Civics 101: Texas Government, Get to Know the Lone Star State
Austin is growing in a major way - that means you should be a part of the conversation!
Texas has a rich history of state governance, but it can be overwhelming to understand why we do some of the things we do. Join us at Civics 101 to learn why the lege only meets every other year, how to make your voice heard, how to access State representatives, and more!
- A Day in the Life of a State Rep. by Rep. James Talarico, District 52
- An Introvert’s Guide to Citizen Advocacy by Sarah Ortiz Shields, Executive Director of Austin Tech Alliance
About Your Speakers
Representative James Talarico
Representative James Talarico is a former non-profit leader and public school teacher elected to the Texas House of Representatives from House District 52, which includes the cities of Round Rock, Taylor, Hutto, and Georgetown. He was born in Williamson County as an 8th generation Texan. He attended Round Rock ISD schools, and with the help of financial aid — including a scholarship from the McNeil High School PTA — Rep. Talarico earned a bachelor's degree in government from The University of Texas at Austin and a master's degree in education policy from Harvard University. He taught middle school on the West Side of San Antonio before becoming Central Texas Executive Director for Reasoning Mind, a nonprofit dedicated to equipping classrooms with innovative technology. Rep. Talarico was first elected in November 2018 after running a positive campaign to put people over politics. He currently serves as the youngest member of the Texas Legislature.
Sarah Ortiz Shields
An Introvert's Guide to Citizen Advocacy is a zine outlining how citizens can advocate for themselves during the TX Legislative session.
Over the course of 2019's Legislative Session Sarah was able to attend group lobbying events, one-on-one sessions with Legislators and their staff, and learn the best ways to advocate for herself and her communities. She compiled this research, along with FAQs, advice from lobbyists, maps and recaps of her Lobby Days for the general public to use as they start their advocacy journey.
She is a naturally outgoing person, but the thought of advocating at the state Capitol was scary and overwhelming. She hopes that this zine will help other members of our community advocate for themselves at our state Capitol.