Author Archives: JoanneR

CG4TX Meeting on Redistricting

Beginning with the 2014 election, members of the Austin City Council are no longer elected citywide. In response to a 2012 amendment of the City Charter, the city was divided by an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission into ten geographic districts. The Mayor is elected citywide, … Continue reading

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Immigrants in America: Concerns, Resources, and Priorities

On Saturday, February 4 Common Ground hosted a panel discussion on Immigrants in America: Concerns, Resources and Priorities. Our panelists were: Megan Sheffield from Texas Here to Stay, who hold “Know Your Rights” clinics for  immigrants. Sarah Woelk from Casa Marianella, a homeless … Continue reading

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Texas Redistricting Commission bill submitted

Common Ground for Texans hosted a community conversation on Sept 6, 2014 titled “Should Austin’s redistricting plan be duplicated in other Texas cities?”  Craig Tounget, the former Executive Director of the Austin Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, participated on our panel.  … Continue reading

Posted in Electoral reform, Legislation, Redistricting | 5 Comments

Fake news? Real news?

Have you wondered whether the news you and your friends and family are reading on-line is real or fake? Melissa Zimdars, an assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack College, has compiled a list of Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 3 Comments

Bob Jensen critiques “The Coddling of the American Mind”

Bob Jensen, a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas, a founding board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center, and a member of the board of Culture Reframed, spoke at the March 5, 2016 meeting of Common Ground for … Continue reading

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Austin’s Campaign Finance System and Alternatives

On January 16, 2016 Common Ground hosted a discussion led by Sara E. Smith, staff attorney for Environment Texas, on the Austin Fair Campaign Chapter (AFCC), its shortcomings, and possible alternatives to it.  It became clear within just a few … Continue reading

Posted in Austin campaign finance, Clean Elections, Community Conversations, Electoral reform | Leave a comment

Ask Senate State Affairs Committee to Consider Judicial Selection Methods

The Texas Senate State Affairs Committee has an interim charge to  “examine the effect of eliminating straight-party voting for candidates for judicial office and make recommendations to ensure candidates are given individual consideration by voters.”  It is unusual for an … Continue reading

Posted in Judicial election campaigns, Money in Politics | Leave a comment

NRA: 100; public opinion: 0

On January 8, KUT broadcast an episode of On the Media called “Common Sense,” presenting a stunning example of a special interest’s success in influencing legislators and public policy to achieve results antithetical to public opinion. The special interest in … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Money in Politics | Leave a comment

Big wins for the people in Ohio, Maine and Seattle

In the recent November elections, various citizens’ ballot initiatives advanced the electoral voice of the people. Ohio passed the Bipartisan Redistricting Amendment (Issue 1 on the ballot) with 71% of the vote. And Seattle and Maine passed measures that limit … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bills We’re Following in the Texas Legislature

Common Ground for Texans has joined forces with other organizations to form the Texas Fair Courts Network and the Anti-Corruption Campaign. We have been working hard to oppose or support various bills that have come before the Texas House and … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutional Amendment, Legislation | Leave a comment