Today at 6 p.m. we begin the annual ritual known as Amplify Austin — a 24-hour fundraiser intended to cajole, coax or otherwise shame good folks around the city and elsewhere to open their wallets and support all kinds of well-meaning nonprofits. We’re fortunate to receive tax-deductible contributions of all sizes at all times of the year, but the philanthropic convening of Amplify is a discernible moment. We’ll take it! Amplify’s organizers hope, and we hope, that you’ll donate generously to the Tribune here by 6 p.m. tomorrow.
It’s obvious but important to note that this is a moment in more ways than one. In year nine, the work of The Texas Tribune — of our nonpartisan newsroom and of the amazing men and women who produce game-changing, award-winning reporting every day — is desperately needed. It’s complicated out there. The politics are rough and tumble, the policy choices thorny, the means of communicating with one another elevated and diminished all at once. Our job has always been to provide context, clarity and insight, to explain what’s happening in a chaotic world reliably and credibly, with facts rather than spin. This we do, more so now than ever, with relish, a mix of sobriety and goofiness, and a clear sense of purpose.
In a few days we’ll have a round of primaries. In a few months we’ll have a smaller round of runoffs. We’ll have a high-stakes and atypically hard-fought general election in about eight months. The future of this state we love will turn on the outcome of one or another of these contests. At times like these it’s crucial that you have a place to go to make sense of it all. You need to know the candidates, and you need to know the issues in play. Just over the rise is the 86th legislative session. Same. Over the next rise, the 2020 presidential campaign (which honestly is already underway). Same same.
With your help, we can continue to be a signal amid the noise. Amplify our ability to hold people in power and institutions accountable. Amplify our ambition to distribute journalism in the public interest far and wide. Amplify our efforts to raise the level of engagement among our friends and neighbors. Amplify our vision of the very best Texas that Texas can be. Give what you can. Thanks.