Friday, July 30, 2021

Fri, Jul 30, 2021: Urgent Action Needed from Community as Number of Staffed ICU Beds Reaches Critical Levels

Austin Public Health Urges Public to Act Now to Curb Latest Surge

Austin, Texas – As the 7-day moving average reaches the critical point of 50 new admissions, an important threshold for Stage 5, Austin Public Health (APH) is now urging the community to act as the situation becomes dire. The 11 county Trauma Service Region O (TSA-O), which includes Austin and provides service to over 2.3 million residents, is facing low ICU bed capacity similar to the beginning of the pandemic. TSA-O is now fluctuating at 16 staffed ICU beds available. To reiterate, 16 ICU beds for 11 counties with over 2.3 million residents.

"We are running out of time and our community must act now," Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority said. "Our ICU capacity is reaching a critical point where the level of risk to the entire community has significantly increased, and not just to those who are needing treatment for COVID. If we fail to come together as a community now, we jeopardize the lives of loved ones who might need critical care."

In a joint statement by Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White and St. David's Healthcare, the hospitals noted, "The latest COVID-19 spike is putting extraordinary pressure on our hospitals, emergency departments and healthcare professionals, and it has further challenged hospital staffing due to a longstanding nursing shortage."

As the risk for all individuals across the community, regardless of COVID-19, continues to significantly increase with critical care capacity dwindling, APH, Travis County and local hospital partners continue monitoring several key indicators including the 7-day moving average of new hospital admissions, positivity rate, the doubling time of new cases, and current ICU and ventilator patients.

 Over the past week these indicators have surged:  

  • The 7-day moving average for hospitalizations in a week has increased over 47% from 34 to 50 new admissions on July 30.
  • COVID patients in local ICUs have increased 28% from 91 people on July 23 to 117 people on July 30. 
  • COVID patients on ventilators have increased 38% from 47 on July 23 to 65 people on July 30.
Recommendations the public need to immediately follow include:
  • Vaccinated individuals should choose drive-through and curbside options, outdoor activities, returning to social interactions with limited group sizes, as well as social distancing and wearing masks indoors.
     
  • Partially or unvaccinated individuals should avoid gatherings, travel, dining and shopping choosing curbside and delivery options instead. Wear a mask when conducting essential activities.
The COVID-19 vaccines continue to prove effective in protecting those who have completed the required series of shots for Moderna and Pfizer, or the single dose of Johnson and Johnson.  Only 63.12% of residents are fully vaccinated, leaving our community vulnerable to new variants of the disease, and contributing to a dramatic increase in the positivity rate that has now reached 13.7% - the highest since early January 2021.

"We know our community has been resilient in fighting this pandemic over the last 18 months, and we are yet again calling on everyone to help one another by taking action that can slow this surge," Adrienne Sturrup, Interim APH Director said. "Everyone is exhausted at this point, but we will continue to lose loved ones if we don't heed the warnings the data is showing us and take the appropriate actions of getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and staying home if we are sick."

For the month of July, more than 4,600 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported to Austin Public Health (APH). 

For more information about COVID-19, visit AustinTexas.gov/COVID19.

Austin Public Health/Travis County Partner with Community Organizations for COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics (07/30-08/01)

Austin Public Health (APH) and Travis County will be partnering with local community organizations to provide pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics around the County for weekend events from July 30 to Aug 1. These clinics are available to all eligible individuals without registration or appointments.

Unvaccinated individuals are urged to get the vaccine as Austin-Travis County has seen a rise in cases over the last several weeks prompting APH to move back into Stage 4 for the Risk-Based Guidelines.

Please check the details of events below to confirm dates, locations, times, and age eligibility depending on the vaccine being administered. Locations offering Moderna and Pfizer are providing first and second doses. If you are receiving your second dose, please bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to be updated.

Individuals attending these events should be weather aware as temperatures are expected to be hot over the weekend. Remember to drink plenty of water and wear appropriate clothing as parts of the line are outside and exposed to weather, and wear garments that allow you to easily expose your arm.
 
*The vaccination sites are closed to press. While vaccinations are occurring, each site is considered to be a hospital with patients and only authorized visits are allowed. Agencies listed in parenthesis for each location (Austin Public Health or Travis County) are the only entities that can authorize admittance.
 

Friday, July 30

ACC Eastview (APH/Travis County) UniFirst Austin (APH) Southeast Library (APH) Little Walnut Creek Library (APH) Elory and Ross Market (APH)  

Saturday, July 31

Travis County Expo (Travis County) Del Valle High School – Opportunity Center (Travis County/APH) Dailey Middle School (Travis County) Montopolis Flea Market (APH) Emancipet Onion Creek (APH) Southeast Library (APH) Little Walnut Creek Library (APH) Turner Roberts Recreation Center (APH) JD's Supermarket – FM 812 (Travis County) JD's Supermarket – Cameron (Travis County)

Sunday, August 1

Travis County Expo (Travis County)

COVID-19 Information
For more information on COVID-19 and vaccinations, visit www.AustinTexas.gov/COVID19 or call 3-1-1 (512-974-2000).

Austin-Travis County Marks the 900th Death Due to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 virus continues to surge, especially areas where vaccination rates are stagnating, Austin-Travis County yesterday surpassed the grim milestone of 900 COVID-19 deaths. 

Just this month in July, over 4,150 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 COVID-19-related deaths have been reported to Austin Public Health (APH). The data and science continues to show that vaccinations are the most effective available tool to prevent severe illness, death, and to stop the continued spread and mutation of this deadly disease.  

"We must work together to prevent more deaths from COVID-19," said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. "One COVID-19 related death is too many; we are mourning 900 loved ones. I implore our community to get vaccinated and follow the basic precautions we know work: wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands regularly, and stay home if you are sick."   

Local deaths range in age from people as young as 20 to over 80 years of age, but are concentrated among those who are over 60 years old. The APH surveillance dashboard provides more information on the demographics of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Although Austin-Travis County reached its milestone of vaccinating 70% of residents with one dose of the vaccine on July 7, the rate of vaccination has stalled in recent weeks. Hospitals have seen a surge of new cases and admissions among the unvaccinated. 

"One simple act can help avert needless tragedy. Get vaccinated," said Interim Austin Public Health Director Adrienne Sturrup. "The resources are in your neighborhood to protect you, your family, and your community. Whether it be vaccinations, testing, or masking - together, we can stop this pandemic now." 

Austin-Travis County is in Stage 4 of the Risk-Based Guidelines 

Austin-Travis County is currently in Stage 4 but could move to Stage 5 as hospitalizations continue rise.

The APH Risk-Based Guidelines chart outlines recommended behavior for individuals at different stages of community spread. The most recent guidelines recommend everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks and follow the basic protocols of social distancing and handwashing.

These guidelines apply at gatherings, dining, shopping and traveling. Those unvaccinated should test for COVID-19 and if the test results are negative, and it is medically feasible, get the vaccine as soon as possible.

Testing Information - Showing symptoms? Exposed to a positive case? Get tested and quarantine.  

APH manages testing sites and mobile clinics across Austin and Travis County. Appointments are not required for the two testing sites currently open however, individuals are encouraged to schedule a COVID-19 testing appointment. 

Those who do not have access to the internet can call 3-1-1 to complete the assessment. Testing is also available through local pharmacies. Those with health insurance should call their doctor or insurance company to review their options.  

Vaccinations are free and at a location nearby. No identification is required. 

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require identification nor insurance. Residents can locate providers in their area using Vaccines.gov or they can text their zip code to 438829 (822862 in Spanish) to find a nearby clinic.  

For additional business guidance, visit www.ATXrecovers.com for recommendations to help prioritize the health and safety of employees and customers.  

Additional information regarding COVID-19, testing, and vaccinations can be found at AustinTexas.gov/COVID19

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Austin City Council Joins the Fight Against Voter Suppression in Texas

Council passes a resolution to support Texas lawmakers battling

so-called election integrity laws House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1

 

AUSTIN, TX – On Thursday, City Council approved a resolution (Item 176) reaffirming support for state and federal legislation that protects voting rights and access to voting. This is in response to Governor Abbott's attempts to silence voices and participation in the democratic process with laws such as Texas House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1, as well as the wave of voter suppression happening across the nation. 

 

"Today, we stand on the shoulders of giants who have fought in hallowed halls of legislative chambers across our nation for free and fair access to the ballot box, for a voice in the electoral process we call our American democracy," said Austin City Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, who authored the resolution. "Every level of government has a duty, no matter the scope, to protect the voice of the community it serves. Texas is in the voting rights fight of our lifetime, and we must support the state leaders working to stop anti-voter laws." 

 

"I'm proud to stand alongside my colleagues and fight for what is right. Here in Texas, one of the most restrictive states for voting rights and access, we are fighting to stop Texas House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1," said City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler. "One of our most fundamental rights is on the line—the right to vote and make our voices heard—all voices matter. Join us by urging state and federal legislators to withdraw these bad bills that question the heart of our democratic process."

 

The resolution adds the Council's opposition against Texas voter suppression bills by:

  • Reaffirming the City's support for state and federal legislation that promotes and protects voting rights and access to voting; 
  • Urging members of the Texas Legislature to withdraw House Bill 3 and Senate Bill 1; and,
  • Directing the City Manager to send copies of this resolution to the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker of the House, the Austin state and federal delegations, City Councils in Texas and to the President of the United States

 

"Efforts to roll back nearly 250 years of progressively expanding voting rights are putting American democracy itself in the balance," said City of Austin Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison. "I wholeheartedly stand with the Texas lawmakers who are in Washington right now fighting to protect the voices of their constituents, and I sincerely hope Congress will act decisively to head off anti-voting bills that will disproportionately harm Black, Latino and other marginalized communities."

 

"Voter suppression is a cancer on our democracy. We cannot ignore the insidious, nationwide assault on our sacred right to vote," said Austin City Council Member Alison Alter. "In the first six months of 2021, 17 states enacted 28 laws that make it harder for our electorate to vote. To ensure a functional democracy, we must defend eligible voters' right to cast their ballots without intimidation."

 

"Top Texas officials are choosing to focus on voter suppression, while ignoring the multiple crises Texans are still facing," said Austin City Council Member Greg Casar. "They've failed to contain the pandemic, failed to protect us from the effects of Winter Storm Uri, and failed to pass any sort of meaningful legislation to help families make ends meet. The will of the people—our very democracy—must prevail, and Austin will continue supporting our leaders who are fighting for voting rights." 

 

In support of the Texas lawmakers who broke quorum twice to prevent further consideration of HB3 and adoption of SB1, the City of Austin District 2 office has engaged other cities across the state and has received promising news that Dallas, El Paso and other city councils are bringing forth similar resolutions. This is on the heels of Harris County's own resolution, which they passed on July 20. This statewide coordination will allow for greater impact as legislators and policymakers work to stem the tide of disenfranchisement.

 

Resolution sponsored by Council Member Vanessa Fuentes and co-sponsored by Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Natasha Harper-Madison and Council Members Alison Alter and Greg Casar.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Fall Back into Fitness and Celebrate Local Parks



HealthCode and Austin Parks & Recreation Invite Area Residents to
Join September's Fall into Action Virtual Activity Challenge 

HealthCode and the Austin Parks and Recreation Department are calling on all Austinites to step out and take action! Join the virtual activity challenge Fall into Action in September, stay active and explore the city's green spaces. Walk, run, cycle and paddle as you explore the City's diverse parks system throughout the month. 

The goal of the Fall into Action virtual challenge is to engage individuals in setting physical activity goals and create new habits to support a healthy lifestyle. Participants can join as an individual or as an organization. Organizations can register at Healthcode.org/Organizations

Participating in the Fall into Action activity challenge is simple. Participants can sign up on the Fall into Action registration page at HealthCode.org/FallIntoAction2021 and set a goal for the number of miles of activity to be achieved. Throughout the month activity is logged on HealthCode's fitness tracker and the program's public leaderboard is updated with miles achieved, including running, walking, cycling, swimming or yoga. 

"With students returning to classes in the fall and many employees returning to offices, we are encouraging our community to remain physically active and safely socially connected while encouraging everyone to celebrate our gorgeous city parks,'' said Steve Amos, CEO and founder of the Austin-based nonprofit HealthCode. "The Fall into Action virtual activity challenge is a fun way to raise awareness of the benefits of a lifestyle focused on good physical and mental health and encourage everyone to learn and play in Austin's diverse park system.'' 

Registrants who log at least one mile will be eligible for more than $3000 in prize drawings, including an organic mattress from Naturepedic. HealthCode is committed to raising awareness on living healthier, happier lives through physical activity, nutrition and supporting the environment. Since launching its first virtual activity challenge with Million Mile Month in 2014, HealthCode has developed a series of virtual activity and educational programs to promote healthy living. 

Throughout the year, HealthCode offers goal-based challenges with more than 50,000 participants and organizations across all 50 U.S. states and in 30 other countries. More information on events can be found on the HealthCode Events Page.

About HealthCode
HealthCode, a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas, is dedicated to empowering people to live healthier, happier lives through education and encouraging physical activity, promoting healthy eating habits, supporting the environment and cultivating community connections. For more information visit HealthCode.org


Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Austin’s Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission Finalizes Summer Schedule of Public Forums

Community Given Opportunities to Provide Input on City Council District Maps

The second Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission (ICRC) has set a summer schedule to get input from Austin residents on drawing new maps for the 10 City Council Districts.

The next meeting will take place at 6-8 p.m. this evening, Tuesday, July 27, at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, TX 78739.

Austin residents on the ICRC have the responsibility of drawing the district boundaries through an open and impartial process. In 2013, the first group of residents on the redistricting Commission drew the City Council boundaries as part of a voter referendum. 

Today, a new slot of 14 community volunteers serves on the ICRC to do the work of redrawing City Council districts based on the 2020 Census data. These Commissioners will serve on the Commission for a ten-year term. One person on the Commission is a college student. Most of the Commission's work will be during its first year when they draw the city council district boundaries. 

Austin's population is larger and more diverse today. Through an application and random selection process, a new group of residents is set to draw the district boundaries to reflect these changes and impact how Austin residents are represented in local government.

The focus of public testimony is to receive information about the unique characteristics of communities of interest from those most familiar with their neighborhoods to help the commission determine areas that should remain intact and/or be grouped.

The goal is to have new district maps approved by the November 2022 election. Draft maps will be developed and made public this fall, and further input will be conducted from residents.

The commissioners will have access to 2020 Census data in late August 2021. The commissioners will use this data and public input to decide how to draw the new district boundaries and best reflect Austin's changes.

The commissioners must use the following criteria to draw the district boundaries:
  • Districts should have reasonably equal populations;
  • District boundaries must touch each other;
  • Neighborhoods or communities kept together as much as possible;
  • Districts should be as compact as possible (i.e., nearby neighborhoods not passed up for farther away ones).
  • District boundaries use existing election precincts and geographically identifiable boundaries as much as possible; and
  • District boundaries must follow federal and state laws
Throughout July and August, the Commission is hosting public forums in each of the 10 City Council Districts. Meetings have already been conducted in District 9 and District 10.

While work on scheduling meetings is still underway, the following ICRC public forums have been confirmed:
  • District 8 - Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 6-8 p.m.,
     Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, TX 78739. 
  • District 4 - Saturday, July 31, 2021, 2-4 p.m.,
     Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Lane, Austin, TX 78753.
  • District 2 - Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, 6-8 p.m.,
     Mendez Middle School, 5106 Village Square Dr., Austin, TX, 78744
  • District 1 - Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, 1-3 p.m.,
     George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina St., Austin, TX 78702. 
  • August TBA Virtual Public Forum 
For up to date information, visit the Austin Redistricting webpage and follow the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

ICRC Commissioners:
Commissioners are Joshua Blank (District 8), Sara Inés Calderón (D2), Erin Dempsey (D10), Camellia Falcon (D7), Luis Gonzalez (D10, Vice-Chair), Errol Hardin (D1), Shaina Kambo (D9), Prabhu Kannan (D5), Dr. Sterling Lands (D4), Hoang Le (D8), Brigham Morris (D3), Christina Puentes (D7, Chair), Eugene Schneider (D6) and Selina Yee (D1).

View the Commission webpage Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission | AustinTexas.gov
Review how the ICRC was selected: City Auditor Will Conduct Random Drawing to Select the First Eight Members for the Redistricting Commission | AustinTexas.gov

To find City Council Districts in Austin visit this link and type in an address.

News from Souly Austin: Latest Pandemic Relief Efforts in Austin



Austin-Travis County is currently in Stage 4 of the COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines. These are guidelines for individual actions and behaviors based on levels of risk of exposure in the community. The City of Austin prepared Stage 4 safety recommendations for employers on ATXrecovers.com to help local businesses and organizations protect employees, customers, and the community.
 
We encourage you to register to co-host a mobile vaccine event to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Complete the Austin Public Health Mobile Vaccination Request Form to request a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at your business location. If you are interested in scheduling an education event regarding vaccine safety at your facility, please complete this Austin Public Health COVID-19 Vaccination Education Request Form.
 
Visit the City of Austin's COVID-19 website for more information about resources in Austin.
 
- Veronica Briseño, City of Austin Chief Economic Recovery Officer

Economic Development Department Highlights

Austin Arts & Culture Non-Profit Relief Grant
The Austin Arts & Culture Non-Profit Relief Grant provides one-time unrestricted $20,000 grants to local arts and culture non-profit organizations facing hardships due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Review guidelines and apply for the Austin Arts & Culture Non-Profit Relief Grant by August 2 at 5 p.m.
Back to School Bash Drive-Thru Celebration
Colony Park Back to School Bash Drive-Thru Celebration
Join us for the annual Colony Park Back to School Bash Drive-Thru Celebration on August 6 from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Turner-Roberts Recreation Center. This year families can enjoy a carnival-themed evening of fun from the comforts of their cars! We will distribute free food, backpacks, and educational resources while families enjoy music, mobile balloon artists, ice pops and much more. Distribution will be on a first-come, first-serve basis until supplies last. Sign up to be a Back to School Bash volunteer.
 
Heritage Preservation Grants Virtual Open Office Hours
Join the Heritage Tourism Division during Virtual Office Hours, where staff will answer questions about existing or potential Heritage Preservation projects. Attend Heritage Tourism Virtual Open Office Hours every second and fourth Tuesday from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
 
City of Austin Honors Entrepreneurs with Business Skills Certification
On July 23, the Economic Development Department virtually recognized 30 local entrepreneurs and small business employees who earned a Business Skills Certification. Recipients completed six training classes designed to strengthen skills needed to successfully manage and grow a small business. The classes were offered through a partnership with The University of Texas at Austin Center for Professional Education. Register for small business training classes.

COVID-19 Health & Safety

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and resources from the City of Austin.
 
Resources
Austin Public Health Re-enters Stage 4 of Risk-Based Guidelines
The level of risk for contracting COVID-19 in Austin-Travis County continues to increase, especially among unvaccinated individuals as confirmed cases have dramatically risen over the past two weeks.
 
Stage 4 recommendations include the following:
  • Fully vaccinated individuals should wear a mask when participating in indoor private gatherings, traveling, and dining or shopping, and should wear a mask for outdoor gatherings, if they are unable to socially distance.
  • Partially or unvaccinated individuals should avoid private gatherings, travel, dining and shopping unless essential. Wear a mask when conducting essential activities.
Neighborhood COVID-19 Testing Sites
As cases and hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to rise steadily in the Austin metropolitan area, Austin Public Health is reopening two neighborhood walk-up testing sites beginning July 29. Stop by the George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center and the St. Johns Testing Site for a COVID-19 test.
 
Guidance on Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance on everyday steps to clean and disinfect your facility, steps to take when someone is sick, and considerations for employers. Read the CDC's guidance on cleaning and disinfecting your facility.

 
A person getting vaccinated so they could be reunited with their family
Share Your COVID-19 Vaccine Story
Austin Public Health wants to hear why you chose to get vaccinated! Share your story on social media and use #ReasonToVaxx. Still need a vaccine? Schedule an appointment online or visit a walk-up clinic.
 
Promote a Virus-Free 2021-2022 School Year
As classes begin in August, parents have an opportunity to ensure their children safely return to in-person instruction by scheduling a child wellness visit with a healthcare provider. A child 12 years of age or older can receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination that will fully protect them. For children under 12 years of age, it is strongly recommended they continue to wear a mask as the school year begins until a vaccine for their age range is approved. Read more about protecting young people from COVID-19.

City of Austin Announcements

Resources for Residents
People celebrating food justice in Austin
City Launches Food Justice Mini Grants Program
The Office of Sustainability is offering $3,000 Food Justice Mini Grants for organizations that are working to create a more equitable food system that empowers communities to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Apply for a Food Justice Mini Grant by August 13 at 6 p.m.
 
MoveOutATX
MoveOutATX is a community effort to keep good items out of the landfill during the local, university move-out season. Gently-used items, such as furniture, cleaning supplies, clothing and more will be accepted at temporary donation stations in and around West Campus on July 29 - 31. Items collected will be donated to participating reuse organizations.
People discussing how they can help grow Austin mobility
ATX Walk Bike Roll
The City of Austin will be updating three plans that guide when and where we build places to walk, bike and roll with ATX Walk Bike Roll. Read more about the proposed updates to the Urban Trails Program, the Sidewalk Program, and the Bicycle Program. Sign up now to attend the first ATX Walk Bike Roll public meeting on August 11 at 7 p.m.

Community Resources

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) COVID-19 Relief Options: SBA HUBZone Program
Join the SBA to learn about the HUBZone program on July 29 from 10 - 11 a.m. The program fuels small business growth in historically underutilized business zones with a goal of awarding at least three percent of federal contract dollars to HUBZone-certified companies each year.
 
SBA's Small Business Resource Guide
Read the Small Business Resource Guide and find information on counseling, training, capital, contracting, disaster assistance, business advocacy, local directories and more.
 
The Child Tax Credit
The Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan provides the largest Child Tax Credit ever and historic relief to the most working families ever – and most families will automatically receive monthly payments of $250 or $300 per child without having to take any action. Learn about the increased Child Tax Credit.
 
Broadband Grant Programs Webinar Series
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will host a series of webinars beginning on August 4 for potential applicants for three new broadband grant programs - Broadband Infrastructure Program, Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, and Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program.


Monday, July 26, 2021

Redistricting Commission Meetings + Public Forums This Week

As the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) waits for the 2020 Census data to redraw the boundaries for the 10 city council districts their aim this week is to focus on districts 8 and 4 by listening to public testimony from Austinites.

The volunteer board of 14 commissioners invite members of the public to an in-person public meeting about Austin's District 8. At this forum, they will hear from the ICRC and the work being done on the new City Council district maps. The public will have an opportunity to provide public comment and feedback on the city's  current district map. The forum will take place at 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, July 27 at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, TX 78739.

They want to learn about the unique characteristics of communities of interest from those most familiar with their neighborhoods to help them determine the areas that should remain intact and/or be grouped together.

The goal is to have a new district map approved in November.

On Saturday, July 31 from 2-4 p.m. commissioners will host another public comment forum focusing on District 4 at the Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Lane, Austin, TX 78753.

These volunteers are committed to drawing up a fair, impartial and inclusive city district map not just because they are civic minded but they are members of the districts themselves. For instance Commissioner Joshua Blank from District 8 will be on hand to listen to his neighbors talk about their boundary concerns. Blank brings extensive polling expertise to the commission.

Commissioner Sterling Lands from District 4, a senior pastor of Greater Calvary Bible Church, is a civil rights and community activist, youth advocate, and author. He participated in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and has been fighting for minority representation in Austin since the 1980s.

Along with census data, publicly submitted comments will be used to assist the commission when it begins drawing district boundaries between March 2021 through November 2021. The focus of public testimony is to receive information about the unique characteristics of communities of interest from those most familiar with their neighborhoods to help the commission determine areas that should remain intact and/or be grouped together in districts.

Public input forums will be recorded and videos of the meetings will be available after the meetings here: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/watch-atxn-live. Past meetings and agendas can be viewed on the commission's website at www.austintexas.gov/cityclerk/boards_commissions/meetings/116_1.htm

Interpretation or translation services will be available free of charge by advance request in Spanish, Chinese or Vietnamese. Call 311 or email matthew.dugan@austintexas.gov to request these services 48 hours in advance of a forum.

To find City Council Districts in Austin visit this link and type in an address: https://www.austintexas.gov/GIS/CouncilDistrictMap/

A list of upcoming ICRC public forums:
Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 6-8 p.m., District 8 at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, TX 78739.
Saturday, July 31, 2021, 2-4 p.m., District 4 at Gus Garcia Recreation Center, 1201 E. Rundberg Lane, Austin, TX 78753.
Tuesday, August 3, 2021, 6-8 p.m., District 6 location pending.
Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021, 1-3 p.m., District 3 location pending.
Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, 6-8 p.m., District 2 location at Mendez Middle School, 5106 Village Square Dr., Austin, TX 78744.
Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, 1-3 p.m., District 1 at George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina St., Austin, TX 78702.
Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, 6-8 p.m., District 5 location pending.
August TBA Virtual Public Forum


ICRC Information
Commissioners are: Joshua Blank (District 8), Sara Inés Calderón (D2), Erin Dempsey (D10), Camellia Falcon (D7), Luis Gonzalez (D10, Vice-Chair), Errol Hardin (D1), Shaina Kambo (D9), Prabhu Kannan (D5), Dr. Sterling Lands (D4), Hoang Le (D8), Brigham Morris (D3), Christina Puentes (D7, Chair), Eugene Schneider (D6) and Selina Yee (D1).

The ICRC board will hold its weekly commission meeting via videoconferencing 6 p.m., Wednesday, July 21, 2021. 


Login with these credentials: Meeting ID: 923 0025 0133 Passcode: 67uSPc 


Onion Creek Metro Park Gets a Recommitment in Needed Attention

Austin City Council approves resolution to ensure improvements are coming to  Onion Creek Metro Park ...