CITY: The Austin chapter of ADL stages two major social benefits each year. One season, the Anti-Defamation League presents the esteemed Torch of Liberty Awards at a formal dinner. Another season, it’s time for the True Colors party, a more informal mixer designed to appeal to ADL’s younger members. This year, the second party landed at a venue new to me, Getaway Motor Club, located near the intersection of Airport Boulevard and Springdale Road. This former industrial building nowadays houses vintage cars and, on an upper level, a bar with billiard room, like a proper clubhouse. The cars were parked outside as the guests arrived early in the evening for finger food, summer drinks and brisk chat. There was much discussion of summer getaways, recent music fests and the work ADL does to fight hate and bullying, especially in the classroom. Picked up the trail of a local couple who have been Texas ADL members for something like 60 years. Can’t wait to hear their personal stories.
CITY 2: YWCA class acts at the W Austin. The Women of the Year Awards have progressed rapidly into an essential evening at a classy locale. There was plenty of time to learn about many of the guests, including two women at my table who met at summer camp more than 60 years ago and remain very close. Deep into the evening came the awards. Shubhaba Saxena, who works with more than 20 groups to help mostly immigrants, won for racial justice. Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, fresh from her first public forum with fellow mayoral candidates, was honored for economic empowerment. Monica Benoit-Beatty — really too young for a lifetime achievement award — do so anyway (she gets things done, again and again). Christine Chen is the Y’s leader of promise; Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders student Ruby Fisher is its young woman of achievement. You know what this columnist is thinking: Profiles, profiles, profiles.
POLITICS: Mayor’s race kicks of with talk of differences. From Lilly Rockwell’s story in the Statestman: "The three most high-profile candidates for Austin mayor used their first debate Friday to test out their biographical stump speeches and take opening shots at their opponents. Attorney Steve Adler and Council Member Mike Martinez and Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole were the featured speakers at the event hosted by the Central Texas Democratic Forum, which highlights Democratic speakers and candidates for office. Their audience was a friendly room of liberal-leaning Austin residents and activists, as well as campaign consultants and supporters who were eager to see how their respective candidates would fare in this first test. Moderator and attorney Charles Herring lobbed pointed questions, ranging from how they would handle running the meetings with a new 11-member City Council to their stance on the proposed urban rail route and the decision not to challenge commercial property tax appraisals this year. One revealing glimpse into how they would seek to depict their differences came at the beginning, with candidate introductions." http://shar.es/MHe6h