Headlines / Quote of the Week
GOTV FFS, Y'all: This Friday, Oct. 29, is the last day of early voting for Austin's Nov. 2 election. As of Oct. 26, only 6.72% of Austin's 849,679 registered voters had cast their ballots. See our endorsements, a list of EV locations, and a vote-by-mail FAQ.
Hate From the State: Reliably anti-LGBTQIA Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 25 into law this week, thus banning transgender K-12 students from playing on UIL sports teams aligning with their gender identity effective Jan. 18. The bill signifies Texas' first statewide anti-trans policy to be signed into law, making Texas the ninth state this year to enact anti-trans sports legislation.
SB 8 to SCOTUS: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments against Texas' six-week abortion ban this Monday, Nov. 1, in two separate challenges. Read more.
No, Just No: An Austin Police Department officer was seen fist-bumping a person wearing swastikas on their clothing in screenshots posted to social media of APD officers responding to a neo-Nazi group hanging an antisemitic banner over a MoPac overpass on Saturday. APD Chief Joseph Chacon said the fist-bumping officer had "declined a request for a handshake and instead opted for a fist-bump citing COVID-19 safety protocols" after the person complied with the officer; another antisemitic banner was hung over MoPac only days later. The two incidents follow Anderson High School being vandalized with antisemitic graffiti last Friday.
The Streets Are Alive: Austin City Council unanimously passed a resolution for a citywide "Living Streets" program aimed at broadening the recreational use of residential streets. The program expands Austin's Healthy Streets initiative by opening up the application process for street closure permits to areas that secure 60% support along the street.
A One-Two... The whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Texas Attorney General's Office staffers against Texas A.G. Ken Paxton will proceed, after Texas' 3rd Court of Appeals ruled last week that the former aides are protected under the state's Whistleblower Act.
...Paxton-Paul Punch: Incidentally, on the same day of the 3COA's decision, local real estate investor Nate Paul – whose mysterious dealings with Paxton are at the center of the whistleblowers' allegations – filed suit against federal and state investigators accusing them of lying to obtain search warrants as part of a joint investigation into Paul and his business, World Class Holdings.
Flying F1 Airways: The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport broke its single-day passenger count record earlier this week with 35,298 passengers traveling through the airport on Monday, Oct. 25, the day after the 2021 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix.
Quote of the Week
"We're not seeing very good numbers at all."
– Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir on early voting turnout for the Nov. 2 election (see “Headlines”)