UPDATE: July 8 at 5:20pm CDT >> We are ready for food donations.

THIS IS NO LONGER VALID, WAS ONLY FOR MONDAY, JULY 8 >> Send the food to TX Capitol, Capitol Grill, Level E1, Room E1.002. You can give them my name as the contact. Most places *probably* have my name and number all ready.

Possible places to order from:

UPDATE: July 7 (SUN) at 11:20pm CDT

Anyone can testify and NO, you will not need to show ID (nor should we be asking for that).

UPDATE: July 7 (SUN) at 6:15pm CDT

You have lots of options when you finally get your witness card tomorrow (see sample of card below):

  1. Fill out card (a sample of which you can see in this post) and just state your opposition. Turn your card into clerk. You’re finished.
  2. Fill out card, state your opposition, and only sign up for written testimony. Turn your card and 20 copies of your written testimony to the clerk. You’re finished.
  3. Fill out card, state your opposition, and only sign up for oral testimony. Turn your card into clerk. Wait for your name to be called. Give your two-minute testimony. You’re finished.
  4. Fill out card, state your opposition, sign up for both oral testimony and written testimony. Turn your card into clerk. Wait for your name to be called. Give the clerk the 20 copies of your written testimony and give your two-minute oral testimony. You’re finished.

If you have questions, feel free to email me at jessica@jessicawluther.com.

Also, I have written a post about engaging with blue shirts tomorrow. Basically, DON’T. But there’s a lot more, specific information in the post.

On Tuesday, the House Committee had their hearing for HB2 (what a sham that was, huh?).

The Senate version of that bill – SB1 – will be heard by committee this upcoming Monday at 10am. Here is the Facebook event for the hearing.

(UPDATE: I will be there on Monday but not until noon. I was supposed to arrive back in Austin from Chicago at midnight on Monday on American. American could not help me change my ticket without exorbitant cost. So someone I’ve never met – and who doesn’t want credit – used their miles for a flight on Southwest to get me back over 12 hours earlier.)

nonsequiteuse has two great posts: 1) An informative post about this week’s events (both the Senate committee meeting on Monday and what happens next) and 2) How Rick Perry’s family has money in this fight.

Where is the hearing?

Capitol Extension, Room E1.036. A MUCH smaller room than normal.

It is one floor above where we were this week for the House committee hearing. When you get to the capitol, take the elevators in the North wing DOWN to level E1. Walk down the long hallway and E1.036 will be at the end on the right side.

Capitol Map

According to the Senate’s site, these will be the overflow rooms on Monday:

Capitol Auditorium, E1.004
E1.012 (Hearing Room)
E1.016 (Hearing Room)
E1.028 (Hearing Room)

What is different this time from the House committee hearing?

1) How you register. 

Unlike the House, which uses an electronic system to register people’s approval/opposition of the bill and their desire to testify, the Senate still uses good old-fashioned paper. You will be asked to fill out a witness affidavit card by hand. There will be plenty of people in orange there to help you fill out the card if you have any trouble. You must then turn the card into the clerk.

Here is what the witness affidavit card will look like:

SenateHHS witness card copy filled out

2) How much time you have.

This past Tuesday you had three minutes. This time you will only have 2 minutes.

3) How many copies of written testimony you will need.

This time: 20! (make sure your name is on each copy)

Do I have to testify? If I’m not going to testify should I still come?

No, you do NOT have to testify. But YES, we’d still like you to come down and officially register your opposition to the bill, which you do at the same time as when you register to testify. So, when you fill out your card, say you are opposing the bill and then say you aren’t testifying. And then you don’t even have to wait around.

We are asking that if people feel comfortable testifying, you do sign up to do it. This is about showing that we want our voices heard even if they are going to refuse to listen to us.

What if I can’t arrive before or at 10am when the Senate committee starts?

Come when you can. You can always register your opposition and desire to testify as long as the committee meeting is going on. Also, you can JUST register your opposition to the bill and then leave.

We have no idea how long the committee meeting will actually go on Monday though we imagine it will be a long one.

What should I say when I testify? What is testifying like?

You have 2 minutes to speak.

Start your testimony off like this: “Thank you, chair and committee. My name is ___ and I am a constituent of Senator ___ and I’m here to testify against Senate Bill 1 because…” (if you are unsure of who your Senator is, you can look them up here)

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 20 copies if you choose, but this is entirely optional.

Be respectful, speak from the heart.

You will be standing at a podium with your back to the room, so you won’t be looking over a crowd. You’ll be facing the lawmakers and the clerk. Lawmakers go in and out, so there could be times where you’re testifying to one or two people or just some empty chairs. It doesn’t matter. Keep talking, get your words on the record. The important thing is to have our voices heard!

What if I can’t make it to the capitol Monday? Can I officially register my opposition to the bill?

No. It’s unfair, especially in a state this size and with how awesome technology is now, but nope.

Are there any other activities going on that day?

Yes. There will be a MARCH at 8pm Monday evening. (FYI: there will be an anti-choice rally starring non-Texan Mike Huckabee that evening at 7pm on the South Capitol steps)

Here is the Facebook events page for the March, which gives the following information:

This march will be around 8pm in order to give people enough time to get off of work, protest at the Capitol, and congregate. Please gather at the front gate of the Capitol along the main walking path, facing S. Congress Ave.

***Please feel free to spread the word and invite others to this march! Be sure to SHOW UP, STAND UP, AND MARCH WITH TEXAS WOMEN!!!!!!!!***

UPDATE: For pregnant, handicap, and elderly people who need extra assistance to participate in the march:

If you would like to use a pedicab for the march, please assemble at the south Capitol gate on 11th St. Pedicabs will begin assembling at 7p. Make your way there before 8p to get into a cab and get settled before the congestion at the beginning of the march.

Volunteers to help direct people are needed. (see the Facebook events page if you’d like to volunteer)

What can I do if I’m a Texas resident but can’t make it to the capitol to testify? PLENTY.

Some things going on this weekend around the state (if you know of more, please add them in comments):

More state-wide and US-wide events listed at Virginia Pickel’s site and in this FB post from NARAL Texas’ Executive Director.

Call up your elected legislators and let them know how you feel about these bills.  Look up your legislators here. (Remember, it’s Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 2).

Example script for when you call:

To your lawmaker: Hello, my name is _____________ and I am a constituent of Sen/Rep __________. I am calling today to let the senator/representative know that I oppose House Bill 2/Senate Bill 1. Having the constitutional right of legal abortion, I do not wish any changes, restrictions or amendments to those rights particularly in regard to access to professional medical help. I believe that these proposed restrictions would be harmful to Texas women who might then make harmful choices made during desperate times. I urge the senator/representative to oppose these bills. Thank you.

Call the chair of the Senate committee, Senator Jane Nelson (Republican, District 12) and ask her to have each pesron who is testifying list the city and state where they live (it’s against the law to lie in your testimony). Why? Because the other side is bussing people in. [to be clear: I am not advocating that people be forced to show a form of ID]

Sign the petition demanding that we have state-wide hearings about these bills, not just hearings located in Austin.

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper asking them to to help show all the ways Gov. Rick Perry and his anti-choice allies are trying to cheat Texas women out of their rights.

If you feel really inspired, here are the names of all the Senate committee members. It couldn’t hurt to let each of them know that they should be asking people if they are Texas residents and that they should be holding state-wide hearings: (if you click on their name, you will get their contact information)

Also if you are on TWITTER: here are the twitter handles of Texas legislators that have them: http://www.texastribune.org/2013/01/07/many-members-83rd-legislature-twitter/

What can I do if I want to help but I don’t live in Texas?

As always, PLEASE DO YOUR BEST TO GET THIS OUT TO THE MEDIA. Help us share our story. Virginia Pickel has created a handy list of Twitter handles for major media outlets, journalists, and celebrities.

Get the message out there. Let people know what is happening in Texas, how they can fight back if they live here, and help us show that we are not just lying down and letting this happen.

Where can I watch the committee meeting online if I can’t be there in person?

Who should I follow on social media for updates?

Follow on Twitter: my twitter account (@scATX) but I will NOT be there until noon on Monday, @TX_women@Austin_NOW@andreagrimes@naralTX@lilithfund@WholeWomans@dansolomon,
@meadowgirl@tootwistedTV, and the #SB1, #StandWithTXWomen, #SWTW, and #LetUsSpeak hashtags. Also, Charles Clymer (@cmclymer) has created a Twitter list you can follow.

On Facebook: Stand with Texas Women, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Planned Parenthood Action, Whole Woman’s Health

A closed Facebook group where people can sign up for ride shares to and from the capitol.

Some links:


You can find the public parking on this map: http://www.tspb.state.tx.us/SPB/Plan/FloorPlan/Complex.htm (it’s at corner of San Jacinto and 12th). The first two hours are free. Each half hour is $1. All day parking is $8.

There is also a lot of metered parking the area, much of it takes credit cards, though you may want to have some quarters just in case.

What time does everything happen?

Doors to capitol open at 7am.

We know that the other side has asked people to show up earlier than that (I PRESENT TO YOU THIS EVIDENCE):


So, get there when you can.

Registration for the hearing opens at 9am.

The hearing begins at 10am.

Come when you can, wear orange, and stay ’til the end! 

21 Responses

  1. Wendy says:

    I was born in Utah and currently reside here. However, I lived in Texas for 14 years. I lost my job and my home under Perry’s watch and I am pissed off about his condescending, sanctimonious attitude towards women.

    I am meeting with activists in our community next week to hopefully start a grassroots standupforwomen campaign.

    I have never been more angry, more proud, more frustrated, or more willing to move back to Texas to fight this crap.

    I may not be able to do anything to help you inside the state of Texas, but I will do whatever I can to stand with you outside of it.

    Good luck and know that we will all remember in November.

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  3. Andrea Gardner says:

    As a Texas who has been to Austin a half dozen times in the last few weeks and have yet to see but a few of the figureheads from large organizations to bring attention to this fight with clearly the thousands being concerned Texans I find it ironic that Mike Huckabee claims the “out of State folks” are taking over the State as he buses his Christian Fundamentalists into Austin.. I am tired of the Texas Taliban having their way and in addition tired of the Christian fundamentalists attempting to turn this country into their “image” in contradiction to what our founding fathers clearly intended…we are NOT a Christian Nation but a Nation of immigrants from ALL walks of life and beliefs! The time to stand up against this zealotry is NOW! I should not have to FLEE my State in order to have true freedom and the ability to live under the Constitution of our Union in Peace!

  4. Erin Defosse says:

    Jessica: thank you for putting all this information together. I’ll be there on Monday!



  6. RL McGruder says:

    Thank you for this! I am trying to figure one thing out, however – what time will the cards be handed out? I’m registering my opposition ONLY, not testifying. Any light shed here would be great!

  7. Tricia says:

    If I write up a testimony, can I turn it in with the card and leave? Or do I need wait to be called to present the written testimony?

  8. Cindy Noland says:

    Can’t thank you enough, Jessica. This is exactly what is needed. I’m recommending it on all three of my pages. I know you took time out from making money to do this. Thank you so much. It’s elegant, easy to read and understand, and has everything.

    There is an event to be posted on Sunday by UniteWomen that is a month-long Permission Day. You might add that when it is posted.
    Blessings, Cindy

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  11. Dalea Lugo says:

    I’m doing what I can do to help. I will be there on Monday to testify and phone banking. I’m am giving and showing my opposition to bad politics as usual.

  12. Jessica Luther says:

    Tricia, yes you can. Just select “Written” on the card and not “Oral” and then hand in your 20 copies to the clerk.

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  16. Erin Defosse says:

    Are there any guidelines relative to how the written testimony should be formatted? For example, does it need to be addressed to someone (e.g. the Chair of the Committee, etc.)?



  17. Jessica Luther says:

    I would put, “Dear Senators on the Health and Human Services Committee” maybe? Otherwise, just do a one-page letter and make sure your name is on each copy.

  18. Jayne Keedy says:

    One of our members of Liberal Austin Democrats has said that Red Rabbit Bakery would like to be on the list of food providers people can order from.
    One Dz donuts/$24

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  20. sandra ramos says:

    Thanks for including East Side Pies to your list! You can also call our Airport Blvd. location at 512.454.7437 as a back up to our Rosewood location.

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