Here is the revised schedule for this last day of voting in the Texas House.
You can watch online.
or watch on digital cable: Channel 383 Time Warner Central Texas and channel 99 AT&T U-verse Austin.
Remember, even if you have already made contact, please do so again. And please share this issue with family and friends, your pediatrician, ob-gyn, midwife, doula, family doctor, local hospital, etc. Be sure to relay the urgency. You can make contact no matter where you live. We are all stakeholders in breastfeeding legislation. You can make more than one form of contact. Yes - it's ok to email and then call, too.
There's a lot of info here, so there are different colors for the different actions. Just scroll from color to color - from EMAILS to PHONE CALLS to VISITS.
There is a special event this morning at the Capitol to honor mothers. You can attend Senator Zaffirini's resolution - she has successfully attached an ammendment to another bill that may lead to the creation of a lactation suite in the Capitol. If you can attend and visit legislators before and/or after, that would be wonderful. Details are at the bottom with "VISITS."
Copy and paste the following email addresses into the "To" section of your email. If any bounce back, try sending them in a small group or individually.
Alma.Allen@house.state.tx.us, Roberto.Alonzo@house.state.tx.us, Carol.Alvarado@house.state.tx.us, Rafael.Anchia@house.state.tx.us, Charles.Anderson@house.state.tx.us, Trent.Ashby@house.state.tx.us, Jimmie.Aycock@house.state.tx.us, Cecil.Bell@house.state.tx.us, Dwayne.Bohac@house.state.tx.us, Dennis.Bonnen@house.state.tx.us, Greg.Bonnen@house.state.tx.us, Dan.Branch@house.state.tx.us, Cindy.Burkett@house.state.tx.us, Lon.Burnam@house.state.tx.us, Angie.Button@house.state.tx.us, email@example.com, Terry.Canales@house.state.tx.us, Giovanni.Capriglione@house.state.tx.us, Stefani.Carter@house.state.tx.us, Travis.Clardy@house.state.tx.us, Garnet.Coleman@house.state.tx.us, Nicole.Collier@house.state.tx.us, Byron.Cook@house.state.tx.us, Philip.Cortez@house.state.tx.us, Tom.Craddick@house.state.tx.us, Brandon.Creighton@house.state.tx.us, Myra.Crownover@house.state.tx.us, Tony.Dale@house.state.tx.us, Drew.Darby@house.state.tx.us, John.Davis@house.state.tx.us, Sarah.Davis@house.state.tx.us, Yvonne.Davis@house.state.tx.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, Dawnna.Dukes@house.state.tx.us, Harold.Dutton@house.state.tx.us, email@example.com, Gary.Elkins@house.state.tx.us, Pat.Fallon@house.state.tx.us, Joe.Farias@house.state.tx.us, Marsha.Farney@house.state.tx.us, Jessica.Farrar@house.state.tx.us, Allen.Fletcher@house.state.tx.us, Dan.Flynn@house.state.tx.us, James.Frank@house.state.tx.us, John.Frullo@house.state.tx.us, Charlie.Geren@house.state.tx.us, Helen.Giddings@house.state.tx.us, Craig.Goldman@house.state.tx.us, Larry.Gonzales@house.state.tx.us, Mary.Gonzalez@house.state.tx.us, Naomi.Gonzalez@house.state.tx.us, Lance.Gooden@house.state.tx.us, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ryan.Guillen@house.state.tx.us, Roland.Gutierrez@house.state.tx.us, Patricia.Harless@house.state.tx.us, District105.Harper-Brown@Then choose one of the following five sample emails below (in black) and copy and paste it into the body of your email. Please personalize it as much as you can take the time to do (but better sent generic than not sent at all - just change anything in ALL CAPS). As you personalize your email, consider the following:
- Begin by introducing yourself as a constituent, IF you are a Texas resident. Find your district number here. If you are writing on behalf of a group, please identify yourself here ("Member of Texas Breastfeeding Coalition", "Secretary of IBCLCs of Dallas", etc)
- Keep it short (two paragraphs).
- If you have been affected by discrimination for nursing in public or a lack of support for pumping at work, relate this very briefly.
- Ask that the legislator vote for HBs 1706 and 741.
- Ask for a written response on the Representative's position on the bill. That way a staffer has to do some research and the member has to sign a letter with a position on it.
- Make certain that letters are not antagonistic or accusatory.
- Please include with your signature (for Texans only - out of state supporters please just sign your name and phone number):
- Physical Address
- Zip Code
- Phone Number(s)
- Your organization if you are writing on behalf of a group ("Member of Texas Breastfeeding Coalition", "Secretary of IBCLCs of Dallas", etc)
Letters should begin with an introduction of your group. They should talk about health benefits of BF, how you support BF in your community, and HB 1706 and HB 741. Letters from a mom should be personalized from the mom's point of view, but these letters should be personalized from the organization's view. These letters can be more lengthy than the 2 paragraph max for letters from individuals (but still somewhat brief).
Please make clear that you represent constituents outside of just your zip code, if that is the case. Please give an idea of how many people are in your group, and/or how many people your group serves.
I hope this email finds you well. As a resident of (DISTRICT #, REGION, OR TEXAS AND MEMBER OF ORGANIZATION), I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and coauthored by Rep. Hernandez Luna. This uncontroversial bill passed unanimously out of the Business and Industry Committee. HB 741 is on the schedule for vote on Wednesday, 5/8. For many breastfeeding moms that plan on returning to work, the worries of continuing to breastfeed while away from their baby lead to many sleepless nights. While Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (Break Time for Nursing Mothers Provision) provides moms who are non-exempt employees protection to pump at work, it does not cover all working, breastfeeding moms. Texas House Bill 741 will extend current work-site pumping protections to salaried public employees so that they can contribute to the work force while still providing their babies with breastmilk. I would be grateful for a written response letting me know your position on HB 741.
HB 1706 (scheduled for 5/9) will strengthen Health and Safety Code 165.002, a law that asserts a mother's right to nurse her baby in public. This law is regularly violated, and the fear of a confrontation serves as a barrier to breastfeeding for many women. Please support both of these bills in the interest of child and maternal health.
Thank you for your time.
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
I hope this email finds you well. I am a mother who resides in the State of Texas (OR BE SPECIFIC ABOUT DISTRICT/REGION IF IT IS THIS LEGISLATOR'S) and I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and coauthored by Rep. Hernandez Luna. This uncontroversial bill passed unanimously out of the Business and Industry Committee. HB 741 is on the schedule for vote on Wednesday, 5/8. While hourly public employees have reasonable accommodations to express breastmilk at work, salaried public employees are currently exempt. Many moms stop breastfeeding after they return to work due to lack of employer support. Texas House Bill 741 will extend current work-site pumping protections to salaried public employees so that they can contribute to the work force while still providing their babies with breastmilk.
Breastmilk is the ideal food for newborns and infants. It gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses - such as diarrhea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide. Breastmilk is readily available and affordable, which helps to ensure that infants get adequate sustenance (World Health Organization, 2012). HB 1706 will address another barrier to breastfeeding, a fear of nursing in public. It is on the calendar for Thursday, 5/9. We have a law that asserts a mother's right, but does not protect it, and it is frequently violated. HB 1706 will strengthen the existing law. Please vote in favor of House Bills 741 and 1706. I would very much appreciate a written response explaining your position on House Bills 741 and 1706. I would welcome the chance to further discuss the importance of community support and breastfeeding!
Thank you for your time and support,
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
I'm a new mother in (CITY/DISTRICT/REGION, TX, AND ORGANIZATION IF ANY) and I breastfeed my baby and I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and coauthored by Rep. Hernandez Luna. This uncontroversial bill passed unanimously out of the Business and Industry Committee. HB 741 is on the schedule for a vote on Wednesday, 5/8. HB 741 will extend work site accommodations to salaried public employees, which are already afforded to hourly employees. Breastfeeding rates of initiation are around 80%, however, as women return to work and are unsupported in their efforts to express breastmilk for their babies, breastfeeding rates drop dramatically. This is a public health issue. Increased breastfeeding rates will save lives and a lot of money.
Another way in which mother's need support is to protect their right to breastfeed their babies in public. Health and Safety Code 165.002 is frequently violated. A law which is flouted with impunity weakens the rule of law. HB 1706 would strengthen existing law.
Please support these bills, and support Texas mothers and babies.
NAME and son/daughter NAME (NUMBER OF months)
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
I am a constituent of district (DISTRICT NUMBER AND ORGANIZATION IF ANY) and breastfed/am breastfeeding my child(ren). I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and coauthored by Rep. Hernandez Luna. This uncontroversial bill passed unanimously out of the Business and Industry Committee. HB 741 is on the schedule for vote on Wednesday, May 8th. HB 741 will support mothers who return to work in their efforts to continue to provide breastmilk for their babies by providing reasonable accommodations to salaried public employees that are already afforded hourly employees. While the great State of Texas already recognizes breastfeeding as the best method of infant nutrition, there are no laws in place to support an exempt public employee that wishes to continue breastfeeding after returning to work.
HB 1706 (set for Thursday, May 9th) will go a long way to reducing discrimination regularly faced by women whose right to nurse their babies in public is violated frequently. I would very much appreciate a written response regarding your position on House Bills 741 and 1706, and I fervently hope that they have your support.
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
I am a breastfeeding mother living in (DISTRICT #, REGION, OR TEXAS, AND ORGANIZATION IF ANY) and it has come to my attention that House Bill 741, authored by Rep. Walle and co-authored by Rep. Hernandez Luna, is to be voted on today. I’m writing to ask for your support of House Bill 741. While breastfeeding in Texas has a high initiation rate, there is a large drop around the time moms return to work. Many moms stop breastfeeding due to a lack of support from their employers. And while federal law requires that working mothers paid on an hourly basis receive reasonable breaks for pumping and a space in which to pump, there is no such protection for salaried public employees, such as teachers. HB 741 would extend current pump at work laws to all state public employees, including salaried employees.
Another bill, HB 1706 (set for Thursday), would educate and enforce an existing law that has been on the books since 1995 and asserts a mother's right to nurse her baby in public. This is a vital right, as mothers must go to the grocery store and run errands, and babies must eat every couple of hours. I ask that you help us to support these pieces of legislation so that we can give our children the best possible nutrition without fear of harassment; so mothers won't be forced to choose between their babies and their jobs. I would appreciate an opportunity to discuss this important public health issue, and I hope to receive a written reply with your position on the bills. Thank you for your consideration.
ORGANIZATION (IF ANY)
We MUST be courteous in all communications. Even if the staffer you talk to is cold - even out and out rude - no matter what, be respectful.
The list below does not include most of the Business and Industry or Calendars Committee members, as they have shown the bills support.
If you are not a Texas resident, start by calling Republicans. While breastfeeding is bi-partisan, conservatives will be more hesitant about placing regulations on businesses, and they are in the majority. The women are marked with two asterisks (**) and are in red. The more conservative men are marked with one asterisk (*) and are in blue. Legislators that we are adding to our priority list today will be in green with three asterisks (***).
Call your own rep if you reside in Texas, then any districts that are close to yours, particularly conservatives (use the district numbers as a guide - they're not necessarily logical but they are to a degree). Find your rep here: http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/find-your-representative/
Please leave a comment listing who you called, so that we can be sure all reps are being called. If you are told that a rep does or does not support either bill, please note this in the comments.
The Austin area code is 512.
Name (Party) District # Phone Number
Alma A. Allen (D) 131 512-463-0744
Rafael Anchia (D) 103 512-463-0746
Charles "Doc" Anderson (R) 56 512-463-0135
*Trent Ashby (R) 57 512-463-0508
Jimmie Don Aycock (R) 54 512-463-0684
***Cecil Bell (R) 3 512-463-0650
Dennis H. Bonnen (R) 25 512-463-0564
***Greg Bonnen (R) 24 512-463-0729
**Cindy Burkett (R) 113 512-463-0464
Lon Burnam (D) 90 512-463-0740
***Angie Chen Button (R) 112 512-463-0486
William A. "Bill" Callegari (R) 132 512-463-0528
Terry Canales (D) 40 512-463-0426
*Giovanni Capriglione (R) 98 512-463-0690
**Stefani Carter (R) 102 512-463-0454
*Travis Clardy (R) 11 512-463-0592
Garnet Coleman (D) 147 512-463-0524
Nicole Collier (D) 95 512-463-0716
*Byron C. Cook (R) 8 512-463-0730
Philip Cortez (D) 117 512-463-0269
***Tom Craddick (R) 82 512-463-0500
*Brandon Creighton (R) 16 512-463-0726
**Myra Crownover (R) 64 512-463-0582
***Tony Dale (R) 136 512-463-0696
***Drew Darby (R) 72 512-463-0331
John E. Davis (R) 129 512-463-0734
**Sarah Davis (R) 134 512-463-0389
Yvonne Davis (D) 111 512-463-0598
Joseph "Joe" Deshotel (D) 22 512-463-0662
Dawnna M. Dukes (D) 46 512-463-0506
Harold V. Dutton (D) 142 512-463-0510
***Gary Elkins (R) 135 512-463-0722
*Pat Fallon (R) 106 512-463-0697
Joe Farias (D) 118 512-463-0714
**Marsha Farney (R) 20 512-463-0309
Jessica Farrar (D) 148 512-463-0620
*Allen Fletcher (R) 130 512-463-0661
***Dan Flynn (R) 2 512-463-0880
***James Frank (R) 69 512-463-0534
Charlie L. Geren (R) 99 512-463-0610
***Craig Goldman (R) 97 512-463-0608
Larry Gonzales (R) 52 512-463-0670
Mary E. Gonzalez (D) 75 512-463-0613
Naomi Gonzalez (D) 76 512-463-0622
Lance Gooden (R) 4 512-463-0458
Robert Guerra (D) 41 512-463-0578
Ryan Guillen (D) 31 512-463-0416
Roland Gutierrez (D) 119 512-463-0452
**Patricia F. Harless (R) 126 512-463-0496
***Linda Harper-Brown (R) 105 512-463-0641
Ana Hernandez Luna (D) 143 512-463-0614
Abel Herrero (D) 34 512-463-0462
*Harvey Hilderbran (R) 53 512-463-0536
Donna Howard (D) 48 512-463-0631
*Dan Huberty (R) 127 512-463-0520
*Bryan Hughes (R) 5 512-463-0271
*Jason A. Isaac (R) 45 512-463-0647
Eric Johnson (D) 100 512-463-0586
Kyle J. Kacal (R) 12 512-463-0412
James L. "Jim" Keffer (R) 60 512-463-0656
*Ken King (R) 88 512-463-0736
*Phil S. King (R) 61 512-463-0738
Tracy O. King (D) 80 512-463-0194
Tim Kleinschmidt (R) 17 512-463-0682
**Stephanie Klick (R) 91 512-463-0599
**Lois W. Kolkhorst (R) 13 512-463-0600
*Matt Krause (R) 93 512-463-0562
Lyle Larson (R) 122 512-463-0646
**Jodie Laubenberg (R) 89 512-463-0186
***George Lavender (R) 1 512-463-0692
*Jeff Leach (R) 67 512-463-0544
Tryon D. Lewis (R) 81 512-463-0546
Oscar Longoria (D) 35 512-463-0645
J.M. Lozano (R) 43 512-463-0463
Marisa Marquez (D) 77 512-463-0638
Armando A. "Mando" Martinez (D) 39 512-463-0530
Trey Martinez Fischer (D) 116 512-463-0616
Ruth Jones McClendon (D) 120 512-463-0708
Jose Menendez (D) 124 512-463-0634
Borris L. Miles (D) 146 512-463-0518
Doug Miller (R) 73 512-463-0325
*Rick Miller (R) 26 512-463-0710
Joe Moody (D) 78 512-463-0728
**Geanie W. Morrison (R) 30 512-463-0456
Sergio Muñoz (D) 36 512-463-0704
Jim Murphy (R) 133 512-463-0514
Elliott Naishtat (D) 49 512-463-0668
Poncho Nevarez (D) 74 512-463-0566
*Rob D. Orr (R) 58 512-463-0538
John C. Otto (R) 18 512-463-0570
*Chris Paddie (R) 9 512-463-0556
*Tan Parker (R) 63 512-463-0688
**Diane Patrick (R) 94 512-463-0624
Mary Ann Perez (D) 144 512-463-0460
*Charles Perry (R) 83 512-463-0542
***Larry Phillips (R) 62 512-463-0297
Joseph C. "Joe" Pickett (D) 79 512-463-0596
Jim Pitts (R) 10 512-463-0516
*Four Price (R) 87 512-463-0470
*John Raney (R) 14 512-463-0698
Bennett Ratliff (R) 115 512-463-0468
Richard Peña Raymond (D) 42 512-463-0558
Ron Reynolds (D) 27 512-463-0494
**Debbie Riddle (R) 150 512-463-0572
Allan B. Ritter (R) 21 512-463-0706
Justin Rodriguez (D) 125 512-463-0663
Toni Rose (D) 110 512-463-0664
***Scott Sanford (R) 70 512-463-0356
*Matt Schaefer (R) 6 512-463-0584
***Kenneth Sheets (R) 107 512-463-0244
*J.D. Sheffield (R) 59 512-463-0628
Ralph Sheffield (R) 55 512-463-0630
*Ron Simmons (R) 65 512-463-0478
***David Simpson (R) 7 512-463-0750
***Wayne Smith (R) 128 512-463-0773
John T. Smithee (R) 86 512-463-0702
*Drew Springer (R) 68 512-463-0526
*Phil Stephenson (R) 85 512-463-0604
*Jonathan Stickland (R) 92 512-463-0522
Mark Strama (D) 50 512-463-0821
*Van Taylor (R) 66 512-463-0594
Ed Thompson (R) 29 512-463-0707
Senfronia Thompson (D) 512-463-0720
*Steve Toth (R) 15 512-463-0797
Chris Turner (D) 101 512-463-0574
Scott Turner (R) 33 512-463-0484
Sylvester Turner (D) 139 512-463-0554
***Jason Villalba (R) 114 512-463-0567
Michael "Mike" Villarreal (D) 512-463-0532
Hubert Vo (D) 149 512-463-0568
*James White (R) 19 512-463-0490
Gene Wu (D) 137 512-463-0492
***William "Bill" Zedler (R) 96 512-463-0374
John Zerwas (R) 28 512-463-0657
If you can visit the Capitol, that will make a great impact. Call 512.655.9647 to coordinate efforts. A good place to park is at 1201 San Jacinto in the Capitil Visitors Parking Garage. Dress business casual if you can. It's fine to bring children. And of course, be respectful and courteous. The Capitol is at 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX.
Sen. Zaffirini has been trying to get a lactation suite built at the Capitol and she had no luck getting it constructed just by request, so she attached an amendment to the State Preservation Board's Sunset bill, which has passed! It requires them to do a study and plans to build a lactation suite at the Capitol.
She is having a "resolution" today to honor nursing moms and bring some attention in general to breastfeeding. She wanted to do it just before Mother's Day. A resolution is not a law, it is something they do to recognize or honor someone - it's a ceremonial type thing. Other examples of resolutions are congratulating a high school football team on winning a state championship or congratulating a married couple who is celebrating a 60 year wedding anniversary - that type of thing. So it is really just a ceremonial deal to raise awareness about breastfeeding and the lactation suite she wants them to construct. They have asked various groups to provide information on breastfeeding and they plan to have bags to pass out to all the Senators as well as members of the public who attend.
The event is at approximately 11 am (as soon as session begins). Anyone wishing to participate should go to Senator Zaffirini’s office 30 min prior to the start of session (10:30), if possible, to gather and to walk up to the gallery as a group. Nathan Lerma, our scheduler will escort everyone up to the best section of the gallery for the event.
Her office is 1E.14. Anyone wishing to attend should park in visitor's garage (1201 San Jacinto) and enter through east door to the Capitol. Her office is in the left hand corner as soon as you go through security so very easy to find.
There are maps at our Central Texas Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition event.