Most member places of work have been completely satisfied to obtain details about how the bail invoice would have an effect on jails of their districts. However we obtained weird pushback from the places of work most intently concerned with the invoice: They insisted that the declare pretrial detention would improve was “overstated.”
That is weird as a result of we did not make any declare in regards to the scope of the rise, simply that there can be one. However staffers engaged on the invoice pushed again to say magistrates forbidden from giving private bonds might simply set bail at $1 after which pretrial detention would not go up.
Which might be fantastic, besides then what is the level of the invoice? My understanding was that there’s a class of defendants at present being launched on private bonds that Andy Kahan, the Governor, and Joan Huffman suppose ought to be held in jail as a substitute. To the extent that the invoice achieves that aim, it does so by growing the scope of pretrial detention. If the invoice authors do not thoughts those self same defendants being launched on $1 bond, and do not suppose pretrial detention will go up, I am unsure what the hell we’re doing right here.
IRL, no critical individual believes that HB1/SB6 wouldn’t improve pretrial detention. That is a political stance, not a professional coverage take. If Republican legislators admitted these inconsiderate insurance policies put rural counties in an financial bind, the battle between this laws and rural pursuits would shortly turn into obvious. Traditionally, that is one of many axes on which even common laws can die on the Texas capitol.
However so long as rural, Republican legislators worth attacking Democrats in Houston greater than defending the financial pursuits of the counties they symbolize, rural pursuits will proceed to be sacrificed on the altar of the Governor’s political ambitions.
CREATIVE ASIDE: For handouts on the capitol, I might created this little booklet with a normal dialogue of how the bail invoice impacts rural jails:
Then I created member-specific flyers discussing particular points in members’ districts, together with the little orange booklet as insert. Here is the one for Rep. Shelby Slawson:
These items are a little bit of an experiment: With many places of work nonetheless laborious to achieve on account of COVID protocols, staffers working remotely, and the rise of Zoom conferences, it is turn into more durable to achieve legislators and their workers. Whereas it was simple to drop into an workplace and speak to whomever you wanted to talk to, as of late you are more likely to be requested to schedule a Zoom assembly in every week or simply drop off a truth sheet. However I query whether or not anyone’s studying the mountain of 8.5×11 paper being dropped off in member places of work, so I am testing totally different types for legislative communications, utilizing strategies extra generally related to motion zines to speak with places of work.
I determine if I am uninterested in the 8.5×11 truth sheet format, staffers would possible be fully fed up with it.
Humorously, the missus was skeptical about distributing my “arts and crafts challenge” in an expert atmosphere, however members’ workers cherished them and our lobbyist got here again wanting extra of the individualized variations. Folks appreciated them as a result of they’re distinctive, related, and customized. We could also be residing within the Digital Age, however there’s nonetheless some room for extra artistic papercraft in political comms.