How The Heck Do I Stay Civically Engaged During COVID-19?

How The Heck Do I Stay Civically Engaged During COVID-19?

Austin City Hall

What's Inside...

Now, more than ever, it seems pretty important to know what the heck your government is up to. Big decisions are being made every day, right here in Austin, that will affect our lives and livelihood.


But how do you attend a Council meeting or share your concerns with the mayor now that we’ve all been asked to stay home?


Tune in to remote Council meetings. Here’s how.


Starting Thursday, Council meetings will be streamed online (with Council members attending either virtually or in-person).

According to the city’s website, these are the rules for signing up to speak at remote Council meetings:


“Public comment will be allowed via telephone; no in-person input will be allowed. All speakers must register in advance (Wednesday, March 25 by Noon). All public comment will occur at the beginning of the meeting starting at 2 p.m.


To speak remotely at the March 26, 2020 Council Meeting, residents must:

Submit the online registration form found here. Registration must be received by Noon on Wednesday, March 25.

•Once the registration form is received, residents will receive either an email or phone call providing the telephone number to call on Thursday.

•Citizen speakers must call in at least 30 minutes prior to meeting start in order to speak, late callers will not be accepted and will not be able to speak.

•Speakers will be placed in a queue until their time to speak.

•Handouts or other information may be emailed to by Noon on Wednesday. This information will be provided to Mayor and Council in advance of the meeting.

Residents may watch the Council Meeting online here.”


And what will be discussed during Thursday’s meeting?


We’ll continue to update this list as we get closer to the meeting, but some of the bigger items Council will be considering include:

  • Approving an update to Austin Energy’s Resource, Generation, and Climate Protection Plan, which lays out where Austin will get its energy (solar, wind, natural gas, etc) for the next 10 years and establishes renewable energy targets. (Agenda item #2)

  • Approving a resolution directing the City Manager to develop programs to support the small and local businesses and workers in the creative, hospitality, service, music, and film industries and other associated industries impacted by the cancellation of the 2020 South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival (Agenda item#55)

  • Approving an emergency ordinance to provide expanded eviction protections for renters and small businesses. If passed the ordinance, will create a 60 day grace period (after rent is officially due) before eviction proceedings can begin due to nonpayment. (Agenda Item #90)

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