TOP In Solidarity With Palestinians In The Wake Of Oppression & Genocide

Organization recognizes the magnitude of uprisings taking place across U.S. college campuses

The following statement is from leadership of Texas Organizing Project (TOP) on the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli government, in response to the horrific attacks on Israeli families on October 7 by Hamas:

“As a pro-Black, anti-racist organization challenging racial capitalism, and amidst the backdrop of historic college campus protests, TOP stands against all forms of oppression and supports the liberation of oppressed people here in Texas, across the United States and worldwide. Recently, troubling reports have emerged at Texas universities where peaceful, nonviolent protesters are being arrested and subjected to law enforcement activity that does not necessitate such harsh responses. At TOP, we call on elected officials to urgently safeguard the rights to peaceful protest and freedom of speech throughout Texas, especially on our college campuses. This local and global perspective aligns with and manifests one of TOP’s core values, solidarity.

“We feel deep sorrow for each and every life lost to the rising violence between Israel and Palestine. We are once again reminded that injustice and violence breeds only more oppression and bloodshed, as the continued stream of devastating visuals of the genocide of now nearly 35,000 Palestianians in Gaza, many of whom are children and rises every day.

“That the United Nations’ highest judicial body convened in January for a case brought forth by South Africa accusing Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza should be a clarion call to us all that this inhumanity must stop. Despite the inaction of our national leaders, two-thirds of Americans support an immediate ceasefire. It was reported this week that the International Criminal Court (ICC) could be preparing to issue arrest warrants for Israeli government officials on charges related to the conduct of its war.

“Resolving to live in a world where every person can live a complete life with peace, dignity, and fearlessness requires us to reject attempts by those who would use our suffering as justification for more violence and bloodshed. This includes the people of Palestine, who have endured decades of oppressive occupation and apartheid, as well as the Israelis who are being held captive by Hamas. 

“We demand the Israeli government stop destroying lives, homes, and communities, and that it stop punishing Palestinians collectively for the actions of Hamas. The Israeli government must also acknowledge the massive humanitarian impact of its actions in Gaza. Millions of Gazans — of whom half are children — have been left without food, water, or electricity, and their homes have been bombarded. To do anything less than demand an immediate cease-fire would be to assist in the ethnic cleansing and genocide of the Palestinian people.

“It’s imperative to address the root causes of this methodical dehumanization, while working toward a sustainable, peaceful solution that respects the rights and dignity of all people involved. Any meaningful progress toward lasting peace and stability will require an immediate cessation of hostilities, and a commitment to dialogue and justice.

“The Israeli government’s embargo, occupation, and generally accepted apartheid system, which causes immense, ongoing misery for Palestinians and only serves to escalate conflict that denies everyone peace and safety, must end.

“As emphasized in TOP’s staff union statement, ‘We also echo the calls for liberation to lift the siege on Gaza, end the apartheid, and end the settler-colonial occupation of Palestine.’

“The Biden administration and Congress must do everything in their power to fight bigotry, antisemitism, and genocide. Despite the apparent darkness of our times, we continue to feel that it is worthwhile to struggle for a future in which everyone can prosper, regardless of the color of our skin, the language we speak, or where we call home. We are all capable of bringing about the peace we need more of in this world.”

Co-signed:

Michelle Tremillo and Brianna Brown (TOP Co-Executive Directors)
Dr. Doshie Piper and Maria Victoria De La Cruz (TOP Board Co-Presidents)
Debra Walker (TOP Education Fund Board President)

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About Texas Organizing Project:

TOP organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend 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.

TOP: “Paxton is a power-hungry white nationalist grifter who will say and do anything to avoid accountability”

The following statement is from Brianna Brown, Texas Organizing Project (TOP) Co-Executive Director, in response to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reaching a deal with special prosecutors to avoid going to trial for securities fraud after nine years:

“This sham deal shows us clear as day how there exists two ‘justice’ systems in this country; one for the wealthy and well-connected, and one for every one else.

“It also doesn’t change the fact that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is our state’s most corrupt elected official in modern times. 

“Just like his insurrectionist idol, Donald J. Trump, Paxton is a power-hungry white nationalist grifter who will say and do anything to avoid accountability. After all, he not only attended, but spoke at Trump’s infamous Stop The Steal rally on January 6.

“For years, Paxton has weaponized our state’s attorney general’s office to infringe on people’s constitutional rights – from access to the ballot box, to abortion, to seeking asylum, and more.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find a corrupt politician in Texas who is more deserving of being removed from office for their years of attacking our communities, restricting our freedoms, and destabilizing our democracy.

“Part of BlackTOP’s historic effort to reach out to 1.4 million Black Texans in the 2022 midterm included attempting to serve Paxton a “People’s Subpoena” at a political fundraiser hosted by one of his right-wing mega-donors in Colleyville.

“A darling of the far-right, Paxton has elevated himself politically at the expense of the well-being of Black and Latino Texans, illustrating time and time again how he is dangerous for our families, dangerous for our state, and dangerous for our country. 

“No matter age, race, economic status, or political leanings, ALL Texans deserve honest elected officials who lead with integrity, not status-seeking, immoral politicians who only look out for themselves.”

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About Texas Organizing Project:

TOP organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend 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.

With SCOTUS’ Latest SB4 Decision, TOP Calls on Elected Officials to Uphold Dignity & Rights of All, Regardless of Immigration Status

TOP Calls On Elected Officials to Reject Discriminatory Policies 

Today the Supreme Court narrowly ruled in a 5–4 decision to allow the enforcement of SB4, the state’s new law targeting migrant communities. Texas Organizing Project (TOP) vehemently condemns the ruling as a direct attack on communities of color and a flagrant disregard for federal authority over immigration laws. TOP Co-Executive Director Michelle Tremillo and TOP Immigration Lead Organizer Damaris Gonzalez issued the following statements:

Michelle Tremillo shared, “This jeopardizing of human lives must stop. Today’s reckless Supreme Court ruling emboldens racial profiling, attacks personal freedoms, and directly threatens the wellbeing of our state’s immigrant families. As TOP has made clear before, SB4 is white supremacy in action. This disgusting law was only designed to sow division and fear in Texas communities, not enhance public safety. TOP continues our fight for justice and the rights of ALL people across Texas.”  

Damaris Gonzalez added, “It cannot be overstated how this gutless move from the Supreme Court further codifies discrimination and endangers lives in our state. This is the future that today’s increasingly white nationalist Texas GOP wants. We’re not cowering in the face of their extremism, though. TOP and our strategic statement partners remain dead set on utilizing every organizing and legal tool at our disposal to combat and put a stop to SB4. TOP also urges local elected and law enforcement officials to reject implementation of this racist law, while ensuring that the fundamental rights of EVERY Texan is protected — no matter our race, preferred language, or nation of origin.”

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About Texas Organizing Project:

TOP organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend 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.

TOP PAC continues to move the needle of progressive political power in Texas, fighting off right-wing hate and disinformation

The following statement is from Brianna Brown, Co-Executive Director of Texas Organizing Project (TOP), reflecting on TOP PAC’s efforts in the 2024 Texas Democratic Primary:

“TOP PAC launched an intensive candidate screening process at the end of 2023 with the goal of endorsing primary candidates who are unwavering in their commitment to enshrining our rights, protecting our freedoms, and fighting far-right MAGA extremism ― all while transforming our state into a place where Black and Latino Texans can thrive. The result was a slate of 13 endorsed leaders ready to champion progressive policies that will benefit ALL communities across our state.

“These past four weeks, TOP PAC’s get-out-the-vote campaign knocked on 128,567 doors in Bexar, Dallas, and Harris counties, informing working Texans not only about our endorsed candidates, but about issues that affect their daily lives ― ranging from housing and healthcare, to immigration reform, legal system reform, and public education. A coalition consisting of TOP PAC, Working Families Party, Working People’s PAC (Gulf Coast AFL-CIO), Unemployed Workers United, and Texas Justice & Public Safety PAC collectively knocked on more than 160,000 doors in Harris County over the course of the primary.

“TOP PAC’s comprehensive voter engagement work is critical in connecting everyday issues to the ballot box and, ultimately, the officeholders who we elect and work to hold accountable. We saw this in real-time Tuesday, as TOP PAC’s GOTV program helped unseat Harris County DA Kim Ogg, an incumbent who strayed from implementing reforms, and who was using her elected office to launch political attacks on county officials. 

“This on-the-ground consistent voter engagement work is such an important part of our mission to create a true Texas that reflects our values and uplifts each and every person ― regardless of age, race, gender, income, or faith.

Dr. Doshie Piper, TOP Board President, added:

“We understand that there is no way to establish progressive power in our state — to actually create a Texas that works for everyone — without meaningful and consistent voter engagement in Black and Latino neighborhoods.

“Each and every election cycle, TOP PAC works to expand and strengthen the progressive infrastructure in our communities, which allows us to connect with these voters and mobilize them around issues that matter deeply to them. This is how we change the political landscape in our state and put more power into the hands of Black and Latino Texans. This is how we win the change all Texans deserve.”

TOP PAC congratulates the following endorsed candidates in advancing or winning their Democratic primary races:

Harris County

Sean Teare for Harris County District Attorney (Win)
Christian Menefee for Harris County Attorney (Win)
Sheila Jackson Lee for Congress, TX-18 (Win)
Molly Cook for Texas Senate, Dist. 15 (Runoff)
Lauren Ashley Simmons for Texas State Representative, Dist. 146 (Runoff)

Bexar County

Kristian Carranza for Texas State Representative, Dist. 118 (Win)
Rebeca Clay-Flores for Bexar County Commissioner, Pct. 1 (Runoff)

Dallas County

Cassandra Hernandez for Texas State Representative, Dist. 115 (Win)

Travis County

José Garza for Travis County District Attorney (Win)

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About Texas Organizing Project (TOP) PAC:
TOP PAC runs the largest, independent get-out-the-vote political field programs in Texas, focusing on expanding the electorate of color, with an emphasis on turning out Black and Latino voters. To date, TOP PAC has mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters across the state with the aim of building a reflective democracy — one that looks like us and shares our values. Learn more at toppac.org.

This press release was sent out March 6, 2024.

TOP PAC Powers Harris County DA Candidate Sean Teare to Victory in Democratic Primary

The following statement is from Brianna Brown, Co-Executive Director of Texas Organizing Project (TOP), in response to TOP PAC’s efforts to help Sean Teare defeat incumbent Harris County DA Kim Ogg in the 2024 Texas Democratic Primary:

“Tonight, Sean Teare’s win in the Democratic primary for Harris County District Attorney is a huge victory, and a significant milestone in our ongoing mission to reimagine our legal system, one district attorney at a time. Teare’s win also underscores that progressive legal reform policies are popular, and respect the dignity and advance the prosperity of all Harris County residents – regardless of race, class, or gender, or ZIP Code. Through our comprehensive get-out-the-vote (GOTV) program, TOP knocked on more than 94,000 doors across Harris County, informing voters of Sean Teare and the impacts that this electoral race has on everyday working families.”

Brown continued, “TOP’s overall commitment to electing reform-minded district attorneys is driven by an understanding of the pivotal role they play in our legal system — from making charging decisions to setting bail recommendations, and from prosecuting cases to recommending sentences. The power district attorneys hold can either perpetuate a cycle of incarceration, or pivot toward a more restorative, equitable legal framework that truly serves the community.”

Laquita Garcia, TOP’s Right2Justice Policy Coordinator, echoed TOP’s strategy and the importance of accountability post-election:

“With Sean Teare’s advancing, TOP has once again proved the thesis of our two-pronged strategy to transform Texas: mobilizing people power and wielding political power. By focusing our large-scale get-out-the-vote programs on increasing the participation of Black and Latino voters, we’re not just electing individuals; we’re ensuring that the voices of those most affected by the legal system are heard loud and clear.”

Garcia continued “Our work, however, doesn’t stop here. The real work begins the day after the election in November. We remain steadfast in our commitment to holding elected DAs accountable, ensuring that they stay true to their promises of reform and justice for all communities. This victory is a step forward in our broader mission to dismantle systemic barriers and forge a path toward a more just and equitable society.”

TOP will continue to fight for equitable justice reforms that prioritize the safety and dignity of all residents, demonstrating the power of community-led advocacy in shaping a more inclusive and just society.

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About Texas Organizing Project (TOP) PAC:

TOP PAC runs the largest, independent get-out-the-vote political field programs in Texas, focusing on expanding the electorate of color, with an emphasis on turning out Black and Latino voters. To date, TOP PAC has mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters across the state with the aim of building a reflective democracy — one that looks like us and shares our values. Learn more at toppac.org.

TOP: “By embracing Trump,​ Gov. Abbott is embracing​ white nationalism”

The following statement is from Brianna Brown, Texas Organizing Project (TOP) Co-Executive Director, condemning Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s endorsement of Donald Trump for U.S. president in 2024:

“Leave it to the “Donald Trump of Texas” to endorse the coup-plotting, twice-impeached racist who’s racked up over 90 felony counts in four criminal cases.

“By embracing Trump, Gov. Abbott is embracing white nationalism, full stop.

“Texans of every race, age, gender, and faith deserve leadership and an inclusive, forward-thinking vision coming from the Governor’s Mansion, not the codification of hate and lies. You don’t have to look further than right here in our state to see the implementation of this destructive agenda, as Abbott is on the verge of signing into law SB4 — the most egregious anti-immigrant legislation our state has seen.”

“TOP will not hesitate to call out ANY public official who supports Trump and the corruption, incompetence, and cruelty that MAGA represents. Just as in 2016 and 2020, TOP PAC will engage with and mobilize Texans en masse in our physical and digital streets in 2024 to ensure the book on this authoritarian-in-the-making stays closed.”

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About Texas Organizing Project:

TOP organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend 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.

TOP PAC moves progressive power forward in Houston municipal election

The following statement is from Brianna Brown, Co-Executive Director of Texas Organizing Project (TOP), in response to the group’s success in Houston’s municipal elections:

“Houston voters made clear Tuesday they are hungry for effective progressive leadership at City Hall. We see evidence of this in the decisive re-election win of former TOP organizer and current District B progressive champion Tarsha Jackson, as well as the strong electoral showings of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Dr. Letitia Plummer — all Black progressive women eager to continue to serve the people of Houston.

“Over the span of 10 weeks, TOP PAC’s voter engagement program under our BlackTOP banner made more than 69,000 door knocks across Houston — reaching out to predominantly Black households that for too long have been ignored by traditional political campaigns. BlackTOP was built on the premise that the future of Texas rests in organizing Black folks across the state and getting US to the polls.

We know the only path to progressive power in our cities and state is through real engagement with Black communities. Texas is home to the greatest number of Black Americans in the U.S., with Harris County — the largest county in Texas and third-largest county in the nation — having the second-largest Black population of all counties.

“Coupled with a targeted Latino voter outreach strategy this election, and by leading with issues that directly impact our everyday lives and taking no community member for granted, TOP PAC is building progressive power on the ground in our neighborhoods to move ALL Houstonians forward — regardless of race, age, gender, or where they call home.”

Dr. Doshie Piper, TOP board president, added: “As voters and community members, WE have the power to elect leaders committed to progress and a future where every Texan can thrive. The candidates we vote for at the local level shape our everyday lives and those of our families.

“Understanding how much is on the line for Houstonians this election — on every issue from housing affordability, to healthcare access, to legal reform, migrants’ rights, voting rights, environmental rights, and more — TOP PAC is on the streets of working Black and Latino neighborhoods pushing for the political and policy shifts our communities deserve. 

“We are ecstatic about Tarsha Jackson’s dominating victory and Houston’s Proposition B passing. We now look forward to continuing to champion Sheila Jackson Lee and Dr. Letitia Plummer in their respective runoffs.”

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About Texas Organizing Project (TOP) PAC:

TOP PAC runs the largest, independent get-out-the-vote political field programs in Texas, focusing on expanding the electorate of color, with an emphasis on turning out Black and Latino voters. To date, TOP PAC has mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters across the state with the aim of building a reflective democracy — one that looks like us and shares our values. Learn more at toppac.org.

TOP reflects on and celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day

The following is a statement from Brianna Brown, Co-Executive Director of Texas Organizing Project (TOP), on the organization recognizing Indigenous Peoples’ Day this year:

“Today, TOP joins in lifting up the past, present, and futures of Indigenous peoples in not just the United States, but around the world.

“As an organization committed to ending systemic oppression in our country as a result of racial capitalism, TOP recognizes the land we inhabit is fraught with violent stories of Indigenous suffering and resistance against the genocidal tool of colonization.

“Injustices faced by Indigenous communities, both then and now, are a stark reminder of the institutional racism embedded in the U.S. – stemming from instruments of white supremacy, from chattel slavery to our current carceral system.  

“TOP now practices land acknowledgments in our work because the land reflects the struggles, the strength, and the stories of the people that continue to shape it. As TOP transforms and unequivocally shifts toward becoming a pro-Black organization, we understand racial justice intersects with the fight for Indigenous rights, immigrants’ rights, and economic justice.

“Through building power across BIPOC communities, we are collectively lifting each other up, learning from our mutual experiences, and fighting for liberation of us all – no matter the color of our skin, the language we speak, or where we call home.”

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About Texas Organizing Project:

TOP organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend 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.

TOP reflects as National Hispanic Heritage Month starts

The following is a statement from Michelle Tremillo, Texas Organizing Project (TOP) Co-Executive Director, on the organization’s observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month this year:

“This month and every month, TOP celebrates the lives, contributions, and sacrifices of those across our diverse Latino communities whose resilience and tenacity has shaped the United States and our society for generations.

“It is the vibrancy of our Latinidad – inclusive of and strengthened by our Afro-Latino and Indigenous brothers and sisters – that strikes fear into the hearts of not just far-right extremists, but corporate bosses who for centuries have wielded racial capitalism to divide us.

“As an organization committed to racial and economic justice, we’re not playing their colonial game entrenched in anti-Blackness and colorism; we’re flipping the script because we know the fates of Black and Latino Americans are inextricably linked.

“Attaining our collective liberation will require an unshakeable solidarity that spans race, gender, age, background, language, and economic status – a solidarity ingrained in TOP’s mission and demonstrated every day in the communities we organize.

“This is how we build our movement – by affirming that we are stronger together. This is how we create the Texas of our dreams where every person can thrive, a Texas for all.”

Julie Vazquez, TOP board member from Dallas County, added:

“GOP “leaders” like Gov. Greg Abbott and Donald Trump try to marginalize us at every turn, because they know the sheer power of our communities and how we are a threat to the status quo.

“Latinos are now more than 63 million strong nationwide, with 12 million of us residing in Texas alone, officially making up the biggest share of our state’s population as of this year.

“It is on us to bring our best selves to this fight for the future Black, Latino, and all Texans deserve; a future where healthcare is more accessible, housing is more affordable, public education is more supported, and our legal system is more just. TOP remains unwavering in showing up to this fight and doing the gritty on-the-ground organizing work needed to win.”

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About Texas Organizing Project:

TOP organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend 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.

TOP Commemorates Labor Day

The following is a statement from Trent Breitung, Staff Union President of Texas Organizing Project (TOP), on the organization’s observance of Labor Day this year:

“Like clockwork, Texas Republican electeds — including of course Gov. Greg Abbott — will take to social media today to wish their constituents a happy Labor Day, and all while supporting a law they designed to block local governments from enacting measures such as greater labor protections for everyday Texans.

“The cognitive dissonance is asinine, but completely on-brand for politicians who are terrified of working Texans, especially Black and Latino Texans, having access to such “outlandish perks,” like water breaks on the job, paid sick leave, and safeguards against eviction.

“Plain and simple, it’s OUR labor that drives this state forward each and every day — and no matter our age, race, place, gender, who you love, or who you pray to, we as Texans know our worth, and we are worth so much more than what these electeds who are undercutting workers’ rights would have us believe.

“A unionized workplace, TOP prides itself in showing solidarity with Black and Latino labor allies across the state and nation, as we collectively fight egregious policies attacking our communities and strive to ensure an equitable, dignified work environment for every person who calls this country home.”

Perla Garcia, TOP board member from Harris County, added:

“Despite what our governor and his GOP cronies tell us, Texans want legislation that will uplift the humanity of workers and allow them to earn a living wage, so that they can better provide for their families. We’re ready for it; we’re fighting for it.

“Workers’ rights — regardless of our nationality, faith, or color of our skin — are human rights, and under a true Texas For All that we one day will reach, these rights will be expanded and fully enshrined.”

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About Texas Organizing Project:

TOP organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris, Bexar, and Fort Bend 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.