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Taking care of each other makes us all stronger

Dear friend,

I know this is a scary time. I barely slept last night. I am anxious about the health of my own family — especially my 75-year-old dad who has a history of respiratory problems — and fearful for our larger community, especially Texas families who lack insurance, consistent housing or a steady living wage, and those who are out of work entirely. I suspect that our way of life will be dramatically altered for weeks to come, if not longer. But I hope that in this challenging time, we rise and discover more inclusive models of cooperation that will benefit generations to come.

In these moments of crisis, I am reminded that our fight for justice is long with many twists in the road — and the darkest moments are just before the dawn. I know that we can’t achieve our vision of a better Texas unless we take care of each other — starting with the families who are most vulnerable to the health and economic gut-punch threatening us now. Those of us who fight to build a society that cares for each other have always known: a democracy for the most vulnerable among us is a more resilient democracy for everyone.

So as we face weeks of uncertainty, I want to share with you some actions that we are taking at the Texas Civil Rights Project to protect our staff and clients while still continuing our daily work to protect our democracy, fight for asylum seekers at our border, and end the unjust practices that funnel black and brown people into the criminal system.

First, we remain steadfastly committed to holding politicians and people in power accountable and that will not change. However, we know that this crisis raises a host of questions about our work. It will, for instance, have long-standing implications for the right to vote, the upcoming run-off elections, our efforts to expand paid sick time in Texas, and for the thousands of asylum seekers who are waiting in dangerous conditions at the border as they await their opportunity to be heard in court. Our team is working around the clock to pivot as needed to effectively advocate for all of the communities that we work with.

We are also taking care of our staff and clients. Effective today, our offices in Austin, Alamo, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio will be closed until further notice. We will continue operations with our team working remotely. I have been working closely with our Finance and Operations team to ensure that our staff has additional resources and the tools they need to continue their work with as little disruption as possible.

We also made the difficult decision to cancel or postpone all of our public events until further notice. In the meantime, our staff will think of creative and impactful ways to keep you engaged and informed about all of our campaigns, projects, and litigation.

I am confident that these emergency, but necessary, steps will help keep our staff, their families, our partners, and clients safe. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at info@texascivilrightsproject.org. Also, we will be updating our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts with news, so please follow me there for more frequent updates.

Sending you a virtual hug, Mimi Marziani President of the Texas Civil Rights Project

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