Thursday, May 19, 2022

Austin Public Health and Travis County Partner with Community Organizations for COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

Austin Public Health (APH) and Travis County are partnering with community organizations to provide free COVID-19 vaccination clinics around the county from May 20-23.   

Clinics are open to all eligible individuals without registration or appointment and do not require identification, insurance, or proof of citizenship. All vaccinations are free. All APH sites offer Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, including  third doses for the immunocompromised and booster shots for qualifying individuals. If you are receiving your second dose, third dose or booster shot, please bring your Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to be updated.   

Pediatric vaccinations for children 5-11 years of age are offered at Old Sims Elementary Gymnasium and the Shots for Tots clinics. Shots for Tots offers vaccines by appointment only. 

Individuals attending these events should be weather- and traffic-aware. Remember to wear appropriate clothing, including garments that allow you to easily expose your arm.   

To locate providers in your area with a supply of COVID-19 vaccines, go to Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.govfor Spanish), or text your zip code to 438829 (822862 for Spanish).  

NOTICE: Hours are subject to change. 
 

Friday, May 20 

Consulate General of Mexico (APH) 

African American Youth Harvest Foundation (CTAHI/Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market – Rundberg (Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market – Stassney (Travis County) 

Poco Loco Supermercado – Cameron (Travis County) 

Creedmor Elementary School (Travis County) 


Saturday, May 21 

Asian Community Resource Fair (APH) 

Austin Country Flea Market (Travis County) 

Martin Middle School (Travis County) 

La Moreliana Market (Travis County) 

Travis County Constable Precinct 4 Office (Travis County) 

Austin Energy-Community Connections Resource Fair (APH) 

Old Sims Elementary Gymnasium (APH) 

 

Sunday, May 22 

Travis County Constable Precinct 4 Office (Travis County) 

 

Monday, May 23 

African American Youth Harvest Foundation (CTAHI/Travis County) 

Gus Garcia Recreation Center (Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market – Rundberg (Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market – Stassney (Travis County) 

Poco Loco Supermercado – Cameron (Travis County) 

*The vaccination sites are closed to the press. While vaccinations are occurring, each site is considered a hospital with patients, and only authorized visits are allowed. Agencies listed in parentheses for each location (Austin Public Health or Travis County) are the only entities that can authorize admittance. 


Austin City Council Passes the Fight Back for Reproductive Health Agenda

 On Thursday, May 19, 2022, Austin City Council passed the Fight Back for Reproductive Health Agenda - a series of resolutions sponsored by Council Member Vanessa Fuentes. The recent directives by the Texas legislature and the inevitable undoing of Roe v. Wade will present significant challenges for women, trans, intersex, and nonbinary people to access the health and reproductive care they need. This goes against Austin’s values as a City - the proposed Agenda will address gaps and provide certain protections and resources for our communities under attack.
 
The two resolutions passed, items 88 and 89, would (1) direct Austin’s City Manager to ensure reproductive health decisions are protected from discrimination in employment and housing, and (2) to provide free and accessible menstrual products in city-owned facilities.
 
“As various state and national entities continue to encroach on and restrict reproductive freedom, it is our responsibility to do everything we can at the local level to defend reproductive rights. We hope to set an example for other cities in Texas to take action”, said District 2 Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes.
 
“Austin is a city that empowers and respects our residents to make their own decisions over their reproductive health. The ability to find employment or housing should not be impacted based on personal reproductive choices. Discrimination of any kind does not represent who we are as a city and will not be tolerated.” said Austin Mayor Steve Adler when discussing item 88.
 
“Now more than ever, we must affirm the rights of all people to make reproductive health decisions for themselves,” said Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter, who represents District 10 on the Austin City Council. “Furthermore, no one should be discriminated against based on those decisions. I am proud to co-sponsor [item 88].”
 
"Reproductive care of all kinds, including abortion, necessitates the respect and consideration that the city extends to other medical decisions,” said District 4 Councilmember Chito Vela when discussing item 88. “Especially in light of the leaked Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the City of Austin needs to affirm our commitment to the reproductive safety, privacy, and non-discrimination that all people deserve. We cannot allow discrimination based on medical choices or conditions anywhere in the city."
 
“More than one in ten Austinites lives below the federal poverty line. In a city as prosperous as ours, it’s easy to overlook the fact that so many of our neighbors are unable to afford basic commodities, and with menstrual stigma, it’s even easier for many to overlook how many people don’t have access to menstrual products,“ said District 1 Councilmember Natasha Harper-Madison when discussing item 89. ”I’ve been pushing for awareness and progress on this issue for years, and I’m proud to join Councilmember Fuentes and our colleagues on a resolution that’s built on upon our previous successes.”
 
Item 88 was co-sponsored by Council Member José 'Chito' Vela, Council Member Leslie Pool, Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter, Council Member Paige Ellis, and Mayor Steve Adler.
 
Item 89 was co-sponsored by Council Member Paige Ellis, Council Member Ann Kitchen, Council Member Kathie Tovo, Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, Council Member José ‘Chito’ Vela, and Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter.

Call for Firefighters’, Police Officers’ and Emergency Medical Services Personnel’s Civil Service Commission Applications

The City of Austin is seeking applications from qualified individuals to serve on the three member City of Austin Firefighters’, Police Officers’, and Emergency Medical Services Personnel’s Civil Service Commission. The opening is to fill a partial term ending October 31, 2024.

The time commitment for Commission business is anticipated at 1 - 3 hours a month. Commissioners serve on a voluntary basis.
The three-member Firefighters', Police Officers’, and Emergency Medical Services Personnel Civil Service Commission was created to ensure general compliance with applicable provisions of Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code; local Civil Service rules established by the Commission; and any current agreements between the City of Austin and associations representing firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel.

The Firefighters', Police Officers’, and Emergency Medical Services Personnel Civil Service Commission regulates the promotion, suspension, and termination of firefighters, police officers, and EMS personnel in accordance with the above-mentioned statutes, rules, and agreements.

To qualify to serve on the Commission, applicants must:
  • Be a United States Citizen
  • Be a resident of the municipality who has resided in the municipality for more than three years.
  • Be older than the age of 25 years
  • Not have held office within the preceding three years.
The City prefers applicants with experience or knowledge of the administration of human resources or labor relations/employment law.

Application Process
Interested applicants may complete a City of Austin Boards and Commissions application online at https://austintexas.granicus.com/boards/forms/385/apply.

A resume, cover letter, and any other supporting documentation may be submitted electronically to the Office of the City Clerk at bc@austintexas.gov. This position will remain open until filled.

If further information is needed, please contact the Office of the City Clerk via email at BC@austintexas.gov with questions.

Austin Parks and Recreation Wins an NAGC 2022 Blue Pencil & Gold Screen Award for the Montopolis School Open House

The Historic Montopolis Negro School Open House won first place in the category of "Event - Community Engagement Forum" at the National Association of Government Communicators’ Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards on May 11, 2022. The Blue Pencil and Gold Screen awards recognize excellence in government communication at all levels of government across the nation. Listed as one of the 21 most coveted government leadership awards, the Blue Pencil and Gold Screen awards program has 51 categories in which communicators can submit work, reflecting the breadth of tactics employed by government communicators to deliver information to the public. 

The City of Austin acquired the Montopolis Negro School in 2019 for the purpose of preserving and programming the building and site as a museum and tourist asset. The Montopolis Negro School operated from 1935 to 1962 and is among the last surviving rural schools that Travis County operated for African American children during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation. After the Austin School District integrated in 1962, the building served as the Montopolis Church of Christ until the 1980s.

Austin Parks and Recreation held an open house at the school property on November 6, 2021. Approximately 85 community members attended, some former students at the school in the 1950s. Several key community leaders attended and spoke to media present. Neighbors attended to learn the history, and some had artifacts from the school to contribute for preservation. The open house inspired community support for the project in a way that would not have been possible without seeing the space and feeling the surroundings.  

"When we think of segregation as a country or as a city, we tend to feel the shame of the system we inherited," said Austin Parks and Recreation Director Kimberly McNeeley. "However, our staff provided an opportunity to come to the site and remember the joys, the striving, and the hope that ran parallel and in the face of the pain of segregation. The department was also reminded that we are stewards of these spaces, and without community, we stand to solidify systems of oppression rather than working together to break them down."

"We are proud to recognize the excellent work that these award winners provided to their communities in 2021. There were so many compelling, creative and informative products submitted this year," said NAGC President Scott Thomsen. "As government communicators, we believe that every citizen has a right to equal, full, understandable, and timely facts about the activities, policies and people of the agencies comprising their government. The works submitted this year really embodied that belief. The example set by these government communicators is one we should all follow."


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Bike to Work on Friday, May 20

Austin Transportation Department (ATD) and other partner organizations will celebrate Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20 with bike trips, educational information, and an event at Austin City Hall with remarks by Austin Mayor Steve Adler, City Manager Spencer Cronk and Transportation Director Rob Spillar at 9 a.m.  

Throughout the morning and evening commutes, ATD encourages all Austinites to hit the pavement on two wheels. Residents can find high comfort bike routes with the 2022 Austin Bike Map. A live, interactive bike map can be found online, and printed versions are available at local libraries and other select community buildings. 

While getting to work, residents can access fueling stations that feature coffee, snacks, and more, and even join a group ride from locations throughout the city. Additionally, the community will gather for a National Bike To Work Day celebration at Austin City Hall starting at 8 a.m. to find free coffee and tacos, swag giveaways, booths from community partners focusing on mobility and more. People without their own bicycle can rent a MetroBike for free using promo code B2WD2022.

On Bike to Work Day, and every other day, the best thing drivers can do to support bicyclists is to give them the space they need on the road. People who choose to bike are one less car in traffic. Give them at least 3 feet of space when passing.

Typically, over 80% of bicycle crashes happen at intersections, and about 1 in 3 crashes happen in dark conditions. When bicycling during morning or late evening hours, wear reflective clothing and use a white front and a red rear light. Drivers can make sure to keep themselves and bicyclists safe by taking extra time to check for bicyclists at intersections or in dark conditions.

We hope to see thousands of Austinites on their bikes this Friday to celebrate Bike to Work Day and help improve our community’s health, mobility, and environmental impact.


The City of Austin Transportation Department works to provide a safe, efficient, innovative, cost-effective and sustainable transportation system that connects roadways, bikeways, walkways and transit systems in order to bring improved access and mobility to our community. We are taking proactive steps to engage and educate the community. Visit AustinTexas.gov/Transportation.

20 People Moved from South Austin Homeless Encampment to Shelters

 

The City of Austin and partners helped 20 individuals move from an encampment near Gillis Neighborhood Park in South Austin to temporary bridge shelters.


The City of Austin and partners helped 20 individuals move from an encampment near Gillis Neighborhood Park to temporary bridge shelters.

AUSTIN, Texas - The City of Austin and partners helped 20 individuals move from an encampment near Gillis Neighborhood Park in south Austin to temporary bridge shelters, as part of the Housing-Focused Encampment Assistance Link (HEAL) initiative.

HEAL carries out closures of homeless encampments that pose the highest public health and safety risks. Occupants are offered transfer to shelter, and connection to concrete housing resources.

“The HEAL Initiative continues to move people from the City’s most unsafe encampments into shelter, with a clear path to housing. Along with the expansion of other community housing efforts, HEAL helps move the needle on homelessness in our community.” said City of Austin Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey.

The 20 individuals moved to the City-owned Northbridge and Southbridge shelters today. In the first phase of HEAL, which took place from June to August of 2021, approximately 150 people were moved from high-risk encampments to the Southbridge and Northbridge shelters. So far in the second phase of HEAL, 120 people have been moved into temporary bridge shelters, for a total of 270 served since the program was launched. The Homeless Strategy Division aims to shelter and house at least 200 people through HEAL this fiscal year.

This was a coordinated effort. The Homeless Strategy Division works closely with the Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST), Downtown Austin Community Court, Integral Care, Front Steps, and community partners.

Austin City Council approved the HEAL initiative in February 2021. The Homeless Strategy Division has developed a mobile encampment assessment tool that measures over 40 factors to prioritize encampments for HEAL intervention.

Last June, Austin City Council voted to dedicate $106.7 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds toward addressing homelessness, of which at least $6 million will be used for the HEAL Initiative. Travis County Commissioners Court voted in September to allocate $110 million in ARPA funds to build housing units for people experiencing homelessness in the Austin area. The City is also expanding capacity for crisis services, case management, behavioral health, and rehousing programs.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

ADVISORY: Fight Back for Reproductive Health Agenda Press Conference

On Thursday, May 19 District 2 Council Member Vanessa Fuentes will host a press conference alongside advocates and community members in support of passing the Fight Back for Reproductive Health Agenda. 
 
The Fight Back for Reproductive Health Agenda is a series of resolutions sponsored by Councilmember Fuentes. The recent directives by the Texas legislature and the inevitable undoing of Roe v. Wade will present significant challenges for women, trans, and non-binary people to access the health and reproductive care they need. This goes against our values as a City and our proposed Agenda will address gaps and provide certain protections and resources for our communities under attack.
 
To view CM Fuentes’ item 88, click here.
 
To view CM Fuentes’ item 89, click here.
 
WHERE: Austin City Hall, indoor atrium (301 W 2nd St. Austin, TX 78701)
 
WHEN: Thursday, May 19 at 9:00 AM
 
WHO: Council Member Vanessa Fuentes, Mayor Steve Adler, Council Member Chito Vela, Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, Advocates with Pro-Choice With Heart, Texas Menstrual Equity Coalition, and Jane’s Due Process
 
WHAT: Press conference in support of the Fight Back for Reproductive Health Agenda followed by Q&A.

Nature Play Space at MLK Station Neighborhood Park Opening!



Austin Parks and Recreation invites the public to the opening of the second official Nature Play Space in Austin at MLK Station Neighborhood Park, 2907 E. MLK Jr. Blvd., on Saturday, June 4 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit the Nature Play Space in Austin at MLK Station Neighborhood Park project page.

When asked about their desires for the park, people who took part in community engagement efforts in 2020 indicated that they wanted to be able to climb, jump, balance, build forts as well as access water, trees and native plants. These elements were echoed in the final design which includes a stump, log, and boulder play trail; circular stump seating with central space for loose parts; and play hill. It also features a seating/gathering space, a looping natural trail, a mulched central trail, limestone block seating, adjusted and re-secured stepping stones across the creek, and ongoing treatment for invasive bamboo. A sign with the park's name will be installed at the entry along 16th street, and signage for the nature play features will also be installed in the coming months.

To help build understanding and comfort with these new features, Cities Connecting Children to Nature will be hosting several weekend Nature Play Days over the summer to be announced later. They will also begin tracking the degradation of the logs and stumps, as well as the use of the new features in our ongoing effort to build our communal knowledge around the intricacies of nature play. The project was funded by Parkland Dedication and initiated by the Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative within the Community PARKnerships Program.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Register for the South Austin Vertical Mixed Use Community Meeting - May 16th

To register for the upcoming South Austin Vertical Mixed Use Community Meeting May 16th from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.: https://forms.gle/HUPc3gyN7XJ9ZziH7

A vertical mixed use building contains a mix of residential and commercial uses. In an effort to encourage vertical mixed use buildings, the City Council established a vertical mixed use (VMU) overlay district.

WHY VERTICAL MIXED USE BUILDINGS?  Encourages density on commercial corridors with higher levels of transit service  Focused on the creation of a high quality pedestrian and transit-supportive environment  Consistent with Envision Central Texas (ECT) Preferred Scenario  Provides a more sustainable development pattern WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS FOR A BUILDING?  Must have a mix of uses  Must have pedestrian-oriented spaces on the ground floor  Must contain residential dwelling units  Possibility for relaxed site development standards—some of which require a residential affordability component 

The meeting will focus on South Austin and will give community members the opportunity to ask questions of City staff about the VMU program, compatibility, and Project Connect.

The meeting will be held via Zoom on May 16th from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. Those who RSVP will receive the Zoom link to access Monday’s meeting.

Lone Star Limericks Open Call for Submissions Opens on May 22

 

Submit Original Limericks That Pertain to Austin or Texas
Brush Square Museums and Brush Square Museums Foundation announce an open call to writers to submit original limericks that pertain to Austin or Texas for Lone Star Limericks. People of all ages can submit limericks via the online form as a video, image, or text beginning on May 22 at 12 a.m. Submissions close on June 4. The competition is free and open to the public. 

From June 5 to June 11, the public will be able to view a gallery of all submissions and vote for their favorite limericks online. Submissions will be divided into two categories: (1) youth ages 12 & under and (2) general public ages 13 & up. Winners in each category will receive a Texas-themed prize package. Categories include first, second, and third places as well as two honorable mentions. On June 12, winners will be contacted directly and their names will be announced to the public on on the web page.

Want to rhyme but don’t have much time? Try a limerick! This five-line poem with a rollicking rhythm and an AABBA rhyme scheme may be short, but poets from Edward Lear to the young William Sidney Porter (a.k.a. O. Henry) have packed plenty of wit, whimsy, and wordplay into a small package. Although some sources trace limericks back to medieval monasteries or the verse insults swapped by squabbling Irish poets in the 18th century, they took on their current name and form in the second half of the 19th century. Sometimes bawdy but always clever, the limerick provides the lines for raucous poetic invention. It is snappy, snippy, witty, and a lot of fun.

Now it’s your turn! Pay tribute to the people, places, sights, and sounds of this great city and state by immortalizing (or gently mocking) them in verse! Your limerick can reference anything about Texas or Austin – your favorite (or least favorite) Texas person, city or state park, wildflower, animal, road trip experience, barbeque joint, I-35 exit, debilitating allergen – the sky’s the limit! Just keep it short and family-friendly!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Austin Public Health and Travis County Partner with Community Organizations for COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

Austin Public Health (APH) and Travis County are partnering with community organizations to provide free COVID-19 vaccination clinics around the county from May 13-16.   

Clinics are open to all eligible individuals without registration or appointment and do not require identification, insurance, or proof of citizenship. All vaccinations are free. All APH sites offer Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, including  third doses for the immunocompromised and booster shots for qualifying individuals. If you are receiving your second dose, third dose or booster shot, please bring your Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to be updated.   

Pediatric vaccinations for children 5-11 years of age are offered at Old Sims Elementary Gymnasium and the Shots for Tots clinics. Shots for Tots offers vaccines by appointment only. 

Individuals attending these events should be weather- and traffic-aware. Remember to wear appropriate clothing, including garments that allow you to easily expose your arm.   

To locate providers in your area with a supply of COVID-19 vaccines, go to Vaccines.gov (Vacunas.govfor Spanish), or text your zip code to 438829 (822862 for Spanish).  

NOTICE: Hours are subject to change. 
 

Friday, May 13 

Consulate General of Mexico (Travis County) 

African American Youth Harvest Foundation (CTAHI/Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market – Rundberg (Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market – Stassney (Travis County) 

Poco Loco Supermercado – Cameron (Travis County) 


Saturday, May 14 

Austin Central Library's Kids Block Party 2022 (Travis County) 

Austin Country Flea Market (Travis County) 

El Rancho Grande (Travis County) 

La Moreliana Market (Travis County) 

Travis County Constable Precinct 4 Office (Travis County) 

Old Sims Elementary Gymnasium (APH) 

MACC: Presents La Mujer 2022 (Travis County) 

 

Sunday, May 15 

Travis County Constable Precinct 4 Office (Travis County) 

 

Monday, May 16 

African American Youth Harvest Foundation (CTAHI/Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market – Rundberg (Travis County) 

La Mexicana Market – Stassney (Travis County) 

Poco Loco Supermercado – Cameron (Travis County) 

*The vaccination sites are closed to the press. While vaccinations are occurring, each site is considered a hospital with patients, and only authorized visits are allowed. Agencies listed in parentheses for each location (Austin Public Health or Travis County) are the only entities that can authorize admittance. 


Austin Public Health and Travis County Partner with Community Organizations for COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

Austin Public Health (APH) and Travis County are partnering with community organizations to provide free COVID-19 vaccination clinics around...