Notes & Noticias: 50 Years of the Voting Rights Act ๐Ÿ“

Lyndon Johnson was my favorite president. Today marks one of the reasons why he was pretty great in the domestic arena. The Voting Rights Act was a major step forward in securing access to the ballot for so many marginalized American citizens. Fifty years later, it is ridiculous that people of color are still fighting for our most fundamental civic rights. It is heartening that the conservative U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck a blow to the Voter ID law passed by Texas Republicans several years ago. Yet, our work doesn’t end at the courts.

We cannot afford to stop organizing. We need to keep registering our neighborhoods, knocking on doors and spreading the word about voting. Yโ€™all — the moment we rest, they win.

Backpacks for Neighborhood Kids

Two neighborhoods in the heart of Texas House District 51 are hosting back-to-school backpack drives for low-income families. Earlier this week, the Statesman reported that many parents struggle to make ends meet to get their kids set up and ready to go for the new year.
Let’s help out our community! Please donate what you can so that we may purchase backpacks for drives that will take place in Montopolis and Dove Springs.

The Clean Power Plan: Good for Texas

On Monday, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency took a bold step forward to address the effects of climate change by rolling out the Clean Power Plan. This new rule will help curb carbon emissions across the country and in Texas significantly over the next two decades. It is a great initiative that is long overdue.
Of course, we are talking about President Obama and the EPA. That means Texas Republicans like Attorney General Ken Paxton have pledged to fight it in the courts. This is short-sighted and bad news for our environment and our economy. We simply cannot afford to keep waiting to act on climate change. Fortunately, our local leaders know we simply cannot afford to keep waiting to act on climate change. Texas should be a leader in renewable energy, not a naysayer. Stay tuned for developments.

Turning Austin into a Mobility City

Thanks to Commissioner Brigid Shea for hosting a healthy discussion on transportation earlier this week with some of our cityโ€™s most creative leaders in the field. As we focus on ways to reduce congestion and improve our safety, it is important to do so with an eye to the future.
You might have heard that Google has recently brought some of its self-driving cars (with humans on board) to drive and map Austinโ€™s streets. These autonomous vehicles are just a sample of the exciting, new projects our local leaders are working to bring to our city. I look forward to being part of the ongoing discussion on how we can work to become a more mobile city.


Eddie Rodriguez