At the epicenter of Travis County is a growing number of important initiatives, key public figures and essential conflicts which are pulling the Central Texas community into new directions. This year, 2012, will see important primary elections in a matter of weeks, followed by a potentially contentious general election in November; recent months have also seen the continuation of a punishing drought, a growing rebellion against Austin Energy, and the invasion of an unusual species of ant. One county official is running a court for war veterans; another is chafing at the county government’s policies.
Any of these trends could ultimately evolve into bigger stories and even more critical issues. A group of enterprising journalism students at the University of Texas at Austin, under the direction of Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, set out to capture the present state of Travis County affairs. Key issues are broken into five areas of coverage outlining a skeleton of the county: Demographics, the Area Budget, Elected Officials, Stakeholders, and the county’s Biggest Issues. Looking at these issues in 2012, and in depth, may show hints to the county’s key issues in the coming years.