Fri., Jan. 27, 2017
City Council resumes its regular meeting schedule today (Jan. 26) with two new members (Jimmy Flannigan and Alison Alter) and an ambitious agenda, three dozen zoning cases, and renewed determination to reorganize its committee structure and late-night meetings. See "Council Roundup: Late Nights, Longer Meetings."
After three days of hearings, U.S. Federal Judge Sam Sparks granted Planned Parenthood a temporary injunction to stop state officials from kicking them out of Medicaid. The short-term block lasts until Feb. 21, around which time Sparks will make a final ruling. More than 11,000 women would no longer have access to basic preventive health care if the block goes into effect.
The city's Human Rights Commission passed a resolution by an 8-2 vote on Monday that denounces President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, calling them "a threat to human rights values." The resolution also requests City Council boycott all Trump-brand products and services. Council will now have to decide if they want to take up the largely symbolic resolution.
Days after the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Austin City Council and Travis County Commissioners Court plan to file resolutions this week to ensure abortion is considered health care. CM Leslie Pool, Lilith Fund, and NARAL Pro-Choice Texas are expected to speak on reproductive freedom outside City Hall on Thursday, Jan. 26.
SafePlace and Austin Children's Shelter have officially merged as one organization, known as SAFE. The two organizations concluded after a yearlong partnership that working together under one roof and the same 501(c)(3) would better serve the community.
Deven Desai, the city's chief labor relations officer, has been named interim police monitor, to succeed outgoing PM Margo Frasier when she officially retires Jan. 31. Desai's vacancy will be filled on an interim basis by Tom Stribling, who currently works at the LRO under Desai.
UT-Austin's Social Justice Institute is holding an all-day teach-in on Saturday to address "this moment in U.S. history" and how citizens "can participate most effectively," with an analysis of the current political conditions and ideas for action. Sat., Jan. 28, Julius Glickman Conference Center (CLA Bldg., UT campus), 9am-5pm.
The U.S. Supreme Court this week rejected a state of Texas appeal of a ruling in a voter ID case that the state law at issue discriminates against minority voters. The ruling left open the possibility of the Court taking up the case after a Corpus Christi court determines whether the law "intentionally" discriminates.
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