Unique to our efforts is the sustainability of our training. Rather than helicoptering in with a one-time training and resulting lobby day, we support our young changemakers throughout the legislative process from start to finish, and we continue our training and support for them beyond the legislative session. Our goal is that a young person see halls of power as accessible and inclusive to them, because we believe that when a young person begins to see themselves in these spaces, that is when radical change can happen for our State.
Their success speaks for itself. We have given over 140 testimonies at the Capitol. 67% of which are from young women of color. We’ve converted 34 bills into State law, and passed 3 city resolutions. Since the launch of our Changemaker program, we have trained over 500 young women on majority-minority high school and college campuses and we’ve continued our support and opportunities for activism with them and mobilized over 300 young advocates to our Deeds Lobby Days at the Capitol.
If the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority.
This legislative session has been one of the worst we have ever seen.
Amidst a pandemic, and a winter storm that left many Texans without power, heat and water, our work shifted to protect against the anti-voter, anti-trans, anti-abortion agenda of our State. When our representatives had every option to decentralize the legislative process and include voices from every corner of TX through virtual testimony–they chose to be anti-Democratic. Taking advantage of COVID (rather than trying to help our state rebound from it), the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker created almost insurmountable hurdles for people to speak out against their agenda of hate. Only invited speakers were allowed to testify
Despite these challenges, our #Changemakers showed up time and time again to demand that their voices be heard. From unfurling banners in the rotunda, to protesting outside the Capitol, to bombarding committees with written and recorded testimony, to incessantly tagging legislators in social media posts, Deeds’ advocates were FIERCE and a FORCE!
We are honored to be part of a collective effort of like-minded organizations and lawmakers from across the state who were relentless in their demand to be heard. Because of the unity of our efforts and the courage of lawmakers who stood up for us, some really horrible bills were blocked, like SB 29, which targeted our trans youth and SB 7, the racist voter suppression bill. This legislative session, we count our victories in the over 20 bad bills we were able to stop.
2021 Legislative Victories
- HB 1474, filed by our changemakers at Rice University would ban Non Consensual Pelvic Exams. This bill stipulates that pelvic exams cannot be performed by doctors, residents, or medical students unless the patient has given consent, the pelvic examination is within the standard of care, or it is medically necessary for diagnostic purposes.
- SB 45, would provide legal protections against sexual harassment to all employees in the state of Texas. Regardless of the amount of people who work for an employer. This bill also clarifies the definition of workplace sexual harassment, and gives every Texas employee access to report and prosecute.
2019 Legislative Victories
- HB 8: Requires an audit to determine the number, of all rape kits in Texas, so kits don’t get lost.
- HB 98: Requires a person who releases intimate visual material responsible for damages resulting from the distribution of the intimate visual material if it was released without consent and with intent to harass, abuse, or embarrass the persons depicted in the material.
- HB 111: Ensures that every public and charter school teacher and official have adequate training to recognize signs of sexual assault, sex trafficking and other maltreatment in students, including students with cognitive disabilities.
- HB 170: Ensures that insurance plans covering screening mammograms also cover the diagnostics.
- HB 253: Created a statewide “five-year strategic plan to improve access to screening, referral, treatment, and support services for postpartum depression.”
- HB 403: Requires superintendents and independent school district board members to complete one hour of training on recognizing and reporting potential victims of sexual assault, sex trafficking, and maltreatment every two years.
- HB 449: Requires colleges and universities to indicate on a student’s transcript if they were suspended or expelled.
- HB 616: Allows health care providers to submit applications for reimbursement of costs for providing forensic medical examinations of sexual assault survivors directly to the attorney general.
- HB 1590: Establishes a governmental entity for survivors to contact to learn about the reporting process, resources, and evidence collection, and facilitate communication between state agencies that are involved with sexual assault survivors’ cases.
- HB 1651: Requires correctional officers to be trained on medical and mental care for pregnant women.
- HB 1735: Requires schools to define sexual assault & harassment, dating violence, and stalking, and make sure students know these policies and the repercussions of violating them.
- HB 2169: Ensures tampons and pads are available to inmates, just like toilet paper.
- HB 3809: Extends the statute of limitations to 30 years (before 15 years) beginning at the age of 18, for child sex abuse victims to decide if they want to take legal actions against people or organizations that failed to protect them.
- SB 37: Doesn’t allow a student that has defaulted on their student loans to lose their professional license.
- SB 71: Would allow nurses who do not have the training to conduct a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam, or the evidence collection after sexual assault, to work with nurses who do have this training through telemedicine.
- SB 194: Makes it a Class A misdemeanor for an individual to touch another person’s genitals, touch a person with their own genitals, remove or attempt to remove another person’s clothing covering their genitals, or exposes another person to bodily fluids without consent.
- SB 212: Requires timely reporting of incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking; it requires timely reporting of this information while keeping victims anonymous, and protects those who report incidents against disciplinary action.
- SB 586: Requires state, county, special district, and municipal agencies that appoint or employ peace officers to provide training every 48 months that teaches officers to recognize, document, and investigate sexual assault using the best practices and trauma informed techniques.
2017 Legislative Victories
- HB 281: Established a statewide electronic rape kit tracking system
- HB 1729: Established a grant program to fund the testing of rape kits
- HB 3152: Requires a hospital without expertise to collect a rape kit to provide transportation of the victim to a hospital that does
- SB 969: Protects college students who may be violating college student code themselves from getting in trouble if they are reporting incidents of sexual assault
- SB 2039: Created a statewide curriculum in Texas high schools for the prevention of sex trafficking of minors
- SB 966: Protects college students from legal prosecution for underage drinking when reporting incidents of sexual assault
- SB 968: Requires Texas colleges and universities to create an electronic reporting system for purposes of reporting sexual assault