Austin League to host LWV-Texas Convention in April

The 2014 State Convention will be held at the Doubletree Inn in Austin this year. For more information and to register, click here.

Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise on Lady Bird Lake — On Friday evening, April 25, convention attendees are invited to spend an evening touring Austin from Lady Bird Lake. Evening includes dinner.  To register, click here.

New Voter Registration Certificates

Most Travis County voters have now received their new (orange) voter registration cards. This card now includes the voter’s FORMER name (if the voter included it when s/he registered to vote) in addition to their CURRENT name. This change was mandated by the photo ID law passed by the State Legislature in 2011. If you do not wish to have your former name on your voter card, there are three ways to change it:
1.  Complete a name change online at https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/sos/SOSACManager.
2.  Make the change on the back of your orange certificate and return it to Travis County Voter Registrar, P.O. Box 149327, Austin, TX 78714-9327.
3.  Submit a corrected voter registration application with the “change” box selected in person at any tax office location or by mail at Travis County Voter Registrar, P.O. Box 149327, Austin, TX 78714-9327.
For assistance by phone, contact the Voter Registrar at (512) 854-9473

Community Conversations on Education

We are convening a wide variety of residents to come together to share and learn how our community could be more effective in conveying and delivering the needs of its students.  Our next conversation is scheduled for October 19th. [Read more…]

Voters Service Group

Over the past several months, our group has registered over 100 new voters and held an education forum on Constitutional Amendment #6 on the November 5 ballot.

We will be holding a series in February to educate any would-be Austin City Council candidate. We expect that many people will decide that a run for city council is now within reach since Austin has changed from at-large to ten single member districts. Our series of forums will provide information about what a council member does, as well as information about filing deadlines, costs, and rules. Information about when and where will be forthcoming, but we have reserved every Saturday in February and plan to hold a session on each of those days.

Health Care Working Group

Meets regularly to review local, state, and national issues that involve health care and public policy.

The League published two documents in 2003 and 2006 that described the health care and mental health care resources in the ATC community.   The reports also covered gaps and barriers in service.  The health care committee is conducting a “listening tour” to assess progress since those reports were published. We are studying innovations in health care delivery, and gaps and barriers to services that continue to need work.  Position statements having to do with health care and mental health services were last written in 2008.  Based on the committee’s research, those position statements will be updated for our League to support and use in advocacy work.

On October 10th, Christie Garbe, VP for Planning and Communications in Central Health (and League member), presented an overview of Central Health and the Community Care Collaborative. She explained the intricacies of funding health care services and opportunities emerging because of changes in funding and relationships between Central Health, Seton, ATCIC, other community providers, and, in the near future, the teaching hospital/medical school.

On October 24th, Dawn Handley and David Evans, the top two officials of Austin-Travis County Integral Care, spoke to the committee about current mental health services, how ATCIC will integrate with Central Health and the Community Care Collaborative, the Medicaid 1115 Waiver, and gaps and access problems.  Significant improvements and progress in mental health care has been made since the issue was researched by the League several years ago.  There are still issues that need work, but system innovations made possible with the 1115 Waiver will address some them.

The cost of medical care across the nation is no longer sustainable.  Without the complementary efforts of public health, we will never be able to drive down medical costs.  There will be a general meeting in February (open to the public) to hear organizational leaders discuss the extraordinary changes our community health care system is undergoing. Phil Huang, Travis County Medical Authority, will also be there to round out the presentation with a discussion of public health and health promotion.

The Affordable Care Act

LWV-TX  has released a publication on the Affordable Care Act entitled:
The Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Education Working Group

The education working group formed after the third community conversation about public education that the League sponsored. Our goal is to respond to the community conversation findings with advocacy efforts. We have joined forces with the E3 Alliance in their campaign to increase school attendance by posting yard signs in areas of Austin where they were most needed. We have also participated in conversations sponsored by the Texas Civil Rights Project, where we are exploring the issue of equity in Austin Public Schools. This topic is still under study.

We have also worked with AISD and PTA in numerous efforts to engage Austinites in public education policies.

Contact: Nancy Oelklaus.