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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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‘Pie in the face’ means hurricane relief
Wednesday, October 18, 2017 by Jo Clifton
Here’s a novel way for city employees to help people affected by recent hurricanes and maybe get a chance to see the director of their department get a pie in the face. In addition to the regular City of Austin Combined Charities Campaign, there is an additional campaign raising money just for hurricane relief. Interim City Manager Elaine Hart will be pasting a pie to the face of the director of the department raising the most money in this competition. So far, it looks like that honor will go to City Clerk Jannette Goodall. “The (clerk’s office) has been rocking this campaign,” having gotten the highest percentage of departmental employees to contribute to the charitable campaign for the second week in a row, according to city spokesperson Aly Van Dyke. She said she was not sure how much more money the campaign would raise because of the “pie in the face” component, but it has certainly added some fun to the campaign. She also said she was not sure how many directors have agreed to participate in this particular endeavor. Van Dyke said the Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department and Austin Energy were both giving the Office of the City Clerk a run for its money. In addition to hurricane relief, the Combined Charities Campaign offers city employees a chance to choose from hundreds of charities that the city has vetted. Here are just a few of those: Caritas of Austin, Amnesty International, Feed the Children, Audubon Foundation of Texas, Austin Parks Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House, EarthShare of Texas, Front Steps, Clean Water Fund of Texas, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. In 2016, city employees pledged $495,000 for the various charities. This year, Van Dyke said, the goal is $515,000. At the end of the day on Tuesday, city employees had pledged $152,604, according to the website. Employees of Austin Energy had pledged the greatest total amount, nearly $29,000. “Pie in the face” ends on Oct. 25 and the overall campaign ends on Oct. 31.
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