How to visit your legislators
Preparing to talk to my legislators
Bring a member of the Capitol Brigade with you if possible. They are there to help! They will also have Convention of States material you can provide to your legislator.
Share the results from your visit with the Capitol Brigade and your leadership.
What should I wear?
We are grassroots advocates and want to reflect respectably. Business or Business Casual is preferred. Or wear any COS shirt you may have. (Visit the COS Store here!) Make sure your clothing, and your shoes, are clean and comfortable!
Directions to the Capitol
Coming from the south (San Antonio to Austin) on I-35
- Take Exit 235A toward Univ of Texas, 15th & MLK Blvd (Green Line Above)
- Turn left on 15th Street (not the turnaround), toward TEXAS STATE HISTORY MUSEUM, CAPITOL VISITORS PARKING (Green Line Above)
- Travel west on 15th Street 4 Blocks, Turn Left on San Jacinto Blvd. (Blue Line Above)
- Turn Left on 13th Street (Blue Line Above)
- The entrance to the Capitol Visitor Parking is on the Right Side (Blue Line Above)
Coming from the north (Dallas/Ft. Worth to Austin) on I-35
- Coming from the North (Dallas/Ft. Worth to Austin) on I-35
- Take Exit 235A toward MLK & 15th St, Univ of Texas (Red Line Above) The 15th St. exit branches to the left of the off-ramp (Red Line Above)
- Turn Right on 15th Street, toward TEXAS STATE HISTORY MUSEUM, CAPITOL VISITORS PARKING (Red Line Above)
- Travel West on 15th Street 4 Blocks, Turn Left on San Jacinto Blvd. (Blue Line Above)
- Turn Left on 13th Street (Blue Line Above)
- The Entrance to the Capitol Visitor Parking is on the Right Side (Blue Line Above)
Capitol Visitors Parking
The Capitol Visitors Parking is outlined as a Purple Rectangle above. There should be ample parking available.
Make sure you park in a visitor's space, as there are reserved spaces in the lot.
There are two entrances, one on 13th Street, and one on 12th Street (Green Circles Above).
The Parking Fees range from Free (first two hours) to $12.00. If you plan on being at the Capitol for most of the activities, plan on a $12.00 fee payable when you leave.
The parking structure is about a 4 full blocks walk from the Capitol's East Entrance (Red Circle above).
Entrance to the Texas State Capitol
The Capitol opens at 7:00 a.m., all four entrances.
The closest entrance to the parking structure is the East Entrance (Red Circle above). The North Entrance (Blue Circle above) provides full handicapped accessiblity.
There is a security check upon entrance; be prepared to empty your pockets, check all bags and purses.
If you hold a Texas CHL (Texas Handgun License), the security check is actually quicker! Notify the Security Guard that you are a CHL holder, and they will check you in through a separate process.
The Capitol Grill is located in the Capitol Extension Building, on Floor E1. It opens at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast, and remains open until 5:00 p.m. (with limited service after about 2:00).
Floor E1 is below the ground level where you enter! The elevators are to the north of the Capitol Rotunda, on both the left and right sides. Take an elevator DOWN to floor E1.
There are also vending machines available near the Capitol Grill, and an ATM.
Breakfast prices are very reasonable ($3-$6 for the meal, drink extra). Lunch is also reasonable - expect in the $6-$9 range for sandwiches, hot meals, salads.
Restrooms are located right next to the elevators off the north side of the Rotunda.
Also restrooms are available on every floor of each building, in various places.
Austin has many hotels and motels from which to choose; the closer to the Capitol, the more you can expect to spend.
The most convenient accommodations are
- the La Quinta Inn Austin Capitol, 300 E. 11th Street (11th Street and San Jacinto Blvd, just 5 blocks from the Capitol). You can see its location on the map above with the purple circle. Their website can be found here.
- The Doubletree Hotel, 303 West 15th Street. (1 block from the capitol). Their website can be found here.
How to track legislature that matters to you
This video walks you through setting up email alerts for actions on bills that matter to you. You can track alerts by topic, committee, or specific bill. For example, you may want an alert on HJR 35, to remove the sunset clause from our Texas Convention of States petition. Learn how to set up your alerts here. After watching the video, you can look up bills or set your bill alerts here.
Key dates at the Capitol
We have some key dates at the Capitol focused on the Convention of States sunset clause removal, election integrity, the border, and others. You can see them all here.
The Capitol Brigade will be there to help!
The Capitol Brigade is a team of Convention of States activists that will be at the Capitol Tuesday through Thursday while the legislature is in session. They will help guide you through the Capitol, assist in meeting with your legislator, have helpful information packets for your legislator, and in the process train you on the legislative process.
Let them know that you are coming by signing up for the days that you will be at the Capitol.