Texas Freedom Network Rally

On September 13, it’s time to rally at the State Board of Education — please join Texas Freedom Network to demand the rejection of the offensive and inaccurate Mexican-American Heritage textbook.

What:  A rally calling on the Texas State Board of Education to #RejectTheText.
When: Tuesday, September 13, 9:30 a.m.
Where: William B. Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress, Austin, Texas 78701.
Other info: Registration is not required; just show up and be ready to shout!

The textbook, titled Mexican American Heritage, was written to support a new elective course for high schools. It’s described as being offensive because of several passages. One links Mexican Americans to illegal immigration stating; they have “caused a number of economic and security problems in the United States,” problems such as; poverty, drugs, crime and non-assimilation.”

UT professor Emilio Zamora would like TEA to have a do-over. Zamora says, “I think we should try it again, I think they should either make a call that gives more time to historians or commission a group of top Texas historians to produce a fair rendition of Mexican American history in the US.” http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/144142516-story

For more information about the rally, contact Val Benavidez, Outreach & Field Director at tfn@tfn.org.


Voting Rights & Information

LWVLeague of Women Voters of Austin

Fall Kick-off Meeting

in Collaboration with the

UT Student Chapter of the American Constitution Society

Sunday, September 18, 2016

1:30 – 4:00

National Perspective on Voting Rights

& Texas Voting Rights


LBJ School/Library

Bass Lecture Hall, UT Campus

Hosted by LBJ School of Public Affairs Student Organizations: Feminist Policy Alliance, Public Affairs Alliance for Communities of Color, Graduate Public Affairs Council


Nationally Recognized Speakers:

National Perspective on Voting Rights

Nancy Abudu, Director of Legal Operations, ACLU of Florida

Voting Rights in Texas

Chad Dunn, Chief litigator for plaintiffs in the Teas Voter ID case

Cassandra Champion – Texas Civil Rights Project litigator on Texas Motor Vote Act voter registration enforcement


4:00 Volunteer Deputy Registrar Training for interested attendees.



The Red Bench – Privilege

redbench_logo-300x79Join us on Tuesday, September 20 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church for a courageous conversation on the topic of Privilege.

Please RSVP in advance!


September 20, – 6:30 pm – 8:30pm

International Day of Peace


Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The U.N. General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The Day’s theme for 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations at an historic summit of the world’s leaders in New York in September 2015. The new ambitious 2030 agenda calls on countries to begin efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. It aims to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.

Austin events: http://www.peacedayaustin.org/#!2016-events/esuwc

Shane Claiborne at UUMC – September 29

shaneclaiborneUniversity UMC Austin is proud to host Shane Claiborne for a lecture and book signing on Thursday, September 29 beginning at 7 pm. Shane is an activist, organizer, speaker and author of several books, including a brand new one on capital punishment, “Executing Grace – How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It’s Killing Us.”

You can find out more about Shane right here.

UMC Church and Society News

Church and Society applauds the Justice Department for their move away from private prisons

church-societyThe U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it is ending its use of private prisons. Thirteen privately run facilities in the Bureau of Prisons will be affected. Along with recurring incidents, recent studies commissioned by the Justice Department have shown that private prisons are less effective, less secure, and less capable of carrying out the stated aims of correctional facilities.

We join with the Department, criminal justice advocates, and people of good will in rejoicing at this step forward. The United Methodist Church has an historical faith commitment to fair and just prison policies, as seen in our Social Principles, our Book of Resolutions, and our statements on socially responsible investment ethics (Resolution 4071, 2012 Book of Resolutions; Paragraph 717, forthcoming 2016 Book of Discipline).

Our commitment to a system of restoration rather than retribution draws on biblical authority that emphasizes transformation, healing, and right relationship with God, self, and community. As the Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Hebrews, “Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured” (Hebrews 13:3).

We call upon the Department of Homeland Security and state and local governments to enact similar standards regarding the use of private prisons. May this move – away from the privatization of prisons – be one step in a journey toward a more compassionate and just criminal justice system.

The General Board of Church and Society is one of four international program boards of The United Methodist Church. The board is called to seek the implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements of the General Conference on Christian social concerns.

News From TCADP

 tcadpAugust 19 -The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has issued an order staying the execution of Jeff Wood and remanding his case to the trial court for consideration on his claims related to false testimony presented during the sentencing phase of his original trial.  Wood was scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on August 24, 2016 even though he did not kill anyone.

August 26 -The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has stayed the execution of Rolando Ruiz, who was scheduled to be executed on August 31st. His appeal questioned the deficiency of his trial counsel and his initial habeas counsel. The appeal also questioned the constitutionality of executing him after more than 20 years after his conviction.