Texas AFL-CIO : Virtual Week of Action Info and Toolkit

Texas workers, families and communities have faced incredible challenges in the last twelve months, compounding on an economy that increasingly rewards the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. We have watched a virus spread throughout workplaces and families, seen our entire state infrastructure collapse with a winter storm, and currently witnessing an attack of basic voting rights at the state capitol. The Texas AFL-CIO and our affiliated unions are committed to ensuring the 2021 Texas Legislature tackles these challenges while defending the progress our state has made for working people and families.

The Texas AFL-CIO staff have put together some tips and suggestions that will make it easier for you to effectively advocate for the issues you care about. Please use these resources to contact your elected officials and local newspapers, and help us as we fight Texas working families. Please remember to add personal stories when making calls and writing letters to help illustrate why these issues matter so much.

We hope these tools will be useful to you and help make your activism more effective. 

Bills We Care About Right Now! 

  • HB 6 and SB 7: please oppose these bills and others legislative proposals that will mark it harder for Texans to vote and lead to widespread voter intimidation. 
  • The state budget: please raise state employee pay, “stop the swap” and spend federal recovery and stimulus dollars on important investments like our public schools, and protect our retirement plans by opposing efforts to destroy defined benefit pensions and replacing them with dangerous 401k-type defined contribution plans.
  • SB 14: please oppose this bill and others like it that will interfere with our local communities, do away with local wage and construction safety policies, and could lead to employment discrimination.
  • Apprenticeships & Licensed Trades: Please support HB 636 to protect Texas professional plumbers, and please oppose HB 633 which would result in lower wages for construction workers across the state.
  • Workers Comp & Unemployment: please support HB 145 to remove the unnecessary waiting period access unemployment benefits, and support HB 3620 to expand unemployment insurance benefits.
  • SB 1660: oppose this bill to end voluntary payroll dues deduction for frontline workers in Texas; let us spend our hard-earned paychecks as we see fit!

Take Action

  1. Send a letter to both your State Representative and State Senator using our letter campaign tool. Send a letter now! 
  2. Record a 1 min to your legislators video using your cell phone with the help of our video campaign tool. Record a video now! 
  3. Submit to us your story or a quote on issue you care about so we can share with legislators on social media. Submit your story! 

Sample Facebook, Twitter and Instagram Posts

  • Our schools have been hubs for struggling communities in this pandemic. But the money they need to make schools safe, safeguard jobs and employee benefits, and fill in stretched budgets is sitting in the TX Legislature. Write your state representative & senator today and tell them that the $17.9 billion in federal funding intended for TX schools MUST go to TX schools. https://actionnetwork.org/letters/stop-the-swap
  • #SB14 threatens basic rights in TX cities such as water breaks on the job, a fair chance at a job interview for formerly incarcerated people, or increased benefits like paid sick time. TAKE ACTION TODAY by heading over to http://bit.ly/MYSENATOR to find your State Senator & give them a call urging them to vote NO on #SB14. #txlege

Graphics for Sharing

Say NO to Jim Crow 2.0

Texas Legislature Refresher/ Facts/ Overview

  • The Texas Legislature is divided into two chambers: Senate and House
  • The Texas House of Representatives is run by the Speaker of the House, who is chosen by House Members 
  • The Texas House of Representatives has 150 Members (2-year term)
  • The Texas Senate has 31 Senators (4-year term) and our Lt. Governor presides over the senate. 
  • Texas meets for the legislative session every other year on odd-numbered years for 140 days. Only the Governor may call a Special Session to bring the legislature back into session once the session has ended. 
  • May 31st Sine Die End of Session 

Who Represents Me? 

  1. Find your legislators and their contact information by entering your home address on the website- who represent me: https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home
  2. Learn about your legislators

Know basic information about your representative or senator: Where are they from? What committees are they on? Have they worked on any legislation related to your topic of interest? 

Contacting my Representative

Contacting an elected official through email, letters, phone calls, or virtual meetings are all very effective ways of advocating for an issue or piece of legislation. 

What should I say? 

An Elevator Speech is a quick, clear, and concise summary of the issue you are hoping to address and how you would like to address it. It is an effective advocacy tool during calls, meetings, and testimony.

  • Introduce yourself. Identify your local and its affiliation to The Texas AFL-CIO. 
  • Stick to one issue. Don’t dilute your main point by discussing multiple issues.
  • Be brief and concise. 
  • Include the specific bill number and title (if possible).
  • Get personal. Describe how the legislation impacts you, your co-workers, and your community.
  • Ask for action. Will you support/oppose the specific bill or the issue you are speaking about.