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State Rep. Celia Israel is joining the 2022 mayoral race

State Rep. Celia Israel 'ready for a new challenge' with run for Austin mayor. (Rachel Pearll/CCR Studios)

State Rep. Celia Israel is officially in the running for Austin’s 2022 mayoral election, announcing at the East Austin Parque Zaragoza Recreation Center on Tuesday morning.

Israel announced she was “ready for a new challenge” in September when she said she would step down from overseeing District 50 for the first time since 2014 to pursue an exploratory committee toward running for Austin mayor.

Israel is only the second candidate in the race, next to conservative candidate Jennifer Virden, who announced her candidacy in November. Though no one else has officially thrown their hat in the ring, City Council member Kathie Tovo said she is “strongly considering” a run and former State senator and Austin mayor Kirk Watson is also thinking about a run.

Current Mayor Steve Adler said he will not seek reelection after serving two terms—the longest anyone can hold this position without petitioning for a third term—marking the first time Austin will be under a new administration since 2014.

Representing parts of North and Northeast Austin, Israel is a founding member of the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus, serves on the Committee on Insurance, and the Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism. Israel has also served on the Environmental Board, the Police Monitor Board, a Bond Advisory Committee, and the Robert Mueller Redevelopment Advisory.

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.

Israel has said she will focus on homelessness, Austin’s affordability crisis and elevating Austin’s sense of community.

"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."

The new mayor will serve a two-year term, not the usual four years, due to a change to the city’s election schedule from the last election. The 2022 mayoral election will be held on Nov. 8.


Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation

🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway