Austin Chronicle Piece on FAN (and FoHP)

This week’s Austin Chronicle, released today, has three impactful news items.

The big one is Michael King’s piece on Friends of Austin Neighborhoods (FAN).


There’s a new kid on the block of Austin neighborhood organizations, and the longtime residents don’t quite know what to make of the newcomer. The Friends of Austin Neighborhoods ( began organizing in the spring, and their interim board members expect to hold formal elections this month. Their founding members say they’re primarily interested in “inclusiveness” and bringing a wider range of city residents into the public “neighborhood” conversation. “We want to reclaim the name ‘neighborhood’ for what it originally meant,” says FAN Board President Roger Cauvin. “A community within a given city area, and all the voices within that community.”

Some of our neighbors are launching false attacks on FAN. (Unbeknownst to any of us in FAN, the Koch Brothers and RECA might be providing funding, speculates one source in King’s piece.) The best way to combat these false attacks from our neighbors is with the same neighborly and respectful attitude that embodies FAN’s vision. Being respectful and neighborly shines a contrasting light on other tactics and exposes them for what they are.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

In related news, Teresa Griffin won in the reader’s “Best Neighborhood Activist” poll, and AURA won “Best Grassroots Group” in the reader’s poll again.


Great article! I’m excited that FAN is getting out in the news. Roger represented FAN’s vision perfectly.

Congrats to Teresa and to AURA for their selection in the poll!


This is the article that led me to discover FAN! Thanks Michael King!


I obviously disagree with some of y’all that this article was a positive thing. I had a dust-up with Michael King about it on twitter; long story short, some of the accusations in that article are spreading to forums where people may be credulous enough to believe them. (Such as the HP yahoo group). King claims the only way people would believe those things is if they were idiots or evil, basically. I disagree - without access to the long backstory, some of our neighbors are easy prey for that kind of conspiracy theory, and the implied legitimacy of the publisher weighing in means a lot to those people.

Had I had access to this forum from work, I’d probably have talked to y’all before responding, and I’m sorry I was unable to do that at the time. King is a cranky SOB and somewhat of a lost cause but I’ve always operated under the old USENET rule that you argue for the benefit of the (10, 100, 1000, 10,000) people reading for every one writing. Hope none of you were too offended.

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They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity!