This National Taco Day, remember Austin’s dedication to favorite dish

Taco Joint is now open at 134 E. Riverside Drive. Matthew Odam/American-Statesman

Tacos from the newest Taco Joint location, at 134 E. Riverside Drive.
Matthew Odam/American-Statesman

While we have recommendations of places to try and tacos to sample for National Taco Day, let’s take a moment to remember this year in tacos.

Here in Austin, we take our taco pride seriously. In 2016, Austin has declared a taco war, fed Weird Al Yankovic tacos and invented a taco cleanse.

Tacos have also become weapons in the past year. Two Austinites are using tacos as a tool to encourage civic engagement; Audrey Maker and Jose Valera have already committed two taco trucks to register voters in Travis County in a movement they’ve named “Guac the Vote.” As Texas gets closer to registering 15 million voters, Maker and Valera want to recruit taco trucks that serve areas with low registration areas and a lot of foot traffic.

“As a business owner, I want to stay apolitical,” Valera said. “But this is not a partisan push — this is a voter registration push, and something we’d like to turn into a voter turnout push. It’ll be a success if we get 50 new voters.”

Marco Gutierrez, the founder of Latinos for Trump, warned on Sept. 1 that if the U.S. doesn’t “do something about” immigration, there would be taco trucks on every corner. Mayor Adler responded with a passionate defense of the taco trucks.

“We in this room know taco trucks for what they are: the very ambassadors of community, of justice, and of guacamole — truly all that makes life worth living, the very bedrocks of our democracy, and of our breakfast,” Adler said.

However you celebrate National Taco Day, don’t forget Austin’s taco past. And don’t forget today, when San Antonio gave Torchy’s Tacos a thumbs up.

 

 


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