Council decriminalizes pot

Although this resolution was theoretically prompted by the legal limbo created by hemp legalization, it's also obvious that the lead supporters believe decriminalization, if not legalization, is simply the right thing to do.  

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A city-run economic development corporation?

Ideally, the EDC could partner with Cap Metro to acquire, develop and lease land along transit routes, with the goal of providing transit-supportive density (commercial & residential) as well as generating much-needed revenue for the city, which could be used to fund any city priority (social services, public safety etc). 

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MLK Day thoughts

It's great that we now have a national holiday dedicated to a champion of civil rights, human rights and peace, but it's also frustrating to see MLK's message sanitized, warped and coopted by political leaders who have dedicated their careers to working against everything MLK stood for. 

Greg Abbott, for instance, took a short break from demonizing our community's most destitute to give a shout-out to King. Trump, who launched his political career by spreading a racist conspiracy theory about America's first black president, is also pretending to respect Dr. King. 

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Austin loses control of CAMPO…again

CAMPO is a "metropolitan planning organization," an entity mandated by the federal government to plan and coordinate the dispersement of federal transportation funds in major metro areas. The organization is managed by a 21-member board that consists mostly of elected officials from various jurisdictions with the planning area. 

The composition of the board greatly inflates the power of small, rural constituencies at the expense of Austin and Travis County. Caldwell County is less than 1/20 the size of the city of Austin but it has 1/4 as many representatives on the board. 

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Here come the trains!

It's now 99% certain: Project Connect will include two light rail routes. What only a few months ago appeared to be a pipe dream among transit activists now has the backing of Cap Metro and city leadership. 

Indeed, what Cap Metro is envisioning is in many ways more ambitious than what activists have been pushing for.

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Alison Alter brings in record fundraising haul

Alison Alter raised $61.6k in the last two months of 2019, putting her in a very strong position as she approaches reelection in November.

This is an unprecedented haul for a Council candidate a year before the election. Last year at this time Paige Ellis led the pack with a grand total of $4,000 raised. Kathie Tovo, an incumbent with a devoted base, had only raised $1,050. 

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