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Civics 101

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.

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.

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.

Saturday 19

CATHOLICS FOR JUSTICE IN THE CHURCH An independent affiliate of Call To Action, the national Catholic reform movement, meets the third Saturday of each month. 10am-noon. Little Walnut Creek Library, 835 W. Rundberg, 512/906-1268. tom4peace@austin.rr.com.

TEXANS UNITED TO AMEND is a network calling for passage of a constitutional amendment that would stem the flow of money into elections. Join a rally in support of the Texas' Lege's resolutions. 1-4pm. South steps of the Capitol, Congress & 11th.

Monday 21

MLK DAY Commemorate the life and works of Martin Luther King Jr. Bring flashlights for a silent vigil on the cost of war. 5-8pm. Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second, 512/974-2220. Free. www.austintexas.gov.

INAUGURATION CELEBRATION Enjoy a preshow of "Mitt Moments, Obama Disses and Daily Show clips," and then watch the inauguration ceremony. You'll come for the drink specials, but you'll stay for the Mitt dunk tank; $5 gets you three throws, and all proceeds (plus 10% of bar sales) benefit Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. 7pm. ND Austin, 501 N. I-35, 512/485-3001. www.ndvenue.com.

Tuesday 22

THE TEXAS TRIBUNE PRESENTS: FAMILY PLANNING & WOMEN'S HEALTH Join Texas Tribune Editor Emily Ramshaw for coffee and a discussion with Reps. Donna Howard and Sarah Davis on the state of family planning and women's health policy in Texas. RSVP by Monday, Jan. 21 7:30am. The Austin Club, 110 E. Ninth, 716-8641. Free. rsvp@texastribune.org.

AISD BOND HEARING #1 Provide feedback to the Austin ISD board of trustees about a potential bond program in 2013. 6:30pm. Crockett High School, 5601 Manchaca, 512/414-2532.

Wednesday 23

HEALTH REFORM 101 BOOT CAMP Everything you need to know about the Affordable Care Act in Texas, plus a light breakfast. 9-10:30am. Capitol Grill, Capitol Extension, Room E1.002, 1400 Congress, 512/472-5451. www.capitolgrillaustin.com.

BLACK ELECTED OFFICIALS PROGRAM The Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce honors African-American elected officials and community leaders in a reception called “A New Era of Civic and Political Engagement.” 6-9pm. 100 Congress #1100, 459-1181. Free.

SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR speaks about her journey from the projects in the Bronx to the federal bench in her new memoir, My Beloved World. See BookPeople website for details on tickets for the book signing portion. 6:30pm. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar, 512/472-5050. www.bookpeople.com.

Thursday 24

IS AMERICA GOVERNABLE? Scholars and writers come together to discuss the apparent dysfunction of the United States government, as well as possible remedies. See website for complete details and registration. UT School of Law, 727 E. Dean Keeton, 512/471-5151.

TEXAS TRIBUNE PRESENTS: LT. GOV. DAVID DEWHURST Evan Smith moderates a discussion with the lieutenant governor. Enjoy coffee and mingling beforehand, and stick around for the Q&A after. 7:30-9am. The Austin Club, 110 E. Ninth, 716-8641. Free. rsvp@texastribune.org.

TCTA CAPITOL VISIT Educators, librarians, counselors, and more from the Texas Classroom Teachers Association will converge on the capitol to discuss education-related legislation and advocate for public education. This event is part of a three-day convention at the Renaissance Austin Hotel. 11:30am-3:30pm. Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress, 512/305-8400. www.tspb.state.tx.us.

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!

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.

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.

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.