Jan 10, 2023 - Things to Do

Eight ways to become a Texas Capitol pro

Illustration of a bow tie with a flag of Texas design.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

The Texas Legislature is back, and whether you're a new Capitol staffer or just a civically engaged Austin townie, we've wrangled up the best ways to stay informed and look the part under the pink dome.

📚 One book to read: "The Gay Place," the definitive Texas political novel.

🏛️ Two clashing memorials to visit: The Texas African American History Memorial and the Confederate Soldiers Monument.

👂 Two podcasts to listen to: The Houston Chronicle's "Texas Take," hosted by Scott Braddock and Jeremy Wallace, and The Texas Tribune's "TribCast."

☕️ The perfect Capitol Grill order: Texas pecan coffee — great for staying alert during long committee hearings.

  • On Twitter, folks recommended the club and chicken salad sandwiches and the Texas toast breakfast sandwich.

🚪 Best entrance: Try the west side of the Capitol for a shorter security line. Pro tip: Flash your handgun license and you can bypass the queue.

🅿️ Best parking: Capitol visitors parking garage (Free for the first two hours and $1 for each half hour after, with a $12 max daily charge.)

🍸 Best spots to bump into key staffers and lobbyists: Texas Chili Parlor, the Cloak Room and Higher Ground.

🤫 Best secret hideaway for a quiet moment: The Texas Legislative Research Library, located on the second floor, north wing, of the Capitol. Natural light, spacious and a great place to work.


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