MFSA Progressive Voice Fall 2013 Available

The Fall 2013 MFSA Progessive Voice is Available here.  Progressive Voice Nov.2013

Chapter Meeting Thursday November 14 Break the Chains: Ending Human Trafficking

human-trafficking-stop-itThe November 14 MFSA meeting will be Break the Chains: Ending Human Trafficking at UNIVERSITY UMC in Austin, 2409 Guadalupe, in collaboration with several organizations that focus on this issue.  Did you know that:

  • Trafficking in humans is SLAVERY.
  • As many as 20,000 persons are believed to be trafficked each year within the US borders. (Department of Justice)
  • Trafficking victims are men, women and children from all over the world.
  • Human trafficking is the 2nd most prevalent organized crime activity in the world just after drugs and tied with illegal arms trafficking.
  • Human trafficking is a $9.8 billion dollar industry in the U.S.

Join us as we explore the devastating statics about human trafficking and consider what we can do to help end it. A panel of leaders from local organizations with suggestions for ways individuals and organizations can help end this horrific practice includes the following:

  1. 1.    Central Texas Coalition Against Human Trafficking Representatives:

Other members of the coalition can be found at

  1. 2.    Restore a Voice –  Larry Megason, Executive Director
  2. 3.    Against Cruel Trafficking – Lizzie Jesperson, President of UT student group
  3. 4.    International Justice Mission – Trevor Russo, President of UT student group  (invited )

Please join us for snacks and visiting at 6:30pm with the meeting to follow at 7:00pm. Parking: on Guadalupe just north of UUMC, LIMITED, please carpool, if possible. Hope to see you there!

14th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

march to end death penalty

This Saturday, November 2, 2013, is the 14th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty in Austin at the Texas Capitol at 2 PM on Saturday. Meet on the South Steps of the Capitol. We will march through the streets of downtown Austin with a stop in front of the Texas Governor’s mansion and return to the Texas Capitol.

The march will be led by several exonerated death row survivors from Witness to Innocence who each spent many years on death row waiting to be executed for crimes they did not commit. They made it out of the system alive, but there are many innocent people still on death row and other innocents who did not make it out alive.

If you would like to help us with the expenses of hosting several death row exonerees, please donate.  You can also send a check to: 

Texas Moratorium Network
3616 Far West Blvd, Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731

 Speakers at the march will also include family members of people currently on death row, family members of murder victims who oppose the death penalty, community leaders, faith leaders, activists and others. We represent a growing number of people across Texas and the nation who oppose the death penalty. To learn more about the event, visit  or Texas Moratorium Network.

Daylight Saving Time: Set Your Clocks Back

fall backRemember to set your clocks back an hour before you go to bed on Saturday night, November 2.

Roe At Risk Documentary

roe at risk


Screening of the new documentary
Roe at Risk: Fighting for Reproductive Justice

Monday, November 4, 2013


A reception will precede the screening and panel discussion

The University of Texas at Austin
LBJ School of Public Affairs
2300 Red River St.
Sid Richardson Hall, SRH 3.122
(Free parking in LBJ Presidential Library lot)

RSVP here


Featured Speakers:  Nan Aron, President, Alliance for Justice; Heather Busby, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas; Jan Soifer, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Texas State Public Affairs representative; Brittany Yelverton, Community Outreach Specialist, Planned ParenthoodCosponsored by Feminist Policy Alliance, Gender & Sexuality Center, Voices for Reproductive Justice, and Women’s Resource Agency

Remember to Vote November 5

November 5, 2013 City of Austin Bond Election

Affordable Housing Proposition

vote1The issuance of $65,000,000 affordable housing bonds and notes for constructing, renovating, improving, and equipping affordable housing for low income persons and families; acquiring land and interests in land and property necessary to do so; and funding affordable housing programs as may be permitted by law; and the levy of a tax sufficient to pay for the bonds and notes.

Important dates

  • November 1, 2013  Last Day of Early Voting in Person
  • November 5, 2013 Election Day

October Chapter Meeting Summary – Keep Austin Affordable

KeepAustinAffordable_logo-01As we heard from Elliott McFadden, Campaign Manager of Keep Austin Affordable, and City Council Person, Kathie Tovo, at our October MFSA meeting, the need for these affordable housing funds in Austin is great. Keep Austin Affordable is a coalition of over 70 business, faith and community leaders supporting the $65 million affordable housing bond package on the November 5, 2013 ballot. Partnering with private and non-profit organizations like Habitat for HumanityHands on Housing, Foundation Communities, and Meals on Wheels and More, the program has built thousands of attractive houses and apartments all over the city.  It’s also renovated and repaired existing houses to help seniors stay in their homes.

The Austin American Statesman says “When myths are separated from reality, there is both a moral case and business case to be made for approving publicly-financed bonds for affordable housing… The bonds are a solid investment that will yield far more in dividends than what they cost in taxes.”

The Austin Chronicle endorsed the affordable housing bonds saying “These are worthy investments providing long-term affordability at a diverse set of incomes. The nonprofit LifeWorks, for example, acquired property and is building new housing for young people transitioning out of foster care, and Green Doors purchased duplexes, fourplexes, and apartment units to rehab for low-income residents (housing stock that might otherwise have been replaced by high-end apartments or condos). Austin’s explosive growth demands more creative action on affordability – on all fronts.

Sample Ballot:


New Voter Photo ID Requirements are in effect. You will be required to show one of the following forms of photo identification at the polling location before you will be permitted to cast a vote.

–       Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

–       Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS

–       Texas personal identification card issued by DPS

–       Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS

–       United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph

–       United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph

–       United States passport

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.

Your photo Identification card does not have to have your current address. The new photo ID requirement makes no determination on voter address matching criteria; therefore, there is no address matching requirement.

If you vote by mail you do not need a photo Identification. The new requirement does not change the process for voting by mail. However, only specific reasons entitle a registered voter to vote early by mail (no longer called absentee voting). You may request a ballot by mail if you:

–       will be away from your county on Election Day and during early voting;

–       are sick or disabled;

–       are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or

–       are confined in jail.

You can get a formal application for a ballot by mail from:

The Secretary of State’s office

The Early Voting Clerk in your county; or

Download an application for a ballot by mail here.

Important Links:

For more details please go to the Texas Secretary of State voting site

League of Women Voters Guide for the 2013 Constitutional Amendment Election

Find your polling place:

Travis County Elections information:

Progress Texas Voters Guide:



From Texas Impact

Vote for Water Funding for Texas

More than 1,000 people move to Texas every day. By 2060, our population is expected to nearly double. During that same time, our water supplies are expected to decrease 10 percent. Texas will need an additional 8.8 million acre-feet of water to meet that projected demand.

On November 5th, Texans can vote for Proposition 6, an amendment that creates a constitutionally dedicated fund for the sole purpose of fully implementing the State Water Plan–the regionally driven planning process that allows local entities and leaders to identify which conservation and supply strategies work best for their region.

If Proposition 6 passes, the funding will be in place to help provide up to $30 billion in financial assistance to local communities over the next fifty years that can develop 9 million acre-feet of water to meet our growing state’s needs.

For more on water needs in Texas and in-depth information on Proposition 6, visit H2O for Texas.. Watch Dr. Andy Sansom, director of the Meadows Institute for Water and the Environment, discuss Texas’ water challenges in this video.

See a full list of the proposed constitutional amendments on the November 5 ballot in Texas.