Author: Michael Benbow

Paid Sick Days Vote, 2/15

Paid Sick Days Vote, 2/15

The Travis County Democratic Party’s County Executive Committee adopted a resolution back in October, one endorsing universal paid sick days for employees.

This resolution was adopted with widespread support from all parts of Travis County. It sends a clear message: the Party stands with the people.

On February 15th, the Austin City Council will be meeting to vote on City ordinances regarding paid sick days. Please contact your City Council members and let them know you stand with labor and support paid sick days!

Full Text:
Adopted Paid Sick Days Resolution

Travis County Democratic Party
Resolution on Endorsing Paid Sick Time Policy

WHEREAS, Most workers in the city of Austin will at some time during each year need limited time off
from work to take care of their own health needs or the health needs of their family members; and,

WHEREAS, Earning paid sick time can have a positive effect on individuals and the public health of
Austinites by allowing workers a limited number of hours per year to care for themselves or a close
family member when illness strikes or medical needs arise; and,

WHEREAS, Providing workers time off for health or safety purposes can guarantee a healthier and more
productive workforce in Austin; and,

WHEREAS, Earning paid sick time can reduce recovery time, promote the use of regular medical
providers rather than hospital emergency departments, and reduce the likelihood of people spreading
illness to other members of the workforce and to the public; and,

WHEREAS, Access to paid sick time can also help decrease the likelihood that a worker will put off
needed care, and can reduce healthcare expenditures and increase the rates of preventive care among
workers and their children; and,

WHEREAS, Low-income workers are significantly less likely to have paid sick time than other members
of the workforce; and,

WHEREAS, In a study conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, approximately 37% of
workers in the city of Austin lack paid sick time; and,

WHEREAS, According to that same study, up to 70% of workers go without access to paid sick time in
jobs that require frequent contact with the public, like food preparation and personal care occupations,
which has important public health implications due to risk of contagion; and,

WHEREAS, Latino and Black workers in Austin are less likely to have paid sick time than workers in any
other racial or ethnic group, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; and,

WHEREAS, People without paid sick time are 1.5 times more likely than people with paid sick time to go
to work with a contagious illness like the flu; and,

WHEREAS, According to the Public Welfare Foundation, parents who don’t have paid sick time are more
than twice as likely as parents with paid sick time to send a sick child to school or daycare, and five
times as likely to report taking their child or a family member to a hospital emergency room because
they were unable to take time off work during their regular work hours; and,

WHEREAS, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention found that workers with access to paid sick time were 28 percent less likely than
workers without access to paid sick time to be injured on the job; and,

WHEREAS, Many workers need time away from their jobs to care for their health after incidents
regarding sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner violence, and or to
find solutions, such as a restraining order or new housing, to avoid or prevent physical or sexual abuse;

WHEREAS, Survivors of domestic and sexual violence are often forced to lose days of paid employment
because of the violence they face; and,

WHEREAS, Paid sick time results in reduced worker turnover, which leads to reduced costs incurred
from advertising, interviewing and training new hires. Replacing workers can cost approximately 21%
of an employee’s annual compensation; and,

WHEREAS, 36 cities and 7 states have passed paid sick policies; and,

WHEREAS, According to a study conducted by the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, 160
countries in the world guarantee their residents a continued income when they’re ill; and,

WHEREAS, The Democratic National Committee Party Platform includes supporting working families
through a commitment to “fight to allow workers the right to earn at least seven days of paid sick leave”;

WHEREAS, The Work Strong Austin coalition, a group of local nonprofits and small business owners,
have conducted needs assessments, policy research, interviews with other cities and stakeholders, and
held meetings since 2015 to advance the opportunity for Austinites to have access to paid sick time; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Travis County Democratic Party strongly supports earned
paid sick days for all workers; and,

FURTHERMORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Travis County Democratic Party calls for the City of Austin to
institute laws and rules mandating paid sick leave for all employees in the city; that this includes hourly
workers and individual subcontractors; and be it a provision in all contracts for labor the City of Austin
signs; and,

FURTHERMORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Travis County Democratic Party supports the Work Strong
Austin coalition in efforts to ensure a robust policy for private employers in Austin that is universal,
covering all types of workers and employers, and provides a variety of allowable uses, such as tending to an
ongoing medical condition, seeking preventative care, providing care for a family member or dependent,
and providing safe time to deal with a domestic violence or sexual assault incident; and,

FURTHERMORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Travis County Democratic Party encourages its precinct
chairs and members to participate in the City of Austin public stakeholder process to provide feedback
consistent with this resolution on the elements of a paid sick days policy.

OneTX Winter Holiday Party, 12/14

OneTX Winter Holiday Party, 12/14

Join TCDP and our allies at One Texas Resistance for an end of year celebration and Holiday Party!

We’ve all put in a lot of hard work, and the work will continue but let’s take an evening to relax and enjoy ourselves!

The party details:
When: Thursday, December 14, 2017, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Location: The North Door, 501 Brushy Street, Austin, TX 78702
More Information: Facebook Event


Election Center for 2017 Election

Election Center for 2017 Election

The next election will take place on November 7, 2017! Many residents of Travis County will vote on several important issues ranging from a major bond proposal for AISD to constitutional amendments for property tax reductions for disabled veterans and widows. Several municipalities other than Austin will also be voting for their elected city officials. Make sure that you keep yourself informed! You can find your sample ballot by visiting

The Party endorsed the AISD Bond proposal and encourages you to support this investment in public education that has unanimous support from the Trustees.

The Party has endorsed two candidates for Pflugerville City Council, Adeline Bui and Jim McDonald. Both candidates have a strong track record of supporting progressive values and advocating for the communities they represent.

The Texas Democratic Party has also developed a voter guide for the for the constitutional amendments all Texans will vote on November 7th. Make sure to read before you vote!

Early voting will take place at polling locations all over Travis County from Monday, October 23rd to Friday, November 3rd. Make sure you have a voting plan to ensure you get to the polls! We’ll see you at the polls November 7th!


OneTX Day of Action Nov. 12

OneTX Day of Action Nov. 12

TCDP and our allies at One Texas Resistance are teaming up again to start our campaigning efforts for the next election. We will be holding a day of action centered around the newest weapon in our arsenal, Knock 10, on Sunday, November 12 from 12-4PM at the Texas AFL-CIO, 1106 Lavaca St, #200, Austin, Texas 78701.

Knock 10
is the new cell phone-based app (currently only iPhones) that allows users to tap into VAN, the Democratic Party’s Voter Activation Network, to talk to voters door-to-door. It’s simple: load the app on your iPhone, download your list of 10 doors, and talk to voters about the issues in person.

So join TCDP and all of our allies in OneTX as we help roll out this new app. All of the support will be vital in field testing Knock 10 before the 2018 elections!

OneTX will also be hosting a Holiday Party on December 14th. Additional details can be found here.


Join us for the MLK March and Celebration

Join us for the MLK March and Celebration

This coming Monday we will celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His legacy of work pushing for and passing civil rights legislation signed by President Johnson has left an enduring mark on the fabric of our country. His work and this legislation showed how government could work with, not against, communities to bring about positive, meaningful change in our country.

His message of change and empowerment is just as important now as it was during the Civil Rights Movement. In the face of racism, xenophobia, sexism, and discrimination, we should all take time to consider the principled stand Dr. King took during his life and think about the principled stances we should take in our own lives.

On Monday, January 15 at 9am, we will honor the life and legacy of Dr. King with the annual MLK Celebration. The celebration will begin with a program at the University of Texas near the MLK statue (on the east side of the tower, off Speedway). We will then march to the Capitol for another program and then continue onto Huston-Tillotson University at 804 Chalmers St, where the MLK Community Festival will take place until 3 p.m.

TCDP will be marching in the parade to honor Dr. King, and we would love to have you join us. We’ll be standing near Speedway and the MLK statue, so keep an eye out for our banner. You can follow our Facebook event for further updates on the day of the march.

For more information on the program please click here. If you have questions about marching with TCDP please email us at or give us a call at 512-477-7500.

With Trump and his Republican allies controlling our government, we cannot afford to have anyone sitting on the sidelines. Now is the time to stand up and help continue the work of Dr. King. I hope you join us for the march and, even more, help us pursue the dream of Dr. King.



Charlottesville – Fight Racism At Every Turn

Charlottesville – Fight Racism At Every Turn


Like many of you, I was horrified by the scenes in Charlottesville this past weekend. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of those that we lost and were injured. Nothing can ever repair the damage that has been done.

While I was horrified by what I saw, I was not shocked. For years, Donald Trump has spoken with “dog whistles” and refused to disavow the support of white supremacist, neo-nazis, confederate sympathizers, and the KKK. We are at a critical point for our nation. We cannot sit on the sidelines or play pitty pat but must be clear with our repudiation of the abhorrent displays of racism and evil in our world. Now is the time to stand up and make one thing clear: This must end now!

Locally, I am in full support of Mayor Adler, Council Members Kitchen and Casar, and other Council Members efforts to rename Robert E. Lee road in Austin. I helped lead the fight for the removal of the Jefferson Davis Statue on the UT Campus and will do whatever I can to provide support to the Mayor and Council Members in this effort. Let’s get this done.

As many of you have probably seen, similar rallies are being planned around the country and in Texas, including here in Austin. We will remain strong and unafraid during these trying times. It is important for our community to show up at counter protests and unity events. We must fight racism at every turn. Hate has no place here or anywhere. Our community’s strength, unity, and resilience will win out.



Vincent Harding, Chair
Travis County Democratic Party



Join TCDP & Mike Collier in Austin

Join TCDP & Mike Collier in Austin

Join TCDP and Democratic Lt. Gubernatorial candidate Mike Collier for an event on October 11, 2017 at Scholz Garten from 6:00 – 8:00PM to talk about an important issue affecting all of us: education and property taxes.

Both of these topics are vitally important to all of the residents of Travis County. We have seen several increases in property taxes and no school district in Texas has paid more through recapture than AISD.
We all have a vested interest in ensuring our housing stays affordable, that the children in our community receive an amazing education, and that teachers receive the pay they deserve. So come out and join TCDP and Democratic Lt. Gubernatorial candidate Mike Collier as he discusses these topics!


2017 Anne McAfee Quartet of Stars

2017 Anne McAfee Quartet of Stars

TCDP is excited to host our annual Anne McAfee Quartet of Stars! This year’s honorees include four outstanding women who help make our community a better, more inviting place to live each and every day: Hon. Emma Lou Linn, Montserrat Garibay, Sherine Thomas, and Eleanor Thompson.

Will you join us in honoring these women and their contributions to our community?

Each and every one of these women stand as an inspiration for each and every one of us as they continue their hard work upholding our Democratic values.

This year’s Anne McAfee Quartet of Stars will take place Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 12PM to 2PM at the Westin Hotel at the Domain in the Primrose Ballroom. Tickets for the event will be $60 for early bird tickets and $100 after our early bird tickets are sold out. We have almost always oversold this event, so don’t hesitate and buy your tickets today!

Not only is this event a great way to honor the amazing women of our community, it helps TCDP continue outreach and organizing for the coming 2018 elections. Your donation helps provide critical resources we can use to stand by our honorees and their work to help make Travis County a better, safer place for our families and communities.

We hope you join us in honoring the amazing hard work, endless passion, and tireless dedication of these amazing women.


Hurricane Harvey Resources

Hurricane Harvey Resources


Hurricane Harvey Resources

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been affected by the events of this weekend. This has caused an unimaginable amount of destruction and heartache across our great state. Though the rain may have stopped in Austin, many areas in Texas and Louisiana are still seeing large amounts of rain. If you are able, there are many organizations on the ground actively helping those affected by the storm that could use your help.

If you or anyone needs any assistance, the state Texas Democratic Party has created a resource page with hurricane relief and assistance information as well as an FAQ.

Here are some charities that desperately need your help:
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
Blood donations for the Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers
Red Cross donations
Austin Pets Alive! needs long-term foster homes
Austin Diaper Bank
Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team

Stay safe out there Texans. Our thoughts are with you!