In a political climate that already has Austin buzzing this Summer, the White House has decided to heat things up this week as President Barack Obama lands in Texas for a two-day visit. The President will mix with fellow politicos, celebrities, and tech luminaries on Wednesday night before addressing the economy at a public event in Austin, Texas.
At the Wednesday night event, The President will be hosted by famed director Robert Rodriguez on behalf of a Democratic National Committee fundraiser that will include Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Demi Lovato and Danny Trejo.
The next day Obama will address a public crowd at the historic Paramount and Stateside Theatre on Thursday, July 10th at 12:05pm. Tickets for the Paramount event will be given out by the White House for free starting at 8:30am on Tuesday morning on first-come, first-serve basis. As of 8:00am on Tuesday, the line was over half a mile long, and by 9:00am the tickets were sold out.
This is already an interesting week in Texas and Austin politics, as the President of the prestigious University of Texas at Austin, Bill Powers, is negotiating a timeline for his own exit from the University. Powers is the current chairman of the Association of American Universities, a consortium of public and private research schools. This all comes as former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison took the helm of the tier one University's alumni association as rumors of admission, faculty, and research corruption have come to light in recent years.
The contentious battle for the Governor of Texas is gearing up as midterm and the gubernatorial election are on the ballot in November with Republican Nominee, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democrat Nominee, State Senator Wendy Davis. President Barack Obama will meet with Democrat activists supporting Senator Davis at a round table discussion in Austin on Thursday.
Texas Governor Rick Perry an Austinite and a possible 2016 Presidential candidate declined to meet the President on the tarmac as he arrives in the Texas capital city. Instead, a letter received by the White House on Monday had requested for a substantial talk on the humanitarian crisis and national security risk on the Texas border. By late Monday, Governor Perry had an invitation to a round table discussion with faith leaders and local officials in Dallas on Wednesday where the President is expected to address immigration. By late Tuesday morning, the Governor had accepted the invitation to meet with the President.
In the response letter, Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to President Obama, wrote that, “The President hopes you will join him in urging Congress to quickly pass the emergency funding to deal with the current situation at the border.” The Obama administration will ask Congress for 3.7 billion dollars today for immediate border funding for the influx of child immigrants crossing the Southwest border.
A recent proposal by mayoral candidate, Sheryl Cole, the first African American woman elected to the Austin City Council, would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain municipal identification cards. This proposal comes on the heels of the President's visit as well as the metro area transitions from a total at-large city council to a regional district membership.
Austin will be filled with plenty of egos from both political parties as each try to get their issues into the national spotlight, and although not South by Southwest, once again for a couple of days it appears all eyes will be on Texas.