Austin City Council Meets Sept. 30, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. www.austintexas.gov/department/ city-council Travis County Commissioners Court Meets Sept. 28, Oct. 5, Oct. 12, Oct. 19 at 9 a.m. www.traviscountytx.gov/ commissioners-court MEETINGSWE COVER City Council signed a resolution rearming part of East Austin as the African American Cultural Heritage District. The area is from I-35 to Airport Boulevard, between Manor Road and Rosewood Avenue, and East 11th Street. AUSTIN The Austin Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission approved draft maps for the 10 council districts Sept. 15. There will be several opportunities for public feedback before the plans head to council Nov. 1. NUMBER TOKNOW approximately $2.72 million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, out of $10.7 received from the federal government in the county's initial allocation. The funds are intended for low income residents struggling to pay rent. $2.72M Travis County has disbursed HIGHLIGHTS AUSTIN Council directed the city manager to prepare for COVID-19 booster shot rollout. TRAVIS COUNTY Commissioners on Sept. 21 unanimously approved a total scal year 2021-22 tax rate of $0.357365 per $100 valuation, an eective increase of 3.5% from the previous year. The average homeowner will see an impact of $49.52 annually, per the county. AUSTIN On Sept. 2, Austin
Austin’s homelessness program clears four camping sites
Austin has added jobs for the last 13 of 15 months, almost reaching pre- pandemic employment norms.
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BY BEN THOMPSON
AUSTIN A city program to address homelessness completed its rst phase Aug. 31, one day before a new law banning public camping statewide went into eect. The Housing-Focused Encampment Assistance Link, or HEAL, initiative was launched by City Council in February to clear four “high-priority” encampments throughout the city identied as public safety risks. HEAL led to the clearing of four sites—East Cesar Chavez Street near the Terrazas Branch Library, an underpass at Ben White Boulevard and Menchaca Road, West Cesar Chavez Street downtown, and the US 183 at Oak Knoll Drive underpass.
2020 2021 SOURCE: TEXAS LABOR MARKETCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
Adler addresses State of the City
BY BEN THOMPSON
AUSTIN In his annual State of the City address delivered Aug. 30, Mayor Steve Adler centered his comments on Austin’s resilience and a call to face continuing challenges in the city including the pandemic, political polarization and inequity. “By just about every traditional and frequently used measure, Austin is the envy of cities across the country,” Adler said. He pointed to data showing Austin has added jobs in 13 of the last 15 months—including regaining most of the jobs lost during the pandemic. Adler said Austin is now contending with several issues he sees as stemming from political divide and a potential loss of community. “This phenomenon is not unique to Austin. It’s happening nationally, but it feels more strange and foreign to an Austinite because of our strong local history and what has been the powerful interconnectivity of those that choose to call Austin home,” Adler said. Adler identied COVID-19 and its delta variant as one of the city’s main issues and pointed toward disinformation and restrictive state policies as impediments to the city’s response. He also identied public safety and homelessness as two major challenges Austin is facing.
During Phase 1 of HEAL’s camp cleanup, the city addressed four campsites, turning dozens toward transitional housing in the city’s shelters. Cleaning up the camps
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SOURCE: CITY OF AUSTINCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
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CENTRAL AUSTIN EDITION • SEPTEMBER 2021
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