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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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. www.austin.cc.tx.us.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.