No Music for ICE: A grassroots coalition of artists announced plans to protest Amazon-sponsored events during this year's SXSW. A 2018 report from Mijente.net found that Amazon helps U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement "track, detain, and deport immigrants." The SXSW protest organizers behind No Music for ICE ask all artists, fans, and supporters of "basic human rights" to join in boycotting these events.
Death by Influenza: Austin Public Health reported Wednesday that health officials have confirmed eight Texas children have died from the flu so far this season. With the possibility of flu activity occurring as late as May, it's not too late to get your flu shot. For more info, visit www.austintexas.gov/flu.
Hate Crimes: 2019 saw a decline in reported hate crimes to Austin Police Department, new numbers show. Last year, APD documented a total of 12 incidents – including five assaults spurred on by anti-gay bias and three anti-Black crimes (other biases included anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim, and anti-Latino sentiments, as well as one act of criminal mischief due to anti-white bias). According to APD's numbers, Austin-based hate crimes spiked in 2018 with 19 reported incidents. In 2017, there were 17 documented cases.
Centex Carnage: There have been at least 365 shootings in the Austin area since 2014: 166 people were killed; 291 people were injured. The data, available for review from the Gun Violence Archive, has been mapped by TheTrace.org, which reports on gun issues. You can explore the national and local maps, linking a basic summary and the consequences for those 365 shootings we've already forgotten.
Presidential Name Hunt: While state and local pols troll Democratic groups to land endorsements, the presidential candidates are also in the hunt. Among Austin names joining the Elizabeth Warren campaign: state Reps. Sheryl Cole and Erin Zwiener, and City Council Members Natasha Harper-Madison, Ann Kitchen, Leslie Pool, Paige Ellis, and Kathie Tovo.
Impeachment Unleashed: On Wednesday, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven House impeachment managers (including Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston), and the House voted to forward the two articles of impeachment and documentary evidence to the Senate for a potential trial of President Donald Trump.
Are You Lookin' at Me? While the Trump administration continued to drive the republic into a moral, ecological, and political death spiral, Democratic presidential candidates debated Tuesday night to further winnow the field – over electability, misogyny, and whether there's only one road to universal health care.