It's Busy Season: A mere 82 Items have collected on the City Council agenda for today, Thursday, Aug. 23, including dozens of fall contract renewals, plenty of zoning cases, and what might be a labor contract agreement with EMS employees (APD still pending). Wednesday's afternoon session hosted public budget and property tax hearings. See "Council: Reasons for Optimism," Aug. 24.
Who's Your Candidate? The November city election filing deadline arrived Monday: Seven candidates filed for mayor, including incumbent Steve Adler and former Council Member Laura Morrison; six candidates to succeed District 1 CM Ora Houston; six in D3, including incumbent Pio Renteria; four in D8 to replace outgoing CM Ellen Troxclair; and three challengers to Kathie Tovo in D9. D5 incumbent Ann Kitchen drew no challenger. See "Who's On the City's November 2018 Ballot?," Aug. 24.
Watch Your Language: Filings continue in the two ballot language lawsuits before the Texas Supreme Court, brought by petitioners to force City Council to revise ballot language adopted for the "efficiency audit" and land use code revision (e.g., CodeNEXT) propositions – rulings are expected in the next few days. See "Ballot Lawsuits Simmer at Supreme Court," Aug. 24.
An independent investigation has concluded that the city's Equity Office did not discriminate against former employee Nadia Kalinchuk or other Latina employees. However, investigators did conclude that a "relationship" exists between certain members of the office and the Hispanic/Latino Quality of Life Commission that may be harming the office's effectiveness.
Sober Up Here: The Austin Sobering Center opens Downtown today, at 1213 Sabine, as an alternative to jail and emergency room sobering, after years of public effort. So if you're used to getting picked up and sent to the ER for being too drunk in a public place, and you come to one morning and you're in some place unfamiliar and new – chances are you're at the Sobering Center.
An Abysmal Record: For the second year in a row, Texas ranks third worst in the country when it comes to women's equality. Examining women's income, executive positions, and political representation, a study by Wallet Hub found Texas in 48th place. For better gender parity? Move to New York or Minnesota, according to the report.
Carry on Campus: The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out a lawsuit by three University of Texas professors who challenged the state's campus carry law, upholding U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel's dismissal of the case last July. The professors argued that the law violates their First Amendment rights to academic freedom.