Axios Austin

Picture of the Austin skyline.

It's a much-needed Friday.

☀️ Today's weather: Sunny with a high of 97.

  • Expect more of the same through this Memorial Day weekend — so remember to rub sunblock on the back of your neck, even that bit just under the T-shirt.

Let's dive in.

Today's newsletter is 842 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Cornyn prepared to meet over red flag laws

Data: Giffords Law Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

In the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said he's prepared to work with U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, on gun safety legislation.

Why it matters: So-called red flag laws, which Cornyn said he'd be open to discussing, seem to be the most realistic path for a congressional compromise, Axios' Alayna Treene and Andrew Solender write.

  • Red flag laws allow law enforcement to temporarily take guns away from those considered to be a threat to themselves or others.
  • Legislation that would expand background checks and address loopholes in waiting period rules is also being discussed but appears less likely to overcome a Senate filibuster.

Between the lines: The shooter had no known history of mental illness. Authorities have disclosed he entered the school through an unlocked door — and that the school had no armed security guard.

The big picture: At the state level, Republicans and Democrats have found common ground over red flag laws.

  • Nineteen states have red flag laws, including in GOP-controlled states such as Florida and Indiana. However, talks in the Texas Legislature stalled in 2018 when Gov. Greg Abbott asked lawmakers to take up the measure. He later dropped the idea after gun advocates and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pushed back.

What they're saying: Cornyn said Tuesday's shooting could provide a new "impetus" to the stalled talks over gun safety legislation, Bloomberg reported.

  • Both Senate Democrats and Republicans held small-group discussions Wednesday to gauge bipartisan support for the passage of any legislation.

But, but, but: Compromise remains a long way off.

What's next: President Biden will visit Uvalde on Sunday to meet with families.

Go deeper.

2. The Mexican American civil rights connection to Uvalde

Uvalde resident Olga Muñoz Rodriquez protesting discrimination against Mexican Americans in 1970s. Photo: Voces Oral History Center/University of Texas

Uvalde may have been unknown to most Americans before the mass shooting this week, but the town has deep roots in the Mexican American struggle for civil rights.

The big picture: The massacre took place in a school district that's home to one of the most crucial school walkouts in civil rights history, writes Axios' Russell Contreras.

Flashback: In 1970, a group of Mexican American students in Uvalde staged a walkout to protest the district's refusal to renew the contract of Josue "George" Garza, a popular Mexican American teacher.

  • Students demanded the all-white school board hire more Mexican American educators and offer Chicano history courses.
  • The school board refused to negotiate. Demonstrations lasted six weeks — one of the longest school walkouts in U.S. history.

Threat level: The white Uvalde leaders brought in the Texas Rangers, who stood on buildings with rifles pointed at demonstrators as helicopters flew low, to help squash the protests.

  • The walkout was eventually suppressed, and students were flunked for a year. Many left and completed school elsewhere.

Yes, but: The standoff helped fuel the rise of Chicano political power.

Legacy: University of Texas historian Monica Muñoz Martinez, who went to school in Uvalde, said she was influenced by the activism.

Check out Axios Latino.

3. 🤠 The Roundup: Wrangling the news

Photo illustration of the Willie Nelson statue in Austin checking the news on its phone.
Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images

📉 After its worst financial quarter in years, Amazon has put plans for a large distribution center in Round Rock on hold. (Austin Business Journal)

💰 KERV Interactive, an Austin-based ad tech company that enables shopping on digital videos, has raised $12 million. (Axios)

🚔 Four people have been arrested in connection with a threat against Manor ISD schools. Police also are investigating threats against Georgetown and Round Rock ISD schools. (KVUE)

💻 The city of Austin's website is actually harder to navigate and less intuitive than it was five years ago, an auditor's report concludes. (Austin Monitor)

On the job hunt?

🌳 Branch out with our Job Board.

  1. Director, data and insights at Hero Digital.
  2. Executive director at Congregation Beth Israel.
  3. Technical partner manager at Amazon.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

4. 🎶 Your weekend lineup

Illustration of neon signs with the days of the week. Lights go out one by one and "weekend" flashes.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

🎬 Watch Jimmy Cliff in "The Harder They Come," the classic 1970s Jamaican film, at AFS Cinema. Friday at 7pm. Tickets, $13.50.

💃 Dance to the music of Puerto Rican Latin Grammy winner Pedro Capó at Haute Spot in Cedar Park, 8pm Saturday. Tickets, $30+.

🌬 Buy stuff. Energy-efficient air conditioners (priced at $6,000 or less), refrigerators (at $2,000 or less), ceiling fans, light bulbs, washing machines and dishwashers are tax-free, Saturday through Monday.

🇬🇷 Eat handsomely at the Austin Greek Festival, with live music and dancing. Entry is $5 — free for kids 10 and under, military and first responders. At the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, Friday through Sunday.

5. Let's head to the lake

Canyon Lake. Photo courtesy of Airbnb

☀️ Hellooo, summer!

Plan your escape from the heat with three lake abodes available on Airbnb in the Texas Hill Country, writes Axios' Sami Sparber.

Sunset Ridge

Bring a group and bask in the golden hour glow at this secluded space that's perfect for entertaining.

📍 Location: Canyon Lake

Features: Hot tub with built-in drink cooler, view deck, modern coastal decor

Space: 16 guests, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

💵 Cost: $225+ per night

Two more getaways.

6. 🚗 1 Memorial Day cost-per-mile chart to go

Data: Zeta; Chart: Axios Visuals

Drive safely out there, friends!

💦 Asher predicts he'll be spending a lot of time this weekend at the Ricky Guerrero splash pad, off South Fifth Street. It's got water spitting out of fake fire hydrants, which reminds him of his hometown of NYC.

  • Have a favorite splash pad to take the kiddos? Let us know which one — and why. Hit reply to this email.

🕶 Nicole will be spending her long weekend basking in the sun.

Have a great long weekend, y'all. And a quick programming note — no newsletter on Monday — but we'll join you back here on Tuesday.