City Council meets today, Feb. 16, considering action on additional legal aid for immigrants, a contract for APD body cameras, and plenty of land use discussions, including the return of Plaza Saltillo and the Austin Oaks PUD. See "Council Preview: Promised Land Use," Feb. 17.
For Sale Now: Negotiations have begun for sale or lease of the county-owned 300 block of Guadalupe, the land originally intended for a new civil courthouse – until the November 2015 defeat of the proposed courthouse bond at the polls. Staff reports that there has been significant private interest in the tract, which the county purchased for $22 million in 2010.
Next To Nothing: Organizers of the Women's March on Washington set a March 8 date for a national general strike against the Trump administration. Plans for a similar strike this Friday, Feb. 17, remain in effect.
A Big Birthday: Today, Feb. 16, Austin celebrates 10 years battling climate change. In 2007, former Mayor Will Wynn and then-City Council resolved to become a leading U.S. city "in the effort to reduce the negative impacts of global warming." Austin has since reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 75%, and 31% of the city's energy supply is renewable.
Trump's Texan Puppet: Attorney General Ken Paxton became the first state AG to file a legal brief supporting Trump's travel ban Wednesday when he filed an amicus brief to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Paxton called the order a "lawful exercise of congressionally delegated executive power over foreign affairs and national security."
"The Liberal Media": Prosecutors want Paxton's trial for securities fraud moved out of Collin County because they claim that "Paxton's Posse" – including conservative lobby groups Empower Texans and Watchdog.org – deliberately tainted the local jury pool by using "an aggressive media strategy" against witnesses.
No sex ed in Texas: A new report from the Texas Freedom Network shows that 58.3% of Texas school districts taught abstinence-only classes in the 2015-16 school year, while 25.1% had no sex education classes at all. In 2015, Texas had the nation's fifth highest teen birth rate.
The Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has classified as a "hate group," spewed inaccuracies Wednesday when discussing the "Texas Privacy Act," aka the "bathroom bill" or SB 6, with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Among the FRC's false claims was one about how marriage equality was not only forced upon the country by SCOTUS, but also paved the way for "fake" problems like the right for trans people to use a bathroom aligning with their gender identity.