Over the next two months, we'll be hosting a series of webinars so we can spread the word about civil liberties issues that affect all Texans—LGBT rights, criminal justice reform, reproductive freedom, and immigrants' rights—and that will be hotly debated when the Texas legislature reconvenes early next year. Sign up below for any or all of them, and learn how you can help defend those freedoms you hold dear.
Marriage equality was a giant leap forward for LGBT equality, but it was only the beginning. Unfortunately, extremists in the Texas legislature have made it clear that they intend to roll back the clock. Specifically, they plan to introduce a number of "religious refusal" laws, double down on their humiliation of the transgender community, and dismantle local non-discrimination ordinances throughout the state of Texas.
For far too long, Texas communities have suffered under a criminal justice system that imprisons for too long and kills too often. Low-income Texans find their families and their livelihoods threatened by municipal court systems that see them as a revenue stream. The homeless are punished for their homelessness. And throughout the state, our schoolchildren face jail time for infractions that should have been handled in the principal's office.
The good news is that there is a real appetite for criminal justice reform in Texas. Sign up to attend our half-hour webinar on criminal justice in Texas at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20.
When the legislature is in session, our elected officials do everything in their power—and sometimes beyond their power—to deny women access to both contraception and safe, legal abortion services. Last session they passed the most draconian anti-choice law the country has seen since Roe v. Wade, and there is no doubt that they will continue their efforts to close clinics, require doctors to lie to women, add fees, and try whatever else they can think of to deny women access, even if doing so risks the lives of the women those decisions affect.
It's a particularly difficult time to be an immigrant anywhere in the country right now, but it's doubly so in Texas. The government locks up asylum seeking families—including children and infants—in dismal, privately run prisons; jackbooted federal agents pound on doors and pick up immigrant children at school bus stops; and everywhere in our border communities, people face the daily of indignities that come with living in a de facto police state complete with checkpoints, humiliating interrogations, and unabashed racial profiling. During the last session, Texas shelled out $800 million it can't afford on a "border surge" that runs roughshod over Texans' civil liberties, and this session they plan to add hundreds of millions more.
The Texas legislature's confusing and arcane processes and procedures might not be easy to grasp, but since it can have a great (and often terrible) effect on Texans' everyday lives, it's important to understand the basics.