuesday, April 7 – SB 158 by Senator Royce West related to law enforcement and body cameras will be heard today by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The meeting will occur at 1:30 p.m. or adjournment of the Texas Senate in E1.016. If you sign up to testify, please bring 21 copies of your testimony. If you cannot stay to testify, then try to go by the Capitol to sign up in favor of the bill.
Wednesday, April 8 – The House State Affairs Committee will hear HB 4105 in JHR 140 at 10:30 a.m. or upon adjournment. The bill seeks to prevent County Clerks from issuing marriage licenses regardless of what the Supreme Court decides on the issue later his year. You may send a letter to committee members stating your opposition here.
Wednesday, April 8 – The House State Affairs Committee will meet upon adjournment in room JHR 140 to hear HB 3130 a harmful, anti-choice bill that would ban coverage of abortion under health insurance exchanges and disproportionately harm low-income Texans, who are more likely to rely on the health insurance exchange for coverage. Sign the petition today to show your opposition to HB 3130, and on Wednesday, come to the Texas Capitol and register against the bill.
Thursday, April 9 The House Select Committee on Emerging Issues In Texas Law Enforcement will hear HB 474 in E2.030 upon adjournment. Please register in favor of this bill, it would require law enforcement officers to be equipped with a body camera.
Thursday, April 9 – County Judge Sarah Eckhardt will hold a fundraiser celebrating “100 Days of Progress” at Haymaker (2310 Manor Rd.) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There is a $20 suggested donation; you may contribute here.
Thursday, April 9 – Constable Sally Hernandez will hold a fundraising reception at El Gallo (2910 S. Congress) from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $50, to RSVP or join the host committee please email: vote4sallyhernandez@gmail.com.

Saturday, April 11 – Tax Assessor Collector Bruce Elfant has agreed to host a Voter Registrar Deputization every 2nd Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each month through 2015 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church (4700 Grover). You may register here.

Saturday, April 11 – Representative Eddie Rodriguez will host a Legislative Town Hall at Travis High School (1211 E. Oltorf in Austin) from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., to focus on the state budget, public education, immigration rights, and other important matters facing our community. See the Facebook invitation for more information here.

Saturday, April 11 – Education Austin is hosting a Citizenship Drive at Travis High School from 8:00- 5:00 p.m. They will be helping eligible permanent residents to fill out their naturalization applications. Volunteers are needed as: registration leads, greeters/runners, waiting area facilitators, screeners, interpreters, floaters, and volunteer coordinators, and will receive a t-shirt, breakfast, and lunch. You may register to volunteer here.

Monday, April 13 – Call to Action for Freedom Advocacy Day from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the North Steps of the Texas Capitol with supporters of equality, sponsored by Equality Texas, Human Rights Campaign, and Texas Freedom Network. For more information visit here. And, today is the last day to register for the full Lobby Day, reserve your spot here.

Monday, April 13 – Mayor Steve Adler will deliver his first annual State of the City address at the A.I.S.D. Performing Arts Center (1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd.) at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, and you may register here.

Saturday, April 18 – TCDP will hold a leadership retreat at from 9:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Austin Bar Association (816 Congress #700) for Precinct Chairs, Club presidents, and Democratic activists to discuss messaging and organizing techniques. Please RSVP here.

Saturday, April 18 – We are looking for volunteers to help register voters at this year’s Earth Day Festival at the “Historic Browning Hangar” at 4550 Mueller Central Dr., between noon and 6:00 p.m. Please email info@traviscountydemocrats.org if you are available.

As always, please check our website calendar HERE for more events and email info@traviscountydemocrats.org if you are aware of an upcoming event for which we should send out an alert.

Sincerely,

Jan Soifer, Chairwoman
Travis County Democratic Party