Home, Sweet Home

Senior editor Gary Cartwright on Austin and what he likes best about the liberal city he calls home.

texasmonthly.com: You mention in your article that the residents of Austin have a libertarian streak. Do you feel that Austin today is just as liberal as when you first moved to Austin in 1968? Why or why not?

Gary Cartwright: Austin wasn’t an especially liberal place when I first arrived, or at least it didn’t seem so to me. The city’s only newspaper was drab, stupidly conservative, and doggedly on the side of business. The paper’s lead columnist regularly blasted what he saw as a growing hippy culture and believed that rock and roll was a particularly diabolical invention of Satan. Progressive government didn’t come until the late seventies, when environmentalists began to run for and win city council seats. With the arrival of the creative community that I describe in my column, the culture began to shift to the liberal side.

texasmonthly.com: I might be stereotyping just a bit here, but I’m guessing that because you are a writer, you naturally gravitate toward creative, intellectual, and political life. What about John Doe

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