DALLAS — If you’ve driven through Austin lately (or at any point in your life) then you know all about one of Travis County Judge Andy Brown’s priorities heading into 2022: improving infrastructure, mobility in particular.
Brown says look no further than FM 969.
“969 is one example of a road that heads east from downtown that needs to be widened and improved in many ways,” Brown said on Inside Texas Politics.
Brown says the county just received a big infusion of cash for Capitol Metro and transit infrastructure improvements. And he’ll be looking for plenty of dollars from the federal government now that Congress has passed the infrastructure bill.
The other big problem that just won’t go away is, of course, the pandemic. But Travis County has always been one of the highest vaccinated counties in the state, with more than 70% of residents fully vaccinated.
Brown says one of the big secrets to that success is early coordination between the county judges in Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell and Hayes counties.
He says the four of them sent a letter to the state asking for more vaccines if they could set up a massive drive-thru vaccination event at the Circuit of the Americas.
After the state agreed, Brown says the region received some 200,000 extra doses initially and they’ve been doing pretty well ever since. And he says they’re now having similar success with pediatric vaccinations.
“So, I think part of this, frankly, is taking politics out of it. Two of the county judges I was working with on that were Republicans. I’m a Democrat. And we all just said, you know what, this is what the doctors are telling us we need to do. Let’s make the vaccines as available as possible for our populations,” said Judge Brown.