Headlines / Quote of the Week
Here's Council! City Council convenes today, July 29, in person at City Hall to tackle a generous 182-Item agenda. For our preview of the meeting's anticipated highlights – including a long-awaited glimpse of what might (finally) replace the old Home Depot site at I-35 and St. Johns – click here.
Democracy in the Streets: On Wednesday, July 28, Beto O'Rourke, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes, and other distinguished political figures and religious leaders embarked on day one of the "Selma to Montgomery"-style march from Georgetown to Austin. The four-day, 27-mile march, organized to demand federal voting rights protections, ends with a rally at the Texas State Capitol this Saturday, July 31, at 10am. Read more.
Back to School: This week the Austin Independent School District announced it will offer virtual learning options for kindergarten through sixth-grade students this fall. Read more.
And APD's Chief Is ... The seven finalists for Austin's next police chief were named this week. Find out who's on the short list here.
Vaxxed and Masked: Austin and Travis County have reentered Stage 4 of the local COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines for the first time since before widespread vaccinations. Austin Public Health recommends fully vaccinated individuals wear a face mask while attending indoor gatherings, dining, traveling, and shopping, in addition to masking up at outdoor gatherings if they're unable to socially distance.
Release the Vids: The Austin Police Department announced a new Critical Incident Public Release policy that requires APD to now release videos of police shootings and other incidents within 10 business days of the incident. This includes body-worn camera and digital in-car video footage. Previously, its policy gave APD 60 days to release critical incident videos.
Hark! A Halt! Council Members Natasha Harper-Madison and Paige Ellis are calling for a pause on sanctioned encampments for unhoused Austinites. The joint request comes one week after city staff identified two city-owned sites located within the CMs' respective districts, 3511 Manor Rd. (District 1) and 4011 Convict Hill (District 8), as potential temporary campsites.
Hook 'Em, Big 12: The University of Texas at Austin – as well as its Red River rival, the University of Oklahoma – has asked to join the Southeastern Conference starting July 1, 2025. Should UT be accepted into the SEC, only three Texas schools would remain in the Big 12 Conference, including Texas Christian University, Baylor, and Texas Tech.
Quote of the Week
"You're not going to win this one on phone calls or tweets."
– Beto O’Rourke, speaking ahead of this week’s 27-mile march for voting rights from Georgetown to Austin (read more)