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Civics 101

Thursday 18

A CONVERSATION WITH TONY GARZA The former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico discusses trade, migration, and the Republican Party's efforts to reach out to Hispanic voters. RSVP required for entry. 7:30-9am. The Austin Club 110 E. Ninth, 716-8641. Free with RSVP. rsvp@texastribune.org, www.texastribune.org/events/2013/apr/18/a-conversation-with-tony-garza/.

BARBARA JORDAN CELEBRATION Trinity Center celebrates the life of Barbara Jordan in their annual fundraiser. Proceeds support the center's work for the homeless. 5:30-7:30pm. St. David's Episcopal Church, 301 E. Eighth, 610-3572. $120. www.trinitycenteraustin.org.

Friday 19

SCHOOL FINANCE: NOW WHAT? Education experts Florence Shapiro, Scott Hochberg, David Thompson and Kent Grusendorf lead a discussion on Texas school finance. RSVP required for entry. noon-1:30pm. LBJ School Of Public Affairs, Bass Lecture Hall 2315 Red River. Free with RSVP. rsvp@texastribune.org, www.texastribune.org/events/2013/apr/19/a-conversation-about-school-finance/.

TEXAS' TRIPLE ATTACK ON TOBACCO TOUR Pledge your support of clean indoor air. Community forum addresses harmful effects of tobacco and how tobacco's toll can be reduced in communities. 1:30-2:30pm. Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd., 512/974-4000. Free. www.shareair.org.

Saturday 20

AISD COMMUNITY ELECTRONIC WASTE RECYCLING DRIVE Celebrate Earth Day by donating unwanted electronics. Recyclers will accept laptops, cell phones, and fax machines. List of participating schools available on AISD website. 9am-1pm. Various Locations. www.austinisd.org.

COURAGEOUS CONVERSATION ON INSTITUTIONAL RACISM Staff from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission lead a workshop to solve the racial disparities in state legal and foster care systems. Contact Doug Bell to register for one of fifty slots. 9am-3pm. St. David's Episcopal Church, 301 E. Eighth, 331-5201. Free. dougbell@austin.rr.com, www.stdave.org.

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.

AUSTIN SUSTAINABLE SWAP Bring the bounty from your garden or a craft you made, or just offer your services to folks in exchange for something you want or need. It's bartering at its best to keep waste at a minimum. Untraded items can be donated to local nonprofits. Third Saturdays of the month, noon-4pm Hot Mama's Espresso Bar, 2401 E. Sixth, 512/476-6262. Free. hotmamasaustin.blogspot.com.

AUSTIN EARTH DAY FESTIVAL Get your green on with live music, inspirational speakers, and environmental presentations. There's even a petting zoo! noon-7pm. Mueller Hangar, 4550 Mueller Blvd. Free. www.earthdayaustin.com.

Sunday 21

HOLLY POWER PLANT CLOSURE CELEBRATION Bring blankets and lawn chairs to celebrate Austin's largest reduction of its carbon footprint. Stay for poetry, music, and dance. 2pm. Lady Bird Lake, Colorado River between Tom Miller Dam and Longhorn Dam, 512/974-6700. www.facebook.com/events/487997044601407.

Monday 22

A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT Laura Huffman of the Nature Conservancy, Bryan Shaw of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and James Marston of the Environmental Defense Fund join for a special Earth Day conversation. RSVP required for entry. 7:30-9am. The Austin Club, 110 E. Ninth, 716-8641. Free with RSVP. rsvp@texastribune.org, www.texastribune.org/events/2013/apr/22/a-conversation-about-the-environment/.

TEXANS SEEKING RATIONAL GOVERNMENT RALLY Join the Secular Legislative Action Committee in front of the Ten Commandments monument to rally for separation of church and state. 12:30pm. Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress, 512/305-8400. www.slactx.org.

HAITI AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE: HEALTHCARE AS A HUMAN RIGHT Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health, lectures about his work in Haiti and its global implications. A QA session, reception, and book signing follows. 7-9pm. AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, 1900 University Avenue, 471-9056. Free. humanitiesinstitute.utexas.edu.

Tuesday 23

CREATING EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES IN OUR COMMUNITY Leading speakers in the field highlight the latest developments in fair housing discrimination. Registration fee covers meals and conference materials. Sign-up by end-of-business on April 19. 9am-2pm. Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River, 512/974-3772. $40. www.austintexas.gov/fairhousingconference.

Wednesday 24

AISD BUDGET AND BOND COMMUNITY MEETING AISD representatives present information and answer questions about the district's preliminary budget and bond program. Light refreshments, child care, and interpretation services will be provided. 6-8pm. Summitt Elementary, 12207 Brigadoon Lane. Free.

Thursday 25

SYMPOSIUM ON HEALTH CARE The Texas Tribune partners with the University of Texas for a symposium on Texas health care policy. RSVP required for attendance. 8:05am-4pm. LBJ School of Public Affairs, Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 3, 2315 Red River, 512/716-8641. Free with RSVP. rsvp@texastribune.org, www.texastribune.org/events/2013/apr/25/on-the-road-a-symposium-on-health-care/.

WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY Sign-up with the Workers Defense Project online to participate in legislative visits asking lawmakers for stronger workers' protections . 9:30am-4:30pm. Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress, 512/391-2305. Free. docs.google.com/forms/d/1IgovttWaMYES4vNfpti5BacaSlmcK-nj-MF6CpEZpbI/viewform.

COOPERATION TEXAS VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION Learn about the local nonprofit that's dedicated to the development, support, and promotion of worker-owned cooperatives. Email to RSVP or get more info. 6pm. 5604 Manor Rd. info@cooperationtexas.coop, www.5604manor.org.

PROPERTY TAX FORUM Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler and Tax Assessor-Collector Bruce Elfant present information about the appraisal process, exemptions and deferrals, payment plans, and the deadlines all property owners should know. 6pm. Carver Library, 1161 Angelina. free. tax_office@co.travis.tx.us.

AUSTERITY: THEY SAY CUT BACK, WE SAY FIGHT BACK! Organize against state and local austerity measures with the International Socialist Organization. Participants will brainstorm ways to win favorable reforms and more equitable taxation. 7pm. Carver Branch Library, 1161 Angelina, 512/222-7476. Free. austinsocialist@hotmail.com, www.austiniso.org.

Ongoing

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.