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TO GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT

AND TEXAS LEGISLATORS,


The 85th legislative session marked a dark time in our states history, one ruled
by power and fear. Rather than work to enhance the health, safety, and education
of Texans, extremist legislators took aim at immigrants, people of color, women,
LGBTQ Texans, vulnerable children, and non-Christians by passing laws that
demonstrate a cruel disregard for our rights and our lives and are set to do so
once again in the upcoming special session.

During the 140 days of the regular legislative session, thousands of Texans traveled
from across the state to the Capitol to speak out against destructive policies. A child
begged you not to tear her family apart, only to see you pass a show me your papers
bill that encourages racial profiling and incites fear in undocumented communities
of color. A woman recounted the sorrow she felt when doctors discovered a life
threatening complication with her pregnancy, only for you to pass the most extreme
abortion restrictions since 2013, criminalizing the very procedure that would be safest
for her. A transgender student described the pain of being bullied, and you continued to
push a bill that makes the basic task of going to the restroom at school an occasion for
discrimination and harassment.

Whom do you claim to serve with these policies? We know it isnt Texans. According
to the annual Texas Lyceum poll, the majority of Texans do not want undocumented
immigrants to be deported. The Texas Association for Business and a coalition of
80 major Texas employers opposed any legislation targeting transgender peoples
access to public bathrooms. And registered voters in Texas overwhelmingly see
womens access to family planning and birth control as important and support state
funding for low-income women seeking those services. The discriminatory laws and
ideological agenda pushed by extremist legislators are not the will of the people.

Last month, a federal court confirmed that the state legislature gerrymandered
districts to deliberately limit the strength of minority voters, exacerbating the effects
of a discriminatory voter ID law. The result is a legislature that deliberately amplifies
the voices of a powerful few. Time and time again, you have chosen to prioritize
your own political gain over the rights and voices of Texans and the extremism of
your primary base over common sense and compassion.

Still, we refuse to allow the actions of this Legislature to define us or divide us. The
undersigned organizations and our millions of supporters across the state recognize
that an attack on any Texan is an attack on all Texans and we are one in the fight
against these hateful and dangerous policies. Together, our organizations are
committed to broadening and deepening our roots in the very communities
you are attacking, empowering new advocates to join the fight, knocking on
doors, and calling our elected officials to demand their attention every day from
now until the special legislative session and the next election. Our movements
will grow stronger and louder, and we will not stop until all Texans can live and
raise families in healthy, safe communities, with dignity and justice regardless
of gender, race, income, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious belief,
national origin or immigration status.

Due to your failure to support and protect the very people whom it is your duty to
represent, Texans will suffer for years to come. That is your legacy. But we will not
let it be the legacy of Texas.

Sincerely,