About Us

Five days a week, we bring you the news from Austin City Hall, Travis County Commissioners Court, and multiple other civic entities that make key decisions for central Texas. We stick to the facts. We aim to be fair. When we err, we correct it fast.

Our Team

Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Pagano has been writing for the Austin Monitor since late 2010, after narrowly avoiding a fate as a librarian. You can email her at editor@austinmonitor.com She also grouses on Twitter, sometimes @lizpagano

Jo Clifton joined the In Fact staff in November of 1998 when the publication was still a weekly. She became editor and publisher in mid-2000 and continued in that position until 2010, when The Statesman Co. purchased In Fact Daily, and in the months immediately following its sale to the Capital of Texas Media Foundation. She is currently the Political Editor. Over the past 30 years, she has worked as a reporter, lawyer and judge. She has worked for the El Paso Times, the Austin American-Statesman and the Texas Observer, among others. You can email her at jo.clifton@austinmonitor.com

Jack Craver is a freelance writer who has been covering City Hall for the Monitor since arriving here in June 2015. He came to Austin after spending 10 months in a small coastal city in Normandy, where he sought with limited success to teach English to French schoolchildren and wrote a weekly column for the local paper about things he didn’t understand about French culture. Before that he spent two-and-a-half years as a political reporter for the Capital Times in Madison, Wis. and was once ordered to turn his video camera off by the then-obscure John Oliver.

Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets. Send tips to cswiatecki@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @TheeChad.

Audrey McGlinchy is KUT’s City Hall reporter, where she has made radio about seniors on tricycles and regularly translates City Council decisions for Austin listeners. She holds degrees from Wesleyan University and the City University of New York. A former Brooklyn nanny and erstwhile English teacher in Thailand, Audrey loves to dance, read and loaf. She can be reached via email at audrey@kut.org or on Twitter @AKMcGlinchy.

Katy McElroy grew up in Austin and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Texas and a certificate in editing from the University of Washington in Seattle. She spent eight years proofreading at the Texas Legislative Council before transitioning to full-time freelance editing in late 2016. She joined the Austin Monitor as proofreader in April 2017 and is now the Monitor’s copy editor.

The Board of Directors:

The Austin Monitor is owned by the Capital of Texas Media Foundation. The Foundation was founded in mid-2013 as a Texas non-profit. It received formal 501(c)3 status from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in January 2014.

Mike Kanin is the current Publisher of the Texas Observer and was the Founding Publisher of the Austin Monitor. He has extensive media experience, including many years of freelance reporting. His work has appeared in the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post‘s Express, the Boston Herald, Boston’s Weekly Dig, the Austin Chronicle, and the Texas Observer. He’s also served as the Washington City Paper‘s City Lights Editor and as the co-founding editor of Unfit Times. He can be found on Twitter at @mkanin.

Sarah E. Brownstein: Sarah has been in and out of Austin over the last 13 years. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs and Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies, Sarah has policy experience at local and state levels. She currently works at the Texas Senate focusing on issues ranging from higher education to natural resources.

Marty Hopkins is a senior litigation associate at Eversheds Sutherland (US).   Her practice focuses on state and federal energy regulatory compliance, energy market design, and energy-related litigation. She has significant experience with multi-state and Texas-jurisdictional transmission projects and regularly advises clients on bringing these projects to commercial operation. Marty was selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers® “Rising Stars” (2017). She and her family (partner and two dogs) love living near the east loop of the hike and bike trail.

Abby Rapoport: Abby Rapoport is an Austin-based reporter, whose work has appeared in the The National Journal, the Texas Observer, The American Prospect as well as other outlets. She studied History at Grinnell College and held a writing fellowship at the Economic Policy Institute. She serves on the boards of the American Agora Foundation (which publishes Lapham’s Quarterly) and chairs the Texas Democracy Foundation, which publishes the Texas Observer. In her non-journalism time, she also serves on the board of Shalom Austin.

Alexander Schoenbaum: Alex is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of CrowdOut Capital, an Austin-based marketplace lending firm focusing on helping middle market companies raise debt. He has over a dozen years of experience consulting and raising capital for companies of all industries, including Austin favorite Chuy’s. In addition to his family, Alex is an avid cook, traveler and fan of the San Antonio Spurs!

Herb Watkins: Herb is an Austin technical professional helping organizations use efficient processes, minimal technical systems, and flexible architecture to solve their problems and opportunities for 15 years. Herb started as a middle school music teacher and uses the patience and empathy learned in that environment to help his business counterparts understand opportunities in technology. Fueled by his strong interest in informing voters through quality journalism, he brings his technical experience and business organization experience to the board.

Past Board members

Reeve Hamilton is the Austin-based executive director of media relations for the Texas A&M University System. He was one of the original reporters at The Texas Tribune, where he spent more than five years covering higher education and politics and hosting a weekly podcast. His writing has also appeared in Texas Monthly, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Texas Observer.

Sheryl Cole: First elected in 2006, Sheryl Cole is the first African-American woman elected to the Austin City Council. Re-elected in 2009, and elevated by her Council peers to Mayor Pro Tem in 2011; Married to Austin attorney Kevin Cole, Sheryl is the proud mother of three boys – Marcus, Nelson, and Femi. The Coles live in the Wilshire Woods Neighborhood and belong to David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. As a resident of Austin for 30 years, Sheryl earned her B.A. in accounting from The University of Texas at Austin and became a Certified Public Accountant in 1986, working for two years with the “big five” accounting firm – Ernst & Young. In 1989, Sheryl returned to UT Austin to study law, earning her J.D. in 1991 and joining Wright & Greenhill, P.C. As an engaged parent in the school system, Sheryl served as president of the Lee Elementary School PTA and a board member of Leadership Austin, Austin Area Urban League, and Communities in Schools. From 1995 to 2001, she served as staff counsel at the Texas Municipal League. From 2001 to 2006 she practiced law at the Cole Law Firm. After completing her recent term as Mayor Pro Tem of Austin she returned to the Cole Law Firm where she specializes in Government Relations and Public Finance.

Julio Gonzalez Altamirano: Julio is a native Texan. He works at the intersection of education and technology. Julio’s diverse Austin civic efforts range from increasing access to municipal open data to supporting new transit investment. He writes about Austin policy and policymakers at ‘Keep Austin Wonky’ and tweets @juliogatx.

Robert E. Jones: Robert is an Austin based political consultant with more than 15 years of experience managing organizations like Annie’s List and Be One Texas and in advising candidates like Sen. Wendy Davis, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and numerous members of the Texas House. He is also an adjunct professor of political science at St. Edward’s University and has provided political analysis to media outlets like CNN, NPR, Fox News and the New York Times.

Code of Ethics

At the Austin Monitor, we believe in the kind of day-in, day-out, locally focused coverage that keeps our readers civically engaged and gives them the tools to advocate for good governance and take part in a conversation about public policy in Austin.

Our reporters work to present fair, knowledgeable coverage that cynics assume is a thing of the past. As a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, we try to bring our readers the stories that other outlets might pass over — nitty-gritty, fact-heavy, and sometimes dense — because, above all else, we trust that they’ll be able to make up their own minds about the news of the day… We, of course, strive to report the news accurately, and when errors happen, aim to correct them as quickly and transparently as possible.

Reporters who have a vested personal or financial interest in a topic do not report on that topic, and on the occasion that there is a situation that could be perceived as a conflict of interest, it will be disclosed. Our reporters do not accept meaningful gifts from any entity that could have an interest in our coverage. (In other words: We get a lot of free pens and notebooks.) Reporters also refrain from participating in political activity around the topics that we cover, such as campaigning or petitioning.

As a nonprofit organization, our publisher solicits donations and sponsorships as part of the course of his duties. Editorial employees have no specific knowledge of these efforts, and, indeed, CoTMF donors, board members, and operations staff are prohibited by policy from contacting editorial employees about story theme, direction, or content. We disclose all organization donors, no matter the size of their contributions. We post a downloadable list of all contributors at the bottom of each story along with a disclosure statement.

We do not discriminate about sources of support. We feel that everyone in our community should have the ability to be involved in our work. Though we are not always successful, we strive to include a healthy cross-section of supporters.

At the Monitor, we don’t just stick to stories. We take our coverage directly to the community via regular events. These events often come with sponsors, who are also subject to the same editorial separation rules as all other Monitor/CoTMF sponsors and donors.

Our Mission: To consistently and accurately report the daily news that impacts the lives of all Austinites. To give our readers the tools and knowledge to become informed, engaged citizens to advocate for the things they care about most.

Our Funding: As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we rely on a combination of subscribing memberships, donations, sponsorships, and community partnerships to carry out our mission. A list of donors can be found here.

Operations oversight belongs to our Board of Directors, and more information about the membership of the board can be found above.

Though we rely on (and appreciate!) support from our donors, partners, sponsors, and board members, our supporters do not influence our coverage in any way. We’ve drawn a thick line between our funders and board and our editorial operations, and though we work toward the same mission, we do so separately, in a very intentional way.

Content Sharing: If you or your organization are interested in sharing our content, please contact our publisher at publisher@austinmonitor.com.

Freelancers and Interns: At the moment, we rely entirely on freelance reporters to bring you the news, and if you’d like to join our ranks as a freelancer or learn how to join our type of ranks as an intern, reach out to our editor, Liz Pagano, at editor@austinmonitor.com.

Here are our IRS 990 filings for 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Here are our 2015 Annual Report and our Final Report on the 2015-16 Monitor in the Classroom program.

More about how you can support us via online sponsorships here:

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