The Clawback LIVE! Episode 25

logo-tr.pngEpisode 25!

Talking reopening businesses in Texas with Sen. Kirk Watson, the importance of the Census with Awais Azhar from Queer the Census ATX, & Songwriter Wendy Colonna performs!

Check out all of our collected COVID-19 resources at http://www.atxd6.org/2020/03/02/keeping-up-with-the-coronavirus/

You can stay up to date on the latest episodes in a number of ways:

Do you have a question you have heard in your neighborhood that needs an answer?  Have you read a published work that feels off or just not right? Email me at jimmy@jimmyflannigan.com for possible inclusion in a future blog post or live show!

Episode Transcript

Here I am! Hello, everybody Welcome back to the show, to the Clawback. We are in episode 25. We have a hell of a show for everybody today. Some really amazing guests Awais Azhar, who has been a big community supporter, community volunteer. We're gonna talk about a lot about the census today. that's something that is easy to forget is going on, but it's very important. A really impressive musical guest, Wendy Colonna, and then the amazing Senator Kirk Watson, who all join the show. I wanna start just with a quick recap of what's going on in city council world this past week. It was a Council-meeting week, which meant we had a couple of public meetings. We had our work session on Tuesday and the Council meeting on Thursday- one of the shortest Council meetings I can remember in history - but doing it all remotely, doing it all through, in our case, doing it through WebEx. And we adopted a few additional programs to help folks with the crisis. One focused on musicians. One on artists. There's other programs on the way. The next Council meeting, the next full Council meeting will be in two weeks. That agenda comes out today and I expect there to be some even further programs trying to get as much help as we can into the community. One of the programs that we, that the Council approved, gosh four weeks ago now, was a program to help small businesses with some emergency bridge loans while the federal government gets its act together. Hopefully they're able to get their act together. Nonetheless, we have created a bridge loan program. And so many businesses have already signed up, that we're looking at, we're looking at how to expand that program and make sure that everyone who is facing a challenge is finding the right and most successful way to survive this crazy ridiculous time that we are in. So even as you hear programs coming out of the Council, know that it is not the end of the work. We are all, every single one of my colleagues on the Council, the Mayor & the 10 of us who are district representatives, working hard every day to make sure that we're getting as much help to the community as we can for individuals, for our businesses, for renters, for non profits. All of that work is happening and underway. In addition to being on the City Council, I also share the Community Advancement Network. We're working on some stuff there about measuring the economic response. I also chair the regional economic development for at CAPCOG, which is the 10-county regional Council of Governments. We had our meeting today, which was really great, hearing about additional federal programs that are coming related to disaster response and economic support. We're gonna try and move those programs as quickly as we can. Everyone we know is hurting and struggling, and wants to make sure that their businesses and their communities, and their families are still here once we get through the worst of this crisis. We're gonna have a great conversation with Sen. Watson about that.

Awais Azhar from Queer the Census ATX

I wanna bring up my first guest. You know, when we talk about the crisis, there is a very big important thing that's happening. It happens every 10 years, and it decides so much of what goes on in our community and every community across the country. Of course, I'm talking about the Census. So I wanna bring up the amazing Awais Azhar. Thank you for joining me on the show today. Thank you so much Jimmy, for having me. I know this is an important conversation, and you're right, I think it's fallen by the wayside. But it's an important conversation. So thank you so much. But just before we dig into the census work: You do a lot of community action, you do you serve on the Planning Commission, I don't want to cause you any problems by telling people you serve on the Planning Commission. Tell everybody all of the stuff that you're involved in. Oh gosh, let's see, so I do serve on the Planning Commission, and I'm very excited that I get to serve my community in that way. I also serve on the board of Housing Works Austin, serve of the Executive Committee of the Austin Housing Coalition, and then I also serve the membership Council of ECHO, which is our homelessness coalition. So I'm focus a lot on housing advocacy across the spectrum. And then also, currently, we started a group called Planning Our Communities last year really focused on bringing the voices of people of color, working-class communities in Austin, and highlight those voices, and also give them the opportunity to engage in important discussions around quality of life and complete communities in our city. So that is pretty much a lot of things that I'm involved in and then in the day-to-day, I'm actually a PhD student at the University of Texas, focused on affordable housing, which should come as no surprise to anyone. That's, you're working on stuff that's super easy and non controversial, and everyone's in agreement on what to do, so that's of course, I think – All fun things! Those are always the hardest questions, about what is the future of housing, and where do you build it, and how do you make it affordable? Every city in the country faces those challenges. It's always some of the most difficult stuff for any city to deal with so, thank you for all of your service, both on Planning Commission and in those outside groups trying to elevate voices that frankly, we don't often see in Council meetings. So thank you, thank you for that. But I really wanna talk about the census, so most folks you know the census drives redistricting, so that can have a pretty dramatic effect on how many Congress people that we send to DC, it determines where the state reps in the state Senate districts. It determines a lot of stuff in terms of our political system, but it also impacts money. It impacts how much money gets allocated and where it goes. And Awais, you're involved in one of the Complete Count Committees dedicated to the LGBTQ community - of which we are both a member. Tell me tell me a little bit more about what's happening in the LGBTQ Count Committee? So we've been working on a lot of different things, a lot of campaigns are working at this time. We've shifted to an online focus, and I think we're better off because our community is very, has a very strong online presence. And so we're sharing a lot of resources with people in Austin and the Austin region. Sharing how they can engage in the Census, how they can answer the tough questions, how this impacts LGBTQ+ folks in our community, and communities throughout the country. And as you mentioned, it's an extremely important tool because it defines how we do engage in our democracy. So yes, redistricting is a big part of it, and that's redistricting right from Congress down to a local City Council districts. So it's important in a lot of ways. It defines funding in a really big way because a lot of our community services and the essential services that we have, are depending on funding coming from the federal government that is tied to population statistics. So essentially we're getting our funding based on these formulas, and the census is a key role in that, as a local community. Yeah, I can't recall off the top of my head what that number is, but it was shockingly large. It was hundreds of millions of dollars that can swing one way or another depending on what the census numbers say. Most everyone should have gotten, everyone should have gotten a postcard in the mail over the last month. I filled out my census in March. The original deadline for the census was April 1st, or at least that was the Census Day. But I think some deadlines have been extended? Yes, and so April 1st was the Census Day. That's when we really count enumeration. But we're now gonna have the Census going until October, just because of changes related to COVID-19, and the changes that have resulted from it on the ground. We will not be able to fulfill our own Census until after October 19th. I do want to mention to everyone, the exciting things about this Census go-round is that anyone can go online and respond by themselves. So really, it's very easy to do that right now. As Jimmy mentioned, you would have gotten a card in a mail that gives you information on how to do that, and if you're not able to access online information, you can also do it by phone, and you will also get a mailer. So you can do it in any way that is easy for you, including a lot of support around different languages. So I pulled up the the My2020 Census.gov website. You can see it on your screen - little button for "Start Questionnaire," and you can go through that process. That 12- digit number is on the postcard that was mailed, but there are other options on it, if you didn't receive it, or if you've had challenges tracking down that information. What is the - I lost my cursor, wait, here we go. I'm gonna move. There's you and I again. What are some of the techniques that the LGBT Complete Count Committee - or other committees, cuz I know that there's an Asian Complete Count Committee, That's one that I've worked on. We had a few of those folks on the show couple of weeks ago. What are some of the techniques people are using to educate about the Census. So I know that there's been a lot of work on social media campaigns. You will see a video. We shared our first video, and we're very excited. If you have a chance, please go look at it, and you can look at our website at QueertheCensusATX dot org, or you can follow us on social media. I would say the easiest one for a lot of folks is Facebook, and you can look at @QueerCensusATX. So definitely go look at some of our resources online. We're doing a lot of work there. We're working with some of our key local organizations, working with the LGBTQ populations, and that is across the board of some amazing, you know organizations, like OutYouth, which is also our fiscal sponsor, and we're also gonna be working with them. AIDS Services of Austin, ALLGO. There's so many community organizations. We're working closely with them. We're sharing information through them. That's been our biggest thing and if we get to a point where we get to have a ground game we'll be part of a lot of events that will be coming in the fall. That is one of the tricky parts. Normally the Census, after it does it's original initial outreach through the mail - of course, now we're doing it online this year - there would be a whole crew of canvassers going out and knocking doors talking to folks, making sure they filled out the Census. I know that - I don't have the map pulled up - I wish I had pulled it up. We even know by ZIP Code or by some type of Census block or Census tract, what the, what we think the count is. It is very clear when I look at those maps that renters are under reporting themselves in the Census so far. And in District 6, I'm a renter myself, although I live in a duplex, in kind of a single-family home neighborhood, but in those areas that is predominantly apartment complexes, those numbers are much lower. Those are also the very people who those federal dollars are likely to help. So the folks most impacted by a loss of dollars, are the ones least likely to fill out the Census. And that's why all this work is so important. I think you're right, and I would like to point out: We get $5.3 billion in SNAP funds and we get $22.6 billion in Medicaid funds that is based on these formulas. These are integral funds not to mention funds that we get for housing, for supporting children, for supporting mothers, for supporting other health-related facilities. So there's a lot of funding that we get that's based on this, and it really impacts our community, particularly those folks who are marginalized. But we also see that there's something that we call The undercounted communities, and it happens to be, you know African-Americans Latino- Hispanic, LGBTQ+, students, Asian-American. Those are communities that get undercounted, and so it's important to engage those folks in this work, and remind them that this is important. Thank you, Awais, so much for joining the show; tell everybody again where they can go to find more information about the Queer, the LGBTQ Census. Please go to our website QueertheCensusATX .org You'll find different resources our video, and our contact information. You can also look us up on Facebook at @QueerCensus ATX or on Instagram and Twitter also at QueerCensusATX, so we look forward to engaging with everybody. Thank you. Thank you so much, Awais. Please stick around. We'll bring you back up at the end of the show. Thank you! The census is so important and it is billions with a B. That impact this community and you know, the reality is that these are dollars that we're sending to the federal government. This is, this is our money, and you know not every state gets back what it puts in, and Texas is one of those States that puts more into the federal system than we receive, and if we undercount our community, that's only going to get worse. It is absolutely our money that is being distributed through these programs and so we wanna make sure that we're getting every penny that we're that we're owed, and that we deserve through that complete count. Again, My2020census.gov and QueerthecensusATX.org Great places to go for more information.

Wendy Colonna

My next guest, you know, I've been very fortunate that we've been able to pull some really amazing musicians onto the show. Live music is such an integral part of Austin as a culture and every part of the city. It's not just downtown. It's in all corners of our region, and so we have a really spectacular guest from the music community. Working musician Wendy Colonna, Hi, Wendy! Hi! Thank you for joining the show. Thank you for having me today! What a good day for Austin Music. Well, I'm excited to have you on the show. You are a hard-working musician! And I would - all musicians are hardworking but looking through your catalog, to me, the word prolific comes to mind. You've got multiple albums that you've produced, you also do commissioned works, some of which award-winning, as it turns out. You even tour. Tell me a little bit about how - given all the work that you do as a musician. How is it being impacted by this crisis? Some are fairing better than others. It's especially hitting the sideman community harder than it's hitting the artist community and certainly hitting our beloved venues. You know in the live music capital of the world, and all across the world. and nobody knows what's going to happen in terms of people gathering around something so sacred and so healing. It's probably the only sacred in healing thing we have left to bring us together sometimes. And I know really really matters to figure out how to create that container. Whether right now, we're all doing our best online, but I've certainly seen that a lot of our venue-owning friends who have poured their blood-sweat-tears, 20 plus years, and you know and our side men and women who are just sort of not able to do the same sort of you know, live streaming stuff, and they may not be somebody like me who works in advertising and has 20 years of fans all over the world. I I've been doing this a long time, and I you know what I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I can sit in a place of compassion and hopefully some advocacy as well. A really good point, you know the music industry in our town is not just the musicians. There's a whole ecosystem of folks that work in that environment, and there's certainly not in a place to be doing live performances streaming of any kind and it's a very different, a very different environment. It's why all the work that we're doing at the city, at least - not just the artist and music funds created this week, but the Rise Fund before that, and I think there's six or seven resolutions, the council's already approved and more coming all available not just if you're a performing artist, but but for folks who are impacted by this challenge. Tell me, tell me a little more about this commercial work. It's not just for, I mean you do some pretty big brands, but also you've done some local stuff. So at the local level I have, I guess it was 2007, I did a Time Warner ad with my son "Right Where I Belong," and yeah, a big part of what I like to do is help brands get their messaging right and songs so that they can positively impact their you know their audience. So it's a really beautiful, fun way to work with different people. I mean, I've had some cool opportunities, everything from writing theme songs for conferences that are precious to the people attending and sort of like insider information, if you will, to doing Time-Warner ads. I did a major Coca-Cola global ad a few years back and yeah, I'm I'm always enjoying this, it's some of my favorite work to do. Well, if you ever feel inspired to help me produce a campaign anthem, that would be really fun. Let's do it. Let's do it. My friends and family will tell you that I I'm a prolific karaoke singer, and you can find a little bit of that oon my Facebook page, at least when I sang at the Greater High School Musical Theater Awards a couple of years ago. That was a pretty fun pretty fun trip. So we may we may have to do a collaboration, Wendy, that'd be really fun. Yeah. I'm down for that. That's my favorite thing to do is is. People get their messaging in a way that really touches the people that they wanna touch and you know. Heartfelt way. That's right. Well, let's move beyond people wanting to hear anyone but you sing! I understand that you have a song that you're gonna perform for us today? Yeah. Why don't you jump in? This is a song called "Shelter and Be kind" and it's an older song of mine, but I guess it takes on new meaning this right now.[Guitar music] I am a great grand daughter of the Mermentau my granny was 3/4s French and 1/4 Choctaw, wish I had her gardens the way she sang in praise, instead I got these brown eyes and little tatted lace. She said remember the sun don’t always shine, when love comes, surrender, give it shelter and be kind. My Grandpa was a soldier; drove a tank in WW2, lost all of his teeth to Gen Patton's shiny boots. I've finally come to understand the trouble in his soul, why the stories that he tells us are the ones that make him whole So I try to remember, the sun don’t always shine, but when love comes, surrender, give it shelter and be kind. Every day pass just like the one that passed before swingin on the front porch in the shirt my daddy wore. I picture him a young man with a heart all full of dreams living Mama does her best to make sure you got all you need cuz baby you're the Best thing that's ever come to me your eyes are like your daddy’s but Your smile is like the sky and a wonder to behold even when clouds are Passing by. So try to remember, the sun don’t always shine, but when love comes, surrender, give it shelter and be kind. That was so beautiful, Wendy Thank you, Jimmy. I say it every week. I need a sound board so I can have a applause playing at the end That that was really beautiful. Oh, thanks. Thanks for all the awesome stuff that you're doing with our community on behalf of us, We really are grateful that we have you know a seat at the table thanks to folks like you. Thank you. Thank you. Wendy. Thanks for joining the show. Why don't you tell folks where they can find and pay for your music? WendyColonna.com is my website. You can see it there. It's spelled right, so that's awesome, and Facebook and YouTube, and all those places have that name on it, too. So it's pretty easy. Man, you can pay for music, I'm on iTunes. Spotify Spotify doesn't really pay, but you know there's a lot of ways to give to the music community and just to keep showing up, maybe watch a live stream here or there. See you later. Thank you, Wendy, and also thanks for being a part of the Women's March. I know you were one of the performers at the Women's March. So great. I'm so thankful to have you as part of our community. Thank you so Wendy. My pleasure! Thanks Jimmy. That was absolutely beautiful. We keep having just some amazing music on the show and and big thanks to Wendy for taking time out of her day to be to be with us to perform.

Sen. Kirk Watson

My final guest is someone whom I've I've had the very good fortune to work with. He represents almost all of the City of Austin, represents Bastrop County for another couple of days, I think, before he moves on: the amazing Senator Kirk Watson Hi senator. Is good to be with you. Thank you. Yeah. I'm only doing I'm the state senator until midnight April 30th and so we're in the last days of that. It's kind of, I'm excited about what I'm getting ready to do, but I must admit, you know when you've we've been in elected office in one way or another for over 20 years in this town, first as Mayor, and then a state senator for over 13 and a half years this, this is not an easy and kind of an emotional thing to do. That's a pretty big change, and what a very bizarre time. Well, That's a very interesting thing This is an enormous event of course, I mean it's a multi-generational event, but the truth of the matter is it's more than that. It's actually changing the condition in which we will live, and when we come out on the other side of this, we will we'll realize that it changed every aspect of American life. I mean how we how we work, how we talk to each other, how we worship, how we teach, and educate, and ultimately, part of what that means is, it's going to have to change the way we do public policy. So it's fundamentally different today than it was when I first said Yeah, I'll take on that exciting opportunity of being the leader of - essentially from the ground up - of a public policy school in Houston, Texas. It's now changed that. It actually makes me a little bit more excited about what we're gonna do. But it's we're gonna have to look at- I don't want us to come out of this and go back to the old playbook. You know, the way I liken it is, we're in Time Out right now, but when the game starts again, we need to look at the things that we now have been laid bare and we know our problems in our society, and let's build a better future instead of just trying to recapture the past. That's Such a good point senator. As you have worked inside the system for many years, and I'm in three and a half years into my first term as an elected official, these systems are ginormous ships, and they're very hard to turn and very hard to change. But if everything comes to a weird and awkward and sudden halt, it's kind of an opportunity to think about how things could be done better. Well, and and we have some specific examples. So let's let's use one: and that is paid sick leave. Paid sick was One of those things that you and the Council had worked so hard on. Paid sick leave had become one of those things that was a political football. It was an all-or-nothing debate. It was winner-take-all. And it was that way, in my view, in part because we all believed we had the luxury, if you could, to ignore what it means to be, what we now would label, an essential worker, and we could ignore an essential worker needing time off, if they got sick or if a family member got sick. Well, one of the very first things that we did was, we said: Oh, we don't have that luxury anymore! It's been exposed that it wasn't really a luxury and so what'd we do? We allow for paid sick leave! The health disparities that this has laid bare, the concept of employer-based health care. What do you do when there aren't employers in the same way that we had gotten used to? So when we come out of this time-out, going back to the old playbook, I'm not sure is the responsible way. And that's just a few examples. That's a really that's a really good one. My boyfriend works for HEB. Yeah. And you know I've been able to work from home, and and thankfully, I still have a paycheck, and of course because I've been doing this show for a while, I've got studio lights, and a fancy webcam, and all the things, I'm pretty well situated. But seeing my boyfriend go off to work every day and have to interact with the public. For the public to even exist, you gotta have food! It really does change how we think about this. Think about what we've done - and I know this isn't necessarily why you asked me on the show, but I'm - I don't mean to filibuster this, but I Feel strongly about it and they're gonna take my filibuster card away from me in just a few days. There you go! I gotta use it! Here's the thing: We ought to take a deep breath and say: What about the equity in our system that creates this enormous irony that essential workers, people we label essential to our way of life - We labeled them essential to our culture. We label them essential to how we get our food as you pointed out, the things of that nature. They're essential to us, but we won't pay them a living wage or give them paid sick leave. There's a value proposition in there that again, this new condition has laid bare. So we need a new playbook, and I'm hoping that that we talk about that more as we get further into this, and coming out of it. Well, I'm excited that you'll be in a position in your new role to help lead those efforts and that makes me feel less mad at you for leaving us. Well I appreciate that, and for those who don't know, on May 1st, I become the founding Dean of the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs, and I'll be doing it, I've essentially been doing some of it already, but starting May 1st. I'm obviously gonna be doing it remotely because the way we're doing things, but I'm excited about it. The post-COVID Public policy world, if we're ever in a post- COVID world, that the post COVID world, we're gonna have to do better with our public policy. We need to get past some of these old fights. That's right, well on the path to a post-COVID world, I know the governor has tasked you - Are you on the Strike Force? Is that the thing you're on? I'm on the Advisory Council to the Strike Force. The Advisory Council to the Strike Force. It's too big to put on a resume. Yeah. He's appointed a strike force of folks that are putting things into place. He has an advisory Council, and he's included me wearing my hat as the dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs. Wearing that hat to be one of the members of the Advisory Council. And this is specifically about reopening businesses and reopening the economy isn't that right? Yeah, it is, it's how do we, how do we? When the time is right, for both the reopening or partial reopening as we go along, how do we do that? Is really what that's about. I know we're all very concerned about it. The Mayor is very concerned about it. And I've heard from the public on both sides. Some business owners who feel like we should be opening things faster, community members who are concerned about what that would do to infection, and the Spread of the virus. What are the, what are the things that you're hearing in those conversations that are the metrics. What are the things we're looking to that will Tell us when we can and cannot do things well. Let me say a couple, that's really good. Let me say a couple of things about how this is being approached. I'll start from my position, and how I see what we have to do this, and that is that the only way we win in this is if we protect health and safety. I don't even like using the word "Win". The only right way. let's say it that way, the only right way to do this is by protecting health And safety. We don't we don't need more people sick. We don't need people dying. That ought to be our first and foremost approach. I will say that the people that are being relied upon with the Strike Force and the Advisory Council to provide the sort of information and medical professional help: Science. Let's say it. Let's just call it what it is: Making sure we do good science are people that that we ought to all be pleased are there. Parker Hudson from Dell Medical School, an infectious disease specialist. He's playing a key role in all of this. Mark McClellan. An Austinite, in fact, the son of a former Mayor of Austin, the first female mayor, Carol Keaton McClellan. But Mark McClellan, who has held National roles with the FDA and others, and he's got, I think I'm right when I say has a joint appointment at Duke and at Dell Medical School, he's a key person in this. And in large part, because he's also getting to see what's going on nationally. Dr Hellerstedt at Department of State Health Services. Dr Zerwas who was a member of the Legislature until recently, and is now the executive Vice Chancellor at the University of Texas system for Health Affairs. And then you've got W. Nim Kidd, who I think is a first-class director of our state Emergency Management Services and others, of course. The principle here is that those medical experts are those who you have to rely on in order to be making decisions because the truth of the matter is we can't have more deaths, and we don't want to have a spike. If you have a spike in this, it can actually set us back. So modeling becomes important, knowing those numbers, watching it very closely, but I also do wanna say this: As we look at this, it's not inappropriate to be asking the questions about how you do it the right way. I've I've had some people critical that we're even, we even have a Strike Force or Advisory Council or what's being done even on the local level. And I and I think that it's okay. It's appropriate for us to be looking at how you go about doing this, because that's the only way we'll be ready when we can be ready, and it's the only way that we make sure we're using the best medical practices at the time we're opening up, even partially to contain and to prevent expansion COVID-19. Okay, there are a lot of people hurting, as Wendy just said a minute ago. We're gonna lose a lot of folks that have had businesses. There are a lot of our friends that don't have paychecks and and that, you know, first and foremost, health and safety. But if we can figure out ways to do things that help some of the folks that are hurting financially and don't know what their future is gonna be, we need to we need to pay attention to that as well. I know that the City of Austin and others in our region are doing what we can, and I'm really fortunate to be in a position to help move those things forward. My one pitch to you as you go back to those Advisory Council meetings is, to the extent that we can communicate to the public, how we're gonna make this decision, and then track the decision process. When I talk to business owners, what I feel is the despair that they don't know when or how close we are to it. You know that that is very important point. When I came on and got into the Green room, the virtual Green room here with you, I was coming from a an Advisory Council meeting and with the governor, with Dr McClellan, and others, and what you just said, was one of the things that was talked about by the Advisory Council and the Strike Force. And that is, how do we make things as transparent as we can and also make sure that the public is aware of the way things are being thought about, so that they can anticipate, and in some instances, weigh in. But have hope about where things are going. I think what you'll see Jimmy, is that there's gonna be an announcement on Monday, the governor will be announcing that we've been in a kind of a sprint for the last week. I mean we were appointed to, this appointment all occurred last Friday, but we have gubernatorial orders that are in place, and the governor wants to get things done, so that he can make an announcement on Monday, early next week, in anticipation of those orders, the April 30th orders running out. What I think you will hear said, is that there will be some things happen that are what will be labeled baby steps, and those baby steps will have very lengthy guidelines, and you'll also see something I know it's important to you, and and the Council and the Mayor, is that there'll be focus on the vulnerable, including the elderly and those in nursing homes, so we make sure that we don't create a spike. And by the way, there will also be a discussion, I think, about increased testing, increased statewide contact tracing. My hope is that it's the kind of thing that we can agree is enough, or it'll certainly need to be better. Thank you. Thank you, Senator, for coming on the show and sharing your thoughts, especially coming right off that call. I'm just gonna claim it as breaking news. I'm not even gonna say we broke some news on the Clawback today, but I know that you and all the other folks that are in that conversation wanna make sure that we're delivering to the public - the things that are being said are gonna be delivered to the public. The more we can provide that transparency in terms of testing, and contact tracing, and our path to sufficient levels of those, I think is going to be helpful. I'm really glad that you're still in the mix Senator, and I know that your role in Houston is going to be, is hopefully, will be both professionally fulfilling for you, but also will benefit the whole state, and maybe the whole country as leading a public policy school. Thank you. As I've told several people who said, I hope you stay in the mix: I ain't dying! I'm involved in public policy. Call me, use me, in fact, one of the things we did we announced today, and I was involved in getting it going, was we put out a study today, a survey that we did in partnership with the Texas Restaurant Association at the Hobby School, where we - and it's sobering: One in 10 of the people employed in Texas at the first of this year, worked in the restaurant industry. Go to the Hobby School website and you can find this study. We're also doing one with the TEXOGA. We're doing one with the Realtors. We're doing one with the auto dealers. Those are the kinds of things that I wanna stay in the mix and can be helpful On. So, I've filibustered your show. Now, I'm not gonna sing. I promise you. I'm not. I'm not gonna sing, but Council Member, Thank you for what you do. I appreciate. I'm your one of your most empathetic constituents. Thank you so much Senator. Thank you for coming on to the show. I'm gonna bring up, Wendy and Awais! Thanks to all of you for taking your time on a Friday and coming on to The Clawback and sharing your thoughts and your talents and your experience with District 6 and everyone, literally the entire world watching us online. We have a few comments from folks that I just wanna pull up from Facebook, just so you can see; Courtney is a great constituent of mine who is doing a lot of great work for domestic violence survivors during this crisis. Got a fan, Wendy, and applause from Lonnie. And really, for all three of you. This was really a great show, and I'm so thankful for all of you for taking the time. Thank you so much. Thank you Council Member. Wow. What a what an awesome show. Thanks again to Awais, and Wendy, and the Senator for joining us. You know, these are these are difficult times, and I'm confident again that we are going to do everything that is within our power at the City of Austin to help folks get through this. Doesn't mean it's going to be perfect. It doesn't mean that there won't be mistakes. Continue to contact my office. Let me know what you're seeing and what you're hearing. We're gonna get through this together as a community. That is how we're going to do this. And that means letting your elected officials know when you're seeing things that are up, so that we can move quickly as we can on policy and budget and funding to move things right along. It is still important to have your masks, that order is still in place. Although my big Irish head, I think I need, I need a new mask. It's not covering my my nose and my chin. I got cover the nose and the chin. You still gotta do that. If you have the ability to stay at home, please do not put yourself or others in harm's way. And thank you to all of our essential workers, all of our public servants, our food providers, our clerks, our non-profits. We're getting through this together as a community. Please like and share the video, go on to YouTube and subscribe. And as I end every show: Everybody stays safe, but most importantly, Stay home!

The Clawback LIVE! Episode 29

Posted May 22, 2020 2:24 PM

Eid Mubarak District 6! Shadia Igram & Zafar Choudhury from Muslim Space join the show, Rep. Vikki Goodwin talks about representing western Travis County, and the amazing Gina Chavez performs!

Read more

The Clawback LIVE! Episode 28

Posted May 15, 2020 9:11 PM

This week we're talking with D6 dentist Cynthia L Graves, DDS about challenges of reopening and D6 musician Ethan Shaw of Brother Shaw performs!

Read more

The Clawback LIVE! Episode 27

Posted May 08, 2020 2:37 PM

This week we welcome new CEO of the Austin Chamber of Commerce Laura Huffman, Williamson County Commissioner Terry Cook, and the talented Matt Hinsley of Austin Classical Guitar!

Read more

The Clawback LIVE! Episode 26

Posted May 01, 2020 7:35 PM

This week we talk about the impact to our schools with RRISD Board President Amy Weir and LISD Board Member Gloria Gonzales Dholakia as well as chat with Congressional Candidate TX-10(D) Dr. Pritesh Gandhi (and Associate Chief Medical Officer at People's Community Clinic ). We also welcome the amazing Loulou Ghelichkhani to perform!

Read more

The Clawback LIVE! Episode 25

Posted April 24, 2020 3:44 PM

Talking reopening businesses in Texas with Sen. Kirk Watson, the importance of the Census with Awais Azhar from Queer the Census ATX, & Songwriter Wendy Colonna performs!

Read more