The Austin Chronicle

Council Preview: Done by Twilight?

Light agenda features a few potential headlines

By Michael King, October 6, 2017, News

After last week's marathon session, City Council will welcome a lighter workload today, Oct. 5 – indeed today's agenda plus next week's together won't approach the grind they worked through Sept. 28. None of the contract Items appear particularly contentious, and while there are always land mines hidden in the underbrush, the dozen or so zoning cases look mostly noncontroversial. But it wouldn't be a Council meeting without a few headline Items, and this week several of those are council-member sponsored:

• Zimmerman's Shadow: Former Council Member Don Zim­merman sued the city over its time limit on Council campaign fundraising – six months to solicit contributions. He won that one (other aspects of the suit remain on appeal), and today Council considers a revised version (Item 29) that extends the period to one year, with other amendments. (Nothing in the draft ordinance addresses Austin's $350 individual contribution limit.)

• Farewell to Slave Masters: Council has already moved to eliminate some local recognitions of Lost Cause "heroes," and this resolution (Item 31) would initiate a more systematic effort "condemning the display of monuments and memorials of the Confederacy." The resolution directs staff to identify all such memorials and provide a plan for replacement (or any necessary educational preservation).

• Not Just Columbus: In somewhat the same vein, Item 32 would declare the second Monday in October "Indig­en­ous Peoples' Day," joining a nationwide movement to redefine the "discovery" of America in 1492 as "the beginning of the colonization of indigenous people that forever changed their identity, cultures and achievements."

• Stop the Wall: Another resolution (Item 34) would update the city's federal legislative lobbying agenda to 1) support comprehensive immigration reform; 2) oppose any additional border wall; 3) oppose further militarization of the border and anti-immigrant expansion of private prisons.

• Proclamations and Music: It's University High School Day, National Code Month, and Dyslexia Awareness Month. The musical honoree is diminutive prodigy Mia "Boom, Boom, Boom!" Garcia, and even Gov. Greg Abbott is anticipated to drop by.

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