Community Impacters: Andy Brown

Andy Brown, Owner of The Brown Firm PLLC, has been hard at work opening the Austin & Travis County Sobriety Center. The success of the Sobriety Center means more available resources that would have otherwise been dedicated to intoxicated individuals, better access to rehabilitation programs, and a more efficient way of dealing with public intoxication.

WHAT IS THE BROWN FIRM, PLLC AND WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO NOTLEY?

The Brown Firm PLLC offers experience in business litigation and as outside general counsel for startups, but in our spare time we also do a ton of work in the nonprofit and political sectors.  For example, I helped start the Austin/Travis County Sobriety Center Local Government Corporation and could not have done so without help, time, and discussions with folks that are in the Notley family, including Founders, Dan and Lisa Graham, as well as Glasshouse’s Frank Enriquez and Tom Visco. I’m a huge fan of Notley, and we like the idea of being close to their operations and network of others who are committed to community involvement in Austin.

WHAT VALUE DO YOU FIND BEING AT THE CENTER OF THE SOCIAL INNOVATION SPACE IN AUSTIN?

Being able to meet face to face with others in the social innovation space is wonderful- much nicer than risking Austin traffic or relying on phone/video calls. Austin has the state capitol as a hub for politics, 6th street as a hub for drinking, and the Ladybird Lake trail as a hub for exercise--now CSI provides a central hub for those interested in social innovation.

WHAT INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS HAS YOUR ORGANIZATION IMPLEMENTED? HOW DID THESE SOLUTION COME ABOUT?

Other than our experience as business litigators and outside general counsel for startups, I’m helping innovate the way that Austin deals with public intoxication through board membership with the Austin/Travis County Sobriety Center.  

Currently, police officers have to arrest people for public intoxication, then spend what can be several hours either booking them or holding them in custody while they sober up in one of our local hospitals’ emergency rooms.  This is an extremely expensive process for the taxpayer, and an extremely inefficient use of our public servants. With the Sobriety Center, our hope is that police officers will be able to drop off people for public intoxication and immediately (within 5 minutes) get back on the street to help patrol and keep the city safe--all while the intoxicated person has a safe place to recover from their intoxication, without needlessly filling up our jails and emergency rooms.  The Sobriety Center is slated to begin operations in 2018.