Every Monday, The Austin Common staff shares what we’re reading, watching, and listening to. This week, we’re focusing our recommendations on racial justice & local government. For more, follow us on Instagram – @the_austin_common.
Read: A Beginner’s Guide To Local Government
Just starting to get involved with what’s going on at City Hall? Feeling a bit overwhelmed? This is for you!
We’re partnering with A Functional Democracy (a local nonpartisan civic education organization, cofounded by Austin Common Editor-In-Chief Amy Stansbury) to help distribute 3,500 copies of their “A Beginner’s Guide To Local Government” book/zine before the November election. Each book is fun, explains all the basics of Austin’s local government system, and it comes with stickers. What more could you want?!
Here’s how you can get a book:
Order one online here. Books are $12 and the proceeds help support the civic education work of A Functional Democracy and The Austin Common, as well as our “A Beginner’s Guide To Local Government” book donation program.
Request a book donation. If you’re part of a grassroots/nonprofit organization who would like 25 or more books donated to your group, simply fill out this form. And let us know if you’d like a Civics 101 presentation (which can be done virtually) to go along with it!
Buy our books in bulk. If you’re part of a company or large nonprofit organization with the budget to support us, we ask that you fill out this form and request a bulk book purchase. And of course, if you’d like a Civics 101 presentation to go along with it, just let us know!
Watch: Communities of Color United’s Teach-In : “A Vision Of A City Without Cops”
Having a hard time understanding what people are talking about when they say to “defund the police” or “abolish the police”? This video recording from a virtual teach-in held by Communities of Color United earlier this week should help.
CCU is a local grassroots group that has been organizing around reducing the size of the police department’s budget for years now. In this hour-long video, they share information about the history of their organization and policing in the US, and explain what it means to imagine a world without police and what that would mean for Austin.
Learn/ Join: local nonprofit/ grassroots orgs
Lots of amazing local nonprofits and grassroots organizations are hosting virtual meetups this week that are welcome to newcomers interested in learning more about them. This is a great way to meet new people and get connected with the advocacy organizations in town who are doing the work around racial justice, equity, climate, etc.
Solar Austin – works to accelerate the transition to clean, renewable energy in Central Texas and expand access to the benefits of solar to everyone. They’re hosting a virtual happy hour with world-renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben on June 16th from 4:30pm to 6pm.
Community Advocacy and Healing Project – focuses on human centered, culturally appropriate, and trauma informed advocacy and healing experiences. They’re hosting a “Community Reflection” on June 16th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
Undoing White Supremacy Austin – a group of primarily white identifying organizers who come together with the common purpose of dismantling white supremacy systemically, culturally and within themselves. They’re hosting a introductory meeting for newcomers on June 16th from 6:30pm to 8pm.
Austin Democratic Socialists of America – An organization with the vision of a democratically run economy and society that gives power to the people rather than the privileged elites. They’re hosting their monthly meeting (which is open to all) on June 16th from 7pm to 8:30pm.
Workers Defense Project – empowers low-income workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing and strategic partnerships. They’re hosting “Winning For Workers” on June 18th from 6:30pm to 7:30pm to share info about their work.