BG Reads + Podcast | News You Need to Know (October 31, 2018)

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[BG PODCAST]

Episode 21: Community and Non-Profit Leadership with Jerry Davis, President and CEO, Goodwill Central Texas

Today's BG Podcast features a conversation with Jerry Davis, President and CEO, Goodwill Central Texas. Jerry and Bingham Group CEO A.J. Bingham discuss his unconventional path to the C-Suite, community and professional leadership.

Goodwill Central Texas has nearly 1,600 employees, making it the 17th largest business in Central Texas. The non-profit serves over 14,000 unique clients every year, whose disability, criminal background, lack of education, or housing situation result in unemployment and poverty.

This discussion was recorded on September 13, 2018.

Link to Episode 21


[AUSTIN METRO]

Adler spends more than $200,000 in closing-weeks push (Austin American-Statesman)

Mayor Steve Adler has spent more than $200,000 campaigning in the past month, burning through more than $705,000 of the $755,000 he’s raised this season, as the 2018 election comes down to its final days.

According to campaign finance reports filed Monday, Adler’s top competitor, former City Council Member Laura Morrison, has spent nearly $38,000 in the past month and $135,000 overall. She has raised less than a fifth of Adler’s funds for the race.

Monetary strength is nothing new for Adler, who became the first Austin candidate ever to raise more than $1 million, during his December runoff in 2014. This year, he topped off his war chest with an additional $40,970 from Sept. 28 to Oct. 27. Morrison raised $17,588 during that period…

Link to story


Austin-Bergstrom International Airport plans expansion as air traffic soars
(Austin Monitor)

Take all the people who live in New York City. Multiply that by two, and you’ll get the number of passengers who are expected to travel through Austin’s airport this year: 16 million.

That’s a lot.

By 2040, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport staff estimate, that number will nearly double, and ABIA will begin processing more than 31.4 million passengers annually.

Luckily, the city is planning for them.

Austin City Council members are scheduled to vote Thursday on sending the airport’s 20-year master plan to the Federal Aviation Administration for review…

Link to story


[TEXAS]

Bonnen enters House speaker race with advantage (Austin American-Statesman)

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, on Tuesday answered nearly 40 House Republicans’ calls to run for Texas House speaker.

“I am truly humbled by their support,” Bonnen said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “Throughout my career in the House, I have always emphasized my respect for the institution as a whole as well as the unique position each member has to serve their district. I look forward to the many conversations to come with members across the state.”

Bonnen’s decision comes after state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, this weekend dropped his bid for the job. Zerwas told the American-Statesman on Monday that members he thought would be in his corner preferred that Bonnen succeed House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, who announced a year ago that he wouldn’t seek re-election.

Bonnen is speaker pro tempore, presiding over the chamber when the speaker is absent, and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He has been a legislator since 1997...

Link to story


Authorities find "no viable threat" after evacuation at the Texas Capitol due to a suspicious package (Texas Tribune)

A portion of the Texas Capitol was evacuated Tuesday after a state representative reported receiving a suspicious package and letter, but law enforcement officials said that "no viable threat was discovered."

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, told The Texas Tribune that someone sent his office a "Russian nesting doll box arrangement with odd notecards in it." He said his name was misspelled on the package. Nevárez was not in Austin at the time the package arrived.

Officers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, including bomb squad officers, responded to the scene and multiple representatives' offices were evacuated. The officers blocked off portions of long hallways in an underground extension that's largely tucked away from the rest of the building. Staffers in nearby offices continued to work, and visitors still entered the building freely.

"DPS has cleared the scene and no viable threat was discovered, and the area was reopened to the public," the agency said in a statement…

Link to story


Texas' border lawmakers say they're in the dark on troop deployment (Texas Tribune)

Ask a border lawmaker from Texas how much President Donald Trump’s decision to send the military to the U.S.-Mexico border will cost taxpayers, and the response could be a shrug of the shoulders. Same thing goes if they’re asked how long the deployment will last or if it will disrupt cross-border trade and travel.

A day after federal officials announced that active-duty military will descend on the border to thwart the caravan of Central American asylum-seekers slowly approaching the United States, border lawmakers said they’ve been left in the dark about any further details surrounding the estimated 5,200-troop deployment.

“It’s ridiculous, we’re not getting any actual information,” said a staff member with U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela’s office. Vela represents the Brownsville area of the Rio Grande Valle and has been an outspoken critic of the deployment and other immigration-enforcement initiatives…

Link to story


Annie’s List’s first black leader hopes to diversify progressive group, get more women elected (Dallas Morning News)

After 15 years of electing progressive women to Texas public offices, Annie's List is navigating one of the most critical election seasons in its short history. For the 2018 midterm elections Democrats are expecting a greater turnout than in typical midterm elections and there are more women on the ballot than ever before. And Annie's List has endorsed 37 women in races across the state, including 10 in North Texas.

Leading Annie List's effort is Royce Brooks, a Fort Worth native that has pledged to "connect the dots between electoral politics and the potential impacts for real people's lives." The daughter of Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks and his wife, former educator Dr. Jennifer Giddings Brooks, Royce Brooks is familiar with politics, public policy and progressive matters. She was an adviser for Wendy Davis' campaign for governor, policy adviser for Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the city of Atlanta's first-ever Chief Equity Officer. Brooks is a graduate of Rice University and Harvard Law School. "She has a tremendous wealth of experience," said Heide Gerbracht, the chairwoman of the group's board. "Annie List has been in a major growth phase and Royce is the perfect person for this time. She has taken charge and stepped up to the plate."…

Link to story


[NATION]

Trump’s visit to Pittsburgh divides a city mourning victims of hate (New York Times)

One of Pittsburgh’s most solemn days began with hundreds coming together in anguish and grief in synagogues and at gravesides, to start the services for those killed as they prayed on the Sabbath. In the afternoon, they came together again, in shivas to honor the dead and comfort the living, and, later by the thousands, in solemn marches of protest around the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where the attack took place on Saturday.

This is the Pittsburgh that met President Trump, who arrived with members of his family on Tuesday. The presidential visit, welcomed by some in Pittsburgh, unwanted or vigorously opposed by many others, began with a motorcade into the city and a visit to the Tree of Life synagogue. Mr. Trump lit memorial candles in a vestibule near where the shooting unfolded, and placed stones and white roses from the White House outside, in commemoration of those killed in an attack by a gunman full of anti-Semitic rage shouting that Jews must die. But if Mr. Trump’s visit was intended to bring healing, it instead laid bare the nation’s deep divisions. Many protesters in Pittsburgh had no doubt of what one called “the dotted line” between presidential rhetoric and violence, though some people in the city have pushed back on the idea that Mr. Trump had fomented the atmosphere of anger. As the president moved around Pittsburgh, a largely Democratic city, the signs of discord were apparent…

Link to story


Companies raise prices, betting consumers can pay more (Wall Street Journal)

U.S. companies are raising prices on everything from plane tickets to paint, passing on higher costs for fuel, metal and food to their customers after years of low inflation. Coca-Cola Co. and Arconic Inc. on Tuesday said they raised prices in the third quarter. Top airlines, manufacturers and food makers have also announced price hikes over the past week.

The higher prices have effectively ended a long period of low inflation that led the Federal Reserve to keep short-term interest rates near zero for years. It’s a tricky moment for the U.S. economy. Unemployment is at the lowest point in decades, and economic growth is strong. Now inflation is near the Fed’s 2 percent target. Prices could climb higher if pressure from labor shortages and tariffs intensify. Or other factors could offset these pressures, including the stronger U.S. dollar, which makes imports cheaper. Oreo cookie and Ritz cracker maker Mondelez International Inc. plans to raise prices in North America next year. Chief Executive Dirk Van de Put said in an interview on Monday that consumers and retailers in the region have become more amenable to paying more. “The consumer environment is strong,” Mr. Van de Put said…

Link to story 


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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