No regular City Council meeting this week or next – the new and re-elected members will be sworn in Friday, Jan. 6 (6pm in Council chambers), and Council will elect a mayor pro tem. A retreat/workshop is scheduled for Jan. 11-12. The next regular meeting is Jan. 26.
Cities for Action, a coalition of more than 100 mayors (including Austin's Steve Adler) in support of progressive action in defense of immigrants, has asked President Obama to accelerate the DACA program for immigrants who arrived as children, and to expand the Temporary Protected Status protections for immigrants fleeing persecution or emergencies. See "New City Council, New Battles" Jan. 6.
Congressional Republicans balked at their own House Republican Conference's plan to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, after massive public outcry. Among the Congressmen behind the plan: Texas Republican Blake Farenthold, who has his own history of ethical troubles. See "Deep in the Heart of Texas Political Scandals," Jan. 6.
Former APD Asst. Chief Jessica Robledo didn't stay out of a job for long. On Wednesday, it was announced that she'd accepted a job as Interim Chief of Police in Pflugerville. The longtime cop will be sworn in on Friday at 2pm.
After teasing a potential run at the impending opening for the House District 46 seat in Congress, Travis County Democratic Party Chairman Vincent Harding announced Wednesday that he will remove his name from the candidacy. Dawnna Dukes, who's long held HD46, will retire Jan. 10.
All aboard the bendy-bus! Capital Metro is getting rid of its two-tier pricing system. Beginning Jan. 8, the MetroRapid and MetroFlyer routes will cost the same as a regular bus: $1.25 per trip, $2.50 for a day pass.
Planned Parenthood Texas officially requested a preliminary injunction to block the state's effort to remove the reproductive health care provider from Medicaid. More than a year after the initial threat, Texas officials issued PP a final notice of Medicaid termination right before the holidays. In the legal request filed in 2015, PP slams the state for conducting a "politically motivated witch hunt" on baseless allegations grounded in the highly edited, misleading YouTube videos published by a radical anti-choice group.
The Public Safety Commission made a recommendation regarding APD's DNA lab, voting Monday to suggest the city, county, and APD to "urgently" prioritize a six-month interim solution for the lab – all but impossibile. APD Asst. Chief Troy Gay estimated a two- to three-year timeline to complete two reports – one for what ailed the lab and another plotting its reconciliatory steps.