CTA for August 7-11th

Monday, August 7th: Protect Texas Schools

The Texas House overwhelmingly approved HB 2: a school finance bill that will provide an additional 1.8 billion to *public* schools. Now this issue bounces back to the Senate. Staffers have told us that there is no way school finance will pass through the Senate unless there is some small piece of a voucher program included (which would direct tax dollars to private schools).

Resistance succeeded in making the House back off their voucher plans. Let’s remind Sen. Schwertner that public dollars should only fund public schools. Call him (979-776-0222/512-463-0105) and let him know that even a small voucher program is unacceptable!

 

Tuesday, August 8th: Oppose the Republican budget resolution

[via ATX Indivisible]

While all eyes were on the Senate’s ACA repeal, the House Budget Committee passed a budget resolution that would give massive tax cuts to the wealthy by cutting the basics, like Medicare, Medicaid, and education. This would be terrible for our country, and especially terrible for the most vulnerable people who live here.

Let’s call Rep. Flores (979.703.4037) and ask for these commitments:

  1. Will you commit to me, your constituent, that you will oppose the FY18 budget resolution?
  2. Will you commit to me that you won’t use the threat of a shutdown to advance other policies and instead pass a clean Continuing Resolution?
  3. Will you promise me you won’t mess around with the full faith and credit of the United States, and that you’ll support a “clean raise”?
  4. Will you oppose any budget resolution or funding bill that has cuts to public education?

You might want to check out the Indivisible Project’s August Recess Toolkit for more information on the budget process.

While you are on the phone, why not ask staffers if you can come and discuss this and other issues with Rep. Flores in person? It is his job to represent us.

 

Wednesday, August 9th: Defend University Affirmative Action Policy

 

[via 5 calls]

It was reported this week that the Department of Justice is planning an attack on university ‘affirmative action’ policies. Typically, the Educational Opportunities Section of the DoJ handles university matters, but due to reported unwillingness by these career civil servants/education experts to reverse course on civil rights, the political appointee staffed Civil Rights Division will handle this project.

The continuing systemic racial discrimination and oppression in our society often makes it harder for young people of color to obtain the same educational resources as their white counterparts. Affirmative action admissions programs allow students from these disadvantaged backgrounds more balanced access to higher education. The Supreme Court has also ruled that a diverse student body has its own educational benefits, allowing universities to use race as an admission factor.

Call the Department of Justice

202-353-1555

Why you’re calling this office:

This organization is driving legislation related to the issue.

Your script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from College Station (or Bryan), Texas. I’m calling to express my serious disapproval of the Department’s plans to investigate and sue universities because of their affirmative action admissions policy. This is clearly another attempt by this Department to deny equal opportunity to minority Americans in order to perpetuate white privilege, and I demand this project be shut down immediately.

Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

Thursday, August 10th: Protect Mueller and the Russia Investigation

[via 5calls]

Trump has been publicly playing with the idea of firing Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor leading the independent investigation into Russia’s election interference, their potential ties to the Trump campaign, obstruction of justice, and a litany of related financial concerns. Trump cannot fire Mueller himself, but he can coerce someone in the Justice Department to do so.

 

On August 3rd, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington D.C. This is significant development showing Mueller’s seriousness in moving the investigation forward with prosecutions in mind. Because grand juries are arranged by prosecutors, if Mueller were fired now, this grand jury would effectively be dismantled. It is vital that Mueller’s position and investigation be protected.

 

Two bipartisan bills have been introduced in the Senate to do just that – one by Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and one by Chris Coons (D-DE) and Thom Tillis (R-NC). While the bills differ in when a judges panel would review the firing of a special prosecutor, both plans limit a president’s ability to do so. The two pairs of Senators may merge their plans when the Senate resumes work in September.

 

Call Sen. Cornyn (512.469.6034) or Sen. Cruz (512.916.5834) and tell them to protect the Mueller investigation.

Your script:

Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from College Station/Bryan.

I’m calling to express my concern that Trump may attempt to fire Special Counselor Bob Mueller in order to end the Russia investigation. I urge Senator Cornyn/Cruz to support the bipartisan legislation introduced that would protect a special counselor from inappropriate interference by the president.

Thank you for your time and attention.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]

 

Friday, August 11th: Flex Day for TX Lege Special Session

The Texas Legislature special session is wrapping up soon. Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick are trying to force through a far-right agenda with little oversight before it is over, and developments may move FAST. We are setting this day aside for issues that might come up this week (besides school finance and the damaging bathroom bill, pending issues involve reproductive justice, state and local government spending, and even local tree regulations). Check out this resource from TX Lege Indivisible for more information on the bills and sample scripts.