The Top 5 – April 29, 2019

First of all, please continue to pray for the family and friends of our Dallas GOP chairwoman, Missy Shorey, who passed away suddenly last Thursday. She will be greatly missed by all. She was an example of a woman who wasn’t afraid to take risks, speak on the issues of the day, and promote our values. Let’s all continue to be bold during this very important season in our nation. 

1.   Stand up with us against Anti-Semitism 

We were all shocked as another Jewish synagogue, this time in California, was attacked this Saturday on the last day of Passover. Please pray for the victims of this attack and their families. You can read about the attack here

Bunni Pounds, our TEF consultant, was on Point of View radio just two days before the attack to talk about the rise of anti-Semitism in our nation and how now more than ever Christians need to be on guard and stand up for Israel with our Jewish brothers and sisters. You can watch/listen to her interview here (it is the first 30 minutes of the program with Kerby Anderson). 

If you want to learn about how to engage in Pro-Israel politics, let me know and I will connect you. 

2. Call again on Senate Bill 11 – Intrusive Threat Assessment teamsWE NEED PEOPLE TO CALL AGAIN!  This was put back on the Intent Calendar and if we can get enough calls in, we might be able to get it pulled from the intent calendar. 

Senate Bill 11 which mixes needed school safety provisions with non-physician mental health professionals and intrusive Threat Assessment Teams that ask highly personal and incriminating questions has to be stopped. 

Here are the main problems with the current version of SB11: 

·        Puts new mandates on local school districts.

·        Puts non-physician mental health professionals in our schools to create “awareness” of mental illness and push agendas. Allows Texas Education Agency to name its own initiatives.

·        Mandates school Threat Assessment Teams. Threat Assessment Teams are charged with identifying children at risk, asking touchy-feely questions.

·        According to the Texas School Safety Center, many of the solutions to children who may become dangerous involve mental health services.

·        Mental health services did not stop Devin Patrick Kelley (Sutherland Springs), Kendrex White (UT stabbing), James Holmes (Aurora, Co.), Eric Harris (Columbine).

·        Protects the “psychological safety” of kids but doesn’t define it.

·        Threat Assessment Teams address a number of mental health components. 

3. Call your legislators to protect children & support HB 3135Call your legislators to support HB 3135 by Rep. Cain  – Presently exemptions exist in the Texas Penal Code for “educational” purposes.  This allows children to be exposed to porno/obscenity and allows soliciting a child into sexual conduct (Sections 43.24 and 43.25).  HB 3135 gets rid of the exemptions in the Texas Penal Code for “educational” purposes.  A hearing on HB 3135 was held last week, and the bill was left pending in the House committee. If it doesn’t pass out of committee next week, HB 3135 will die.  If a neighbor showed your child pornography or solicited your child into sexual performance, you’d call the police. If it is done for “educational” or other purposes, an affirmative defense to prosecution can be claimed under the present wording in the Texas Penal Code! This means that a person could harm a child and get away with it. This is outrageous! Your voice is needed now! ACTION: Please Act Now to Protect Children.. TO READ HB 3135:  https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=86R&Bill=HB3135

4. We Want a Say on our Property Tax Burden Poll: 66% of Texans Want Much Bigger Say on Property Tax Burden – Read about this poll here.

Let’s keep calling our House members and telling them we want meaningful property tax reform – period. Don’t give up! 
5. Sri Lanka Christian Attacks – Get Updated. 
“Multiple bombs were detonated last Sunday — Easter Sunday — in the island nation of Sri Lanka. Christian churches and international hotels were targeted, and more than 250 people were killed.

Also in recent days, the Islamist president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, was pushed out of power and then locked in prison after 30 years of dictatorial rule.”  Listen to this special episode of VOM radio. 

We will have a few more special announcements today and in the days to come, so be on the look out. 

Keep praying and moving, 

Trayce Bradford, President of Texas Eagle Forum

The Top 5 – April 22, 2019

1.   DFW Friends – Let’s stand up for the unborn and the Born Alive Act. Join Pro-life Friends at Rep. Colin Allred’s Townhall

Join us at the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. All the information is here on their FB event or email rebekah.warwick@heritageaction.com.

2. Bill to Protect Children from Pornography URGENT ALERT – ACTION needed ASAP to protect children from pornography! HB 3730 needs a hearing quickly or it will die. This bill requires vendors that provide online library resources to schools to filter obscenity and pornography.  Texas contracts for online library resources through TexQuest. EBSCO is a vendor that has egregious content. Students can access EBSCO at home or at school. Once into the EBSCO online portal, school and home filters do not work. EBSCO is available to K-12 students in 66% of public and charter schools — 94% of students have access to it. One large district remove EBSCO after one parent made them aware of it. One person speaking up matters! Texas parents have found pornography through EBSCO, even hardcore pornography! Parents in Colorado have sued EBSCO for exposing their children to pornography. ACTION: ASAP! Please call or email Committee Chairman John Cyrier (House Committee on Culture, Recreation & Tourism) Ask him to give HB 3730 a hearing before it’s too late: john.cyrier@house.texas.gov What to say – Please put in your own words: Dear Chairman Cyrier, I don’t believe that you support K-12 students having access to pornography. That’s why I have a hard time understanding why you haven’t held a hearing for HB 3730. Please give this bill a hearing and vote before it’s too late. Please protect children from pornography. Pray for this bill to get a hearing

3. Let’s close the loophole in Texas for late term abortions for children with health problems with HB 2434 by Rep. Matt Schaefer

Call your legislators and tell them to support State Representative Matt Schaefer’s bill – HB 2434. 

From Destin Sensky at Empower Texans, 

“Now a piece of stand-alone legislation authored by State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), who also brought forward the lightning-rod amendment two years prior, offers an opportunity for lawmakers to put an end to the practice.

Currently, the State of Texas bans most abortions after 20 weeks, but a loophole in the law allows late-term abortions for children diagnosed with one of a few conditions deemed to be incompatible with life outside the womb.

If passed, House Bill 2434 would close that loophole.”

Read more here about this important bill. 

4. Let’s Cut Property Taxes without raising Sales Tax. Call your legislators and tell them we want real property tax reform without an increase in sales taxes. We can do it. Here is one possible solution from TPPF. 

The taxpayer funded lobbyists are still at work. This is a great graphic from Forbes magazine on what is really going on. 

5. We need real free speech on college campuses in Texas 
If HB 3395/SB 18 is passed, Texas will made drastic strides towards restoring the First Amendment on our campuses.

If the proposed legislation fails, Texas students will continue to be deprived of the opportunity to grow intellectually and morally through hearing all sides to an argument.

Please read this white paper from TPPF and then call your legislators in support of this legislation. 
Thank you for remaining diligent. 

Let’s all pray for our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka this week. I want to end here with the beautiful words by Vice President Mike Pence POTUS and I are monitoring the horrific attacks on those celebrating Easter in Sri Lanka. Our hearts & prayers are with the victims & their families. This atrocity is an attack on Christianity & religious freedom everywhere. No one should ever be in fear in a house of worship.”

Trayce Bradford, President of Texas Eagle Forum

The Top 5 – April 15, 2019

1.   We need to say “No” on the Mental Health Bills that will be voted on MONDAY on the HOUSE FLOOR. 

Please call your legislators this morning and tell them to vote No to these three bills – HB10, HB18 and HJR 5. 

In spite of the wonderful job you’ve done, HB10- MH research institute, HJR 5- to fund the institute, and HB18- creating a framework for mental health in our schools are going to the House Floor for a vote on Monday. We need you to call your legislator and urge him or her to vote no on HB10, HB18, and HJR5. For all the information download this document here.   We have definite concerns about big government in encroaching in on not just parents’ rights but parent-child relationships. Conservatives shouldn’t want intrusive government period but especially not in the area of mental health!

2. Save Chick-fil Day 4/17 and Religious Freedom Bills#SaveChickfila Day on 4/17. Don’t miss it. Get all the details here athttps://savechickfila.com! Please share. 

Also we want to  support HB 3172 (the First Amendment Defense Act by Matt Krause) and HB 1035 (Free to Believe Act by Zedler). Both of these bills will do a number of things to protect religious freedom, but more specifically, both bills would stop local governments, like San Antonio, from denying contracts because of a religious belief on marriage. Call your legislators in support of both of these bills. 

While you are calling in support of these bills – let them know we oppose HB 244 – because it  criminalizes religious freedom and rights of conscience. 

3. Join us at the Property Tax Rally THIS TUESDAY, April 16th

We have to have meaningful property tax reform and so far in the session that has not happened. We have to communicate to our leaders that this is one of the main reasons why we elected Republicans. See all the information here on the Austin Rally and for those of you in North Texas, here is information about a rally there.

“Property taxes are nothing more than rent to the government, it’s time to stop that skyrocketing rent to the government for our own homes!” Rep. Mayes Middleton

4. More Resources to Prosecute more TraffickersThis last week I was blessed to attend an event that was an incredible blessing. For nearly two decades Sower of Seeds has been working in the worst trafficking hub in the world. They have taught many of us about this issue years ago before anyone even knew trafficking was an issue what was really happening, They brought the wicked ugly truth to our peaceful, safe environment and once we saw what was happening we could not turn away.  

Over the years I am so grateful many others have joined the fight but SOS will always hold a special place in my heart for their tireless work that they are expanding even now around the world. They are answering the call to fight on the front lines an unspeakable evil.  See what they are all about for yourself here
 As I sat in the audience and listened I thought back to last Monday to a bill I signed in on and wrote testimony for, HB3979 Leach and SB1257 Huffman.  These pieces of legislation would provide more resources for prosecuting more of traffickers. It would give concurrent jurisdiction to the OAG to help prosecute those who sell their fellow human beings.  We need to let legislators know we want to see more resources applied in this area. Here is my testimony from the hearing. While I was there testifying, I met a young woman that had been trafficked by her family.  Her testimony is powerful and speaks to the need to bring justices to the criminals and bring peace to the victims. PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT AND LISTEN TO JODY WOOD’S TESTIMONY here – it starts at 5:33:49-5:36:53. Please let your legislators know we want to see HB3979 Leach and SB1257 Huffman passed. 
5. Voter Integrity – SB9 needs to move quickly. Call to support it. 
It won’t really matter if we get it right on other issues if we cannot take the due diligence to keep our voter records clean and untainted.  This really should be non-partisan and sail through on both sides.  The requests of these bills are prudent and much needed.  Please call or reach out to each of Senators as well as any others you have time to encourage that this is a must for our state: Requires that all voting systems have a voter verifiable paper audit trail and helps counties that have recently purchased systems without that component pay to retrofit their machines.

  • votes cast in a precinct exceeds the number of registered voters in that precinct. Uses the paper trail to conduct ongoing, randomized audits statewide to confirm that electronic systems are recording votes as voted. This program would begin as a pilot program for audits but go statewide once all paper systems are in place.
  • Allows law enforcement to conduct operations and investigations during elections to check for vulnerabilities in the electoral system or process.
  • Prohibits pre-checking boxes to affirm eligibility to register, like citizenship, on mass-mailed voter registration cards.
  • Requires those assisting curbside voters to provide more information about the nature of their relationship to the voter and the reason for assistance.
  • Requires those assisting other voters in the polling place to provide basic information including their name and relationship to the voter.
  • Requires those who seek to vote by an absentee ballot by mail due to a disability to affirmatively indicate that they meet the definition of “disabled” under the code, not merely check a box that makes a conclusory statement that they are disabled.
  • Provides avenue for redress and civil penalties for election fraud that can be enforced by a candidate who has been harmed by the fraud.
  • Makes sure we are actually participating in the interstate crosscheck system to clean and maintain our voters rolls as previously directed by the legislature.
  • Requires an automatic recount if/when the total number of votes cast in a precinct exceeds the number of registered voters in that precinct. 

Bonus – Please call in support of PRNDA HB2434 by Rep. Schaefer which has a hearing on Wed. 4/17 as well. Please sign in for this bill if you are able to be in Austin! 

The official description of this bill: Relating to information regarding perinatal palliative care and prohibiting discriminatory abortions; creating an administrative penalty, a civil remedy, and a criminal offense.
We are at the saturation point of the session, but this is the most important moment.

Let’s all get engaged. Thank you. 

Trayce Bradford, President of Texas Eagle Forum

March 2019 – From The Desk Of Trayce Bradford

The 86th Legislative Session is in full swing, and Texas Eagle Forum has a team in Austin meeting with legislators and their staffs on a variety of issues from life to property and tax relief. This session, several new faces are volunteering their time and talents: Cindy Castilla, Bethany Jarrell, and Tammy Morgan, among others, are doing a great job of representing TEF in a well-informed, gracious, and engaging manner. We encourage you to visit Austin and personally share your concerns and suggestions with your legislators and let them know you are paying attention to their bills and votes…

Continue reading by downloading the March Letter below.


Click the button below to download the letter:

Download Letter

The Top 5 – January 28, 2019

This week, I made a trip down to Austin and met with our legislators around their offices – meeting about the issues where we all want to see change this session. I love looking at the Texas Capitol and realizing that we are making a difference in this place together. Our team has been down to Austin every week – th last three weeks. 

Here are the items that we want you to pay attention to this week.

1. Attacks on Religious Freedom and Free Speech

Keep your eyes and ears open for attacks on religious freedom and free speech. There are several bills filed in the Texas Legislature that we are watching closely concerning religious freedom for small business owners, charitable organizations, and contractors with the state. Here is a great video by CBN on this issue.

2. Conservative Texas Budget Priorities

Texas Eagle Forum signed on to a press release from the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition back last September and we will be speaking up about the budget all during this session.

The statement says – “Today at the Texas Capitol, the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition announced its top priorities including limiting any spending growth to population growth plus inflation. For the 2020-21 budget year that would be an all funds appropriation of $234.1 billion.
 
Other budget priorities include: approve conservative spending limits, provide local property tax relief, abolish the business margins tax, adopt a tax relief fund, and secure budget transparency and accountability.”

My comment was this: “We understand that one of the hallmarks of liberty is the freedom to steward our finances, which we expect elected officials to pass a budget that vigilantly manages our resources. The Texas Eagle Forum is a group based on faith and strong families that is encouraging legislators to practically spend on essential items while boldly cutting expenses on ineffective programs.”

You can read the full statement here. 

Call your legislators and tell them that you want your property taxes lowered and that you want them to consider the Texas Public Policy Foundation Plan. You can read about it here and calculate your savings. 

3. Texas House Committee Assignments

Committees were assigned this week on the House side which means the real work now begins. Check out the House committees here and see how you can speak into your legislators’ lives on the issues that they will be focused on every day in their committees. Remember that your legislators and their staff only have so many hours in the day so when there is an issue where you can bring your wisdom or ideas beside them, it is so helpful to push our great state forward. 

4. Prayer for our Statewide Officials

We are always going to ask you to pray for our elected officials, but today let’s focus on our statewide elected officials, like our Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, and our Railroad Commissioners – Wayne Christian, Christi Craddick, and Ryan Sitton. 

Here is a beautiful story of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick visiting a young high school senior in McKinney, TX who is battling brain cancer. Let’s continue to pray that our statewide elected officials represent us and our values well. 

5. New York’s Latest Pro-Abortion Legislation

In closing, I wanted to share a response from my dear friend and prayer partner, Rebecca Berry, to the horrible vote taken by New York legislators last week to allow abortions up til birth. For a full view of what this law allows in New York, read this. It was devastating to watch people cheering, clapping and even lighting up the Freedom Tower to honor this soul-less vote. This response by my friend, Rebecca, is worth your time to read and please stand with us in prayer and action.“So here are my thoughts on New York’s latest abortion legislation: I see a massive opening for the church to set up houses for women and baby rescue centers. I see people holding signs in Time Square and mass advertising on jumbo screens of where these women can find love and support. Where sin abounds; grace abounds even more. This promise will be capitalized and decreed. I see dispatched angels rerouting the oppressed toward deliverance. I see churches upping their level of engagement. Squads of believers taking to the streets offering hope. Going back to creation, God said – let there be… and it was so, and life abounded, I now decree “let there be life” over New York. The abortion industry has awakened a sleeping giant. The odds are against them because in our kingdom, one can put a 1000 to flight and two can put 10,000.”We continue to stand for LIFE and Liberty. 

Trayce Bradford – President of Texas Eagle Forum


Election Day Precinct Conventions

CAIR Resolution:

Download CAIR Resolution PDF

TADA Repeal Resolution:

Download TADA Repeal Resolution PDF

PreNDA Resolution:

Download PreNDA Resolution PDF

Fiscal Risk Commission Resolution:

Download Fiscal Risk Commission Resolution PDF


LIFT America Gathering, July 30th

HEY EAGLES!  Take a moment and check out this event coming to the metroplex area July 30th.  Our own Eagle Forum member, Tammy Morgan, is coordinating this opportunity for us to give back to educators.  Thank you Tammy Morgan for you and your team putting this event together!
PLEASE pass the word about an upcoming LIFT event in the metroplex area.  Lift – Lasting Impactful Fellowship for Teachers, is a time of encouraging and uplifting our educators and their families.  We encourage you all to share the word and take a teacher you know to this event!  Please see the registration link below for more information.  Thank you for supporting our educators.

 

Trayce Bradford
President of Texas Eagle Forum


Congrats New RPT Chairman & Special Session

There sure has been a whole lot of news going on in the last several days.

Texas Eagle Forum wants to say congratulations to the new interim Chair for the RPT – James Dickey!  It’s time that we all rally together and get the work done!

We are proud of Chairman Dickey for right out of the gate emphasizing the Texas GOP platform and calling for Gov. Abbott to do everything he can to work with Texans on these issues.

Here is the list that Chairman Dickey sent out. Governor Abbott included in his call several items which relate to planks from the 2016 RPT Platform as noted:

  • Municipal annexation reform– Plank 37: Property Rights
  • Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud– Plank 59: Fair Election Procedures
  • Privacy– Plank 87: Gender Identity
  • Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providers– Plank 91: Funding
  • School choice for special needs students– Plank 147: School Choice
  • Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate orders– Plank 100: Patient Protection
  • Property tax reform– Plank 175: Tax Burden
  • Prohibition of taxpayer dollars to collect union dues– Plank 197: Right to Work
  • School finance reform commission– Plank 120: Funding
  • Caps on state and local spending– Plank 167: Spending Limitations

Speaking of work, looks like the special session will be happening as announced yesterday by Governor Abbott.

The list of Governor Abbott’s items on the call for special session to begin July 18th per Texas Tribune Patrick Svitek.

  1. Sunset legislation
  2. Teacher pay increase of $1,000
  3. Administrative flexibility in teacher hiring and retention practices
  4. School finance reform commisssion
  5. Shool choice for special needs students
  6. Property tax reform
  7. Caps on state and local spending
  8. Preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private land
  9. Preventing local governments from changing rules midway through construction projects
  10. Speeding up local government permitting process
  11. Municipal annexation reform
  12. Texting while driving preemption
  13. Privacy
  14. Prohibition of taxpayer dollars to collect union dues
  15. Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providers
  16. Pro-life insurance reform
  17. Strengthening abortion reportingrequirements when health complications arise
  18. Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not -resuscitate orders
  19. Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud
  20. Extending maternal mortality task force

Know that Texas Eagle Forum is already working with our friends and coalition members and we will be there in Austin, July 18th.

Please pray for us.

Trayce Bradford
President of Texas Eagle Forum


After Session

Dear Eagles & Friends,

I am going to jump right in and say there is so much on my heart to share, some good news as well as “lessons learned” from this Texas legislative session. In order to do that justice, I am taking some time to sort through all my notes and videos to put together a letter to share the overarching theme of the session as well as inform you on a number of bills we had pass.

We will be compiling a scorecard and hoping to keep it in the spirit of those done before. Even when I was in the “pre-eagle” period of my life (many small children and homeschooling up to my eyeballs), I always looked forward to the TEF scorecard! It was very thorough and gave a great cross section list of legislation.

You all can be praying for our team of Marilyn, Bethany, Bunni, and myself as we wade through the journals, find the votes and get this all together. Cathie will be on our speed dial as well. 🙂

I went to Austin with the heart and hope to represent Texas Eagle Forum well and to represent those that support us and stand with us on so many issues. I learned a great deal, some through victories, but a number through defeats or mistakes. I am so grateful for all the backup and encouragement you all provided with emails, texts, and calls constantly. You kept me on my toes and at times filled an empty tank with your prayers.

I look forward to sharing more in the next several weeks, but for right now I am going to go celebrate 5 birthdays, a couple of anniversaries, ballet recitals, and graduations. It is good to be home.

Bless you and keep an eye out for that letter, we have some fun and exciting news to include.

Thankful for you all! It is time now to rejoice.

Trayce Bradford

President of Texas Eagle Forum

 

 


PRAY FOR OUR LEGISLATORS

The battle of a patriot never ceases. However, the reward is reaped for generations. Therefore, do not lose your zeal for freedom or the passion for our cornerstone values. Rather, draw from the hope and knowledge that our legislature was strategically selected but it is the Lord that will safeguard our liberties.

Today, we call upon you to pray for our legislature as we approach these final days.

2 Chronicles 15:7 But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is a reward for your work.

Pray that they will have strength to keep fighting and clarity of mind as they continue to discern how to best protect our families and faith.

Do not be discouraged by the media or outside voices. Our fight is for a Higher power that says it is always a season of prayer and to always commit our works to Him.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

Victory cannot be won without warriors to lift up our battles.

Trayce Bradford