In This House: Housing is on City Council's proverbial brain this week as Council members consider policy proposals addressing Austin's housing affordability and supply. For our recap of Council's Nov. 30 work session covering CMs' respective ideas, read here.
Help Where, When You Can: The Austin Chronicle's annual Wish List offers readers a guide to charitable giving with the purpose of helping local nonprofits meet their needs to keep serving our city and its many communities. See p.16 for how you can help give back.
Bye Bye Bye: Texas' sweeping voting restrictions bill, Senate Bill 1, is set to go into effect today (Thursday, Dec. 2). SB 1 bans drive-through voting and 24-hour early voting and prohibits local election officials from mailing unsolicited vote-by-mail applications to voters. The U.S. Department of Justice has filed suit against Texas arguing certain provisions violate the federal Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Keep Abortion Legal: On Wednesday, Dec. 1, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a Mississippi abortion case threatening to overturn protections established under 1973's Roe v. Wade decision. The Dobbs case comes as Texas and state abortion providers await a ruling from the Supreme Court in separate legal challenges to Texas' six-week abortion ban, Senate Bill 8.
Akins High School went into a brief lockdown on Wednesday while Austin ISD Police responded to an armed subject report. After three students involved in the incident were located, one was found to have two magazines of ammunition. No shots were fired.
Beto Days Ahead? Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke kicks off his campaign for Texas governor in Austin this Saturday, Dec. 4, at Republic Square (422 Guadalupe) at 6:30pm. So far, O'Rourke is one of four Democratic candidates challenging incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott in Texas' 2022 gubernatorial race.
Bag of Rats, Man: Meanwhile, Texas renaissance man Matthew McConaughey said he will not run for Texas governor after months of speculation.
No Money, No Relief: The Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously this week to shut down the county's rent relief program. There is a $4 million shortfall to cover the current pool of applications, which has seen an increase following the closure of Texas' and Austin's rent relief programs in November.
Speak for the Trees: Travis County has purchased seven conservation easements near the Hamilton Pool Road corridor near Milton Reimers Ranch Park. The land protects more than 3,000 acres.
"I can guarantee the lights will stay on."
– Gov. Greg Abbott promising there won’t be any power grid failures in Texas this winter
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