Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
AOC in ATX: Ocasio-Cortez joins Greg Casar for Austin rally

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has a long history of campaigning in Texas. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Austinites circled the block around Red River's Mohawk venue Sunday morning as they waited to catch a glimpse of New York U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Austin City Council alum Greg Casar during a rally for Casar’s congressional run.

The two paired up for the “Rally for Our Rights,” which focused on the power of Latino organizing and helped fundraise for Casar’s campaign, beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The line to get in wrapped around two blocks. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Locals lined up along East Ninth Street and waited patiently to get into the rally. Attendees said they were attending in the interest of reproductive rights, worker’s rights, healthcare for all, and seeing a major politician like Ocasio-Cortez in town.

Alex Billski and Cameron Blotcky, who study social work at UT Austin, said they were fans of Ocasio-Cortez and wanted to learn more about Casar’s viewpoints. Billski said she was touched that Ocasio-Cortez made it out to Austin.

Alex Billski and Cameron Blotcky said they are big fans of AOC. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

“I think it reflects a lot about how much she cares about getting the word out,” Billski said. “She's committing her energy and time to support out here as well. It’s very inspiring.”

After an energetic percussive introduction from Banda 512, Casar took the stage promising to be a “progressive champion” for marginalized communities, reproductive rights and Medicare for all.

“We know progressive change is on the horizon, not in some faraway place away from Texas,” Casar said. “Progressive change has deep roots in Texas.”

Shortly after, Casar welcomed Ocasio-Cortez, a longtime Texas organizer who raised $5 million for Winter Storm Uri in 2021, on stage. Shortly after taking the mic, Ocasio-Cortez was interrupted by a pro-Palestine protester who was escorted out.

Casar came under fire recently from some after writing that he supports "federal aid for self-defense of Israel." He also wrote that he supports the "right of the Palestinian people to live in peace, security and democracy."

“I want to be unequivocal, we are here to stand up for the rights of Palestinians and Palestine,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Don’t get it twisted.”

Ocasio-Cortez spoke about undocumented immigrants and their inability to join unions, called out the near-total Texas abortion ban Senate Bill 8 as an “everyone issue,” and reminded the audience of the failure of the electric grid in 2021.

“Get out there and care for people and that’s how we’ll win,” Ocasio-Cortez said as she closed out her speech. “Let’s get it done—let’s elect Greg Casar to Congress.”

Before giving the stage away to Selena-tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda, Ocasio-Cortez and Casar took a group selfie with the audience.

Casar faces Eddie Rodriguez, Carla-Joy Sisco and Rebecca J. Viagran in the Democratic primary for the U.S. House seat representing Texas' 35th district. The district extends from Austin to San Antonio along the I-35 corridor. Lloyd Doggett currently holds the seat. Doggett is running this time in the newly-created 37th district, which represents much of central and west Austin.

Early voting for the Texas primary election lasts from Feb. 14-25.


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