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Civics 101

Thursday 10

LEGISLATIVE WISH LIST Staffers from the Texas Observer want all sorts of things from this legislative session – from a state income tax to air conditioning for prisoners. What are their chances? 7pm. MonkeyWrench Books, 110 E. North Loop, 512/407-6925. www.monkeywrenchbooks.org.

Saturday 12

CURBSIDE CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING Curbside trash pickup customers can place their real trees (not in bags) out with their regular trash to be composted into Dillo Dirt. Want rid of it sooner? Drop it off at the Zilker Polo Fields from 10am-2pm this weekend and next. Jan. 5-6 and 12-13, 10am-2pm

POINT IN TIME COUNT TRAINING provides an annual count of homeless people in Travis County. Volunteers count homeless men, women, and children to assess the Austin area’s homeless population and help secure federal funding for Travis County’s homeless service providers. Attend a training session to become one of those volunteers. noon-2pm. St. Martin's Lutheran Church, 606 W. 15th, 247-8678. Free. homelesscountaustin@gmail.com, www.austinecho.org/count.

Sunday 13

CURBSIDE CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING Curbside trash pickup customers can place their real trees (not in bags) out with their regular trash to be composted into Dillo Dirt. Want rid of it sooner? Drop it off at the Zilker Polo Fields from 10am-2pm this weekend and next. Jan. 5-6 and 12-13, 10am-2pm

POINT IN TIME COUNT TRAINING provides an annual count of homeless people in Travis County. Volunteers count homeless men, women, and children to assess the Austin area’s homeless population and help secure federal funding for Travis County’s homeless service providers. Attend a training session to become one of those volunteers. 6-8pm. St. Martin's Lutheran Church, 606 W. 15th, 247-8678. Free. homelesscountaustin@gmail.com, www.austinecho.org/count.

Wednesday 16

HOLIDAY MULCH PICKUP Mulch from the trees collected during tree recycling this year will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Desert willow seedlings are also available. Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd., 512/974-6700. www.austintexas.gov.

REDISTRICTING PROCESS INPUT Today's the deadline to submit your input on the 10-1 redistricting process: from the language in the City Charter amendment to the timeline for the redistricting commission. 5pm. www.austintexas.gov/10-one.

Thursday 17

A CONVERSATION WITH REP. ALLAN RITTER The Texas Tribune's Evan Smith talks about the water crisis with the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. 7:30am. The Austin Club, 110 E. Ninth, 716-8961. Free. www.texastribune.org/events/2013/jan/17/a-conversation-with-rep-allan-ritter/.

MONEY ≠ SPEECH CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION RALLY Bring support for a Council resolution "calling for a Constitutional Amendment and/or other legislative actions ensuring that money is not speech, and therefore the expenditure of money to influence the electoral or legislative process is not a form of constitutionally protected speech, and shall be regulated." 4-6pm. Austin City Hall Plaza, Cesar Chavez between Guadalupe and Lavaca, 512/974-2000. Free. www.facebook.com/events/177669525690578.

SAVE TEXAS SCHOOLS RALLY KICKOFF Get fired up for Save Texas School's massive February March & Rally with a kick-off bash this Thursday, featuring snacks, posters, fliers and inspiring words from local public ed heroes. 6-8pm. Nuevo León CLOSED. www.savetxschools.org.

Ongoing

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.

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.

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

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

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.