STATEMENT: TOP Applauds Houston for Joining Lawsuit to Stop SB4

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The following is a statement by Mary Moreno, communications director of the Texas Organizing Project, on the vote by the Houston City Council to join the lawsuit to stop Texas’ show-me-your-papers law, SB4:

“We applaud Mayor Sylvester Turner and the council members who voted to join the lawsuit to stop SB4.

“We also thank Council Member Robert Gallegos for asking for a roll call vote so that people know what side each council member stands on: with the people or with Gov. Greg Abbott and President Donald Trump.

“And we thank all our state representatives and senators who took time yesterday to testify in front of the council to urge them to join the lawsuit. It was inspiring to hear their stories that connect them to this fight in such a personal way.

“We are proud of our city today for standing up to a law which if enacted will only serve to encourage and legalize racial profiling. We are proud of our Mayor and council members who remembered that they represent all Houstonians, and who understand that just because a law is passed does not mean it is just. And that we shouldn’t depend on someone else to fight for us.

“Houston joining the lawsuit sends a strong message to Gov. Abbott and President Trump. We will not be coerced or intimidated into being a party to their campaign of hate and division. We will not let their dog whistle politics that aim to criminalize and marginalize people of color go unanswered or unchallenged.

“We still have a long road ahead in defeating SB4. But today was a good day for justice.”

Yes votes:
Mayor Sylvester Turner
District B – Jerry Davis
District C – Ellen Cohen
District D – Dwight Boykins
District H – Karla Cisneros
District I – Robert Gallegos
District J – Mike Laster
District K – Larry Green
At-Large 2 – David Robinson
At-Large 4 – Amanda Edwards

No votes:
District A – Brenda Stardig
District E – Dave Martin
District F – Steve Le
District G – Greg Travis
At-Large 1 – Mike Knox
At-Large 3 – Michael Kubosh

Abstaining:
At-Large 5 – Jack Christie

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Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Texas’ three largest counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.

Statement: TOP Thanks Mayor for Agreeing to Bring SB4 Lawsuit to a Vote

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The following is a statement by Mary Moreno, director of communications of the Texas Organizing Project, in response to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s tweet announcing that he will ask the City Council to vote on joining a lawsuit to stop SB4 later this month:

“We applaud Mayor Sylvester Turner for listening to the concerns of the community and agreeing to ask the City Council to join a lawsuit to stop SB4.

“The most diverse city in America shouldn’t be on the sidelines when it comes to fighting a law that will effectively encourage and legalize racial profiling. Fearing that police will be able to ask for immigration status when a person is stopped for any reason does not fit with the profile of a welcoming city.

“We need every major Texas city to stand up to Gov. Greg Abbott’s continued attempts to marginalize and criminalize people of color. Joining a lawsuit to stop SB4 would show the community that the Mayor and City Council are on their side.

“Now we ask the Mayor and City Council members to vote the right way and join a lawsuit to stop SB4. Dallas, El Paso, Austin and San Antonio have already done so. We can’t continue sitting on the sidelines.”

Mamas Bail Out Day

Mamas Bail Out Day feature

Mothers should be with their families on Mother’s Day, not in jail waiting for a trial simply because they’re too poor to post bond.

This week, TOP and the Right2Justice coalition are partnering with organizations across the country to bail out mamas in time for Mother’s Day. Pitch in now to help us free mothers so they can be reunited with their families!

Every day, dozens of mothers languish in the Harris County Jail simply because they can’t afford bail. They haven’t been convicted of anything, and many are accused of minor infractions.

The judges that set bond in Harris County, however, like in so many other jurisdictions across the country, simply don’t care about poor people. To them, being poor equates to being dangerous.

Last week a federal judge ordered Harris County to stop jailing people for being poor. The order goes into effect May 15, but meanwhile, we are going to post bond for mothers so they can spend Mother’s Day at home with their families.

Pitch in $20 today, or any amount, so we can let these women know that being poor isn’t a jailable offense, that they deserve to be free while awaiting trial so they can take care of their families. We will begin bailing mothers out this week!

Justice shouldn’t be available only to those who can afford it.