Last modified on July 2, 2024, at 23:06

Austin, Texas

View of Austin from Congress Street Bridge
Austin is the fastest-growing large city in America, located in free-market friendly Texas, where it is the capital city for the state. The Texas state legislature meets in Austin for 5–7 months every two years. Part of Travis County, Austin is home to 1,326,436 (census estimate July 1, 2022).[1]

By May 2023, Austin became the 10th largest city in the United States, joining three other Texas cities in the top ten: Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas.[2] As of June 2024, Austin was the fastest-growing city in the U.S.[3]

The city takes its name from Stephen F. Austin.

Politics and Government

Austin is considered to be a very liberal city. In 2004, residents of the city helped Sen. John Kerry take Travis County, even though every other county in the Central Texas area went to George W. Bush.

Other examples of liberal college towns include Berkeley, California; Santa Cruz, California; Madison, Wisconsin and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Austin's liberal social and fiscal political atmosphere has also bred considerable libertarianism in the capital city.

As of 2023, Austin's mayor is Kirk Watson. He is an experienced Democrat who was previously elected mayor of Austin in 1997, and has also served in the Texas Senate for more than 13 years, including being its President Pro Tempore in 2019.[4] In 1991 he was appointed by Gov. Ann Richards as Chair of the Texas Air Control Board, and also served as Vice-Chairof a committee that managed the creation of an agency now known as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Ralph Yarborough, an attorney from Austin, was one of the two U.S. Senators from Texas from 1957 to 1971. He was a leader of the dominant liberal wing of the Democratic Party. He defeated George Herbert Walker Bush in the 1964 general election but then was upset in the 1970 Democratic primary by Lloyd Bentsen, considered a mainstay of moderate Democrats in Texas though he had like Yarborough a mostly liberal voting record in the Senate.

On May Day 2021, a group of communists marched through Austin blocking traffic and singing the praises of mass murderers.[5]

The city of Austin has publicly supported the Defund the Police movement by reducing the Austin Police Department's budget by 33%, the largest of any city in the United States, which has subsequently led to an 87.5% increase in murder rates within the city.[6][7]

During Veterans Day 2021, the city of Austin's authoritarian stance on COVID-19 requirements forced the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation to cancel their annual Veteran's Day parade, and by doing so disrespected veterans who served the nation.[8] Governor Greg Abbott later invited the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation to host a rally on the steps of the Texas State Capitol.[9]

Sports and recreation

Austin is known as the home of cyclist Lance Armstrong, whose seven Tour de France championships were stripped of him based on doping allegations, and professional golfers such as Tom Kite.

Austin is the largest city in the country without a team in any of the major sports leagues (the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League), but it is home to several minor league teams and has a Major League Soccer franchise (Austin FC, popularly known as Los Verdes or The Greens). The city is also the home to Circuit of the Americas, a recently opened racetrack that hosts Formula 1 racing.

Austin is known as the "live music capital of the world" due to its diverse performance of live music by various musicians.

Education

Austin is home to the University of Texas at Austin.

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