AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Freedom Network today announced its top tier of legislative advocacy ahead of the 88th Texas Legislative Session, emphasizing LGBTQIA+ protections, the need to teach the truth, abortion access, voting access on college campuses, and ensuring religious freedom. TFN will spearhead advocacy efforts in these areas while providing support to partner organizations and coalitions in other areas like climate justice, criminal justice, and immigration.
“Texans deserve legislators who will be champions for inclusive, effective policies that help all of us thrive—but from our decades of experience, we know the legislative session is often used by extremists to push forth harmful bills that do not prioritize the needs of the people they were elected to serve,” said Val Benavidez, executive director and president of Texas Freedom Network. “We want to prioritize the safety of our families and futures, not fuel a culture war that further divides us and distracts us while our freedoms are threatened. While there are several bills already filed to undermine public education through vouchers and censor representation of LGBTQIA+ people and people of color in Texas curriculums, our movement is ready to meet these challenges by working with progressive champions inside the dome to push forward various proactive bills. We will organize, we will fight for progressive policies, and we will be relentless in creating a more inclusive Texas, together.”
As a grassroots organization with its foundation rooted in organizing and advocacy, TFN will work with progressive allies in the House to block far-right attempts to further decimate our right to access abortion and the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare, as well as attempts to deny LGBTQIA+ Texans their full freedoms. We’ll also be fighting to preserve the right of Texas students and their families to read without censorship and to expand and protect voting rights. This includes fighting for fair maps during the redistricting process, which could impact the state’s electoral map for future elections—giving voters more power to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
“We want legislators who can deliver for all Texans without kowtowing to extremists and their agendas,” said Carisa Lopez, political director for TFN. “The Texas Legislature has a history of targeting the most vulnerable among us; from complicated voting laws that disproportionately affect people of color to the censorship bill that empowered book bans and politicized our children’s education. Not to mention the draconian abortion ban, SB8, that put pregnant people’s lives at risk and the ongoing attacks on transgender Texans. We’re already seeing a slew of hateful and dangerous bills being filed, and we won’t stop fighting until the freedom to exist is every Texan’s reality. Texas belongs to all of us.”
Texas Freedom Network is ready to meet the challenges the legislative session holds and continue fighting for social justice that builds upon victories from 2022, including securing polling locations for the Texas A&M University Corpus-Christi campus, celebrating the freedom to read with a read-in at the Capitol rotunda, and organizing voter registration efforts led by young people of color that covered 30 major college campuses in the state.
The Texas Freedom Network (tfn.org) is a grassroots organization of religious and community leaders and young Texans building an informed and effective movement for equality and social justice.