On Wednesday morning, State Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) announced that she would not seek reelection and would be forming an exploratory committee toward running for mayor.
In the announcement, Israel said she was "ready for a new challenge" in which "carpenters are welcome, where science and facts drive decision-making, and where compassion and respect for ordinary Texans is the norm, not the exception."
Israel has been a member of the Texas House of Representatives for four terms and has been representing District 50 since 2014. The representative has served on the Environmental Board, the Police Monitor Board, a Bond Advisory Committee, and the Robert Mueller Redevelopment Advisory in her time and is a founder of the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus.
A Democrat who participated in walkouts of Gov. Greg Abbott's special legislative sessions due to his controversial voter reform bill, Israel hinted at the state's recent legislative changes as part of her motive to run for Austin mayor.
"From the pandemic to the legislative attacks on women, communities of color, and trans kids, I know I'm not the only one who has reflected on how we can best use our talents to meet the demands of these challenging times," Israel said in the statement. "And in an increasingly urbanized Texas, local government may seem messy and unglamorous, but it's where neighbors are actively coming together to solve problems."
She cited issues "from homelessness to the affordability crisis" as her first talking point in her possible run. She has appointed 20 members to her exploratory committee.
"Austin has long sold itself on 'lifestyle,' but at times, I fear, at the expense of our sense of community: the spirit of what binds us together, of belonging, and being part of something greater than one's self," Israel said. "My optimism for our city's future is based on my faith that when we elevate our sense of community, there is no challenge we can't overcome."
Other Austin candidates for the 2022 mayoral election include conservative Jennifer Virden, who was the first to announce a run for the position in June, and Erica Nix, a "body positivity ambassador" and workout coach. Former State Senator Kirk Watson, a Democrat and former Austin mayor, is also considering a run, while current Mayor Steve Adler said he will not seek reelection.
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An Arizona home builder, NexMetro Communities, plans to establish a neighborhood by the name of Avilla Rio Oaks in Liberty Hill, north of Austin. But there will be no homes for sale. 260 single-family rental homes will sit in the 25-acre development.
NexMetro has put forth two other projects near Austin, one in Liberty Hill and another in Georgetown. In total, the company is investing $164 million in the Austin metro with 634 rental homes across three communities.
In a press release on the first two communities, Jason Flory, managing director for NexMetro Communities' Austin Division, described the Austin area as an ideal location for Avilla Homes neighborhoods.
"Our expansion into Central Texas validates the tremendous appeal of this hybrid housing offering to consumers of all walks of life," Flory said. "We continue to look at new site locations in greater Austin because we know there is tremendous consumer appeal and demand."
The popularity of rental homes in the Austin area and elsewhere comes from a desire of residents to have a home that doesn’t require a mortgage.
For example, a RentCafe report from earlier this year says the need for space and privacy is driving the trend and notes that built-to-rent homes are expected to hit an all-time high in 2022. With 1,390 single-family rentals in the Austin metro, the area ranked No. 13 on the report’s list of metros with the greatest number of those homes.
The growth in built-to-rent homes isn’t slowing down. This summer saw announcements for other rental neighborhoods in Round Rock and another in Leander.
The Avilla Rio Oaks neighborhood is set to kick off site work soon near County Road 263 and Seward Junction Loop. It’ll include homes with one to three bedrooms that are single-level and between 700 and 1,265 square feet. Each one will include a private backyard, a front porch, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.
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Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!