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.

One race tucked into the crowded ballots that Travis County voters are seeing this election could have a substantial effect on police use-of-force cases. From the death of Eric Garner in New York to the death of David Joseph here in Austin, the majority of these cases share a coda: Local prosecutors fail to bring criminal charges against an officer.

One hundred and two people died on Austin’s roads last year – the most in the city’s recorded history. Now, Austin voters are now being asked to okay a $720 million bond to fund road improvements – bike lanes, sidewalks and urban trails. 


In a late Friday ruling, a district judge sided with a local activist against the City of Austin, voiding a December vote taken by city council members on the housing development Pilot Knob. Called Easton Park, the development plans to offer 1,500 apartments and 6,500 single-family homes in southeast Travis County.


What looked like a makeshift shelter outside Austin City Hall Tuesday, with metal buttresses forming a climbable hut, turned out to be a temporary dance floor. Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” blared from flat speakers in the ceiling.


A tall, metal marquee dominates the southwest corner of  12th and Chicon streets. Like a voiceless preacher, the scrolling display on the sign serves as a freestanding directory of activities for those in the neighborhood – all offered by its owner, Mission Possible Church. 

Traversing parts of North Lamar Boulevard as a bicyclist or pedestrian – or, even as a driver – can be alarming. The speed limit is high, and substantial barriers exist neither between pedestrians and cars nor between cars going north and those headed south.


A year-old partnership between the City of Austin and the Rocky Mountain Institute has yielded its first results: the Austin expansion of a ridesharing app called Chariot. The service works like a shuttle, with passenger-chosen routes. The first shuttle routes from Chariot will run between the downtown MetroRail stop and Whole Foods and ad agency GSD&M with fares of about $4 per person. More routes will be added as they are voted on through the Chariot app. 


Growth and the interests of real estate developers commanded the discussion among candidates vying to represent Austin’s wealthiest district Tuesday night. City Council Member Sheri Gallo, who has held the District 10 Council seat since she was elected in 2014, sat alongside candidates Alison Alter, Nick Virden and Rob Walker fielding questions from residents.

Late last month, a case of poorly delivered mail in East Austin led to a political strategy revelation, of sorts. It involved Mayor Steve Adler’s $720 million transportation bond and one-half of a local political action committee that attempted to recall Council Member Ann Kitchen earlier this year. 


City auditors told the Austin City Council Wednesday that the office processing citizen complaints against officers of the Austin Police Department needs to do a better job. But the office also may need more power to improve.


To the uninformed, Shonda Mace looked like she was being a real creep. On a morning last March, the young woman loitered in front of a home on East 22nd Street. She eyed the house in front of her before snapping two photos of it.


Candidates for the District 7 City Council seat faced off Tuesday night in front of a full audience at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema: Village. Incumbent Leslie Pool, who has represented the north central district since her win in 2014, fielded questions from residents alongside opponent and political newcomer Natalie Gauldin.

Protests have erupted in Charlotte and Tulsa following police shootings of black men there.

Here in Austin, the memory of a police shooting of David Joseph, an unarmed black teenager, in February still lingers. And for Ketty Sully, Joseph's mother, each of these police shootings means having to relive her own son's death over and over again.


It was as if they’d been studying Austin’s recent petition haps and mishaps.

State lawmakers on the House Elections Committee began hearing testimony Thursday on possible legislative changes to how local petition ballots and bond elections are run. Several of the issues they focused on related to Austin’s May vote on Proposition 1 – although lawmakers did not explicitly call out the capital city.


More than a year to the date music venue Red 7 shuttered its doors, Mayor Steve Adler announced a plan to financially buttress the city’s live music spots in the form of a $10 million “minibond.”

In a repeat match of their neck-and-neck 2014 race, Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman and challenger Jimmy Flannigan met Tuesday night beneath a giant screen at the Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline.

There was no feature on the bill, but that was alright. The two candidates vying for District 6 representative provided ample entertainment.

District 10 is Austin’s wealthiest district – it boasts an annual median family income of $131,100. It’s one of the city’s most sprawling districts, stretching from MoPac to Lake Travis.

The race for District 10 is the most crowded among the five districts on the ballot. Council member Sheri Gallo is the current representative, and she faces three challengers – all who, like Gallo, tout fiscal responsibility, but with some added twists. It's a field of candidates who seem to straddle the political aisle; purple people, if you will.

You could classify Austin’s District 7 as the "middle district"  – it falls smack dab between the city’s lowest and highest income districts, with an annual median family income around $74,000. Half (around 56%) of district residents rent their homes. It’s also geographically central and narrow, stretching from the city’s North Loop area to the boundaries of Pflugerville.

Austin’s District 6 is one of the city’s wealthiest – the median family income falls around $86,000 a year. It also boasts the largest number of Asian residents in the city.

Council Member Don Zimmerman represents Austin’s northernmost district. He has served as a resounding voice of fiscal conservatism, often abstaining from votes because of a general aversion for government spending.


Austin’s District 4 is one of its most diverse – more than 65 percent of residents are Hispanic, and nearly 10 percent of the district is African-American.

Complaints we hear citywide about affordability are magnified in Austin’s District 2.

The southeast district has some of the lowest-income residents, with a median family income of $42,650. The district also boasts the largest Hispanic population – a point of pride for current council member Delia Garza, Austin’s first Latina local representative.

Austin’s trolley cars, which retired in 1940, stopped at East 12th and Chicon streets. It’s there that Ada Harden and her brother would hop on, pay the five-cent fee, and ride with little concern about a destination.


Beneath a basketball net and a shut-off scoreboard at the Dove Springs Recreation Center, two city council candidates for Austin’s District 2 squared off with each other and the incumbent, current Council Member Delia Garza at a forum hosted by KUT, the Austin Monitor and Glasshouse Policy.

The candidates for Austin’s next city manager will be vetted by nearly a million people. At least, that’s how necessary council members and city staff have said public input is to the process of hiring Austin’s newest city manager in roughly a decade.


The deadline for council candidates to place their names on the November ballot came and went today. Here’s a list of who’s running in the five districts where seats are up for election (incumbents are indicated as such):

Wesley Faulkner

It’s official. Austin voters will decide on a $720 million transportation bond come November 8. Council members took a final vote on the ballot language this afternoon, after nearly two hours of discussion. The final count? Seven council members for, three abstaining, one hard no.

Mayor Steve Adler has christened a $720 million transportation bond the "Go Big Corridor Plan." So it begs the question, is this really that big? Seattle recently placed on a ballot a $54 billion transportation bond. But judging by other news reports, that number seems like an anomaly among municipal bond programs. 

Regardless, there's plenty to unpack when we discuss the "bigness" of this bond. 


Legal notices and lease copies blanketed a plush beige couch in a North Austin apartment. Rebekah Jara rummaged through the papers. Lawyers had urged her and her fiancé, Juan Aranda, to keep copies of everything.

More letters would come. But, until then, Aranda and Jara were struggling to get repairs done on their apartment on Sam Rayburn Drive in Austin’s Rundberg area.


Members of the public have weighed in on Mayor Steve Adler’s $720 million transportation bond proposal, and Council members have taken the first two of three votes needed to officially put the bond on a November ballot.

If voters approve the bond measure, it would mean an increase in property taxes of about $5 a month for the average homeowner in Austin.

So, what would the bond buy, exactly?


The Austin City Council approved a measure Thursday clarifying the process municipal judges use to deem someone incapable of paying a municipal fine –emphasizing community service as an alternative to jail time for unpaid fines.

District 2 Council Member Delia Garza brought the item forward in an effort to reduce the number of people being sent to jail for unpaid fines.

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