Many Actions Lead Toward April 6th

The April 6th State Wide Coalition Rally in Austin remains the top priority but many other street actions are being planned. Unions are mobilizing to save working peoples' rights that go far beyond the immediate budget cuts. Even at the local school level, students and parents are hitting the streets to oppose the cuts planned in the State Legislature.

Sign up right away for buses to Austin on April 6, either with the Texas State Employees Union or with the Committee for Public Policy Priorities. Both are sponsoring the same action under the auspices of the Texas Forward Coalition.

Meantime, activists may support the many progressive organizatrions calling actions of their own.

Wednesday, March 23rd at 3pm: Rally at Townview Magnet Center, 1201 E 8th St, Dallas, TX 75203. Sponsored by Texas Organizing Project, 214-960-6501

Thursday, March 24: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) lobby day, focusing on correctional workers facing layoffs. Gathering point is Texas AFL-CIO auditorium, 1106 Lavaca St.,
in downtown Austin.

Saturday, March 26th at 12pm: Meeting at Paradise Missionary Baptist Church, 1222 E. Red Bird Ln., Dallas, TX 75241. Sponsored by Texas Organizing Project, 214-960-6501

Saturday, March 26, 1 PM: Cesar Chavez parade in downtown Ft Worth. LCLAA invites Jobs with Justice activists to join together.
Saturday, March 26, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 PM: The Dallas Peace Center, 214-823-7793, is backing a free panel discussion and workshops at Caruth Hall, Vester Hughes Auditorium, SMU, 3145 Dyer St., in Dallas. Featured Speakers are:

March 30: Cover Texas Now Healthcare Lobby Day at the Capitol

April 2, 11 AM: Tarrant County AFL-CIO "Save Our Schools" rally in Burnett Park in Downtown Ft Worth. Map

April 2, 11 AM: April 2: Texas State Teachers Association (National Education Affiliate) Statewide Day of Action

April 3: Texas Federation of Teachers (AFT affiliate) Tele-townhall (details forthcoming)

April 3, 12-4 PM: Texas State Employees Union Sign-making party for April 6 Save Our State Rally at TSEU offices in Austin

April 4: National Day of Action called by national AFL-CIO and several major unions including the Communications Workers. In Texas, we will focus instead on April 6th, but you may expect various groups to call April 4th actions on their own.

Wednesday, April 6, 11 AM: Texas State Employees Union/CWA and Texas Forward coalition lobby, march and rally day Gather at Waterloo Park in downtown Austin. Noon rally at south
steps of Capitol. The Texas AFL-CIO is encouraging broad attendance at this event.

North Texas Jobs with Justice continues our main focus on uniting the working class and its allies. The April 6th coalition action offers the best possibility of that, so we hope that April 6th leaflets will be available at the other activities.

"Workers did not create the financial crisis – but we’re paying with our jobs thanks to unchecked CEO power and a Congress that recklessly promotes outsourcing manufacturing jobs and handing out big tax breaks to the rich." -- Tarrant AFL-CIO leaflet

Wisconsin Judge Temporarily Blocks Union-Busting Bill
Dane County judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order blocking Wisconsin’s new law that limits collective bargaining rights for public employees.
The Dane County District Attorney brought a lawsuit to block the bill on the grounds that a vote to pass the law was invalid.  Fourteen Wisconsin Democrats stayed away from the state capitol for weeks in order to prevent a vote on the law as part of a state budget bill.  On March 9, Walker switched tactics, bringing the law instead for a vote before a legislative committee in the middle of the night.
It appears that this scheme violated the 24 hour notice required by the state’s Open Meetings Law. The State will appeal the ruling rather than taking another vote on the law, with the proper 24-hours notice.  But for now, the bill cannot be published nor take effect. Stay tuned for more developments in Wisconsin and in states across the country. -- From the JwJ blog

Retirees Protest Budget Cuts Made at both the State and Federal Level
Retiree activists around the country are outraged as more reports of the ways in which budget cuts will affect seniors are released. In Texas, lawmakers are considering a reduction in Medicaid reimbursements that would result in the closing of 850 of the state’s 1,000 nursing homes. In New York, lawmakers have made plans to close 105 of the state’s 256 senior centers. In Wisconsin, Governor Walker (R) has called for ending the state’s SeniorCare prescription drug program. This would force tens of thousands of seniors to enroll in private plans through Medicare Part D, which will be more expensive. Some retiree activists are not taking these attacks lightly. On Tuesday, Florida Alliance members mobilized and joined a “Defend the Dream” protest in West Palm Beach. The event was one of several around the country showing support for public workers, protesting budget cuts, and making Congress aware that Americans will hold lawmakers responsible for their votes. At the Tuesday event, Tony Fransetta, President of the Florida Alliance, called on state lawmakers to address what he said were $26 billion in tax breaks for special interest groups. --from the Alliance for Retired Americans