Civics 101

Thursday 29

PEDALING FOR SAFER ROADS The recent deaths and serious injuries of cyclists due to drunk drivers has incited fellow bikers to send a message to city officials and Austin at large with a ride from City Hall to the Capitol. 7pm. Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second, 974-2220.

Friday 30

DEMOGRAPHICS AND INFRASTRUCTURE PANELS The public is invited to join for the morning session of the last day of the Pre-Session Legislative Conference. State demographer Lloyd Potter moderates a panel at 9am about the changing demographics of Texas; Sen. Kirk Watson joins transportation and utility experts on a 10:30am panel called Potholes and Brownouts about infrastructure challenges. Register online. 9am. AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, 1900 University Dr., 512/404-1900.

Saturday 1

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE Urban Shield needs 1,000 adult volunteers to portray victims in a disaster preparedness exercise for hospital personnel, law enforcement, and EMS technicians from Travis, Hays, and Williamson counties. Volunteers will have fake injuries, be faux decontaminated, and receive lunch and a T-shirt for their help. Register online. Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker, 974-0450.

INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM CONVERSATION The Texas Health and Human Services Commission Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities aims to help attendees understand the history of racism and the impact of institutionalized racism in our state. Joyce James moderates. 9-11:30am. St. James' Episcopal Church, 1941 Webberville Rd., 926-6339. Free.

Monday 3

REMEMBERING BHOPAL Protesters will lie down, covered in white shrouds, to represent those who died in Bhopal, India, after 27 tons of gas leaked from a Union Carbide factory nearby. 11am-2pm. UT West Mall, UT campus, Guadalupe between 21st and 24th, 669-9612.

TEXAS INMATE FAMILIES ASSOCIATION MEETING Get your questions about the Texas Department of Criminal Justice answered on the first Monday of each month. 6:30pm. Sunrise Community Church, 4430 Manchaca Rd, 512/371-0900. Free.

KOCH BROTHERS EXPOSED Watch the hourlong documentary on Charles and David Koch, then join in a half-hour discussion of the film with policy experts, presented by Progress Texas. 6:30pm. Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/861-7040.

Tuesday 4

LEED SYMPOSIUM Learn about sustainable design in the U.S. Green Building Council Central Texas' Taking the LEED for the Future symposium. 8am-6pm. Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez, 470-9923. Members, $50; nonmembers, $75; students, $20.,

CITIZEN REDISTRICTING MEETING Proposition 3, which splits City Council across 10 geographic districts, also called for a citizens redistricting committee. Come give input on how best to encourage qualified applicants and wide participation in the city's first redistricting process. 7pm. One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Rd., 512/974-3251.,

Wednesday 5

IMAGINE AUSTIN Come learn about how the city is moving forward on the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan's eight priority initiatives. 6-8pm. Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second, 512/974-2220.

Thursday 6

ILLEGAL DUMPING WORKSHOP Learn about environmental crimes in Central Texas; more than 425 illegal dumping reports have been made to the 877/NO-DUMPS hotline. Space is limited; register by Dec. 3. 9am-4:30pm. Hays County Facility, 2171 Yarrington Rd., San Marcos. $30, includes lunch and materials.

AISD FACILITY RECOMMENDATIONS The Austin Independent School District invites the community to learn about and share feedback on potential facility recommendations for the district's fine arts program. 6:30pm. Bowie High School, 4103 W. Slaughter, 414-4457.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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. We Are Blood, 4300 N. Lamar, 512/206-1266.

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.

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.

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.,

#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.

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.

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.

SUMMER DAYS KITTEN CRAZE $25 adoption summer special ends Labor Day. Through Sept. 7 Austin Animal Center, 7201 Levander Loop.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR SPECIAL OLYMPICS TEXAS WINTER GAMES! The 24th annual SOTX Winter Games are almost upon us and they need your help! Volunteers are needed for the bowling, volleyball, and powerlifting competitions. Assistance is also needed at Athlete Village to help with running games, arts & crafts, and snack service. Feb. 2-5

ONGOING: AUSTIN TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT DIGITAL ROADWAY CONTEST Get creative for a great cause by creating short, clever messages to keep Austin drivers safe and informed. Email or tweet your ideas to @AustinMobility using hashtag #ontheroadATX. Through Feb. 10

FOUNDATION COMMUNITIES COMMUNITY TAX CENTER Free tax prep for anyone earning less than $55,000/yr. Mon-Thu. 10am-8pm; Sat. 10am-4pm Community Financial Center, 2600 W. Stassney Ln; Community Financial Center, 5900 Airport Blvd.; Southeast Health & Wellness Center, 2901 Montopolis Dr.; LifeWorks East Office, 835 N. Pleasant Valley Rd.; Asian American Resource Center, 8401 Cameron Rd.;. Free.

DONATE TO LIFEWORKS SECOND CHANCE PROM LifeWorks will host a Second Chance Prom for their clients on June 15 and they need donations and volunteers. Donations needed: new or gently used women's formal dresses and shoes; men's suits, dress shirts, ties, and shoes; and undergarments for men and women. Email or call with questions. Donations accepted through June 12. 512/653-3764.,

AUSTIN SEEKS RESIDENT INPUT ON BUDGET PRIORITIES The City's Budget Office wants your input on needed City services and budget priorities for the FY 2018 budget. To have your voice heard, use the links provided, or call 512/974-1380 to discuss 11 service areas. Through Sat., July 15 Online.

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