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WHO WE ARE

The Houston Abolitionist Collective is a group of organizers committed to building power and a movement around abolition in Houston and Harris County through political education, mutual aid, transformative justice, and community organizing to end policing, punitive justice, and harm. HAC formed in response to the murder of George Floyd and the Uprising of June 2020. 

Abolitionist Community Organizing & Education

Houston Abolition Collective Newsletter

Monday, March 14, 2022

 

Happy Women's History Month everyone!

 

Welcome to our third 2022 issue of the Houston Abolition Collective Newsletter! Thank you for reading. Today on Monday (3/14) we are having a March General Meeting at 6pm! We hope to see y'all tonight and if you'd like to join please email us at liberatehtx@protonmail.com for the virtual meeting link. In this newsletter issue, we'll be politically educating about trans & queer liberation movements for the need of abolition. We hope you can join us this evening!

Contents

 
  • Trans & Queer Resistance - The Need for Liberation
  • Local News
  • Calls to Action from Our Working Groups
  • Where to Plug-In
  • Local Events
  • Book Features
  • Closing
Dean Spade: History of Queers Against Police

Trans & Queer Resistance 

Policing & surveillance hits our most marginalized communities the most - our lowincome, Black and brown Trans & queer community members. The state’s fear mongering tactics to incarcerate, criminalize, and separate families with trans members will not be tolerated. Trans children need and deserve to flourish to have the ability to feel real safety & have access to gender-affirming lifesaving care. Abolition is the fight for liberation and as abolitionists we are committed to reduce & eradicate all forms of state & interpersonal violence. That is a means to protect our trans community members & uplift their needs. Our Trans Youth deserve to flourish into Trans Adults.

 

“At the intersection of oppression and resistance lies the radical potential of queerness to challenge and bring together all those deemed marginal and all those committed to liberatory politics.” -Cathy J. Cohen

 

Trans and queer politics is a politics of abolition: the abolition of normativity, systems of control & oppression on gendered bodies, gendered violence, etc. Just as abolition demands systems of care over systems of punishment, trans liberation demands vital medical care, reproductive justice, mutual aid, housing justice, and the reimagination of what community safety means for us, over the criminalization of our existence via homophobic and transphobic policing and incarceration. Abolition and trans liberation are inextricably connected. Here are some more sources on political education around trans liberation and abolition and below are resources for the trans and queer community.


 

Art by Lil Perc
Sources for Trans & Queer help:

Texas Wide:
  • Equality TXResources for Parents of Texas Trans Youth
  • Trans TX: The Transgender Education Network of Texas works to lift up the voices of Transgender Texans because trans rights are human rights
  • BlackTransTXConnection: Building a future in which Black Trans Women survivors of violence are not only safe from state violence but live in shared joy, and collective power
  • Twitter thread sharing resources about how you can help the trans community and/or what resources you can use if you’re an affirming parent or educator in Texas right now
  • The Queer Agenda: Emergency resources for trans kids in Texas 
  • Emergency Grants for TX Trans FamiliesTX Trans youth & their families can submit a short application through  @SouthernEqual for grants of $250 to help cover the cost of legal services, emergency planning, mental health support, & more.

Houston:
Image by @RadicalRoadmaps 
Local News

Secret Police Union Contract Proposed for Houston

There are 10.5% in raises over 3 years $125 million cost over 3 years. Read about this "surprise" secret police union contract here.


Here are some comparisons examples of more budgets for the police from this secret police union contract compared to other departments current proposed funding:
  • There is a Training Incentive Pay with an annual cost of $28 million. With a comparison to Houston's budget for ALL trash pickup & recycling at $31 million. [thread]
  • Officer Clothing Allowance - $1.3 million Youth and Family Services - $1.2 million [thread]
  • Officer Shift Differential Pay with an annual cost of $4.4 million. Compare this to the entire Office of Business Opportunity with a budget of $4 million.[thread]
  • The Phase Down program with an annual cost of $26 million. Compare this to the library's community programming budget of 28 million. [thread]
Follow #HouBudget on Twitter for details about city spending and how spending on most services/programs compares to the city’s police budget. Stay tuned to our social media for action announcements.


Community Voices for Public Education (CVPE) is a diverse organization that unites Houston parents, educators, students, and community members of all identities to advocate for policies that defend and strengthen Houston’s public school system. Recent Houston ISD Board meetings have seen right-wing speakers participating in public comment, pushing more anti-Critical Race Theory and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric around books available to students. There have also been doxxing campaigns against some library staff. CVPE is calling on parents, students, and residents to participate in public comment and to occupy seats in the meeting room (forcing these reactionaries into an overflow viewing room) at the monthly board meetings. Public comment registration must occur by 12 noon the day before the meeting; speakers have the option of speaking in person or live via Zoom. HISD Board meetings are monthly, held on the second Thursday of the month at 5 pm (doors open at 4:45 pm). You may also contact houstoncvpe@gmail.com and follow on Twitter and Instagram.

 
Special Shout Outs in Honor of Women's History Month:

Monica Roberts was a local Houstonian trailblazing legend for her advocacy and activism within Black Trans Women spaces. Voicing injustices about the trans community they face, especially for Black Trans Women. She's a journalist who would document and uplift missing & deaths of Trans folks on her blog being significant in her consistency that her work transformed not only in TX but across the nation being sourced to. You can hear more about her legacy in this podcast episode by @ledegrafpodcast. Rest in Power Monica. 


DeeDee Watters is an incredible Houstonian advocate, activist, and artist. She has an extraordinary presence and uses her voice, art, and platform to speak on education about her communities. Such as S*x Work & the need for decriminalization, organizing justice & equity for the Trans community, hosting vigils & ceremonies that honors Trans People sending to their spiritual home with affirmation and love. 

& S/O to every woman or fem that are trans & queer activists in the city for their incredible power of bringing communities together for a liberated Houston. We love you all so much.

Call To Action:

Shotspotter "Neighbors Against Spying" Campaign:

Houston DSA’s Abolition Working Group is working with the Houston Abolitionist Collective to build a coalition of organizations and individuals working to oppose ShotSpotter presence in Houston and Harris County. This campaign is part of Houston DSA’s Neighbors Against Spying campaign. 


The next #StopShotSpotter meeting is happening this Thursday, March 17th at 7pm on Zoom. RSVP here


Campaign to Stop the La Salle Transfers & Depopulate Harris County Jail:  

Thanks y'all for the INCREDIBLE turn out in solidarity with our incarcerated community members and their families from the rally we had on 3/5. Houston cares in demanding a new vision of safety. We dream and fight for a world with accountability & care without the plague by punishment, police, and poverty. We keep each other safe, not jails, as every intention & action is a step closer to a liberated world.

Our next planning meetings for Cancel the LaSalle Contract campaign are on Thursdays from 4-5pm. Please email Sophie (kupetz.sophie@gmail.com) or Gabriela (gabriela.barahona@texasjailproject.org) if you'd like to be in the emailing list to join meeting calls & volunteer to help.

Check out the Digital Media Tool Kit on upcoming actions to sign onto, register to speak - with talking points, social media content of events, and send letters to your local representatives to cancel the La Salle contract to outsource pretrial jail defendants to Louisiana and address the overpopulation crisis in Harris County jails by Kim Ogg DA. 

Poem is called 'Mankind' by Leon, who is an incarcerated transferred Harris County community member to La Salle.

Budget Working Group This is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to advocate to invest in communities for Harris County Commissioner Court budget. Next meeting will be Monday, March 21, at 6 pm. We will cover what the budget cycle is now, interim budget happenings, departments/goals, and finalizing meeting schedule. If you would like to be included email Christopher (christopher@texascivilrightsproject.org)


Ayo Pasadena! -  Calling all parents, students, and community members in Pasadena ISD!🏫 
 
PISD disciplines students at higher rates than larger school districts like Dallas & Austin. Black students are particularly affected by these policies. In 2018-19, PISD schools disciplined over 15% of the total student body. Black students make up 7.5% of the PISD student body, but accounted for 15.3% of referrals to The Summit and suspensions. 
 
Join us for an in-person town hall on March 16th at 5:30pm to discuss these concerning student disciplinary practices!
 
Food and masks will be provided. Free parking onsite.
 
RSVP here:
bit.ly/PasadenaTownHall


 


Harris County #Medicare4All Coalition This is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to advocate to invest fight for a universal, single-payer health care system at a local level in Harris County. We must abolish the MIC (Medical Industrial Complex). Plug in and organize for universal healthcare by joining the GroupMe, follow on our brand new Twitter account, and save the dates below.

Action Items:

Actions in Solidarity for our Trans Youth Community Members:
  • TX Freedom Network Petition to DFPS that supporting trans kids is not abuse
  • Equality Texas: Send a message to DFPS urging them to listen to the consensus of every credible medical association, and protect transgender kids and parental rights.
  • Trans Texas: Breaking down what's going on & what you can do. Share the #Facts.
  • Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund:
    • Send a love letter to Trans People.
    • Pledge for Businesses to show safe and welcoming for LGBTQ people.
    • Attorney sign up to provide affordable legal help to trans young people & their families in TX

Awesome Swag to Buy that Donates to Trans initiatives: 
  • Get your "Protect Trans TX Kids / F*ck Greg Abbott " tee shirts here (restock soon)
  • Dont mess with trans kids apparel & stickers 100% proceeds go to @EqualityTX
  • Gender-affirming Care Saves Lives / Protect Trans Kids Shirts & Sweaters 50% proceeds go to Trans Justice Funding Project
  • Queer & Trans Businesses to Support in TX
  • Support Trans Futures Hoodies: 100% of the sales of “Safe Travels” items directly benefit. Will donate an additional $1.50 for each unit sold to the Black Trans Femmes in the Art Collective (@btfacollective).

Plug In to Our Local Partnerships:

Tune into current local organizing below! Be sure to check out Texas Mutual Aid Directory under Houston to find more.
  1. Houston Coalition for Equitable Development without Displacement (HCEDD)
  2. DSA Neighbors Against Spying
  3. HarmReduxHTX
  4. HTX Community Fridge
  5. Houseless Organizing Coalition 
  6. Texas Jail Project
  7. Texas Civil Rights Project
  8. Stop Texas Department of Transportation i-45 (Stop TXDOTi45)
  9. West Street Recovery
  10. Air Alliance Houston
  11. Medicare for All Resolution by Harris County Health Justice Group

Local Events:

Join OurAfrikanFam5 on another enlightening Storytime Bike Line on Saturday March 19, 2022 - 9am. Meet new people and learn more about what’s going on in our community in 5th Ward! If you’re new to the community come meet your neighbors. Free Bikes available.

Book Features:

In this book published by Penguin Alok Vaid-Menon provides an accessible primer to gender fluidity, showing how a world beyond the gender binary of man and woman creates more freedom for everyone. They equip readers with the knowledge to counter the rise of anti-trans discrimination. This book invites the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full color. 

To read more Trans & Non-Binary books for children visit here & call your local libraries to have them ordered!
 
Photo by Quia Brown
Signing Off

Thank you for reading this issue of the Houston Abolition Collective newsletter! Let's create a world with community care without prisons, policing, and surveillance.

In solidarity,

Houston Abolition Collective
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December 2021 Newsletter

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Houston Abolitionist Collective · 2202 Alabama St · Houston, TX 77004-4314 · USA

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