Welcome to The Austin Independent
The Austin Independent is an online publication focusing primarily, though not entirely, on local political and governance issues in and around Austin, Texas. We seek to make our content informative, accurate and, when possible, provocative and entertaining. The name is meant to signal independence of thought, independence from undue influence, and independence from any rigid ideology.
Some articles in the Independent can be opinionated, especially, for example, the True Stories column. We do not claim to be objective in the now old-time daily newspaper sense, although some articles are written straight down the middle in something close to that style. When we do have an opinion or particular viewpoint we will not try to hide it and we also commit to seeking to understand and to accurately characterize the opinions of others — including those with whom we might disagree. We also will never intentionally leave out information that might work against the author’s point of view.
The Austin Independent usually publishes on Tuesdays and sometimes adds additional articles during the week. The latter is planned to especially be the case during the weeks leading up to the election. We encourage readers to sign up for our email alerts so we can let you know when we post stories.
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The Independent is run by the husband and wife team of Daryl Slusher and Adela Mancias. Daryl serves as editor, publisher and primary writer. Adela serves as both Content Editor and Copy Editor and also provides advice on overall direction and approach. Both Adela and Daryl have lived in Austin since the 1970s and both have long histories in local politics. Both try to bring their life experiences and their love for Austin to everything the Independent produces.
A native of Plainview, Texas, who spent her junior high and high school years in West Columbia, Adela moved to Austin in 1974 to attend the University of Texas. There she began to better understand the racial discrimination she had experienced throughout her life. This led her to become politically active. At UT, she wrote and researched for Para La Gente, the newspaper of the Raza Unida Party at the university. She also got involved in East Austin issues as a member of the Brown Berets and East Austin neighborhood groups. In those roles she fought for neighborhood protection and economic justice, and against police brutality — throughout the late 1970s and into the 1980s.
Adela earned an education degree at UT and in the early ‘80s began teaching elementary school. Throughout her career Adela taught at predominately low income and predominately minority schools. For several years during the mid-1980s Adela hosted a news and talk show on Austin Community Television called Mis Amigos.
She took a break from teaching from 1989 to 1992 and worked in documentary filmmaking. She worked as an Associate Producer for Texas filmmaker Hector Galan. Her credits include the Dallas Drug War; New Harvest, Old Shame; The Forgotten People: Latinas with AIDS; and Who Cares About Children. She returned to education in 1993 as a reading specialist and literacy coach. In 2005 Adela received a Masters in Education from UT. She retired the Austin Independent School District in 2016, with 27 years of service.
Daryl is a native of Roanoke, Virginia who spent his high school years in Birmingham, Alabama before his family moved to Orange, Texas in 1971. After stints in Orange and Houston, Daryl chose Austin as his home. He finished college here, graduating from UT in 1979 with a degree in Radio, TV and Film, writing sequence.
In 1981 Daryl became active in Austin politics, volunteering in both the anti-nuclear movement and the East Austin neighborhood movement — and working to form alliances between the two. In 1985 he and journalist Daryl Janes founded the Daryl Herald which covered local governance and politics for three years with a heavy sarcastic bent. In 1989 Daryl was hired as politics editor for the Austin Chronicle, writing there from 1989 to 1995. During that period Paul Burka of Texas Monthly wrote that Daryl was “the best and most entertaining writer on local politics.”
In late 1995 Daryl left the Chronicle and ran for a seat on the City Council. He won and served three 3-year terms, from 1996-2005. He chose not to run again in 2005.
In 2007 Daryl was offered a newly created job at Austin Water as Assistant Director of Environmental Affairs and Conservation. His tenure there included helping the utility through a drought whose severity officially surpassed the legendary drought of the 1950s, leading the utility’s response to climate change, and overseeing management of preserve lands intended to protect water quality and endangered species. When Daryl retired at the end of 2019 Austin had its lowest per capita water use rate since it began keeping records and, despite rapid population growth, Austin was using less total water annually than before Daryl started in 2007. During that period Daryl earned a Masters in Liberal Arts Degree from St. Edwards University with a concentration on history, graduating in June 2019.
While Daryl and Adela constitute the entire Austin Independent staff, they also thank Bismarck Andino who served as intern during the summer and wrote several hard hitting stories focusing on the plight of immigrants during the Covid crisis.
Also, graphic artist Jasmy Liu is now working with the Independent on webpage, layout and other web-related tasks. Readers who have been with us a while have surely noticed the progress, and there’s more to come.
The Financial Philosophy at the Austin Independent
The philosophy of the Independent is to always be available for free online to anyone who wants to read it. At the beginning, the Independent faced the choice of whether to be a nonprofit or for profit entity. Given the nature of this venture, the choices were really a nonprofit corporation or a private business unlikely to make any profit. Ultimately the latter path was chosen because it allows more flexibility for changes in the future and articles can be more explicit in discussing election campaigns. So the Austin Independent is published by The Austin Independent LLC with Daryl as the sole proprietor. We have no investors.
As with many news publications today, the Austin Independent does ask readers who can afford to do so to subscribe or donate. Any funds from subscriptions or donations, at this point, and for the foreseeable future, will go directly into efforts to broaden the readership and to reach, and to pay, photographers, artists, and web professionals. Also, we would love to have an editorial cartoonist.
Thank you and we hope you enjoy the Austin Independent.
To receive notification when the Austin Independent posts stories, to subscribe, or to write to the editor please send us an email under Contact on the home page,or click here.
Journalism costs money. Please consider subscribing or donating. Funds will go primarily toward expanding the Independent’s reach, web redesign, and paying photographers and artists.
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The Austin Independent, a publication of The Austin Independent, LLC
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