Daily Newsletters

  • Staff presents potential APD cuts
    Council members have been floating APD budget cuts. In some cases, it's hard to know what the actual savings will be from a specific cut. But here's what city budget staff said yesterday in a meeting with the Council Public Safety Committee.
  • Council considers going half-way on APD cuts
    It looks like there is a consensus on City Council in support of a few big cuts to the APD budget. But there is also hesitancy about pushing forward with major restructuring of the department before the September budget deadline, especially considering the apparent resistance from feet-dragging from city staff.
  • Would a strong mayor be less efficient?
    There's talk of evidence that strong mayor systems are less efficient. But I have yet to see it.
  • A campaign to make Austin (more) democratic
    A set of proposed changes to the charter could make Austin elections more democratic.
  • Leslie Pool has an opponent!
    Leslie Pool has an opponent! Well, this is …
  • Campaign finance reports in!
    Alter ahead, but facing a strong challenge from Sethi in West Austin
  • Garza wins! And Garza wins!
    Incumbent District Attorney Margaret Moore was …
  • Garza wins! And Garza wins!
    Garza wins! And Garza wins! Stinging rebuke to …
  • Did Cronk call Council’s bluff?
    With all the chest-beating from Council about reimagining public safety in Austin, why did the city manager respond with something that changes almost nothing? Because he's calling their bluff, or at least what he perceives as a bluff. He doesn't believe they're as dedicated to transformational change as they have said.
  • Travis County’s Tesla decision
    Critical considerations are missing from the Tesla incentives discussion.
  • Who’s giving $ in the county attorney race?
    The county attorney race has become a NIMBY/urbanist proxy battle.
  • We need an active transportation bond
    n the coming weeks, City Council will hopefully coalesce around support for Project Connect, Austin's much-needed generational investment in mass transit. But that's only half of the work they need to do to build out Austin's non-car infrastructure.
  • A look at the district attorney race
    The national reckoning on policing has reshaped the district attorney race in Travis County.
  • City Council has to get serious about Project Connect
    I still think voters will approve Project Connect. But it's not clear whether City Council members believe so. In fact, it's not clear what City Council members think. There's no evidence that the most consequential transportation policy in a generation has crossed any of their minds in recent weeks.
  • How can exclusionary zoning survive Black Lives Matter?
    As court rulings and civil rights legislation gradually chipped away at explicitly racial housing restrictions, cities across the country, including Austin, found other ways to keep white neighborhoods white.
  • Gentrifiers against density
    What's interesting is that some of the loudest voices against new development on the east side are the newer residents. In other words, gentrifiers. The ones who are responsible for driving up home values.
  • Is Tesla a good deal for Austin?
    There are at least two homes in my neighborhood that …
  • Let’s make bike lanes on Congress permanent
    Although the measure is at least partially prompted by a desire to allow bikers and pedestrians to more easily social distance, protected bike infrastructure on Congress is long overdue and should become permanent.
  • NIMBY network goes hard against Delia Garza
    A number of Eiserloh supporters are still betting on small-minded NIMBYism carrying the day in a race that has nothing to do with land use.
  • Cronk sticks with Manley
    Cronk –– perhaps with the support of the mayor and other Council members –– may be calculating that calls for the chief to go will just blow over. That might be an astute calculation, but I suspect not.
  • City outlines process for reimagining public safety
    It looks like Cronk is trying to find a way to make substantial cuts to the police department budget without actually cutting funds for policing.
  • Candidates shun police union
    In a dramatic reversal from past years, every City Council member in Austin has pledged to not accept contributions from police unions.
  • A look at lower speed limits in Austin
    One of the most noticeable changes is downtown, the campus area and Central East Austin, where a bunch of streets are getting lowered from 30 to 25 mph.
  • Police union boss pulling for Biden
    "I kind of hope, in a way, Trump gets beat. Cuz maybe Biden will haul Mayor Adler's ass out of town, and get him somewhere else."
  • Council did not vote to ‘defund’ the police
    It's far from clear what the outcome of these resolutions will be. Don't be distracted by the headlines around town claiming that Council voted to "divest" from the police.
  • Testing data shows Austin has made progress on virus, but now what?
    Where we go from here depends on how behavior changes in the coming weeks.
  • Video shows deadly police shooting
    There was no justification to shoot at Ramos, let alone shooting into a car that includes another person.
  • The case for bikes has never been stronger
    While COVID has made the case for transit tougher, it has only strengthened the case to start prioritizing pedestrians and cyclists over cars. 
  • Council broaches difficult question: How and when does Austin reopen?
    It's not just a matter of reducing infections.
  • Road warriors ready anti-transit campaign
    They're hoping to use fears of COVID and tax hikes to sink Project Connect.
  • Council members blast APD chief
    Four Council members say Chief Manley has more questions to answer.
  • The disturbing findings in the report on APD
    The initial reactions to the report on Friday were reminiscent of the response to the Mueller report. In both cases, cheerleaders for the accused seized on the inconclusive nature of the report as vindication or exoneration while ignoring many of the report's troubling revelations. 
  • Can we reform land use without a new code?
    Could City Council just approve a bunch of code amendments without facing court challenges?
  • Can you hear me? Council goes virtual
    Council's first all-virtual meeting went relatively smoothly.
  • City releases new COVID guidelines for construction
    It's still not clear which projects will be allowed to go forward.
  • Will local media survive COVID?
    The coronavirus may very likely be the knock-out blow to long-struggling local media outlets that depend on ad revenue.
  • Shelter in Place comes for Austin
    The county and city issue shelter in place orders. Here's what they do.
  • Will COVID beat congestion?
    The only way to realistically reduce traffic is to reduce demand. The only way to do that may be a global pandemic.
  • APD proposes new video release policy
    Yesterday Police Monitor Farah Muscadin and APD officials outlined a new policy for releasing video footage of officer-involved shootings and other cases involving use of force.  
  • What if Coronavirus kills SXSW?
    What's clear is that legitimate concerns have already damaged this year's festival. That could be a terrible blow to the local economy.
  • Moaists deface Bloomberg office
    So far none of the media reporting on the vandalism either know or are willing to say what it is obvious: this was perpetrated by Defend Our Hoodz, the same crowd of wannabe revolutionaries who have disrupted City Council meetings over the 4700 E. Riverside project, harassed Pio Renteria & Alison Alter at their homes and recently attacked the home of an employee of Presidium, the developer responsible for the Riverside project.
  • The new code is hardly anti-tree
    Fears that the new code will eviscerate Austin's heritage tree ordinance are unfounded. In fact, it's builders who are worried about new tree regs.
  • The huge mixed-use project in far East Austin
    A gravel mine just west of SH 130 will turn into a major mixed-use development.
  • A People’s Parking Plan
    Street parking should not be discouraged. People should be encouraged to do it –– and to pay for it.
  • Is Bernie is trickling down to City Hall?
    Despite its liberal reputation, most of Austin's political leaders are decidedly moderate. That may change as national progressive movements gain steam.
  • The Palm School’s unclear future
    It would be a disservice to the community to pass up on the chance to get tens of millions of dollars for the building, particularly when local government is strapped for cash due to revenue caps.
  • A Muny compromise?
    Muny represents an egregious waste of resources for both the city and the university. I've played there a few times myself and enjoyed it, but it's insane to think that its preservation should be a top priority for city leaders in the midst of a housing crisis, a mobility crisis and a pending fiscal crisis due to revenue caps.
  • A million different ways to block housing
    Preservationists on Council propose amendments that will reducing new housing.
  • Another crack at the code
    Pro-reform Council members push for more housing in the new code over the resistance of city staff.
  • When’s the body cam policy coming?
    Activists say that at the very least they would like the city to have a written policy that makes immediate release the assumption, rather than the exception. If it turns into a legal battle over state law, so be it.