Public Notice: Cruz (Out of) Control
Whose well-being does the junior senator have at heart?
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz sent an official message to his constituents on Saturday afternoon, saying that as he and the Senate returned to Washington last week, "We have an important job to do in order to protect public health, get people safely back to work, and get the economy back on its feet.
"I've outlined four critical priorities that Congress should focus on in response to the three crises our country is facing – the public health crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, the economic crisis, and an energy crisis that is greatly affecting Texas." And what are Cruz's four priorities?
"First, we need to re-open our economy and get Americans back to work. ...
"Second, we need to push pause on spending and not allow Speaker Pelosi to hijack discussions going forward. ...
"Third, we need grow our economy out of this crisis by cutting taxes and lifting regulations. ...
"Fourth, we need to recognize that China bears significant responsibility for the magnitude of this pandemic and must be held accountable."
Note that nowhere in there is anything about the "important job" of protecting public health. In fact, nowhere in the letter – nor among the 17 additional updates included at the bottom – is there a word about testing, or research, or health care, or what policies ought to be in place if we're going to "get Americans back to work" ... safely.
Instead, it's more of the same: cut taxes, cut spending, cut regulations on polluters, get workers back on the line, no matter the danger – and if anything goes wrong (what could go wrong?) make sure everyone blames China. This is what passes for health policy.
Virtual Transportation Policy
The Project Connect Virtual Open House is Capital Metro's online guide to the ambitious long-range transit plan that may or may not be coming to a ballot box near you in November. It's open through May, offering maps, descriptions of the proposed services, and a somewhat limited survey for providing feedback, at www.capmetroengage.org. Or see more on the plan at ProjectConnect.com.
CapMet is also holding a series of one-hour virtual community meetings, focused on specific Council districts, and hosted by the individual council members, and other Cap Metro board members. These will likely be your best chance to get your say in; see more info and register for a meeting at capmetro.org/get-involved.
D4 & D7: Fri., 5/15, 2pm
D1: Mon., 5/18, 1pm
D9: Tue., 5/19, 5pm
D6: Wed, 5/20, 11am
D10: Wed, 5/20, 5pm
Citywide: Tue., 5/26, 11am
D5 & D8: Thu, 5/28, 6pm
D2 & D3: Fri., 5/29, 2pm
The deadline for filing a protest of your property valuation with the Travis Central Appraisal District is this Friday, May 15. It's likely that these have fallen through the cracks in a lot of people's lives, but valuations are up again – despite what the pandemic is likely doing to actual values. Chief Appraiser Marya Crigler told the TCAD Board of Directors that through May 7, TCAD had gotten 42,970 protests – just 30% of the 143,231 filed in 2019. Unsurprisingly, the protest info and deadline aren't really prominent on TCAD's website; see www.traviscad.org for info on filing either a protest or a homestead exemption online.
The City of Austin Corridor Program Office, along with TxDOT, will host a virtual public hearing on the bond-funded improvements to North Lamar from US 183 to Howard Lane. See technical reports and other project info at AustinTexas.gov, where the public hearing presentation will be posted from 9am this Friday through Saturday, May 30, 5pm.