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Ethics in Action – Voices Heard at the Capitol

April 29th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Throughout the 81st legislative session the CLC has welcomed many Texas Baptists to Austin as they have sought to have their voice heard in the capitol. As the final weeks of the session are upon us we would like to take this opportunity to share a few stories of those who have felt called to speak out.

Hispanic Education Initiative – On Tuesday, April 21, several members of the BGCT Hispanic Education Advisory Council came to Austin to advocate for adult basic education and literacy programs. Led by Gus Reyes and Steve Vernon the group had a very successful and effective visit to our capitol. The complete list of participants can be found here. The Hispanic pastors and other leaders met with all of the legislators and/or their staff who serve on House Public Education, Technology, Economic Development and Workforce, and Calendars committees. They also met with all of the Texas State Senators and/or their staff. Several bills critical to adult literacy and career and technology education are moving through the legislative process and are on the edge of not making it through in time before the legislative adjourns. The group was successful in moving these bills forward and the work they did at the capitol will most defiantly bear much fruit.

Susan Ater, BGCT Camp Specialist and Disaster Response Coordinator, and Danny Dowdy, Director, Highland Lakes Baptist Encampment testified at a hearing of the House Health and Human Services Committee in support of HB 2740 by Rep. Bolton (D-Austin).

Scott Talbert, pastor McDade, testified in front of the House Licensing and Administrative Procedures committee in opposition to gambling expansion.

Tomi Grover, Director, Local Transformational Missions, submitted written testimony before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee in support of SB 89 by Sen. Van De Putte (D-San Antonio).

Kim Kotrla – Assistant Professor, Baylor School of Social Work, also provided written testimony in support of SB 89.

Weston Ware – Legislative Director, Texans Against Gambling and John Thielepape – Vice Chair, Texans Against Gambling Board of Directors both traveled to Austin to participate in an anti-gambling coalition meeting and strategy session.

Lester Merriweather, President, Literacy ConneXus, came to Austin for Adult Basic Education lobby day in support of increasing state funding of adult education and literacy programs in the state.

Charlie Johnson, Interim Pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Ft. Worth and Co-Chair, Coalition for Public Schools, has worked as an advocate for religious liberty and against our tax dollars going to support private religious education.

Gordon Atkinson, Pastor, Covenant Baptist Church, San Antonio, testified before an interim study committee about barriers to affordable health insurance and the injustice of our health care system.

Here is some helpful information about how to get involved by meeting with your representatives or writing a letter.
Advocacy tips (pdf)
How to write a letter to your legislator (pdf)

We value your input and suggestions.
Your comments and recommended resources are welcome in the comments box below.

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