Civics 101

Thursday 25

EARLY VOTING Early voting runs now through Friday, Nov. 2, for the Nov. 6 federal elections. Be a part of the democratic process. See our election page for polling locations and times. www.traviscountytax.org.

NEWT GINGRICH gives a lecture called Leadership Challenges Beyond the Election, touching on national security, government in the information age, and economic growth. Register online. 6pm. LBJ Library Atrium, 10th floor. Free, registration required. newtgingrichaustin.eventbrite.com.

Friday 26

EARLY VOTING Early voting runs now through Friday, Nov. 2, for the Nov. 6 federal elections. Be a part of the democratic process. See our election page for polling locations and times. www.traviscountytax.org.

TRAVIS COUNTY HISTORY DAY Celebrate the fifth annual Travis County History Day with the Travis County Archives. Writer RG Ratcliffe will present his discovery of a key county fact that was lost over time. Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gómez emcees; a reception sponsored by the Austin Bar Association and the Travis County Historical Commission will follow. 10am-noon. 700 Lavaca. www.co.travis.tx.us.

AUSTIN'S WEIRDEST COMMUTE Arrive in the strangest form of transportation and leave with a prize, all in the name of combating climate change. 11am-1pm. Auditorium Shores, 920 W. Riverside. Free. www.campotexas.org.

ROCK THE BOX VOTING PARTY An event for the whole family to stress the importance of voting. 3-7pm. Southwest Key Community Center, 6002 Jain, 583-2504. Free. www.swkey.org.

PRE-ELECTION ROAST WITH 'THE ONION' Nothing is particularly funny about a dire-consequences election like the one, except in terms of gallows humor. ("Legitimate rape," anyone?) Fortunately, that's what the nation's finest satirists at The Onion do best. 8pm. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress, 512/472-5470. www.austintheatre.org.

Saturday 27

EARLY VOTING Early voting runs now through Friday, Nov. 2, for the Nov. 6 federal elections. Be a part of the democratic process. See our election page for polling locations and times. www.traviscountytax.org.

GREEN CAR SHOW Learn about the latest in environmentally friendly locomotion. 9am-2pm. Frost Mueller Financial Center, 1200 Barbara Jordan Blvd., Bldg. 2.

BILL OF RIGHTS DINNER Food, speeches, and silent auctions help celebrate liberty, property, and keeping the Man off our backs. 5:30pm. UT Alumni Center, 2110 San Jacinto. $125. www.texascivilrightsproject.org.

Sunday 28

EARLY VOTING Early voting runs now through Friday, Nov. 2, for the Nov. 6 federal elections. Be a part of the democratic process. See our election page for polling locations and times. www.traviscountytax.org.

MEET THE CANDIDATES: AUSTIN'S TOWN HALL MEETING Meet and question your congressional, state Legislature, judicial, and county candidates. 2:30-5pm. Manchaca Branch Library, 5500 Manchaca Rd., 820-2674. Free.

BUILDING A COMMUNITY EXHIBIT Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole introduces this exhibition about the first century of African-American life in Travis County. 4pm. Austin History Center, 810 Guadalupe, 974-7390. www.library.austintexas.gov.

Monday 29

EARLY VOTING Early voting runs now through Friday, Nov. 2, for the Nov. 6 federal elections. Be a part of the democratic process. See our election page for polling locations and times. www.traviscountytax.org.

Tuesday 30

EARLY VOTING Early voting runs now through Friday, Nov. 2, for the Nov. 6 federal elections. Be a part of the democratic process. See our election page for polling locations and times. www.traviscountytax.org.

Wednesday 31

EARLY VOTING Early voting runs now through Friday, Nov. 2, for the Nov. 6 federal elections. Be a part of the democratic process. See our election page for polling locations and times. www.traviscountytax.org.

Thursday 1

EARLY VOTING Early voting runs now through Friday, Nov. 2, for the Nov. 6 federal elections. Be a part of the democratic process. See our election page for polling locations and times. www.traviscountytax.org.

TEMPLE GRANDIN Watch the HBO film, then hear Grandin herself speak on autism. Seats are all taken, but ACC will stream the talk online. 1pm. LBJ Auditorium, 2313 Red River, 512/471-2787. Free. austincc.edu/temple.

EAST AUSTIN CANDIDATE FORUM AISD SCHOOL BOARD At-large candidates Gina Hinojosa and Mary Ellen Pietruszynski join District 2 candidates Jayme Mathias and Sam Guzmán in one of the last opportunities to hear from these folks before Election Day. 2-3pm. Southwest Key Community Center, 6002 Jain, 512/462-2181. Free. vjoiner@swkey.org, www.facebook.com/eastaustinvoter.

MEET AND GREET WITH CANDACE DUVAL Meet Congressional candidate Candace Duval and learn about her platform. 5-10pm. Austin Java, 1206 Parkway, 512/476-1829. Free. lisa@candaceduval.com, www.austinjava.com.

Ongoing

EARLY VOTING Early voting for the Nov. 6 election continues through Friday, Nov. 2. See our endorsements or follow all our election coverage at austinchronicle.com/elections. www.traviscountyelections.org.

BLANKET DRIVE Share the warmth and donate new or gently used blankets, towels, and pillows to five area nonprofits – including Austin Children's Shelter and SafePlace – via city newcomers Sleep Experts. Through Thanksgiving Sleep Experts locations or the Girl Scouts of Central Texas. www.sleepexperts.com.

SAVE THE DATE TO SAVE TEXAS SCHOOLS Join Diane Ravitch, former TEA Commissioner Robert Scott, and Houston's Kashmere High marching band to stand up for kids and schools on Feb. 23. Say no to brutal budget cuts, a broken testing system, and looming school vouchers. Say yes to a quality education for all kids! www.savetxschools.org.

INSIDE BOOKS PROJECT The all-volunteer nonprofit works to get books in the hands of inmates all year round, but it needs extra help during the holiday season. Make a financial donation online, or give your time be helping fill packages in 2013. www.insidebooksproject.org.

CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING Oh, tenenbaum. If you're not a curbside customer, don't forget you can recycle your Christmas tree at one of these locations around town before Jan. 12. Through Jan. 12. Monday-Friday, 7am-5pm; Saturday, 7am-noon Austin Community Landfill, 9900 Giles; Williamson County Landfill & Recycling Center, 600 Landfill Rd.

NO DRAMA DEMOCRACY This continuing ed course from ACC seeks to reform political relationships by encouraging tolerance and proving why liberal/conservative labeling is irrelevant. Limited slots available; register now. Austin Community College Continuing Education. $120. continue.austincc.edu.

TRAVIS COUNTY SHERIFF VOLUNTEERS Victim Services Unit is seeking volunteers who are over 21 and have a reliable car and cell phone to work four four-hour shifts per month for a year. The next training session begins March 18. See website for complete details. www.tcsheriff.org.

FREE TAX PREPARATION Go online for a list of locations, hours of operation, a list of forms to bring, and other helpful tips to prepare your tax returns with the help of a professional. Participants must make less than $50,000 a year. Through Mon., April 15 610-7374. Free. www.foundcom.org/get-financially-stable/get-your-taxes-done/.

SLOW MONEY AUSTIN SPRING PITCHFEST DEADLINE Slow Money Austin is looking for local food and sustainably minded business who are trying to raise money to grow. They have been soliciting short, two- to three-minute pitch videos from local entrepreneurs and the deadline is March 18. Go online for more info. www.slowmoneyaustin.org.

PARKS & REC LIFEGUARD RECRUITMENT The city is looking for a few good lifeguards, pool managers, and swim instructors. Call to find out more. 400 Deep Eddy Ave. www.austintexas.gov/parks.

BUDGET IN A BOX How should Austin spend its money? Let city leaders know. Participants will be asked to decide to increase, decrease, or maintain current funding levels for common city services. Accumulated feedback will be taken into consideration as the city develops its proposed 2014 budget this summer. 512/974-2324. www.austintexas.gov/biab.

PARD MAIN OFFICE CALL FOR NAMES 90-day period for public comment begins. www.austintexas.gov/department/parks-and-recreation.

ZILKER PARK CLUBHOUSE CALL FOR NAMES 90-day period for public comment begins. Contact Victor Ovalle. 512/974-6745.

VOLUNTEER DEPUTY REGISTRAR TRAINING Would you like to register people to vote? Get trained and deputized! Email Mary Patrick to RSVP. Include "VDR Training" in the subject line. 10am. First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover, 512/452-6168. Free. maptrick@gmail.com.

CALL FOR PLATELET DONORS The supply of platelets has fallen to an unsafe level. Anyone who is able is urged to make a platelet donation appointment as soon as possible. Platelet donation may be done every 7 days or 24 times per year. The entire process from the time a donor walks through the doors until they leave is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Call to make an appointment. Open seven days a week. Blood Center of Central Texas, 4300 N. Lamar, 512/206-1266. www.inyourhands.org.

CHRONICLE WISH LIST Did you get more presents than you know what to do with? Make room by checking out our nonprofit wish list, and donating to worthy local groups. www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Guides/WishList.

CHRONICLE WISH LIST Is your New Year's resolution to be a better person? Check out our nonprofit wish list, and donate something to a worthy cause. austinchronicle.com/wishlist.

HEALTH INSURANCE ENROLLMENT ASSISTANCE AT FOUNDATION COMMUNITIES NONPROFIT There is still time to sign up for affordable health insurance through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace. Highland Mall (6001 Airport), Round Rock Public Library (216 E. Main), Cannon West Center (6800 West Gate), CommUnityCare SE Health Center (2901 Montopolis), LifeWorks (835 N. Pleasant Valley). Free. enroll@foundcom.org, www.insurecentraltexas.org.

#IAMBLACKAUSTIN The Greater Austin Black Chamber's #IAMBLACKAUSTIN campaign integrates portraits, videos, personal testimony and substantial social media to help stimulate visibility and engagement within Austin's growing community. Images from the first exhibit will remain on display from Tuesday, Jan. 27, through Tues. Feb. 3. Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second, 512/974-2220. www.iamblackaustin.org.

AUSTIN VOICES FUNDRAISER Now's the time to snag your tickets for Austin Voices for Education and Youth's annual fundraising lunch, slated for Tuesday, Feb. 17, noon-1:30pm at Dell Children's Signe Auditorium. This heralded local nonprofit combines groundbreaking programs with savvy advocacy to engage students, families and communities in building strong public schools for all kids, in Austin and beyond. www.austinvoices.org.

LOCAL ARTISTS INVITED TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS FOR TEMPO 2015 Art in Public Places (AIPP), a program of the city of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department, seeks to commission temporary public artworks for the 2015 cycle of the TEMPO program. www.publicartist.org.

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