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Commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, June is Pride Month.
Since the first Gay and Lesbian Pride Fiesta in 1989, Austin has been celebrating alongside the LGBTQ+ community. Bringing color, diversity and new perspectives to town, now is a great time to support Austin's many LGBTQ-owned businesses.
The Little Gay Shop, 828 Airport Blvd.
Spreading joy for everyone, The Little Gay Shop sells trinkets, books and art exclusively by the LGBTQ+ community, while living by the adage "By Queers for all." With specific showcases of Austin-based, Black and international artists, the shop says it exists to support, celebrate and spread the joy of the queer community. The Little Gay Shop hopes to ignite the local art scene, where they believe LGBTQ+ artists are essential, by spreading queer art and gaining exposure.
Garden Seventeen, 604 Williams St.
Dedicated to DIY and outdoor lovers, Garden Seventeen is a locally-owned queer garden center. From its unique hangar-esque building, Garden Seventeen was brought to Austin by the same minds as Native Edge Landscape with the goal of making beautifully landscaped spaces a possibility for everyone. Plants of all sizes, shapes and varieties are all available with experts on standby, plus the store has a loyalty program, so you're rewarded for shopping!
Statement jewelry designer TK Tunchez is a lover of maximalism so her Etsy Shop, Las Ofrendas, is a store for people who love color, patterns and a flair for eye-catching. Flower crowns and combs, gemstones and colorful acrylic earrings are her specialty and give off Chicana and southwestern motifs. The shop is featured at pop-ups throughout Austin, including Frida Friday ATX, which amplifies artists who are "womxn of color."
Combining two loves, Indian food and chocolate, Harshit Gupta and Elliott Curelop founded Madhu Chocolate by sourcing high-quality ingredients and lovingly packing all the bars by hand. "Madhu," which means honey or sweet in Hindi, is central to their motto, "Be Madhu to one another." Flavors like saffron milk and vanilla fennel give the chocolates a uniquely spiced flavor, plus the store sells their own brand of spiced chai, inspired by Gupta's mother's own recipe. In honor of Pride Month, Madhu chocolate is donating 52% of the proceeds to nonprofit safe space Out Youth.
Skull & Cakebones, 3991 US-290
With claims of being the Hill Country's first plant-based craft bakery, Skull & Cakebones promises that going vegan does not have to be a compromise. The bakeshop sells all kinds of vegan sweets like the "Mutha Fudga Cupcakes" or Texas-sized cinnamon rolls, as well as a plethora of clean lunch options like cauliflower wings or vegan grilled cheese. You're guaranteed to find something for everyone!
Gelateria Gemelli, 1009 East 6th St.
Gelato, Italian coffee and cocktails, oh my! Translating to Gemini, the Italian word "Gemelli" was the catalyst for the Gelateria. Andrew Sabola, with a Gemini horoscope sign, and his best friend, also a Gemini, traveled to Bologna, Italy, to learn how to make gelato from the pros. Right now you can try flavors like Earl Grey, Roasted Banana and Miso Vanilla but since Gemelli uses locally sourced ingredients, the flavors change with the seasons.
Paws on Chicon, 1301 Chicon St. and 7601 S. Congress Ave.
Even your furry friends can celebrate pride month with high-quality kibbles and premium toys and treats at Paws on Chicon. The independent store recently opened its second location on South Congress and hopes to educate Austin's pet-loving populous on how to keep their pets the healthiest they can be. The store even does an annual dog drag show to raise money for LGBTQ+ youth and animals in need.
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The staffers are coming! Texas Lege staffers turn to Twitter after special session announcement, defunding
Texas Legislature staff members have taken to social media to raise awareness—and also just air their misfortune—following the summer special session announcement and their own defunding.
In a game seven type move by Texas Democrats, The 87th Texas Legislative session was capped off by a last-minute walkout to avoid a final vote on a bill that would add restrictions to voting.
Needless to say, Gov. Greg Abbott—who cheerleaded the bill throughout the legislative session—was not thrilled.
Not up to date on your Texas Lege drama? Abbott was pointing to when former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis staged a dramatic hours-long filibuster over a 2013 abortion bill, which the public gallery aided. The "story" Abbott is referring to ended with him and other prominent conservatives sweeping the 2014 statewide election and the bill passing in a special session.
According to Abbott, the regular session centered around supporting "hardworking Texans and building a state that is safer, freer, healthier, and more prosperous."
However, the two items deemed at the top of Abbott's wish list for this session, election integrity and bail reform, did not reach his desk at the end of the session, both championed by Abbott to be "must-pass emergency items."
"It is deeply disappointing and concerning for Texans that neither reached my desk," Abbott said in a statement. "Ensuring the integrity of our elections and reforming a broken bail system remain emergencies in Texas, which is why these items, along with other priority items, will be added to the special session agenda."
Abbott said he expected lawmakers to work out their differences prior to the special session and continue to pass other emergency items and priority legislation.
So, everything is cool, right? No worries?
Hours before the no vote, as the clock ran out on the bill that he championed, Abbott tweeted that he would veto funding for the entire state legislative branch. The decision would impact not only Texas lawmakers but their staff and aides. Abbott said in a tweet, "no pay for those who abandon their responsibilities."
I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature. Article 10 funds the legislative branch. No pay… https://t.co/KNyuNvxP55— Greg Abbott (@Greg Abbott)1622484820.0
With pay, health insurance and other support for staffers on the line, the threats became a reality on June 18 with an official veto of the funds from Abbott.
The veto effectively nixes all funding for the legislative branch.
"Texans don't run from a legislative fight and we don't walk away from an unfinished business," Abbott writes in the veto. "Funding should not be provided for those who quit their job early, leaving their state with unfinished business and exposing taxpayers to higher costs for an additional legislative session."
However, questions have been brought up over the constitutionality of the veto itself. Section 24 of the Texas Constitution makes not paying members of the legislature illegal.
The special session is set to begin July 8. So, what does this mean for lawmakers, staffers and aides?
No pay, no insurance... and Twitter followers?
So, the staffers took their final stand on Twitter where they aired their grievances with the situation and asked for followers to increase their footprint.
Meet Jen Ramos, a staff member for Texas State Senator Judith Zaffarini—and also defunded by Abbott.
My name is Jen. I’m one of the #txlege staffers defunded by Greg Abbott. Apparently now I’m supposed to ask for Tw… https://t.co/pteKADP3Hj— Jen Ramos ✨ (@Jen Ramos ✨)1624466531.0
And she's not alone. Use the hashtag #txlege and you'll find other similar messages online, like Camille's and Hectors' and more.
My name is Camille, my friends call me Cam or Cammie. I’m one of the #txlege staffers defunded by Greg Abbott. And… https://t.co/mOvcjxTiUL— Camille Lasin (@Camille Lasin)1624474153.0
My name is Hector. I’m one of the #txlege staffers defunded by Greg Abbott and who had to deal with elections stuff… https://t.co/88PINm9KCv— Hector 🏙🤠 (@Hector 🏙🤠)1624466987.0
My name is André. I’m one of the #txlege staffers defunded by Greg Abbott. Apparently now I’m supposed to ask you… https://t.co/WSQmCiMnip— André Treiber (@André Treiber)1624464307.0
My name is Fawaz Anwar. I'm one of the democratic staffers whose salary, insurance, and benefits were vetoed by Abb… https://t.co/OeXWLpoLdy— 𝐅𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐳 𝐒. 𝐀𝐧𝐰𝐚𝐫 (@𝐅𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐳 𝐒. 𝐀𝐧𝐰𝐚𝐫)1624464507.0
My name is Jake Salinas. I'm the TX Dem that saved the film industry in TX and broke quorum on SB7 Now our Gov h… https://t.co/PLf9ScA4Ev— Jake Salinas (@Jake Salinas)1624464237.0
It's unclear whether Abbott and other prominent Republican lawmakers will come together with Democrats to overturn the veto and continue providing insurance and regular pay for lawmakers, staffers, and aides.
For that update and others in and around Austin, stick with Austonia.
Texas voters are split on whether Gov. Greg Abbott should run for a third term and whether Matthew McConaughey should run at all. But Democrats are clear: they want to see Beto O'Rourke on the ballot.
These are the findings of a Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters released this week.
Abbott and McConaughey received the highest favorability ratings of the elected officials, candidates and potential candidates, according to the Quinnipiac poll.
- Abbott: 49%
- McConaughey: 42%
- O'Rourke: 34%
- Former Texas GOP Chair Allen West: 25%
- Former Texas senator and Republican challenger Don Huffines: 8%
Overall, 48% say Abbott does not deserve to be reelected to a third term compared to 46% who say he does. "A Trump favorite in a state that is turning less red in recent election cycles, Abbott has a decent but in no way overwhelming grasp on reelection," Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said in a press release.
Abbott, McConaughey and Beto O'Rourke could vie for governor in 2022. (Office of the Texas Governor)
Voters are also divided on Matthew McConaughey, who is reportedly considering a gubernatorial run. Forty-one percent of voters say they would like to see him run, compared to 47% who say they wouldn't.
The poll found that Democrats and Independents favor the Oscar-winning Austinite, whose party affiliation is unclear. Forty-seven percent of Democrats would like to see him run, compared to 43% who wouldn't. Forty-four percent of Independents would, compared to 43% who wouldn't. Republicans, on the other hand, say 60%-29% they would not like to see him run.
Another possible candidate is former U.S. Representative and presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke, who is also reportedly mulling a bid. Overall voters say 52%-41% they would not like to see him run for governor. But 77% of Democrats and 50% of Independents would, according to the poll.
"McConaughey and O'Rourke may still be on the fence, but their numbers suggest they have the attention of voters," Malloy said in the same release.
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It's officially dating season if you haven't heard, and that doesn't mean you have to ditch your dating apps.
Two out of three people say they believe you can fall in love before meeting in person, according to a new survey released by Bumble. Bumble, the locally founded online dating company that allows women to make the first move, says its newly released survey "reveals how the pandemic has changed dating" headed into the "summer of love."
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease in parts of the country and around the Lone Star State, the company says that 91% of those surveyed believe that there is no longer a stigma attached to online dating compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic. And more than two-thirds think it's possible to fall in love with someone that they've never met in person before.
Bumble users have also adapted to Coronavirus-related restrictions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey says.
Clare O'Connor, head of content at Bumble, said that 1 in 3 users said that they liked virtual dates because it saves them time and money and 1 in 4 users surveyed said they liked that they only have to get partially ready when going on a video date.
For those wanting to play it safe heading out the door, O'Connor said that soon, users will be able to add a badge to their Bumble profile that says "vaccinated."
So what should you if trying to get back in on the dating scene?
O'Connor's advice is to "seasonalize" your profile by updating your photos to show your personality.
Let's get dating!
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