What We’re Watching, Reading, Etc: Local Government

What We’re Watching, Reading, Etc: Local Government


Every Monday, The Austin Common staff shares what we’re reading, watching, and listening to. This week, we’re focusing our recommendations on racial justice & local government. For more, follow us on Instagram – @the_austin_common.

Read: A Beginner’s Guide To Local Government 

Just starting to get involved with what’s going on at City Hall? Feeling a bit overwhelmed? This is for you!

We’re partnering with A Functional Democracy (a local nonpartisan civic education organization, cofounded by Austin Common Editor-In-Chief Amy Stansbury) to help distribute 3,500 copies of their “A Beginner’s Guide To Local Government” book/zine before the November election. Each book is fun, explains all the basics of Austin’s local government system, and  it comes with stickers. What more could you want?!  

A Beginner's Guide

Here’s how you can get a book:

  • Order one online here. Books are $12 and the proceeds help support the civic education work of A Functional Democracy and The Austin Common, as well as our “A Beginner’s Guide To Local Government” book donation program. 

  • Request a book donation. If you’re part of a grassroots/nonprofit organization who would like 25 or more books donated to your group, simply fill out this form. And let us know if you’d like a Civics 101 presentation (which can be done virtually) to go along with it! 

  • Buy our books in bulk. If you’re part of a company or large nonprofit organization with the budget to support us, we ask that you fill out this form and request a bulk book purchase. And of course, if you’d like a Civics 101 presentation to go along with it, just let us know!

Watch: Communities of Color United’s Teach-In : “A Vision Of A City Without Cops”

Having a hard time understanding what people are talking about when they say to “defund the police” or “abolish the police”? This video recording from a virtual teach-in held by Communities of Color United earlier this week should help.


CCU is a local grassroots group that has been organizing around reducing the size of the police department’s budget for years now. In this hour-long video, they share information about the history of their organization and policing in the US, and explain what it means to imagine a world without police and what that would mean for Austin.

Learn/ Join: local nonprofit/ grassroots orgs

Lots of amazing local nonprofits and grassroots organizations are hosting virtual meetups this week that are welcome to newcomers interested in learning more about them. This is a great way to meet new people and get connected with the advocacy organizations in town who are doing the work around racial justice, equity, climate, etc. 

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