Student Day at the Legislature finally arrived! I was so honored to have the girls ask me to join them on their Planning Committee about 3 weeks ago. While I feel I learned more from them than they gained from me, I hope they still enjoyed having me! Kavita, Brigid, and Holly kicked ass at recruiting over 50 UT students (last year, there were SEVEN). Brigid is a goddess for scheduling our meetings.
Holly, Brigid, me, Haley, and Kavita
Dean Zayas from UT's School of Social Work speaking
Shante', Haley, and me
The first meeting Haley and I went to was with Leslie Guthrie, the Executive Director of the Governor's Commission for Women. A few Masters' students came in with us and talked about abstinence-plus education, while the rest of us spoke about the Women's Health Program. Wow, was Miss. Guthrie receptive to us. She agreed that more sex education is needed in public schools, and seemed astounded by some of the statistics we gave her. Before we left, she agreed to put some of the facts from the sheet Haley and I made on their Facebook. She also told me to send her statistics on teenage pregnancy on Texas. (Did you know that Texas has the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in America? Texas leads the nation in repeat teenage pregnancies.) Basically, it was a great way to start the day.
The last meeting I went to was with Haley and Robbie. We met with Senator Jane Nelson's aid, Travis. He also, was surprisingly receptive. Senator Nelson is strongly in favor of preventative cancer measures, yet her aid was surprised when we told him that Texas has the third highest cervical cancer rate in the nation. (FACT SHEETS ARE OBVIOUSLY THE BEST IDEA EVER WHEN YOU ARE LOBBYING.)
It was a great experience, and you know you will see a lot of us back at the capital!
Haley and I made signs after our Social Work Council meeting last night.
Here is some of the rally- it is definitely not a picture from the peak time of people protesting.
Holly and me with my boring sign. I was advised not to use profanity while representing the School of Social Work by a certain SWC President. (Don't worry, there is another nationwide women's rally on April 28.)
First of all, I don't know why but I was surprised that there were more than 12 people at the Seeing Red rally. It was awesome! The most surprising part of this rally to me is the extreme lack of young adults. What's that about? (Not that I'm not stoked about second wave feminists protesting at the capital, I mean, FUCK YEAH.) But these people already protested this bullshit. Come with me next week to the next Seeing Red rally! (The last one is the following week [after Spring Break]).
Planned Parenthood Bus Tour
I love this picture of Liz and Megan.
Liz and me
VRJ doing work.
Having fun signing people up for VRJ, signing petitions, and handing out free t-shirts!
One of my twit pics #dontmesswithtxwomen
Me in front of the WHP Planned Parenthood bus.
This event was great for so many reasons. First of all, we were spreading the word about the defunding of the Texas Women's Health Program. I find out for sure on Thursday, but it looks like we got about 200 petitions in just one hours. Second, people were stoked about our new student org Voices for Reproductive Justice! I think we had about 50 people sign up for our mailing list. I also met a lot of great people from Planned Parenthood. One even asked me to be her intern after the work she has seen me doing! Wow, that felt awesome. Too bad SSW doesn't allow you to set up your own internships, womp womp. The last awesome thing about the bus tour is I was asked to do an interview for The Texas Independent and a live interview with Fox 7! Watch my live TV interview.
Aw, my boyfriend took a picture when he saw me on TV.
Look for more links from these rallies in my blog at the end of the week. I'm sure there will be more to share!
Additional Links You May Find Interesting
Please "Like" the Voices for Reproductive Justice Facebook page!
Tell Governor Perry: Don't Mess with Texas Women. Sign the petition!
Check out Seeing Red Rally on March 13 on The Capitol (12pm-2pm).
Planned Parenthood's Don't Mess with Texas Women bus tour March 13 on The Drag (3:30pm-4:30pm).
Follow me on twitter!