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.

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.

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.

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.,

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 Rd., 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.

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.

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.,

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.


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.

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!

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.

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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