Civics 101


APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE FOR ANNUAL CITYWORKS ACADEMY The city is now accepting applications for the ninth annual CityWorks Academy. Get involved in local government and learn the “A to Z” of city operations through 14 class sessions. Classes run Sept.-Dec. Application deadline: July 21

CALL FOR BLOOD DONATIONS We Are Blood – Central Texas' blood supplier – is seeking blood donations during the slower summer months, especially so soon after Harvey. We Are Blood, 4300 N. Lamar, 512/206-1266.

HOSPICE AUSTIN'S CAMP BRAVE HEART A three-night camp for kids (6-17) who are dealing with the death of a loved one. Celebrating its 20th anniversary of supporting grieving youth, Camp Brave Heart arms kids with the tools to tackle their grief. Now accepting applications for July 31 - Aug. 3, near Wimberley, TX. John Knox Ranch. Free.

TCSO VICTIM SERVICES UNIT SEEKS VOLUNTEERS The Travis County Sheriff’s Office Victim Services Unit needs volunteers to offer immediate assistance to victims of various criminal and crisis circumstances. Those interested must complete a training program from Sept. 11-Oct. 2 (Mon. and Thu., 6-9pm, Sat. 9am-5pm). Register for Sept. training through Aug.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS TO THE INTEGRAL CARE BOARD OF TRUSTEES County commissioners are looking to fill two seats for the board of trustees of Integral Care this October. Qualified individuals wishing to represent the county should apply. Find details online or call. Deadline to apply Fri., Aug. 25, 5pm 512/854-4774.

EL BUEN SAMARITANO HOSTS THE GRITO CHALLENGE El Buen Samaritano hosts a public participation challenge to raise awareness of the services they provide to Latino and immigrant families. Enter by uploading your Grito videos (a cry for independence, a halt to oppression, and a soulful shout) to social media with #gritochallenge, then tag three other people to do it on social media. Through Sept. 15 El Buen Samaritano, 7000 Woodhue, 512/474-4448.

CALL FOR ENTRIES FOR THE 2017 AUSTIN GREEN AWARDS ATX Green Awards, which recognizes and promotes sustainability and innovation in local design, is accepting submissions now through Sept. 22 (for the awards ceremony happening Oct. 25). See website for details. Through Sept. 22, noon

PUBLIC INPUT NEEDED ON TEMPORARY CONCESSIONS IN CITY OF AUSTIN PARKS Via online survey, Austin Parks & Rec. is seeking public input on temporary concessions in city parks. Survey available through Oct. 29.

OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR MARKETPLACE INSURANCE (OBAMACARE) Foundation Communities can help you navigate the ACA health insurance marketplace to find the plan that works best for you. Hours vary by day and location; see website for details. Through Dec. 15. Locations vary, see website. Free.

BE A GIVER, RAISE A TITO’S Text “TITOSHOLIDAY” to 81181, select the charity of your choice – such as ASPCA and Operation Homefront, and Tito’s will donate $1 for every text received (up to $150,000). No vodka necessary. Now through Jan. 3 81181.

CITY OF AUSTIN ANNOUNCES NEW PUBLIC ART OPPORTUNITY FOR COLONY PARK DISTRICT PARK Professional visual artists are invited to apply to create a permanent public artwork for Colony Park. Deadline Jan. 4

PROPOSED CEMETERY RULES OPEN TO PUBLIC COMMENT The final draft of Austin's proposed new cemetery rules has been posted on the City Clerk's website for public feedback. Email comments to D’Anne Williams. Open through Fri., Jan. 12. [email protected],

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR THE 25TH ANNUAL SOTX WINTER GAMES This year's Special Olympics Texas is Feb. 2-4, and they need your help to make it great. Volunteers needed to assist with various duties at all competition events, the Athlete Village, and medics (physicians, nurses, and EMTs needed). Sign up online; email with questions. [email protected],

FREE TAX PREP FOR LOW-INCOME AUSTIN FAMILIES Foundation Communities offer tax prep and filing assistance for low- and moderate-income residents (households making up to $55,000). Available at six locations with varying day, evening, and weekend hours – see website for specifics. Free.

CITY COUNCIL CALLS FOR MUNICIPAL CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSIONERS Council is accepting applications from qualified folks to serve on the five-member Municipal Civil Service Commission. Two three-year terms are currently open. Apply online or email Boards and Commissions Coordinator Deena Estrada. Deadline: Fri., March 2, 5pm [email protected],

VOLUNTEER FOR IT'S MY PARK DAY Thousands of Austinites unite to improve and transform city parks, trails, and greenbelts. Register for a project now! Volunteer for Sat., March 3 Various Locations.

AUSTIN ART IN PUBLIC PLACES SEEKS MURALIST AIPP is expanding its annual temporary public art program (aka TEMPO). Seven to 10 artists will be commissioned to create temporary murals across town. Budget: $2,000 and $7,000, depending on the size and complexity. Deadline: Thu., April 26.

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR SUMMER SWIM LESSONS Swim lessons for all ages and skill levels, provided by the city of Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s Aquatic Division. $57, residents; $66, nonresidents.

LEGALLINE Call 512/472-8303 for free legal advice concerning family law, criminal matters, traffic problems, consumer issues, landlord/tenant issues, and employment law. Attorneys who are bilingual (English/Spanish) are also available. First Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30pm 512/472-8303. Free. [email protected],

YWCA GREATER AUSTIN WARMLINE Call 512/548-9922 for support amidst the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mondays-Thursdays, 9am-8pm; Fridays, 9-5pm; Saturdays, noon-4pm Citywide.

DRIVE-THROUGH VACCINE CLINIC VOLUNTEERS If you're interested in volunteering at Travis County's drive-through vaccine clinic at COTA, sign up here. Clinic open: Fridays-Sundays Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker.

AUSTIN TRANSIT PARTNERSHIP ADVISORY COMMITTEES APPLICATIONS Applications are now open to join the following committees: Engineering, Architecture, and Construction; Finance and Risk; and Planning, Sustainability, Equity, and DBE Advisory. The governing body of the agency created to build out Project Connect, ATP will oversee funding, designing, and implementing the $7.1 billion mass transit overhaul. Ongoing Online.

AUSTIN PARKS AND RECREATION SUMMER CAMP LOTTERY REGISTRATION Applicants can register for a random lottery drawing for limited in-person camps. In-person camp costs $120 per week with $20 due upon acceptance of lottery spot. April 19-May 16 Online.

WINTER STORM REVIEW TASK FORCE SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT Share your experiences and recommendations related to Winter Storm Uri, which will then be incorporated into a final report for City Council. Provide feedback online via the SpeakUp Austin website, or to speak remotely at the task force meetings, call (512/974-6339) or email no later than noon the day prior to the meetings on May 14 & 28 and June 11 & 23. Ongoing Remote. [email protected],

I-35 CAPITAL EXPRESS NORTH PUBLIC HEARING Review the draft environmental assessment and the recommended alternative for improvements to I-35 from SH 45 N. to Hwy. 290 E. Through June 10 Online.

AUSTIN RESOURCE RECOVERY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN SURVEY Share your feedback on ARR reaching its zero waste goals to help guide departmental efforts to measure Austin’s zero waste progress. Deadline: June 1 Online.

PALM DISTRICT PLANNING SURVEY Austin’s Palm District is located on the eastern edge of Downtown between I-35 and Trinity St., running from Rainey St. to 15th St. The city's Housing and Planning Department seeks public input on the future of the area as it develops the final Palm District Small Area Plan. Explore the area, take a survey, and ask questions on the city’s project website. Ongoing Online. [email protected],

SHOAL CREEK AUDIO WALKING TOUR SURVEY The Shoal Creek Conservancy is seeking public input to determine which stories to include in its free, self-guided tour along Shoal Creek. Deadline: June 7 Online. [email protected],

TCSO VICTIM SERVICES VOLUNTEERS The Travis County Sheriff's Office Victim Services Unit needs volunteers to offer immediate assistance to victims of various criminal and crisis circumstances. Those interested must complete a training program from July 31-Aug. 28 (Mondays, virtual, 6-9pm; Thursdays, virtual, 6-9pm; Saturdays, in-person, 9am-5pm). Ongoing Online.

2021-22 BUDGET ENGAGEMENT The Budget Office’s website includes explanatory videos in English and Spanish about the city’s FY 2021-22 budgeting process, as well as a short survey for residents to share their thoughts on spending priorities. The mayor and City Council are scheduled to adopt Austin’s FY 2021-22 budget and tax rate between Aug. 11-13. Ongoing Online. [email protected],

DRIVE-UP HIV/STI TESTING No appointment necessary for free and confidential tests for HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Through July 23. Fridays, 9am-noon Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center, 2800 Webberville Rd.. Free.

APA! POURS FOR PETS Austin Pets Alive! puts the "fun" in "fundraiser" this month: For $40, you can purr-chase a passport to use participating locations throughout July, and at each stop, pick up a coffee, beer, glass of wine, or even a refreshing agua fresca. The nonprofit animal shelter is partnering with Austin favorites like Irene’s, Hank’s, Cosmic Coffee, Yard Bar, and more, and proceeds go to pets in need. July 1-31 Citywide. $40 donation.

SUMMER LUNCH FOR TEENS AND KIDS Central Health is providing children ages 18 and under with free weekly meal packs that include breakfast and lunch for the entire week. Through Aug. 12. Thursdays, noon-2pm Central Health Southeast Health & Wellness Center, 2901 Montopolis Dr.. Free.

ARC OF THE CAPITAL AREA WILDFLOWER PROGRAM In collaboration with Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The Arc offers classes for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities focusing on social-emotional growth, vocational studies, life skills, active recreation, and Texas nature. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am-2pm Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse. $150-300 per month.

ACA SPECIAL ENROLLMENT DEADLINE Sunday, Aug. 15, is the deadline to sign up for health insurance through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. Enroll online, via phone, or find local certified help in your area at Deadline: Sun., Aug. 15 800/318-2596.

I-35 CAPITAL EXPRESS CENTRAL PROJECT FEEDBACK Review the Texas Department of Transportation’s $4.9 billion project by Sept. 24. TxDOT proposes to add two HOV lanes in each direction along I-35 from U.S. 290 E. to Hwy. 71/Ben White Blvd. Extended Deadline: Sept. 24 Online.

CENTRAL HEALTH 2022 BUDGET ENGAGEMENT Submit your questions or comments on Central Health’s proposed FY 2022 budget and a member of Central Health’s staff will get in touch. Ongoing Online.

ZILKER PARK VISION PLAN COMMUNITY SURVEY As part of the engagement process for the first-ever Zilker Park Vision Plan – the guiding framework for the park’s restoration and future development – community members are invited to share their thoughts on the park’s programming. Deadline: Sept. 30 Online.

ACL ZILKER PARK ACCESS Beginning Sept. 20, the Parks and Recreation Department will close Zilker Park and select roads and street lanes in preparation for the Austin City Limits Music Festival (Oct. 1-3 & 8-10). View the city’s interactive map for more details and a schedule of park and road closures. Sept. 20-Oct. 17 Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd..

SOUTH PLEASANT VALLEY ROAD IMPROVEMENTS SURVEY The city is gathering comments from residents about how they currently use South Pleasant Valley Road between St. Elmo Road and Onion Creek Park and how they would like to use the road to help guide future changes to the corridor. Deadline: Oct. 10 Online.

DRIVE SAFE 2 SAVE COMPETITION Safe 2 Save, in partnership with Austin Transportation’s Vision Zero program, is hosting a competition to find Austin’s “safest driver” to discourage distracted driving and phone use. The competition features weekly cash prizes of $500, with the top three winners receiving prizes at the end. Through Oct. 15

TRANSPORTATION CRITERIA MANUAL UPDATE The TCM defines the rules, requirements, and technical guidelines for building mobility infrastructure in Austin. The city’s Transportation Department has worked to update the manual over the past two years; the current draft of the revised TCM is available for public review now through Nov. 1. Deadline: Nov. 1 Online.

AUSTIN STRATEGIC MOBILITY PLAN SURVEY Austin Transportation Department seeks community members’ feedback on three new policy changes to the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, the city’s first comprehensive, multimodal transportation plan. Ongoing Online.

TPWD COMMUNITY OUTDOOR OUTREACH PROGRAM GRANT TPWD’s CO-OP grants provide funding to tax-exempt organizations for programming that engages under-served populations in TPWD mission-oriented outdoor recreation, conservation, and environmental education activities. Deadline: Nov. 1 Online.

FORD BUILD TO CONNECT This multiday outdoor event includes displays of Ford’s all-electric F-150 Lightning truck and Mustang Mach-E SUV models. Oct. 15-24. Mon.-Fri., noon-9pm; Sat.-Sun., 9am-8pm Republic Square, 422 Guadalupe, 512/381-1147. Free.

AUSTIN LGBT CHAMBER HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE Austin’s queer business chamber hosts its annual drive for new (and unwrapped) toys, clothing, and shoes for local children. Donations will go to children and families enrolled in LifeWorks programs and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Travis County programs. See here for a list of drop-off locations and suggested donations. Through Dec. 10 Multiple locations.

PRIMARY ELECTION DAY WORKER Over 600 spots need to be filled at polling locations for the March 1 primaries; this is a paid position through Travis County.

WIC MOBILE UNIT Resources and info about Austin Public Health’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program for qualifying pregnant women, new mothers, and young children. Check online for current schedule Various locations. Free.

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