I met David Buttross for the first time this past Saturday at the Urban is Core candidate forum. At the dais, David’s responses were refreshingly crisp and practical. Now, those won’t win him an Austin mayoral election, but the benefit of ‘underdog’ candidates, especially those who are as successful as David is, is to reality check the front running candidates.
For example, an issue that local politicians love to pander to but can’t quite solve is affordable housing. Realizing the difficult reality of placing affordable housing where land is expensive, David’s message is clear:
You can’t have affordable housing:
1) Without density to increase housing stock
2) Without mass transit to connect people
I’ve always been frustrated by local politicians that call for more affordable housing and simultaneously denigrate density in their own neighborhood. I’ve always held that you can achieve affordable housing by fixing onerous SF-3/McMansion zoning, mitigating NIMBY-ism by spreading affordable housing everywhere, then organically grow mass-transit to connect people to where they want to go.