Mayor Leffingwell's State Of Downtown Austin Address

Mayor Leffingwell's State Of Downtown Austin Address

downtown-austin-lifestyle

downtown-austin-lifestyle

At the DAA’s Annual Luncheon & Mayor’s State of Downtown Address yesterday, Mayor Leffingwell gave a bullish speech about downtown Austin growth.

I sat at the DANA table and observed Mayor Leffingwell as I’ve never seen nor heard him before.  A Mayor who recognizes that growing Austin’s downtown is not at odds with preserving Austin’s character, and that growing downtown is in fact complementary and necessary to smart growth for the entire city.  This is what we heard yesterday.

PRO downtown Austin growth
PRO urban rail system
PRO getting the bums out and dealing with crime*
PRO hotel and convention center growth

*I’m paraphrasing, he was much more diplomatic.

You don’t have to take my word for it.  There was a quorum of City Council members in attendance, including City Manager Marc Ott, who can provide their own testimony.  The Mayor provided some genuinely funny jokes, too.  The best one [kindheartedly] jibbed former Mayor Will Wynn, a downtown resident, about how much he enjoys greeting construction workers in the morning.  :-)

downtown-austin-alliance-2009-report (pdf)

-Jude

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City Hires Economic Growth and Redevelopment Services Director

According the City’s press release, Kevin Johns, was recently appointed to be “responsible for implementing economic programs that foster jobs and nurture Austin’s creative industries.”

Judging by that title, Kevin’s role in the future of Austin could have big impact.   What’s interesting to me is how much media coverage is given to how tall downtown buildings are allowed to be, all the while hugely important positions like this receive minimal dialogue in the blogosphere.  Maybe it’s just where I’m looking.

I’m interested in learning more about this position.  Godspeed Kevin.  Maybe you can rekindle Villa Muse.





Statesman Endorsements for Austin Mayoral and City Council Races

On Sunday, the Austin American Statesman released their endorsements: Brewster McCracken, Chris Riley, Bill Spelman, Mike Martinez, and Sheryl Cole.

Brewster with Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim Leage

Brewster with Richard Linklater and Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League

/link to drafthouse [just because :-)]





Chris Riley Has Broad Support Throughout Austin

Chris Riley For Austin City Council Place 1

Chris Riley For Austin City Council Place 1

DANA board member Greg Anderson - “I think out of all the candidates running, Chris best understands the problems which we as a society are facing. Chris understands the need for sustainable communities: walkable, dense and vibrant places where there are options other than driving.”

Chris Riley continues to pick up a breadth of community support: Burnt Orange Report, Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, and NOKOA The Observer have all recently announced their support of Chris.  These are in addition to being endorsed by the majority of Democratic clubs, local public safety unions, as well as numerous other civic organizations and community groups.

www.ChrisForAustin.com.





Single Member Districts

NIMBY-ism

NIMBY-ism

State Senator Jeff Wentworth is sponsoring Senate Bill 1618 which would mandate single-member districts for municipalities with more than 500,000 people.  Austin City Council has called a special session today to hear from staff and legal council.

Here is a pdf of the bill.





David Buttross and Affordable Housing

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.

-Jude





Austin Super Forum – Martinez and Spelman Prepared

The Austinist has published Councilmember Mike Martinez’s and candidate Bill Spelman’s written responses to 22 questions in preparation for the Urban Is Core Super Forum this Saturday.

Generally, I find their responses encouraging.  Progressive on land use and transportation issues.  Realistic on social service issues.

Bill Spelman responds
Mike Martinez responds

UPDATE: complete list of responses below

Mayor:
McCracken: response
Leffingwell: response
Ingalls: response
Buttross: response
Strayhorn: No response

Place 1:
Riley: response
Cavazos: response

Place 2:
Martinez: response
Quintero: No response

Place 5:
Spellman: response

Place 6:
Cole: response
Osemene: response





Austin's McCracken and Leffingwell Rhyme Off At Mohawk

Austin's McCracken and Leffingwell Rhyme Off At Mohawk

Lil' Leffy v MC Crack

You’ve heard of Lil’ Wayne?  How about Lil’ Leffy?  On April 21st, the Austin Chronicle is sponsoring “The Hustle For Mayor” candidate forum at Mohawk in downtown Austin.  Will we get to witness Lee ‘lil leffy’ Leffingwell and Brewster ‘Micky Crack’ McCracken grab the mic and spit the illest, most hunker-downest, sustainabilitized, verbal gymnastics ever heard in a mayoral election?

DJ Mel will be breakin’ necks from the tables.

This is happening.

Lil' Leffy v MC Crack

Lil' Leffy v Micky Crack





Based on information from the Austin Board of REALTORS ® (alternatively, from ACTRIS) for the period through 10/19/14 11:53 PM PDT. Neither the Board nor ACTRIS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. All data is provided “AS IS” and with all faults. Data maintained by the Board or ACTRIS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

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