Tag Archives: Austin

Austin’s South By Southwest Gets Presidential

Long known for it’s natural beauty and idyllic setting in the Texas Hill Country, the state capital of Austin has been a favorite gathering place for many prominent music and arts festivals. The largest of them all is South By Southwest (SXSW)… over three decades strong.

In 2016 SXSW will enter a new level of prominence as it goes Presidential for the first time ever.

Here’s info via the SXSW official announcement, written by Hugh Forrest…

SXSW is honored to announce President Barack Obama will appear as part of a Keynote Conversation at SXSW Interactive on Friday, March 11 and First Lady Michelle Obama will be the opening Keynote at SXSW Music on Wednesday, March 16. This marks the first time in the 30-year history of SXSW that a sitting President and the First Lady have participated in the event.

On Friday, March 11, President Obama will sit down with Evan Smith, CEO / Editor in Chief of The Texas Tribune, for a conversation about civic engagement in the 21st Century before an audience of creators, early adopters and entrepreneurs who are defining the future of our connected lives. The President will call on the audience to apply their ideas and talents to make technology work for us – especially when it comes to tackling big challenges like increasing participation in the political process and fighting climate change.

[…]

On Wednesday, March 16, First Lady Michelle Obama comes to SXSW Music to discuss the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to break barriers for the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school today, more than half of whom are adolescent. The SXSW Music Conference brings the global music industry together and offers the perfect platform to celebrate Women’s History Month, as the First Lady provides her call to action to support girls’ education.

Texas may be a decidedly Red State, but the “blue dot” that is Austin is buzzing about the President and First Lady’s upcoming visit.  And from the tone of President Obama’s weekly address, the White House seems to be excited as well…

For more on the historic appearance at “South By”, check out coverage from The Texas Tribune.

Obama Tech

 

 

Greg Abbott Opposes Houston Prop1, Forgets Minor Detail

Is it a surprise that Texas Governor Greg Abbott is opposed to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance?  Not exactly, especially given his long record of being against LGBT Texans, equality in general and local control for cities.

But in his effort to stoke the flames of fear and falsehood, our esteemed Governor left out one small detail about the irony of his opposition to Houston Prop 1… his current place of residence.

Like the Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Abbott happens to reside in Austin, Texas… you know, the same city that has had comprehensive Non-Discrimination protections for its citizens since 2004.  Before being elected to his current position, Abbott served as Attorney General to the State of Texas

So umm, if the Governor and his family have resided safely in Austin for over a decade (assuming during that time that they also used restroom facilities), then why is it such an atrocity for Houston to implement similar Equal Protections?

Anytime you’d like to respond Governor, I am all ears.

Abbott Lies

The Daily Show Set to “Mess Around” in Austin

Some exciting news for the Lone Star State, and (presumably) for state politics.  Just as early voting commences in Texas, Comedy Central phenom Jon Stewart is bringing The Daily Show to Austin.  Here’s more on the news from Austin360

From world news headquarters in … Austin?

Don’t say Rick Perry never did anything for you.

Comedy Central has announced that anchor Jon Stewart is bringing “The Daily Show” to our city for a week’s worth of shows. Covering the upcoming midterm elections, “Democalypse 2014: South by South Mess” will be taped at ZACH Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd. and air nightly at 10 p.m. from Monday, October 27 through Thursday, October 30, the cable network announced.

If you’ve seen The Daily Show, you’ll know that Stewart never hesitates to wade squarely into the political waters for mostly comedic gain.  A pop culture shot in the arm could be just the thing to help increase voter turnout in the state too, especially among the younger adults that compose Stewart’s fan base.

We’ll have to see what effect it has.  But for now, Texas will look forward to its moment of Zen.

Texas AG’s Office Turns Away Marriage Equality Petition

For a candidate that touts government transparency as a virtue, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s offices sure don’t practice what they preach.  First, it’s hiding dangerous chemical locations from Texas families, and now as it turns out, you can’t even bring a petition down to the AG’s office.  Here’s the story on that from Ryan Hoppe of Texas Public Radio

Same-sex families and gay-rights groups have filed a petition with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office, requesting requesting that they stop enforcing Texas’ ban on same-sex marriages.

Lauren Zurbrügg, development manager of Equality Texas, was one of those who showed up to drop off the 5,000-signature petition.

We’re standing here because unfortunately the attorney general’s office has refused to receive hand-delivered mail of any kind, including these signatures, despite that we confirmed with the AG’s office on Friday that we would be able to hand-deliver these signatures,” Zurbrügg said.

The attorney general’s office told the group it only receives mail through common mail carriers like FedEx.

This is not a policy that is listed anywhere on the Attorney General’s website.  Was it created out of thin air just to discriminate against today’s petitioners?  Who in Abbott’s office went back on their word to Equality Texas?  Our distinguished AG needs to find out the answers here, because he can be sure that Texans are going to keep asking.  Whether one agrees with the premise of the petition or not, all state residents deserve the right to petition their government in person, the same way opponents of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance did just weeks ago.

Perhaps Abbott did this in hopes of avoiding an extensive news cycle?  If that’s the case it didn’t work, and will serve to aid in the cause for marriage equality in Texas.