Thursday, September 30, 2021

All Travis County Students Can Receive Free Austin Public Library Cards Starting October 1



Annual $120 fee for Non-Resident Library Cards to be waived for students enrolled in any school in Travis County
Beginning October 1, 2021, any student enrolled in school in Travis County will be able to receive a free library card from Austin Public Library, even if they reside outside the city of Austin.

Austin Public Library Cards are free for all city residents, and any person who is not an Austin resident is able to receive a Non-Resident Library Card for a $30 quarterly or $120 annual fee. Starting October 1, that fee will be waived for any student who either lives in or is enrolled in a school in Travis County, including private school, daycare, charter, and home school students, until the completion of high school. The change to the Library's fee schedule is the result of an updated budget for the Library approved by the Austin City Council in August and going into effect when the new fiscal year starts on October 1.

"We are very excited to be able to expand access to library materials to all students in Travis County," stated Austin Public Library Director Roosevelt Weeks. "One of the Austin Public Library's six core priorities is 'Literacy Advancement,' and lifting a financial barrier to accessing the Library's resources for tens of thousands of Travis County students will provide a significant boost to literacy and learning in the Greater Austin community."

A Non-Resident Austin Public Library Card functions the same as a Resident Library Card, and allows a cardholder to check out books, music, DVDs and more from 21 library locations in Austin. An Austin Library Card user can also remotely access online databases and download eBooks, audiobooks, and videos to your computer or tablet through the Virtual Library.

Library staff have begun working with multiple Travis County school districts and private schools to provide students library cards directly. Students can also apply for a library card with an adult parent/guardian cosigner at any Austin Public Library location that is currently open for limited capacity in-person Express Services, or online through the Austin Public Library Card Online Application.

AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY
Austin Public Library is a part of the City of Austin and includes the Central Library, 20 branches, Recycled Reads bookstore, and the Austin History Center. The Austin Public Library provides knowledge, technology, and inspiration.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

City Manager Announces Joseph Chacon as Austin Police Chief

                            

Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk has named Joseph Chacon as Chief of the Austin Police Department. 
 
Chacon, whose APD career spans more than two decades, has served as Interim Chief since March 2021, following the retirement of former Chief Brian Manley. Prior to that, Chacon served as an Assistant Chief for almost five years, overseeing Patrol, Special Operations, Specialized Patrol, Investigations, Intelligence, Professional Standards and Training/Recruiting. 
 
Cronk will lead a news conference at Austin City Hall at 1:30 p.m. today, Wednesday Sept. 22, to discuss the appointment, which is subject to confirmation by Austin City Council. He will be joined by Interim Chief Chacon and the Assistant City Manager for Safety, Rey Arellano. The event will be carried live on ATXN and ATXN.TV
 
"I want to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped us reach this important decision for our community," said City Manager Cronk. "After hearing from so many of you, and following an extensive and rigorous recruitment process, I'm confident Interim Chief Joseph Chacon is the right person to lead our City's police department to achieve results, build trust and transparency, and accomplish equitable public safety outcomes for all Austin residents and visitors." 
 
"I am extremely excited and humbled by this amazing opportunity," said Interim Chief Chacon. "Austin PD is at a critical juncture, and I am honored that the City Manager is showing the trust in me to lead this amazing organization. I will be engaging our department employees and our community to make sure we are moving forward in the best way possible."
 
News Conference  
1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021 
Austin City Hall Atrium, 301 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701  

 
Media wishing to attend in person should RSVP to media@austintexas.gov by noon today. Masking and social distancing will be required.  
 
Today's announcement follows a six-month process comprising extensive community consultation to identify the best candidate for the job.  
 
In March, the City released a survey asking the public to identify the skills and characteristics, background and experience, and top priorities they believed were most important for the next Chief of Police. Responses to the survey helped establish the selection criteria for the position.  
 
Cronk solicited additional feedback in April from community groups, including five online community input meetings and constituent calls from the City's 311 service.  
 
The process included a series of interviews featuring panelists drawn from City staff and stakeholders followed by two public forums in August offering community members opportunities to meet and question the final candidates for the position.  
 
Because the City Manager's appointment requires City Council confirmation, an item will be placed on the Sept. 30, 2021 Council agenda as required by state law. 
 
News Conference 
 
Today's event will be broadcast live on ATXN cable television on Spectrum channel 6, Grande Communications channel 6, U-Verse channel 99, and Google Fiber channel 6. It will also be broadcast on ATXN.TV and on the City's Facebook page. A Spanish language version will also be available.  
  
To access the video feed: 

Joseph Chacon - Biography 
 
Interim Chief Joseph Chacon has a wide breadth of experience in almost all areas of police work. 
 
He is the former director of the Austin Regional Intelligence Center, and has served on the Major Cities Chief's Association (MCCA) Intelligence Commander's Group, as well as the executive board of the National Fusion Center Association. He has also served on the Travis County Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, and is dedicated to better outcomes for those living with mental illness. 
 
Chacon is committed to civic engagement, and volunteers with the Miracle League of Austin, an adaptive Little League baseball organization, and with Special Olympics Texas. He is on the International Association of Chiefs of Police Torch Run Committee, an anchor organization committed to Special Olympics. 
 
Chacon is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington School of Urban and Public Affairs, where he earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration. He received his Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX. He is a graduate of PERF's Senior Management Institute for Police, Texas State University's Certified Public Manager Program, and MCCA's Police Executive Leadership Institute.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Austin receives $1M grant toward transportation solutions

Sep 21, 2021 

A $1 million grant will help the University of Texas at Austin, Austin Transportation Department and local nonprofit Jail to Jobs build and evaluate a community mobility hub to address community-identified challenges in north Austin's Georgian Acres neighborhood. Mobility Hubs are places in a community that bring together public transit, bike share, car share, and other ways for people to get to where they want to go without a private vehicle.

The project team, led by the Principal Investigator, Junfeng Jiao, Associate Professor, Community and Regional Planning program at UT School of Architecture and Jason JonMichael, Assistant Director with Austin Transportation Smart Mobility, proposed a solar-powered hub within Austin's Georgian Acres community. The hub will provide access to a neighborhood bike system, a bike-share station, e-scooter stations and more while offering free WiFi and other community services such as a mobile health clinic and food pantry.

Georgian Acres is a North Austin neighborhood bound by Rundberg Lane to the north, US 183 to the south, I-35 to the east and Lamar Boulevard to the west. It is what Jiao, a UT Austin professor considers a "transit desert," referring to the area's high demand for transportation service but low supply. Commute times in Georgian Acres are 67% longer than the city average.

"Georgian Acres is bound on all sides by highways and high-speed roadways, making it difficult for community members to travel in or out of the neighborhood," said Gina Fiandaca, Austin's Assistant City Manager overseeing Mobility. "It's also a traditionally low- to moderate-income community, which means that affordability is a significant barrier to transportation for these residents. Our hope is that this community hub project will provide a variety of affordable transportation options, empowering community members to select the modes that best meet their needs."

The grant comes from the National Science Foundation's Civic Innovation Challenge, an initiative to find community-based solutions to address challenges related to equality and natural disasters and make them sustainable, scalable and transferrable to other communities across the US.

Earlier this year, the Austin project team received $100,000 from Stage 1 of the competition. Austin was among 52 other teams spanning 30 states, a tribal region, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. During Stage 1, the project team began outreach to community partners and community members in the Georgian Acres area to better understand how to solve the spatial mismatch between affordable housing and jobs, and increase access to services like food, health care and childcare.

With guidance from the community, the project team proposed co-creating a mobility hub with the community that provides first- and last-mile mobility options to reduce commute times, decrease transportation costs and understand the social and economic impacts of these disparities. Jiao suggested that the same framework of a community-driven process could be used for other areas of town that traditionally have lacked transportation access and infrastructure.

The project team proposed customizing the mobility hub to meet the community's needs. "We want to make it very customized," he said. "We are not going to design a one-size-hub-for-all. This community might have a different travel pattern compared to downtown or another Austin neighborhood. We want to co-create the hub to satisfy the neighborhood's unique needs."

Jail to Jobs, the project's nonprofit partner, works with youthful offenders to provide access to jobs when they come out of incarceration. With support from the NSF grant, the nonprofit plans to hire three to five of its clients to drive circulator buses through the Georgian Acres neighborhood—designing a set route that would reach apartment complexes along Interstate 35 and run to grocery stores, transit centers and other points of significant interest. Capital Metro has agreed to donate two wheelchair-accessible vans for this purpose.

"We are literally saving their lives, taking them off the street and teaching them a skill that can change the rest of their life," said Jeremias Cooper, Travis County director for Jail to Jobs. "I would love to see this mirrored in other neighborhoods and cities where transportation is an issue."

Jail to Jobs is located in the neighborhood and near the planned location for the community mobility hub.

"We applaud the efforts of all the teams who worked tirelessly to build partnerships between researchers and community stakeholders," NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said. "We are excited to see the teams selected for the next phase begin their pilot projects and plant seeds of innovation across the country. This program demonstrates the value of research-community partnerships in rapidly translating cutting-edge science into community-based innovation, and we look forward to seeing its positive impact across urban and rural communities."

The Civic Innovation Challenge is a program run in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. To learn more about this project, watch the video the project team created for their Stage 2 proposal.


In collaboration with area partners, Austin Transportation Department leads our community's Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries on Austin streets, the achievement of a 50/50 commute type split by 2039 as established in the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, and actively seeks innovative solutions and piloting technology that can decrease the use of single-occupancy vehicles and improve safety through Austin Transportation Department's Smart Mobility Office. For details, please visit AustinTexas.gov/Transportation.


The City of Austin is Dedicated to Empowering Residents and Defending Civil Rights



Office of Civil Rights Hosting a Virtual Education Series Focused on Civil Right Protections

The City of Austin's Office of Civil Rights is holding a series of events to help Austinites identify and understand their rights when it comes to housing and employment discrimination. Approved by the Austin City Council in August 2020, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has been dedicated to promoting racial equity. That year alone, the OCR investigated 97 employment and 34 housing complaints. 
 
Federal laws prohibit discrimination based on a person's nationality, race, color, religion, disability, sex, and familial status. The City's OCR is empowered to receive complaints and enforce civil rights protections which guarantee equal social and economic opportunities, and equal protection under the law.

The Office of Civil Rights has investigated 55 cases involving allegations of civil rights violations in FY21 so far (October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021).  Of those cases, 17 resulted in monetary or other relief to the complaining party. This highlights the important work the department does to ensure Austinites live free from discrimination and other civil rights violations.

"We are dedicated to cultivating an environment of respect and inclusion," said Civil Rights Officer Carol Johnson. "Enforcing civil rights protections is critical in promoting visibility, accountability, and responsibility within our community."
 
In the department's work to promote accountability and responsibility, the Office of Civil Rights is hosting a virtual education series focused on the Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance and other civil right protections. The goal is to empower participants with information to increase economic opportunity; prevent and reduce discrimination; and protect the health and safety of Austin residents.

Registration for the workshops is free and each series will include presentations by industry professional speaking on the following critical topics:
  • Employment Discrimination Education             September 22, 2021     1:00PM – 2:30PM
  • Housing Discrimination Education                    October 20, 2021         1:00PM – 2:30PM
 
This series aims to inform the community, employers, housing providers and businesses on specific civil rights protections for Austin residents, business owners and visitors.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Travis County Hospital Capacity Challenges in Current Wave of COVID



Joint Media Statement: COVID-19 Update for Austin/Travis County

"Recent headlines have indicated a downward trend in COVID-19 cases in our community. While the overall number of cases has declined from the peak during this recent third surge, it is important for all Central Texas residents to have the full picture of where we are in this pandemic so that you may plan accordingly for you, your family and friends, and workplaces.

Hospital COVID admissions are declining, but we are not past this surge yet. Since July, our hospitals in the greater Austin area have had more than 3,500 COVID inpatients, and more than 1,000 of those required care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Unlike previous COVID surges, all of the acute care hospitals were very full with non-COVID care when this surge started. ICUs across the Austin area are now completely full, and many hospitals are surging beyond their licensed ICU space to provide ICU-level care to COVID patients in need. The vast majority of these COVID patients are on ventilators, and approximately 90% of them are unvaccinated. Generally, patients who have been hospitalized during this surge are sicker and staying in the hospital longer. Due to the overcrowding, many patients from regional and rural hospitals that depend on Austin-area hospitals for complex care have not been able to be transferred.

In this current surge, only a third of hospitalized patients are over 65 years old. During the previous surge, patients over 65 made up over 50% of hospital patients. Sadly, the mortality rate for hospitalized patients is higher for this COVID surge than our last surge and is now approaching 10%. We are seeing an alarming number of otherwise young and healthy patients, including pregnant patients, develop severe COVID.

The capacity challenges are impacting all of the hospitals across the Central Texas region. We want to continue to provide lifesaving care for patients who have a heart attack, a stroke, or are injured in a car wreck. To do that, we need your help. To make sure our hospitals have enough space to care for our community — including you and your loved ones who may unexpectedly need hospital care — we urge you to get your COVID-19 vaccine, wear a mask and practice physical distancing. Please do your part to cut down on the number of COVID cases in our community, and help us care for you.

If you have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19, we join our physician colleagues across the community in strongly urging everyone 12 and over to do so. Data shows that vaccines are safe, effective and a proven way to avoid being critically ill as a result of COVID."

- Desmar Walkes, M.D., Medical Director/Health Authority, City of Austin
- Samson Jesudass, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer, Ascension Texas,
- Kenneth W. Mitchell, M.D., Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, St. David's HealthCare
- Robin Watson, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Baylor Scott & White Health Greater Austin Region.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Austin City Council Preliminary District Map Approved



Next slate of public forums scheduled for viewing of preliminary maps

Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) commissioners have adopted a preliminary map of new Austin City Council district boundaries that will be shown to the public in the next round of public forums.
 
"The ICRC has worked tirelessly to incorporate as much information from as many sources as possible into these preliminary maps, including extensive feedback from citizens at a dozen public forums," said District 8 Commissioner Joshua Blank. "Now that we have a map in hand, we're looking forward to hearing even more from the community at our upcoming public forums."
 
Beginning in July, the commissioners and their mapping specialist have spent eight hours in 12 public forums starting on July 15 through Aug. 27, 2021 discussing the mapping process and listening to public testimony. The ICRC hosted 105 attendees, listened to 48 speakers, collected 50 maps, over 100 emails and listened to two voice messages from the public.
 
"These maps are a reflection of some great collaboration across all the committee members, public input and in partnership with key local community groups," said District 5 Commissioner Prabhu Kannan.  "The commission has worked really hard to be fair, mindful of truly wanting to keep neighborhoods intact and abide by legal guidelines outlined."
 
After hearing public testimony and deliberating proposed changes to the draft map, 12 commissioners voted to approve the preliminary map on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 at the Permitting and Development Center (PDC), 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr., Austin, TX 78752.
 
The ICRC is prepared to host five forums for the public to view visualizations of the approved map and give their input to the ICRC. The first forum will be held this Saturday, Sept. 18 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Gus Garcia Recreation Center at 1201 E. Runberg Lane, Austin, TX 78753.
 
Additional public forum information is listed below:
 
Public Forum No. 2
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021: 6-8 p.m.
Mayfield Cottage
3505 W. 35th St.,
Austin, TX 78703
 
Public Forum No. 3
Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021: 1-3 p.m.
George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Center
5801 Ainez Dr.
Austin, TX 78744
 
Public Forum No. 4
Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021: 6-8 p.m.
Via Videoconference on Zoom
Register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jroATJQiRF2nqm9bOkZ1gw
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
 
Public Forum No. 5
Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Travis County Community Center at Oak Hill
8656 Texas Highway 71
Austin, TX 78735
 
"The next step is publicizing the draft to gather another round of community input to continue to drive transparency and fairness as we race to the finish line and get this completed on time," Kannan said.
 
After hearing from residents and reviewing public testimony from the five forums, the next step for commissioners and the mapping specialist will be to discuss potential revisions, incorporate those revisions and vote on a proposed final map in October. The ICRC will present a draft of the final map at three additional public forums to receive input from the public. The commissioners will redraw the final map with public testimony during the last week of October, have another vote on the map and present it to the Austin city council by November 1.
 
Submit feedback
To submit feedback directly to the commission about redistricting please email: icrc.commissioners@austintexas.gov or write to: Housing and Planning Department, Attn: ICRC, P.O. Box 1088, Austin, Texas 78767.
 
Due to rapid changes in scheduling due to COVID restrictions, for the most up-to-date events information from the ICRC please refer to the following events pages:
 
https://www.speakupaustin.org/city-of-austin-redistricting/
https://www.facebook.com/pg/AustinRedistric/events/
Public input forums are recorded and made available after the meetings here: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/watch-atxn-live.
Past meetings, agendas and map presentations can be viewed on the commission's website at www.austintexas.gov/cityclerk/boards_commissions/meetings/116_1.htm
 
Interpretation and/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/
 
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 (D3), Brigham Morris (D3), Christina Puentes (D7, Chair), Eugene Schneider (D6) and Selina Yee (D1).
 
The ICRC board will hold its weekly commission meeting at the Permitting and Development Center (PDC), 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr., Austin, TX 78752, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics (9/17-9/20)




Austin Public Health and Travis County Partner with Community Organizations for COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics (9/17-9/20)

Austin, TX – Austin Public Health (APH) and Travis County are partnering with local community organizations to provide FREE COVID-19 vaccination clinics around the county for events from Sep. 17 through Sep. 20.  

Clinics are open to all eligible individuals without registration or appointment and require neither identification nor insurance. All vaccinations are free. Please check the details of events below to confirm dates, locations, times, and age eligibility for the vaccines being administered. Locations offering Moderna and Pfizer are providing first and second doses, as well as third doses for qualifying immunocompromised individuals. If you are receiving your second dose, please bring your Center for Disease Control COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to be updated. 

Unvaccinated individuals are urged to get the vaccine to protect themselves, their family and the community from the virus and its variants. Austin-Travis County has seen a rapid spike in cases prompting APH to move back into Stage 5 of the Risk-Based Guidelines. 

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, including garments that allow you to easily expose your arm. 

H-E-B gift cards are no longer available.   
 

Friday, September 17

Austin Community College Eastview Campus (Travis County)   

Southeast Library (APH)  

Little Walnut Creek Library (APH)    

Harmony School of Excellence (APH) 

La Mexicana Meat Market (Travis County)  

Manos de Cristo (Travis County) 

Poco Loco Supermercado (Travis County)  

Poco Loco Supermercado (Travis County)  

Poco Loco Supermercado (Travis County) 

Saturday, September 18

Turner Roberts Recreation Center (APH) 

Travis County Exposition Center (Travis County) 

Dailey Middle School (Travis County)  

Del Valle High School Opportunity Center (APH/Travis County) 

La Moreliana Meat Market (Travis County) 

Rancho Grande Supermercado (Travis County) 

Ana Lark Center (APH) 

Austin Area Urban League (APH)  

 Southeast Library (APH)  

Little Walnut Creek Library (APH)  

Woodview Mobile Home Park (APH) 

!VIVA Mexico! Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (APH) 

Sunday, September 19

 Travis County Exposition Center (Travis County) 

Circuit of the Americas Grand Plaza (APH) 

Monday, September 20

La Mexicana Market (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).


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Southwest Airlines Announces Expanded Schedule from Austin beginning March 2022


Sep 16, 2021 09:18 am

AUSTIN, Texas – Marking its 44th year in the Texas capital this week, Southwest Airlines, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport's (AUS) largest carrier, has announced that it will bring more air service to Austin starting in March.

The airline will increase service by more than 20 flights per day, offering nonstop service between Austin and 46 destinations on up to 105 departures a day.

In addition to increased frequencies, Southwest will also add nonstop service from Austin to nine new and returning destinations.

New daily nonstop service to Amarillo (AMA), Charleston (CHS), Columbus (CMH), Midland (MAF) and Ontario (ONT) will begin on March 10, with service to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) - subject to requisite government approvals - and seasonal weekly service to Panama City (ECP), Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ) and Destin/Fort Walton Beach (VPS) all beginning on March 12.

"As Austin and its airport continue to grow, we are excited to welcome these new and expanded services to central Texas," said Jacqueline Yaft, Chief Executive Officer for AUS. "Celebrating 44 years of Southwest operations in Austin, we are grateful for their continued investment and confidence in the future of AUS."
 

###

Owned and operated by the City of Austin, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is an economic engine in Central Texas, supplying over 74,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Central Texas region. Its reflection of local food, music, art, and customer service has earned Austin-Bergstrom recognition—including Runner-Up for Best U.S. Airport in Fodor's 2019 Travel Awards


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Zilker Park Vision Plan Community Meeting #3: Tuesday, October 19, 2021



Zilker Park Vision Plan Community Meeting to reveal design alternatives
The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) invites Austin residents to participate in Virtual Community Meeting #3 for the Zilker Park Vision Plan, the first comprehensive planning effort in the park's history. During the third meeting, the project team will share design concepts to improve mobility, transportation, programming, environmental features, historical resources, and much more. PARD used feedback collected from more than 6,000 community members to shape these concepts and is eager to review various ideas and possibilities with community members. The meeting is designed to be interactive and will include live polling, Q&A, and discussion.  

Zilker Park Vision Plan Virtual Community Meeting #
Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 6 p.m. 
ASL and Spanish interpretation will be provided. 
 
The meeting will be hosted on Zoom and Facebook Live on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, at 6 p.m. A recording will be available following the presentation at AustinTexas.gov/ZilkerVision 
 
Pop-up Opportunities after Meeting
Following the meeting, the project team will host pop-up events in all 10 City Council districts and in Zilker. More details to come.
 
 
Additional Feedback Opportunities
For more information on the vision plan, Community Meeting #
2 materials, and pop-up schedule, please visit the project webpage. Community members are also invited to respond to Community Survey #3 (open through September 30) and to share your experiences and stories at Zilker Park on the Zilker Park Vision Plan SpeakUp Austin page. 

About the Vision Plan
The Zilker Park Vision Plan is a community-driven planning process to establish a guiding framework for the restoration and future development of Zilker Metropolitan Park. It is the first comprehensive planning initiative to encompass the park's 350 acres and associated facilities.
 
Zilker Park is Austin's oldest metropolitan park. In 1997, the park was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the park includes many resources of historical, architectural, and archeological significance.
 
Today, the park serves as a hub for many recreational activities and includes major facilities and amenities such as Barton Springs Pool, Zilker Botanical Garden, Austin Nature and Science Center, Zilker Clubhouse, Girl Scout Lodge, Sunshine Camp, Zilker Hillside Theater, Zilker Caretaker Lodge, Umlauf Sculpture Gardens, McBeth Recreation Center, the Butler Hike and Bike Trail, and Barton Creek Trail. The park is also home to large-scale events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the Trail of Lights, and ABC Kite Fest.




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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The City of Austin is Committed to Combating Violence Against the Asian American Community

Office of Civil Rights Hosting Educational Workshop Series Addressing Hate and Discrimination

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will host an educational outreach workshop series to address hate, discrimination and violence toward the Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community. This AAPI initiative is in direct response to the increasing violence toward the AAPI community which has continued to escalate since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a May 2021, report by the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum and Stop AAPI Hate, Asian American and Pacific Islanders and girls are prime targets of hate and discrimination against the AAPI community.

The recent shootings across several Atlanta spas that claimed the lives of eight people, including six Asian American women, came on the heels of a staggering increase in hate incidents targeting the AAPI community. Hate incidents, which include both hate crimes and incidents of violence or discrimination, against AAPIs rose sharply over the past year, with over 6,600 reports collected by Stop AAPI Hate between March 2020 and March 2021. In particular, AAPI women and girls report these hate incidents 2.2 times as often as AAPI men; and AAPI non-binary people have also reported experiencing heightened incidents of hate.

In Texas, AAPI Stop Hate reports that Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese are the most heavily targeted ethnicities within the AAPI community for hate bias and discrimination, and that Texas ranks fourth in the number of hate and bias incidents – behind California, New York and Washington.

"We cannot ignore the dangers that so many in our community face," said Civil Rights Officer Carol Johnson. "The City of Austin is committed to ensuring safety and equality for all its residents."

This workshop series will educate participants on civil rights investigations and is geared toward reducing the negative impacts of hate biases toward the AAPI community in Austin.

The Office of Civil Rights and the Austin Police Department will provide education on how to identify civil rights violations; how to respond to hate bias and discrimination; and how to report civil rights violations when they occur. This community partnership is one of many ways the Office of Civil Rights will continue to focus on empowering communities to combat discrimination and hate biases wherever they occur.

Register for free virtual events:

  • Thursday September 16, 2021                          6:00PM – 8:00PM
  • Saturday October 9, 2021                                2:00PM – 4:00PM

Workshops will be available in Chinese Mandarin, Vietnamese and Korean. If you have a language of choice outside of these provided translations, please list your preferred language on the registration form.

Sept. 14, 2021: City of Austin Announcements

 

Resources for ResidentsSeptember is National Preparedness Month
The City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) wants Austin residents to make sure they and their family are prepared for a disaster. HSEM will share tips on four key steps to emergency preparedness through the City’s Facebook and Twitter channels throughout September.
 
Get Involved with ATX Walk Bike Roll
Austin residents are invited to share feedback on the expansion of mobility options by September 26. This survey will collect travel trends and attitudes about walking, biking, and rolling to help identify how the City can better serve Austin's needs.

Sept. 14, 2021: COVID-19 Health, Safety, and Resources

 


Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and resources from the City of Austin.
 
Resources
COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Request for Applications
Austin Public Health seeks to fund qualified non-profit providers to promote the COVID-19 vaccine with populations at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease including populations of color, immigrants and refugees, lower income, and older adults, who have suffered disproportionate rates of COVID-19 disease. Submit your outreach application by September 29.
 
Skip the Horse Medicine
As misinformation continues to spread on the Internet about COVID-19, Austin Public Health is warning against individuals using medications not intended, prescribed or approved for COVID-19 treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that taking large doses of the drug Ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19 and its variants can be dangerous and cause serious harm to humans.
 
Monoclonal Antibodies
An expanded therapeutic infusion center in Austin is providing monoclonal antibody therapy to anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and is at risk of severe illness. Individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and are interested in monoclonal antibody therapy must have a recommendation from a health care provider and call 3-1-1 for free treatment. For more information, call 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000.
 

Local and Federal Eviction Protections
Mayor Steve Adler issued Order No. 20210730-031 (PDF) that extends protection to some residential and commercial tenants and prohibits landlords from issuing notices to vacate except in certain circumstances through October 15. Austinites in need of rental assistance can still apply to the Relief of Emergency Needs for Tenants (RENT) Assistance Program.
 
Travis County Eviction Orders extended the prohibition of eviction proceedings to October 15. The Orders also address the backlog of unpaid rent affecting landlords. Find helpful Travis County Eviction resources.
 
The U.S. Supreme Court recently overturned the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Order to temporarily halt evictions in counties with heightened levels of community COVID-19 transmission until October 3, 2021. Visit the CDC website for COVID-19 news and resources.
 
COVID-19 Symptoms
If you traveled during the Labor Day weekend, don't forget to watch for symptoms! If anyone in your household starts to feel sick, get tested for COVID-19 and consider isolating. Visit the City of Austin’s COVID-19 page to learn more about the symptoms and resources.
 
Convalescent Plasma Donation
If you have recovered from COVID-19 and have been without symptoms for at least fourteen days, you can help a COVID-19 patient in our community by donating whole blood or platelets at We Are Blood.

Austin Water Saves Millions through State Funding for Water, Wastewater and Metering Infrastructure Overhaul

Funds will enhance resilience to extreme weather and emergency events Austin's push to modernize and strengthen its water, wastewater ...