BG Note | News - What We're Reading (October 9, 2017)

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[Austin Metro]

Council approves resolution condemning Columbus, celebrating indigenous peoples (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

City Council jumped into the long-standing debate over Columbus Day when it approved a resolution [Thursday] in favor of recognizing the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
The vote was purely symbolic. Columbus Day has never been an official city holiday; city employees do not get the day off, nor will they now.
“I think it makes a statement that we recognize all the horrors that First Nations tribes and bands suffered,” said Council Member Ora Houston, who authored the resolution, after the vote.

How a petition drive aims to put CodeNext’s fate in voters’ hands (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY

The flashing LEDs of digital billboards and the rewriting of Austin’s land use code might not seem related. But a recent petition effort to put both measures before Austin voters next year has made the two strange bedfellows.
Billy Reagan, the head of the Austin billboard company Reagan National Advertising, paid longtime activist Linda Curtis $5,000 in August to create a petition effort seeking to change local billboard laws. Curtis, with Reagan’s blessing, in turn took that money to create IndyAustin, a special political action committee that is now promoting changing local billboard ordinances and placing CodeNext on the ballot in 2018.

The new ‘old code’ zoning category makes waves at commission (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

If adopted, CodeNEXT will be a total rewrite of the Land Development Code, but as comprehensive as the revisions will be, remnants of the old code will remain. At their Oct. 3 joint meeting, the land use commissions learned about the proposed zoning category for these vestiges of the current code: Former Title 25, or “F25” zones.
The first draft of CodeNEXT had proposed a hybrid solution for zoning Austin’s diverse landscape: a form-based code for the urban core, a use-based code for suburban areas, and the old Euclidean code for the rest. This idea was met with allegations of perpetuating economic segregation from members of the land use commissions and elsewhere, leading CodeNEXT drafters to reconsider the framework.

Former Austin Mayors Launch Accelerator for Future Political Candidates (Austin Inno) LINK TO STORY

Accelerators have played a big role in helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas into tech startups — and a wide variety of other businesses.
So, if you believe accelerators can help produce better startups, then why not do the same thing to develop better politicians?
That’s the thought behind the ATXelerator, an accelerator launched simultaneously on Wednesday with the Center for Austin’s Future, a nonprofit dedicated to recruiting, mentoring and promoting “future-focused city leaders.”
The program includes intense training with experienced elected politicians and community leaders. Like a tech accelerator, the aspiring civic leaders will compete in a pitch competition judged by a panel of experts at the end of the accelerator program.

The Bingham Group, LLC is an Austin-based full service lobbying firm representing and advising clients on municipal, legislative, and regulatory matters throughout Texas.

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