Stories by Savana Dunning

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Animal Advisory Commission tables HASS discussion for now

With the Animal Advisory Commission still in disagreement over the recommendation that Austin join a decentralized shelter pilot program, commissioners decided to push the decision to October.While commissioners were entirely in agreement over one item, voting unanimously to ask City…

Monday, September 21, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Animal Advisory Commission to vote for new animal shelter pilot program

The Animal Advisory Commission is voting on a recommendation Monday for Austin to adopt a decentralized, foster home-based approach to animal services.Although the Austin Animal Center is considered an essential service by city ordinance, the shelter has had difficulties managing…

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Animal Advisory Commission asks Council to unfreeze hiring for animal protection officers

The Animal Advisory Commission unanimously approved a recommendation for City Council to unfreeze hiring for certain Animal Services staff Monday.Currently, 12 full-time positions that had been budgeted for in the 2020 budget remain vacant in the Animal Services Department. Four…

Monday, September 14, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Economic Development Department outlines plans for $12M creative space bond, creation of Austin EDC

The Economic Development Department outlined its plan for a $12 million creative space bond and a city-owned economic development corporation that could help it along at a joint meeting of the arts and music commissions Friday. The city launched a request…

Thursday, September 10, 2020 by Savana Dunning

New RISE 2.0 relief program offers $10M to individuals in Austin, Travis County

The city of Austin has expanded its original Covid-19 relief program and will be distributing a total of $10 million to individuals experiencing hardships in Austin and Travis County.Applications open Sept. 14 online and over the phone for the new Relief…

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Music Commission asks city to recognize African American Cultural Heritage District, add multiuse arts theater

The Music Commission unanimously voted in support of a proposal to direct the city to formally recognize and develop amenities within the state-designated African American Cultural Heritage District in East Austin.The commission approved of the main bullet points of the…

Friday, September 4, 2020 by Savana Dunning

The Office of Sustainability releases draft Climate Equity Plan

The Sustainability Office released its new revised Climate Equity Plan for public comment Wednesday, with hopes to submit the plan to City Council in October.The 97-page document, which is available through the city’s engagement portal, outlines the Sustainability Office’s plans…

Thursday, September 3, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Municipal golf courses to phase out BYOB policy, negotiating concession vendor contracts

The Parks and Recreation Department announced it will be eliminating its bring-your-own-beer policy for municipally run golf courses, starting Oct. 1.PARD’s Golf ATX Division quietly updated its website and Twitter on Aug. 21 with a public notice informing golfers that…

Wednesday, September 2, 2020 by Savana Dunning

New Austin Public Health plan addresses Covid-19 disparities in Hispanic/Latinx community

Austin Public Health has revealed a new draft strategic plan to tackle disparities in Covid-19 cases in the city’s Hispanic/Latinx community.The plan, developed by the Hispanic/Latinx strike team within APH’s new Social Services Branch, is divided into four strategic goals:…

Monday, August 31, 2020 by Savana Dunning

City adjusts underpass cleanup program in light of homeless displacement concerns

In light of concerns around homeless displacement, the Public Works Department is making adjustments to their underpass cleaning program.City Council approved an amended $575,000 contract with Relief Enterprises Inc. to clean underpasses and bridges at its July 29 special called…

Thursday, August 13, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Carver Museum expansion project enters planning process

The Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center is moving forward into the planning stages of an expansion project that’s been 22 years in the making.Austinites voted to approve the bond to fund updates, construction and expansion on the East…

Friday, July 24, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Zero Waste Advisory Commission unanimously recommends contract for bridge and underpass cleanup

At its July 17 meeting, the Zero Waste Advisory Commission unanimously recommended approval of a multiterm Public Works contract agreement to clean debris and trash under bridges and overpasses.The contract is with Relief Enterprise of Texas Inc., a nonprofit that…

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Some Covid-19 economic recovery programs see progress while others stagnate

While six of the city’s 11 Covid-19 economic recovery programs have received or are about to receive applications for their grants and loans, the rest have yet to move on from the development stages.Austin’s economic recovery programs are designed to…

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Economic Development Department to update progress on CARES Act relief funding programs

As of June 29, five of the eight grant programs approved by City Council to provide economic relief to Austin’s economic sectors through the CARES Act had not yet passed the development stages in their funding allocation plans.The Economic Development…

Friday, July 10, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Police department inaugural gun violence report shows slight increase in violent offenses

In its inaugural quarterly gun violence report, the Austin Police Department has recorded a slight increase in major violent offenses involving guns compared to the same time last year.In the summer of 2019, APD released its initial gun crime report…

Monday, June 29, 2020 by Savana Dunning

What $100M from the APD budget looks like

In response to pressure from activists to defund the Austin Police Department, City Council unanimously approved a series of reforms to APD operations, including a resolution that asks for deep cuts to the public safety budget.The Austin Justice Coalition has…

Monday, June 22, 2020 by Savana Dunning

College Student Commission recommends reallocating $30M from APD budget to fund minority scholarships

The College Student Commission passed a recommendation Monday asking City Council to reallocate at least $30 million from the Austin Police Department budget to college scholarships for low-income and racial minority students in Austin.The recommendation calls for APD Chief Brian…

Friday, June 19, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Arts Commission endorses letter requesting $5M in economic relief for art nonprofits

The Austin Arts Commission voted in support of a letter from various creative sector organizations asking City Council to budget $5 million in Covid-19 disaster relief for arts-based nonprofits.The city has allocated $6.35 million in disaster relief funds to support…

Friday, June 5, 2020 by Savana Dunning

Austin Animal Center reopens on-site adoptions

Starting this month, the Austin Animal Center will again offer on-site adoptions as part of the city’s phased effort to reintegrate city employees back into their physical workplaces.City Manager Spencer Cronk released a memo May 29 on the reintegration plan…

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