(Andrei/Adobe Stock)

Travis County commissioners delayed a vote on a multimillion-dollar economic incentives deal with Tesla and gave no indication on when a decision may occur.


The electric carmaker has proposed a $1.1 billion "Gigafactory" in Southeast Austin and, in exchange, is seeking property tax breaks from Travis County over a 20-year period and Del Valle ISD over a 10-year period.

Judge Sam Biscoe said last week that a vote might take place Tuesday, but after discussing it privately with county attorneys in executive session decided to push off the decision.


Tesla looks to fast-track approval of an Austin 'Gigafactory' www.youtube.com


Public comment from both sides

Commissioners did hear public comment Tuesday from Travis County residents who are decidedly mixed on the deal.

Those who support it said it will bring good-paying jobs that are needed in light of the pandemic and will spur further development around the proposed factory site.

"This is not just good news, it's great news, when good news is hard to find," Austin Chamber President and CEO Laura Huffman told commissioners. "These are the jobs we often ask for but sometimes find hard to get."

Others oppose the proposal—or at least believe it could be improved.

Juan Belman, who grew up in South Austin, said past economic incentive deals have hurt communities more than helped them.

"I remember before Oracle came to town there used to be a vibrant Latinx community [in Riverside] until they were displaced by Oracle," he said.

Belman is against the deal, which he said will drive resources away from pandemic recovery efforts.

"Our community needs services from its government now more than ever," he said, "and we cannot justify providing incentives to a multibillion-dollar corporation while people are without food on the table."

(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.

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