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.”

Joint Statement: Dallas to sue Texas against SB 4

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Workers Defense Project and the Texas Organizing Project applaud Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the City Council for standing up against hate and joining the lawsuit to stop SB4. We also thank Mayor Rawlings for standing with us at a public action earlier in the day where we urged him to take this step.

“Everyday, more communities join the fight against SB 4, and our movement will only continue to grow,” said Jose P. Garza, executive director of the Workers Defense Project. “ We applaud the city of Dallas for standing with Texas families against SB 4.”

Community advocates held a press conference outside city hall and were joined by Mayor Rawlings and Mayor pro tem Monica Alonso. Inside city hall advocates urged city hall to support litigation against SB 4 during open comment.

“Mayor Rawlings and City Council made Dallas proud today by standing up to our state’s Republican leadership that seeks to marginalize and criminalize people of color,” said Michelle Tremillo, executive director of the Texas Organizing Project. “SB4 would serve no other purpose than to encourage and legalize racial profiling. With this lawsuit, Mayor Rawlings is putting Dallas on the right side of history.”

After an executive briefing, Mayor Rawlings announced that Dallas will be joining the lawsuit against SB 4.

Dallas’ announcement comes days after San Antonio, Bexar County and Austin filed a lawsuit against the state joining Workers Defense Project and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Last month, the City of Cenizo, El Paso, the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund and the Texas Civil Rights Project filed a lawsuit against the state.

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Workers Defense Project (WDP) is a statewide organization winning good jobs for low-wage workers. For more information, go to www.workersdefense.org, or follow us on Twitter, @WorkersDefense.

Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Brown 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.