Press Conference Demands Accountability From Texas Officials
A coalition of more than 70 organizations from across Texas organized a virtual press conference on Saturday, January 23, 2021, to call for the resignations of the Texas officials complicit in the domestic terror attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Speakers included Neil Aquino of Indivisible Houston; Dr. Candice Matthews of Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, Harris County Chapter; Chanté Davis of Sunrise Movement Houston; Rep. Ron Reynolds of Texas House District 27; Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez, founder of JOLT and Latino Families Forward, and 2020 U.S. Senate Candidate; and Alexander Montalvo of Indivisible TX Lege.
The coalition released a statement on January 8, 2021, officially requesting the resignations of all those complicit in the January 6 attack, and reiterated this demand in the press conference. The coalition also added their support to the efforts to expel, censure, disbar, begin ethics investigations into and cease campaign donations to the complicit congressmembers, as well as continue the impeachment hearing of Donald Trump.
“This attack on our democracy was enabled by extremist politicians, many of whom represent Texans,” Montalvo said. “This behavior cannot be normalized, and in order for us to heal and move forward, we need accountability.”
Reminding viewers of the purpose of the day, Tzintzun Ramirez also highlighted the efforts of Ted Cruz and his Republican allies to suppress the votes of BIPOC Texans and undercount immigrant Texans in the census, and Cruz’s fundraising email sent out during the insurrection that asked supporters to help him subvert democracy on the floor of the Senate. Speaking in both English and Spanish, Tzintzun Ramirez brought the focus of the press conference to the forefront.
“We’re here because there is no greater crime against the American people than the treasonous act of trying to end our Nation’s over 220-year-old tradition of the peaceful transfer of power,” she said. “We represent millions of Texans that share one simple belief — if you don’t believe in American democracy, you have no place serving in it. “
In addition to demanding accountability, the coalition called for all Texans of conscience to speak out.
“This is beyond politics — this is about the foundation of our democracy,” Dr. Matthews said. “We need Republican leaders who will stand up and fight to protect our democracy. We need political leaders in Texas who truly believe in justice, equality and democracy. Where are you?”
Though many of the speakers were seasoned activists and leaders, Davis stood out as the sole voice of Texas youth. A junior in high school, Davis reminded viewers that grassroots activists have been calling for the resignation of Cruz since before the insurrection on January 6, citing his environmental policies and inadequate leadership.
“The actions of these so-called leaders have made grassroots organizing harder than it needs to be,” Davis said. “They have darkened the light of democracy for future generations.”
Echoing the words of Dr. Matthews, Rep. Reynolds made the point that accountability should not be a partisan question but a question of fulfilling the oath that these officials swore when they took office.
“It is time to speak truth to power and hold them accountable,” Rep. Reynolds said. “I stand 100% with the coalition in support of removing these office holders. They have failed in their constitutional duties.”
The original statement by the coalition has now been signed by over 70 grassroots and professional organizations across the state, as well as more than 850 Texans. The coalition is still adding organizations and individuals to the signatories daily and asks that anyone interested in supporting efforts sign on at the Indivisible TX Lege website. Click here to view the full statement a list of coalition members and the list of lawmakers the coalition is asking to resign
Speaking from the original statement Aquino re-iterated “We believe in the power of democracy and the power of the People. Those who have proven that they would prefer to destroy the country must surrender their power permanently. Their power is vested in us, and they have shown themselves willing to use it abusively.”
Alexander Montalvo, Indivisible TX Lege, firstname.lastname@example.org, 817-475-0998
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