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Omnibus II: Electric boogaloo

Monday, November 13, 2017 by Chad Swiatecki

With pieces of 2016’s music omnibus policy package rounding into being, work on a second batch of city policies for bolstering Austin’s music economy is well underway. At Monday’s meeting of the Austin Music Commission, musician and Commissioner Graham Reynolds said the five working groups charged with addressing issues related to the music community’s well-being will deliver reports and recommendations by the end of the year. Those groups are looking at: equity, diversity and inclusion; affordable live/work space; safety-net issues; revenue development; and finance tools and incentives. The first omnibus was paid for by tapping unused funds from the city’s Music Venue Assistance Program, but there’s not yet an identified funding source for the policies that will come with the second omnibus package. Reynolds told the Austin Monitor that Mayor Steve Adler’s proposed “downtown puzzle” plan would create a consistent funding source for efforts related to commercial music, but “that is some time away. In the meantime, we need ideas and actions that will move these issues and their solutions forward.” He said the new omnibus package will be broken into short-, medium- and long-range measures and include a range of funding needs, including some that could have little or no cost.

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