TRTA Day at the Capitol is set for Wednesday, March 29, 2017 on the heels of the 64thAnnual TRTA Convention. Day at the Capitol raises awareness on Texas public education retirees’ most important issues and encourages immediate legislative action to address them.
TRTA is expecting a big crowd! District and local leaders are making transportation plans to visit Austin, and the TRTA staff is happy answer any questions you may have. Below are some important facts you need to know about TRTA Day at the Capitol. Please call 1.800.880.1650 or email email@example.com with questions or comments.
Help TRTA get a headcount for Day at the Capitol! If your district or local unit is bringing a large group to the event, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with details such as how many people will be attending. You do not need to RSVP if you have registered for the 64th Annual TRTA Convention.
You can also let us know if you’re going by joining our Facebook event!
TRTA Day at the Capitol Schedule of Events
7:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Shuttle service from Hilton to Capitol for Convention attendees
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Legislative Visits
9:30 a.m. House Gallery
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Photo opportunities with legislators (TRTA staff photographer is first come, first served)
10:30 a.m. Senate Gallery
11:30 a.m. Rally on the Capitol South Steps
12:00 p.m. Additional Legislative Visits
12:30 – 2:30 p.m. Ice Cream Social on the East Lawn
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Return shuttle service to Hilton Austin for Convention attendees
Download the Capitol Building Guide here
Parking at the Texas Capitol is located at 1201 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, TX 78701. Parking in a state parking garage is free for the first 2 hours and $1.00 for each half hour thereafter. The maximum daily charge is $12.00. You may enter the garage off of E. 12th Street or E. 13th Street. The exit is onto San Jacinto Boulevard.
Frequently Asked Questions
What time will Day at the Capitol begin?
TRTA Day at the Capitol has a general start time of 9:00 a.m., though staff and volunteers will be there to greet you by 8:00 a.m. The Day at the Capitol has been scheduled on a Wednesday so that participants close to Austin or those spending the night may be able to visit with their legislators or attend any scheduled morning legislative committee hearings. Those wanting to visit a legislative committee hearing will need to check with TRTA a few days before the event to see what committee meetings are scheduled for that date. For members who are attending the 64th Annual TRTA Convention in Austin and staying at the Hilton, TRTA will provide continuous service shuttle buses to and from the Texas Capitol in twenty-minute increments. Rides to the Capitol begin at 7:00 a.m. and end at 10:30 a.m. Return rides to the Hilton begin at 1:30 p.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. An ADA bus will be available the entire day.
When will the first TRTA event happen?
TRTA members are asked to make their way to the House gallery (3rd floor west) no later than 9:30 a.m. on March 29. We hope to fill the House and Senate visitor galleries with members so that they will be recognized by legislative leaders. TRTA will have a proclamation read into the record recognizing March 29 as TRTA Day at the Capitol. Upon the statement being read into the record, TRTA members are ENCOURAGED to APPLAUD WITH GREAT ENTHUSIASM! TRTA is also working with legislative leaders on making a presentation to the House and Senate regarding the number of volunteer hours members have given and the number of books donated through the Children’s Book Project over the past year.
What about the Senate?
When will we visit the legislators?
The TRTA Day at the Capitol is ultimately about our members making their presence known to their elected officials. Depending on your planned arrival time, early morning legislative appointments can be made between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. TRTA wants to have as many members as possible in the House gallery by 9:30 a.m. and the Senate gallery by 10:30 a.m. TRTA members should be able to make additional mid-morning and afternoon appointments between 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (depending upon how long members are able to stay).
Keep in mind that many legislators may be attending committee meetings that morning. If you know that your legislator(s) is scheduled to be in a specific committee, you may want to visit that committee hearing before it starts or as it is finishing so that you may see them before the start of the floor session. Also, it is perfectly acceptable to visit with your legislator’s key staff. These hard-working, dedicated employees are responsible for letting their boss know what you have to say. If you cannot see your legislator, visiting with their staff is a very good way to deliver the TRTA message.
What if I want a photo taken of me with my legislator(s)?
Many members want to have a picture taken for publication in their local unit newsletter, website, and/or in local newspapers. TRTA will have volunteers to take pictures with you (and your group) and your legislator(s), although available times are limited. You may request that a TRTA photographer be present at your appointment to take a photo by sending an email to email@example.com, Subject Line: Day at the Capitol Photo. Photo appointments are first come, first served. In lieu of having a TRTA staff member take your photo, you can often ask a legislative staffer to take your photo with your legislator using your camera or phone.
Will TRTA provide handouts?
Yes. TRTA is developing a one-page handout that you can provide to your legislator or their staff. The important part is that you, as their constituent, are the person delivering this information. TRTA members coming to the Day at the Capitol will also receive a free commemorative TRTA tote bag! Bags and information will be handed out at the various Capitol building entrances.
How can I find other TRTA members in my area who plan to come to this event?
TRTA District Presidents and local unit leaders may be chartering buses, planning carpools or helping to connect members that may be coming on their own for this event. If you do not know how to contact local TRTA leaders in your area, click on this link to find your TRTA Local Unit Web Page.
I am coming on my own and am thinking about spending the night. Where is a good place to stay?
What are some other important items I need to know?
Perhaps the most important fact to know about visiting the Texas Capitol is that it is always very busy. Plan your schedule so that you have least twenty minutes between appointments or events. All Capitol entrance doors require visitors to pass through metal detectors and have their bags searched. TRTA members who have a Texas-issued concealed handgun license (CHL) may use a quicker security line that bypasses metal detectors and bag search. Buses coming to the event must unload passengers on the east side of the Texas Capitol. Due to the long lines that may form at the Capitol’s east door, TRTA members that are willing and able should utilize alternate Capitol entrances (north, south, and west). Please be aware that the only wheelchair accessible ramp is located at the Capitol’s north entrance. View the Capitol Accessibility Guide here.
What should I wear?
TRTA members are encouraged to wear red shirts. This is the color we have used in previous sessions, and it makes our crowd instantly recognizable. We suggest wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. Making a good impression is always important, but this will be a long day for many of our members from outlying TRTA districts and local units.
Will there be a central staging or rally area?
TRTA will host a press conference at approximately 11:30 a.m. on the south steps of the Texas Capitol. Between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., TRTA will host an old-fashioned ice cream social under the tent on the east lawn. Please invite your legislators and their staff to attend. Join us for free ice cream, water, and fun with your legislators and fellow TRTA members!
What should I do for lunch?
TRTA is not providing a lunch meal during Day at the Capitol, but recommends that visitors go to the Capitol Grill on Floor E1 (Room E1.002). The Capitol Grill has a wonderful selection of lunch items, including food made-to-order, a salad bar, and pre-made meals.
I am not able to come, but I want to help. What can I do to make this event successful for TRTA?
Those who are not able to attend may make phone calls and send emails announcing and promoting the event to their legislators. A special email campaign is being developed about the March 29 TRTA Day at the Capitol. TRTA is hoping for a tidal wave of grassroots communication about this event to legislative offices from now until the big day. We want every legislator in Texas to know that TRTA is coming to the Capitol on March 29.
What You Can Do to Help Now!
TRTA IS THE VOICE FOR EDUCATION RETIREES, and we want to be seen and heard during Day at the Capitol.
We want to thank all of you who plan to attend or help us communicate with legislators about the big day.
The planning is well underway and we are looking forward to having as many members as possible here for this legislative event. Your phone calls, emails, and presence in Austin are all going to help advance the issues most important to you and your retirement.
Again, thank you for all you do! TRTA will continue to update you on our plans for March 29. For now, we ask that you begin making phone calls and letting your legislators know we are looking forward to SEEING THEM ON MARCH 29! Use the toll-free legislator hotline (1.888.674.3788) to call your Senator and Representative today!