Austin City Council

Pu Ying Huang for KUT News

Revisions to Austin's rules against panhandling, camping and sitting or lying down in public are in effect.

Austinites have expressed concern about how the rules will impact those experiencing homelessness and how officers will enforce the laws. KUT asked the Austin Police Department to help clarify things.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council voted to scale back city rules on camping, panhandling and sitting or lying down in public. Council members heard hours of impassioned testimony on the ordinances at the tail end of a marathon meeting that stretched into early Friday morning. 

Emree Weaver for KUT

Austin is getting a new homeless shelter. City Council approved the $8.6 million purchase of a building for a 100-bed emergency shelter at Ben White Boulevard and Bannister Lane.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin City Council voted unanimously Thursday to add 400 properties along Lake Austin onto the city’s tax rolls.

Precourt Sports Ventures

Austinites will be asked in November if they want to vote on whether city land can be used for future stadiums and entertainment sites.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The City of Austin will conduct an independent review of sexual assault investigations handled by the Austin Police Department. The Austin City Council voted unanimously Thursday to undertake the audit, which was spurred by community concerns over how the department classifies and investigates cases.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

If you’ve ever aspired to get your face on public access TV, this guide to testifying before council members at City Hall should make it pretty easy.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

If you’ve ever attended an Austin City Council meeting, you know public testimony can sometimes drag on for hours.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

More than four years after his first election, Austin City Council Member Greg Casar can put that race behind him. The Texas Supreme Court today sided with the District 4 council member after his opponent, Laura Pressley, contested his victory in 2014. The court did, however, find her challenge wasn't frivolous. 

Gabriel C. Pérez

City Council Member Alison Alter posted a resolution today that would direct the city manager to find a third-party investigator to look at how sexual assault cases are handled in Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A lawsuit challenging the City of Austin's decision to rename Manchaca Road will go to trial. 

Salvador Castro for KUT

You're not done voting yet. There are several Austin City Council races, an Austin ISD board race and a runoff for the Austin Community College board. None of the candidates in those races got 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 6, so the top two finishers are in a runoff. Election Day is today, and ballots open at 7 a.m.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The bureaucratic stars over City Hall may just align in 2019.

Next year, the city will weigh four ambitious plans that aim to achieve the long-sought goal of making Austin more affordable.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The city says it's working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study dockless scooter-related injuries and incidents in Austin – a first for the nation's public health institute.

A voter at Austin Community College casts his ballot on the first day of early voting for the 2018 midterm elections on Oct. 22, 2018
Julia Reihs / KUT

We're not done voting yet. There are several Austin City Council races, an Austin ISD board race and a runoff for the Austin Community College board. None of the candidates in those races got 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 6, so the top two finishers are in a runoff. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT

Officers with the Austin Police Department are getting a new labor contract.

After nearly a year of negotiations, City Council members unanimously approved a four-year and $44.6 million contract between the city and the local police union. Police reform activists celebrated the contract as a step toward more transparency – including the ability to file complaints online and anonymously.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Manchaca Road is still Manchaca – for now.

A Travis County judge has temporarily blocked Austin from changing the name of the 8-mile South Austin road from Manchaca to Menchaca the day before it was slated to go into effect.

Emree Weaver for KUT

With less than a percentage point separating them, Natasha Harper-Madison and Mariana Salazar will advance to a December runoff election for East Austin’s District 1 seat.

As of 1:26 a.m., Salazar had 5,673 votes (or 26.01 percent). Harper-Madison was 204 votes behind at 5,469 (25.07 percent).

Tight District 8 Race Headed To Runoff To Fill Troxclair's Seat

Nov 7, 2018
Montinique Monroe for KUT

The District 8 City Council seat is headed for a Dec. 11 runoff between newcomers Paige Ellis and Frank Ward.

Ellis and Ward won the top two spots in a four-person race for the open Southwest Austin seat. Council Member Ellen Troxclair opted not to run for the seat she narrowly won in 2014. Candidates Bobby Levinski and Rich DePalma came in third and fourth, respectively, in the race that saw less than 10 percentage points separate the top and bottom vote-getters.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/ KUT News

Council Member Pio Renteria finished way ahead of his multiple opponents in his bid for re-election in East Austin’s District 3, but is heading to a runoff against his sister, Susana Almanza. 

Renteria won roughly 48 percent of the vote. Almanza came in a distant second place, with about 22 percent.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

Kathie Tovo will serve her third term on the Austin City Council after winning a relatively easy victory over three opponents Tuesday, finishing with almost 53 percent of the vote. Her closest challenger, Danielle Skidmore, garnered almost 32 percent of the vote, with two other candidates each winning less than 10 percent.

Mayor Steve Adler has shored up a second term as mayor of Austin. Incumbent Council Member Kathie Tovo appears to have been re-elected to her District 9 seat. In District 3, Council Member Sabino "Pio" Renteria teeters on the edge of securing his re-election, but will likely head to a runoff against his sister, Susana Almanza. Districts 1 and 8 are headed to runoff elections in December.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Former Austin City Council member Laura Morrison is challenging Mayor Steve Adler this Election Day. Both candidates talked with KUT about why they are running and where they stand on some pressing issues in Austin.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If you’re tired of hearing about the faceoff between Sen. Ted Cruz and Congressman Beto O’Rourke, maybe it’s time to turn your attention to local elections, like the mayor’s race.

Mayor Steve Adler is fighting to retain his seat against six challengers, most of whom are political newcomers with some wild ideas – including building a dome around Austin to keep out “foreigners and California refugees.” (Uber would pay for it.)

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin voters will be asked to consider a lengthy ballot this November. There’s the showdown between Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz, six City Council elections and a list of 11 local propositions.

Let’s skip past Propositions A through I (you can read about them here), and get into Proposition J.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

At face value, Proposition K seems pretty milquetoast. It's about auditing. Not a dollars-and-cents, scream-into-the-void-while-hoping-you-don't-go-to-federal-prison-for-tax-fraud kind of audit. It's, seemingly, about efficiency, about how well city departments function and where the proverbial fat could be trimmed.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

There are five Austin City Council seats up for grabs in the November election, along with a race for mayor. To help get you ready to vote, KUT is publishing overviews of each race.

Here are the candidates running for District 9, which runs through Central Austin from the Hyde Park neighborhood to the Oltorf Street area.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

The race for District 8 in Southwest Austin is wide open. In July, incumbent Council Member Ellen Troxclair, who has represented the district since 2015, announced that she would not seek re-election. During her tenure, Troxclair earned a reputation as the lone conservative on the Austin City Council.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

A Houston-based religious nonprofit behind the so-called bathroom bill is suing the City of Austin over its anti-discrimination hiring ordinance. The U.S. Pastor Council filed suit in a federal district court late last week, alleging the city rule's lack of exemptions for churches or other religiously affiliated groups violates state and federal law.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

City Council members voted today to rename the South Austin road some believe was named for José Antonio Menchaca to reflect the correct spelling of his name. Currently spelled Manchaca – note the "a" in lieu of an "e" – its colloquialism, Manchac, has been chiseled into the cerebellum of any human who's ever crossed into Austin's city limits.

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