2022 at Texas Freedom Network: We Are Relentless

We Are Relentless

2022 at Texas Freedom Network was yet another reminder that there’s no such thing as an easy year when fighting for progressive change in Texas—but this year, countless, historic challenges arose—from the fall of Roe and endless attacks on the LGBTQIA+ community to the still-impending DACA decision.

But through it all, we have been relentless in pursuing social justice—because this movement isn’t just about Texas Freedom Network.

It’s about you. It’s about every Texan, every human living in our state, and the life we deserve: A life where our kids are free to learn the truth at school, we can love who we love, we get abortions when we need them, our lifesaving, identity-affirming medical decisions for ourselves and our children are not questioned, and we exercise our right to vote without traversing barrier after barrier.

Each of these basic rights was threatened in 2022, but with each attack on freedoms, TFN has defended our democracy and met this year’s challenges with a vision for the future and relentlessness.

Here’s how we held the line in 2022 at Texas Freedom Network:

Empowering our communities to vote for change

Let us be clear: Texas isn’t a red state, it’s a voter suppression state–and we saw very plainly during November’s election and our recent runoff elections how destructive bills like SB1, which introduced a litany of barriers to voting, can disempower and discourage voters. Regardless of the challenges we faced at the ballot box, progressive Texans voted for a chance at change, and their votes should not be ignored.

Going into 2023, it’s clear we have a lot of work left to do in Texas, but our progressive movement is strong, and it is making gains. In 2022, we reached more than half a million young people via phone calls, text messages, and knocking on doors, all to mobilize voters for our slate of progressive candidates endorsed by Texas Rising Action and Texas Freedom Network.

Our work to mobilize and empower Texans to use their voting power and voices will not stop now that the election has ended. We’re building our base for long-term changes that will last for generations to come. In 2023, we’re bringing this energy to the upcoming legislative session.

Fighting for freedom over our bodies and futures

Alongside our youth organizing project, Texas Rising, we urged for the passage of the GRACE act—a slate of pro-choice city resolutions—across the state while simultaneously conducting vital research with our partners that confirmed the majority of Texans do not support abortion bans—with 60% of Texas voters proclaiming they support access to abortion.

Just Texas, our project changing the narrative about abortion in faith communities, organized alongside clergy members and Reproductive Freedom Congregations to proclaim their support for reproductive justice. Our movement, inclusive of all faiths, continues to dismantle the myth that all people of faith oppose bodily autonomy and dignity through access to abortion.

In the digital space, we continued our powerful advocacy by creating our Action Center, which offers information on the evolving landscape of abortion access in post-Roe Texas.

And in true Texas Freedom Network fashion, we continued holding elected officials, like Gov. Greg Abbott, accountable for their anti-contraception and anti-abortion rhetoric at every turn. Especially during the Governor’s Debate when Abbott called baby supplies and living assistance “alternatives to abortion,” while refusing to concretely support access to Plan B for survivors of sexual assault.

We let Texas know: Y’all means ALL

In February, TFN sprung into action when Ken Paxton and Greg Abbott directed Child Protective Services to investigate gender-affirming care for minors as child abuse.

While they attacked transgender children and their loving families, we organized in both the physical and digital worlds. Our digital advocacy led to over 7,000 people proclaiming they support transgender kids and their families through our online petition.

On the ground, we fought for the equality, safety, and dignity of LGBTQIA+ Texans in the courts, at public hearings, and in the media. We held officials accountable—demanding they listen to the stories of the families they were choosing to tear apart.

On Transgender Day of Visibility, we were grateful to add our contribution by organizing a rally—a day of joy and community—where we came together to uplift and celebrate the beautiful, powerful presence of transgender children and adults in Texas.

Our work to Teach the Truth

A cornerstone of our work has always been fighting educational censorship, particularly at the State Board of Education (SBOE). 2022 was no exception as we mobilized Texans from all walks of life to testify in support of more inclusive social studies standards through our newly launched Teach the Truth campaign. Ultimately, the Republican-led board caved to an extreme minority and paused on the adoption of standards that #TeachTheTruth.

Make no mistake: The battle is far from over, and we will never stop fighting for accurate, honest education in Texas public schools.

And while organizing at the SBOE, we sounded the alarm on harmful book bans spreading across Texas—culminating in our Read-In at the Capitol Rotunda—where students and activists gathered to celebrate the freedom to read.

Our fight will not stop in 2023

2022 at Texas Freedom Network was eventful, to say the least. In 2023, we will enter yet another legislative session, and we know that the same right-wing extremists who have used cruel political games to take away our right to abortion, attack public education, restrict our right to vote, and destabilize the very foundation of our democracy will continue their efforts to take away more freedoms.

While we cannot know what the legislative session and next election cycles will hold, we expect to see more attacks on our reproductive healthcare, LGBTQIA+ Texans, education in the form of another voucher fight, and voting rights.

No matter what, TFN is ready to defend our democracy, keep Texans free, and fight for social justice.

You can join us in the battle today by subscribing to our lege updates—there will be numerous times you can join our fight throughout the session.

Together, we will be relentless.