(ThaiTum/Wikimedia via Creative Commons)

Tulsa's "Golden Driller" statue was given Elon Musk's face in May.

Austin may be at the front of the pack to land the next Tesla "Gigafactory," but CEO Elon Musk just demonstrated that the competition is far from over.


Musk visited Tulsa—Austin's main rival—last week, where he met with Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Secretary of Commerce Sean Kouplen. "We have the challenge of Tulsa being less known than Austin and getting his team comfortable with us as their potential site," Kouplen told the Tulsa World.

The visit followed months of speculation over which city Tesla will choose to locate its next Gigafactory, which will manufacture the company's Cybertruck and promises at least 5,000 new jobs.

What Tulsa offers

Tulsa promises an economic incentives package, pro-business climate and established manufacturing workforce, but terms of the package are considered confidential under state law, making it impossible to compare its offerings with those on the table in Austin.

When asked for more details about the incentives, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce declined to comment.

Tulsa's biggest asset may be naked enthusiasm about the project—as evidenced by multiple social media campaigns, including Tulsa Says Yes, Austin Says No, #Tesla4Tulsa and Big F*cking Field, which touts the benefits of a 1,500-acre site and offers it to Musk for a refundable $100 deposit.

During a June 30 town hall, Tulsa Regional Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said one of the biggest differentiators between his city and Austin is attitude. "We really want Tesla bad," he said. "We really, really, really want them and are going to do everything we possibly can to lure them here."

What Austin offers

Rohan Patel, Tesla's senior global director for public policy and business development, told Travis County commissioners that Austin "has risen to the top in our search" because of its diverse workforce, the proposed factory site in Southeast Travis County and a potential partnership with Del Valle ISD.

But Patel also said the incentives—a 10-year, $68 million deal with Del Valle ISD and a 20-year deal of an undisclosed amount with Travis County—are necessary.

There is enthusiasm for the deal in Austin, but union officials and concerned residents have also asked officials to consider the company's spotty history of reneging on incentives agreements, workplace safety and employee protections.

Amid the competition, two websites—Tulsa Says Yes and Austin Says No—have sprung up, detailing Austin's resistance to Amazon's HQ2 and Apple's second campus in Williamson County.

When Gov. Stitt tweeted a link to the former on June 30, it prompted a response from Musk.

"Wow, I've never seen this level of support!" he wrote. "Out of respect, seems like I should at least visit."


(Apple)

Oprah Winfrey launches her third series with Apple TV+, "The Oprah Conversation."

Former Longhorn and NFL star Emmanuel Acho stars in the two-part premiere of "The Oprah Conversation," which hit screens on Apple TV+ over the weekend.

Acho is a natural fit to kick off the new show by Oprah Winfrey. The two are partnering to publish a book based off his wildly popular social-media series, "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man."

In the show's first installment, Winfrey and Acho answer questions by white and Latino guests about race and what it means to be Black in America

"He's answering uncomfortable questions about racism in America and the best ways to keep the conversation going with your family and friends," reads a statement on the show's social media.


"The Oprah Conversation" is Winfrey's newest series on Apple TV+, following "Oprah Talks COVID-19" and "Oprah's Book Club."

In future episodes, the show will continue to explore timely topics with leaders from across the globe. Watch it here.

Follow Austonia on Instagram to keep up with what's happening in your city.

Our Instagram page allows you to stay up to date with all things Austin, from coronavirus updates to local personalities. Join our Instagram family to see the faces, events and news that make up the city.

Click here to follow.

Texas Athletics will require masks, social distancing and more at home games

Fans attending Texas Longhorns home games this season must wear masks, maintain distance between groups and use only mobile tickets, according to safety plans for the upcoming football season, released Monday by the University of Texas Athletics department.

Keep Reading Show less
Brittany NO FOMO (Hallberg)

Looking for love has always come with obstacles, and they've only been magnified by COVID-19. Nevertheless, many Austinites continue to navigate these uncharted waters. We'll be sharing their stories every week right here.

Brittany Hallberg has no trouble meeting people under normal circumstances. Before the pandemic hit, the New Jersey-born Austinite was a marketer, event coordinator, music photographer and journalist—the latter two under the moniker Brittany NO FOMO—trekking across the country and making music-industry friends along the way.

Keep Reading Show less
(Pexels)

Travis County is reporting a slightly higher COVID-19 case fatality rate than it was in early July, despite a sustained decline in the number of new reported cases and related hospitalizations.

Following weeks of steady decline and a deflating surge, Austin's COVID-19 case fatality rate—defined as reported deaths per confirmed cases—is creeping up.

Keep Reading Show less

Jordan Vonderhaar for the Texas Tribune

Armed protesters guard the memorial of Garrett Foster, who was shot and killed during a protest against police brutality in Austin on July 25, 2020.

By Jordan Vonderhaar

Throughout the summer, cities in Texas and around the country have seen protests and demonstrations against police brutality. On Saturday, protesters and law enforcement clashed in Austin, a week after protester Garrett Foster, who was openly carrying an AK-47 rifle — which is legal in Texas — was shot and killed by Daniel Perry, a U.S. Army sergeant, when he approached his car. Perry drove away, then called the police. Perry was released without being charged. Since then, questions have been raised about who was the aggressor.


Keep Reading Show less

(Austonia/Instagram)

Austin has no shortage of personalities with a large social media following. From food to motherhood, we've got you covered on Austinites that have blown up on Instagram.

Here are 15 Austin-based female influencers you may want to check out.

Keep Reading Show less