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Election Ticker: They Ban, We Plan: Celia Israel and Kirk Watson reply urbanists, Israel lays out repro rights plan, and extra – Information – Austin Chronicle


Within the Council race that’s most up within the air (partly as a result of it has probably the most candidates competing), a discussion board Sept. 20 introduced all seven District 9 contenders out to subject questions from neighborhood associations. (l-r) Linda Guerrero, Benjamin Loeffler, Zena Mitchell, Zohaib “Zo” Qadri, Greg Smith, Joah Spearman, Tom Wald (picture by Jana Birchum)

Texas state Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, now a candidate for mayor, introduced a reasonably daring reproductive rights and sexual well being coverage plan final week and doubled down on it 5 days later at a panel co-hosted by UT College students for Deliberate Parenthood and Deliberate Parenthood Texas Votes. “Our rights are beneath assault from each degree of presidency on this nation,” Israel stated at a Sept. 15 press convention. “There’s a function for native leaders to play at this most unusual second in American historical past. We want a pacesetter in Austin who will combat again.”

Israel, a member of the Legislature’s Girls’s Well being Caucus, is aware of her method across the concern. Her full plan consists of dozens of provisions which will find yourself on Council agendas to return, in 5 classes: serving to Austinites get abortions in and out of doors of Texas; defending affected person privateness; increasing entry to inexpensive contraception strategies; rising funding for culturally responsive sexual well being and wellness providers; and funding intercourse schooling.

Some insurance policies would have results felt effectively past sexual well being. For instance, Israel proposes altering town’s mannequin for funding nonprofits from reimbursement to upfront funding (earlier than funds might be taken away by future Legislatures) and locking down information safety on public Wi-Fi that could be used to schedule appointments for care or observe being pregnant standing. Extra direct proposals embody increasing publicly funded condom distribution by Austin Pub­lic Well being and searching for grant funding to buy emergency contraception (Plan B) in bulk for Austinites with restricted entry to well being care.

Extra boldly – as in, a direct shot at Texas Lawyer Common Ken Paxton – Israel desires “authorized readability” on how town can (i.e., will) contribute to abortion funds and assist teams. She additionally proposes that Austin associate with close by haven cities to get pregnant Austinites abortion entry, and work with airways so as to add extra low-cost direct flights to places with authorized abortion care. See the total plan at celiaforaustin.com/choice. – Maggie Q. Thompson

Mayoral Entrance-Runners Grilled on Land Use

Mayoral candidates Celia Israel and Kirk Watson met nearly with members of assorted urbanist teams Friday, Sept. 16, in a candidate discussion board on housing and transportation coverage co-hosted by AURA (An Austin for Everybody), Farm & Metropolis, Protected Streets Austin, and the Associates of Austin Neighborhoods. Every candidate took the chance to put out their method to housing provide and affordability and the way Austin handles them politically. Israel famous that even two years in the past, when Council had already permitted a brand new Land Growth Code on two readings earlier than the method was derailed in court docket, Austin’s housing disaster (or “emergency,” as Watson calls it) was a lot much less acute. She’s banking on the concept that the pressing want for extra housing and decrease rents will give her the backing – even perhaps a nine-vote supermajority – wanted on the dais to push by actual reforms.

Watson provided a extra tailor-made imaginative and prescient of land use reforms that would muster 9 votes or in any other case keep away from opposition from protesting neighbors, with an eye fixed on Challenge Join transit corridors as prime places for intensive improvement, a few of which may name for housing unit minimums reasonably than maximums.

Neither Israel nor Watson wanted to get too deeply embroiled in Austin land use politics as members of the Texas Legislature, however they’ve each been concerned in wrangling over Interstate 35. Israel didn’t endorse another, by way of both technique or design, to the state’s present plans for rebuilding the freeway by Central Austin, however stated she was sad with how the Texas Division of Trans­portation was planning the rebuild, and that she would push for extra transit entry. Watson, alternatively, usually supported TxDOT’s path; there could also be different design approaches he preferred extra, however they’d be politically out of attain for town, and prefer it or not, I-35 will stay a foremost route for folks coming into Austin – particularly these displaced from residing within the metropolis however who nonetheless work in it. – Austin Sanders

Received a Paxton Downside? Be A part of the Answer.

The truth that Rochelle Garza, the Demo­cratic nominee for Texas legal professional normal, just isn’t 10 factors forward of indicted and disordered incumbent Ken Paxton is kinda loopy, however she’s not, and her fundraising has lagged severely behind even her fellow downballot Dems, so now can be a superb time to lock in your vote and introduce Garza to your persuadable mates. She’ll be rallying and block-walking with Travis County Democrats this Saturday afternoon, 1-4pm, on the celebration’s Southwest workplaces in Oak Hill, 6156-B U.S. 290. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, whose new district as soon as once more consists of parts of Austin west of I-35, will be part of her and has provided to match donations to Garza’s marketing campaign as much as $5,000; County Lawyer Delia Garza (no relation) may also be available. – Mike Clark-Madison

The Remainder of the Ticker…

Endorsement Watch: EMILY’s Checklist for Israel; College Democrats and Stonewall Democrats of Austin for Israel; AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and a number of other member unions, and Staff Protection Motion Fund for District 8 incumbent Paige Ellis…

Vote Early and Late! Travis County Choose Andy Brown introduced on Tuesday an settlement to pay for early voting megacenters to remain open till 9pm on the 2 busiest days of early voting, which runs Oct. 24-Nov. 4. All different websites might be open 7am-7pm as regular…

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