Give 'Til It Helps: Everyone has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way, including local nonprofits. See our Community Listings for more ways to help your neighbor during this trying time.
APD Operational Changes: In response to the current public health situation, Austin Police Department announced Tue., March 17, several protocol changes. APD's response to critical calls where life or safety is jeopardized will remain unchanged, but officers will no longer be sent to calls that can be addressed through phone or online reporting. In addition, APD will no longer respond to crashes without injuries and with all vehicles drivable, and public fingerprinting services are suspended, among other modifications.
Keep Calm and Delegate On: Both the Travis County Joint Senate District Convention and Williamson County Democratic Convention will proceed Sat., March 21; however, those interested in being considered for delegate selection to the state convention or submitting a resolution are strongly encouraged to utilize online systems (in-person attendance is not required for either). Travis County Democratic Party's official convention business will be livestreamed on Facebook.
About Those Elections: For now, the May 26 primary run-offs are still on schedule; the upcoming Senate District 14 special election has been delayed until July.
Shelter or Shell Game?: Gov. Greg Abbott announced plans to lease the temporary homeless shelter on TxDOT land near Montopolis to nonprofit ATX Helps for $1/month to transfer management to the organization created by the Downtown Austin Alliance and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. About 100 people are currently living at the site, reported the Texas Tribune. Some expressed skepticism, while others welcomed the idea. The plan calls for a potential 10-year lease with a still-temporary shelter, eventually housing 300 beds.
Life in the Red Lane: The city has completed painting red 22 blocks of transit priority lanes Downtown, between Third and 17th streets on Guadalupe and Third and 15th streets on Lavaca. The painted lanes, part of Capital Metro's Transit Speed and Reliability Program, are designed to improve safety and traffic flow in congested areas.
Biden or Bust: Sen. Joe Biden swept the three Democratic primaries held Tuesday (Florida, Illinois, Arizona) – the fourth, Ohio, was postponed – leaving his sole remaining competitor, Sen. Bernie Sanders, with only a remote chance for a comeback victory. The Sanders campaign said he would be meeting with advisors before announcing any plan to go forward.