City Council remains in semi-hibernation, with no regularly scheduled meetings until Feb. 1 (work session Jan. 30), and the budget year commences quickly thereafter, with an all-day work session Feb. 7. Meanwhile, work on CodeNEXT continues at the land use commissions. See "The (Longer) Road to CodeNEXT," Jan. 5.
The work goes on Mayor Steve Adler and Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo have proposed a temporary solution to the impasse created by Council's rejection of the proposed Austin Police Association contract. They suggest some form of contract extension or interim contract as a bridge to further negotiations, but it may not be that easy. See "A Bitter Pill," Jan. 5.
Upping the Ante: This week in the Trump administration's attacks on "sanctuary cities," the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, threatened to arrest and prosecute state or city officials who decline to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Homan told Fox News, "We've got to take them to court, and we've got to start charging these politicians with crimes," and said President Trump supports his position.
Influential conservative think tank the Texas Public Policy Foundation is reaching its tentacles to D.C., where they plan to open an office this month. Seeing a friend in Trump, and opportunity for more influence, the Austin-based TPPF is gearing up to lobby for more states' power; further rolling back environmental regs laid by the Obama administration; and fighting against the Affordable Care Act.
Julián Castro officially launched his PAC this week, renewing questions about whether or not the former HUD Secretary and SA mayor will make a presidential run in 2020. Opportunity First seeks to promote both federal and local Dem candidates and help gain control of the House. Godspeed!
Year of the Woman? 100 Democratic and Republican women have filed to run for Texas legislative seats this year, as compared to 76 women who filed in 2016, according to Annie's List. The surge, mostly led by Democratic candidates, could be attributed partly to Trump pushback (at least for Dems), the #metoo movement, and the success of women candidates in Virginia.
Austin Energy is accepting applications from participants in the city's Customer Assistance Program wishing to join AE's new discounted solar power program, via the La Loma Community Solar Project in East Austin. Interested customers should visit www.austinenergy.com/go/communitysolar or call 512/482-5346.
Capital Metro plans to present the four finalists for president/CEO on Monday, Jan. 8, from 6-8pm at AISD's Performing Arts Center in Mueller.