These surprise eight gifts from the independent movement are listed in random order. Y'all enjoy!
GIFT #1: Toy Giveaway and the new game -- the Vista Ridge Spin!
LIV volunteers had a blast at the Toy Giveaway put on by Sharrell and Rufus Kemp on Saturday, December 14th in San Antonio's District 2. Adults played the new “The Vista Ridge Spin Game” winning a stuffed animal for the kiddos to choose. The main response we received was, “Why haven’t heard anything about this?” That's what we'd like to know. Learn about it here. LIV plans to bring the spin game to your SA neighborhood in 2020!
GIFT #2: Big Reform for Open Government, HB 2840
South Texas State Rep. Terry Canales, led a bi-partisan coalition for passage HB 2840. According this Dallas Morning News article, "Under the new law, a person can speak to a government body at the start of the meeting, at the end, and most important, before a vote on every listed agenda item." Read about it here too at the Texas Monitor. In 2020, LIV will help you use this reform to forge transparency in local government.
GIFT #3 -- Get-It-Right Address on Land Development Code
Austin resident and nationally recognized city planner, Jim Duncan, offers you this gift, his “Get-It-Right Address” about Austin Mayor Steve Adler and his allies mishandling of the land development code, resulting in a legal challenge involving 8,000 Austin residents who don't care to be being “upzoned.” More here at Community Not Commodity.
GIFT #4: Bastrop County Judge Paul Pape's appointment
Judge Pape gave all citizens concerned about protection of groundwater resources a lovely gift by appointing Phil Cook, a longtime friend of our central Texas aquifers and the Colorado River, to the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District Board LPGCD (Bastrop and Lee counties' district), effective January 1. Phil is a scholar, a genuine “water wonk”, who even joined the group of 100-plus landowners who challenged the LCRA “water grab” — currently pending.
Gift #5: Unlikely Santa, Dennis Bonnen’s Gift through Appointment
The self-discredited Texas House Speaker, Dennis Bonnen, nevertheless made some excellent appointments to the Sunset Advisory Commission. Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) is now the chair of the powerful Commission. Rep. Canales (D-Edinburg) replaces also self-discredited, Rep. Nevarez. These are the agencies under review through the 2021 legislative session. Cyrier will serve through 2023. Congratulations, y'all!
GIFT #6 -- to the Hill Country
A gift to the Hill Country came from the private interest involved in the potential harm to Honey Creek. Our only question is when will state agencies step up for Texans? Thanks to environmental writer, Brendan Gibbons of the Rivard Report for the story!
GIFT #7: to food consumers and small farmers!
Thanks for the monumental gift to Texas’ small farmers by the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance for filing suit on Wednesday. After many and repeated efforts to be heard by the overly-friendly to Big Ag, Texas Department of Agriculture, FARFA filed suit to protect the interests of small farmers and consumers.
GIFT #8 -- On Impeachment (and, for that matter, recalls)
LIV, a 501c4 non-profit, takes no position on the impeachment or on electing or recalling officials. But, we thought what longtime and reliably independent, Ralph Nader, had to say about the impeachment is so very enlightening, we’re linking to it here, as we let Mr. Nader, as always, speak for himself.
BIG THANKS TO THESE LIV VOLUNTEERS (we all are) in 2019!
Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Happy Chanukuh, Happy Kwanza and anything else you may celebrate this time of year.
Independently yours, Texas!