Monday, June 24, 2013

Come and Take It

Tonight, the Texas state Senate is quiet. At 10 a.m. tomorrow, they'll reconvene to hear a smattering of bills on the last day of the special session -- one of which is SB5. There is a ton of information out there from people who know better than I what is going on. I can say this about the last few days: I've learned much more than I ever thought possible about parliamentary procedure. In fact, I'm kind of getting really into it. I'm thinking about running for office so I can raise points of order and shizz. You probably think I'm kidding, but I listened to TWO HOURS of blank noise on the Texas House live stream this morning before the body was called to order. 

Like I kind of felt like a person who just purchased a pair of dirty underwear out of a vending machine and was smelling them -- if one were into that thing. 

I've said too much.

That said, if you've come here for up-to-the-minute info on what's happening now, the current state of affairs is that nothing is happening now. Things will get going tomorrow. And God willing, the Texas state Senate Democrats will be able to hold the line and run out the clock on SB5. This is a conversation that's been going on for a long time, and I really just want to add my voice to the din of others who are rumbling that these aggressive measures attacking women's rights will not stand. On Thursday night, 700+ people showed up, most of whom where there to testify against the anti-choice bills that were at that point making their way through the House. And then 1,000+ pro-choice activists showed up at the Capitol in Austin on Sunday to show opposition as the bill hit the House floor. And they stayed through the night as Texas Representatives kept the debate going for as long as possible. Eventually the bill passed the House. But that was never in question. 

What was in question was how many people were going to show up to fight the good fight, and the answer we got was, "DROVES!" 

People say, "What difference does it make?" I still have hope that a filibuster will kill this thing, but even if it doesn't, I'm still heartened by what I've seen over the last five days. Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston pointed out that we can't get this level of involvement during regular session on anything. People who thought the Texas Democratic party was down for the count are feeling inspired, and inspired people actually get out and vote. When you stand up and say something, you empower all the other people who think like you do to stand up, too. 

So if you ever wonder whether or not you should stand up, I hope you err on the side of YES. And no matter what happens tomorrow, I'm so very proud of my pro-choice Texans who've stood up and said something. No matter the outcome tomorrow, we've won the power of knowing that we didn't just let them have our rights 

They had to come and take them. 

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