A new chapter at CoTMF – Inform, Educate, Engage

It began, as so many ideas do, over pizza and beer.

Two years ago, founding Austin Monitor publisher Mike Kanin and I were hanging out at Pinthouse Pizza when we started brainstorming the idea of a new Austin think tank.

Back then, as the economy reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, I kept bumping into the limits of the data available to describe trends shaping Central Texas. Mike cringed at how often local policy makers made policy based on scant evidence. A metro-focused think tank might help fill those holes.

So, we bounced the idea around, and we got a warm reception, but for a variety of reasons we never quite got it off the ground. 

It’s off the ground now, and we need your help to take it higher.

Thanks to the foresight and support of our board, Dan and Lisa Graham, Notley Ventures and Glasshouse Policy founders Tom Visco and Francisco Enriquez, the Capital of Texas Media Foundation has evolved to a new model with three key emphases:

  • The Austin Monitor, which provides Austin’s most in-depth coverage of local politics

  • Glasshouse Policy, which develops innovative community engagement initiatives that draw more people into civic life

  • The new think tank, which will deliver the research and analysis policy makers and citizens need to make informed decisions

I’m excited about what we’ve started and proud to be leading this effort. But we need your financial support if we hope to fulfill the needs of such a rapidly growing city. So, to build a wider foundation of community support, we’re raising $10,000 in this month-long online fund-raising campaign.

Over the next four weeks, we’ll provide more details about each of three main initiatives and let some of our supporters share why they believe this model can reinvigorate civic life in our community.

With your support, we can build the kind of news, outreach and research organization Austin needs and deserves – one that informs, educates and engages with an ever-broadening array of Central Texas residents.

Thank you.
Dan Zehr
Executive director, CoTMF
Publisher, the Austin Monitor