Headlines / Quote of the Week

Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi joined U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (right) in Austin on Thursday, Sept. 2, to speak in support of the national Build Back Better Act. Doggett is a member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, which began its markup this week of health care proposals included in the Build Back Better legislation. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Hot Damn, Y'all! The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival returns in person for the first time since 2019 at the Far Out Lounge this Sunday, Sept. 12, 3-9pm. Tickets are $10 online or $15 at the door, with half of each ticket benefiting the Central Texas Food Bank. Attendees will be prescreened on whether they're fully vaccinated or have received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. Oh, yeah: Masks required. Read more.

A Reimagined ATX: As the Chronicle went to press on Wed., Sept. 8, Austin's Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission was presented with the first draft map of the redrawn City Council districts. Created by mapping expert George Korbel, the draft uses the current Council map, approved in 2013, as a proposed base, rather than starting from a completely new map.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: City Council approved new ballot language for Proposition A – the Save Austin Now-backed citizen initiative to set a mandatory staffing minimum for the Austin Police Department – as directed by the Texas Supreme Court. Council adopted the court's proposed language that adds the initiative's estimated fiscal impact. Read more.

Did Someone Say Ballot? The deadline to register to vote in the city's Nov. 2 special election is October 4. Not sure if you're registered? Check votetravis.com. Travis County voters can find registration info at tax-office.traviscountytx.gov/voters/registration. Update your info if you've moved within Travis County or changed your name since the last time you registered to vote at txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/sos/SOSACManager.

Hark, Another Special Session: The 87th Texas Legislature's third special legislative session will begin on September 20. On the agenda is the state's decennial redistricting and the allocation of federal pandemic relief funds. Lawmakers must also address an anti-trans student-athlete bill, as well as local and state officials' authority to enforce COVID mandates.

"Breathtaking Act of Defiance": The U.S. Supreme Court denied Whole Woman's Health and other Texas abortion providers' request for an emergency injunction blocking the enforcement of Senate Bill 8, which not only bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy but also allows private citizens to sue providers and anyone accused of "aiding and abetting" Texans getting what are now illegal abortions.

Signing Away Our Rights: On Tuesday, Sept. 7, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law the sweeping Senate Bill 1 that further tightens the state's already strict voting laws. It bans drive-through voting and 24-hour early voting and prohibits local election officials from mailing unsolicited vote-by-mail applications to voters, among other measures.

Quote of the Week

Photo by John Anderson

“Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them.”

– Gov. Greg Abbott in his bass-ackward defense of Texas' near-complete abortion ban (see below)

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