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April 2009

Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association Newsletter

APRIL 2009

Vol. 3, Issue 4



Saturday, April 4, 2009
10:30 am to Noon – City Council Candidate Q&A
Noon to 1:30 pm – Mayoral Candidate Q&A
St. David’s Episcopal Church, Sumner’s Hall, 304 E. 7th Street (map)

Please join us this Saturday, April 4th as we co-host a forum to learn where the city council and mayoral candidates stand on the issues that affect Austin and its urban core.  The candidates will discuss issues such as economic development, the livability of the downtown neighborhood, public spaces, urban rail and parking.  Complimentary coffee, water and light appetizers will be provided by El Sol y La Luna and the Texas Picnic Company.

DANA is co-hosting this forum with 6ixth Street Austin, Alliance for Public Transportation, Austin Metro Trails and Greenways, Austin Parks Foundation, Austinist.com, Congress for New Urbanism (CNU), Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA), Original Austin Neighborhood Association (OANA) and Rail4Real.

Please consider using Capital Metro’s trip planner to arrive at the forum, and all DANA events, without the use of your car. Paid parking will be available in the St. David’s garage. Enter the church at the intersection of 8th & San Jacinto.

We have set the date! The 2009 Downtown Living Tour (DLT) will be held on Sunday, October 11th. The planning has begun and the DLT Planning Committee will be led by DANA Board Member, Lindsay Wiebrand. She is ready to start assembling her team, partnering with sponsors and to begin the process of selecting tour homes. If you have an interest in participating in the DLT in any capacity, including showing your home, please contact Lindsay!



Thursday, April 9, 2009
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
SoCo Designs @ 450 W 2nd Street (map)

DANA Members, please join us at SoCo Designs for this month’s Urban Core Happy Hour. SoCo Designs is your source for hand crafted traditional and contemporary rugs from all over the world. They also feature a wide selection of custom textiles and flooring options.

Sponsoring this month’s event is Barton Place Condominiums, a new condominium community at the center of all that’s uniquely Austin. It’s more than an address; it’s a connection to the spirit of the Capital city.



2ND Street District Hearts DANA! Every Wednesday evening beginning April 8th through April 22nd, something special is planned in the 2nd Street District. Click here to learn what is happening each week.

These weekly events lead up to Art City Austin 09 to be held April 25-26. This annual art extravaganza, taking place on the banks of Lady Bird Lake, showcases the talents of 200+ juried artists, live music, local culinary treats, children’s activities and much more.

For DANA Members Only – Be on the lookout for a special e-Blast offering current DANA Members access to a DANA Members-only happy hour, special savings on Art Alliance Austin Collector’s Badge purchases, and a chance for those who purchase Art After Dark tickets to be upgraded to Collector’s Badges in a special drawing on April 8th. Remember, you must be a current DANA Member to receive this special e-Blast, so join now!

If you have been waiting to become a DANA Member, or if your membership has expired, now is the time to join and enjoy the benefits of membership.





A recent Downtown Austin study recommended the formation of a neighborhood watch or a more community-centric policing effort. Last year DANA strategically placed 22 new Neighborhood Watch signs around the Central Business District (CBD).  DANA’s intention has always been to follow up with a Neighborhood Watch Group.
On Tuesday, March 10, 2009 DANA arranged a meeting between the Austin Police Department (APD) and community stakeholders at the Hilton Austin.  Different types of crime were discussed as well as ways to best manage each type. All participants agreed that crime, real or perceived, is equally destructive to the community’s safety, value and reputation. 

Together we have identified five areas to focus on: drug abuse and trafficking, aggressive pan-handling, neighborhood watch, social norming and hosting a downtown-wide crime prevention forum.  A new website, DowntownAustinCrimePrevention.org, has been developed to help us communicate with residents interested in downtown crime prevention.  Link to the new website and read the ”
Crime is Like a Roach” article, which includes a KVUE video featuring Marshall Jones and DANA’s efforts to address crime downtown. If you or others want to be involved, contact Marshall Jones.
As always, APD stressed the importance of calling 911 when a crime is in progress, once it is safe to do so.  Not only is it the best way to resolve the issue immediately, it is the strongest measure the police department has to monitor where crime is occurring, which leads to better enforcement in the area.  Any person witnessing a property crime, assault, drug-related issue or illegal pan-handling should immediately call 911!


Why Downtown?

Why do you live, work, play or love downtown? Answering the question this month is Lindsay Wiebrand. Lindsay currently serves on the DANA Board of Directors in many capacities. She has participated as a sponsor of the DLT for several years, and last year hosted one of the most popular stops on the tour! Her condo was so much fun, that participants lingered. That is what we call Downtown Austin style hospitality!

Having attended Texas State University, I became very familiar with downtown Austin as I was immediately drawn to its nightlife. After graduation, I lived in the subtle suburbs of Round Rock. The picket fences and cookie cutter homes were nice and cozy, but my energetic self pined for a livelier lifestyle. So 10 months ago, I packed up my fat cat and brown dog and moved downtown.

In my short time here, I’ve become an active member of my new neighborhood. Many of my clients reside downtown, which makes working even easier. On Friday afternoons, I park my car at 5pm and I don’t have to drive a single mile until Monday morning. Living in downtown Austin is like having the world at my fingertips. Fresh veggies on Saturday mornings, cold beer on an outdoor patio, eclectic boutiques, fine food, friendly service and an inviting park on the lake – all just steps outside of my home.

Downtown Austin is a quaint neighborhood sprinkled with visitors from all around. It’s like we’re in our own little world being hugged by a big city. So I sit here relaxing and reflecting on Downtown and why I love it. My windows are open to let the brisk air in and I can smell Whole Foods cooking up some yummy goodness. I see people strolling along enjoying a latte and each other’s company. And I hear a band playing a mellow tune at the bar downstairs. This is exactly why I love Downtown Austin.


Special Thanks
This month’s contributors were Branden Allmon, Roger Cauvin, Ruth Framel, Jennifer Jones, Marshall Jones and Lindsay Wiebrand.

DANA’s mission is to improve the quality of life for those who live, work, and play downtown. DANA influences decisions that affect downtown, educates and listens to residents and stakeholders about downtown and issues that affect them, and fosters a downtown community through social events.

Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, P.O. Box 997, Austin, TX 78767


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