Several hundred Austinites gathered in Republic Square Park on Saturday evening as gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke stopped in Austin on his campaign trail.
The popular Democrat announced a run for governor on Nov. 15 and has since visited San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley and other Texas cities before stopping in what could be his future home if he wins the November 2022 election.
As a blue city, Austinites showed great support for O'Rourke as he said he would repeal the most recent conservative laws, including abortion restrictions and permitless carry. He also took a jab at Abbott's handling of last February's freeze that affected thousands of Texans.
O'Rourke, a former three-term Democratic congressman from El Paso, gained steam as a political figure back in 2018 when he narrowly lost a race for U.S. Senate against Sen. Ted Cruz; he also ran in the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination before pulling out.
The candidate mentioned how when he ran for Senate, Texas saw the highest voter turnout in a midterm election and encouraged the crowd to get people to vote in the upcoming elections.
A supporter holds a sign in the front row at the rally.
O'Rourke poses with a young fan as many take pictures with him.
O'Rourke is up against Democrats Deirdre Gilbert and Michael Cooper in the primaries in March 2022 and if he wins, he could go up against Abbott in November; other Republicans running include Allen West, Don Huffines and Chad Prather.
In the latest University of Texas and Texas Tribune poll, 37% of respondents said they would vote for O'Rourke and 46% said they would vote for Abbott.
Next on his campaign trail, O'Rourke will stop in Sugar Land, Galveston, and Beaumont.
Whether you’re making the switch out of a gas-powered car or thinking of adding another EV into the mix, tax credits could go away for your desired car.
The climate-health-tax package could become law soon. And while Democrats had aimed to expand consumer tax credits for battery-powered vehicles Sen. Joe Manchin called for some supply chain requirements in order to go along with the broader bill.
The Alliance for Automotive Innovation estimates that’ll cut vehicles eligible for the credits from 72 to 25. Brands eligible for a tax credit include BMW, Ford and Rivian. As Electrek reports, sales can push manufacturers over the predetermined threshold of qualified sales, and Tesla is part of that group.
For some EV owners, however, this incentive wasn’t an influence on their decision anyway.
Anuarbek Imanbaev, VP of the Tesla Owners Club Austin, said the credit played very little role in his decision to get a Tesla.
He views his first Tesla as a more luxurious type of purchase that’s a different approach than what other car shoppers have.
“That's a different segment,” Imanbaev said. “I think in that segment, it was nice to have, but it wasn't anything that affected whether I would buy the vehicle or not.”
Still, Imanbaev thinks for those shopping for vehicles up to about $65,000, the tax credit could increase demand.
Reginald Collins, a sales professional at Onion Creek Volkswagen, has talked to the clients who weigh cost more when buying a vehicle and he said the tax credit is a “huge deal.”
“On top of the fact that you're not paying for any gas. And you're saving Earth, it's not a combustion vehicle,” Collins said, referring to Volkswagen’s ID.4 that people can buy with a $7,500 tax credit.
What’s its appeal over a Tesla or other electric vehicles?
“Just the flexibility of it, it's much less expensive,” Collins said.
And while EVs require some wait—Collins estimates the ID.4 taking about 8 to 10 months— he also said that the plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee is making for faster production.
“If you need parts, you can order them from the states instead of ordering them in Germany,” Collins said. “So if you have customer issues they can get parts quicker.”
So if you’re trying to get a deal on an EV, you may need to act quickly. The Senate sent the plan, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, to the House earlier this week meaning it could be headed to President Biden’s desk soon.
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A chain of plant-based restaurants and wellness centers is getting its start in Austin.
Following time in executive-level positions with Austin-started Whole Foods Market, Betsy Foster, former senior vice president, retiring co-founder and CEO John Mackey and former Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb are onto their next project: a startup called Healthy America LLC.
The venture raised $31 million from investors earlier this year to create a national network of wellness centers and vegetarian restaurants.
Bloomberg reported on a now-closed job posting for Healthy America, which described it as “an evidence-based lifestyle company, leading the convergence of culinary, healthcare, and wellness.”
The posting mentions an aim to “meaningfully transform the health and wellbeing of individuals.” Aside from food, educational, fitness and spa services may also be offered.Incorporated in 2020, Healthy America seems to be at an office near 38th Street and Lamar Boulevard, the Austin Business Journal reports.
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