On May 1st a Change In Course Must Be Made | SARC

By Dallas Emerson, SARC Deputy Communications Director SARC

The City Council of Austin has failed to address homelessness in the city.  

Think that’s too harsh? Mayor Adler agrees

Don’t misunderstand, he doesn’t have a plan, and doesn’t want to reinstate the camping ban. He doesn’t really have any suggestions. Honestly, it feels a bit like he’s phoning it in at this time, given that can’t run for reelection.  

In June 2019, the Council legalized public camping, stating that the goal was to make the homeless more visible. They got what they wished. You can’t walk downtown without seeing encampments on many streets. You can’t drive along MoPac without seeing tent cities that remind someone of pictures from The Great Depression.  

Many of these encampents leaving people feeling unsafe. And for a good reason, according the Austin Police Chief, who noted a “growing crime trend” 

Despite achieving the goal of increased visibility, the number of homeless per capita hasn’t changed, according to Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO). If anything, it has gone up. And the number of available shelter beds has actually decreased while the city focuses on developing transitional housing.  

But if the city is changing tactics, why does the situation feel like its getting worse?  

The city allocated about $70,000,000 last year to help provide home and shelters for the homeless. As of December, $30,000,000 was left unspent. Untouched. Unused.  

Frankly, it seems that for some council members, running for Mayor is more important. Defunding the police is a higher priority. Giving the Mayor greater authority over legislations matters more.  

Meanwhile, our city suffers higher crime rates and infrastructure damage as a result of the 10-1 progressive dominated council.  

But laws will not fix the homeless issue.  

This may be a failure of our city’s culture. Certainly, our churches should feel indicted. The presence of large numbers of homeless suggests that something isn’t working. Perhaps we are not charitable enough. Perhaps we are not active enough in helping those in need.  

But it isn’t civil society on the ballot May 1st. We all must decide for ourselves how we will better help our neighbors.  

In the meantime, we must tell the Council that we agree with the Mayor. This hands-off approach has been a failure. Our city is less healthy and less safe than before their June 2019 decision.  

Moving forward I would hope that the city will actually get down to brass tacks and do the hard work of finding solutions to these problems, not merely treating our city as a laboratory for social theory. Allowing people to live—and die—on the streets hasn’t worked. These people need help, not a blind eye. 

I have participated in cleaning up after a camp behind a local VFW was abandoned. It was horrifying. Human waste, garbage, and rotting food were piled high. No one should live in these conditions, and it is a miracle that Austin hasn’t seen an outbreak of avoidable diseases like some of California’s major cities in the past years. 

For the sake of our city, vote yes on Proposition B. Helping the homeless doesn’t end there, but it is how we as citizens can alert our government to what they don’t want to acknowledge—a change in course must be made.  

How We Can Help Our Community

By Dallas Emerson, SARC Deputy Communications Director

SARC has an opportunity to help our community!

One of the issues that brings us most together is the problem of homelessness in our city. This week, I’m sure those without homes will be more present on our minds than usual.
We are about to get hit with an incredible cold front in the coming week, with temperatures falling well below freezing soon. This means hundreds, or thousands, of people will be exposed to dangerous elements.

While we could use this as a moment to point to the failed policies of the City government, there is something much more productive we can do.
There is something we can do to help.
Front Steps, a prominent homeless shelter in Austin, has launched a blanket drive, and is requesting people purchase one of three specific blankets from Amazon and Kohl’s—you can find their list on this page.
Our club has already participated in a park cleanup as a part of our effort to improve the city. This is an opportunity for us to help our city confront one of its most pressing concerns.
As Conservatives, we champion the ability of free and independent people to take care of their communities without government direction.
As Republicans, we have often bemoaned the human cost of the housing situation in our city.
We shouldn’t pitch in to score political points. We should do it because it is right.

As we’ve moved into 2021, community outreach has been one of our foremost goals, and this is a moment where our community needs our outreach.
I encourage all of you—if it is within your means—to please purchase a blanket for Front Steps today. If you are a member of a church or other community group, please take a moment to encourage them to donate as well.
It just may save a life.

The GOP is Divided — and That’s Good

By Dallas Emerson, SARC Deputy Communications Director

The GOP is Divided — and That’s Good — let’s explore…

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in conservative conversation.
“Let’s start a new party. A party for trueconservatives.”

We’ve all heard some version of that.
The Republican Party is publicly fracturing. As President Trump leaves office, some of his own party are happy to see him go; others see this as the first step in the fall of the Republic.
I confess, I was never fully on board with the President. I opposed him in the primaries. I refused to vote for him in 2016, considering myself something of a Never-Trumper, but eventually decided to vote for him in 2020, fearing the madness of the Left. I have been on both sides of the Trump debate.
I’m here to tell you that if you love Trump or hate Trump, we have to share the party with those we disagree with, and that’s a good thing.

How can I say that? A divided party loses elections. A divided party struggles with messaging. A divided party spends too much energy fighting itself to convert persuadable voters.
Yes, but a party with intellectual diversity has the opportunity to refine ideas. Divisions in the party allow different messages to be brought to different populations and regions. Internal arguments can strengthen the ability to communicate.
True, the Republican Party is, at the moment weaker, for its division between Pro-Trump (the majority) and Anti-Trump (the decided minority).
It may shock you to know that both sides consider the others to have abandoned “true conservatism.” As though there was one version of Conservatism. There have always been differences in our movement—Trump just made them intensely personal.
Remember, the “anti-Trump” wing of the party encompasses moderates like Romney and hardcore Tea Partiers like Sen. Ben Sasse. The Pro-Trump wing has former Democratic moderates like Rep. Van Drew and unquestionable conservatives like Governor DeSantis.

In many ways “pro” and “anti” Trump are better understood as style, rather than policy, differences.

I encourage each and every one of you to consider that the large majority of people you disagree with on the subject of the President came to their opinion in good faith, following their understanding of the facts, and their own upbringing. Try to bring others to understand your ideas all you like; tell them why you think they’re wrong, but please remember we on the Right have a lot more in common than it feels like at the moment.
And we’ve never exactly been a monolithic movement.
Soon, however, the debate within the GOP will move beyond Trump. It has to.
He won’t be President, and Biden, with backed by narrow majorities in the House and Senate will be striving to accomplish everything he can before his political capital is entirely spent.

As a party, we are not going to suddenly come together in unity. Instead, we will return to some version our older arguments: establishment vs. grassroots, nationalist vs. libertarian, intervention vs. isolation. Trumpism is difficult to define, again maybe being a style rather than ideology, but it will be added to our numerous internal disputes.
We’ve had these debates for generations and we’re better for it.
In its founding days, the Republican party argued about how best to combat slavery.
In the Cold War, it was Republicans who sought to strike the appropriate balance of assertiveness and restraint.

The Left has a single answer to all questions that face our society: government. Lots and lots of government intervention.

By remaining the party of argument, the GOP can remain the party of ideas.
So, when you run into another insufferable Never Trumper, and when you encounter another die-hard Trumpist, remember, we’re not a party that revolves around a single man, but around a complex set of ideas.

We need each other, we can’t win without each other, and we’re better off arguing with one another than just sitting around talking about how much we all agree.

Top 2021 Political Podcasts| SARC

I grew up in a small town in Kansas. I was raised to love learning and to embrace every opportunity to learn more about the world I live in. This has grown into a deep love for learning. As a result, I really appreciate when others share their knowledge with me.

Today, I will share with you some of my favorite channels of learning with the top political podcast to follow in 2021. Enjoy!

The Austin City Councilmen – Brad Swail

Mack On Politics – Matt Mackowiak

Ben Shapiro Show – Ben Shapiro

The American Story – Christopher Flannery

The Buck Sexton Show – Buck Sexton

John Solomon – Just The News

Jay Sekulow Live – Jay Sekulow & Associates

C-SPAN Washington – C-SPAN

We Holds These Truths – Dan Crenshaw

The Trey Gowdy Podcast – Trey Gowdy

The American Mind – Claremont Institute

Verdict – Ted Cruz

We The People – Jeffery Rosen/National Constitution Institute

Happy Listening!

The Changing Face of The Republican Party | SARC

By Dallas Emerson

Americans aren’t used to complex election results, and the 2020 election was complex. Despite winning the Presidency by a relatively comfortable margin, the Democrats suffered defeats across the country in the House, and failed to win the Senate outright as had been predicted. Republicans held their own in state legislature elections, and continue to hold the governorships of most states. 

It’s little wonder that both parties seem to be cracking up afterwards. Staring down the prospect of divided government and trying to figure out what went wrong for their respective defeats, both parties’ internal struggles are becoming increasingly public. 

Something else that has become more obvious—the Republican party is changing. Donald Trump performed better with every demographic…but white men. That’s right, after 4 long years of accusations of “white supremacy,” African Americans, Latinos, and Asians were all more likely to vote for Trump than in 2016.  

This suggests a few things about the American populace.  

First and foremost, doubling down on identity politics helped the Democrats mobilize middle class white voters—particularly those in the suburbs—while it did nothing for them among minority voters.  

Texas is a perfect example of this dynamic. Joe Biden won the longstanding Republican stronghold of Williamson County, something no Democrat has done since Jimmy Carter. Meanwhile, Donald Trump won Zapata County—a reliably Democratic county, which is largely Hispanic.  

Ironically, with these large changes throughout the state, the 2020 results were almost identical to those of 2016. In both cases, Donald Trump received just over 52% of the vote.  

Similar changes could be seen in Florida, where Republicans flipped two House seats in Miami—a decidedly diverse city.  

The next thing these odd changes suggest is that we truly don’t know what causes voters to turn out.  

Many pundits on the Right have said that Donald Trump’s “populism” has transformed the Republican party into a multi-ethnic, working-class party. But that’s conjecture at best.  

Donald Trump’s Presidency, despite the tweeting and the maniacal press coverage, was essentially identical to that of a normal Republican. He cut taxes, raised military spending, and appointed conservative judges. The largest change from former Republican presidents was in foreign policy; he started no new wars. Even then, his greatest foreign policy successes—the peace deals rapidly spreading throughout the Middle East—are a reflection of Republican ideals. By providing consistent, even strident, support for Israel and deploying unbridled military power in the face of multiple threats, the President created an environment in which peace could be achieved for the first time since Israel’s inception.  

So the Republican Party can feel confident moving forward that it doesn’t need to undergo radical change to win over more voters. Its policies, under an exceedingly controversial leader, appeal to a more diverse group of voters than any since 1960.  

The true difference between Trump and previous Republicans is that Trump tried to reach out to minority voters. And it may be as simple as that.  

Republicans, armed with this knowledge should feel good about the future. Even though 2020 was a defeat, there were many small victories for Republicans to find throughout the country.  

The face of the Republican Party is changing, but its principles shouldn’t.  

The Hypocrisy of Mayor Steve Adler | SARC

By Dallas Emerson

Sometimes, everything seems almost normal—a blessed feeling in the bizarro world of 2020. Driving down the street, one can, for a few moments, feel like it’s an average day in Austin. Our traffic has mostly returned to Pre-March levels. Our cyclists are out in force. Our homeless are more prevalent than ever in their ever-growing camps beneath our overpasses.  

But those moments of normality are short lived. 

You’ll see movie theaters shuttered on one side of the street. On the other, a restaurant, representing someone’s hopes and aspirations, permanently closed. There’s now a running list of Austin restaurant closures if you’re interested. Signs on churches let you know how to tune into their services virtually. Our hospitals were never overwhelmed, but our doctors are struggling to make ends meet. Our young people—the least at risk to COVID’s very real threat—are facing a mental health epidemic. Our schools are caught in flux—with some in-person and some remote learning. If you have children, I don’t need to tell you how effective remote-learning is. You know it isn’t doing the job.  

At least our liquor stores are open.  

Now, before I go farther, let me say the virus is real. My in-laws are high risk, as is my father. I haven’t seen my Grandmother in months because I want to do what I can to keep her safe and healthy. I wear a mask to keep others safe, should I unknowingly have the virus.  

The virus didn’t destroy those businesses. It didn’t sneak in and close doctors’ doors. It hasn’t crawled into the minds of young people and plunged them into the depths of depression.  

The governmental response to COVID has.  

Austin has suffered, often nobly, in order to protect those we love. Our businesses have often been sacrificed. We’ve restricted travel and have tightened our belts. 

Then, preening in a Facebook video, Mayor Steve Adler reminded us all that we need to stay home. Did our mayor speak to us from his home, leading by example?  


He was in Cabo San Lucas. You know, the one in Mexico.  

He did this, following his daughter’s wedding, a relatively small affair, with only twenty guests. Which is ten more than our city government suggests under current guidelines.  

Evidently, only those of us who don’t have timeshares in other countries need to stay home. 

But this hypocrisy is pretty much par for the course with Adler, so I probably shouldn’t be surprised. I guess I’m still young and idealistic. 

How did he flee the city he should be leading? By private jet, of course. Despite having access to this luxury, he lectures about income inequality.   

Austin may be cutting its police budget, but Adler is keeping his security team. Also worth noting, Austin has set a new apparent record for homicides this year

We were told to stay home and stay out of church, while over the summer Black Lives Matter protests devolved into mob violence.  

Adler’s hypocritical vacation does a disservice to those who closely follow the regulations he helped put in place. It makes the lockdown skeptics look prescient.  

And his poor leadership is not just reflected in hypocrisy, but also in the increasingly hostile environment for businesses and families that Austin is becoming.  

Austin businesses are about to get slapped with a property tax hike.  

More of our people are homeless than ever.  

But why should Adler care about the decline of small businesses, our hurting doctors, the failing schools, the growing homelessness, the families that haven’t been united in months? He’s celebrating his daughter’s wedding as he relaxes on vacation in Mexico. 

Must be nice.  

Our city deserves better than this hypocrisy. Maybe he should just stay in Mexico and let someone who cares to lead in crisis step forward.  

A Letter to Supporters from Lani Popp

Dear Volunteers and Supporters,

It is very important that the Judicial and State Board of Education candidates get elected!  We need your help!

On October 13, five candidates- Bert Richardson, Kevin Yeary, David Newell, Lani Popp and Renee Yanta will be participating in a campaign caravan from Bexar to Kendall, Kerr, Gillespie and ending in Mason County.  We will stop at a poll in each county and be there for about an hour.  We would love to have supporters join us at each stop.  Please share this flyer with your county republicans!  We hope to see you on October 13, the first day of early voting.

Lani Popp

Candidate, State Board of Education, District 5

Presidential Debate: The Results Are In – Polls | SARC

Originally tweeted by CSPAN (@cspan) on September 30, 2020.

Originally posted by SARC (southaustinrc.org) on September 29, 2020.

South Austin News | SARC

“This morning, Austin Energy had around 3 dozen homes without power, but around by 5:25 a.m. that number jumped to 7,772.” FOX7 “People were seen fighting over food in the dumpster at an H-E-B store in South Austin on William Cannon and I-35 yesterday.” FOX7 “A residential development containing 375 units and rising up to seven floors at the…

Who won the 1st 2020 Presidential debate?

South Austin News | SARC

“Roughly a dozen families living at a mobile home park in South Austin who received 60-day notices to leave will be able to stay for the time being after a Travis County judge issued a temporary restraining order Monday.” KUT 5 Fun Things in South Austin – DO512 “A 25-year-old man has been arrested for…