Become a Deputy Voter Registrar!

You  Are Invited to Become a Deputy Voter Registrar – February  6

vote-8One way to “change the world” is by voting in local, state, and national elections. It’s the American way! Unfortunately, Texans have some of the lowest voter registration and voting rates in the nation. You can help to change that by receiving training as a Deputy Voter Registrar for Travis County and helping with local voter registration.

The Miriam Circle of Saint John’s UMW is sponsoring a one-hour training session for those interested in being a Deputy Voter Registrar. It will be held 7-8 p.m. on Thursday, February 6 in the back room at 5900 Wynona (house at the corner of Allandale and Wyonna across from Saint John’s UMC). The training will be conducted by Cheryl Reese, the county’s Voter Registration Outreach Program Coordinator. To pre-register to attend, send an email to Janice Curry, UMW Social Action Chair, at Invite your friends and spouse. This event is open to the public.

Dr. Carl Hart To Speak On February 6

Dr. Carl Hart on “We Got Hoodwinked: The Problem Is Drug Policy, not Drugs”

Date: February 6, 2014

Time: 7:00 pm  to  9:00 pm

xarlHartPhotoDr. Carl Hart will speak about the myths concerning drug use and the consequences of contemporary drug policy. Drawing on his scientific work and social analysis, Hart goes beyond the hype to examine the relationship between drugs and pleasure, choice, and motivation, both in the brain and in society. His findings shed new light on common ideas about race, poverty, and drugs and explain why current policies are failing.

Hart teaches in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University, and is a Research Scientist in the Division of Substance Abuse at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and on the board of directors of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence and the Drug Policy Alliance. A native of Miami, Hart earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology and neuroscience at the University of Wyoming.

Hart’s talk will draw on his 2013 book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know about Drugs and Society, in which he writes not only about his academic work but life growing up in one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods and how it led him to his pioneering work in drug addiction. Hart escaped neighborhoods that were dominated by entrenched poverty but has not turned his back on that world since becoming Columbia University’s first tenured African American professor in the sciences. Determined to make a difference, he applies his science to help save real lives.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by St. James’ Episcopal Church, the Third Coast Activist Resource Center, and the University of Texas Department of Psychology, Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, and Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

For more information, contact Robert Jensen at If you need accommodations for this event, please contact Betty Jeanne Taylor at at least five days in advance.

Location: St. James’ Episcopal Church, 1941 Webberville Road, Austin, 78721

– See more at:

Sara Miles at University UMC Austin – February 7

Friday, February 7, 2014 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

University UMC Austin
2409 Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX

sara-miles-slider-300x168Acclaimed author Sara Miles returns to UUMC’s Sanctuary to read from her new book, “City of God.”  This free event is open to the public, and book signing opportunities will be available. Contact Diana Dworin (512)4 78-9387 ext. 212 or E-mail with questions

Presentation on Keystone XL Pipeline

Date: February 7, 2014

Time: 7:00 pm  to  8:30 pm

Location: Friends Meeting House, 3701 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78721

At 7 pm on Friday, February 7, Stephanie Germaine, who holds a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, will give a presentation on the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, which is currently under review by the State Department. NASA climate scientist James Hansen has declared that construction of the pipeline would mean “game over for the planet.”

The next day, Saturday, February 8, there will be a training from 1 – 5:30 pm for non-violent direct action against the pipeline project that will take place in Houston. For more information, and to RSVP for the training, visit

Joint Annual Conference Meeting February 8


Delegates from Southwest Texas and Rio Grande conferences to meet jointly

Special session called for Feb. 8, 2014

Delegates from the Southwest Texas and Rio Grande Conferences will meet jointly in a special called session Feb. 8 at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio. Delegates will vote on the beginning plan of organization for the new conference.

[From SWTX Conference website:]

Bishop Jim Dorff has called a special joint annual conference session with both the Río Grande and Southwest Texas Conferences to vote on a beginning plan of organization for the new unified conference.

The session is scheduled for Feb. 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., inside the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio.  This meeting will be for those of you who were annual conference delegates to the 2013 annual conference.

“This is a very important meeting,” Dorff said.

At the meeting, the Unification Implementation Team will present its final report on the new conference organizational plan.

“The UIT has taken all the input from the June session and made some slight revisions,” Dorff said. “This is the final product.”

Delegates will meet jointly and vote separately, Dorff said.  They will vote on the new conference plan, including the new name.

Materials related to the organizational plan will be sent out in the next two or three weeks, Dorff said.

He called an early special session because an earlier vote means conference committees have more time to make adjustments to plan budgets, consider personnel issues and look at nominating reports.

“We can’t do anything until we get a basic structure approved,” Dorff said.

Leaders will also determine an effective start date for unification, which is currently recommended to be Jan. 1, 2015

Ride For Refuge – February 8

rideforrefugeesOn February 8, 2014, RST Austin will partner with Ride for Refuge  to raise funds for refugees, asylees, and survivors of human trafficking most in need. This is a great opportunity to become involved in the work that RST does to help families from around the world who now make Austin home. The time you give and money you donate will directly affect the lives of hundreds of displaced people in Austin.  Our community is a great city for welcoming the displaced and giving to local causes that matter, so we hope that you will join us for the ride on February 8th, 2014!

What: 10, 35, and 60 mile bicycle fundraiser to raise funds for refugees, asylees, and survivors of human trafficking in Austin

When: February 8, 2014, 8:00AM

Where:  Yellow Bike Project, 1216 Webberville Rd, Austin, TX 78721

Click here for more information and to sign up! 

Also, check us out on Facebook!

League of Women Voters Presentations in February

LWV city council
The League of Women Voters is sponsoring, along with KUT, KLRU, and the The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, two sessions that will provide an overview of Austin city government and how Austinites can best participate in city governance. These are designed for all civic-minded residents, and will be available for viewing on the Internet. 
The new City Council will face unprecedented challenges after being elected this November, and will need the informed participation of every constituent. Our goal is to help usher in an effective new City Council with an informed electorate.


 Saturday, February 8, 2014, 10 am until Noon


Saturday, February 22, 2014,10 am until Noon

(doors open at 9:30 – please be seated before 10)


KLRU’s historic Studio 6A in the Comm. Bldg.

(SE corner Guadalupe and 26th)

February 8

The City Does “What”?

 A panel discussion on the functions of city government, featuring:

  • Marc Ott, City Manager  
  • Karen Kennard, City Attorney
  • Ed van Eenoo, Deputy Chief Financial Officer
  • Roger Duncan, Former General Mgr, Austin Energy 
  • Garner Stoll, Former Imagine Austin Lead Manager

February 22

Speak Out! 

A panel and audience discussion on how to effectively communicate with city officials, featuring:

  • Nelson Linder, President, Austin Branch NAACP
  • Honorable Gonzalo Barrientos, Chair, Austin Charter Review Committee
  • Susan Morrison, League of Women Voters

In this session, a number of chairpersons of city boards & commissions will explain what they do and how they relate to the Council.  

KUT News’ Joy Diaz and Wells Dunbar will moderate these forums


LWV Austin urges civic-minded Austinites to attend