Just a reminder about this.
Monday, March 14th, 7 am – 7 pm: Legislative Day at the Texas Capitol in Austin, organized by Houston Federation of Teachers. HFT has invited parents to join them in meeting with as many state legislators as possible to discuss the state funding situation. During HISD’s recent Legislative Training, Bill King (an HISD lobbyist) shared with Houston parents and community members the high impact and value that comes from parents and community members meeting with our legislators face to face. The goal of the trip on the 14th is to fill the halls of our Capitol with Houstonians and advocate our concerns over funding issues — before our representatives become overscheduled during the pending session. The parent agenda will focus exclusively on the budget situation. We are collaborating on these messages with input from our HISD elected trustees and insight from HISD sponsored meetings. You will receive talking points on the bus ride to Austin.
There is no cost to participate in this lobbying trip to Austin other than your time. Transportation and lunch will be provided by the HFT and no experience is required. If you prefer to drive yourself or carpool you are welcome to do that. If you have never met with an elected official or have never been to the Capitol, no problem. (Please, note that childcare will not be provided and students are not permitted to ride the bus due to liability issues.)
If you are just learning about this, have not taken any action regarding the state budget crisis or funding issues at HISD, or are fired up about what is happening, then this is the trip for you.
RSVP by Tuesday, March 1st by emailing Sue Deigaard (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include your name, home address, and phone number. This will enable the logistics team to match up parent teams with teachers and legislators. All HISD parents/taxpayers are welcome. Feel free to forward this email invitation to any interested party.
Please RSVP if you want to attend whether you take the bus or go on your own. Please include your name, email, cell number, and address when you respond. And even if you decide after the deadline tomorrow to attend Lobby Day on the 14th, please send Sue Deigaard an email anyway so the organizers can figure out who needs to visit which legislators in as efficient a manner as possible. Thanks.
But what if you can’t attend? You can still show your support by sending a postcard that says something like “I fully support the rally on 3/12 even though I am unable to attend myself. Please take seriously the concerns of all those Texans who took the time to travel to Austin to voice our concerns.” Send that to your Rep, to your Senator, to Governor Perry (Governor Rick Perry, Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 12428, Austin, TX 78711-2428), and to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst (Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Capitol Station, P.O. Box 12068, Austin, TX 78711). You can find your Rep and Senator’s name and mailing address here.
Other items of interest, via email:
This WEDNESDAY, March 2nd at St. Philip Presbyterian Church, 4807 San Felipe, Houston, TX 77056 at 7 p.m., 713.622.4807. Come hear how to organize your friends and neighbors in a grass roots response to the proposed, devastating cuts to public education. Sue Deigaard from Mark Twain Elementary School will be speaking about the crisis and efforts her school is making to reach the legislature that ARE ALREADY WORKING! You don’t have to ‘reinvent the wheel,’ Her website is full of helpful handouts and ideas.
This SUNDAY, March 6, 2011, also at St. Philip Presbyterian Church in room 202 (the “Families in Faith room”) at 9:30 a.m. Laura Lomax-Bream will lead a discussion of the proposed cuts, how they impact the entire future of Texas even for individuals who have no children, and what citizens can do in response. Petitions for signing, information on which elected officials to contact, and guidance in letter-writing will be available. This is in the Sunday school hour of the church, but you do not have to be a Presbyterian or Christian to attend. There are Sunday school classes for children downstairs from this meeting. If you want to introduce your kids to this church while you attend the class, you are welcome to do that, but might want to arrive early to figure out which classroom would work for your children if you haven’t been to St. Philip before.
The website referenced in the first item is TexasEdFunding.com. Please help out any way you can. Thanks very much.