By Bill Oakey – July 2, 2014
As Austin transitions to a new 10-1 district system for electing City Council members, we face a unique opportunity to consider new leadership in the mayor’s race. As someone who has worked hard to find solutions to Austin’s affordability issues, I am pleased to support Steve Adler to be our next mayor.
I urge everyone who has not yet learned about Steve to check out his campaign website here.
For many, the decision on whom to support in the mayor’s race may not seem easy. It was difficult for me as well initially. But one thing became clear right away. The two incumbents on the City Council who are running for mayor have one huge disadvantage. Their voting records do not stand up to the challenges we face on affordability. A fairly simple test can be applied when considering either one of the incumbents. If they come to a public forum now and announce that they have found a solution to affordability, just ask yourself one question. Why haven’t they done something about it already? They have been on the Council for several years.
Now It Is Time For A Change. Here’s Why Steve Adler Is Our Best Choice
Here are some of Steve’s positions on affordability:
1. Truth In Taxation and Transparency
Steve: “There should full transparency when it comes to taxation and the
budget. Austin taxpayers must be told where their money is going and how
much in taxes, both rate and amount, they are being asked to pay. We must
better ensure truth in taxation and in the budget.”
Steve and I have discussed my proposal for a Taxpayer Impact Statement to be included in the budget. The new reform will ensure that the City Council can no longer just say they are “holding the line on the tax rate,” when skyrocketing tax appraisals cause huge tax increases. Steve is so firm on this issue that he has challenged me to help him make sure that the reform as adopted will be rock solid.
2. City Council Meeting Agenda Reform
Steve: “Citizens have the right to a meaningful and accessible opportunity to be heard when the City Council is making decisions that affect their lives. The current agenda process must be reformed so as avoid having citizens sit for too many hours before their item comes up for discussion and in too many cases is postponed without meaningful advance notice.”
This reform proposal began in 1986 and has now reached its 28th anniversary. Let’s elect Steve so we can celebrate a true victory for the voices of the people at City Hall!
3. Property Tax Inequity Between Homeowners and Commercial Taxpayers
Steve: “Our inequitable Texas tax system unduly burdens residential property owners and tenants. Like so many of Austin¹s challenges, this is a problem we have experienced for years and have failed to make substantial progress. We must be far more proactive in working with the Mayors and City Councils in other towns and cities throughout the State to bring real reform to this unfair system and in pushing forward and supporting our City’s state delegation. We must increase residential property exemptions and do so in an equitable manner.”
Steve’s experience working in the Legislature will help us carry this battle across the finish line.
Why Do I Think Steve Adler Is The Best Person for the Job?
The guy is just so gosh-darned smart! It’s not even fair that he’s that smart. But he is and we need to tell everyone we know that he’s the one we need for mayor. Email, Facebook and Tweet this blog posting. Go to his website and sign up to be notified of his upcoming events. Click on the DONATE button at the top of the screen. Bring your neighbors and friends to his events and to the public forums in the mayor’s race. In November, we can either go back to business as usual or join Steve in a New Way Forward.
I was going to start an ABM campaign(Anyone but Martinez) but then I realized that was not true and we had two city council members running.
Steve was an easy choice for me!
I just wanted to state for the record, since we link to Bill Oakey’s excellent blog, that we have not decided yet who we are endorsing or whether or not we’re endorsing this year in any race, including the Austin mayoral race. We suggest you sign up to receive our email alerts at ChangeAustin.org if you care to follow our efforts. Linda Curtis, ChangeAustin.org