Join us at the Capitol in Austin on Monday to fight for a New Voices bill in Texas!
House Bill 5266 was filed by Rep. Erin Zwiener last week and now it’s time for us to demand that lawmakers pass it.
We have scheduled appointments to allow supporters to speak directly with lawmakers and their staffers, especially those on the Texas Public Education Committee. And now we’d like to share the details of when to be there, where to park and what to expect when you get to the Capitol.
We HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting into downtown Austin by 8:30 a.m. at the latest because traffic and parking are expected to be bad because of the SXSW Conference taking place at the same time. And we highly suggest that you park at the Capitol’s official Visitors Parking garage between San Jacinto Blvd. and Trinity St. It’s much cheaper than other garages and lots nearby. However, if that garage is full, here’s a website that you can use to look up other lots and garages nearby.
We ask that participants find us by 9 a.m. at our meetup spot in front of the African American Monument near the southern edge of the Capitol complex. See this map to find the meet-up spot. We plan to train attendees and go over directions and procedures right at 9 a.m. so please don’t be late!
After meetings with various lawmakers, we plan to finish our meetings by 2 p.m. and end the day with a debriefing by 3 p.m. If you still would like to join us, please fill out this Google Form as soon as possible so we know how many to expect so we can purchase donuts and lunch for our participants.
We will have some expenses to pay for our lobby efforts so please consider making a financial contribution to help us pay our bills.
Thank you all for your continued support of New Voices Texas. See you at the Capitol!
- 9 – 9:30 a.m.: Meet at the Texas African American History Memorial for donuts and a small briefing.
- 9:30 a.m. — Walk inside the Capitol and go through security checks. After security checks, we will find a meet up inside the Capitol Cafe for the rest of the day.
- 10 a.m. – noon — Conduct meetings with legislators and/or their staff (each advocate will have a personalized schedule of meeting times).
- Noon: Head back to the Texas African American History Memorial for a picnic pizza lunch.
- 12:45 p.m.: Walk back inside the Capitol and go through security checks.
- 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Conduct meetings with legislators and/or their staff (each advocate will have a personalized schedule of meeting times).
- 2 p.m.: Meet at the cafe and then head back to the Texas African American History Memorial for a final quick debrief.
- 2:30 p.m.: Lobby Day is over! Thank you for attending.
What to Bring:
- Throughout the day, we will work in groups to meet with various lawmakers and speak to them about the importance of New Voices legislation. Each lobby day attendee will receive a folder, complete with a set of printed materials to reference. While attending these meetings, it would be helpful to have the following:
- Notebook and pen, for note-taking
- Water and snacks
What to Wear:
- Please try to dress professionally when meeting with legislators. Select comfortable shoes, as we will be walking across the Capitol grounds for each meeting.
- If you have a New Voices Texas t-shirt, that would be great to wear, as well.
How can I prepare?
- As student journalists, advisers, or people involved in scholastic media, we are very familiar with telling stories. A lobby day effort is all about personalizing the issue at hand. What specific experiences can you share about how you engage with your school, and greater community?
- All advocates that have signed up to attend, have been added to a GroupMe chat, “New Voices Lobby Day 2023,” for all communication during the day.
- If you do not have the app, try to download it so that communication is easier (if you are unable to download the app, you will receive SMS messages from it).
- If you are unable to use our GroupMe for any reason during the day, text our Legislative Officer, Amoli Agarwal, at 512-363-7916.