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[CALL TO ORDER]

[00:00:06]

IT'S 6 34.

AND SO TONIGHT WE HAVE, UM, A HYBRID MEETING, WHICH IS MEANS THAT WE HAVE SOME STAFF AND SOME SPEAKERS AND MYSELF HERE IN CITY HALL ON THE, ON THE DAYAS BY MYSELF AND, UH, THE REST OF THE COMMISSIONERS.

AND WE, UH, WE HAVE, UH, SOME PRESENTER, SOME PRESENTERS AND OUR MUSICAL PERFORMER FOR TODAY ARE, ARE ALL REMOTE.

SO WE'RE CONSTANTLY HAVING TO LIKE FIGURE OUT THE DIFFERENT WAYS TO DO THIS.

THIS IS OUR FIRST TIME FOR A MUSIC COMMISSION DOING THIS REMOTELY.

SO A LITTLE BIT OF A LEARNING CURVE STAFF HAS BEEN INCREDIBLY NIMBLE, BUT WE'LL, UM, I THINK WE'LL BE FINE.

I THINK THAT'LL

[MUSICAL PERFORMANCE]

BE GREAT.

SO WE'RE GOING TO KICK IT OFF WITH, UM, MUSICAL PERFORMANCE BY SUSANA SHARP, AND I'M SUPER EXCITED, UM, THAT IT IS MY TURN, UH, FOR DISTRICT SEVEN TO CHOOSE THE, UM, MUSICAL ARTISTS FOR THIS MONTH, WE'VE BEEN GOING ONE DISTRICT AT A TIME.

UM, SUSANNA SHARP.

UH, I FIRST SAW HER PERFORM, UM, WITH THE SAMBA POLICE WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER AT CARNIVAL BRUSSEL ARROW.

AND I THOUGHT THAT SHE WAS THE COOLEST LADY THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN.

AND, UM, ALL THESE YEARS LATER IT TURNS OUT I'M STILL RIGHT.

AND I DID NOT KNOW THAT AT THAT TIME THAT WE WOULD BE NEIGHBORS AND, UM, AND THAT BRAZILIAN MUSIC WOULD COME TO BE VERY NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART.

SO I'M GOING TO GO AHEAD AND TURN IT OVER TO SUSANA.

SHE'S HAS A REALLY COOL VIDEO TO SHARE WITH US, AND SHE HAS A LITTLE BIT OF DETAIL.

SHE'S GOING TO SHARE ABOUT THAT.

YEAH, I DON'T THINK WE CAN HEAR YOU SUSANA.

SO LET'S CHECK ON YOUR AUDIO.

HOW ABOUT NOW? YES.

AWESOME.

OKAY.

SORRY.

I WAS LIKE, I THOUGHT THAT UNMUTING WOULD BE EASIER.

SO HI EVERYONE.

UM, I'M SUSANNA SHARP AND, UM, I'M REALLY HONORED TO BE HERE.

I JUST WANTED TO GIVE YOU A SHORT INTRODUCTION TO THE VIDEO YOU'RE GOING TO SEE.

AND ACTUALLY, I, I, I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO BRING THIS BAND INTO PLAY FOR YOU.

SO IT'S KIND OF COOL THAT YOU GET TO SEE IT.

THIS WAS RECORDED AT MONKS JAZZ, UH, WHICH IS A FANTASTIC VENUE.

THAT'S BEEN A LIFESAVER TO MANY MUSICIANS AND AUDIENCE MEMBERS, UH, DURING THE PANDEMIC AND THE PERSON WHO RUNS THE WHOLE SHOW.

THERE IS COLIN SHOOK.

UM, AND SO AS ANGELA MENTIONED, I DO BRAZILIAN MUSIC AND THIS, UH, SONG IS BY ONE OF MY VERY FAVORITE BRAZILIAN COMPOSERS.

WHO'S HAD A STORIED CAREER FOR MANY DECADES.

HIS NAME IS SHIKA BARK AND YOLANDA, AND HE'S KNOWN FOR HIS, UM, SORT OF BITING SOCIAL COMMENTARY AND HIS LYRICS, UH, AS WELL AS JUST FANTASTIC SONGS.

UM, THIS PARTICULAR SONG IS CALLED THE HOMAGE TO THE HUSTLER AND, UH, THE HUSTLER IS SORT OF AN ARCHETYPAL GUY IN, UH, BRAZILIAN LORE.

HE'S HE'S LIKE A GUY WHO WEARS ALL WHITE AND, UH, YOU KNOW, WHITE SUIT, WHITE HAT, MATCHING SHOES, KIND OF A BOHEMIAN WHO GO GETS BY WITH CHARM WITHOUT ACTUALLY WORKING.

UM, AND THIS SONG, UH, TALKS ABOUT, UH, TRANSFORMATION IN THAT TYPE OF GUY.

UM, IT LAMENTS THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE CLASSIC HUSTLER OF RIO DE JANEIRO.

IT SAYS A FRIEND OF MINE, WHO'S A SCHOLAR, AND SUGGEST THAT THE TRADITION TRADITION OF THIS HUSTLING AND CHEATING, UM, HAS PASSED ONTO HIGHER ECHELONS OF SOCIETY.

UM, I WANT TO THANK, UH, MARK ONE TONIO SANTOS, WHO IS THE GUITARIST AND ARRANGED THIS PIECE AND THE FANTASTIC BAND, UM, THAT YOU WILL SEE BEFORE YOU, AND IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHO'S IN THE BAND, I'LL, I'LL WRITE IT IN THE CHAT, IF THERE'S A CHAT.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

AWESOME.

[00:06:26]

YOU CAN'T REALLY HEAR IT.

YOU CAN'T SEE IT EITHER.

IT'S JUST WE HAD A SIMILAR PROBLEM WITH ANOTHER VIDEO AND FIGURED IT OUT LATER.

YEAH, THAT WAS FANTASTIC.

UM, DID WANT TO REMIND THE COMMISSIONERS AND EVERYBODY LISTENING ON THE WEBEX, THE AUDIO AND VIDEO THERE'S ISSUES WITH IT COMING THROUGH ON THE WEBEX, BUT IT SOUNDS FANTASTIC HERE AND CHAMBERS, AND IT IS ALWAYS GOOD ON THE LIVE STREAM.

SO SOME OF Y'ALL MAY REMEMBER THAT WE WOULD HAVE TO LIKE SWITCH OVER AND WATCH IT THROUGH THE LIVE STREAM, THE MUSIC VIDEOS FROM OUR PERFORMERS.

UM, BUT, UM, IT SOUNDED AMAZING.

AND SUSANNA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BRINGING THAT.

UM, WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO TELL US, UM, I THINK YOU'VE KNOWN THE TALENTED SAXOPHONE FOR A LONG TIME.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL US WHO THAT IS? YEAH, THAT'S UM, THAT'S MY SON, PAT SANTOS, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE LISTENING TO THE BAD VERSION WITH ME, I ASSURE YOU THAT EVERYONE ON STAGE IS REALLY A GREAT MUSICIAN AND YOU CAN ACTUALLY HEAR THEM.

BUT YEAH, PALO SANTOS IS MY SON.

HE'S A SAXOPHONE PLAYER, UH, HERE IN AUSTIN, UH, JAZZ AND OTHER, OTHER STUFF, MORE THAN PLAYER.

UM, AND THE REST OF THE BAND, UH, SEVERAL GREAT BRAZILIAN MUSICIANS WHO LIVE IN AUSTIN.

FABIO.

I WAS DNAS ON DRUMS GIULIANA SYLVETA ON PIANO, UM, SOCIAL SANTOS ON PERCUSSION, MARCO, ANTONIO SANTOS ON GUITAR AND A BASIS NAMED BEN BRADSHAW.

I THINK I GOT EVERY BUDDY.

ALL RIGHT, THAT'S GREAT.

UM, AND YEAH, SOMEBODY DID JUST, UH, FROM THE COMMUNITY, JUST SENT ME A TEXT AND WAS SAYING THAT THE VIDEO SOUNDED AMAZING OUT AND OUT, OUT THERE FOR THE PEOPLE WATCHING AT HOME.

UM, AND ONE MORE THING I WANTED TO SAY ABOUT, UH, SUSANNA IS THAT SHE DID SUSTAIN THE MUSIC COMMUNITY THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC WITH A SERIES OF CONCERTS IN HER FRONT YARD,

[00:10:01]

WHICH WAS LOVELY FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD, BUT ALSO A REALLY AWESOME GIG, I THINK, FOR THE MUSICIANS.

AND, UH, IT TOOK SOME COORDINATION ON HER PART, UM, AND IT WAS JUST VERY GENEROUS USE OF HER TIME AND HER FRONT YARD AND THE NEIGHBORS ON THAT STREET WERE REALLY UNDERSTANDING ABOUT IT AT ALL AS, AS WELL.

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AND YES.

NOW WE'LL PROCEED INTO THE LESS FUN PARTS OF OUR MUSIC, OR, YEAH, THANKS EVERYONE FOR INVITING ME IN.

AND I REALLY DO APOLOGIZE TO THOSE OF YOU WHO MIGHT'VE WANTED TO ACTUALLY HEAR WHAT THE MUSIC SOUNDED LIKE, BUT I REALLY, IF YOU EMAIL ME, I WILL SEND YOU A LINK AND THANK YOU SO MUCH AND CHARLOTTE FOREVER.

YEAH.

AND YOU, EVERYBODY KNOWS THEY CAN GO, THEY CAN GO WATCH THE ARCHIVE VERSION ON THE LIVE STREAM, THROUGH ATX LIVESTREAM.

UM, ATA ATX IN LIVE STREAM IS WHAT I USUALLY GOOGLE.

[CITIZEN COMMUNICATION]

ALRIGHT, AWESOME.

WELL, WE WILL MOVE ON TO, UH, CITIZEN COMMUNICATION AND I THINK ALL OF OUR CITIZENS THAT ARE COMMUNICATING WITH US TONIGHT ARE, UM, CALLING IN, DO WE HAVE ANYBODY? OH, WE HAVE, UH, WE HAVE, WE HAVE EILEEN, WE HAVE A FEW.

OKAY.

SO WE WILL, UM, WE HAVE FOLKS SPEAKING ON DIFFERENT ITEMS, BUT SINCE WE HAVE PEOPLE WAITING, UM, ON THE PHONE, I THINK, AND WE HAVE SOME PEOPLE HERE IN PERSON AND IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG MEETING.

I'M GOING TO GO AHEAD AND JUST, WE'RE JUST GOING TO GO AHEAD AND DO ALL THE ITEMS AT ONCE FOR THESE SPEAKERS.

SO WE'RE GOING TO START, UM, WITH OUR THREE FOLKS THAT ARE HERE IN PERSON, UM, STARTING WITH EVER CALLED CALDERON WRONG.

YEAH.

YEAH.

COME ON UP.

UH, HELLO.

UM, I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT THE LOG MUSIC FUND.

I KNOW THAT THERE'S GO AHEAD.

SO BEFORE CORONA, EVERYTHING WAS A PHYSICAL IN-PERSON SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST ACL BOOZE ON THE GRAINS DURING CORONA, WE COULDN'T BE THERE IN PERSON.

EVERYTHING WAS SHUT DOWN AND THERE WAS NO INFRASTRUCTURE FOR VIRTUAL SPACE IN VENUES LIKE EMPIRE CONTROL ROOM, THE PERSHING FLAMINGO CANTINA, CORONA PUSHED THAT AND BUILT THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND PAID FOR IT AS WELL.

SO VENUES HAVE THE CAPABILITIES OF BEING VIRTUAL AS WELL AS PHYSICAL AT THE SAME TIME.

AND KRONE ALSO PUSHED ME AS A SMALL BUSINESS TO BECOME VIRTUAL AND I, MYSELF PRODUCE LIVE STREAMS FOR DJS, CHURCHES, AND NONPROFITS.

NOW, WHEN I VISIT VENUES AND I TRY TO PUSH A VIRTUAL CONCERT AT THE SAME TIME AS A PHYSICAL ONE, THEY SEE IT AS ANOTHER EXPENSE, UH, MORE COSTS, BUT YET THEY HAVE THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND ARTISTS AND PEOPLE WHO PUT ON THE EVENTS AND THE VENUES.

THEY DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO BE CHARGED WITH THE EXTRA AMOUNT, EVEN THOUGH THE INFRASTRUCTURE IS ALREADY THERE, IT'S, IT'S A WASTE OF RESOURCES AND TO HAVE THE VENUES BE CAPABLE OF LIVE-STREAMING IT TO THE WHOLE WORLD, BUT NOT BECAUSE IT'LL, IT'LL MAKE THEM HIRE MORE PEOPLE IT'LL CHARGE THE INDEPENDENT ARTIST OR THE HOST MORE TO RUN IT.

IT'S NOT BENEFICIAL TO ANYBODY.

IT'S LIKE A WASTE OF RESOURCES TO NOT USE IT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT.

AND I FEEL LIKE ARTISTS AND INDEPENDENT INDIVIDUALS COULD BENEFIT MORE FROM THE LIVE MUSIC FUNDS RATHER THAN VENUES AND LARGER BUSINESSES.

UM, ALL RIGHT.

WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING.

I APPRECIATE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS AND YEAH, THE DIGITAL ASPECTS OF THIS ARE SOMETHING THAT WE'VE BEEN DISCUSSING.

SO YOUR PERSPECTIVE IS VALUABLE.

THANK YOU.

UM, ALL RIGHT.

AND THEN OUR NEXT SPEAKER IS EILEEN BRISTOL FROM SAHARA LOUNGE.

ALSO SPEAKING ON THE LIVE MUSIC ITEM.

GOOD EVENING.

THANKS.

GOOD TO BE BACK.

I SPOKE LAST TIME AND I JUST WANTED TO SPEAK AGAIN IN FAVOR OF DIRECTING MONIES FROM THE HOTEL TAX TO THE LIVE MUSIC FUND TO SUPPORT ARTISTS OF COLOR, UH, PARTICULARLY THE FIRST YEAR.

AND I KNOW IT COULD CHANGE OVER TIME.

UM, BUT I REALLY BELIEVE IT, IT SERVES THE VENUES AS WELL BECAUSE IF AN ARTIST GETS BETTER KNOWN AND HAVE BETTER PROMOTION AND BETTER VISIBILITY, THAT THAT WILL DRIVE MORE CUSTOMERS TO THE VENUE AND IT'S SUSTAINABLE, IT'S SOMETHING THAT GROWS AND GROWS THAT PEOPLE, PEOPLE CAN HEAR THE MUSIC LIKE IT AND COME BACK.

AND I ALSO THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT AUSTIN, UH, MAKE A STATEMENT TO THE WORLD THAT WE CARE ABOUT THIS.

UM, I GUESS THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO SAY.

YEAH.

RIGHT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

[00:15:02]

ALL RIGHT.

AND THEN WE'RE GOING TO GO AHEAD AND NOW WE'LL, UM, CALL ON OUR SPEAKERS THAT ARE REMOTE CALLING IN.

AND SO THE FIRST ONE IS, UH, JANE HARVEY, UH, SPEAKING ON THE LIVE MUSIC FUND ITEM THREE B, DO WE HAVE THEM, DO WE HAVE THE CALLERS QUEUED UP? OKAY.

SO JANE, ARE YOU THERE? JUST CHECK IN OKAY.

YEAH.

OUR, UM, STAFF IS JUST, UH, WORKING ON THAT REAL QUICK, SO WE'LL WAIT FOR A SEC.

OKAY.

OKAY.

WELL, STAFF IS, ARE YOU READY? OR SHOULD WE JUMP TO ANOTHER ITEM? OH, OKAY.

WE'RE GONNA JUST GO TO THE NEXT SPEAKER, BUT WE'LL COME BACK TO JANE.

SO, UH, NEXT UP WE HAVE DREW, DREW DONOVAN, LEO.

HI.

UM, HEY, UH, MY NAME DREW DONOVAN.

I'M A, I'M THE CO-OWNER AND FOUNDER OF A PRODUCTION COMPANY HERE IN AUSTIN CALLED THE WORD COMPANY.

UH, WE DO A BUNCH OF LIVE EVENTS AND SUCH, AND, UH, WE REALLY HAD THE BENEFIT OF WORKING WITH BOTH VENUES AND ARTISTS AND, UM, TALKING, UH, ON BEHALF OF, UH, HOPEFULLY, UH, DIRECTING THESE FUNDS TOWARDS THE ARTISTS AND PARTICULARLY, YOU KNOW, THOSE, UM, YOU KNOW, OF MINORITY IN THOSE, UM, WITH, YOU KNOW, DON'T HAVE QUITE THE CAPABILITIES, UM, FINANCIALLY.

AND THERE'S A COUPLE OF REASONS.

UM, ME BEING A BUSINESS OWNER MYSELF, ALONG WITH VENUES, OTHER COMPANIES, WE HAVE ACCESS TO CAPITAL, WE CAN GET LOANS.

WE HAD ACCESS TO THE EDI L WE CAN SEEK INVESTORS.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, THERE, THERE'S ALSO JUST WAYS TO GENERATE REVENUE AS A COMPANY.

AND I BELIEVE IF WE DIRECT THESE FUNDS TOWARDS ARTISTS, WE CAN REALLY CREATE A TRICKLE UP EFFECT.

AND IF WE PUT ART, UH, MONEY IN THESE ARTISTS HANDS, THESE ARTISTS, UM, WILL MOST LIKELY SPEND IT BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY AND, YOU KNOW, TOWARDS RECORDING, TOWARDS MARKETING, TOWARDS PRODUCTION, GRAPHIC DESIGNERS, UH, MERGE, PAYING THEIR OWN MEMBERS.

SO I THINK IF WE WERE TO PUT A DOLLAR PER DOLLAR, YOU KNOW, BASED ON WHAT THAT ARTIST SPENDS ON DOLLAR TO A VENUE, I THINK THE DOLLAR FROM THE ARTIST IS GOING TO GO A LOT FURTHER AS FAR AS WHERE IT ACTUALLY GOES AND HOW IT TRAVELS.

UM, THAT ECOSYSTEM IS VAST HERE IN AUSTIN WITH, UH, ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE ALL TOOK A BIG HIT AND, UM, WE ALL NEED A LITTLE HELP, BUT I THINK AT THE END OF THE DAY, WITHOUT THE MUSICIANS, THIS CITY WOULDN'T BE WHAT IT IS.

UH, I KNOW MY COMPANY PROBABLY WOULDN'T BE AROUND.

I KNOW A LOT OF VENUES WOULDN'T BE AROUND AND WE REALLY NEED TO FOCUS ON SUPPORTING THIS CREATIVE COMMUNITY THAT WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT SUPPORTING SINCE WE DID THE AUSTIN MUSIC CENSUS BACK IN 2016 OR SOME ODD WHEN WE STARTED DOING REPORTS STARTING IN 2010.

AND I THINK WE'VE REALLY MISSED OUT ON A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP OUR ARTISTS COMMUNITY AND THE SITUATION IS PARALLEL MORE THAN EVER WITH THE COST OF LIVING.

AND THE LAST THING I'LL SAY WITH, UM, I THINK ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT THIS IS, UM, AS A CITY, WE INCENTIVIZE DIFFERENT BUSINESSES, UH, TO COME TO OUR CITY OR STATE TO DO BUSINESS IN.

AND I THINK THIS IS A REALLY GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO INCENTIVIZE SOME INCREDIBLE TALENT.

WE ALREADY HAVE AMAZING TALENT, AND WE DO HAVE AMAZING VENUES, AND WE HAVE A LOT OF STRUCTURE IN PLACE, UM, TO SUPPORT ARTISTS AS FAR AS WHEN THEY ACTUALLY GET ROLLING, BUT WE REALLY NEED TO, UM, DIG DEEP AND, AND REALLY HELP OUT, UM, THOSE WHO JUST DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THESE TYPES OF FUNDS.

SO, UH, I HOPE, UM, YOU KNOW, WE CAN ALL LOOK AT THIS AS A REAL BIG OPPORTUNITY TO FACILITATE THE CREATIVE SECTOR AND SEE, YOU KNOW, WHAT KIND OF EXCITING THINGS CAN HAPPEN WHEN WE,

[00:20:01]

UH, GIVE THESE PEOPLE, UH, SOME OPPORTUNITIES AND THE, THE BIGGEST, I THINK, QUALM WHEN IT COMES TO, YOU KNOW, HOW DO WE DIRECT MONEY TO ARTISTS? UH, WE FORGET THAT THESE ARE ARTISTS ARE ACTUALLY BUSINESSES, THEY'RE LLCS, AND, YOU KNOW, THERE'S, YOU KNOW, TH THIS, ISN'T JUST A PERSON WHO PUT UP A FACEBOOK POST, YOU KNOW, THINKING THAT THEY'RE AN ARTIST LIKE THESE ARE, THESE ARE LEGIT BUSINESSES.

AND, UM, AND SO WE NEED TO, UH, PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES AS SUCH.

YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

THANK YOU, DREW.

I DON'T MEAN TO CUT YOU OFF.

WE JUST HAVE SOME OTHER SPEAKERS, BUT I DO APPRECIATE YOU LOOKING AT THIS FROM THE BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE AND THE INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE.

THAT'S SOMETHING WE REALLY ALWAYS WANT TO REMIND CITY GOVERNMENT ABOUT.

SO, UH, THANK YOU FOR CALLING IN.

UM, OKAY, SO NOW OUR NEXT SPEAKER IS MERCEDES PERRY.

MERCEDES MAY STILL BE DIALING IN.

OKAY.

OKAY.

THANKS.

AWESOME.

NO, I'M, I'M ON, I JUST DON'T PREFER THIS METHOD.

I DON'T FEEL LIKE, I FEEL LIKE WE SHOULD HAVE HAD OPTIONS FOR ENGAGING WITH THE COMMISSION TODAY, BUT WHATEVER.

UM, THERE, UM, I'M HERE TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE LIVE MUSIC, FUN AND EXPLICITLY, UM, CHANNELING THAT MONEY FOR THE BIPAP THEATERS IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, JUST TO ECHO KIND OF WHAT WAS SAID BEFORE BY THE WORD, UM, THE GOOD, THE BITEABLE FROM WORDS, I JUST THINK AUSTIN AND A WHOLE BUNCH OF DIFFERENT AVENUES NEEDS TO BE EXPLICIT ABOUT SUPPORTING BLACK AND PEOPLE OF COLORS IN EVERY POTENTIAL WAY POSSIBLE.

UM, AND IF WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE EXPLICIT, THEN WE'RE GOING TO BE DISPARATELY IMPACTING BLACK AND BROWN ARTISTS ON PURPOSE CONTINUOUSLY.

AND WE'RE GOING TO KEEP WITH THAT CULTURE IN THIS CITY.

AND SO UNTIL THE MONEY GOES DIRECTLY INTO THE HANDS OF BLACK AND BROWN PEOPLE, I BELIEVE IN REPARATIONS, I BELIEVE IN ABOLITION.

AND UNTIL WE CAN MAKE THOSE EXPLICIT DECISIONS, WE CAN SEND HER RACE.

THEN I DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE LIBRARY, THE CLINICS HERE WHO SUPPORT ARTISTS WERE REAL IN A REAL WAY, BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF THE BULK OF THE ARTISTS IN OUR COUNTRY AND OUR WORLD AND OUR GLOBE ARE PEOPLE OF COLOR.

UM, AND THEN JUST THE ECHO ALSO THAT IT'S, IT'S A BUSINESS, IT'S A BUSINESS AND WE'RE ALREADY GENERATIONALLY ECONOMICALLY BEHIND.

AND THEN WE TEACH TO GROW AND BECOME CREATORS AND GIVE OUR ENERGY AND OUR LOVE AND OUR MUSIC AND OUR ART AND CREATE THIS TO STILL NOT BE ECONOMICALLY SUPPORTED, WHICH CONTINUES THAT GENERATIONAL ECONOMIC BIG GAP BETWEEN PEOPLE OF COLOR AND THEIR FAMILIES AND WHITE PEOPLE IN GENERAL.

AND SO I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THIS FUND EXPLICITLY SUPPORT BLACK AND BROWN AND INDIGENOUS CREATORS.

THAT'S ALL I HAVE TO SAY.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, MERCEDES.

WE APPRECIATE YOU TAKING THE TIME TO SPEAK WITH US TONIGHT.

UM, OKAY.

NEXT, UH, WE HAVE MAGGIE LEE.

DOES IT LOOK LIKE SHE'S ON MAGGIE? OKAY.

UH, LET'S GO TO PAM OWENS.

HELLO, PAMELA VINCENT OWENS.

HERE I AM HERE TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE VIBE MUSIC FUND.

UM, I WILL SAY THAT I'M GOING TO RESIST THE URGE TO CONVINCE BECAUSE, UM, THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF THAT.

UM, AND I'M GONNA, I'M GONNA RESIST THE URGE TO BECK CAUSE THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF THAT.

UM, AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE FACT THAT WE'VE MADE SOME PROGRESS IN BEING TRANSPARENT ABOUT THE FAILURES IN OUR COMMUNITY, AROUND AN EQUITY, UM, THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHORT UP AND GET IT RIGHT.

AND SO AT THE VERY LEAST, AT THE VERY LEAST, THE FIRST YEAR, THE FUND REALLY SHOULD BE DEDICATED TO, UM, MUSICIANS, BLACK MUSICIANS, MUSICIANS OF COLOR IN THE SPACE, THE VERY ONES WHO HAVE KEPT THAT GOING AND ALIVE SPECIFICALLY DURING A PANDEMIC, THE ARTISTS FOR WHICH WE BENEFIT FROM THEIR PRESENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS BLACK ARTISTS HAVE BEEN PAYING FULL PRICE FOR THE PROCESS OF BEING IN A COMMUNITY THAT HAS NOT DONE RIGHT BY THEM.

AND SO THERE IS A CHANCE TO FIX THIS.

WE DON'T HAVE TO DO A LOT OF TALKING ABOUT IT AND HEMMING AND HAWING.

IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO FIX IT.

WHAT'S INTERESTING TO ME AND MOST COMPELLING

[00:25:01]

TO ME ABOUT BLACK ARTISTS IN THIS COMMUNITY IS THAT THEY CONTINUE TO SHARE.

AND WHEN THEY SHARE THERE IS A DIRECT INCREASE IN IMPACT SOMEHOW ALONG THE WAY, THERE'S A DISCONNECT IN THAT IMPACT.

AND SO WE DON'T DO WHAT IS NEEDED TO KEEP THEM HEALTHY AND WHOLE IN THE COMMUNITY.

SO THE FUND SHOULD GO TO MUSICIANS OF COLOR.

AND I'M NOT SAYING IT BY WAY OF CONVINCING OR BEGGING.

I'M SAYING IT AS THE RIGHT THING TO DO WORDS TO LIVE BY, OR JUST WORDS IN THIS COMMUNITY, UNLESS YOU LIVE BY THEM.

AND IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THIS COMMUNITY TO CLEARLY WALK IT, TALK.

ALRIGHT, THANK YOU SO MUCH, PAM.

I APPRECIATE THAT.

UH, NEXT UP WE HAVE TERRY P. MITCHELL, GOOD EVENING.

I'M TERRY P. MITCHELL WITH THE BLACK LEADERS COLLECTIVE.

UM, I'M SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF THE LIVE MUSIC FUND.

UM, I WANTED TO THANK THE COMMISSION.

UH, WE APPRECIATE THE EFFORTS FUND, BUT UNLESS THE FUND IS NOT EXPLICITLY AND INTENTIONALLY GOING TO BLACK ARTISTS, BLACK MUSIC ENTREPRENEURS, AND BLACK OWNED VENUE ARTISTS, THEN WE HAVE YET AGAIN, SORELY MISSED THE MARK.

UM, WE ALL NEED TO GET CLEAR.

WE ALL NEED TO GET CLEAR AND ASK OURSELVES WHAT IT MEANS TO TRULY BE AN EQUITABLE CITY, ASK YOU WHAT DOES EQUITY MEAN TO YOU? BECAUSE IF AUSTIN IS GOING TO MOVE FORWARD, WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THE GROWTH IMPACT.

THE MARGIN MARGINALIZED DESIGN HAS MADE ON, UM, HISTORICALLY BLACK COMMUNITIES AND AUSTIN MUSIC SCENE.

YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO AS A CITY AND ADDRESSING THESE, THESE ISSUES, THESE CHALLENGES, AND THESE WRONGDOINGS, BUT I AM OPTIMISTIC THAT WE WERE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

SO I'M EXCITED ABOUT OUR CO-CREATION AND LOOK FORWARD TO THE COMMISSION, DOING THE, MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION AND MOVING THE BLACK, THE LIVE MUSIC FUND TOWARD BLACK ARTISTS, UM, AND BLACK VENUE OWNERS.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, TERRY.

UM, NEXT WE HAVE, UH, MARIO PENTO.

HA MARIO.

OKAY, GO AHEAD AND CIRCLE BACK TO JANE HARVEY.

JANE.

YEAH.

HELLO.

UM, MY NAME IS, CAN EVERYONE HEAR ME? ALL RIGHT.

I'M JOINING VIA CONFERENCE LINE.

YES, WE CAN HEAR YOU.

OKAY, GREAT.

AND MS. JANE HARVEY AND I AM HERE TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE LIVE MUSIC FUNDS LIKE MANY OF THE SPEAKERS TONIGHT.

I AM COMING HERE WITH KIND OF A CO-CREATIVE TRI-CITY I MYSELF, AM WORKING MUSICIAN IN AUSTIN AND HAVE USED KIND OF MY EXPERIENCE AS AN INDEPENDENT CREATOR AND PROMOTER TO START A CAREER HERE.

AND, UM, I THINK LOOKING AT SOME OF THE FUNDING PRIORITIES AROUND THE LIVE MUSIC FUND, I WAS PERSONALLY VERY INSPIRED AND VALIDATED AND EXCITED ABOUT LIVING IN A CITY THAT MIGHT TRULY ASSIGN CULTURAL VALUES, WHO THE ARTISTS THAT LIVE HERE.

AND WHEN I HEARD THAT THAT WAS ON THE TABLE, THAT ARTISTS MIGHT RECEIVE SOME FUNDING FROM THE CITY.

I THOUGHT, WELL, IT'S ABOUT TIME.

AND THEN WHEN I HEARD THAT THAT FUNDING MIGHT ALSO BE EQUITABLE, I WAS LIKE, WELL, DANG, IT'S ABOUT TIME.

AND I THINK I COME TODAY IN THE HOPES THAT THAT PRIORITY IS NOT LOST AS THE VOTE GETS MADE ON HOW THIS LIVE MUSIC FUND WILL GO IN IT'S FIRST YEAR.

TO ME, IT'S JUST NOT A MATTER OF SUPPORTING VENUES OVER ARTISTS, THEY'RE ARTISTS THAT WERE VENUES.

THIS IS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO REOPEN OUR CITY.

THIS IS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO INVEST IN A GENERATION OF ARTISTS WHERE WE CAN SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT AND WE CAN PRIORITIZE MUSICIANS AND CREATORS AND INDEPENDENT PROMOTERS WHO ARE ONE VALID BUSINESSES IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN TO SOME OF THE MOST DIVERSE CREATORS IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND THREE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR

[00:30:01]

THE CULTURE THAT EXISTS IN THE CITY.

AND FOR ME, I AM JUST, I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF THAT.

AND I AM SO CURIOUS ABOUT WHAT A FUTURE LIKE THAT COULD LOOK LIKE AND COULD SET AUSTIN APART FROM OTHER CITIES AND SPACES.

AND SO I AM HOPEFUL THAT THIS FIRST YEAR OF THE LIVE MUSIC FUND WILL SUPPORT ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS AND INDEPENDENT PROMOTERS WHO ARE BLACK, BROWN, INDIGENOUS, AND PEOPLE OF COLOR AND FEMME AS QUEER AND DISABLED, AND, UM, HAVE DIFFERENT IDENTITIES IN A WAY THAT THIS CITY HAS NEVER DONE BEFORE.

AND I THINK WE'RE IN A VERY UNIQUE MOMENT FOR THIS CITY AND THE CHOICES WE MAKE RIGHT NOW IN THIS PARTICULAR ENVIRONMENT WILL, WILL REALLY DETERMINE WHO WE ARE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW.

AND I WANT TO BE PROUD OF WHO WE ARE FIVE YEARS FROM NOW.

SO I, I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL OF THE THOUGHTFUL DIALOGUE AROUND THIS AND ALL OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE TO WHERE THIS FUND STANDS TODAY.

AND I'M JUST, I'M JUST HOPEFUL, I'M HOPEFUL.

AND I'M CURIOUS, AND I'M EXCITED ABOUT WHAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN HERE.

SO I JUST WANT TO SHARE THAT TONIGHT AND I THANK EVERYONE FOR TAKING THE TIME.

THANK YOU, JANE.

UM, NEXT WE HAVE MAGGIE LEE, I THINK THAT'S IT.

OKAY.

ALL RIGHT.

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH TO ALL OF OUR SPEAKERS, UM, REALLY THOUGHTFUL.

UM, AND SO MUCH OF THIS, WHAT WAS STATED TONIGHT, UM, MIRRORS AND SUPPORTS THINGS THAT WE'VE, WE'VE DISCUSSED HERE AS A GROUP AND IN WORKING GROUPS.

UM, SO I'M JUST ALWAYS IMPRESSED BY WHAT, UM, DEDICATED, THOUGHTFUL CITIZENS WE HAVE IN AUSTIN.

I MEAN, IT'S A MONDAY NIGHT AND SO SITTING ON THE LINE WAITING TO TALK TO IT, UH, COMMISSION MEETINGS, NOT EXCITING, BUT, UM, I APPRECIATE ALL OF THE SPEAKERS VERY MUCH.

SO WE

[1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES]

NEXT WE'LL MOVE ON TO APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES.

UH, HOPEFULLY ALL OF THE COMMISSIONERS HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO TAKE A LOOK.

ANYONE LIKE TO MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES FROM LAST WEEK.

CAN I GET A SECOND OR FOR THAT SECOND? OKAY.

APPROVED IN SECOND TID.

ALL RIGHT.

SO ALL IN FAVOR.

OKAY.

MINUTES ARE APPROVED.

OKAY, AWESOME.

[2a. Legal Consideration related to Equity in Economic Development Department Hotel Occupancy Tax Funded Programs by Neal Falgoust, Attorney, City of Austin Law Department, and Sylnovia Holt Rabb, Acting Director, Economic Development Department.]

WE ARE GOING TO MOVE ON TO STAFF BRIEFINGS AND FIRST STEP ITEM TO A LEGAL CONSIDERATION RELATED TO EQUITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT, HOTEL OCCUPANCY TAX FUNDED PROGRAMS BY, UM, BY NEAL ALL GHOST.

IS THAT RIGHT? OKAY.

CLOSE ENOUGH.

YOU CAN, YOU SHOULD TELL US WHAT IT REALLY IS.

HERE'S A ATTORNEY HERE AT THE CITY AND STILL NO VIET WHO HOLDS RAB ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE NEC NOMINAL DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT IS GOING TO BE HELPING YOU OUT.

SO, YEAH, GO AHEAD.

AND ALSO, HOW DO YOU, HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE YOUR NAME? SO IT'S NEIL FALGUNI.

I GREW UP IN NEW ORLEANS, A LITTLE BIT OF CAJUN FRENCH.

YEAH.

TAKE IT AWAY.

GREAT.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME HERE TONIGHT.

AGAIN, MY NAME IS NEIL FALGUNI.

I'M AN ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY IN THE LAW DEPARTMENT AND IN THAT ROLE, I ADVISE OUR EQUITY OFFICE OFFICE OF POLICE OVERSIGHT AND CIVIL RIGHTS OFFICE.

UM, I APOLOGIZE IF I DEFAULT TO MARIN COUNCIL DURING THIS PRESENTATION, CAUSE IN THIS ROOM, WE USUALLY SAY MARIN COUNCIL.

UM, BUT THANK YOU COMMISSIONERS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH YOU TONIGHT.

UH, IF YOU CAN GO AHEAD TO THE NEXT SLIDE.

WE WERE ASKED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A BRIEFING ON SOME OF THE LEGAL RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH USING RACE, GENDER, AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION AS A SCORING CRITERIA.

WHEN MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT GRANT FUNDING, OUR GOAL TONIGHT IS TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A FRAMEWORK THAT YOU, AS COMMISSIONERS CAN USE TO HELP YOU MAKE DECISIONS IN THIS AREA.

AND I HAVE TO SAY THANK YOU TO ALL THE SPEAKERS WHO SPOKE SO ELOQUENTLY ON THE ISSUE OF RACE EQUITY IN THE GRANT FUNDING.

UM, MY PRESENTATION TONIGHT, WE'LL BEGIN WITH A BRIEF, UH, CONTEXTUAL OVERVIEW OF SOME OF THE ISSUES.

THEN I'LL DISCUSS THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK THAT, UH, THE ATTORNEYS ON THE LAW DEPARTMENT HAVE USED TO ANALYZE THESE QUESTIONS.

I PROMISE NOT TO GET INTO TOO MUCH OF A LAW SCHOOL LECTURE.

I DON'T WANT TO BORE EVERYBODY TO DEATH, BUT, UM, WE WILL GET INTO SOME OF THE LEGAL ISSUES.

AND THEN I'LL ALSO DISCUSS SOME RECENT, UH, COURT DECISIONS THAT HAVE AFFECTED OUR ANALYSIS, PARTICULARLY OVER THE LAST SIX MONTHS AS IT RELATES TO, UH, UH, GRANT PROGRAMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO ADDRESS INEQUITIES THAT HAVE ARISEN AS A RESULT OF THE PANDEMIC.

AND AT THE END, WE'LL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR QUESTIONS.

UH, NEXT SLIDE

[00:35:01]

PLEASE.

UM, FIRST I KNOW YOU ALL HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHY WE'RE HERE NOW.

UM, AND THERE ARE SOME CONCERNS THAT OUR PRESENTATION IS COMING AT THE END OF A LONG PROCESS IN WHICH YOU'VE BEEN ADVISING THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT ON HOW TO DO A BETTER JOB AND THE EQUITABLE AWARDING OF GRANT PROGRAMS. AND I CERTAINLY APPRECIATE THOSE CONCERNS, UH, ON TIMING.

UH, THERE, AS I SAID, THERE'VE BEEN A NUMBER OF CASES DURING THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS THAT HAVE CAUGHT OUR ATTENTION AND THE LAW DEPARTMENT.

AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT THOSE IN A MINUTE.

UH, BUT THOSE CASES HAVE LED SEVERAL OF US IN THE LAW DEPARTMENT TO UNDERTAKE A REAL DELIBERATIVE PROCESS, TO UNDERSTAND THESE CASES, THE CONTEXT IN WHICH THEY AROSE AND THE COURT DECISIONS AND TO ANALYZE THE IMPACT THAT THOSE CASES WOULD HAVE ON ANY DECISIONS THAT THE CITY OR THE COMMISSION MIGHT MAKE IN RELATION TO, UH, GRANT FUNDING PROGRAMS, SEVERAL OF THESE CASES UP AND YEARS OF BEDROCK LEGAL PRINCIPLES.

AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE UNDERSTOOD THE, UH, THE RULINGS AND SORT OF HOW THAT AFFECTED, UH, THESE PRINCIPLES THAT, THAT WE OPERATE UNDER.

WE ALSO ADVISE STAFF IN THE EQUITY OFFICE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PURCHASING, AND SMALL BUSINESS AND SMALL AND MINORITY BUSINESS RESOURCE DEPARTMENTS.

AND THEN FROM THERE WE BRIEF THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE AND LAST WEEK PRESENTED THIS ANALYSIS TO THE CITY COUNCIL AND EXECUTIVE SESSION.

SO IT'S BEEN A, A MONTHS LONG PROCESS TO GET TO THIS POINT.

AND WE CERTAINLY APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE AS, AS WE WORK THROUGH THAT WHOLE PROCESS.

NEXT PAGE, PLEASE.

OUR NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE, IT'S IMPORTANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE, UH, THE PAST, UH, AND HOW WE ENDED UP HERE.

THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT AUSTIN HAS A HISTORY OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION OF THE 1928 MASTER PLAN THAT CREATED A QUOTE UNQUOTE NEGRO NEGRO DISTRICT, UH, RED LINING, URBAN RENEWAL POLICIES AND THE SEIZING OF BLACK OWNED LAND THROUGH EMINENT DOMAIN TO CLEAR NEIGHBORHOODS, THESE POLICIES, ALL OPPRESSED BLACK INDIGENOUS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR FOR GENERATIONS.

AND WE WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT LAST YEAR, THE CITY COUNCIL APOLOGIZED FOR THAT INTENTIONAL RACIST DISCRIMINATION AND COMMITTED TO CORRECTING THESE RACIST PRACTICES.

AND THAT WAS PASSED IN THE RESOLUTION THAT I'VE NOTED HERE ON THE SCREEN OF LAST MARCH.

UH, NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

THE EQUITY OFFICE, UH, OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST YEAR HAS BEEN WORKING WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS TO CREATE NEW WAYS OF EVALUATING PROPOSALS, UH, IN THE PURCHASING PROCESS AS PART OF, UH, PROJECT CONNECT AND THE CITY'S EFFORT TO PREVENT DISPLACEMENT AS A RESULT OF PROJECT CONNECT.

UH, AS PART OF THAT PROCESS, A COMMUNITY ISSUED A REPORT, UH, CALLED NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US.

AND THAT'S, UH, A REPORT THAT PROVIDES A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF THE CITY'S RACIST PASS.

UH, AND IT INCLUDED PROPOSALS TO CENTER RACE EQUITY IN THE EVALUATION OF GRANT FUNDING PROPOSALS, AND OTHER, UH, PURCHASING THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT.

AS OUR UNDERSTANDING WANTS TO USE THIS REPORT AS A FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATING CULTURAL ARTS FUNDING, UH, INCLUDING THE LIVE MUSIC FUND.

SO THE TOOL THAT WAS CREATED AS PART OF THIS REPORTS, PART OF THIS AS PART OF THIS REPORT, EXCUSE ME, CORRECTLY, FOCUSES ON REMEDYING PAST DISCRIMINATION, THE IMPACT OF INEQUITABLE FUNDING AND THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF DISPLACEMENT ON THE COMMUNITY.

AND, UH, WE DETERMINED THAT THE USE OF RACIAL, RACIAL CLASSIFICATIONS IN THIS TOOL PRESENTS SIGNIFICANT LEGAL RISKS THAT WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE AWARE OF.

UM, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CASES THAT WE'LL DISCUSS TONIGHT.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

THE FOUNDATION FOR OUR ANALYSIS IS THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE 14TH AMENDMENT, WHICH ENSURES THAT EACH INDIVIDUAL RECEIVES EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW.

THIS IS A FAIRLY SIMPLE STATEMENT IN THE CONSTITUTION, BUT IT'S MADE EXTREMELY COMPLICATED BY COURT INTERPRETATIONS OVER THE DECADES.

NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

SO THE COURTS HAVE CREATED A TIERED FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYZING QUESTIONS THAT ARISE UNDER THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE.

THERE ARE THREE LEVELS OF ANALYSIS THAT COURTS WILL USE WHEN THE GOVERNMENT MAKES DISTINCTIONS OR DECISIONS BASED ON INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS.

SO I JUST WANT TO GO OVER THE, UH, THE THREE TIERED

[00:40:01]

SYSTEM.

IT'S A, WE CALL IT TIERED SCRUTINY.

SOMETIMES PEOPLE SAY TIRED SCRUTINY, BUT IT'S TIERED SCRUTINY.

SO THE FIRST LEVEL OF SCRUTINY IS CALLED STRICT SCRUTINY.

UH, THIS IS APPLIED WHEN DISTINCTIONS ARE MACE MADE ON AN INDIVIDUAL'S RACE, NATIONAL ORIGIN, RELIGION, OR ALIENS, OR, UH, IMMIGRATION STATUS.

SO UNDER STRICT SCRUTINY, A GOVERNMENT MUST DEMONSTRATE THAT THE POLICY OR THE DECISION THAT IT IS MAKING IS NARROWLY TAILORED TO MEET A COMPELLING GOVERNMENT PURPOSE.

AND THAT'S A LOT OF LEGALEES AND WE'LL GET INTO EXACTLY WHAT THAT MEANS IN A LITTLE BIT, BUT I JUST WANTED TO PRESENT THAT STANDARD TO YOU SO THAT YOU'RE AWARE OF, OF WHAT THE COURTS APPLY TO THESE DISTINCTIONS.

SO THE NEXT LEVEL OF SCRUTINY IS CALLED INTERMEDIATE SCRUTINY.

UH, THAT LEVEL OF SCRUTINY IS USED WHEN DISTINCTIONS ARE MADE BASED ON GENDER AND SEX.

NOW I'VE ALSO NOTED HERE, SEXUAL ORIENTATION WITH A QUESTION MARK THAT'S BECAUSE, UH, SOME LOWER LEVEL COURTS HAVE APPLIED INTERMEDIATE SCRUTINY WHEN DISCUSSING SEXUAL ORIENTATION, BUT THE SUPREME COURT HAS NOT MADE THAT DISTINCTION.

UH, SOMETIMES WHEN THEY, WHEN THE SUPREME COURT TALKS ABOUT SEXUAL ORIENTATION, THEY FRAME IT IN TERMS OF SEX AND GENDER.

UM, SO WE DON'T REALLY KNOW FOR SURE HOW THE SUPREME COURT ADDRESS DISTINCTIONS BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

UM, THE SAME SEX MARRIAGE CASES HAVE ALL BEEN DECIDED UNDER THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE 14TH AMENDMENT, BUT, UH, JUSTICE KENNEDY WHO WROTE THOSE DECISIONS WAS REALLY WISHY-WASHY IN TERMS OF APPLYING ONE OF THESE, UH, LEVELS OF SCRUTINY TO, UH, SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

THE FINAL, UH, LEVEL OF SCRUTINY IS CALLED A RATIONAL BASIS.

SO THE COURT WILL APPLY RATIONAL BASIS WHEN DISTINCTIONS ARE MADE ON AGE DISABILITY, WEALTH, FELONY STATUS, A PERSON'S GEOGRAPHY OR, UH, HISTORICAL TIES TO A COMMUNITY.

AND SO UNDER THIS LEVEL OF SCRUTINY, THE GOVERNMENT JUST NEEDS TO HAVE A RATIONAL BASIS FOR MAKING A DISTINCTION AND HAS TO HAVE A LEGITIMATE INTEREST.

UH, NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO STRICT SCRUTINY, AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, IS THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF SCRUTINY THAT COURTS WILL APPLY WHEN, UH, A DISTINCTION IS MADE ON AN INDIVIDUAL'S RACE.

AND WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT, UH, IT IS THE MOST RIGOROUS LEVEL OF REVIEW.

AND LIKE I SAID EARLIER, UH, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A COMPELLING GOVERNMENT INTEREST.

AND THE DISTINCTION THAT IS BEING MADE HAS TO BE VERY NARROWLY TAILORED TO MEET THAT COMPELLING INTEREST WHEN COURTS ARE CONSIDERING THESE QUESTIONS, UH, THE PRESUMPTION OR THE BURDEN OF PROOF SHIFTS TO THE GOVERNMENT.

SO NORMALLY WHEN AN INDIVIDUAL SUES, UH, LET'S SAY THE CITY, FOR EXAMPLE, UH, THE PERSON WHO IS BRINGING THE SUIT HAS TO MEET A CERTAIN BURDEN OF PROOF, BUT UNDER THESE CASES, THAT BURDEN OF PROOF SHIFTS TO THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PRESUMPTION IS THAT THE PROGRAM IS GOING TO BE INVALID.

AND THEN THE GOVERNMENT HAS THE BURDEN OF SHOWING THAT, UH, THE COMPELLING INTEREST AND THE NARROWLY TAILORED, UH, TEST IS MET.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE A COMPELLING GOVERNMENT INTEREST? SO, UH, THE GOVERNMENT WOULD HAVE TO SHOW THAT THERE'S BEEN ACTUAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE RELEVANT MARKET OR IN THE RELEVANT AREA THAT IS BEING, UH, UH, REGULATED AND THAT THE GOVERNMENT EITHER ACTIVELY OR PASSIVELY PERPETUATED THAT DISCRIMINATION.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

UH, THE SECOND PRONG OF THE TEST IS THAT, UH, THIS DISTINCTION HAS TO BE NARROWLY TAILORED AND TO MEET THAT TEST, UH, THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO SHOW THAT OTHER RACE NEUTRAL POLICIES HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED IN ORDER TO MEET THE COMPELLING INTEREST AND THAT THOSE RACE NEUTRAL POLICIES FAILED TO ACHIEVE THE COMPELLING INTEREST THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO THIS CASE, THE CITY OF RICHMOND VERSUS J A CROSON, WE REFERRED TO IT AS THE CROSSING CASE IS THE FOUNDATIONAL CASE FOR CONSIDERING RACE WHEN AWARDING MUNICIPAL CONTRACTS OR MAKING FUNDING BASED ON A RACIAL DISTINCTION.

THIS CASE HAS BEEN SETTLED LAW FOR ABOUT 30 YEARS.

SO THIS CASE INVOLVED A PRIVATE COMPANY THAT HAD BID FOR A CONTRACT

[00:45:01]

WITH THE CITY OF RICHMOND, AND THEY CHALLENGED THE CITY'S PLAN TO REQUIRE PRIME CONTRACTORS TO SUBCONTRACT AT LEAST 30% OF EACH CONTRACT TO MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISES.

THE ISSUE THAT WAS, UH, UH, BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT WAS WHETHER THIS, UH, RACIAL QUOTA POLICY OF, UH, 30% VIOLATED THE 14TH AMENDMENT'S EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE.

UH, THE MAJORITY, UM, CONCLUDED THAT THE CITY'S PROGRAM FAILED TO PASS THE STRICT SCRUTINY STANDARD THAT I DISCUSSED BECAUSE THE CITY'S GENERALIZED ASSERTIONS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION IN THE PAST DID NOT JUSTIFY A RIGID QUOTA OF 30%.

UM, THE COURT CONCLUDED THAT THIS 30% QUOTA, UH, COULD NOT BE CONNECTED TO ANY SPECIFIC INJURY THAT AN INDIVIDUAL HAD FACED AND THE RACE NEUTRAL POLICIES, NO RACE NEUTRAL POLICIES HAD BEEN CONSIDERED BEFORE IMPLEMENTING, UH, THIS QUOTA.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

SO THE COURT STRUCK DOWN THE CITY OF RICHMOND'S, UH, POLICY, BUT IT ALSO PROVIDED GUIDANCE ON HOW MUNICIPALITIES CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS AREA.

AND THAT'S WHERE WE'VE BEEN FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS.

SO IN ORDER TO MEET THIS STRICT SCRUTINY STANDARD IN THIS CONTEXT, GOVERNMENTS NOW UNDERTAKE COMPREHENSIVE DISPARITY STUDIES THAT EXAMINE WHETHER CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES ARE UNFAIRLY DENIED TO MINORITY OWNED BUSINESSES.

AND IF DISPARITIES ARE FOUND, THE GOVERNMENT IS REQUIRED TO FORMULATE SPECIFIC PLANS THAT WOULD REMEDY THOSE DISPARITIES.

NOW I'M MAKING THIS SOUND A LOT SIMPLER THAN IT REALLY IS.

IN REALITY, THESE STUDIES OFTEN TAKE YEARS TO CONDUCT AND COMPLETE AND CAN COST INTO THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, DEPENDING UPON HOW MUCH DATA COLLECTION INTERVIEWS AND RESEARCH HAS TO BE DONE.

WE ARE IN THE PROCESS RIGHT NOW OF COMPLETING A DISPARITY STUDY FOR THE SMB, OUR PROGRAMS, AND THAT SHOULD BE PRESENTED TO THE COUNCIL, I THINK WITHIN THE NEXT MONTH OR TWO.

AND THAT A STUDY HAS BEEN ONGOING FOR FOUR YEARS.

NOW.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

THERE'S NO QUESTION.

UM, IN MY MIND THAT THE COVID PANDEMIC HAS HAD A DISPROPORTIONATE NEGATIVE IMPACT ON, UH, PEOPLE OF COLOR AND OTHER MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES.

I THINK WE ALL RECOGNIZE THAT AND THE SPEAKERS ALL BROUGHT THAT FORWARD.

UM, THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS ALSO RECOGNIZED THIS AND, UH, OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST YEAR TO YEAR AND A HALF HAS IMPLEMENTED RELIEF PROGRAMS AIMED AT ADDRESSING THOSE NEGATIVE IMPACTS.

UH, IT'S UNFORTUNATE THAT THOSE PROGRAMS HAVE DRAWN, UH, LAWSUITS FROM CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST GROUPS, UM, THAT, UH, ARE BEING BACKED BY, UM, FOLKS LIKE STEVEN MILLER.

UM, AND THEY'VE BEEN ATTACKING THESE PROGRAMS, UM, THAT THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS PUT FORWARD TO HELP ADDRESS SOME OF THESE INEQUITIES.

ONE OF THE PROGRAMS WE'LL LOOK AT IN A MINUTE IS THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, UH, GRANT PROGRAM FOR RESTAURANT OWNERS.

AND THE SECOND ONE IS A DEBT RELIEF PROGRAM FOR BLACK FARMERS.

NEXT SLIDE.

SO I'LL TALK FIRST ABOUT THE GREER'S RANCH CAFE VERSUS GUZMAN.

THIS IS A CASE FROM THE DALLAS FORT WORTH AREA IN THE DISTRICT COURT, THE US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS.

SO IN THIS PROGRAM, THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SET UP A GRANT RELIEF PROGRAM FOR A RESTAURANT OWNERS, AND IT PRIORITIZED THE DISTRIBUTION OF THOSE GRANT MONIES FOR THE FIRST 21 DAYS, UH, BASED ON AN INDIVIDUAL'S, UH, RACE, GENDER, AND ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED THAT'SS.

SO IT DIDN'T, IT DIDN'T CUT OFF FUNDING TO OTHER PEOPLE.

IT JUST SAID FOR THE FIRST 21 DAYS, FUNDING WILL BE PRIORITIZED FOR THESE GROUPS BASED ON RACE, GENDER, AND ECONOMIC DISADVANTAGED STATUS.

SO GREER WHO IS WHITE AND OWNS A RESTAURANT IN STEVENVILLE, UH, SUED THE SBA TO PREVENT ALL OF THE GRANT MONEY FROM BEING AWARDED, UH, BEFORE IT WAS OPENED TO WHITE MALE OWNERS.

SO THIS CASE WENT ALL THE WAY TO THE SIXTH SKIRT SIXTH CIRCUIT, AND THE SIXTH CIRCUIT, UH, STRUCK DOWN PORTIONS OF THE PROGRAM AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL FIRST THAT STRUCK DOWN THE PRIORITIZATION BASED ON RACE, BECAUSE, UH, THEY SAID THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT PRODUCE

[00:50:01]

ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO MEET ANY OF THE CRITERIA FOR A SHOWING OF A COMPELLING GOVERNMENT INTEREST.

UM, AND THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN, UM, EVEN IF AN END, EVEN IF THE GOVERNMENT, THE COURT SAID, EVEN IF THE GOVERNMENT HAD A COMPELLING INTEREST, UH, TO REMEDY ANY PAST DISCRIMINATION, THE PRIORITIZATION OF GRANT APPLICATIONS WAS NOT NARROWLY TAILORED IN ORDER TO MEET THAT COMPELLING INTEREST.

SO EVEN IF THE, THE GOVERNMENT HAD MET THAT COMPELLING INTEREST STANDARD, IT STILL WOULD HAVE BEEN STRUCK DOWN BECAUSE THE COURT SAID IT WAS NOT NARROWLY TAILORED ENOUGH.

UM, THE COURT ALSO SAID THAT THE GOVERNMENT DIDN'T CONSIDER, UH, OR USE ANY RACE NEUTRAL ALTERNATIVES, UH, FIRST AND THAT THE USE OF A RACIAL PREFERENCE AND THE PRIORITIZATION SCHEME, UH, WAS OVER-BROAD AND UNDER INCLUSIVE, UH, THE SIXTH CIRCUIT ALSO INVALIDATED INVALIDATED, UH, THE PRIORITIZATION OF WOMEN OWNED RESTAURANTS, UH, SAYING THAT IT DID NOT MEET THE INTERMEDIATE SCRUTINY STANDARD.

UM, HOWEVER, IT DID PERMIT THE SBA TO CONTINUE TO PRIORITIZE THE GRANT FUNDING FOR, UH, ELIGIBLE VETERAN OWNED RESTAURANTS, SO THAT, UH, THE PRIORITIZATION OF ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED AND VETERAN OWNED RESTAURANTS FELL UNDER THE RATIONAL BASIS STANDARD, WHICH IS A MUCH EASIER STANDARD FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO MEET.

SO THAT WAS THE ONE PART OF THE PROGRAM THAT THE COURT DETERMINED COULD CONTINUE.

NEXT SLIDE, PLEASE.

UM, THEN THE NEXT CASE IS SORT OF A GROUP OF CASES THAT, THAT WE REFER TO AS THE BLACK FARMERS CASES.

UM, SO, UH, THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, UH, HAD DEVELOPED A $4 BILLION AID PACKAGE, UH, FOR BLACK FARMERS.

AND THAT'S BECAUSE THERE HAS BEEN A LONG AND STORIED AND WELL-DOCUMENTED HISTORY OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST BLACK FARMERS SPECIFICALLY BY THE U S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

IN FACT, IN 2010, THE USDA SETTLED WHAT IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE LARGEST CIVIL RIGHTS CASE IN HISTORY TO RESOLVE DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS BROUGHT BY BLACK FARMERS AGAINST THE USDA.

THE SETTLEMENT HAS REACHED TO NEARLY $1.2 BILLION.

AND AGAIN, THIS WAS TO REMEDY A DOCUMENTED HISTORY OF RACIST PRACTICES BY THE USDA AND THE USDA ASSERTED THAT THIS RELIEF PROGRAM WAS NECESSARY IN ORDER TO REMEDY ITS OWN PAST DISCRIMINATION.

UM, NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

UH, SO WITH THIS HISTORY, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF, UH, A LOT OF US IN THE LEGAL WORLD SORT OF FIGURED THAT, UM, WITH THIS WELL-DOCUMENTED HISTORY, THAT THAT USDA WOULD MEET THE STRICT SCRUTINY STANDARD.

UM, WE WERE WRONG.

UH, THE COURT, UH, FOUND THAT, UH, STRICT SCRUTINY WAS NOT MET, UH, THE TEXAS AGRICULTURE COMMISSIONER, SID MILLER, UM, FILED SUIT AGAIN WITH FINANCIAL BACKING FROM A GROUP LED BY STEPHEN MILLER.

THE COURT STRUCK DOWN THE PROGRAM BECAUSE IT FAILED TO SHOW THAT EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS THIS LONG DOCUMENTED HISTORY, THERE WAS NO CURRENT DISCRIMINATION.

THIS SORT OF REMINDED US OF, UH, WHAT JUSTICE ROBERTS, CHIEF, CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS SAID IN THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT CASE FROM A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN HE HYPOTHESIZED THAT RACISM NO LONGER EXISTS.

UM, THE COURT DETERMINED IN THIS, IN THE BLACK FARMERS CASES THAT THE U S DA AGAIN, DID NOT MEET THE STRICT SCRUTINY STANDARD, AND AS SORT OF A LITTLE BIT OF SALT IN THE WOUND, THE FEDERAL JUDGES, UM, WHO WERE OVERSEEING A BUNCH OF THESE CASES, UH, CERTIFIED, UH, WHITE FARMERS AS A CLASS, UM, IN ORDER TO ALLOW THEM TO BRING A CLASS ACTION CASE AGAINST THE USDA.

UM, IT IS VERY DIFFICULT UNDER MOST CIRCUMSTANCES TO CERTIFY A CLASS.

SO A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE SURPRISED THAT WHITE FARMERS WERE CERTIFIED AS A CLASS TO PROCEED ON THIS LAWSUIT.

UH, NEXT SLIDE PLEASE.

SO JUST IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS, UM, THE U S SUPREME COURT HAS ANNOUNCED, IT WILL HEAR A CHALLENGE TO A LEGAL PRECEDENT THAT HAS BEEN IN PLACE FOR TWO DECADES THAT ALLOWS COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO CONSIDER RACE AS PART OF A HOLISTIC ADMISSIONS PROCESS.

THIS, AGAIN, THIS AREA HAS BEEN SETTLED LAW FOR A LONG TIME, UM, SINCE ABOUT 2005, I BELIEVE.

AND THERE'S REALLY NO REASON FOR THE COURT TO TAKE THIS CASE EXCEPT TO OVERTURN THAT PRECEDENT.

UH, WE SEEN THAT THE COURT'S NEW CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY HAS NO PROBLEM

[00:55:01]

OVERTURNING SUBTLE PRECEDENT.

AND I WOULD EXPECT THAT, UH, THE USE OF RACE AS A FACTOR IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS IS, UH, IS GOING TO BE STRUCK DOWN, UH, PROBABLY WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR.

UM, THIS DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR CASES LIKE CROSON, UM, WHICH IS THE FOUNDATION UPON WHICH OUR CURRENT PROGRAMS AND THE SMB OUR OFFICE IS BASED.

UH, WE THINK THAT IF THE COURT IS PRESENTED WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO OVERTURN, CROSON LIKE IT IS OVERTURNING THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS CASES.

UM, I THINK THEY WOULD TAKE IT, UM, AND THAT WOULD PUT OUR SMB, OUR PROGRAMS AT RISK.

UM, SO OUR CONCERN IS THAT, UH, IN THIS ENVIRONMENT, IF SOMEONE SHOULD, UH, DECIDE TO FILE SUIT AGAINST THE CITY AND, AND THIS CASE ENDED UP IN THE COURTS THAT, UH, WE WOULD POTENTIALLY PUT CASES LIKE CROSON AT RISK, NOT ONLY FOR THE CITY, BUT FOR, UH, FOR CITIES ALL ACROSS THE, ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

AND IT WOULD, UH, PROVIDE THE COURT WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO OVERTURN SUBTLED LAW FOR THE ENTIRE COUNTRY.

UH, NEXT SLIDE.

SO THAT'S THE END OF MY PRESENTATION.

I'M HAPPY TO ANSWER SOME QUESTIONS.

I, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM MEMBERS SORT OF HOW THIS, HOW THIS HITS HOME WITH YOU.

UM, I'D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR FEELINGS ON IT, YOUR THOUGHTS, UM, AND I'LL, I'LL TURN IT OVER TO THE COMMISSION.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU, NEIL.

THAT WAS, UH, VERY COMPREHENSIVE.

UM, I DO HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS WRITTEN DOWN, BUT FIRST I WANTED TO JUST, UH, SEE IF ANY OF MY FELLOW COMMISSIONERS GUYS.

SO I Y'ALL ARE LIKE ON A SCREEN THAT IS REALLY FAR AWAY FROM ME, OR YOU REALLY CLOSE BEHIND ME.

SO IF YOU WANT TO SPEAK AT ANY POINT DURING THE MEETING, JUST LIKE, HOLD YOUR HANDS UP REALLY CLEARLY AND WAVE AT ME.

SO, UM, BUT YEAH, STARTING OUT.

DOES ANYBODY HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT MEALS? YEAH, GO AHEAD.

YEAH, THE, UM, AND I KNOW THAT, UM, UM, MR. FARGO, THE, UH, THE, YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN WORKING IN TANDEM WITH EDD FOR A VERY LONG TIME, UM, ON MANY, MANY DIFFERENT THINGS, AND THIS IS JUST ONE OF THEM.

THE, THERE WAS SOME KIND OF, UH, UM, UH, THERE I SAY, LIKE, UM, I DON'T KNOW, THERE BASICALLY WAS A PLAN FOR THE AUSTIN MUSIC DISASTER RELIEF FUND BECAUSE BASICALLY IN LEADING WITH EQUITY AND CONSIDERING THE PRESERVATION INNOVATION AND ELEVATION ASPECTS OF THOSE PLANS, UM, BOTH FROM THE LIVE MUSIC PERSPECTIVE, LIVE MUSIC, FUN PERSPECTIVE.

AND WITH THE AUSTIN MUSIC DISASTER RELIEF FUND, IT WAS THEORIZED THAT THE AUSTIN MUSIC DISASTER RELIEF FUND WOULD GO OUT FIRST WITH PI WITH US, CONSIDERING RACE AS PART OF THE FOREFRONT OF THOSE, UH, FOR CONSIDERATION OF PEOPLE APPLYING AND RECEIVING THESE FUNDS.

THAT FUND HAS SINCE GONE OUT.

I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE WAS THINGS THAT HAD TO BE CHANGED.

MY QUESTION IS WHAT HAPPENED? WHAT W UH, MAYBE, MAYBE SYNOVIA AND ERICA COULD SPEAK DIFFERENTLY TO THIS, BUT, UH, WHAT EXACTLY DEAD CHANGED THAT ALLOWED FOR THE AUSTIN MUSIC DISASTER RELIEF FUND TO GO OUT? AND HOW IS IT THAT WE CAN PIGGYBACK OFF OF THAT WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IN DESCRIBING FUTURE FUNDS, INCLUDING THE LIVE MUSIC FUND, GOOD AFTERNOON, STILL NOVIA, HAUTE, RAB ACTING, DIRECTOR, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

SO WE DID ADJUST OUR QUESTIONING, UM, TO INCLUDE AROUND INCOME, UH, GEOGRAPHY, UM, ALONG THOSE LINES.

AND WE'RE STILL ANALYZING THE DATA, BUT BASED ON PRELIMINARY RESULTS, UM, IT WASN'T A DIRECT LINE AS WE WOULD HAVE HOPED BY SCORING, BUT WE SEEM TO BE GETTING THE RESULTS AROUND EQUITY THAT WE DESIRE.

AND ERICA IS ON THE LINE.

DEFINITELY.

AND I CAN ADD A LITTLE BIT TO THAT.

SO, UM, I THINK WHAT PRESENTS THE MOST RISK IN TERMS OF A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE IS EXPLICITLY CALLING OUT RACE AS A FACTOR.

UM, THERE OTHER FACTORS THAT WOULD FALL UNDER THAT LOWER STANDARD OF RATIONAL BASIS THAT MIGHT STILL GET US TO EQUITABLE FUNDING, BUT WOULD NOT EXPLICITLY BE STATED AS RACE.

AND I KNOW THAT THAT IS, I KNOW THAT COMES AS A DISAPPOINTMENT.

I RECOGNIZE THAT, UM, BUT

[01:00:01]

DOING THINGS LIKE DRAWING LINES BASED ON GEOGRAPHY OR A PERSON'S ZIP CODE OR A PERSON'S HISTORICAL TIES TO A COMMUNITY, MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET YOU TO THE SAME PLACE AT A LOWER LEVEL OF LEGAL RISK.

HI, UM, I WANT TO COMMENT ON THAT ERICA SHAMLEY DIVISION MANAGER FOR MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT, UH, WE'LL BE PREPARED TO GIVE YOU A FULL REPORT ON THE AUSTIN MUSIC DISASTER RELIEF GRANTS IN MARCH, BUT, UH, FROM WHAT WE ARE SEEING WITH THE PRELIMINARY SCORING, UM, I WOULD SAY ABOUT HALF OF THE APPLICANTS WERE NOT, DID NOT DESIGNATE THEMSELVES AS WHITE.

AND WE ARE SEEING WITH HOW THE SCORES ARE KIND OF SHAKING OUT THAT THEY ARE SCORING HIGHER BASED ON THE QUESTIONS WE ASKED, SO THAT IT IS AN INDIRECT ROUTE TO GET WHERE WE WANT TO GO.

IT'S NOT WHAT WE HAD HOPED FOR AND NOT WHAT WE HAD ORIGINALLY PLANNED ON.

UH, BUT ASKING QUESTIONS AROUND GEOGRAPHY, INCOME, ACCESS TO INSURANCE, TRADITIONAL BANKS, UH, HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU HAD TO MOVE? THERE ARE A LOT OF QUESTIONS THERE THAT DID ACTUALLY GET US, UM, TO WHAT WE WERE HOPING.

UH, BUT AGAIN, WE'LL BE ABLE TO GIVE YOU THAT DATA VERY CRUNCHED DOWN, UH, IN MARCH.

OKAY.

THANK YOU, ERICA.

OKAY.

I HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION.

YEAH, GO AHEAD, GRAHAM.

YEAH, I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO REGULATE IT, BUT, UM, DO I UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS CURRENTLY LEGAL TO, UH, TO USE, UH, RACE AND RACIAL EQUITY AS AN EXPLICIT FACTOR, BUT THERE'S A DANGER OF THE PROGRAMMING STRUCK DOWN IN THE FUTURE.

AND IF THAT IS THE CASE, IS THERE DOES THAT, IF WE DID, WHICH WE DO WANT, SINCE WE DO WANT RACE TO BE EXPLICITLY PART OF IT, UM, IS THAT MOTIVATION FOR HAVING A SENSE OF URGENCY AND APPROVING THE PROGRAM AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, GETTING THE MONEY OUT AND THEN SEEING WHAT IS POSSIBLE LEGALLY IN A YEAR WHEN THE NEXT PHASE, THE PROGRAM COMES IN, WHAT WE LOOKED AT LAST SEPTEMBER AND THE COMMISSION VOTED TO DELAY WAS A STAFF PROPOSAL THAT CLEARLY WAS GOING TO PRIORITIZE BIPAP ARTISTS.

UM, AND SO I'M CURIOUS IF WE WENT BACK TO THAT, IF THAT'S SOMETHING THAT IS CURRENTLY LEGAL AND COULD MOVE FORWARD, OR, OR IF THERE'S SOME REASON WHY WE'RE, WE COULDN'T DO SOMETHING THAT, BECAUSE IT MIGHT IN THE FUTURE BE ILLEGAL.

THANK YOU FOR THAT QUESTION COMMISSIONER.

UM, SO I DON'T WANT TO SPEAK IN TERMS OF LEGAL AND ILLEGAL.

I'D PREFER TO SPEAK IN TERMS OF RISK AND LEGAL RISK.

UM, DISTINCTIONS BASED ON RACE HAVE ALWAYS TRIGGERED THAT STRICT SCRUTINY ANALYSIS, AND THAT'S BEEN STANDARD FOR, YOU KNOW, DECADES.

UM, I THINK WHAT CONCERNS US NOW IS, UH, THE RECENT COURT DEVELOPMENTS AND HOW COURTS HAVE APPLIED THAT AND THE DECISIONS THAT THEY HAVE REACHED AND SORT OF SOME OF THE SIGNALS THAT THEY HAVE SENT IN TERMS OF THEIR WILLINGNESS TO STRIKE THOSE PROGRAMS DOWN.

UM, SO I WOULD SAY THAT RACE HAS ALWAYS PRESENTED SOME LEVEL OF RISK, BUT, UH, BUT OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST YEAR TO 18 MONTHS, THAT RISK HAS INCREASED.

AND SO, UM, WE THINK YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THAT AS YOU TAKE THIS INTO CONSIDERATION.

SO SAY WE TOOK THE RISK AND MOVED FORWARD WITH SOMETHING THAT, UH, SOME THE DRAFT OF THE STAFF AND PROPOSE IN TERMS OF SCORING CRITERIA, ET CETERA.

UH, AND THEN THE MONEY GOES UP AND THEN SIX MONTHS LATER THAT RISK BECOMES REALIZED, WHAT IS, WHAT ARE THE RESULTS OF THAT? LIKE, ARE THE RECIPIENTS ASKED TO SEND THE MONEY BACK, IS THE, LIKE WHAT, WHAT, WHAT HAPPENS? SO THE COURTS COULD FREEZE ANY PROGRAMS THAT ARE FUNDED BY THOSE MONIES.

UM, AND, UH, YOU KNOW, AS THE CORE, AS THE CASES WORK THEIR WAY THROUGH THE COURT SYSTEM, UM, IT COULD BECOME AN ISSUE OF, OF NOT JUST FREEZING THE MONEY RELATED TO THE PROGRAMS, BUT AN EXAMINATION OF WHETHER THE PROGRAM WAS CONSTITUTIONAL TO BEGIN WITH.

[01:05:03]

I THINK I UNDERSTAND THAT, BUT SO SAY, SAY THE DECIDE, IT WAS NOT, UH, THAT WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY THAT'S ALREADY BEEN ALLOCATED.

OH, LIKE WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TO SEND THE MONEY BACK.

I DON'T THINK THAT THAT WOULD, THAT WOULD BE, I HAVEN'T SEEN THAT AS, AS, AS A REMEDY THAT HAS BEEN, UM, INSTITUTED BY THE COURTS.

OKAY.

SO IT, IN THEORY RIGHT NOW, UH, BEING MORE EQUITABLE IS A LOWER RISK THAN YOU EXPECT IT TO BE IN THREE TO SIX MONTHS.

IT SEEMS TO MAKE SENSE TO ME TO DO THE HIGH-RISK PROGRAM NOW THAT IS FOCUSED, ESPECIALLY ON BIPAP COMMUNITIES WITH ASSUMING THAT THIS WERE, WE'VE ALL BEEN ASSUMING THAT THIS FUNDING WILL INCREASE IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS AND THE PROGRAM WILL EVOLVE AND BE ABLE TO DO MORE.

AND SO WHAT SOME OF THE SPEAKERS WERE TALKING ABOUT, WHAT'S AT LEAST IN THE FIRST YEAR THAT, THAT THERE'S A BIPAP HEAVY FOCUS.

UH, AND THAT SEEMS TO MAKE SENSE WITH THE LEGAL TIMELINE THAT YOU YOU'RE DESCRIBING TO ME, GET THIS MONEY OUT NOW.

AND THEN NEXT YEAR IS MAYBE A MORE CAUTIOUSLY DEFINED.

THAT WOULD BE A POLICY DISCUSSION THAT, THAT I THINK WOULD, WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THIS COMMISSION TO HAVE, I HAVE A QUICK QUESTION RELATED TO THAT THOUGH, NEIL, WOULD THAT POTENTIALLY FREEZE FUTURE F FISCAL YEAR BUDGETS IF WE WERE TO TAKE THAT RISK NOW, POTENTIALLY.

SO THAT'S SOMETHING TO CONSIDER.

IT'S HARD TO SAY WHAT ANY PARTICULAR COURT WILL DO, YOU KNOW, A COURT, UH, UH, THE, THE FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT IN AUSTIN, UM, MIGHT HAVE A DIFFERENT OPINION THAN THE FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT AND, UH, NORTH TEXAS, BUT WHEN IT GETS TO THE FIFTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS, WHICH OVERSEES, YOU KNOW, TEXAS, LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, THAT'S THE MOST CONSERVATIVE CIRCUIT COURT IN THE COUNTRY.

AND I THINK THAT THEY WOULD, UH, DEFINITELY STRIKE IT DOWN.

AND THEN IF IT WENT TO THE SUPREME COURT, UH, I THINK THAT IF THEY TOOK THIS CASE ON, IF THEY TOOK SUCH A CASE ON, I, I DON'T THINK IT WOULD BODE WELL.

SO, UM, IF, IF A LAWSUIT WAS BROUGHT BECAUSE, AND WE'RE SPEAKING ABOUT THE LIVE MUSIC FUNDS, HOW THAT'S ELIGIBILITY FOR THAT IS DETERMINED AND SCORED.

SO, UM, LET'S SAY A LAWSUIT WAS BROUGHT AGAINST THAT PROGRAM.

UM, COULD WE, AT THAT POINT, RE-EXAMINE THE PROGRAM OR START A PARALLEL PROGRAM OR IS ALL THE, ARE WE IN DANGER? LIKE THE MONEY'S JUST TIED UP FOR FIVE YEARS WHILE, LIKE, I MEAN, LIKE, IS THERE A WORD, LIKE, CAN WE LIKE, YOU KNOW, TAKE THE RISK AND THEN, UM, HAVE THERE, IF NEEDED, I BELIEVE WHAT YOU'RE ASKING IS IF WE AWARDED MONEY AND FACED A LAWSUIT, COULD WE SAY AT THAT POINT WHEN THE LAWSUIT COMES, OH, NEVERMIND, WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO THIS ANYMORE.

THAT THAT IS A OPTION.

UM, I DON'T WANT TO GET TOO FAR DOWN THE ROAD AND HOW WE WOULD HANDLE LITIGATION AND IN A PUBLIC DISCUSSION.

UM, BUT, UM, THAT IS, THAT WOULD BE AN OPTION, OBVIOUSLY, IF THAT WERE TO HAPPEN, THERE WOULD BE, UM, A LOT OF CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR LITIGATION FOLKS, CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE AND COUNSEL ON HOW TO PROCEED, UH, WITH THAT, UH, SORT OF LITIGATION.

OKAY.

SO THE OTHER THING TO KEEP IN MIND HERE IS THAT THE DISASTER RELIEF FUND IS SUPPOSED TO GO OUT IN DECEMBER.

AND ONE OF THE REASONS WHY IT WAS DELAYED WAS IT WAS BECAUSE OF THIS EXACT ISSUE.

IT WAS DELAYED BECAUSE OF THE ISSUE OF, IS IT, YOU KNOW, CONSTITUTIONALLY SOUND FOR US TO, TO, TO KIND OF MAKE THIS, UM, I'M SURE THAT ERICA AND SNELLVILLE COULD SPEAK WAY MORE TO THAT, BUT I CAN, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE IF, IF, IF THE DISASTER RELIEF HAS GONE OUT THE DOOR AND WE HAVE, UM, BUT THESE GUIDELINES SORT OF IN PLACE THAT DON'T SPECIFICALLY TALK ABOUT RACE, BUT THAT ALREADY HAD RAISED, IT SEEMS AS THOUGH, UM, THAT THE LIVE MUSIC FUND POTENTIALLY COULD, I MEAN,

[01:10:01]

BE SAFE FROM, FROM SOME SORT OF LITIGATION OR, UM, YOU KNOW, BEING THE CITY BEING SUED OR SOMETHING, BECAUSE THE SPUN HAS ALREADY GONE.

I MEAN, IT HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE, BUT IT SEEMS LIKE, UM, WE, WE MAY BE ON SOME SAFER GROUND THERE.

UM, AND, AND OF COURSE THAT MEANS THAT WE'RE NOT, YOU KNOW, LIKE SAYING, YOU KNOW, SPECIFICALLY PEOPLE OF COLOR CAN GET THE MONEY OR BASED ON SEX, GENDER ORIENTATION THAT THEY CAN ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, WE CAN ACTUALLY PRIORITIZE THAT PART OF IT, BUT WE CAN, BY ASKING CERTAIN QUESTIONS IN, UM, YOU KNOW, THERE'D THE APPLICATION, WHICH WE'VE ALREADY DONE WITH THE DISASTER RELIEF FUND AND IT SEEMS TO BE GOING WELL, AM I, AM I, AM I CORRECT IN THAT ASSUMPTION? SO YES YOU ARE.

AND AS ERICA MENTIONED, WE WILL HAVE A DEEP DIVE INTO THE DATA IN MARCH BECAUSE WE'RE ANALYZING IT RIGHT NOW.

AND SO THAT WOULD GIVE YOU A GOOD BASIS OF THE QUESTIONS THAT WE HAVE ASKED TO USE AS, UM, FUTURE BASIS OF THE LIVE MUSIC PROGRAM.

OKAY.

GOTCHA.

AND I ALSO JUST WANT TO SAY, THANK YOU.