Half of Austin City Council's 10 seats—Districts 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10—are up for election this November, and after Monday's filing deadline, 20 candidates will be competing for a spot on the (virtual) dais.
Elected members will be tasked with rewriting the city's land use code, considering further cuts to the Austin Police Department's budget and, if voters approve a tax rate increase, implementing the $7.1 billion Project Connect transit plan.
City council seats are nonpartisan, although all current members are affiliated with the Democratic Party. Austin residents can plug in their address to find their council district here.
Here's a list of who's running:
District 2 Council Member Delia Garza will vacate her seat to serve as Travis County attorney. She won the Democratic primary for the position in July, and there is no Republican candidate.
Four candidates are vying to replace Garza on council, including David Chincanchan, former chief of staff for District 3 Council Member Pio Renteria; Vanessa Fuentes, who works for the American Heart Association and said one of her top priorities would be improving health equity in Austin; Casey Ramos, a boxer who lost to Garza in 2016; and Alex Strenger, a pedicab driver who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2018 and has advocated for building a dome around Austin to keep out Californians.
This district covers Southeast Austin.
District 4 Council Member Greg Casar is running for re-election against Louis C. Herrin III, a civil engineer who ran against Casar in 2016 and 2014, and Ramesses II Setepenre, a licensed massage therapist. While on the council, Casar has been a vocal proponent for the recent cuts to the Austin Police Department's budget, paid sick leave and a historic affordable housing bond.
This district includes parts of northeast and north central Austin.
District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan will face off against Deedra Harrison, a consultant; Mackenzie Kelly, a client care manager who unsuccessfully ran against Flannigan in 2014 and opposes public camping and recent cuts to Austin's police department; and Dr. Jennifer Musthaler, a physician. Flannigan's reelection campaign platform includes public safety reform, regional mobility, affordability and social justice.
This district covers parts of northwest Austin.
District 7 Council Member Leslie Pool will face off against one opponent, education adviser Morgan Witt, this election. Pool's priorities include environmental sustainability and preserving Austin neighborhoods' character. Witt, a renter who claims to be the "truly progressive" candidate, supports improving mobility and forming Austin's zoning code to allow for more diversity of housing.
This district includes parts of north central Austin.
District 10 Council Member Alison Alter faces the most crowded field, with six other candidates running for her seat. Her opponents are Ben Easton, a writer who ran unsuccessfully as a Libertarian candidate for the Texas House in 2016; Belinda Greene, who works in sales; Pooja Sethi, an attorney whose campaign platform includes community-driven transit and police reform; Robert Thomas, an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2014 and whose platform includes reinstating the police academy and public camping ban; Noel Tristan, a business owner; and Jennifer Virden, who opposes council's recent cut to police funding and the "astronomical" cost of Project Connect.
This district covers West Austin.
- Delaying cadet class, eliminating some police positions proposed in ... ›
- Austin City Council issues call to action over police violence - austonia ›
- Austin City Council will put $7.1 billion Project Connect transit bond ... ›
- Austin City Council, CapMetro approve Project Connect - austonia ›
- Developer dollars flow to favored council candidates - austonia ›
- Austin City Council voting records - austonia ›
- Austin land use code rewrite stalled amid pandemic, lawsuit - austonia ›
- Austin City Council candidate forums planned before election - austonia ›
- Austonia's 2020 voter guide: polling places, interesting races - austonia ›
- Dem nominee MJ Hegar raises $13.5 million in third quarter - austonia ›
- No straight-ticket voting for Texas' 2020 election - austonia ›
- Council candidates so far raised $930,000 - austonia ›
- Fly on Mike Pence during Vice presidential debate gains attention from Austin celebs - austonia ›
- Pence denies voter suppression during debate after Abbott limits mail-in ballot drop off locations - austonia ›
- John Cornyn leads MJ Hegar by 8 points in U.S. Senate race, UT/TT Poll finds - austonia ›
- On the first day of early voting, Austin Police reports no issues despite long lines - austonia ›
- Zoning laws, long a concern of Austin politics, go national - austonia ›
- Austin Public Library vandalized with anti-voting sentiments - austonia ›
- Council candidates raised nearly $1.2 million - austonia ›
- Political organization reaches an all-time high in Austin’s Asian American community - austonia ›
- LIVE UPDATES: No lines at many East Austin voting sites on Election Day morning - austonia ›
- Early voting: Alison Alter leads in crowded race for Austin City Council District 10 - austonia ›
- Leslie Pool leads in Austin City Council District 7 election race - austonia ›
- Jimmy Flannigan leads in the Austin City Council District 6 race - austonia ›
- Greg Casar leads in Austin City Council District 4 race - austonia ›
- EARLY VOTING: Vanessa Fuentes leads race for Austin City Council District 2 seat - austonia ›
- Austin Council Member Jimmy Flannigan accosted by motorcyclists - austonia ›
- Austin City Council members sworn in amid COVID, Capitol mob - austonia ›
- Conservative Jennifer Virden announces run for Austin mayor - austonia ›
Austin FC forward Cecilio Dominguez was reinstated to the Verde roster after a monthlong suspension Wednesday, but the star player was far from the pitch as the club's two fan clubs fell into an uncharacteristic moment of silence at the Sunday match.
The team's two fan clubs halted their signature chants in response to Dominguez's return to the club after the league investigated an Austin police call alleging Dominguez's "verbal and emotional abuse" toward his ex-partner in early April. APD did not continue the investigation, and Dominguez's ex-partner did not pursue any charges.
But both fan clubs Austin Anthem and Los Verdes, as well as supporters' band La Murga de Austin, have made it clear that many do not want to see Dominguez back on the pitch
Each group issued statements condemning further involvement with Dominguez, especially after news broke of since-dropped domestic violence charges in 2016 while the player was in Paraguay.
According to a founding member of the new Verdes Against Domestic Violence Committee, who did not want to be named due to the sensitive subject, Los Verdes members voted on each decision that the group has made so far.
"You're never going to get unanimous agreement, (but)... the majority of members that voted chose to do the 10 minutes of silence," the source told Austonia.
The decision has seen plenty of backlash, even within the supporters' group ranks. Some have pointed to the absence of physical abuse in the APD call and Dominguez's ex-partner, who has stated she does not want the player to lose his position.
S9me people didn't want to be silent over nothing. Please understand the supporter groups are not affiliated with the club offially and do not speak for the fan base a whole. Some people aren't into freaking out over an investigation that warranted nothing!
— Austin FC Review (@AustinFCreview) May 9, 2022
Others have said the group's public statements represent performative activism.
Hated it. I understand what they were doing and it’s a great cause but it shouldn’t be done like that. Also, I hate that they’re doing it in spit of Cecilio when he hasn’t even been found guilty of anything yet. Innocent until proven guilty.
— Gage Boles (@gage_boles18) May 9, 2022
But the founding member said that many fan club members are victims of abuse themselves and say verbal and emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical.
And the group has turned the situation into a way to protect domestic violence victims in the community. During the 10-minute silence (representing Dominguez's jersey number), fans held up banners for SAFE Alliance Austin's domestic violence hotline and a Verde and Black banner demanding "No more silence."
Here are the banners held up by @LaMurgaATX@LosVerdesATX@AustinAnthem during the 10-minute pause in the first half. #AustinFC#ATXvLA@SAFEatx
— Chris Bils (@ChrisBils) May 9, 2022
"Hopefully (head coach Josh Wolff) will see coverage about our moment of silence in the game," the source said. "That's all we can do is use our voices, or the absence of our voices, to create an impact and that's what we're doing."
Meanwhile, Wolff said Dominguez has been reinstated by the league and that he did not notice the silence during the LA Galaxy game. Wolff said he'll put his focus on Dominguez's onfield performance as he gets back into game day shape.
"We've talked about it, and I appreciate all of our fans' support and their interest in our team," Wolff said. "I try to do everything I can to focus on the game and focus on preparing this team, and that's kind of where I'll go in this direction.... what happens in our stands and at our stadium is obviously important to all of us as a staff and organization."
- Austin FC's Cecilio Dominguez returns after MLS investigation ... ›
- Austin FC's Cecilio Dominguez suspended before home match ... ›
- Details: Austin FC player Cecilio Dominguez's MLS suspension ... ›
- Austin FC's Cecilio Dominguez under MLS investigation amid abuse ... ›
Are your social feeds getting dry? Rest assured, there’s a new selfie museum in town to help boost your Instagram game.
The Original Selfie Museum opened its eighth location in Austin, 503 Neches St., just over a month ago dubbed Texas Selfie Museum. The company opened a San Antonio location in September.
With more than 30 photo zones, designed personally by the owners, professional lighting and props to choose from, it’s next to impossible to walk away without an Instagrammable shot. Just add a photographer!
The best part? The company—which was formed when Ukrainian immigrants Margaryta Schwery, Alex Kurylim and Igor Bemchak met during college in Colorado—is donating 100% of the proceeds for annual passes to support Ukrainian war efforts.
“Coming into this country gave us an incredible opportunity to have the self-realization of doing what we love—the potential is endless, the possibilities are endless and we are just grateful,” Schwery told Austonia. “We're also grateful for the way we were raised and for the country that we were born in… we definitely want to give back and support in any way possible.”
Visitors can come in for $28 each on a day pass or $68 for an annual pass that will allow the holder access to any location, skip reservations and donate to help a cause that is close to the owners’ hearts.