By Gislaine Williams, ACLU of Texas Outreach Coordinator
We are fast approaching the start of the 2013 Texas legislative session. Starting January 8 through the end of May, Texas lawmakers will meet in Austin for the 83rd Legislature. They will be proposing, debating, and passing laws that will impact all of us.
As Texans, we have the right and responsibility to be a part of this political process. You can make a difference by raising your voice to demand policies that will make a positive change in our communities. Learn how to become a grassroots activist at Community Watchdog TX.
The first step is to educate yourself. Become familiar with the major issues in Texas. Learn about the legislative process and get to know your representatives. Our toolkits provide you an overview of the critical issues facing our state:
- Criminal Justice TX: Learn about mass incarceration, the rise of for-profit prisons, and the death penalty.
- Educate, Don’t Incarcerate: An overview of school discipline policies pushing students out of school.
- Religious Freedom: A look at how our religious freedoms are threatened in Texas.
- Immigrants’ Rights: Find out how we’re working to reclaim the civil rights of all Texans, regardless of immigration status.
- Find out who your representatives are here.
- Learn how a bill becomes a law here.
Contact your legislator. There are a number of ways you can contact your representative about an issue. You can write a letter, telephone, or set-up a meeting in the local district office. Use our lobbying guides to learn how.
Ready to meet with your legislator? We can help you schedule and prepare for your local meeting. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
Lobby with us in Austin! The ACLU of Texas will host our first ever Symposium & Lobby Day in Austin Feb. 10-11. On Feb. 10, you will hear from advocates and policy experts working on criminal justice and immigrants’ rights issues. The following day we will go to the state capitol to meet with representatives to talk to them about the major civil liberties issues in our state. Sign-up today to receive more information.
Stay involved. Join the Community Action Network to get updates on ways you can advocate for change this legislative session.