The Clawback LIVE! Episode 36

logo-tr.pngEpisode 36!

It's City Budget Season! Joining the show are Selena Xie, President of the Austin EMS Association and Meme Styles, Founder & President of Measure

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Episode Transcript

Hello Austin! Hello Clawbackers! Hello District Six, welcome to another episode of the Clawback. I'm glad to have you all joining us today. We've got a great show. We've got two really wonderful guests. Unfortunately our musical guest is having some technical challenges with the audio set up today, so she won't be joining us. We will bring her back on a future episode. So today we have the pleasure of digging in a little deeper into public safety and metrics with our two guests, Selena Xie from the Austin EMS Association and Mimi Styles from Measure. But to start us off, let's talk about some pandemic stuff real quick. I'm gonna pull up the website, and you can see, as per usual AustinTexas.Gov/Covid19 AustinTexas.Gov/Covid19. Where you see the city's COVID information. You can scroll down and see the digital dashboard and then the staging dashboard. Here's the digital, has all the fun numbers on it. You can see new cases per day, kind of an interesting leveling, maybe even a reducing- slightly, the new cases reported per day. You know this is a chart that I, we've all been very concerned about a big disparity in our Hispanic community with their infections - much greater than the percentage of the population. Trending into a better more equitable ratio, still got a lot of work left to do there, but better that the trend line be headed in the right direction than in the wrong direction. So that's pretty good. And you can see all the other breakdown stuff and again the ZIP Code map. And again like I tell you every week, the ZIP Code map is like kind of my least favorite map, because it's not equal population in each of these cells. This ZIP Code, specifically in Pflugerville has an enormous population just based on how growth happens in ZIP Codes are done. The more interesting chart, kind of the exciting chart, is our staging chart. So it's a lot of numbers around the pandemic, and I certainly get emails and communications from the public, saying 'Well, what about this number? What about that number? Yes, you have two full dash boards that are regularly updated, but this other number I've come up with, is now the most important number. This is part of the challenge with running numbers and having metrics – could be a fascinating conversation with Meme Styles later in the show - but what we're seeing here- This is the chart we use to determine the opening guidelines, the requirements in the stay-at-homes and all the things. And you can see Austin- I love you so much, you're doing a good job. This is the whole MSA. This is not even just City of Austin - the whole MSA. We are wearing our masks. We are taking precautions. We are staying home to the extent that we can. And you can see that curve. I blow this thing up. You can see that curve is starting to come back down, back into mid-stage 4, headed in the right direction, and ultimately this is about a hospital admissions. So like I said there's a lot of numbers around a pandemic but this is the one that Cannot hide. The number of people in the hospital is a countable number. As opposed to- You may have gotten the infection, but your body for whatever reason didn't have extreme symptoms or whatever, maybe you didn't get tested. But if you go to the hospital, it's a number we know, and hospitalization / hospital beds is our limited resource. It's the resource that if we cross that threshold run out of hospital beds, it doesn't just harm folks who have the virus - that harms everyone who might need a hospital or might need hospital services. And so this trend line is heading in a good direction. One of the other things that we're that we're learning is that other regions beyond our MSA, our metro area, especially when you get into rural areas, they don't have the kind of hospital capacity that you have in urban areas, that you have in Austin or Houston or Dallas or San Antonio. So when those communities start to spike, they don't really have a lot of flexibility. There's not a lot of changes they can make, and we've already had requests from some other rural parts of the state to have patients come in Austin and use our hospital capacity. So the better we do, Austin, the better we might help the whole state of Texas. And you know there's a lot of stuff that we do at the city - I'm gonna take this down - we've seen enough those. A lot of stuff that we do at the City of Austin that that is bigger than just the City of Austin you think about the climate change work that we do and the environmental work that we do, you know, trying to shut down polluting power plants and such that it has a much broader impact than just on the city of Austin. And here we are again in another place where if we do everything we can - to wear our masks and to stay home - we actually are gonna benefit a lot of folks even beyond our metro area. So good work to be done. The other thing: Yesterday - I am mostly coherent today - yesterday, we had an all-day all-night budget public hearing. Started at 10am and we took a public testimony all the way almost to midnight, sitting in my spare bedroom staring into this camera listening to testimony from the public on the budget, and a lot of it based on the police portion of the budget, clearly a big topic for our community. Also a lot of conversation on the budget for other public safety agencies, especially EMS, and Selena Xie, who is the President of that Association, will be joining us in a minute. You know, but one of the one of the frustrations of the process, right, and there's a lot of process in government- One of the frustrations is that there there are sometimes just steps that have to step and then you get to the place you wanna get. And one of those steps is the manager puts out his draft budget and then the Council amends. It happens every year. And I'm not a fan of what the manager put out, and I think the public sometimes can get that confused where they think that because the manager put it out that it was all consulted with by the Council and we've somehow signed off on it. That is actually the opposite of how it works. We don't get to see his draft budget before it's published. We then work on it after it's published, at the same time, it's published for the community, and so there's a lot of work going into how we wanna make adjustments - significant adjustments to the manager's proposal, heading into budget adoption in August. And then that adoption happens in two weeks, but it is by far not the only time we're gonna be talking about the budget. In fact, normally, what is an annual process and it used to be a process in September and then the Legislature changed the law last year, and now we gotta do it in August. There's always something the state is doing that's making this job more difficult. We are gonna continue to work on this budget moving forward. Some of the proposals and ideas that are being discussed in the community are substantial, and it's gonna take time to- even if even if we had the the plan ready to go, you gotta hire staff. You gotta recruit them. You gotta train them up. You gotta get things implemented. And so we're not gonna just look at this as a once a year conversation. We're gonna continue this conversation moving forward. What you'll see starting next week is more concrete proposals by the Council on how we wanna see things move. And then you'll see by the time we get to adoption, you'll see the calendar of continuing budget adjustments that the council's intending to do as we shift a billion- dollar operation into a much better place. So a lot of stuff that we could be talking about.

Selena Xie, President – Austin EMS Association

I wanna bring on my first guest and talk about EMS. Welcome to the show, Selena! Hi Jimmy, good to be with you. Yeah, thanks for coming on the show today. Why don't you just start off and kind of let folks know what the Association does and how your members have been managing in this pandemic? Yeah. so, as you said, my name is Selena, I'm President of the Austin EMS Association, and we represent 500 of the medics that respond to 911 calls in Austin and Travis County. It is a very big job, and these past few months, have really shown what an awesome job we're doing, and really taking a huge role in how we've been able to keep the community safe. So in these past few months because our medical director is Doctor Escott, he's also the acting health authority, so he has been able to really leverage EMS in the community's response. So I'll give you some examples- our medics right now, we have paramedics in Communications. When you call 911, if you think you have COVID, you'll actually be transferred over to them to have a prolonged conversation to see if you are stable and you don't actually need to go to the ER, but they can help you sign up for a test. We also have our infectious disease response unit. Those medics have been responsible for swabbing every nursing home in Austin even in this general area in Central Texas. They also have been responsible for swabbing construction sites, because we know that construction sites and nursing homes were places where there was COVID-19 really running through those different populations. And so our medics have been really doing a great job and especially in the beginning of the pandemic, really keeping our numbers low. Now that we've seen that our numbers have really started to rise, you know, you ask about how morale is doing and everything. It is really starting to take a toll on our medics. I think that the heat really makes things much worse. Our medics are having to wear four layers of clothing, two gowns right now, and then three forms of protective gear around your face. And so doing that while it's a hundred plus degrees outside, having to go up flights of stairs with a hundred pounds of gear, it is just really really taxing. I also think that the police brutality protest, you know we work with police officers on scenes. We also have had some protesters target EMS. I think that you know there's just a lot of frustration at the city in general. So I understand why some of those things are happening, but it definitely has made us feel like we are you know looking for Covid- 19. We're looking for other, you know, just new things that we have not experienced ever before. So it's definitely taking a toll on us. I think something that I have heard is that while you're EMS, you knew that this job was dangerous, and I agree. When I took this job, I knew that there was a possibility that I could get shot or you know being in a car accident, or when I'm taking care of somebody in the middle of the road, be hit. I totally understand that. I think that what's changed about Covid-19 is that our medics are taking home Covid-19 to their immuno compromised kids, to their elderly parents, and nobody could have anticipated a global pandemic that affects those vulnerable populations in that way. It really is taking a toll on our folks, so I really appreciate you asking. Yeah. it's one of the things that I learned, one of the first things that I learned coming into the Council back, my term started in 2017, was you know we have these three big public safety agencies generally, we have three Police. Fire, EMS- and a lot of cities only have two, where fire and EMS are the same thing, but we have three. Williamson County also has three, although it's not that common, so it's pretty common in Central Texas. So we have these three safety agencies. Certainly between fire and EMS, two-thirds of the calls you send the firetruck to are medical calls, but the fire budget is significantly larger than the EMS budget. And there's there's a disconnect between the community's needs and the budget of the city and- Yeah, go ahead. I was just gonna say I think you're right, and I think that we developed these public safety agencies EMS 50 years ago, for police fire, hundreds of years ago, a hundred years ago, and as society has changed, public safety really hasn't caught up to the changes. With really strong, fire codes and building we just don't see that many fires anymore. And we just see people call 911 so much right now, and using that and a lot of that also has to do with just growing income inequality, a lot of challenges that our poorer communities face. So even in EMS, we see that so much of what we do is actually a public health issue. I think that we see that so much of what fire does, is EMS. Therefore, so much of what they do is also public health. So I really do think that the reimagining public safety comes at a really good time, because we continue to send the most expensive resources in the city to things - where anybody in dispatch, any on the street can tell you, that I can tell you that call is not gonna need a firetruck, probably doesn't even need an ambulance, probably just needs a community health paramedic. But because of the way that we deal with liability and other things, we just refuse to like really have those hard conversations. That's why I'm super excited about the Public Safety Committee, so I think we can really start having those hard conversations and understanding that we might miss one call out of 500 if we're doing this new triage thing, but it's worth it for the savings to the community, and also because so many people will be helped as opposed to sending this Band-aid that is the most expensive Band-Aid in the city. I think you make a great point Selena, cuz whenever you engage in a change conversation that people who are "in the thing" with that's being talked about change get very defensive. This isn't about the people who are in the Fire Department or in large part, who are in the Police Department. It's not about them having invented the problems of public safety. Right. You don't have to defend it. Yeah. Come to the table. Lean in on a type of reform that will both improve public safety and reduced-cost. Yeah. Both of those things can be done and it is on some level kind of like old school business process, management and efficiency work, and you know as a former business guy myself, and I have an MBA, hat stuff really gets me excited to think about how we can better design these systems that are both targeted to the need of the community has, and they're gonna be cost recovery because the other piece of it is, when you send an ambulance you can actually bill insurance, but if you send a firetruck, you cannot. Not only is police budget obviously a big conversation - Meme and I will dig into that more - big one up here, but even between fire and EMS, EMS straight up budget is smaller, and then like almost half of it is cost recovered through insurance. I mean there's just so much so much good work to be done. Describe your reaction to the budget, the manager put out, and then tell folks what your Association is asking for. Yeah. Spencer or excuse me City Manager Cronk has been working for months on developing his budget, and I just really don't think that the budget reflected a lot of calls from the community, and also, they haven't really reflected what's going on in this whole world. I mean there's a global pandemic, and we have seen recently that every single Austin ambulance was on a call. So we have 33 Austin ambulances, and 32 of them were on a call at the same time. We're also seeing that more and more different sectors don't have any ambulances available, and it's because COVID has increased our call volume. It's also prolonged our call, due to the extended triage and due to our medics decontaminating the ambulance and doing a really good job at that. And also making sure that they have some rest time after running a call outside in this heat. A lot of those really large difficulties have not been reflected in this budget, and so we were very disappointed that City Manager Cronk did not add any additional units ambulances. He did add one ambulance, but that ambulance doesn't start until next July, and it is also going to be placed in the Southwest corner of Austin, where we're seeing a lot of difficulties with call volumes in Central Austin. And so we are calling on him to add four ambulances to Central Austin. and I've been working really closely with City Council members. I've been working really closely with you and also City Council Member Alter, Paige Ellis. Wverybody has been really supportive. Natasha Harper- Madison, and so I hope that we can come up with a budget that's more reflective of the community's needs. Well I think that we will. I think the council will get there. Not to have a full-throated defense of Spencer when I don't like the budget he put out, but if the if the choices before us to get what we want are hard choices, and they are, that probably does make more sense for the Council to make those choices. So I think we we can be frustrated with the budget the manager put out, but we can also work together to get the budget we want. I'm glad to have you as a partner in that work. Senena. Thank you and all of your members for the hard work that you're doing you are literally the front-lines in- I don't wanna say unprecedented anymore. I just feel like that word has lost its meaning. It's like we're through the looking glass, and you guys are on both sides of glass, and also have to repair it. My metaphor is not working, but you've got some fans. I wanna show some of the Facebook and YouTube comments for you. You're very much appreciated, not just not just by me but by everyone in the city, in District 6. Also thank you and thanks to the Association for your endorsement in my reelection- the first agency to make an endorsement in the council race, and I'm so appreciative to have your support. We're so happy to support you, and really think that in the next six years, you are really going to take seriously this call for reimagining public safety. Your idea to start the Committee, I think is so brilliant and necessary. I mean all these meetings we've seen, so much really important conversations have been brought up. We really look forward to working with you in the next six years. Awesome. Thank you so much Selena, and stay safe out there. Thank you. There we go. Yeah, the really the whole, one of the first budget the first budget I got to work on after I got elected and Council Member Alter and I got elected in the same cycle. We both went into that budget trying to figure out - The Fire Department was under a consent decree or they had just come out of one, and we started digging into 911 calls, and the former Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr- I'll never forget the budget work session we were in when she said that two thirds of the calls that you send the firetruck to are medical calls and less than one percent are structure fires. It just blew my mind. In reality, the Fire Department is basically an emergency response department. It does so much more than fires and beyond the nomenclature issue, that 911 analysis really tells a big story about how we might wanna rightsize departments to the needs of the community.

Meme Styles, Founder & President – MEASURE

It all gets under pinned with data, which is why I'm so excited to have my next guest come on the show: A powerhouse of actual analytical analysis in this community, the amazing Meme Styles! Hi Meme. Hello, Thank you for having me. Yeah, thanks for coming on the show. I am a huge fan of yours. I love the work that you're doing with Measure. First, how are you doing? How is your family doing in this -time? For lack of a better word. Well. Yeah. Thank you for asking. So, first of all, the work of Measure is done by so many people. I literally just get to talk a lot about it, and also contribute to it. The work has been incredible because of just the the community collaboration that has happened around it. And the support that Measure has gotten from so many amazing especially Black and Brown women that have like just circled around this work. Family wise, this has been one of the most incredible times for this. Just personally, the Styles family right? I mean we are a black family that's living during this global pandemic, but then also during this phenomenal movement of people, in this movement for black lives. So it's been a lot. It's been - we've lost family members due to COVID-19, very early on. And so having to deal with that, and then also the mental toll. And I'm gonna be very clear and honest: Black people have had to endure so much trauma just by walking around in our skin, and now we're dealing with trauma upon upon trauma with pandemic and movement for black lives, and then still having to advocate for the value of black life even in this season of this new budget. So just it's been a lot of incredible work too, to see happen. Well, one of the phrases that that has really become my kind of repeating phrase in my head is emotional labor, and the amount of emotional labor black folks have and still take on and the role that White folks need to play and to not be burdening literally everything on our black friends as it were. I know some some white folks do that. But part of the reason why I'm proud to be the chair of the Public Safety Committee in this moment is get to advocate and elevate voices but not burden them, and it's a it's a fine line, but I'm glad to have you on the show today to kinda dig in a little bit into the the police stuff. But first, when did Measure begin? What is the origin story of this organization? Yeah. That's a that's a good question; I love to tell the story. So back in the day, around 2015, I was working with Austin Justice Coalition and Chaz Moore under that organization and he threw me on a panel about community policing, right? And I was on that panel and began to ask questions about data before data was sexy to talk about right? I knew that I was supposed to have that hat on as kind of like that angry black woman activist - This is how you're treating us. This is how we're feeling. This is you know this is the emotional response, which all of that is definitely there, but instead I started asking questions to the chief of the now Chief of Police Manley and then to some other folks that were on that panel, including the Mayor, you know what are the key performance indicators that are assessing community policing if this is a priority, you know who is taking these surveys that are saying that we have a 70 or so percent approval rate of policing in Austin, who- what's the survey methodology, who's getting the survey, and I don't know anyone who got the survey, so I started asking those types of questions. Then after that panel was really challenged to think of a solution, right? And so my solution was to bring together activists and also police officers in one space to really dream up what we thought of as great metrics to assess community policing, assess what trust could look like, and so forth. That's really where it came from. It really was like the Measure Austin Project. One of the metrics that we established during that process was a hundred percent of police officers received implicit bias training. Now this was before Measure really took a dive into evidence-based policing. We now even question that type of training, but that metric was accepted and it was a process of getting that going at APD. And so that's really how it started. But then we really started thinking deeply in our organization about what it looks like to to heal our community. It can't just be focused on Criminal Justice. It also has to be focused on Economic Justice on Health Justice on Education Justice. So we really started working in those different spheres of how our community is being impacted. Today Measure's really laser focused on our tools that we've innovated and are still piloting some of them. We want to provide data and evaluation support to other Black- and Brown-lead nonprofits for as free as possible, like that's that's our goal. We understand that there are so many organizations in Austin that are led by Black people that are led by Brown people, that are serving Brown and Black people, but that don't have some of these tools like creating key performance indicators or like creating a survey that's that's ethical. That's strong, that's rigorous, in order to find out what the insights they need in order to keep their projects going, and in order to maintain the stability that they need in order to continue to serve Austin. So that's really the work that we're doing right now. That's it. Important work. and the constituents that I speak to in large part, vast majority are very excited about this kind of reimagining or rethinking or pick almost any word. Now we're getting into the to the real deal, into the actual work, and I think it's so interesting to hear you describe how even Measure's work it has evolved as you can jump in the one thing if that sounds fine, and then you start doing- Oh, we can go deeper, can go more, we can get better and it's almost a continuous improvement process that I think we're about to engage in and we're gonna try some things. We're gonna start doing stuff. We're gonna do it as much as much data- driven as we possibly can, which is often the thing my constituents ask for, and I'm really glad to have to have you be part of the community effort backing up data-driven process. So rather than asking your reaction to the Manager's budget, which I think would be obvious. What are you hoping you, Meme, you Measure? What are you hoping to see in this budget process moving forward? Well, I'm gonna tell you one thing, right, so I'm gonna be a cheerleader for Selena and the work that she's doing. I want more EMS trucks. That to me would be a measure of progress, like right there, right then and there. With her on this on this show, I really appreciate you having her because you know she's the service that they perform is so vital to the survivability Especially in this moment, right like we even know that at home, that have have increased per some of the information that we've received. We also know who is being most impacted by this, of course, our Brown brothers and sisters We need stuffthat works to be funded currently- and I know that you didn't really want me to talk too much about about this piece but- currently, the proposed budget that we have does not reflect what Austin is saying, which to me is very -as an advocate, as an activist, is quite frankly confusing. Just recently there were a- Resolution 50 was just passed On June 11th, the Council established some racial Justice related policy goals for this, for safety outcome of Strategic Direction 2022, and those had some very clear goals. When you tell somebody like me about goals, I just think metrics automatically, and those were four: So zero disparity in motor vehicle stops. Zero, racial disparity and citations and arrests resulting from motor vehicle stops by 2023. Zero use of force incidents per year by 2023, and zero deaths at the hands of APD officers by the year 2023. So currently, the budget that we have does not reflect the transformation and the institutional change that we truly need in order to reach those goals or to even begin to set the metrics needed to reach those goals. I was able to do a pretty quick analysis of some of the metrics that APD has right now on their website, and those metrics have no correlation between reaching the goals that the city has set. So the community is really tired of being pacified by by talk. This is a moment, this is a moment in time where we can take an incredible leap of transformation in Austin when it comes to public safety. I don't wanna talk too long or dominate too much on this conversation, but public safety even has to be redefined, and I know that I we delivered at Measure a reorientation to even the term Public Safety and what that could look like. I'd love to be able to share that with the audience if you give me two seconds. Yeah go for it. Alright I have to ask for permission. I get excited about this work so for us at Measure, Public Safety, it's a radical systems approach to the protection of Life, health, or property, whereby that system is a unit, almost like a computer, totally dependent on each component, resulting in the elimination and the abolition of danger to the public and to restorative community healing required in order to undo institutional racism. And to us, that is Public Safety. It's not just- it's thinking completely outside of the box, having this brand new understanding of the responsibility of each system of systems that operate in order to keep us out of danger. And when I say us, I mean everyone. I mean everyone. There's so much that you said that I wanna dig into, and I'm already at 33 minutes on the show, and we didn't even have a musical guest today! There's so much great work to be done here, and I know the Council is committed to getting as much of this done in the August adoption of the budget as possible, but also as I said earlier, a continuous improvement process, where we're telling the public in advance, alright, we're gonna do some stuff in August. We're coming back in two months and doing a little bit more, and we're coming back two months after that, doing a little bit more. This is not a conversation that ends in August, and we kinda dust off our hands and say that it's over. Part of chairing the Public Safety Committee is a regular schedule and drum beat of Public Safety Committee meetings to ensure that after we pass a thing as a Council, we then make sure the staff does the thing. And what I see happening in other cities right now is you'll see a headline. And I bring this up intentionally, right, because I'm getting some emails from folks that think things are happening that aren't yet happening. So you have angry folks on one side that we're not doing anything yet and you have angry folks on the other side that think I have already voted to eliminate a Police Department. There's just a big disconnect. So you'll have news headlines in one city that'll say: City Council of Berkeley votes to eliminate traffic enforcement. And then you read the article, and it says that the Council passed a resolution directing the manager to go explore what it would look like to have a civilian non-sworn traffic enforcement division. It's the - you take the vote to go explore it before you actually do it, but then the headlines says as if it were done. And I am tired of doing that in Austin, Yeah, I am tired of passing more resolutions. We did that. That was June 11th, I am no longer interested in passing more resolutions that direct the manager to go explore. I'm ready to do. And we're gonna do as much as we can in the next two weeks, and I think for the public, you're gonna see the Council start putting proposals out next week. I'm certainly putting some of mine out next week. We'll have some work sessions. There's another budget hearing for the public on the 30th, which is also in the middle of a two-day Council meeting that has over 170 items. It's a busy time of the year. And then we'll get into the following week. That's second week of August, and we'll do a budget adoption, and we'll also- in the middle of all this, we're also doing Project Connect and doing a historic investment in public transportation that covers the entire city. So, you know, just a little few things that we're working on. I'm really excited to hear the nature of the way that you know that Council is going about it. Like yesterday, there was a huge turnout. I know that Measure alone had several of our chiefs there speaking and talking and giving some ideas, but it's really about becoming more evidence-based. Like doing this budget analysis to understand what does work. The best part about it though, is that there are this, there's so many alternatives that are working, all over the place, all over the world, in fact. And it just takes us to collate that data, to put it all in one place, to provide that information. Then it also takes the guts for the city to really take a leap. To think differently. There's there's so much Red tape around this budget, so much Red tape. I mean you have the Police Union, you have this and that you have and things like that. But this is the moment where we say as a community - and when I say the community, that means everyone, that means the City Council, that means everyone to come around this idea of doing something different. We cannot allow budget to perpetuate racism within Austin. We just can't do that, and this is the time to be able to throw down that hammer - just like this really cool hammer on the screen. It breaks some stuff up, right? It breaks some stuff up. Really see where our money is going, really understand in which ways that it can go and it can work. We know right now that Austin Police Department is not fit to handle mental health calls in the way that they have done, because it hurts people. It hurts people, and it's wasting money, and I say that it's wasting money because the city does have to pay out because of police misconduct on these different cases and so forth. It wastes money. What we need to do now is think about what are the alternatives that do work. Are we fully funding these different ideas? Are we thinking about Cahoots, right? Are we thinking about these different organizations – EMCOT? Are we thinking about making sure that they're fully ready to go in order to intervene to keep people safe. And I'm glad you brought up Cahoots. We had them at the Public Safety Committee, remote testimony coming in a couple of weeks ago. We're doing all that great work. Meme, Thank you so much for coming on the show today. Like I said, I'm a huge fan of what you're doing and what Measures does and to have you as a partner with the city and the Council and the work, making sure we're doing evidence-based and data-driven decision making is exactly what my district is looking for. Exactly what the city needs and you are a rockstar at it. Thank you so much for being on the show today, Meme. Thank you. I appreciate your time. I get that off there. There it goes, yeah. So much, so much, so much, a lot of work, a lot of stuff to get to. I wanna wrap up the show just by saying that there's a lot of headlines that get spread around social media that very much sound good. But when you read the article you realize the headline is not actually the thing. Just be thoughtful, y'all. The next couple of months as we head into November election, they're gonna be full of a lot of intentional misinformation, a lot of incediary rhetoric, a lot of over-the-top accusations and claims. And it actually doesn't take that much effort to just scratch the surface. Just read the article, understand what you're being told, understand who's telling it to you. This isn't about just listening to your elected officials. This is about going looking at the articles, and what are trusted news sources. We can do this. We can do this, and I am 100% focused on getting this work done, not a paper process. Not a short process, not one that gets eliminated in the future, something that is sustainable, something that is long-lasting, and ultimately something that will improve public safety in this community, and save money at the same time. We can do it. We can't do it. Stick with me, Austin. Stick with me, District 6. We're gonna get this work done. Proud to be the chair of the Public Safety Committee with my colleagues to help lead this effort moving forward. Austin, you're doing a great job on the pandemic. Keep it up; wear your masks, stay home. We're gonna get all through all of this stuff together, y'all. You're doing a great job, and we- Oh and one more thing If you wanna see a sneak peek of a new show, I might be contemplating, check out the Big Tent Party from the Travis County Democrats. They're gonna be on Saturday. And if you're watching this show after Saturday, it was on Facebook Live. You can go back and check it out. And then, of course, go to my website. Jimmy Flanagan.com/ Support Show your support for my reelection that's happening in November. You can also make a donation to support this show and support my Council reelection that happens in November, and all the other elections that are gonna happen in November, too. A lot of work to be done there as well. It would be great if there was like at least one week where the list of things to work on was the same. But every week it seems to get bigger. It's wild y'all. Stick with me. We're gonna get the work done. Y'all stay safe out there. Bye Bye.

The Clawback LIVE! Episode 38

Posted August 07, 2020 11:10 AM

Two amazing and powerful business leaders join the show this week – Marina Bhargava, President & CEO of the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce and NEW President & CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (and former state rep from #atxd6) Diana Maldonado – with special performance by singer/composer Nagavalli!

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The Clawback LIVE! Episode 37

Posted July 31, 2020 4:00 PM

Joining the show this week are Kate Moore, Board Chair at the Austin Tenants Council (also VP at Austin ECHO) and Skeeter Miller from the Greater Austin Restaurant Association (and owner of The County Line on The Lake) – with a special performance by Singer/Songwriter Shelly Knight Band!

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The Clawback LIVE! Episode 36

Posted July 24, 2020 2:53 PM

It's City Budget Season! Joining the show are Selena Xie, President of the Austin EMS Association and Meme Styles, Founder & President of Measure

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The Clawback LIVE! Episode 35

Posted July 17, 2020 8:41 PM

State Representative John Bucy III returns to The Clawback this week with Austin Chronicle Mike Clark-Madison – and special performance by Moving Panoramas Leslie Sisson!

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The Clawback LIVE! Episode 34

Posted July 10, 2020 7:19 PM

An escalating pandemic, runoff elections, criminal justice reform... we'll dig in to all of it with D1 Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison and José Garza for DA with a special performance by D6's own Monsoon Dance!

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