Today my husband and I received our training to become phone bank captains from our Austin Human Rights Campaign field representative Sissi. Sissi is incredible and walked us through all the stages of not only working with phone bank volunteers but also on how to use the phone bank system to set up laptops for volunteers and also how to schedule, confirm and enter all the data for and from our sessions.
So we are now officially phone bank captains. I grew up watching Captain Kirk on Star Trek always making calls on his “communicator” to his courageous crew! That’s how it feels working with all the incredible volunteers at HRC Austin. And now, even more so than during the 85th legislative session, it is so important we make more phone bank calls than ever before.
With the upcoming “Special Session” starting July 18th time is a precious commodity we must take advantage of to make the thousands of calls to Texans who are opposed to anti-LGBTQ and “Religious Exemption” laws.
I was so proud of the state of California for announcing they will deny any travel to Texas for state employees for any meetings or conventions. Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra added Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and Kentucky to the list of places where state employee travel is restricted. Lawmakers passed legislation last year banning non-essential travel to states with laws that discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. North Carolina, Kansas, Mississippi and Tennessee are already on the list.
I was proud as a Democratic Texan to hear California Attorney General Xavier Becerra proudly and with conviction say “While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back. That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.”
While no other states have spoken out against these horrendous laws that are being passed and approved of by the repulsive Republican legislature in Texas there is something we must do and that is aggressively fight back daily wherever and whenever we can.
It seems we have to ask ourselves not only what kind of state is Texas becoming but what kind of country is America becoming. With the release of the Senates version of healthcare called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017″ it has become abundantly apparent that the Republican party is now a consortium of the worst type of human beings to ever inhabit this country. A group that would abolish Medicaid over a period of ten years decimating healthcare for the most vulnerable in our country. How can these immoral politicians look themselves in the mirror every morning when they prepare to head to the U.S. Capitol and not see a reprobate in their reflection. They are disgusting beings that cannot even be labeled as humans. Humans have a heart that contains some element of compassion and caring and that does not describe the Republican Party.
How these politicians can live with themselves when they know they are sending so many lives to the grave with this “Death Panel” type of healthcare is beyond me. Every Republican politician that says they are supporting this healthcare bill should be forced to face their constituents that are dealing with a terminal illness or disease. They should be forcibly dragged to visit local hospitals and nursing homes and meet the destitute who will be mercilessly removed from these facilities when Medicaid funding is cut and the bills for their care are no longer being paid.
That is why it is so important that everyone that possibly can visit their Senators or Congressmen either in Washington D.C. or at their home offices while they are there over the upcoming week of July 3rd through the 7th and then again on their office steps daily when they are back instate for their summer break July 31st through September 4th.
If not only Democrats and Independents but also Republican voters, who now realize that they are going to lose their healthcare, do not speak out on this issue I don’t know when they will. This is truly “Life or Death” legislation. This along with discriminatory SB 4 “Sanctuary City-Show Me Your Papers” and HB 3859 Anti-LGBTQ Adoption “Religious Exemption” laws in Texas that allows Texas adoption and foster care agencies to claim religious objection to certain groups, without fear of losing state funding must make people “WOKE”! These DISCRIMINATORY laws actually make Christianity the “State Religion” as seen by Governor Abbott and so many religious right Republicans.
I do have faith that other states will step up to the plate and deny state travel to Texas for any reason. I hope they will put Governor Abbott in his place and show him these laws have economic consequences. When we have a Governor in Texas with such a condescending attitude that he states “”California may be able to stop their state employees, but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation, and relocating to Texas,” he fails to admit to himself no businesses will be leaving California to come to Texas with these new laws of hate and discrimination that the people and business of California find so offensive.
I ask that everyone google and find their state and national Senators and Congressmen and call daily to fight anti-LGBTQ, anti-Immigrant, anti-Women/Planned Parenthood, anti-Medicaid and any other bills that harm or end the life saving services that Americans deserve. We must do this for every person that resides in the United States.
I leave you with one of my favorite versions of “California Dreamin” by Diana Krall