Former Austin City Council member and environmental activist Max Nofziger joins the Plutopia podcast. Max explains the evolution of Austin’s motto, “the Live Music Capital of the World,” and the affordability challenges facing Austin. Max has plenty of stories about Austin politics and politicians, and the area’s environmental struggles.
Max Nofziger: Nancy Coplin, who was the chairwoman of the [Austin] Music Commission at the time, came to my office with the suggestion we name Austin the Live Music Capital of America. And I said, well, this is no time to be shy or modest. You know, we’re Texans, let’s beat our chest a little bit and be outrageous, and say we’re the Live Music Capital of the Universe. And to hell with the Martians, they can invade us, vaporize us, whatever they’re gonna do, if they want to fight it. Yeah! But she said “I like that idea, but you’ll never get it passed by your colleagues [on the City Council]. And I knew she was right. So that was the compromise. From America, the Universe, to the World. I feel like that slogan worked out really well, but I think the city has not done a good job of living up to that. I think a lot of policies City Councils have enacted since then have really gone against that, and I mean obviously made the city a very expensive place to live, which puts a squeeze on all the musicians and artists, so I don’t think that … I think other considerations came to the fore with other mayors and other council members.