In October, the winds of social and cultural change sweeping across Austin are more evident than at other times of the year. This month, among our topics in TODO Austin are local African-Americans’ challenges with racial disparities, Día de los Muertos celebrations (scheduled Oct. 17-Nov. 7), the second anniversary of the city’s Asian American Resource Center, ACL Music Festival (growing ever dynamic), Tejano Idol, Austin Film Fest and other community events.
TODO Austin also welcomes two new Managing Editors this issue. Meredith Cox is a local blogger passionate about music – check out SmackMadness.com and her live music reviews. She’s called Colorado, Thailand and China home. Now in Austin, her advice for fans attending outdoor music festivals like ACL ring true (including those attending COTA Fan Fest on Rainey Street, where the mighty Public Enemy, Trombone Shorty, Ozomatli and more will play free shows Oct. 22-24): “In general, just be nice to people … You get to see some cool bands and do some interesting stuff and then at the end of the night we all get to go home and sleep in our own beds (you know, if that’s what you’re into).”
Managing Editor Alejandra Cueva recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. As a millennial and a Latina, the Monterrey native says she’s excited and nervous to find out what Austin has to offer. “I have clearly adopted the lifestyle,” she said. “I am now a friend of my local coffee shop barista, attend free yoga sessions at the parks and I never miss a Sunday brunch.”
October also marks the beginning of the city government’s new fiscal year. One welcomed development in particular accents the potential for change brought about by new district council members. Several important items on the Hispanic Quality of Life Initiative study were recently given the go-ahead. On the distant horizon is the Asian American Quality of Life Initiative’s comprehensive survey, which launched this past summer (in eight different languages, no less) to better assess the health and service needs of the Asian American community of Austin. Taking a critical look back, the city’s response to the African American Quality of Life Initiative seems lacking. Much needs to be discussed to alter the state of affairs for African-American Austin. We can start with paying heed to what Councilmember Ora Houston has to offer.
For the present, TODO’s Alejandra reminds that efforts like Austin’s Día de los Muertos celebration will bring positive reflection and closer community ties, “because Austin is so diverse, with October hosting so many great multicultural events.”