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Austin, TX 78701

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Date: 9/16/2021
Subject: Capital Action Report - League of Women Voters of Texas
From: Janet Imhoff

September 17, 2021
What's Happening at the Capitol
Janet Imhoff, Vice President Advocacy

The Third Texas Special Session Starts September 20th!


Read the blogs our issue chairs' blogs to keep up with the latest information:

Voting Rights and Election Law - Please note anti-voter bill SB1 doesn’t go into effect until December! LWVUS supports new US Senate voting rights bill, the Freedom to Vote Act.

Redistricting - Public Input hearings are going on now! 

Women’s Health Updates on the lawsuits & an informative video that explains an obgyn's perspective.

Equal Opportunity Updates soon on equality for children who are transgender.

Public Education anti-Critical Race Theory bills.

What to Say About Teaching “Culturally Inclusive History”

LWVUS has put out talking points in response to the national legislative assault on how teachers address race and racial history in the classroom.  The document, titled “Talking Points: Culturally Inclusive History Curriculum,”  addresses Critical Race Theory, what it is and is not, and why we should not use the term.  Critical Race Theory is not taught in secondary school classrooms, but is an academic concept researched in universities.

Our public schools should be teaching Culturally Inclusive History so that our children will be well educated.  We recommend that supporters share these key talking points with your local school boards. Remember, you will be speaking on your own behalf. Only League presidents or an appointed spokesperson may speak on behalf of the League. 
The key talking points are: 
- We  support comprehensive history education for all students. 
- We support all histories be taught in school, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Feminist, and Queer American history. 
- A complete education requires a comprehensive approach that is inclusive of all American cultures. The teaching of history must reflect the perspectives and experiences of marginalized groups. 
- We believe in creating a more just, equitable, and inclusive democracy. The teaching of comprehensive American history is integral to this effort. 
Take Action!

Redistricting - Time to Provide Feedback on the New Texas Legislative District Maps! 

Stephanie Swanson, LWVTX Board Member and Census & Redistricting Issue Chair

The good news is that our advocacy efforts have paid off!  Because of our letter asking for public hearings, and because so many people showed up and demanded that they #ShowUsTheMaps, both Redistricting Chairs in the House and Senate have now committed to showing the public the maps.   The next step in this advocacy process is to urge both Committees to allow public comment on the maps and to take the public's input seriously.

IMPORTANT!  We will need your help to provide feedback to the Committees on the proposed maps once they have been posted.  Both the House and Senate Redistricting Committees may start holding hearings as early as next week.

How to Participate

We will alert everyone as soon as hearing notices are posted and if and when maps are released. In the meantime:

  • The Senate will still be requiring members of the public to provide in-person testimony in Austin.  Hearing notices will be posted here.

  • The House may allow members of the public to provide virtual testimony.  Please be on the lookout for upcoming chances to participate in these committee hearings here. 

Your comments can make a difference! We are empowering voters and defending democracy by providing testimony! 

LWV New York City Presents: Leagues Fighting Voters Suppression in Battleground States

Tuesday September 21 at 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. Central Time 

Voting times, restricted registration and purged voter rolls have kept large numbers of eligible voters from the polls, affecting all Americans and putting extra burdens on racial minorities, poor people and younger and older voters. Fast-growing Black and Latino populations and more aggressive get-out-the-vote efforts by Democrats have made traditionally red states like Arizona, Georgia, and Texas more competitive. League members in those states are fighting back! Join us and representatives of the Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and Texas (our own president Grace Chimene!) Leagues for a discussion of their efforts. Let's join LWVNYC to cheer Grace on and learn from League members in other states. 

Register for this event here.

The League of Women Voters of Texas 
1212 Guadalupe St. #107
Austin, Texas 78701