Thursday, June 8, 2023

Austin Becomes First in Texas to Endorse Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty


Item 43, sponsored by District 2 Austin City Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes, strengthens the City of Austin’s commitment to sustainable communities, while urging the Federal Government to transition away from fossil fuels.

On Thursday, June 8th, 2023, Austin City Council passed a resolution endorsing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, calling for full phase-out of global fossil fuels. This treaty strengthens the City of Austin’s commitment to stopping its expansion of fossil fuel production, phasing out existing fossil fuel projects, and prioritizing a just energy transition.
With this resolution, the City of Austin has become the first city in Texas, and the 85th city/subnational government in the world to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty - joining the likes of Los Angeles (CA), Bethlehem (NY), and others.
Item 43 is Sponsored by Councilwoman Fuentes and co-sponsored by Councilmembers José ''Chito'' Vela (D4), José Velásquez (D3), Zohaib ''Zo'' Qadri (D9), and Leslie Pool (D7).
View relevant media & photos here
“Opinion: Austin Can and Should Lead on Climate Again”, by Austin Council Member Vanessa Fuentes and Alberta Phillips -The Austin American Statesman
Statements and Comments
Councilwoman Vanessa FuentesDistrict 2, sponsor: “Cities have a responsibility to address and mitigate the environmental, social, and economic harms associated with climate change. That's why the City of Austin proudly supports the Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty, and joins the call for a global effort to accelerate a just transition to clean energy for all.”
Temo TorenTexas Campaign for the Environment“As a grassroots organizer for climate Justice, my work has really opened my eyes to how vast the scale of a clean energy economy will be. I’m inspired by the continued support from Austin City Council on taking meaningful climate action and I look forward to the job opportunities that we can create for overlooked working class communities. I’m so glad to see a fossil fuel treaty endorsed by the city because we need a global commitment to phase out dirty energy. Especially because clean energy is not prone to the explosive risks of fossil fuels that pollute our Texas communities.”
Amber MillsMOVE Texas: “The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues facing young people. We need to take bold stances in recognition of the gravity of the problem and Austin has a chance to lead the way. A key first step is unabashedly committing to a sustainable energy future where fossil fuels are a relic of the past. By halting new fossil fuel infrastructure, we are showing care for our planet and our collective health.”
Councilmember Leslie PoolDistrict 7, co-sponsor: "Each time we take one step forward on climate change, the fossil fuel industry takes us two steps back, with the blessing of lawmakers and higher courts. Yet I am hopeful that our work - and the work of future generations - will lead us to a world powered by clean energy."
Councilmember Zo QadriDistrict 9, co-sponsor: “The catastrophic Canadian wildfires blanketing the East Coast under a fog of harmful smoke this week should be just as much of a wake-up call as the unprecedented winter storms and historic heat waves that have hit Central Texas in recent years. Climate change is happening now, and we are running out of time to avoid the worst-case scenarios. For the sake of our planet and of future generations, we need urgent federal lawmakers to rise to the urgency of this crisis and take drastic action to pull us back from the brink of disaster.”

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

City of Austin Emergency Shelter Capacity to Expand by 130 in the Coming Weeks


Beginning this month, the City of Austin will expand shelter to an additional 130 people experiencing homelessness as part of an aggressive and targeted strategy to address homelessness in the Austin community. 

The 130 shelter beds are being created by converting rooms from single to double occupancy at the City’s Northbridge and Southbridge shelters. This move is part of an effort to provide expanded emergency shelter capacity in tandem with the community’s ongoing efforts to provide permanent housing for an additional 3,000 Austinites by the end of 2024. The Northbridge conversion is expected to be completed this week, with new beds available by June 13. Furnishings and equipment are on order for the Southbridge shelter, with a goal of welcoming additional guests in July. 

“Homelessness is a social and economic condition, caused by a large number of factors. As a City, we have the responsibility to care for the homeless in our communities in a way which advocates for all their needs - health, safety, shelter, and economic support,” District 4 Council Member José “Chito” Vela said. “That’s why I’m so glad the Interim City Manager and the Mayor have made it a priority to increase our emergency shelter bed capacity.” 

Vela and Council Members José Velásquez, District 3, and Zohaib “Zo” Qadri, District 9, recently toured the Southbridge shelter as modifications to transition from single to double occupancy are underway. 

"The Southbridge shelter provides vital support to some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” Velásquez said. “In a recent visit to the shelter, I saw first-hand how the residents are provided with support services and connected to stable housing. The decision to adopt innovative strategies that allow for double occupancy will significantly maximize the shelter’s potential, decrease the number of people experiencing homelessness and bring us closer to our City’s goal of reducing unsheltered homelessness."  

In addition to an intensified effort to provide emergency shelter options, the City is working to increase the number of Austinites that can be housed in permanent supportive housing. Permanent supportive housing capacity has already been increased, with by about 500 clients served since January of 2021, and another 1,000 units for people exiting homelessness are in the development pipeline. 

"If we want to live up to our reputation as a compassionate city, we need to do everything we can to help our least fortunate neighbors who are sleeping on our streets and in our creeks. That includes short-term solutions like expanding our shelter capacity and long-term solutions that address the root causes of homelessness,” Qadri said. “I look forward to working with all of our partners to ensure that every step we take on this journey is cohesive, collaborative, and well-coordinated."  

This week, the Austin City Council will consider a 12-month lease agreement for the former Salvation Army Downton Shelter, as well as a contract with Urban Alchemy to operate the recently-shuttered site with capacity to serve 150 people nightly. Later this summer, Council will consider providing up to 300 more beds by establishing a temporary emergency shelter facility at the City-owned Marshalling Yard, located on Airport Commerce Drive near the intersection of U.S. 183 and TX 71. 

To learn more about homelessness in Austin, please visit

Liz Carpenter Splash Pad Temporarily Closed for Repairs

Liz Carpenter Slash Pad, 1000 Barton Springs Rd., is temporarily closed for maintenance. The Parks and Recreation Department will send an update when repairs have been completed and the splash pad is ready to reopen. Find a list of all aquatic facilities including the other 10 City of Austin splash pads at

Monday, June 5, 2023

Juneteenth Weeklong Celebration of Freedom June 12-19, 2023

The George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center, will host the fourth annual Stay Black and Live (SB&L) Juneteenth Festival from June 12 through 19. This year’s theme is Austin Family Reunion and will center local collaborations and partnerships with organizations and individuals making an impact. In response to the ongoing global health crisis and heightened awareness of the endemic violence experienced by BIPOC communities, SB&L was launched in 2020. What started as a live stream has now become a fixture of Austin’s citywide Juneteenth celebrations.

“We are incredibly proud to continue Austin’s Juneteenth celebration and tradition at our historic museum,” said Carre Adams, Museum Director at the Carver Museum, “With a robust week of programming, we aim to honor the significance of Juneteenth as we foster a deeper understanding of our shared history. We invite the Austin community to join us as we commemorate this momentous occasion and bring Black history past, present and future to the forefront.”
From community kickbacks, dance parties, cookouts, and live music to dynamic conversations with thought leaders, educators and public scholars, this year’s festival will be truly memorable.
Kicking off the week on Monday, June 12from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. is a conversation with Grammy-Award-winning Desoto, Texas, high school music teacher Pamela Dawson. Using negro spirituals, Dawson will deliver an interactive lecture and sing-along that will educate attendees on African-American contributions to the sonic art form.
On Thursday, June 15from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., culinary food historian James Beard, Book Award recipient and author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African-American History in the Old South, Michael T. Twitty, will present a lecture on African-American foodways and contemporary abolitionist movements.
On Friday, June 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., a multi-generational community kickback and dance party featuring a sensory station powered by Creative Action will give away glow sticks, kites, bubble guns and sparklers to attendees under a neon tent. High-energy sets by DJ Cysum and DJ Dontizl will keep the vibes high before closing out with a special edition of BodyRockATX.
On Saturday, June 17, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., a community cookout and music festival will take place in the historic Rosewood Neighborhood behind the Carver Museum. Starting at 3 p.m., Lady Joy will host mid-day festivities while KAZI DJs set the vibe and attendees eat smoked BBQ prepared by veteran pitmasters. Festival attendees can also check out the vendor market, carnival games, educational workshops, film screenings and self-guided tours.
On Saturday, June 17 at 6 p.m., host Saul Paul will kick off the music festival with opening performances by Austin Samba, Sonya Javette, Stretch Musik, and DJ Kay Kali. At 8 p.m., the funky, rocking, dancing, soulful mega band GAPX brought to life by original global touring members of the legendary group "The Gap Band" will serenade Juneteenth festival goers for 90-minutes with chart-topping hits like Outstanding, and You Dropped a Bomb on Me. 
On Monday, June 19, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., historian, legal scholar, New York Times Bestseller, and Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Dr. Annette Gordon-Reed will speak about her book, On Juneteenth.
In partnership with Austin Justice Coalition, a Community Revival and Remembrance will take place to honor victims of police violence in Texas. Indigenous earth-based practitioners, faith leaders, healers and bodyworkers will gather to help elevate the spirit of our fallen sisters, brothers, and non-binary community members. Join us in song, prayer, and meditation as we honor our Black ancestors and gather our strength to continue doing the work to liberate our communities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, June 19.
For more information and for a full list of programming visit
The George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center is a historic landmark dedicated to preserving Black history, culture, and aesthetic expression. Located in East Austin, the Museum served as Austin’s first branch library and the first library that the African-American community could access. In 1980, the library became the first African-American neighborhood museum in Texas. Today, the 39,000-square-foot facility includes galleries, meeting spaces, a darkroom, a dance studio, a 134-seat theatre, an archive, a community garden, a genealogy center. 

Follow the Carver Museum on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter: @CarverMuseumATX and @AustinCityParks.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Austin Animal Center launches Meet My Match program

Austin Animal Center is introducing the Meet My Match Program!

Starting June 7, Austin Animal Center will be open by appointment on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 11 am to 3 pm before opening for walk-ins until 7 pm. The Center will remain open from 11 am to 7 pm on all other days of the week.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 11 am to 3 pm, the Austin Animal Center will be open by appointment only so staff can focus on getting pets back home through reunification and matchmaking efforts. During this time, customer service staff will offer one-on-one, individualized online and in-person services to improve the adopter process and experience. 

The pilot program will be monitored and reviewed, and feedback will be collected from staff, adopters, and the community to assess its effectiveness. 

Through Meet My Match, interested adopters can schedule an appointment at and an adoption counselor will be dedicated solely for the appointment.

For reclaiming a pet during these hours, please email

Shelter walk-in hours:

  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Thursday – 3 to 7 p.m.

Appointment hours:

  • Wednesday, Thursday – 11 am to 3 pm

About the Austin Animal Center
The City of Austin Animal Services Office operates the Austin Animal Center, and is the municipal shelter for the City of Austin and unincorporated Travis County. Austin Animal Center provides shelter to more than 11,000 animals annually and safely places more than 95% of all pets. Our goal is to keep pets with their families and in their communities, provide a safe place for homeless animals, promote responsible pet ownership, and preserve the human-animal bond. Learn more at

DAC Pride Events: Queer Film Screening, Pet Primp and Parade

Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride Month with the the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department at the Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) this June. Join friends and allies for a film screening that is out of this world, learn How to Primp Your Pet for Pride, and participate in a Pets and Pride Parade! 

Codependent Lesbian Alien Seeks Same Film Screening on June 14
Love is love is love is love, even for space aliens! Join the Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) for a free screening of the film Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same on Wednesday, June 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Watch a visitor to Earth navigate the human dating scene in spirit of Ed Wood and other low-budget sci fi films. As you might guess, hilarity and romance ensue. Enjoy a popcorn snack before and after the screening. Registration is required, as seating is limited. Register on Eventbrite. It is free and open to the public! The film is rated PG and runs 75 minutes long.

How to Primp Your Pet for Pride on June 21

Need ideas, inspirations, or guides on how best to pride up your pet? Look no further! In preparation for our Pride Pet Parade, DAC Nights is hosting a how-to to for glowing up for your pet on Wednesday, June 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Supplies and crafting materials will be on hand to build or augment your pup’s look. Groomers and stylists will lead quick tutorials for getting your cat’s cowlicks to point the right way. And the DAC's resident theater technicians will guide you through the path your furry, feathery, or scaled best will take on our stage on Saturday. Registration is encouraged, but not required. Supplies and materials will be provided, but if you have specific ideas, we encourage you to bring your own materials. No pets will be allowed at this event. This event is free and open to the public! Register on Eventbrite

DAC Nights: Pets and Pride Parade

Join the Dougherty Arts Center for a Pride Pet Parade on Saturday, June 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pet parents are invited to sign up their pet to walk the DAC stage in their best Pride presentations. Style up your pup, cat, lizard, or hamster with rainbows, glitter, and more to celebrate Pride with us! This event is free! Registration is required, as seating is limited. Register on Eventbrite.

If you want your pet to be in the parade, please register at Registration is required to participate in the parade!

For more information, email or visit

Austin applies treatment on Lady Bird Lake to reduce algae growth


The City of Austin will undergo its third year of a pilot program to mitigate harmful algae on parts of Lady Bird Lake. The program consists of applying lanthanum-modified clay near Red Bud Isle and along the north shore of the lake between I-35 and the lagoon near the Festival Boat Ramp.  

The clay material may help prevent or slow down the growth of harmful algae in the areas where it is applied. The clay binds to phosphorus, a key source of nutrients for algae. Once bound into a mineral form, the phosphorus becomes unavailable to the algae and essentially robs the algae of one of its primary food sources. 

The first applications will take place at Red Bud Isle on Monday, June 5, and east of I-35 on Tuesday, June 6, weather permitting. If additional time is needed, the work will extend into Wednesday, June 7. Additional applications are planned for July and August. 

The material is applied from a barge. It will look like the team is spraying a gray slurry into the lake that will temporarily cloud the water. The substance is safe for humans, the environment and wildlife, and will settle to the bottom in a few hours. During treatment, boaters should keep plenty of distance from the barge. 

Last year, the City of Austin applied a total of 60,000 pounds in each area across three applications. In 2021, the City applied 120,000 pounds at Red Bud Isle. Along the north shore of the lake between I-35 and the lagoon, there did not appear to be any alterations of the sediment phosphorus pool last year. This may have been due to weather patterns and the material getting washed downstream. This year the City is adjusting the program to apply more product along the north shore east of I-35 and less at Red Bud Isle. 

Blue-green algae are present on both Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin and may contain toxins. Algae samples have been sent to a lab for testing, but the results have not been received yet. Other dangers, such as bacteria and parasites, may also be present. The City recommends that people and pets avoid contact with algae, not drink water directly from the lake, and rinse off after contact with the water. Do not allow dogs to lick their fur prior to rinsing. Please note that swimming is prohibited in Lady Bird Lake.  

If a person has sudden, unexplained symptoms after swimming, they should contact their medical provider or the Texas Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. For a pet, they should contact their veterinarian. Please also let the City know by completing the reporting form, found at

Austin Becomes First in Texas to Endorse Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

  Item 43 , sponsored by District 2 Austin City Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes, strengthens the City of Austin’s commitment to sustainable co...