Tag Archives: Austin Election

Vote Against Proposition A, But For Props J And K

By Bill Oakey, November 1, 2018

It has been a long while since I updated this blog. But I wanted to get the word out about the propositions on the ballot. There is one day left for early voting, and if you miss that, be sure to vote on Tuesday.

Vote Against A Quarter Billion Dollars For Affordable Housing!

The City Council really went over the edge on this one. Remember when affordable housing bonds were in the $50 to $75 million range? Or at the most, not much over $100 million? If this quarter-billion bonanza passes, you can be sure that it will become the new standard. If it doesn’t, then it would be going even higher! We simply cannot afford to allow that kind of precedent to get started.

I don’t even know what the City Council was thinking! We had a $720 million mobility bond election in 2016. Then, just last year AISD hit us over the head with $1 billion in bonds. And they did that during a period of rapid declines in enrollment. It’s as if our local officials have decided that money is no longer an issue for taxpayers. We all have so much money, that we hardly know what to do with it. If that’s the case, I wish somebody would show me what rock to look under to find my extra pile of cash.

Here’s the problem with spending a quarter-billion on affordable housing. The City has tried for years to set up “density bonus” programs and so-called Smart Housing initiatives. But none of them have ever been very successful. So, now it appears that they have simply thrown in the towel. Just let the taxpayers pay for it. We need to encourage all of our family and friends to reject that notion with an exuberant, resounding NO vote on Proposition A.

Vote Yes on Prop J – Let the Public Decide on Our Next Major Building Code

The whole CodeNext debacle was a developer-led effort to turn Austin into San Francisco or Portland. It stands as one of the most colossal boondoggles in the City’s history. Across the city, various groups of citizens spent weeks, months and years hovered over maps and charts as they worked with City officials to develop their individual neighborhood plans. The developers made no secret of the fact that they wanted CodeNext to completely obliterate those neighbored plans.

The hodgepodge of a report that finally emerged from CodeNext was so confusing and marred by lack of trust, that the City Council abandoned it in time to keep it from ruining some of their re-election plans. This was unquestionably the fact with our mayor. There is also little doubt that whatever the City Staff does with CodeNext, it will probably come back to the Council as merely an attempt to dress up what the consultants tried to foist upon us to begin with.

Our best solution is to vote for Prop J, to require voter approval of all major updates to the Land Development Code. This would ensure that the City Council recognizes that it isn’t just the real estate industry and the developers who matter when it comes to such a major change. It is the well-being of current residents in their cherished neighborhoods that matters most.

Don’t Listen to the Fear-Mongers – Vote For Prop K!

Think real hard when you ask yourself this question. When has efficiency ever caused calamity in a City? Who has ever been chased down and attacked by a menacing creature, threatening to make the City most efficient and cheaper for the taxpayers? You have heard the fear-mongers wail about “dark money” and raise the evil specter of the Koch Brothers. I seriously doubt is those guys have ever heard of Prop K. And even if they have, it doesn’t matter. The independent efficiency audit will be completely under the control of the City Council. They get to decide who gets hired to run the audit. They get to decide what elements of the recommendations get adopted. And all of us will get a chance to provide our input throughout the entire process.

There are both prominent liberals and conservatives backing Prop K, including David King and Ed English. Should there be better transparency with regard to contributions to these PAC’s? Absolutely! If dark money was used and somebody wants to tighten the transparency requirements, or even challenge the lack of disclosure in this case, we should be all for that. But it has nothing to do with the validity of the audit.

Citywide efficiency audits are not carried out by internal audit staff. They do not have the time or the specialized skills. That’s why numerous cities and states across the country have had positive results from these types of audits. The usual crowd of go-along-to-get-along naysayers are opposing Prop K. They are using whatever fear tactics they can conjure up. Of course the City employee unions are scared to death of it. They are worried about layoffs. It may well be that Austin needs to do some serious streamlining of operations. But that doesn’t mean that employees couldn’t be transferred. And positions could be eliminated by attrition rather than layoffs. And the cost of the audit? It would be made up probably ten times over by the good efficiency recommendations.

Don’t be scared of efficiency. There is no evil monster hiding in the closet! Bogeymen do not lurk in the shadows for the pursuit of saving money for taxpayers. Lon Chaney would never have even considered it.

 

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Pants On Fire – Lies, Shame And Sleepless Nights

By Bill Oakey – May 1, 2016

Back in the 1920’s, the famous humorist, Will Rogers stated that “America has the best politicians money can buy.” Here in the 21st century, we can count on that being true. Especially since the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case that a corporation is a person, and that contributions to political campaigns should be considered “free speech.” Much closer to home is Austin’s May 7th Prop 1 election. The folks who run the top ridesharing companies have already dumped an obscene and breathtaking $8.1 million into their campaign so far. That amount is OVER 6 TIMES MORE than the previous record for any Austin election in history! Somebody needs to calculate how many drivers could be fingerprinted for $8.1 million and / or how much more the companies could pay their drivers.

As pointed out previously on this blog, the Pro-Prop 1 campaign has flung a whole pack of lies at the voters from the start. (Is there no shame? How do they sleep at night?) The Big Money Machine would have you believe that voting “yes” is not only as good as apple pie and motherhood, but even better. And, in keeping with the Federal court rulings allowing unlimited campaign spending, the same court system has upheld various forms of public lying. When Congress got fed up with shysters wearing fake military medals and claiming to be war heroes, they passed the Stolen Valor Act (2005). But the Supreme Court struck it down in 2012 as a violation of free speech rights. (It’s still not a good idea to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater unless the building really is on fire. But it could very well be legal).

Pants

So, without any legal remedies against bald-faced lying, we are left with one other thing. If you are reading this on Sunday, you may have been in a building where they talked about this. Check out the ninth item:

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Vote Against Prop 1 During Early Voting Or Next Saturday, May 7th. Click Here to Donate to “Our City, Our Safety, Our Choice.”

Extended Song List for This Blog Posting, “Pants On Fire – Lies, Shame and Sleepless Nights” (Beware of certain political commercials when you click on these songs)

  1. “Lies,” – The Knickerbockers, 1965
  2. “Liar, Liar” – The Castaways, 1965
  3. “Mama Didn’t Lie” – Jan Bradley, 1962
  4. “It’s the Truth Ruth” – The Big Bopper, 1959
  5. “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie” – Somethin’ Smith & The Redheads, 1955
  6. “Lie No Better” – Delbert McClinton, 1997
  7. “Little White Lies” – Annette Hanshaw, 1930
  8. “Your Nose Is Gonna Grow” – Debbie Peters, 1962
  9. “Tossin’ & Turnin”” – Bobby Lewis, 1961
  10. “You’re The Reason” – Gerry & The Pacemakers, 1964
  11. “Another Sleepless Night” – Jimmy Clanton, 1960
  12. “Wake Me, Shake Me” – The Coasters, 1960
  13. “Musta Notta Gotta Lotta” – Joe Ely, 1990
  14. “Don’t Sleep In The Subway” – Petula Clark, 1967
  15. “Ain’t That A Shame” – Fats Domino, 1955
  16. “Shame, Shame, Shame” – Jimmy Reed, 1963
  17. “What A Shame” – The Rolling Stones, 1965
  18. “Shame On You” – Willie Nelson & Asleep At The Wheel, 2009
  19. “Shame On Me” – Bobby Bare, 1963
  20. “Lyin’ Eyes” – The Eagles, 1975
  21. “Little Lies” – Fleetwood Mac, 1987
  22. “Don’t Lie To Me” – The Rolling Stones, 1975
  23. “All Men Are Liars” (??) Nick Lowe, 1990
  24. “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” – Elvis Presley, 1960, or Al Jolson version, 1950 (One spoken line is taken from “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare. The song was written in 1926, first recorded by Charles Hart, 1927)

(The song, “All Men Are Liars” should be taken with a huge grain of salt. For something closer to the truth, listen to what this woman has to say)!

Taxpayers Rejoice! Rail Bonds Trounced By 14 Points!

By Bill Oakey – November 5, 2014

We did it! The people have spoken and now we can celebrate! We just defeated the largest tax increase in Austin history! Congratulations to all of you who voted and thanks for all of your efforts…

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The final tally was 57.2% against and 42.8% for. That is a difference of 14.4 percentage points, a resounding victory by any measure! If you would like to see a breakdown by precinct of how the rail bond votes were cast, check out this report:

Travis County Results By Precinct

Click on the image below to see a City-generated map of the precincts and their percentage of support for the rail bonds:

Urban Rail Precinct Map

Notice the numerous bright red areas where the bonds failed by over 65%. The highest margin that I have found so far is in Southwest Precinct 363, where the bonds failed by 76.36%. There are many lessons that our civic leaders and a long list of insiders from various organizations can learn from this experience. First among them could not be more basic…

Listen to the people!

When over 70 candidates for the City Council precincts began talking with their constituents early in the campaign, most of them learned quickly that public sentiment was against the cost and against the route for this rail plan. However, community involvement was never considered to be a major part of the planning process by the City Council, Capital Metro, or Project Connect. Instead, they relied on the strong arm tactics of developers and other downtown special interests to tell them what was best for all of us. But coming on the heals of a massive tax increase to allow U.T. to build the only tax supported medical school in the history of the nation, voters have made their position abundantly clear – Enough is enough!

Now What’s Next for Project Connect?

That is a very good question. The gang that couldn’t shoot straight never did connect with the public. Hordes of people were not clamoring to take a train ride from East Riverside to Highland Mall. So, now what will happen to all of the staff bureaucrats who have been planning, reporting, compiling and otherwise pontificating on the future of light rail in Austin? Will they disband their operations and turn off the spending spigot? Or will they simply take a break and then get back down to business?

After all, we had the ROMA consultant report on rail almost a decade ago. I shudder to think how many tens of millions of dollars have already been poured down the rat hole for this failed route for a rail system. It was 9.5 miles to be a “first phase” of a citywide system. We would have exhausted our City bonding capacity to pay for it. And yet no one ever publicly talked about how much it would cost to build and maintain a citywide system. It would probably be safe to assume that the planning and building cost alone would be at least $10 billion and possibly much more. The Portland rail system that is so often highly touted got its start in the 1980’s when building costs were infinitely less expensive.

And We Have One More Taxpayer Victory to Celebrate!

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The ACC proposition to raise the cap on the tax rate went down to defeat last night! This is wonderful news. It is helpful to recognize that ACC has been raising taxes above the rollback rate on a regular basis. Now they should get the message that taxpayers have reached their limit. Remember that little thing called affordability? And besides, property appraisals will continue to increase until the inevitable bust at the end of the boom. So, ACC will have plenty of tax revenue coming in.

For the rest of the City Council members heading into a runoff on December 16th, please remember this. The people have let their voices ring loud and clear. Affordability is the number one issue. You will not be able to sit back and coast along on the time-worn mantras and cliches that have paved the path to victory in earlier elections. Let the debates begin, and may the best affordability candidate win in each of the remaining districts!

About the Impending Rail Bond Failure – What Is The Big Picture?

By Bill Oakey – October 30, 2014

In the closing days before the City election, I thought it would be interesting to assess the likely defeat of the massively expensive rail bond proposition and put the issue into perspective. Other than a few “old guard” political insiders and actual members of the pro-rail PAC’s, I have not met a single voter who has told me they were voting for the bonds. What’s up with that and what can we learn from this experience? My analysis is divided into several categories.

Desperate Campaign Tactics

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you should know by now that I am not a card-carrying Tea Party member. (Far from it!) And I certainly don’t take my marching orders from the Koch Brothers. When the Let’s Go Austin PAC started using the Tea Party/Koch brothers tagline, most of Austin let out a collective chuckle. This suggestion is so absurd that it hardly deserves a response. The implication is that all self-respecting “liberal progressives” should open up their wallets and jump happily onto the rail bandwagon. After all, “We’ve got to start somewhere.” Right?

The problem here is that the approach taken by the pro-bond supporters is extremely simplistic, outdated and completely misplaced. Their appeal of course is to the supposedly united “Democratic Neighborhood/Environmental Coalition.” This amorphous group is assumed to be on call and ready at any time to accept whatever message the Old Guard wishes to thrust upon them.

The truth is much more complicated. There are numerous splits among Austin progressives these days, and they cut across all age groups, ethnicities and income levels. We need only look at the newly formed alliances that have come into play in the district City Council races to see that all of us are not joined at the hip. However, the dusty old 1980’s era tactic of calling upon the Old Guard to sell this flawed plan has been put into play. We were expected to embrace the smiles on the glossy faces of Kirk Watson and Lloyd Doggett and fall right into line behind them.

Nope!

Who’s Ready to Take That First Trip From East Riverside to Highland Mall?

It will be several years before the rail line is ready to roll if voters approve the bonds. But one of the big nails in the coffin of the supporters is of course the chosen route. The billion dollar plus price tag for 9.5 miles of rail tells voters that any investment in a citywide system would be astronomically expensive. So, most voters want to see the most bang for their buck. The so-called “first phase” simply doesn’t provide that. Even the Daily Texan student newspaper at U.T. endorsed the opposition in this election.

But if you just can’t wait to take a train ride from East Riverside and Grover (one of the most exciting intersections in Austin) to Highland Mall and the Airport Corridor (one of the hippest and most vibrant sections of Austin), well get in line. Project Connect would probably be delighted to take a list of names of people who want to be first to step aboard hat train.

But the Sierra Club Endorsed the Bonds. Doesn’t That Mean That You Should Vote Yes?

Not hardly. The “Sierra Club” as a whole did not even get a chance to discuss the complex issues involved in the urban rail plan. There were no meetings where anyone from the numerous anti-bond organizations were invited to come and speak. In fact, the entire endorsement decision was delegated to one member of the executive board. Then the rest of the board simply rubber stamped it.

If the Bonds Are About to Fail, Then What Went Wrong?

Many of the players involved suffered from big credibility problems. The City Council knew there were huge credibility issues with Capital Metro. That’s why they dreamed up the “Project Connect” moniker as a new brand to sell the rail plan. But most voters understand that even though the bonds are appearing on the City ballot, Capital Metro would manage the rail system and pay for the operational costs. In recent years Cap Metro has been riddled with debt, mostly related to costs of the Red Line commuter rail. Bus routes and the frequencies of stops have suffered since the Red Line began. And the only time the Red Line fills up is during the morning and evening rush periods.

Another major credibility problem is Mayor Lee Leffingwell and most of his cohorts on the current City Council. They have shown that they never met a spending opportunity that they didn’t like. Budget surpluses are burned up as quickly as they arrive, and there are no guidelines and no citizen input during the process. Mr. Leffingwell and Company have bowed down to the special interests over and over again, leaving Austin with a clogged and congested transportation system and an affordability problem so severe that thousands of families are being priced out of the City.

But the Fliers In the Mail Say That Urban Rail Will Wipe Out Traffic Congestion. What About That?

The level of population density along the proposed route is so low that a major “economic development” effort would be needed to boost that density. Failure to achieve the required ridership levels would jeopardize the Federal funding for the rail. So, just think about that for a minute. If the developers can succeed in packing in enough new residents from California and elsewhere into big box, high rent luxury apartment units, maybe they can achieve the density required. But if they do, think of all those new people with cars. All of those cars would more than offset any supposed congestion relief.

If the Plan Is Flawed and the Route Is Not Popular, How Did Our Local Leaders Miss the Mark?

That’s the easiest question of all to answer. Public input was never intended to be part of the equation. The East Riverside portion of the plan was set in stone as far back as 2003. You can find references to it in the Downtown Austin Plan. An even better place to look for the history of Austin urban rail is the Austin Chronicle. Just do a search for “Austin rail” and you will find tons of archives that give the history in fascinating detail.

The Let’s Go Austin folks will continuously parrot the line that the choice of route was arrived at through “data-driven” analysis. A much more appropriate d-word would be “developer-driven.”  One mind-blowing sentence in one article in the Austin Chronicle archives tells the whole story of how rail and high density development go hand in hand. On the night several years ago when the City Council voted to adopt the East Riverside Corridor Master Plan, the Planning Commission made an 11th hour appeal. They begged the City Council to keep neighborhood compatibility standards in the new master plan. Below are the actual words from this article in the Chronicle dated March 5, 2010.

“The mayor and council members rebuffed a last-minute recommendation from the Planning Commission to apply the usual compatibility standards (which limit height near houses) in the master plan; that could have gutted the density necessary for the new rail transit line at the heart of the plan.” Once the plan was adopted, low-cost student housing units were bulldozed and a development frenzy got underway. The gentrification of East Riverside became inevitable.

Fast forward to late 2013 when the Project Connect “information sessions” and “open houses” got underway. The public was never invited to fully engage in the process and help determine where they wanted to invest their tax dollars in a new urban rail system. The special interests had already made that decision years before.

So, What Can the New City Council Do to Pick Up the Transportation Pieces After the Rail Bonds Fail?

How about this for a good start…Try listening to the people!

Watch KVUE Town Hall On Rail Bonds This Tuesday

By Bill Oakey, October 17, 2014

Be sure to set your DVR or be on hand to watch KVUE’s town hall on Austin’s rail and road proposition. It will air this coming Tuesday October 21st from 11:00 to 12:00 noon. The forum will be moderated by KVUE News anchors Tyler Sieswerda and Terri Gruca. Their questions will lead the discussions and provide equal time to address those who support and those who do not support the bond proposition.

Here are the details:

PANELISTS & THEIR TITLES

AGAINST: Lyndon Henry / Transportation Planning Consultant

FOR: Natalie Cofield / President & CEO Greater Austin Black Chamber

AGAINST: Roger Falk / Travis County Taxpayers Union

FOR: Lee Leffingwell / Mayor of Austin

AGAINST: Richard Franklin / Member of Gray Panthers

FOR: Joah Spearman / Austin business owner

AGAINST: Bill Oakey / AustinAffordability.com blog writer

FOR: John Langmore / Former Capital Metro Board Member

AGAINST: Jim Skaggs / Coalition on Sustainable Transportation

FOR: Martha Smiley / Vice Chair, Regional Mobility and Transportation for the Austin Chamber of Commerce

Can The New City Council Define The Affordability End Game?

By Bill Oakey – September 19, 2014

Over the past several months I have had some fascinating conversations with a lot of smart and sophisticated people about Austin’s affordability problem. Everyone agrees that it is quite serious, and everyone agrees that solving it will not be an easy task. So, what are the steps that the new City Council would have to follow if they actually wanted to make real, quantifiable progress in solving the problem?

1. Define the Problem – That’s the first step in the scientific method. We need a detailed survey showing where the low income and moderate income Austinities live. We need charts that show details about income levels, types of jobs held by different demographic groups, etc. And we need to list the specific categories of affordability issues, such as taxes, debt, housing and rent costs, utility costs, transportation costs, building and construction costs, etc.

2. Planning, Planning, and More Planning – The only way out of any type of problem of this magnitude is to develop specific plans to target the problem. Austin is swimming in plans right now, and some of them contain numerous references to “affordability.” However, there are no real plans designed specifically to make Austin more affordable or to address the root causes of progressively worsening unaffordability.

3. Action Plans With Goals, Performance Measures, Milestones and Result Tracking – Plans by themselves only represent wishful thinking unless they are backed up by concrete actions that turn lip service into proven results. How many new low income housing projects did Austin lose each quarter throughout the year? How many did they gain? How much of a budget surplus did the City have at the end of each quarter? How much of that money was pledged to reduce taxes and fees or lower utility rates? Part of the objective here is to determine what questions to ask, and then what specific steps are needed to address each one. Those steps need to be incorporated into the action plans.

4. Combined Regional Financial Forecasts – The City, County, AISD, ACC, Central Health, Capital Metro and CAMPO need to meet regularly and discuss their future plans and how much those plans will cost. Every plan that every entity currently has in place needs to be scrutinized for feasibility. It is absurd for any organization to publish a plan with completely unattainable projections. The Capital Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2040 Transportation Plan calls for $1.2 billion in spending every single year for 25 years in a row. Eighty per cent of the funding has to come from local funding sources. There is no way in hell that Austinites will be able to afford anything close to that amount. So, the people who publish these various plans need to sit in front of each other at a table in the same room. They need to look each other in the eyes and explain out loud how they expect to get the money to pay for each of their plans. If they determine that the costs are too high, they simply need to revise the plans. Period. And they can do that by setting priorities and making realistic assumptions. Everyone needs to be constantly reminded of the tagline for this blog – “Let’s Put the Public’s Ability to Pay Into Austin’s Planning Process.”

5. Address the Cost of Growth and the Gentrification Issues Head On – There is no question that the exaggerated hype over Austin and the extremely aggressive growth rate is unsustainable. The current path that we are on will lead to an unprecedented boom and bust scenario if our leaders do not take steps to prevent it. Sometimes it can be difficult to stand up to the special interests and say no. But it is absolutely essential to the City’s future for us to consider how much capacity we have in terms of roads, water, land, and other resources as we consider how much growth we can accommodate at what pace. No private business would ever take the risky “build first and ask questions later” approach that Austin has followed for many decades. Gentrification is another issue that can be measured and quantified. We need to look at the impact of the CodeNEXT plans on existing neighborhoods. One of the best ways to insure that neighborhood plans are protected is to expand the Land Development Code Advisory Group to include equal representation between neighborhood members and industry members. And we need to establish road impact fees to help make growth pay for itself. We cannot afford to continuously increase taxpayer and ratepayer expenditures for recruiting new businesses to Austin. That is a private industry responsibility.

The bottom line in planning for growth comes down to a very simple concept. Our growth rate and the cost of growth need to be set within the context of what is sustainable. Our current policies that allow for all growth in all places all the time at breakneck speed are not sustainable and cannot be allowed to continue.

The New City Council Will Have to Hit the Ground Running

The new City Council will need to be prepared for the one of the toughest challenges that the City has ever faced. There are no off the shelf remedies for an affordability problem on the scale of what we have in Austin. The issue will require lots of innovative thinking and bold strategies. If it turns out that no other city has ever even thought about developing a comprehensive Affordability Strategic Plan, then let us be the first. Every candidate needs to be thinking about it now. Because the hard work will begin the moment after the swearing-in ceremony is completed in early January.

Support Laura Pressley For City Council District 4

By Bill Oakey – July 23, 2014

We would all like to find candidates who will hit the ground running as soon as they take office. But the voters in District 4 are lucky enough to have someone who is working hard for affordability even before the election!  I’m talking about Laura Pressley, and I’m pleased to offer her the endorsement of this blog.

Laura_PressleyPressley_Logo

Here’s What Laura Has to Say About Affordability

“As a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault and one that received support from various organizations to survive, I understand the need for social services in our community.  I have lived through not being able to pay for rent, food and only having $16 to my name at Christmas and not being able to buy my daughter any presents.  Those were incredibly scary times and we got through them with the help of many generous organizations and friends.”

“Today, a woman coming to Austin, in my same situation, most likely would not be able to make ends meet given the cost of living and affordability issues we have.  Many of the overwhelming affordability pressures that exist in Austin are directly due to the policies of our elected representatives at City Hall.  The massive corporate subsidies and tax breaks, the misplaced budgetary priorities, up-zoning that enables and drives gentrification, inefficiencies in key city departments, and the “we’re rich” spending culture that various Mayors, City Council Members and City Staff have with regard to parties, banquets, travel, etc. are like a thousand cuts tearing at our affordability.  These are some of the important policy changes that are needed at City Hall.”

“We need a course correction at the leadership and policy level of our City Council.  We need experience, leadership, and the courage to lead by example and hold the budget writers and departments accountable for waste and policies that drive higher utility rates, higher tax rates and more City debt.”

Here’s a Look at What Laura Has Already Done for Affordability

1. Stopping a $1.5 Million Water Utility Fee Waiver – The City Council was poised to give away $1.5 million in badly needed Water Utility revenue to U.T. for a medical school construction fee waiver.  After reading about it on this blog, Laura dug into the issue, contacted the media, and stood her ground in front of the City Council on June 12th.  Her success in stopping the fee waiver is nicely documented in this YouTube video.

2. Taking the Lead On Public Outreach Regarding the Urban Rail Bonds – When Laura joined an email discussion of the badly misplaced and hugely expensive urban rail bonds, she did a lot more than just listen and share her thoughts.  She organized an urban rail public forum for August 26th, which will feature several speakers focusing on various aspects of the issue.  The forum will be moderated by KVUE-TV.  More information will be posted on this blog as soon as it is available.

3. Helping to Reform the Public Input Process at City Hall – Like most of us, Laura is frustrated by the fact that big ticket consultant-driven plans like Imagine Austin, CodeNEXT, and Project Connect only pay lip service to public input.  There are no guidelines to require that the public suggestions and opinions be summarized, quantified, or incorporated into the new policies that are developed in the plans.  On this blog I proposed that the City adopt a Public Engagement Ordinance.  (You can read about it here).  Laura immediately took the proposal to the Austin Neighborhoods Council Executive Committee, so they could prepare a resolution.  Once again, she is hitting the ground running, without waiting until after the election.  District 4 voters should follow her lead and run to the polls during early voting this fall and vote for her.

Visit Laura Pressley’s Website And Facebook Page to Learn More

When you go to her website, you will see that affordability is right at the top of her list!  You can click here to make a donation to her campaign.  And go here to visit her Facebook page.  Make sure that you send this blog link to all of your friends and neighbors in District 4.