It's Almost Here! Día de los Muertos Event NEXT Thursday, Nov. 2nd
You are invited to join us in a much needed gathering for friendship and remembrance. We'll come together in a beautiful historic residence in the Zilker Neighborhood to create a communal altar (ofrenda), indulge in delicious food from the local favorite Curra's Grill, enjoy handcrafted drinks, and be serenaded by the talented Travis High School mariachi players and the captivating Trio Los Vigilantes. We encourage you to bring a printed photo or a small offering of food or drink to add to our ofrenda in honor of a loved one. Together, we'll celebrate our ancestors and learn more about SOS's dedication to preserving our waters and community. Here are the event details: Date: Thursday, November 2, 2023 Time: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM Location: I.V. Davis Homestead 1610 Virginia Ave, Austin, TX 78704 Grab your tickets AT THIS LINK by making a donation of $50 per person and checking the box for the Día de los Muertos event. Please list attendees in the field provided. Feel free to spread the word with anyone you think would enjoy it as well!
Oppose Fast Track Attack on Single Family Zoning In Austin
Did you receive a purple postcard from the City of Austin last week? It is official public notice about proposed zoning changes that would allow the construction of three or more housing units on almost every single family lot in Austin. The purple card means your property would be affected, whether you like it not. Since most single-family homes in Austin are of modest size, built on relatively small lots, replacing them with 3 or more units per lot translates directly into a lot more impervious cover --pavement and rooftops — and thus more destruction of our urban tree canopy, more localized flooding, more urban creek erosion, increased urban heat island effects, and more water pollution. It also means more scraping of perfectly good homes, many with character and some with historic value, and thus tremendous waste of building materials. Those are the main environmental problems with this proposal. There are plenty of other social, equity, planning, and financial problems as well – not the least of which is that it won’t produce the “affordable” housing that its City Council sponsors claim. What it will do, if adopted, is drive up taxes on current homeowners, forcing more to sell, accelerating displacement among middle-class homeowners across our city (but especially in lower income neighborhoods). Another big problem is the Council majority’s rush to cram this wholesale, citywide elimination of single-family zoning through to final approval by December 7th, starting with a joint City Council/Planning Commission meeting at City Hall this Thursday, October 26th, at 2:00 p.m. What you can do now: (1) Read up on this proposal and check the map of the property affected at the Community Not Commodity website. (2) If you own your home and received one of the purple notice cards from the City, file an official protest of these proposed zoning changes at the same CNC website by hitting the “File Your Protest” button and completing the form. This official protest, together with protests from your neighbors, means that the City cannot change your zoning without a supermajority vote. Don’t be confused by misinformation: this electronic protest is valid and you are free to withdraw your protest later if you change your mind and support the final terms of the proposed changes. (3) You may also sign up to speak in-person or call-in at this Thursday’s 2:00 p.m. Council/Planning Commission public hearing starting today, Monday (today), at 10: 00 a.m. thru Wednesday at noon. Please know that these changes are not driven by demands from individual homeowners. And they are actively opposed by most if not all Austin environmental organizations as well as the Austin Neighborhoods Council. In short, the proposals constitute developer deregulation, strongly supported by the Austin Real Estate Council and out-of-town institutional investors who are buying up single family homes in Austin wholesale for purely investment, short-term rental, and upzoning purposes. We will provide further information on these changes over the coming weeks. Stay tuned! UPDATE: The online speaker registration is open for the Thursday, October 26th, 2 pm Joint Planning Commission/ City Council Public Hearing. Make sure you sign up sooner than later as online speaker registration closes Wednesday 25th (TODAY) at 12 pm. There is also in-person speaker registration at a City Hall Atrium kiosk: opens Wed, Oct 25th, 12pm; closes Thursday, Oct 26th, 45 min before public hearing starts (1:15pm; recommend no later than 1pm). We need to mobilize in order to ensure a strong presence this Thursday at City Hall. Please share this information far and wide!
Important Upcoming Events
Thursday, November 2nd, 5-9 PM Día de los Muertos Fundraiser (see message above)
Sunday, November 5th - WIDER WON'T WORK - The Rally Opposing the I-35 Expansion
Sunday, November 12th, Hays County Growth Talk (more info below)
Friday, December 8th, SOS Holiday Party at The American Legion- Charles Johnson House
Hays County could have 1 million residents by 2060, according to the Texas State Demographer’s office. Can the county handle that many people? Local environmental organizations will examine this question at the Hays County Growth Talk, a free event for the public on November 12 at Vista Brewing in Driftwood. You’ll be able to enjoy Vista’s food and beverages while listening to our expert panel discuss the growth issues facing Hays. Will the county have enough water supplies for everyone? How many new roads will be built? How much green space will be destroyed? What can county officials do to make sure that Hays grows in a smart and sustainable way?
Save Barton Creek Association is co-sponsoring the Hays County Growth Talk with the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, San Marcos River Foundation, The Watershed Association, Save Our Springs Alliance, and Clean Water Action. Our panel will include:
• Jenna Walker — Director of Watershed Services, Meadows Center for Water & the Environment, Texas State University • Doug Wierman — Meadows Center Fellow; Hydrogeologist; President, Blue Creek Consulting • Scott Way — Chair, Hays County Parks & Open Space Advisory Commission (POSAC) • Jay Blazek Crossley — Executive Director, Farm&City; Founder, Texas Streets Coalition We'll also have time for an audience Q&A, and we'll suggest action steps that you can take to let your elected officials know how you feel. There's no question that Hays County will grow more. The real question is whether it will grow in a good way.
Early voting starts TODAY, Monday, October 23rd, and SOS urges you to vote "for" statewide Proposition 14, providing $1 billion of one-time funding for parks all across Texas, and "for" Travis County Proposition B providing $274 million for parks and conservation easements across the county. Texas and Travis County are woefully short of protected parks and open space; these items will help address these critical shortfalls.
I-35 Expansion Will Displace Hundreds of Property Owners, Worsen Air Quality, and Hurt East Austin Community
Thursday, October 19th the Austin City Council will be voting on a resolution proposed by Mayor Pro Tem Paige Ellis that would request the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to delay the expansion of I-35 through Central Austin. The proposed project would double the number of lanes through Central Austin, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and significantly worsening air quality in a region nearing non-attainment for federal air quality standards.
In addition to environmental concerns, including the leveling of parkland along Lady Bird Lake, the highway expansion would also displace dozens of businesses, including Escuelita del Alma, one of the few remaining child care facilities offering Spanish-immersion and serving Central Austin residents. To sign up to speak on the proposed City Council resolution to demand TxDOT stop the I-35 expansion (Item 45), sign up to speak here.
Please also save the date, Nov. 5th at 11 AM, for an upcoming rally at Sanchez Elementary School where we will demand our local leaders take action against the I-35 expansion. Details on the rally soon.
Sunday, November 5th - WIDER WON'T WORK - The Rally Opposing the I-35 Expansion
Pay: $17/hr starting (with prompt performance-based increases) Job Type: Part-time Shift and Schedule: 8-10 hr/week Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) Year round; In-Person Locations: Barton Springs Pool entrances, Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail (various locations) Contact: Lindsey@SOSAlliance.org
Want to protect Zilker Park, Barton Springs and the Austin environment? Want to feel enlivened at the end of the work day, work within a community of supportive co-workers and make a difference in your community? If the answer is yes, you should join Save Our Springs Alliance in our quest to protect the land, water, and wildlife of our Central Texas home. Position Summary SOS Alliance is seeking experienced, outgoing, competent, organized and motivated applicants for fall/winter 2023 (with potential to work year-round) as a tabling outreach team member. This position offers an incredible opportunity for Austinites to make a direct positive impact in their own backyard. Responsibilities
Collaborate with other team members and tabling coordinator as a representative for Save Our Springs Alliance for weekend tabling outreach efforts.
Productively and positively engage passersby and interested members of the public in dialogue around current and immediate issues affecting Austin’s nature and culture.
Provide information about SOS Alliance and local environmental issues to the public and educate fellow Austinites about ways to support SOS Alliance..
Help maintain a safe and functional outdoor tabling environment
Assist with outreach on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) and at local events
Enjoy talking to people
Compassionate and considerate
Good communicator Position begins October 2023 For more information about the position, please contact Lindsey at Lindsey@@sosalliance.org