So you moved to Austin, Texas. Here’s a few things you need to know from longtime Austinite Joah Spearman.

Austin Texas
Austin, Texas.

  • Austin has attracted thousands in recent years, including public figures like Joe Rogan and Tim Ferris.
  • Longtime Austinite Joah Spearman wants new residents to remember they have a responsibility to the city.
  • He says Austin needs diverse people and ideas, investment in local businesses, and political fervor.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Congratulations on your recent move to Austin!

Moving is hard enough, but to do it during a pandemic has to be next-level headache-inducing and a huge stress test, so kudos to you.

In case no one else has said it, let me officially welcome you to Austin. When you think of Austin, you probably don’t think your welcoming committee will be led by a Black man, but here I am to welcome you wholeheartedly because I’ve volunteered for the honor.

Truth be told, if I didn’t welcome you, it’s possible no one would. Not unless you’re Elon Musk and Governor Abbott has a smile as wide as the Texas Panhandle or you’re Joe Rogan and every tech bro in Austin is so pumped to point to your move (and Tim Ferriss’ move) here as some kind of stamp of approval that they never needed Silicon Valley. Austin has gone through a great number of years of growth and many of the people who’ve lived here for years -correction: many of the people who’ve paid property taxes or voted against rail bonds in Austin for years – have not been the friendliest to newcomers.

“Don’t California My Texas,” “Don’t Dallas My Austin,” “Thanks for coming to SXSW. Don’t move here,” and all kinds of signs have been spotted around town for some time. Yet, here you are, one of the 100 to 150 new people who moved to Austin today, one of the roughly 35,000 to 50,000 people who moved to Austin this year, and one of the people who some longtime homeowner is griping about increasing their property taxes. I’m sorry in advance for the nimby crowd. They don’t have any manners.

In all honesty, Austin does a better job of welcoming big businesses like Oracle to the city than it does of welcoming working class people and small-business owners who’ve lived here all their lives. The city won’t really cater to you unless you fit into the narrative of a tech billionaire, life-hacking genius, White man and friend of McConaughey, million-dollar-homeowner, or some other big personality moving to Austin. In that case, the red carpet will be unfurled.

But that’s beyond my point. My point in welcoming you is to both invite you to help us longtime Austinites (anyone who was here before you, as you’ll soon learn) in the ever-present, oft-undiscussed process of deciding what kind of city we want and need Austin to be to make sure it isn’t just good for newcomers but also for those of us intending to stay, and also to strongly encourage you to get involved in doing the work of city shaping.

Since at least 2007, Austin has been the fastest-growing metro area in America. This growth has fueled Austin’s economic maturation and increasingly enviable national profile, but it has also fueled widespread gentrification, a decline in local business retention, income disparity, and real estate zoning challenges that are as noticeable as burnt orange hats and T-shirts.

Austin, in many ways, shows the promise and the problem in America. I’ll return to this shortly.

Read more: I moved my family from California to Austin, Texas, and regretted it. Here are 10 key points every person should consider before relocating.

Austin, as a city, has been one of the fastest-growing cities for years because of the University of Texas, a reputable live music and food scene including the Grammy-nominated Black Pumas to the James Beard-nominated Tyson Cole, and a thriving tech and consumer product goods companies that count Indeed, Bumble, Tito’s, and Whole Foods among its winners. Even still, it’s the outerlying areas such as Buda, Georgetown, and Round Rock that have experienced most rapid growth. As more people are forced out of the urban core because of the national attack on the middle class that has manifested here locally through antizoning, antihousing policies, we are giving more and more control over our city to people who want a suburban lifestyle in neighborhoods within a few miles of downtown like Tarrytown, Hyde Park, Bouldin Creek, and Rollingwood.

The tug-of-war between Austin catering to a suburban lifestyle rooted in spacious single-family homes that prevent the kind of zoning changes, housing stock, and transit investments that would ensure long-term affordability and equity versus an urban lifestyle that would ensure adequate emphasis on density and more inclusive housing policies while understanding some policies would have the city confront the State of Texas and its penchant for conservatism on issues ranging from police funding and homelessness to transit and school funding.

In moving to Austin, you didn’t just change your address to a city (and state) with a lower income tax burden, a city (and state) that loves to support business and entrepreneurs, a city (and state) that loves BBQ, music, and sports (despite the lackluster state you find the Longhorns football team, the Cowboys, and the NBA’s Rockets and Spurs in). No, in moving to Austin, you also welcomed yourself to a city that defies some of the beliefs this state pushes upon its residents through gerrymander-protected politics that for years allowed (or forced) Austin to metaphorically hover between adolescence and adulthood, between a college town and a state capitol, between a breakfast taco and sushi, between Red River and Red Bud; a city now firmly beyond its teenaged naiveté and yet not quite into the wisdom of middle age.

People moving to Austin isn’t at all new. People of the Tonkawa Tribe called this area home long before names like (Stephen F.) Austin, (Edwin) Waller, (Mirabeau) Lamar, and (Andrew) Zilker were etched into this city’s civic history. Black people freed from the bondages of slavery called Austin home decades before Dell Computers or Outdoor Voices ever existed, though you wouldn’t think of Austin as a city that once had a 20 or 30 percent Black population. And, in 2002, when Richard Florida published Rise of the Creative Class, Austin was a city that outperformed similar size cities in large part because of droves of creative professionals wanting to live here.

In many ways, Austin of 2020 isn’t all that dissimilar from the Austin of the 1970s that brought creative people like Willie Nelson here or the Austin of the late 1990s that got national attention for software companies like Trilogy. Austin is still a great place to see attractive people gallivanting near a watering hole or trail, still a great place to catch a live music show (once we get through this pandemic), still a place to avoid some of the suburban sprawl of Dallas or Houston, still a place to make fast friends, and still very much a place to enjoy life.

But something has in fact fundamentally changed about Austin over the decades, and new Austinites should be as familiar with these changes as longtime residents. Austin has shed some of the innocence of its youth as a city circa 1970 through 2000 and replaced it with socioeconomic stratification and segregation of its growth, post-2000. I know this as someone who has sampled and dove deeply into lots of versions of life in Austin. From college at UT during the peak Longhorns athletic years (the TJ Ford / Vince Young years) to owning a small business downtown to producing part of SXSW Festival to launching a tech startup to being appointed to the Austin Music Commission to sitting on the boards of various nonprofit boards like Austin PBS and ZACH Theatre, I can wholeheartedly say I’ve seen the many sides of Austin. I’m living in my seventh ZIP code here already and I’ve lived in Austin while working at Domino’s Pizza making $7 an hour and while working for a tech startup making nearly $200,000 a year. I’ve had police pull me over just because and I’ve hosted events raising tens of thousands for charity.

Because of these changes and their impact on what Austin actually is versus what it’s marketed as, I know without a doubt that Austin needs newcomers. Yes, the tech industry is mostly white and male and Austin doesn’t necessarily need more of that, but I’ve also seen a Black VC move here from one of the most prominent firms in Silicon Valley, a Black female entrepreneur who is among the only Black women to raise several million for a startup move here, and a Black film producer who co-produces an award-winning show on HBO move here since March. No one will convince me someone on Scenic Drive’s property taxes going up is more important than these types of people moving here.

Because as a city with one of the largest aging populations per capita and one of the largest under-18 populations per capita, we need people in their 20s and 30s and 40s helping this city figure out how to optimize for everyone and not just blindly creating this awfully segregated and misaligned version of a “cool” city without thinking intersectionally about what Austin can do to create a shared, multigenerational, economically blended, industry agnostic reality that benefits everyone. Selfishly, to me, this means we need more progressive voters coming from Manhattan and Brooklyn and San Francisco and Los Angeles and other cities that will lose some of their grip on jobs and buzz and quality of life for creatives after Covid. I’d also love Austin to be on the international radar.

We need young professionals who don’t just want to fit the mold, but to create the mold as well. We need entrepreneurs with more passion for helping communities than creating monopolies. We need women who want to start and own their own businesses and Black and Hispanic/Latinx creatives who can force deeper integration and inclusion on Austin’s predominately White institutions and gatekeepers across live music, art, nonprofit, and educator sectors. We need White people who know the value of living in a city that isn’t full of only White people. We need wealthy people who value not just the work but the lives and opinions of working-class people. We need newcomers who voted in every election where they used to live to register here and vote routinely here, too. We need nonprofit board members and volunteers from other cities to commit to the work here, too. We need more ethnic food options and more music venues for Black and Latin music and more people living in duplexes and four-plexes and more ways to go out without driving and more nonalcohol entertainment options and more people leading the fight against climate change locally and more young people on nonprofit boards and more people supporting the theater and symphony and library and arts beyond what Spotify, LiveNation, and Instagram are selling.

Austin needed people like Michael Dell and Austin City Limits producer Terry Lickona to move here when they did in the ’80s and ’70s instead of Palo Alto or San Francisco, and we needed people like Kendra Scott and Whitney Wolfe Herd to move here and to build their empires here instead of in Dallas or New York, and there are tens of thousands of nonprofit leaders, educators, designers, musicians, restauranteurs, yoga instructors, artists, and small-business owners without whom this city couldn’t be what it is today.

Read more: Unemployment diary: I’m a 30-year-old marketing specialist in Texas who’s been out of work since April

The values of Austin are not unanimous or commonly publicized but I’ve found there are three that have kept Austin alive and thriving (and fending off competition from cities more rooted in industry and sprawl), and I implore you to make haste and adopt these as your own if you are to give to Austin as much as you take:

1. Local first. Buy local first, support local first, do local first. That goes for your grocery shopping and your nonprofit donations all the way to what restaurants you eat at and where you buy your clothes. Keeping your money in Austin is a great way to keep your connection to Austin and not chase some other city’s ideals while living here. 

2. Live here, give here. I’ve touched on it already, but this seriously can’t be understated. Nonprofits, local music venues and musicians, the trails, they all benefit from your realizing this city isn’t what it is without all these people, places, and priorities that make Austin unique.

3. You can flake, but don’t be fake. You wanna know why Austin is so special? The people. We aren’t uptight. We show up. We are quick to smile and quicker to invite, we don’t want to know what you do for a living before we know your name; we may even ask what music you like or what restaurant you like before we know what you do. We haven’t lost our easy going nature yet. I hope we never do. I’ll find you.

These values kept Austin protected from the Great Recession every bit as much as the job and population growth, and they’ll get us out of the pandemic dip quicker than other cities too.

In the earlier part of this millennium, we honestly thought we could afford to lose some of our connection to these values while we mostly embraced all this growth as exciting and rewarding for us residents because it presented itself as music festivals, upscale dining, direct flights to more cities, better-paying jobs for college graduates, and better tips for those in the service industry. More recently, however, we’ve seen the other side of the coin that paid for all that growth, which has become a disconnection from the working-class Austin musician who is passed over for a festival slot by a buzzy band from Silverlake, affordable restaurants that used to be everywhere and now are outside the city or in food trucks, mind-numbing traffic congestion (wait until after the pandemic, you’ll see it), racial segregation exacerbated by rapid development in East Austin, and an over-reliance on the real estate development industry to pass key zoning changes, and a growing dependence on the tech industry – and not the startup kind but the Facebook/Google/Apple/big tech kind – which clearly suffers from a myth of meritocracy and has fewer women and people of color in positions of leadership than sectors like automotive, government, and manufacturing.

As a result, Austin has become a city of far fewer Black residents, a city with a growing penchant for overpriced restaurants and bars replacing working-class establishments owned by Latino and Black business people, and a city in which homelessness is becoming as big an issue downtown as it is in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. I’ll save the city’s Master Plan of 1928 for some other time and spare you the clear evidence of racial bias and profiling by our police department, and just let you know that Austin’s reputation and allure isn’t the same for us all.

You came here for a job, I bet. Or maybe just because you want more space. I’m here to tell you that co-creating the future Austin is now one of your new jobs and all that space should give you plenty of room to make a positive impact.

With love and excitement to meet you,

Joah Spearman

Austinite since ’01, Texan since ’83

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner could be on the move – a College Hunks Hauling Junk truck was just spotted outside their Washington, DC mansion

jared and ivanka
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump walk on the south lawn of the White House on November 29, 2020.

  • A moving truck was spotted outside of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s Washington, DC mansion on Thursday.
  • The truck — a College Hunks Hauling Junk vehicle — could very well just be for trash disposal, but could also suggest that the couple is on the move.
  • The pair reportedly dropped $32 million on an empty lot on a high-security private island in Miami last month.
  • Known as Miami’s “Billionaire Bunker,” the tony private island Indian Creek boasts its own police force and a number of ultrawealthy residents, which may soon include the president’s daughter and son-in-law.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have been living in a 7,000 square-foot mansion in the ritzy Kalorama neighborhood of Washington, DC since early 2017. The residence reportedly costs them $15,000 per month in rent and features modern finishes and sky-high ceilings.

Weeks before Joe Biden’s inauguration, they might be moving out of it.

Hunter Walker, a DC-based reporter for Yahoo News, posted a photo to Twitter on Thursday, showing what appears to be a moving truck outside the couple’s Kalorama home.

 

The vehicle in question, a bright orange truck emblazoned with the well-known College Hunks Hauling Junk brand, could very well just amount to the couple getting rid of unwanted items  – but could also signal that the couple is gearing up to leave DC following Wednesday’s insurrection.

Trump received extensive criticism for a tweet during the insurrection that appeared to refer to rioters as “American patriots,” which she quickly deleted.

Last month, Kushner and Trump reportedly dropped $32 million on an empty lot in Miami’s “Billionaire Bunker,” tony private island Indian Creek. The island boasts its own police force and a number of superstar residents – the couple bought the property from Julio Iglesias.

The couple would be the latest in a long list of those fleeing big cities for Florida amid the pandemic.

The list includes Kushner’s brother Joshua and his wife, supermodel Karlie Kloss, who reportedly bought a $23.5 million mansion nearby in August. Both properties are within an hour-and-a-half drive of “the winter White House,” Mar-a-Lago, where President Donald Trump is expected to decamp following the end of his term.

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The top 10 places Americans moved to at the height of the pandemic in 2020

moving to texas
Six of the 10 places on the list are located in Texas.

  • Millions of Americans have requested mail-forwarding services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • MyMove, analyzing US Postal Service data, found that Americans moving between February and July 2020 mostly fled urban cores for more suburban areas.
  • The country’s largest winner of residents was Texas. Six of the 10 places on this list are Lone Star State suburbs.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic upended American life this past spring and summer, driving millions to move in search of more comfortable work-from-home locales and greener pastures.

Analyzing US Postal Service data, MyMove found that almost 16 million Americans moved between February and July. Mail-forwarding requests to USPS made in that time frame show that moving Americans mostly fled urban cores and relocated to more suburban areas.

Some moves were short-term. Temporary change-of-address requests to the US Post Office were up 27%  in 2020 versus 2019. Permanent change-of-address requests were up 2% from last year. 

Requests from the height of the pandemic largely show that Americans were moving away from cities and toward less densely populated suburbs. New York City lost over 110,000 residents from February to July, according to USPS. Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles lost thousands, too.

Texas, however, gained thousands of residents amid the pandemic.

Of the top 10 places that gained residents per USPS, six were located in Texas. All were suburbs of the state’s largest cities: Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

While it seems like everyone is moving to the Lone Star State, other locations in Florida and Idaho made the list, along with a tony Hamptons neighborhood in New York state.

Keep reading for a look at the most popular locales Americans decamped to this year:

10. Meridian, Idaho

Boise Idaho
Meridian is outside Boise, Idaho, pictured above.

Number of residents: 2,088

Population in 2019: 114,161

Metro area: Boise

Read more: The great migration of 2020: People from New York and California moved in droves this year — here are the states that benefited from the mass exodus, from Idaho to Texas

9. Riverview, Florida

Tampa Florida
Riverview is outside of Tampa, Florida, pictured above.

Number of residents gained: 2,093

Population in 2019: 91,190

Metro area: Tampa

Read more: Hedge funds tour Florida office space ‘one to three times a day’ amid ‘torrential’ interest from out of state, broker says

8. Cumming, Georgia

Atlanta Georgia skyline
Cumming is just outside Atlanta, Georgia, pictured above.

Number of residents gained: 2,128

Population in 2019: 6,547

Metro area: Atlanta

7. Cypress, Texas

Houston, Texas
Cypress is outside Houston, Texas, pictured above.

Number of residents gained: 2,147

Population in 2019: 82,257

Metro area: Houston

6. Leander, Texas

austin texas
Leander is just outside of Austin, Texas, pictured above.

Number of residents gained: 2,294

Population in 2019: 62,608

Metro area: Austin

5. Georgetown, Texas

Austin Texas
Georgetown is just north of outside of Austin, Texas, pictured above.

Number of residents gained: 2,337

Population in 2019: 79,604

Metro area: Austin

Read more: Elon Musk and other tech powerhouses are flocking to Texas, pushing an already bonkers real-estate market to new heights. Take a look inside Austin, which is quickly becoming the next Silicon Valley.

4. East Hampton, New York

east hampton
Women crossing the street in East Hampton, New York on September 8, 2020.

Number of residents gained: 2,476

Population in 2019: 12,960

Metro area: New York City

Read more: The Post Office says 300,000 New Yorkers have fled the city — for places like the Hamptons and even Honolulu

3. Frisco, Texas

frisco football field
The Dallas Cowboys practice in Frisco, Texas.

Number of residents gained: 2,604

Population in 2019: 200,490

Metro area: Dallas

Read more: Frisco, Texas, is one of America’s fastest-growing cities. Here’s why so many people are moving there 

2. Richmond, Texas

Houston Texas
Richmond is outside of Houston, Texas, pictured above.

Number of residents gained: 3,000

Population in 2019: 12,578

Metro area: Houston

1. Katy, Texas

Houston
Katy is just outside of Houston, pictured above.

Number of residents gained: 4,414

Population in 2019: 21,729

Metro area: Houston

Read more: Elon Musk, like everyone else, is moving to Texas. Here are 12 Lone Star State cities America is in love with.

 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Elon Musk, like everyone else, is moving to Texas. Here are 12 Lone Star State cities America is in love with.

San Antonio
Between 2010 and 2019, 259,857 more people moved to San Antonio than moved away.

  • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared that he has moved to Texas during the The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council annual summit.
  • Texas’ population has been growing rapidly for years, and millions of people have moved there from other parts of the US.
  • The city of Frisco, located in the Northeast region, is a case in point: almost half of the city’s population is made up of people who have moved there within the past 10 years. 
  • We crunched the numbers on which Texan cities are getting the biggest boosts from Americans moving in from other parts of the country.
  • Overall, the Texas population has swelled from over 25.2 million to nearly 29 million in nine years.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared at The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council annual summit that he has moved from California to Texas.

From 2010 to 2019, the population of Texas swelled by around 3.8 million inhabitants. That leads to a total of about 29 million residents – more than the entire population of Australia.  

Texas has had a growing population over the past decade as more people are moving in than out in some metro areas.

To get a read on where people are moving to, Business Insider used US Census Bureau data to rank the metropolitan statistical areas in Texas by total net domestic migration between 2010 and 2019 – the number of people who moved into the metro area during that period from another part of the US or another country, minus people who moved out of the metro area – adjusted by the metro area’s 2010 population.

Other research, covered by the real estate news service Inman, underscored our findings. It found that Texas is home to a outsized amount of new home owners compared to the rest of the country, with seven of the top 25 cities nationwide for new home ownership in the state. 

Frisco was at the top of that analysis, where a stunning 43.6% of homeowners have lived in the city for less than 10 years. The metro area of Dallas, where Frisco is located, is ranked No. 5 on the Business Insider list. Metro Dallas experienced a net migration of 686,884 between 2010 and 2019 – roughly equivalent to adding a Baltimore or Milwaukee to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

Midland, in West Texas, became a major hub in the oil and gas boom of the last decade, which in turn pushed it up our migration rankings. It had the greatest income growth of any US city in 2018, while Odessa, another oil boomtown on the list, placed second.  

Here are the top 12 metro areas in Texas by total net migration:

12. Waco had net migration of 8,384 between 2010 and 2019 – 3.3% of the metro’s 2010 population of 252,772.

waco texas suspension bridge
The Waco Suspension Bridge after sunset with lights along the cables illuminated.

11. San Angelo had net migration of 4,081 between 2010 and 2019 – 3.6% of the metro’s 2010 population of 111,823.

San Angelo, Texas

10. Lubbock had net migration of 15,616 between 2010 and 2018 – 5.4% of the metro’s 2010 population of 290,805.

Lubbock texas

9. Tyler had net migration of 13,822 between 2010 and 2019 – 6.6% of the metro’s 2010 population of 209,714.

Tyler Texas

8. College Station-Bryan had net migration of 19,989 between 2010 and 2018 – 8.7% of the metro’s 2010 population of 228,660.

College Station, Texas Texas A&M University

8. Odessa had net migration of 13,561 between 2010 and 2019 – 9.9% of the metro’s 2010 population of 137,130.

Odessa Texas

6. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land had net migration of 602,610 between 2010 and 2019 – 10.2% of the metro’s 2010 population of 5,920,416.

Houston Texas

5. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington had net migration of 686,884 between 2010 and 2019 – 10.7% of the metro’s 2010 population of 6,426,214.

dallas texas

4. Sherman-Denison had net migration of 14,009 between 2010 and 2019 – 11.6% of the metro’s 2010 population of 120,877.

Denison, Texas city hall
Old City Hall building in Denison, Texas.

3. San Antonio-New Braunfels had net migration of 259,857 between 2010 and 2019 – 12.1% of the metro’s 2010 population of 2,142,508.

San Antonio
Between 2010 and 2019, 259,857 more people moved to San Antonio than moved away.

2. Midland had net migration of 24,557 between 2010 and 2019 – 17.3% of the metro’s 2010 population of 141,671.

Midland, Texas

1. Austin-Round Rock had net migration of 355,902 between 2010 and 2019 – 20.7% of the metro’s 2010 population of 1,716,289.

Austin, Texas
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