news & announcements

Developing leaders to change the world

From our blog: We are proud to see our activists whose skills we have developed make great strides in their careers to transform policy for a healthier, more just world.

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Legislative efforts to curtail local environmental rules faltered

Austin American-Statesman: Five months ago, conservative lawmakers had high hopes of loosening environmental regulations, especially those enacted by progressive-minded cities like Austin. But as the Legislature wrapped up its biennial confab on Monday, the committee room floors were littered with conservative-minded bills that never made it anywhere.

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What happened to the battery recycling bill??

From our blog: The battery bill made a big splash at the State Capitol, and we secured 10 co-authors from both parties, including both very conservative Republicans and some very progressive Democrats.

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Austin’s plastic bag ban can stay: Measure dies in Texas Legislature, along with other local pre-emption bills

Austin Business Journal: Environmentalists are declaring victory at the Texas Capitol in the fight to give cities the right to ban single-use plastic bags at stores, one of the few victories this legislative session for local governments in their fight against state pre-emption.

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Victory: Bad bag bill defeated

From our blog: For the first time ever, a statewide coalition of advocates proactively introduced a bill to protect local rights to ban bags: HB 3482. The bill passed out of its committee with a “yes” vote from one of the House’s most conservative Republicans, and then passed out of the Calendars Committee and was scheduled for a floor vote!

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Working on the Railroad Commission

Fort Worth Weekly: What would happen to the regulatory agency over the world’s sixth-largest oil-and-gas economy when it went in for an overhaul? Or would it just get a new license to operate?

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Report: Texas Tops Nation for Safe Drinking Water Violations

Public News Service: Researchers for the Natural Resources Defense Council looked at Environmental Protection Agency data from 2015 and found almost 14,000 violations in more than 5,000 water systems that together, serve 7 million Texans. The report also found that no penalties were assessed for 8-in-10 of those violations.

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Legislative measure would require manufacturers to take back batteries, helping to keep them out of landfills

Denton Record-Chronicle: There comes a point in every person’s life when the TV remote control batteries need to be changed.

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How grassroots groups are mobilizing Texans on top issues

Texas Tribune: Five community organizers tell us how they rally people around issues.

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Plastic bag ban protection wins hearing at Texas Capitol

In the pre-dawn darkness Tuesday, friends Lila Mankad and Caoilin Krathaus, both 11-years-old, piled into a car in Houston with each of their fathers to deliver a message to lawmakers in Austin. The two kids, who started an organization called Bag-free Bayous, arrived at the Capitol to discourage lawmakers from striking down bag bans in about a dozen cities around Texas.

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