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The Austin Justice Coalition is clearly frustrated with city leadership, which has not responded to its request to cut $100 million in funding from the Austin Police Department and remove Chief Brian Manley (or make him resign).
Just a couple of months ago, both of these efforts had some traction after a public outcry against police use of force during anti-police-brutality protests. They picked up more momentum when the Austin City Council unanimously approved a vote of no confidence in Manley and the leadership in June.
Then a week later the conversation was effectively shut down when City Manager Spencer Cronk told the city's public safety committee Manley is committed to change. Meanwhile, it looks likely that significant police budget cuts will trickle out slowly, and may or may not reach the level of AJC's requests.
So how do you light a fire under a stagnated issue? Write a jingle!
Today, AJC posted "No Confidence in You," a short, animated video and catchy little jingle posted on its social media channels.
The first two verses are:
He looks the part, at least that's true/With silver hair and eyes of blue
Saved Austin from the bomber/Or that's what the TV said
But now he's the chief/And hey that part's a pity
It didn't take long 'til most of the city/Could tell Brian Manley was in over his head
At the end of the jingle, AJC directs viewers to sign a petition calling for Manley to resign.
"It is with enormous frustration that the undersigned groups renew our demand - after weeks of protest and major changes unanimously passed by City Council - for new leadership at the top of Austin's public safety department, and in particular our demand that you sideline Chief Brian Manley."
As of Friday afternoon, more than 5,000 people had signed it.
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Matthew McConaughey is reportedly weighing a run for Texas governor in 2022.
The Austin resident and Oscar winner has been "quietly making calls to influential people in Texas political circles, including a deep-pocketed moderate Republican and energy CEO" as he decides whether to run, according to Politico.
McConaughey said a gubernatorial run is "a true consideration" while on a March episode of Houston's "The Balanced Voice" podcast.
Although most political strategists doubt McConaughey's commitment and viability as a candidate, some are still intrigued by the possibility.
"I find it improbable, but it's not out of the question," Karl Rove, a top Republican strategist with a long history in Austin, told the political news site. He added that the big question is whether McConaughey would run as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent.
Brendan Steinhauser, an Austin-based GOP strategist, told Politico he's surprised McConaughey isn't being taken more seriously. "Celebrity in this country counts for a lot," he said. "It's not like some C-list actor no one likes. He has an appeal."
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to run for a third term and remains popular among Republican voters, 77% of whom approve of his performance as of April, according to the Texas Politics Project.
Some strategists believe an independent McConaughey run would benefit Abbott. But a recent poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that McConaughey would beat Abbott, 45% to 33%, with 22% opting for someone else.
Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, mulled a McConaughey run in a recent opinion essay from the New York Times. "Texas may not be ready for a philosopher king as a candidate, much less governor," she wrote. "May the best man win, man."
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Some JuiceLand production facility workers and storefront employees are organizing to demand wage increases, better working conditions (including air conditioning in the warehouse) and pay transparency, among other asks. They are also calling on staff to strike and customers to boycott the Austin-based company until their demands are met.
JuiceLand responded on Saturday. "We are listening," the company wrote on their Instagram story. "JuiceLand crew now makes guaranteed $15 an hour or more companywide."
JuiceLand, which was founded in 2001 by Matt Shook and now has 35 locations in Austin, Houston and Dallas, acknowledged the rising cost of living across Texas and the added stress of the pandemic in an email to employees on Saturday, part of which @juicelandworkersrights shared on social media. "There's no denying that times are tough and financial security means more now than ever," the company wrote.
Organized JuiceLand workers rejected this proposal, according to a recent post on the @juicelandworkersrights Instagram account, and reiterated their demands.
"Cost of living in Austin is rising exponentially and will only continue to get worse with the tech boom," the post read. "$15 is barely a sustainable living."