LPTX State Download 🌷 | Legislative round-up & more! | March 2023

Local Progress Texas -- The State Download

This year, our chapter is moving a local agenda driven by community needs, while also fighting state interference at the Texas Legislature. Check out the highlights below, followed by ways you can get more involved in our chapter! 

We are months into the 88th Legislative Session in Texas and it’s clear that state leadership will once again prioritize harmful preemption bills aimed at taking power away from local government and the communities they serve. While some movement has been made with bills that align with our priorities, like raises for teachers and expansion of Harm Reduction programs, it will require a collective effort to get these critical bills over the finish line. 

🏛 State Interference

Local governments must be able to pass laws and set standards that reflect the unique needs of their communities, and it’s vital for us to push back against harmful preemption bills like HB 2127/SB 814. This bill would prohibit local governments from passing or enforcing basic protections if they exceed the bounds of state law in the areas of agriculture, finance, labor, natural resources, and occupation licenses. This is a wide-reaching bill that will prohibit lifesaving protections and allow private lawsuits against local governments. 

📣 Upcoming Advocacy Days

We’re gathering our member leaders in Austin March 30-31 for legislative advocacy days. We’ll be speaking with our representatives about our priorities and urging them to protect local democracy. If you’re interested in joining us, please fill out this form! 

📝 Partner Legislative Resources & Calls-To-Action

Last year, we saw a number of Texas localities pass policies to protect abortion seekers. This year, we’re seeing the momentum continue in El Paso and San Antonio. Local leaders in Texas are continuing to find creative ways to protect their communities from the harmful effects of our state’s abortion ban.

Officially, six Texas jurisdictions have passed resolutions directing local law enforcement and city police departments to not investigate abortion seekers and those supporting abortion seekers. And in San Antonio, advocates have gone even further to bring a pro-abortion justice charter to the voters. Are you interested in bringing this policy to your locality? Email Kara to set up a time to discuss more. 

In June, we will host a Progressive Governance Academy (PGA) in San Antonio to welcome in our newly elected local leaders, build community, and sharpen our leadership and governance skills. The PGA is a project with the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), re:power and Local Progress to build and develop the leadership and governance skills of progressive state and local elected officials across the country. Our Texas PGAs are a critical tool to recruit new members and deepen our cross-state strategies. Registration information for our June PGA will be available soon, but you can email Kara to ensure you are notified when registration is open.

ICYMI

LP just announced the formation of our very first School Board Steering Committee! In partnership with the LP team and partners, the steering committee will guide the work of the school board cohort moving forward, bringing a diverse range of experiences and expertise to build a shared agenda. If you’re a school board member and want to get plugged in, reach out to Josh Acevedo, LP’s School Boards Campaign Organizer. There will also be a school board workshop on March 29th where we’ll dig into community schools – you can register here for that!

🧰 Resources:

💖 Join a LP Identity Caucus

In the past two years, Local Progress has launched two identity-based community spaces: the Black Caucus and the Women’s Caucus! These spaces were created by and for LP members to gather and share their lived experiences ingoverning and leadership positions. Our Caucuses will have several opportunities for you to engage in this year, and the next opportunity for the Women’s Caucus is coming up soon! Sign up now to attend the Women’s Caucus general membership meeting on March 30th.
 

🤝 Recruit New Members

Our members are our best recruiters! Do you know a local elected official in Texas who would be a good fit for our network? You can use this sample email to introduce them to the Local Progress network and invite them to join.

📝 Apply to join our Organizing Committee

A great way to get more involved with our work in Texas is through our LPTX Organizing Committee! Our Committee meets once a month and works with LP staff and our community partners to set our state chapters priorities and define our mission and vision for our work. It’s also a great space to build community with other LPTX members. If you’re interested in learning more about this Committee, fill out this form.

That’s a wrap for our newsletter! 

In solidarity, 

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