Most important information: The hearing will start at 2 today. Please come to the Capitol as soon as you can.
First four posts about the citizens’ filibuster and the abortion bill, as well as what you can do if you live in TX but can’t make it today:
Latest information from the Texas Democratic Party:
We need as many people to testify as possible, so please invite a friend. The hearing will start at 2 today. Please come to the Capitol as soon as you can.
A community filibuster is our own grassroots term in an attempt to kill bad bills by essentially running it out of time. A filibuster is when a legislator talks long enough that it essentially kills a bill. Because the special session ends next Wednesday, we are hoping to make this hearing last as long as possible (thus bringing in as many people as we can to testify) in order to delay the rest of the legislative process. We’re hoping that if we make this hearing last long enough, they won’t be able to reach the appropriate deadlines to pass these bills. If we make this go long enough we’ll essentially throw a wrench in the entire process.
We’re at a bit of a crossroads. We have an opportunity to push back, and prevent some incredibly dangerous bills that would limit reproductive freedom in our state from passing. You could be the factor in preventing all but FIVE abortion clinics in our state from closing, due to politicians playing with women’s health care.
It’s going to be a long day, so we want to make sure everything runs as smooth as possible.
Here are some steps through the process that we will go through today. We will be waiting for the hearing to begin once the House Floor adjourns as they address redistricting, which could be afternoon to early evening.
- The hearing will be at the Capitol, but inside the John H. Reagan building. The room is 140. The key to the building is JHR (found on the map here http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/SPB/Plan/FloorPlan/Complex.htm).
- Also on that map you will find where public parking is. The first two hours are free. Each half hour is $1. All day parking is $8. The visitor parking lot is on 12th and San Jacinto.
- When you get into the building, you will be asked to register to testify. You must register on one of the nearby iPads kiosks. You can read more about registering to testify here https://www.mytxlegis.legis.state.tx.us/HWRSPublic/About.asp
- House bills being heard are HB60 (the House version of SB5) and HB16 (20-week ban). These are the bills you will be registering to testify AGAINST.
- Signing up online via an email you received is NOT registering your opinion or signing up to testify.
- The sign-up times are when you’re agreeing to arrive & sign up in person. They are NOT guarantees of when you will actually get to testify. Be prepared to wait for your name to be called & it could be several hours. If you want to get a text, call or email when the hearing starts, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred contact info to get on the alert list.
- The meeting room will fill up. There will be an overflow room. When your name is called, if you’re not in JHR 140, hurry over to room 140 to testify!
- You have 3 minutes to speak. When asked to wrap it up, please finish your sentence and stop, even if you’re not done. You can also submit written testimony, so bring copies if you choose, but this is entirely optional.
- Be respectful, speak from the heart. You may only be speaking to a couple of legislators or sometimes just empty chairs. But you’re creating a record, so it’s worth it no matter what!
- Start your testimony off like this: “Thank you, chair and committee for allowing me to testify. My name is ___ and I am a constituent of Rep. ___ and I’m here to testify against these bills because…”
- Don’t know who you representative is? Look up here: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
- If you need additional help with your testimony, there will be some additional materials provided, but we encourage you to put your own together. Make it personal. This is where it counts.