We are living through unusual times. The daily news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some anxiety around still-unanswered questions, and many cities in Texas are issuing stay-at-home orders. So, what now?
One thing we can be certain of is that our communities still need to heal and rebuild outside of COVID-19. And the fight to create positive change for all should not stop even in moments of uncertainty. We have so much collective power, even if we’re calling for change on the issues we care about from our couches.
We have compiled a few ways to continue being passionate advocates below. Remember, you can be a powerful agent of change, even if you are at home!
Update your voter registration
In Texas, not all voters can vote by mail. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak and upcoming elections this year, we have called on state leaders to change that. In the meantime, you can update or register your completed voter registration form for the November general election by visiting the Texas Secretary of State website.
Plan your advocacy strategy with folks in your community
Right now, many Texans are hunkered inside their houses, practicing responsible social distancing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set up a time to digitally chat with your friends, neighbors, or colleagues and formulate your plans for advocacy.
The ACLU of Texas has an entire library of advocacy resources in each of our primary issue areas. Take a look at some of our action pages below:
- Reproductive Freedom: Download, save, and share our anti-abortion laws advocacy toolkit and protect abortion access in your area.
- Voting Rights: Send a message to the Governor and Secretary of State to support a fair voting process during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, or learn about our state redistricting process and how to support fair redistricting.
- Smart Justice: Add your name to stop the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons.
- Students’ Rights & LGBTQ Equality: Find out how to support free speech, report bullying and harassment, and find resources for transgender youth in Texas schools.
- Immigrants’ Rights: Migracam, a smartphone app developed by the ACLU of Texas, helps people living in immigrant communities notify their family and friends if detained by law enforcement. Download it today.
Do your research in preparation for the 2021 state legislative session
The ACLU of Texas had some important victories during the 2019 legislative session, in large part because advocates like you were informed and spoke out to your local elected officials about the issues you care about.
If you don’t know already, now is the best time to find out who represents you in Texas and research their voting histories in the House and Senate. Help keep your elected officials accountable during the next Texas Legislative Session in 2021!
Fill out your census form
Participating in the Census is incredibly important. If people are not counted, their communities will receive less representation in government and fewer resources — Census data informs our nation’s most important decisions, including how the federal government spends $900 billion on critical services like building roads, providing for health insurance, and supporting education. Simply put, an accurate Census count makes for a healthier democracy when everyone is counted.
Learn more about the Census and how to easily fill out your own. Remember, the Census should be taken by all community members, regardless of citizenship status. We should know; the ACLU defended — and won — an accurate and fair Census count before the Supreme Court in 2019.
Get your family involved
Did you know that advocacy comes in all forms and is appropriate for nearly any age? Whatever work you do, be sure to get your family involved — even the little ones! Check out our ACLU-themed coloring pages below that can be printed off. They’re perfect décor for your fridge or home office.
We'll get through this, Texas.