National Artists of Texas Fellowship

Culture is the ecosystem in which we live our everyday lives, making it the most valuable resource we have in changing the hearts and minds of voters across Texas. Culture goes beyond politics. Artists have an unparalleled ability to connect with people going beyond traditional means of communication. We believe it is critical to infuse joy, beauty, and fun into movement work. That is the spirit in which our National Artists of Texas Fellowship is crafted from. Since 2020, we have onboarded 15 talented, young Texans who have lended their skills in the visual arts to engage and inspire a new generation of Texas voters. As we get through the November 2022 election, we have created a new iteration of this program bringing back previous fellows as a council to use the skills learned in the fellowship and take ownership of respective issue areas to support the wider MOVE Texas.

National Artists of Texas Council 2022

Genesis Victoria Hernandez

Get Out The Vote

Christina Ciaburri

Climate Justice

Claire Eby

Civic Education

Check out all the artists’ work below!

Artwork from Spring 2022 Artist Fellows

Artwork from Spring 2021 Artist Fellows

Artwork from Spring 2021 Artist Fellows

Gonzales Gallery Series IV: Arts & Activism

In 2020, the San Antonio Report and MOVE Texas teamed up to present a Virtual Gonzales Gallery featuring the inaugural National Artist of Texas fellows. Here’s some of the work featured in the virtual gallery from artists Adraint Bereal, Bithia Dantoumda, Sierra Devuyst, Lindsey Lee, and Ana Ruiz.

 

Viral Voting: Why Texas Is Forcing Residents to Risk Infection at the Polls During the Pandemic

Viral Voting: Why Texas Is Forcing Residents to Risk Infection at the Polls During the Pandemic

The clock is running down for local and state leaders to ensure voters won’t be risking their lives this election season.

Late last Friday, the Republican-controlled Texas Supreme Court handed state Attorney General Ken Paxton a victory when it temporarily blocked an expansion of voting by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.

Will Texans Be Able to Vote by Mail?

Will Texans Be Able to Vote by Mail?

Can I vote by mail in the runoff election in July?

Maybe. In a typical election, Texans can qualify for a mail-in ballot if they are 65 or older, out of the country on Election Day, in jail but eligible to vote, or disabled. An Aprillawsuit from the Texas Democratic Party, League of Women Voters, Workers Defense Action Fund, and Move Texas Action Fund argued that the state’s election code on mail-in voting applies to every voter in the state under the disability qualification.”

 IN RESPONSE TO THE SAN MARCOS POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION’S STATEMENT ON CITE & RELEASE, COMMUNITY LEADERS HAVE RELEASED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT:

“Earlier this month, the San Marcos Police Officers Association sent a letter to San Marcos city council threatening to end the practice of issuing verbal warnings in all instances when the proposed Cite & Release Ordinance passes. The San Marcos Police Officers Association is attempting to bully San Marcos City Council into voting against a policy that has been proven to positively impact life outcomes for young people across the United States by keeping low-level offenders out of the Hays County Jail.

By threatening to “enter everyone into the Criminal Justice System” (per the words of the association’s President, Jesse Saavedra,) if officer discretion is limited by a cite and release ordinance, the San Marcos Police Officers Association is attempting to intimidate the residents they were sworn to protect. We hope such a punitive stance, and the suggestion that officers will stop all verbal warning based street-level diversion if this policy passes, is rejected by the Current Interim Police Chief Bob Klett. Agreement with such an unprecedented position is gravely concerning as it regards the safety of San Marcos residents against unnecessary criminalization.

By keeping San Marcos residents out of jail for certain misdemeanor offenses, they are able to show up for work, attend class, and be home with their families. We are deeply disappointed by the stance that the San Marcos Police Officers Association has taken in the 11th hour on an ordinance that has been discussed by city council and community advocates for over a year. We will not allow the San Marcos Police Department to threaten our community and are deeply concerned with the actions of those sworn to protect the city of San Marcos.” 

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MOVE Texas is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, grassroots organization building power in underrepresented youth communities through civic education, leadership development, and issue advocacy. 

Mano Amiga is a grassroots outfit based in Hays County, Texas, championing racial justice and a serious rehaul to the criminal legal system.

Texas Rising is a project of the Texas Freedom Network, builds the power of a rising generation of young Texans, with an emphasis on communities of color, by advocating for change in the cities and towns where they live, and at the ballot box.

Texas Tribune: Texas judge will issue order that could greatly expand mail-in voting

Texas judge will issue order that could greatly expand mail-in voting

A state district judge said Wednesday that he will issue a temporary injunction expanding who can qualify for an absentee ballot for the upcoming elections. The decision faces certain appeal as Democrats and Republicans clash over voter access.

KUT: Texas’ Ban On Online Voter Registration Complicates Efforts To Turn Out Young People In November

Texas’ Ban On Online Voter Registration Complicates Efforts To Turn Out Young People In November

“Voter groups are scrambling to figure out how to continue registering young people during the COVID-19 pandemic, since Texas is among a minority of states that don’t allow online voter registration.”

Coronavirus outbreak rekindles fight over San Antonio’s paid sick leave ordinance

Coronavirus outbreak rekindles fight over San Antonio’s paid sick leave ordinance

The spread of the novel coronavirus has given new fuel to the debate over whether San Antonio employers should be required by law to give their workers paid time off when they’re sick.

Texas Youth Power Alliance Releases Open Letter To 2020 Presidential Campaigns

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

To: Vice President Joe Biden; Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard; Senator Amy Klobuchar; Senator Bernie Sanders; Tom Steyer; and, Senator Elizabeth Warren

From: MOVE Texas Action Fund, Texas Rising Action, Jolt Initiative, Texas Youth Rise

Re: Young People Made Texas a Battleground State

Dear 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates,

On behalf of the millions of young people who call the Lone Star State home: Welcome to Texas, the nation’s largest battleground state. We’ve noticed a disconcerting trend across all of your campaigns and want to ask a simple question: Where have you been?

A poll released this morning from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University finds that 66% of Millennial and Gen Z Texans polled, including 75% of Latinx voters, have not heard from a campaign or political party. With early voting starting today, that is more than two-thirds of young voters who have not been contacted, engaged, nor mobilized. How can you expect to be competitive in a state where you do not invest resources in the one in three voters under the age of 30?

Collectively, our organizations have registered tens of thousands of young Texans despite some of the most restrictive voter suppression tactics in the country. We do so because empowering young voters is critical, not just to win elections, but to strengthen our democracy. Do not take our votes for granted.

Together, we are building a new generation of Texas voters who are fundamentally changing the electorate of this state and this country. 43% of Texans are under the age of 30 years old, and 63% of us are people of color: We are young, black, brown, and we are voting. 

Since 2016, more than a million voters under the age of 25 have been added to the Texas voter rolls and will be voting for the first time this year. Voting becomes a habit when fostered and invested in by non-profits, political parties, and yes, candidates. You are doing a disservice to your candidacies by not putting resources behind getting out the youth vote. More importantly, you are showing a contemptuous disregard for the power of our voices. The young people of Texas deserve better.

Youth voter turnout in Texas has tripled between the last two midterms, an increase that has changed the political narrative in Texas. Our organizations are building upon that dramatic increase to build political power for the young people who made this state a battleground. Texas is one of the youngest states in the country, a state rich with diversity, culture, and 262 Democratic delegates up for grabs. You need to do more to earn every one of them.

In the coming weeks before Super Tuesday, we hope to see these numbers change. We hope to see you and your campaigns meaningfully engage with young voters about the issues facing our generation — climate change, criminal justice reform, healthcare, student loan debt, immigration justice — and work intentionally to mobilize our communities.

For democracy, 

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