Audrey McGlinchy | KUOW News and Information

Audrey McGlinchy

Audrey McGlinchy is the City Hall reporter at KUT, covering the Austin City Council and the policies they discuss. She comes to Texas from Brooklyn, where she tried her hand at publishing, public relations and nannying. Audrey holds English and journalism degrees from Wesleyan University and the City University of New York.
 
She got her start in journalism as an intern at KUT Radio during a summer break from graduate school. While completing her master's degree in New York City, she interned at the New York Times Magazine and Guernica Magazine.

On a Sunday in late April, Pastor Clarence Jones asked his congregation to join him.

"Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. Congregation?" he said, his voice booming from the front of the church. Roughly 40 congregants seated in the pews responded: "I saw the Lord and he heard me ..."

More than 100 people filled an auditorium yesterday to hear from Democratic candidates running for the Texas House District 46 seat – a district that stretches from East Austin out to Manor and north to Pflugerville – to hear five candidates opposing 12-term state Rep. Dawnna Dukes of Austin. 

Austin City Council members have delayed a vote on the so-called “agent of change” proposal, which would establish rules aimed at easing tensions between neighbors and music venues over amplified sound. An early version of the rules asked both new businesses and established venues to commit to “build accordingly to accommodate for sound.”

The Austin City Council on Thursday decided to do away with the city’s 27-year-old daytime curfew for juveniles, but extended the city’s nighttime curfew for people under 17 until Oct. 1. 

After Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s response to a sexist email his office received went viral, he began fielding calls to run for president. As someone who has covered the mayor for most of his time in office, I was struck by how different the tone of the response was from his in-person demeanor, which is more subdued, measured and diplomatic.

Adrian Ortega stood back from the pool at the Austin Motel on South Congress Avenue looking uncertain.

“I have done nothing like this before,” said Ortega, a former Austin lifeguard who now oversees the city’s aquatics programs, including swim teams. “It’s totally outside of my comfort zone.”

Standing a few yards from first base in an East Austin ballpark, City Council Member Ora Houston recounted her earliest memories of the diamond.

Drunken driving. Property theft. Possession of a controlled substance.

These are some of the crimes for which the Travis County Sheriff’s Office did not honor requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain suspected undocumented immigrants past their sentences or dispositions.

At the start of the Texas legislative session, you might have characterized the number of bills reversing City of Austin regulations as an onslaught. There were bills to undo the city’s "ban the box" rule, its plastic bag ban, the city’s ride-hailing regulations.

Jake Wegmann, a professor of housing and real estate at the University of Texas, stood on the sidewalk in Mueller, a large mixed-use development on the site of Austin’s old airport. He pointed across the street to a string of attached, two-story homes.

Ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft have announced they will be returning to Austin on Memorial Day, most likely under a new state law. House Bill 100, which the governor is expected to sign, preempts local ride-hailing regulations, putting the state in charge of overseeing these companies.

Annette Naish used to work for FEMA, traveling across the U.S. responding to natural disasters.

“I found out that in this country there are some of the most wonderful people in the history of the Western world,” she said.

After painting over an East Austin artist's mural, owners of a 12th Street property are offering the artist an opportunity to paint a replacement.

Aubrey McIntosh sauntered out of an office on East Seventh Street, a new pink moustache in hand.

“I would hate to not be able to drive,” said McIntosh, a retired chemistry professor who had just reactivated his Lyft driver account at the company’s local office.

Billy Thogersen offered to narrate the scene.

“People are [milling] about, looking at 24-by-48-inch maps of the new zoning, lots of colors and confusing acronyms and codes,” he said in the cafeteria at LBJ High School in Northeast Austin. The room, emptied of students, held roughly 30 community members interested in hearing more about CodeNEXT, the city’s rewrite of its land development code.

An East Austin mural honoring famous black musicians has been painted over. New tenants of the building at the corner of 12th and Chicon streets covered the mural – which depicts Tupac Shakur, James Brown, Michael Jackson and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others – in a white coat of paint, saying they plan to “update” the wall with a new piece by a local artist.

Justin Hill, 36, grew up in Convict Hill. He remembers the Southwest Austin neighborhood, which is part of Oak Hill, as a mix of rural and suburban – lots of cedar, oaks and rocks. His house butted up against a cliff, which descended into thick woods, where he and his younger brother would spend hours after school or on the weekends exploring.

Rehab El Sadek marries silly and sober. Take her outfit: a colorfully patterned turtleneck atop a stern dark skirt. Her straight, black hair in low pigtails. Glasses.

Austin City Council Member Greg Casar sat on the floor, his back blocking one of the two main entrances to a state building on the Capitol grounds. He’d taken a seat as part of a sit-in Monday to protest Senate Bill 4

Members of the Texas House of Representatives today will consider Senate Bill 4, popularly known as the “sanctuary cities” bill. The bill would create criminal and civil penalties for law enforcement officials who do not honor all requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain suspected undocumented immigrants.

But how does an ICE detainer request work?

As the City of Austin moves forward with the renegotiation of its public safety contracts, activists are asking for several changes to the city’s contract with the local police union. The contract, which is negotiated every couple years, dictates pay, discipline and the legal rights of officers.

Early on June 24, 2016, Austin City Council Member Delia Garza checked her watch.

“We’re making a decision about $720 million at 1:35 in the morning after lengthy discussions,” Garza told her colleagues. “After, in my opinion, no real agreement on this.”  

The City of Austin has released the first iteration of its CodeNEXT zoning map. It marks city staff’s first public attempt at applying a draft of the city’s new land development code, released in January, to neighborhoods throughout the city.

Two women – one grown, the other growing – sit in a University of Texas office. The younger one, just 6 years old, wears a gray T-shirt, pink leggings and cowboy boots, which dangle from the edge of her chair. The other woman wears a blue linen top and bangles on her arm. Between them sits a more than 1,000-page document.

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office will no longer bring all police shooting cases before a grand jury. Flanked by representatives of the local NAACP, police union and the Austin Police Department, District Attorney Margaret Moore announced the changes – effective immediately.

Socar Chatmon-Thomas pointed at an apartment building under construction along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake, near East Riverside Drive.

“This whole thing used to just be nothing,” said Chatmon-Thomas, who has worked in Austin real estate since 1994. “Just fields and that’s it, and nobody lived over here.”

Austin City Council members learned last week that the completion of the new downtown public library has been hit with delays, again.

“I do think that it is getting very close, but I don’t have a specific date that I can give you quite yet,” Toni Lambert, acting director of libraries, told council members at a budget meeting.

Property ownership can be a stealth business, with land changing hands before anyone even has time to notice.

For the past four years, one North Texas company has quietly bought up property on East 12th Street. Ironically, the company takes its name from a cry of surprise and discovery: Eureka!

On a vacant lot at the corner of East 12th and Salina streets, Ada Harden sees a silver screen where a fence now stands.

“Can you imagine a theater sitting right here?” she asks, giggling. She certainly can.

A new report suggests Travis County refused more federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants than any other law enforcement agency. The report from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is the first of what are promised to be weekly publications. 


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