The Top 10 Austin News Stories of 2022

From worse to bad

The Top 10 Austin News Stories of 2022

The biggest story this year may be what has not happened. We did not once again freeze to death in our beds, nor live through a grid collapse in the hottest summer on record (since the last hottest one, which was only a few years ago). We did not see a continuation of the January 6 insurrection into an ongoing shooting war, for the most part. We did not get yet another special session or two of the Endless 87th Texas Legislature to make it a felony to host a drag queen storytime, or be a drag queen, or teach kids to read. We did not see a red wave wash over the country in November.

In short, we survived, and we began to recover from two really bad traumatic years as a community and a nation. The reverberating shock of the disappearance of the constitutional right to reproductive freedom has been horrible but also had been well-telegraphed; that story was basically written when Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020. Still, many institutional Dem­o­crats were woefully unprepared when Roe v. Wade finally fell, and the collapse of the Supreme Court's legitimacy and integrity is now the defining moment at which the zoomers are beginning their political lives, as 9/11 was for millennials and Iran-Contra was for Gen X and Watergate was for the younger boom­ers. Perhaps it only gets better from here.

Here in Austin we had both new, big stories and old favorites (or frenemies) to cover. Relations between Austin police and the city and community they serve are still fraught. Major investments in new infrastructure like Project Connect are still complex and time-consuming. Coun­cil still faces politically difficult choices on housing, energy, and climate. But we now have two progressive Demo­crats representing Austin in Congress rather than just one; we have many more unionized workplaces than we did a year ago; and we have bipartisan consensus on small but valuable steps to combat the fentanyl overdose epidemic.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Mike Clark-Madison
Austin at Large: Back (and Forth) to the Future
Austin at Large: Back (and Forth) to the Future
At some point Austin history will stop looping upon itself. Until next time …

March 17, 2023

Austin at Large: The Train Can’t Be Too Late
Austin at Large: The Train Can’t Be Too Late
It’s going to be sad, so sad, when Mayor Pete’s money comes if Austin’s not ready

March 10, 2023


abortion, Austin Energy, Austin Police Association, Compatibility Standards, Round Rock ISD

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle