News from Austin & Travis County
CITYHIGHLIGHTS At a board of trustees meeting June 1, Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz said the district has formed a task force to develop options to mix virtual and in-person classes for the upcoming school year, which begins Aug. 18. The district is weighing limiting class sizes to six to eight students and buses to 12-14 students. Tesla is considering building its next factory on 2,100 acres near Del Valle in Travis County— and according to documents filed with the state comptroller's office, is in the process of working out an tax incentive deal with Del Valle ISD. Travis County is also considering development incentives for Tesla, which is eyeing a site at Hwy. 130 and Harold Green Road for its 4-5 million square foot facility. Austin City Council Meets July 30 www.austintexas.gov/department/ city-council Travis County Commissioners Court Meets Tuesdays at 9 a.m. 700 Lavaca St., Austin www.traviscountytx.gov/ commissioners-court MEETINGSWE COVER
SELECTING THE SELECTORS
For the first time, Austinwill redraw its 10City Council districts
Applications are open to apply for the commission to redraw Austin’s districts through September, and members will be selected by March 2021.
BY JACK FLAGLER
2022 City Council elections. To be eligible for the 14-member redistricting commission, an indi- vidual must have been registered to vote in Austin for at least five years and voted in at least three of the last five of the city’s general elections. Residents also must prove they do not have conflicts of interest, which would include recently running for state or city office, contributing more than $1,000 to a city candidate or being an employee of the city. One commission member spot will be reserved for a university or community college student in Austin. The Texas Legislature will handle redistricting on a state and federal level in 2021. Texas is expected to gain at least three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would constitute a jump from 36 to 39 seats. In 2010, Texas gained four seats.
AUSTIN In 2014, Austin radically changed the shape of its city gov- ernment. After nearly 200 years of electing council members from anywhere in the city with an at-large system, the city changed the makeup of its City Council to represent 10 geographic districts, along with the mayor, in the current 10-1 system. Over the course of six years, Austin’s population has grown, and its demographics have changed. The 2020 census survey process to count each person where they live is ongoing, and that data is scheduled to be delivered to individual states no later than March 31, 2021. Based on the new data, a commis- sion of Austin residents will redraw the city’s 10 council districts. The process will take place over two years, and the new district boundar- ies will be in place for the November
Independent auditors will select 60 of the most qualified candidates from the pool of commission applicants by Jan. 15, 2021. The city auditor will randomly draw eight names from the pool of 60 to serve on the commission on Jan. 23, 2021. Those eight individuals will then choose six more qualified candidates for a total of 14 members starting March 2021.
SOURCES: CITY OF AUSTIN/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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