BG Note | News - What We're Reading (January 8, 2018)


[Austin Metro]

Landmark commission pushes for full preservation of Rosewood Courts (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

Rosewood Courts was the United States’ first African-American public housing project. Thanks to the work of then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson, the project was built in 1939 at 2100 Rosewood Ave. In addition to that historical significance, the homes are also built on Emancipation Park, which was the site of Austin’s very first Juneteenth celebration.
At this point, the historic zoning case is several years old. Historic Preservation Officer Steve Sadowsky explained that the last time it was before the commission, it was referred to a task force to look more closely at how to preserve the history of Rosewood Courts while preserving it as functioning affordable housing. That process has been going on for the past 2 1/2 years...

CAMPO to consider innovative way to keep Conley as chair (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY

A unique proposal is in the works to keep Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization board Chair Will Conley in his post despite his departure last year from the Hays County Commissioners Court.
Federal statute dictates that board members of powerful transportation planning bodies such as CAMPO must be local elected officials, state officials or “officials of public agencies that administer or operate major modes of transportation in the metropolitan area.”
By that reading, Conley lost eligibility to serve on the CAMPO Transportation Policy Board when he left his county commissioner post last October to run for Hays County judge this November...


Voting in Texas for 2018 just weeks away thanks to nation’s earliest primary (San Antonio Express-News) LINK TO STORY

Until now, voters in Virginia, New Jersey and Alabama have had all the fun with big elections that gripped the nation, altered the U.S. Senate and provided an appetizer for what many expect to be a tumultuous 2018 election cycle nationwide. But now it’s the Lone Star State’s turn to join the mix with the earliest primary elections in the nation — and with plenty at stake. On March 6, Texas voters will decide who will carry the Democratic party’s mantle into the battle for governor and a slew of other statewide offices in the nation’s biggest GOP stronghold, remake the state’s congressional delegation with eight new members likely determined during the primary in heavily gerrymandered districts, and test U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in his first re-election since his stunning victory in 2012...

Amid sexual harassment concerns, lawmakers consider how to check their own power (Texas Tribune) LINK TO STORY

Against the backdrop of a pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the Capitol that regularly goes unchecked, Texas lawmakers are grappling with how to overcome a particularly thorny part of governing: how to check their own power. Calls for independence between sexual misconduct investigations and those in power have grown in recent months, and experts and several lawmakers agree that impartiality is crucial for building trust in a reporting system at the Capitol, where repercussions for elected officials are virtually nonexistent. But efforts to establish that independence — which could require officeholders to give up their current oversight over investigations — will likely face political challenges in persuading lawmakers to hand over power to a third party...


At Camp David, Trump Outlines Vision On North Korea, Welfare, Immigration For 2018 (KUT) LINK TO STORY

Flanked by congressional Republican leadership and some members of his Cabinet at Camp David Saturday, President Trump vowed to be "very involved" in midterm elections later this year and said he had some "incredible meetings" with Republicans as the party charts its legislative course for 2018.
In a wide-ranging press conference, Trump touched on his hopes for passing bipartisan legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration laws and national welfare programs, repeated claims his campaign did not collude with the Russians who attacked the 2016 presidential election and signaled a willingness to start a dialogue with North Korea, just a week after its leader announced there's a button to launch a nuclear attack sitting on his desk...

DOJ's pot memo creates big decision for US attorneys (The Hill) LINK TO STORY

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leaving it up to federal prosecutors to decide whether to crack down on marijuana in states where medical and recreational use is legal. In rescinding the Obama-era policy that relaxed enforcement of federal marijuana laws on Thursday, Sessions opened the door for federal prosecutors to begin pursuing cases. But the memo didn’t explicitly call for action, experts noted...

Mexico's Trumpian populist could mean trouble for Donald Trump (Politico) LINK TO STORY

Andrés Manuel López Obrador's campaign rhetoric can make him sound like a Mexican Donald Trump. The left-leaning front-runner in Mexico’s presidential race is overtly nationalistic, pushes “Mexican people first” policies and peppers his speeches with anti-establishment slogans that thrill the working-class Mexicans who flock to his rallies. But while his style might be distinctly Trumpian, his policy prescriptions could not be more different. ... That worries U.S. politicians and business leaders, including House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas), who was not shy about expressing his disdain for López Obrador at an event last fall hosted by the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce...

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