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[00:00:03]

ON MAY 21.

WE HAVE QUORUM.

[CALL TO ORDER - 6:00pm]

I KNOW CONGRESS MEETING OF THE CITY OF BOSTON, WINTER STORM TASKFORCE TO ORDER CITY STAFF.

WOULD YOU PLEASE POST OUR AGENDA? OKAY.

MY NAME IS TERESA DAVIS.

I'M THE CHAIR OF THE TASK FORCE AND I AM ALSO THE CHAIR OF THE CITY'S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION AND ALETHA HOUSTON.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF? UM, I'M ELISA HOUSTON AND I REPRESENT THE EARLY CHILDHOOD COUNCIL.

THANK YOU, KEN.

KATHERINE GONZALEZ.

THE UPPER, UH, THE CHAIR OF THE LGBTQ IS QUALITY OF LIFE ADVISORY.

THANK YOU MANUAL.

I'M THE CHAIR OF THE VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMISSION, SALLY.

SO I BOUNCED TO GOLD DISTRICT NINE COMMISSIONER FOR THE COMMISSION ON SENIORS.

THANK YOU, JONATHAN FRANKS, JONATHAN FRANKS, CHAIRMAN FOR THE MAYOR'S COMMITTEE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.

THANK YOU.

AND MERRIAM CONNOR, FORMER AFRICAN-AMERICAN COLLEAGUE.

THANK YOU.

AND I BELIEVE IS ALSO ON THE BOARD OF PRESERVATION, AUSTIN.

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR JOINING US THIS EVENING.

THIS IS OUR FIVE FIFTH MEETING OF FIVE FOR OUR WINTER STORM TASKFORCE.

WE DO HAVE SEVEN SPEAKERS SCHEDULED TO JOIN US THIS EVENING.

WE ALSO HAVE COUNCIL MEMBER, UH, VANESSA REPRESENTING CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT TWO.

OUR TEST FORCE, UM, WAS CREATED TO RECEIVE COMMUNITY FEEDBACK IN ORDER TO PROVIDE CITY COUNCIL WITH THE REPORT REGARDING WHAT THEY CAN DO BETTER AND WHAT THEY NEED TO IMPLEMENT WITH REGARD TO ESTABLISHING AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN, UH, DUE TO WHAT OCCURRED WITH WINTER STORM ORI.

UM, SO WE WANT TO RESPOND TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE AND IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A WINTER STORM.

ANY CATASTROPHE.

WE ARE AIDING IN THEIR EFFORTS TO ESTABLISH A RESPONSE PLAN THAT HOPEFULLY THE CITY MANAGER WILL IMPLEMENT.

UM, I'VE CALLED OUR MEETING TO ORDER.

SO WE HAVE CITIZENS COMMUNICATION.

UM, WE WILL SEE WHAT SPEAKERS ARE SIGNED UP AND WE WILL GO THROUGH OUR AGENDA.

BUT RIGHT NOW I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE THE FLOOR TO COUNCIL MEMBER TO SAY A FEW WORDS AND WELCOME.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

GOOD EVENING, EVERYONE.

GOOD EVENING CHAIR, VICE CHAIR, CHAIR, AND TASK FORCE MEMBERS.

MY NAME IS VANESSA AND I AM THE CITY COUNCILMAN FOR DISTRICT TWO, WHICH IS ANCHORED IN SOUTHEAST AUSTIN AND A PORTION OF SOUTH AUSTIN.

AS YOU ALL HEARD FOR THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS, OUR COMMUNITY ENDURED UNIMAGINABLE CONDITIONS WITH WINTER STORM ERIE AS IT SWEPT ACROSS OUR STATE BACK IN FEBRUARY.

BUT WHAT I AM HERE TO SPEAK ABOUT TODAY ARE THE IMPACT SPACE SPECIFICALLY BY OUR CITY'S MOST MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES, JUST AS WE'VE SEEN THROUGH THE PANDEMIC, THIS WEATHER CRISIS DID NOT IMPACT EVERYONE EQUALLY.

I REPRESENT A COMMUNITY THAT HAS BEEN REPEATEDLY DEVASTATED BY NATURAL DISASTERS, LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES AND COMMUNITIES OF COLOR.

DO NOT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO SURVIVE IN DISASTERS LIKE WE HAVE FACED IN FEBRUARY.

AND SO ANY RECOVERY PLAN MUST ABSOLUTELY CONSIDER THIS.

THIS IS WHY I'VE CONTINUED TO UPLIFT THE VOICES OF DISTRICT TWO WHILE WORKING TOWARDS ANSWERS.

I HAVE HEARD THE REQUEST FOR IMPROVED COMMUNICATION FROM THE CITY ADMINISTRATION INCREASED ACCESS TO RESOURCES, BOTH IN PERSON ONLINE AND BY PHONE, MORE ACCESSIBLE DISASTER, PREPAREDNESS ACROSS ALL COMMUNITIES AND A MORE ROBUST SUPPORT FOR RENTERS.

IN RESPONSE, I HAVE AUTHORED AND CO-SPONSORED VARIOUS RESOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS THESE LARGER SYSTEMIC ISSUES, BUT I HAVE NOT WORKED ALONE.

MY STAFF AND I WERE ABLE TO RESPOND QUICKLY TO THE VARIOUS NEEDS OF OUR COMMUNITY.

THANKS TO THE MANY VOLUNTEERS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO STEPPED UP TO SERVE OUR NEIGHBORS.

I WANT TO THANK THE INDIVIDUALS WHO DELIVERED CASES OF WATER AND BUCKETS OF WATER TO AREAS LIKE TERRY ROAD AND STASSNEY LANE LEGENDS AT ONION CREEK AND SEVERAL APARTMENT UNITS AND MOBILE HOME COMMUNITIES LIKE THE TRAILS AT THE APARTMENT COMPLEX, THE TERRACE COVE, APARTMENTS AND CHATEAU AT ONION CREEK.

I ALSO WANT TO THANK THE MANY VOLUNTEERS AND ORGANIZATIONS WHO SET UP AND SUPPORTED FOOD AND WATER

[00:05:01]

DISTRIBUTION SITES AROUND THE CLOCK.

THESE WERE CRITICAL TO THE WELLBEING OF DISTRICT TWO, AND WE CERTAINLY COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT THE HELP FROM DO GOOD.

ATX A DOVE SPRINGS FOUNDED ORGANIZATION, THE DEL VALLEY COMMUNITY COALITION, DOVE SPRINGS, PROUD OF THE AUSTIN LATINO COALITION, UM, EVEN FROM BUSINESSES LIKE WALMART AND TESLA, PEPSI ALSO STEPPED UP TO HELP OUR COMMUNITY.

AND, UM, AND ALSO OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS, AUSTIN ISD AND DEL VALLEY ISD WERE PART OF THAT JOINT EFFORT.

AS A POLICY LEADER, I DO NOT EXPECT THE SAME RESIDENTS SURVIVING A CRISIS TO TURN AROUND AND PROVIDE DISASTER RECOVERY SUPPORT THROUGH THAT SAME CRISIS.

BUT THAT'S CERTAINLY BEEN THE CASE IN DISTRICT TWO WHILE THANKFUL FOR THE RESILIENT CONSTITUENTS OF MY DISTRICT.

I DO NOT BELIEVE THE BURDEN SHOULD FALL UPON THEM EACH TIME A DISASTER.

THESE RESIDENTS SHOULD NOT NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THEMSELVES WITH DETAILS OF THE REGIONAL PAGING SYSTEM COMMUNICATION PROTOCOL WITHIN CITY COUNCIL DEPARTMENTS WITHIN CITY DEPARTMENTS AND THE CITY COUNCIL, UM, EMERGENCY HOUSING, LOGISTICS AND FOOD PROVISIONS.

AS A POLICY LEADER, I WILL CONTINUE TO ASSERT MYSELF ON BEHALF OF MY CONSTITUENTS TO QUICKLY DIAGNOSE SITUATIONS DURING A CRISIS AND MANAGE RESOURCES TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY ON BEHALF OF DISTRICT TWO.

AND THANK YOU ALL TODAY FOR JOINING US.

YOU KNOW, MY TEAM AND I, WE LISTENED TO THE PREVIOUS SESSIONS.

I KNOW THIS IS YOUR FIFTH AND FINAL SESSION, BUT JUST KNOW THAT FOR FOLKS WHO ARE PROVIDING FEEDBACK TODAY, WE ARE LISTENING AND WE ARE TAKING NOTE OF THE COMMENTS THAT ARE BEING PROVIDED.

AND CERTAINLY WE WILL REPORT BACK TO THE COMMUNITY ON STRATEGIES AND SOLUTIONS AS WE CREATE A MORE RESILIENT COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

THANK YOU, COUNCIL MEMBER FONTEZ.

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR COUNCIL MEMBER BEFORE SHE HAS TO LEAVE AND PROBABLY CONTINUE HER VERY BUSY DAY? YEAH.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

AND CITY STAFF, WOULD YOU PLEASE DISPLAY OUR AGENDA AGAIN? OKAY.

THANK YOU.

SO NEXT WE HAVE CITIZENS COMMUNICATIONS, UM, FROM SPEAKER SENATE, SOMEONE TALKING IS THAT YOU PATRICIA, IT MIGHT BE THE TABLE.

I'M LEANING SPEAKERS WHO REGISTERED TO SPEAK NO LATER THAN NOON.

THE DAY BEFORE THE MEETING WILL BE ALLOWED TO ADDRESS THE CONCERNS REGARDING, UH, ITEMS NOT POSTED ON THE AGENDA DURING THIS PORTION OF THE AGENDA.

DO WE HAVE ANYONE SIGNED UP FOR CITIZENS COMMUNICATION FOR THREE MINUTES? WE DO NOT.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

AND FIRST WE HAVE APPROVAL

[1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – June 18, 2021]

OF MINUTES FROM OUR JUNE 18TH, 2021 MEETING CITY STAFF.

WOULD YOU DISPLAY THOSE MINUTES, PLEASE? FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVEN'T HAD A CHANCE TO REVIEW THEM BEFORE THE MEETING, WE ACTUALLY WILL NOT BE APPROVING MINUTES.

UM, AT THIS TIME WE'RE GOING TO APPROVE THE MINUTES FOR THE PAST MEETINGS, UM, AT OUR DEBRIEF ON FRIDAY.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

ITEM TO OLD BUSINESS.

SO WE'RE STRIKING ITEM ONE FROM OUR AGENDA, JUST FOR RECORDING PURPOSES, ITEM

[2.a. Welcome and purpose of the Listening Session.]

TWO OLD BUSINESS.

UH, WE ALL KNOW THE PURPOSE OF THIS LISTENING SESSION.

UH, THIS WELCOME AND OUR LISTENING SESSION IS SPONSORED BY MYSELF AND TASKFORCE MEMBER, JEFFREY CLEMENS.

SO, UM, WE

[2.b. Listening Session – community members and organizational representatives provide testimony on their experiences during and in that aftermath of Winter Storm Uri.]

WILL GET RIGHT INTO IT WITH ITEM TO BE LISTENING SESSION COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND ORGANIZATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES WILL PROVIDE TESTIMONY ON THEIR EXPERIENCES DURING, AND IN THE AFTERMATH OF WINTER STORM, EARLY SPONSORED BY MYSELF AND TASKFORCE MEMBER, JEFFREY CLEMENS, PATRICIA, WE HAVE SEVEN SPEAKERS.

IS THAT CORRECT? THAT IS CORRECT.

OKAY.

AND WE HAVE SIX TESTIMONIES TO READ INTO THE RECORD.

IS THAT CORRECT? WE ACTUALLY HAVE NINE TESTIMONIES NOW.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

AND BECKY, WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO HELP WITH THOSE TESTIMONIES? OKAY, THANK YOU.

SO BECKY WILL READ THOSE INTO THE RECORD, UM, AFTER WE HAVE OUR SPEAKERS.

SO REBECCA WHO, UH, OR I'M SORRY, PATRICIA, WHO IS OUR FIRST SPEAKER? OUR FIRST SPEAKER IS DENISE EISMAN.

OKAY.

MS. EISMAN, CAN YOU HEAR US? I CAN, YES.

OKAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

YOU'LL HAVE ABOUT EIGHT MINUTES TO SPEAK AND, AND IF YOU'RE OPEN TO IT, WE MAY HAVE QUESTIONS AND FEEDBACK FOR YOU.

SO PLEASE BEGIN WHENEVER YOU'RE READY.

OKAY.

I'LL TRY TO SPEAK AS QUICKLY AS I CAN.

UH, AGAIN, MY NAME IS DENISE.

I'VE BEEN IN I'M THE PRESIDENT OF THE AUSTIN HOTEL AND LODGING ASSOCIATION.

UH, MY TESTIMONY, BASICALLY MY STORIES THAT I SHARE OR THAT, THAT I HAVE, UH, ACCUMULATED FROM THE

[00:10:01]

HOTEL INDUSTRY HOTEL, UM, HOTEL MANAGEMENT, UM, THAT PARTICIPATED IN A SURVEY AND OF COAL THAT I HAD SENT TO THEM.

UM, HOTELS THAT RESPONDED WERE IN A ZIP CODE, SEVEN EIGHT, SO 4 7 0 1 7 4 4 7 5 2 7 5 9 AND 7 8 6 8 1.

UH, HOTELS BASICALLY WANTED TO SHARE THAT.

UM, MANY BECAME, UH, WELL, FIRST OF ALL, LET ME REWIND.

UM, I'VE BEEN IN AUSTIN SINCE 86 AND I CALL IT HOME AND I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED A WEEK LIKE THIS EVER IN MY LIFE, UH, HERE IN AUSTIN AND READING THESE TESTIMONIES THAT HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO ME, UH, JUST BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES AND, AND RELIVING THIS.

UH, BUT HOTELS WANTED TO SHARE THAT THEY DID BECOME HOME TO MANY, UH AUSTINITES UH, AS WELL AS PEOPLE THAT WERE TRAVELING THROUGH AUSTIN AND ABLE TO MAKE IT TO THEIR FINAL DESTINATION.

JEN, UM, WE WORKED HOUSING FIRST RESPONDERS, UM, UH, STAFF, UH, CITY STAFF, UM, EMPLOYEES THAT COULD NOT MAKE IT HOME THEMSELVES, UH, EMPLOYEES FINDING THEMSELVES HAVING TO SLEEP ON THE FLOOR BECAUSE ALL ROOMS WERE FULLY OCCUPIED, OBVIOUSLY DURING A PANDEMIC COMING OUT OF DEPENDENT OR DURING THE PANDEMIC, UM, STAFFING WAS VERY CHALLENGING.

SO, UM, MANY HOTELS STRUGGLED TO BE ABLE TO MEET THE NEED OF A FULL OCCUPANCY AND BASICALLY UNABLE IN AN UNSAFE, UM, TO MEET THAT NEED, UH, SOME HOTELS HOUSED OVER 1500 RESIDENTS THAT WERE WITHOUT POWER OR WATER.

AND WHILE THEY WERE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE SHELTER AGAIN, THE HOTELS, UH, WERE WORKING.

THEY WERE COMPLETELY, UH, OVERTAXED AND NOT STAFFED ADEQUATELY TO MEET THE CHALLENGE, BUT THEY, UM, IN MANY CASES, UH, HOTELS RUN OUT OF FOOD.

UM, BY THE END OF DAY TWO, IN SOME CASES, UH, THEY FOUND THEMSELVES JUST BASICALLY HANDING OUT CRACKERS, SERVING CRACKERS TO, TO GUESTS, UH, EVEN WITH THE FOOD SHORTAGES AND THE FLOODING, UM, UH, AND BROKEN PIPES LIKE WE MANY HAD, UM, AUSTINITES UM, AND THE HOTEL YEAS, UH, GUESTS, UH, RODE THE STORM OUT WITH THEM, UH, AND STAYED, UH, KNOWING THAT THEY FELT AS SYNTHES SAFETY, UH, BEING, UM, UM, UNDERCOVER, UH, HOTELS, UM, MANY, UM, THAT WERE SOME WERE CLOSED, HOTELS WERE CLOSED AND SOME OF THESE, UH, ZIP CODES THAT I PROVIDED, UH, AND AS, UH, AS MUCH AS TWO WEEKS WITH ALMOST 25%, SOME ROOMS STILL OUT OF ORDER TO DATE, UM, WHILE, UH, THEY WERE WITHOUT POWER.

I MENTIONED THAT THE GUESTS STILL, UH, CONTINUED TO, TO STAY, UM, SEM PROVIDED UNTIL THEY WERE UNABLE TO RELOCATE, UH, THE GUESTS TO OTHER LOCATIONS THAT MAYBE SISTER PROPERTIES THAT DID HAVE POWER AND WATER, A HOTEL, SOME CHOPPED, A HOLE IN THE POOLS, ICE TO BE ABLE TO FIT WATER, TO FLUSH TOILETS FOR GUESTS, UH, GIVING AWAY FOOD AND BOTTLED WATER, UH, WITHIN, UH, THE BUILDING, UH, SOME HAD EMERGENCY SUPPLIES AS THEY WERE PREPARED TO HANDLE THE DISASTERS.

THEY KNEW THAT THE WEATHER WAS COMING AND, UM, AND, OR, UH, SOCKING UP ON SOME FOOD SUPPLIES.

THAT'S STILL RUNNING OUT GENERAL MANAGERS ALL HANDS ON DECK, UH, WERE AT HOTELS.

UM, MANY MANAGERS THAT DID HAVE, UH, ELECTRICITY, POWER WATER, UH, FOUND THEMSELVES, UH, AND LIVING CLOSE TO HOME, GOING HOME, UH, COOKING, UH, FOR THEIR GUESTS AND TRANSPORTING HOT MEALS BACK AND FORTH, UM, ON THE ICY ROADS, UH, WHICH WAS NOT A VERY GLAMOROUS SITUATION.

UH, ONE TESTIMONY HERE FROM ZIP CODE 7, 8, 6, 8, 1 OUT OF POWER FOR TWO WEEKS OUT OF WATER FOR ONE WEEK, A BACKUP GENERATOR GENERATORS WERE DEAD COULDN'T CONTRACT, ANY, UH, CONTACT, ANY CONTRACTORS, OBVIOUSLY DUE TO THE STORM CONDITIONS, UH, SNOW MELTING ON ROUTE CREATED MAJOR LEAKS THROUGHOUT THE PROPERTY POOL PIPES WERE CLOSED, UH, CLOSE TO BURSTING.

UH, OBVIOUSLY AGAIN, MANAGERS, UH, UNABLE TO LEAVE AND MAKING CERTAIN THAT THEY WERE THERE, UH, TO, TO ACCOMMODATE WITH GUESTS AS BEST THEY COULD.

UH, LONG-TERM STAY.

GUESTS WERE, WERE FORCED TO STAY SINCE THEY COULDN'T FIND ANYWHERE ELSE TO GO.

EMPLOYEES, UH, WALKED THE HALLWAYS HOURLY FOR FIRE CHECKS.

EMPLOYEES ALSO HAD TO GO DOOR TO DOOR TO CONFIRM WHO WAS STAYING IN THE ROOM, UH, OPERATIONS DIDN'T FULLY RESUME TO NORMAL UNTIL CLOSE TO A MONTH, UH, AFTERWARD, UM, UH, THE INDUSTRY, UH, DURING THIS STORM, UM, BECAUSE I OVERSEE, UH, THE ASSOCIATION, I WILL SHARE THAT WE RECEIVED HUNDREDS OF EMAILS, UM, UM, UM, WITH ACCUSATIONS OF PRICE, GOUGING AND SUCH.

I WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE TEXAS HOTEL IN LAUNCHING ASSOCIATION AS WELL.

AND I,

[00:15:01]

UM, AND I TESTIFIED THAT WE, WITH ANY COMPLAINT THAT WE RECEIVE OF PRICE GOUGING, WE CALL THAT GENERAL MANAGER IMMEDIATELY TO ADDRESS ANY ISSUE THAT MIGHT COME UP.

AND WE DID GET A FEW, UH, COMPLAINTS AND THOSE WERE TAKEN CARE OF IMMEDIATELY.

UH, I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ALSO THAT I WORK CLOSELY WITH HOMELAND SECURITY.

UH, I WORK CLOSELY WITH THE REAL ESTATE DIVISION OF THE CITY.

UM, AS WELL AS ALL DIVISIONS, I RECEIVED A CALL AT 10:00 PM ON FEBRUARY 13TH, SEEKING ROOMS TO SHELTER, THE UNHOUSED.

UH, I OFFERED IMMEDIATE SUGGESTIONS, UH, OBVIOUSLY KNOWING THAT, UM, UM, UH, JUST BASIC SUGGESTIONS OF, YOU KNOW, CAMP MAYBERRY SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, GYMNASIUMS, UH, GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS, ANYTHING LIKE THIS THAT MIGHT, UH, BE AS AN ALTERNATIVE, UH, FOR, FOR LOCATIONS FOR THEM.

I ASKED TO BE INCLUDED ON 80 CITY PLANNING CALLS, UM, BUT I WAS NEVER INVITED ON THE CALLS FOR SOME REASON.

UH, I RECEIVED A TEXT ON SUNDAY ASKING IF I WAS ON THE PLANNING CALL AND RECEIVED A LINK SO THAT I COULD JUMP ON THAT CALL.

UM, BUT YET, UM, WAS NOT ASKED TO, UM, WAS, DID I DIDN'T HEAR ABOUT THE NEEDS FOR THE HOTEL ROOMS? UH, WHEN I WORKED WITH CITY REAL ESTATE, UH, I REACHED OUT TO THEM TO SEE IF THERE WAS A NEED FOR, UH, THE IN-HOUSE OR DID WERE SHELTERS IN PLACE.

SO THEY ASSURED ME THAT SHELTERS WERE, UH, BEING, UM, UM, SECURED.

UH, AND SO, UH, CITY REAL ESTATE HAD NOT PLACED, UH, ANY REQUESTS FOR HOTELS THOUGH.

I DID, UH, PROACTIVELY REACH OUT TO EVERY GENERAL MANAGER OF EVERY HOTEL IN AUSTIN, TEXAS ASKING FOR ANY AVAILABLE ROOMS, UH, FOR AGAIN, HOUSED REQUESTS, SHOULD IT COME THROUGH.

AND, UH, WE DID HAVE SOME, WE DID HAVE SOME THAT DID ACTUALLY HAVE, UM, UH, IN THAT AND THAT, WITH THAT REQUEST, UM, HOMELAND SECURITY, I'M TRYING TO READ HERE ALSO, I JUST COMMENTS THAT WERE RECEIVED, UM, PREPARING FOR THESE EVENTS, SUPPLIES IN ADVANCE, UH, DECIDING ON HOW TO HANDLE, UH, THESE SNOW STORMS BEFORE, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY BEFORE THEY HAPPEN THAT A ROAD CLEARING FOR THE WEATHER, INCLEMENT WEATHER LIKE THIS, UM, MANY, UM, EMBARRASSING, DISAPPOINTED WITH THE, UM, THE, UH, THE, THE RESPONSE TIME FROM, UH, THE CITY, UH, AND THE CITY SUPPORT.

UH, THE POWER GRID WAS A BIG QUESTION, UH, FROM THE HOTEL YARDS, UH, UNDERSTANDING, UH, THAT POWER GRID, UH, AS THEY SERVED AS SHELTERS FOR THIS EMERGENCY SITUATION, A WARNING OF POTENTIAL THREAT WOULD HAVE ALLOWED THE HOTELS TO PLAN.

UH, AGAIN, COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPARENCY WAS, WAS, UM, A NUMBER, ONE CONCERN, UM, EMERGENCY VEHICLES, UH, FOR SNOWPLOWS, FOR EMERGENCY ACCESS.

WE WERE UNDER THE UNDERSTANDING THAT DALLAS AND HOUSTON HAD THEM AND AUSTIN DID NOT, UM, PLACING GENERATORS IN STRATEGIC PLACES.

UH, I WORKED CLOSELY WITH, UH, SURVIVE TO THRIVE COMMUNITY RESILIENCE, STRUCK, UM, UH, AMA ON SOME MUTUAL AID.

I UNDERSTAND THAT HAD, HAD RAISED QUITE A BIT OF FUNDS, UH, OVER 30 PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS REACHING OUT TO ME PERSONALLY, UH, IN MY HOME.

UH, I DID NOT HAVE POWER.

I DIDN'T HAVE TO HAVE THE LIGHT, UM, WATER, UH, FOR OVER WEEK, UM, POWER THROUGH, UH, SPORADICALLY.

UM, I HAD POWER JUST ENOUGH FOR ME TO BE ABLE TO REACH OUT TO MY HOTEL YEAS AND REACH OUT TO CITY LEADERS TO SEE, UH, AND, AND DEFINE AND ASSESS THE NEEDS, UH, THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE AT THE TIME.

UM, IT WAS A COMPLEX TRENT, UH, FROZEN POOL AT SAM TRAY.

AND THIS WAS, UM, FROM MORE ON A PERSONAL SIDE FOR LIKE APARTMENT COMPLEXES.

UH, I WANTED TO END WITH THAT MY EFFORTS TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE CITY, UH, IS, WAS DEFINED AFTER OBVIOUSLY MORE POWER, UH, WAS, UH, WAS, WAS BROUGHT ON AND TO THE VARIOUS, UM, DISTRICTS, UM, PLUMBING OBVIOUSLY WAS THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE.

UM, I WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE CITY AND CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE TO SET UP A PLUMBERS, UM, UM, UH, RELIEF, UM, GROUP BRINGING, UM, OFFERING, UH, HOTELS AT A TRIM DISCOUNTED RATE, UH, ASSISTING IN ANY WAY THAT WE COULD WITH NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, UH, AND BRINGING IN AND INVITING PLUMBERS FROM OUT OF STATE.

SO PROVIDING, UM, LOCATIONS FOR THEM TO STAY.

UM, I OBVIOUSLY THERE'S SO MUCH MORE TO SHARE, BUT I'M HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS FOLLOWING, UM, THE SPEAKERS, IF YOU, IF YOU HAD ADDITIONAL OR WANTED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM ME.

THANK YOU, DENISE.

UM, THIS HAS BEEN VERY HELPFUL.

UM, DO YOU MIND IF I ASK, UM,

[00:20:01]

THE NAMES OF THE HOTELS THAT YOU, UM, IDENTIFIED THAT WERE ACTUALLY PRICE GOUGING? I KNOW WE'RE OUT PRICE GOUGING AND THE NAMES OF THOSE.

OKAY.

I WAS, I WAS THINKING YOU WERE GOING TO ASK THAT MAY HAVE THESE DIFFERENT DISTRICTS THAT I LISTED IN THE ZIP CODES THAT HAVE TO GO BACK TO MY SURVEY.

UH, THE HOTELS THAT WERE BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION, UH, WAS THE LINE HOTEL, UH, WAS A WYNDHAM ALSO WYNDHAM PROPERTY HOTEL.

UM, UH, THOSE TWO ARE THE ONES THAT CAME TO MIND.

WE IMMEDIATELY, UH, CALLED, UM, THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE LINE, ADAM DIESEL, WE IMMEDIATELY CALLED.

AND, UM, THAT WAS NOT, UM, IT WAS, IT WAS, THEY, UM, THERE WAS NOT, UH, AN IDENTIFICATION OF A PRICE GOUGE THERE.

WE, AS WE DOUBLE-CHECK THE WYNDHAM DID, THERE WAS AN ERROR, I GUESS, IN POSTING OF THE PRICE FOR THAT ROOM, UM, THAT THEY HAD LISTED, IT WAS A WYNDHAM PROPERTY AND THEY IMMEDIATELY CORRECTED THE PRICE, UH, THE PRICE IT WAS LISTED, I GUESS, ON THEIR WEBSITE.

UM, THOSE ARE THE TWO THAT I, THAT I RECALL.

OKAY.

AND SO IN BOTH INSTANCES, THERE WAS NO ACTUAL PRICE GOUGING, OR THEY HAD A REASON FOR WHAT WAS REPORTED.

EXACTLY.

YES MA'AM.

OKAY.

AND, UM, D WHEN YOU SAID YOU WORKED WITH THE CITY MANAGER, WAS THAT WELL AFTER THE STORM, AND DID THEY REACH OUT TO YOU OR DID YOU REACH OUT TO THEM? I, UM, REACHED OUT TO, I WORK CLOSELY WITH, UM, UM, CITY REAL ESTATE.

AND SO CITY REAL ESTATE, UM, UM, WORKED BASICALLY, I GUESS, IN CONVEYING TO ME ANY MESSAGES FROM THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE IN REGARDS TO, UH, ARE THERE HOTELS AVAILABLE? THERE WERE NO HOTELS AVAILABLE NOW, AUSTIN, TEXAS HAS ALMOST WELL.

THEY, WE DO, WE HAVE OVER 40,000 ROOMS NOW THROUGH THAT PANDEMIC.

THERE'S NOT ENOUGH STAFF.

THESE ROOMS ARE NOT WITH, WITH, UH, UH, CDC PROTOCOLS THAT WERE IN PLACE.

THERE WAS NO WAY TO OPEN UP 40,000 ROOMS. UH, THERE WAS NO WAY TO STAFF, UH, ADEQUATELY 40,000 ROOMS. SO WHEN WE SAY WE WERE AT FULL OCCUPANCY, A HOTEL, OR THE INDUSTRY WAS AT FULL OCCUPANCY, THAT MIGHT'VE STILL JUST BEEN MAYBE, UH, AT, AT 60% OF THAT COUNT.

OKAY.

AND I DON'T WANT TO MONOPOLIZE, DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR DENISE COMMISSIONER FRANKS? YES.

UM, I REPRESENT THE DISABILITY POPULATION OF AUSTIN, AND I WANTED TO KNOW IF, UM, SINCE, YOU KNOW, THE DISABLED POPULATION OF AUSTIN IS ONE OF THE MOST VULNERABLE POPULATIONS WITHIN THE CITY.

IF, UM, ANY OF THE ROOMS WERE AT THE HOTELS ARE PRIORITIZED, YOU KNOW, LIKE ADA ACCESSIBLE ROOMS FOR THOSE PRIORITIZE FOR THEM MORE SO THAN OTHER RESIDENTS, OR WAS IT FIRST COME FIRST SERVE? UM, I WOULD NOT, I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO, YOU KNOW, THAT WAS NOT PART OF MY, MY, MY SURVEY POLL.

HOWEVER, UH, JUST KNOWING, UM, HOW THE HOTELS BOOK, UM, ADA'S ADA ROOMS ARE SPECIFICALLY FOR, YOU KNOW, IN THAT PRIORITY FOR ADA GUESTS.

UH, IT'S NOT, UM, IT'S NOT THAT THIS IS THE ONLY ROOM WE HAVE LEFT, AND THEN WE HAVE JOHN Q OR SALLY TO PUBLIC THAT JUST ARRIVED AND CAN'T MAKE IT TO HOUSTON.

SO WE'RE GOING TO GIVE THEM THAT ROOM.

UM, THEY'RE DEFINITELY RESERVED FOR, UH, FOR ADA GUESTS, VERY FORTUNATELY, UH, HOTELS THAT WERE CLOSE TO, UM, MEDICAL, CERTAIN MEDICAL FACILITIES AND SUCH DID LUCKILY HAVE A POWER AND A WATER, NOT ALL HOTELS WERE WITHOUT POWER AND WATER.

SO LUCKILY WE WERE ABLE TO, UM, TO, UM, TO FACILITATE THOSE NEEDS.

THANK YOU.

ANY OTHER QUESTIONS AGAIN? MY NAME IS DENISE.

EISEMAN.

I'M HAPPY TO, IF YOU THINK OF SOMETHING I CAN BE REACHED AT TO ME AT AUSTIN, LAUNCHING.ORG, ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP IN ANY WAY I CAN.

THANK YOU, DENISE.

AND THIS IS THE CHAIR DAVIS AGAIN, WHEN YOU MENTIONED YOU WERE NEVER INVITED TO CITY PLANNING CALLS UNTIL SOMEONE REACHED OUT TO YOU AND ASKED YOU IF YOU HAD INFORMATION TO JOIN A CALL, UM, COULD YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT? DID YOU HAVE TO INVITE YOURSELF TO THESE MEETINGS AND IF YOU'RE COMFORTABLE, WHO REACHED OUT TO YOU TO TRY TO MAKE SURE YOU ATTENDED A MEETING? OH, ABSOLUTELY.

UM, I ACTUALLY AM, LET'S GET TOO PERSONAL, BUT I WAS IN, UM, THE, UH, EMERGENCY ROOM ON THE 24 HOURS, UH, PRIOR TO ME RECEIVING A CALL, UH, FROM, UM, SHE REPRESENTS, UM, UM, UH, UH, RESILIENCE, UM, UH,

[00:25:01]

WYANT SICKEST.

IT WAS, UH, JANICE.

UM, JANICE HAD CALLED ME AT THE CALL THAT I RECEIVED AND WAS GOING BACK TO MY NOTES HERE, BEAR WITH ME.

UM, YES, YES.

SO, UH, SHE WAS MY FIRST CONTACT, UH, AND I RECEIVED THAT CALL AND THE, SHE WAS, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY WORKING WITH MULTIPLE ORGANIZATIONS, UM, AND I RECEIVED THAT CALL AT 10, UM, AFTER 10:00 PM, UM, ON THE, UM, SHE HAD FIND MY NOTES.

I'M SORRY, BEAR WITH ME.

I RECEIVED THE CALL AT 10:00 PM, UM, ASKING FOR, UM, A NEED TO HAVE THE I'M LOOKING FOR 2000 ROOMS. THE REQUEST WAS WE ARE IN NEED OF 2000 ROOMS AS, AS THIS FORM IS ABOUT TO HIT FOR THE UNHOUSED.

HERE WE GO.

I RECEIVED THE CALL AT 10:00 PM.

THERE WERE 13 SEEKING ROOMS TO OFFER SHELTER FOR THE IN HOUSE.

AND THAT WAS WHEN I HAD OFFERED THE SUGGESTED AREAS AND SUCH, UH, SHE MENTIONED THAT THE NEXT DAY THAT, UH, CITY LEADERS WOULD BE, UH, DISCUSSING, UM, TRANSPORTATION THEY'D BE DISCUSSING, UM, HOW THEY WERE GOING TO HANDLE, UM, UH, FACILITATING DAN HOUSE.

AND AT THAT TIME I HAD ASKED IF I COULD PLEASE, YOU KNOW, AND BE INCLUDED ON ANY CALL AS I WOULD LOVE TO BE ABLE TO OFFER ANY ASSISTANCE THAT I COULD.

I WENT AHEAD AND SENT WITHOUT AN INVITE.

I WENT AHEAD AND SENT AN EMAIL TO ALL OF MY, UM, I SAY MINE BECAUSE IT'S MY, MY DATABASE TO MAKE IT TO THE HOTELIERS IN AUSTIN, A REGIONAL MANAGER ASKING IF THEY HAD ANY ROOMS AVAILABLE.

AND IF THEY, UM, UH, FOR FIRST RESPONDERS, UH, FOR HOMELAND SECURITY FOR, UH, FOR THE UNHOUSED.

AND SO I WAS ABLE TO ESTABLISH A LIST OF AVAILABLE ROOMS AT THAT TIME.

UM, I, UM, UM, WAS REACHED OUT BY, UM, SURVIVED THE THRIVE, UM, TEXTED ME, UM, COURTNEY SANTANA, WHO I'VE WORKED CLOSELY WITH AND ESTABLISHING, UH, ROOMS FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, A SEPARATE, A SEPARATE, UM, DATABASE THEN THIS, UH, REQUEST.

BUT SHE TEXTED ME AND ASKED IF I WAS ON THIS CALL, THE CITY CALL.

AND I MENTIONED THAT I HAD NOT BEEN INVITED TO THAT CALL AND SHE SENT THE LINK.

SO I JUMPED, IMMEDIATELY JUMPED ON THE CALL.

AND, UM, AND THAT WAS WHEN I SAW CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS AND THE MAYOR AND HOMELAND SECURITY AND EVERYONE ADDRESSING VARIOUS ISSUES, UH, UM, ON, ON, ON THIS MATTER AND SETTING UP SHELTERS, IT WAS THE CALL WAS TO SET UP SHELTERS AND TO BASICALLY, UH, FIND HOUSING, IMMEDIATE HOUSING FOR THE, FOR THE, UM, FOR THE HOMELESS.

SO YOU'RE A PRESIDENT OF THE AUSTIN HOTEL ASSOCIATION AND NO ONE FROM THE CITY ACTUALLY INVITED YOU TO THOSE CALLS.

IS THAT AN ACCURATE STATEMENT? CORRECT.

OKAY.

AND THEN, UM, DO YOU THINK IT WOULD BE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE CITY'S, UH, FUTURE EMERGENCY PLAN TO, TO INCORPORATE YOU AND OTHERS WHO ARE INVOLVED WITH, UM, COMMERCIAL HOUSING, UH, IN THE PLAN IN TERMS OF TRYING TO, UH, HOUSE THOSE THAT HAD TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES AND HOW'S THOSE WHO HAVE NO HOMES AND SUCH EMERGENCY? ABSOLUTELY.

AND AFTERWARDS, AND, AND WHEN I SAY I DIDN'T RECEIVE A CALL FROM THE CITY FOR THAT PARTICULAR CALL, I DID NOT.

UM, I DID, YOU KNOW, REACH OUT TO CITY REAL ESTATE TO SEE IF THERE WAS A NEED AND HE'S, UH, DENISE WE'RE, WE'RE, WE'RE DOING GOOD RIGHT NOW.

THERE'S NOT A NEED.

I DID RECEIVE A CALL FROM HOMELAND SECURITY, HOWEVER, UH, TO JUST PREPARE, WE WILL, WE MIGHT NEED JUST, IF YOU COULD JUST FIND OUT AND I SAID, I ALREADY KNOW, I ALREADY I'M AHEAD OF THE GAME.

UM, SO JUAN, IF YOU NEED ROOMS, THE LOCATIONS, UM, UM, CITY REAL ESTATE, IF YOU NEED TO FIND ROOMS FOR THE IN HOUSE, HERE ARE LOCATIONS THAT ARE WILLING, YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE 40 ROOMS HERE, 50 ROOMS THERE, 20 ROOMS HERE WITH ME, THERE WAS NOBODY THAT HAD 2000 ROOMS, OBVIOUSLY.

UM, BUT YES, I HAVE BEEN, UH, NOW SINCE, UH, I'VE BEEN, YOU KNOW, INVITED AND TYPICALLY, UM, UM, MADE AWARE OF JUST LIKE WITH THE PLUMBERS, UM, YOU KNOW, THE PROACTIVE MEASURES OF TRYING TO BRING IN PLUMBERS FROM OUT OF STATE.

THEY INCLUDED ME ON THAT.

AND SO I WAS ABLE TO, TO BE THE LEADS ON AND HELP FACILITATE, FIND THE HOTEL, NEGOTIATE, UH, A FRIENDLY RATE, UM, AND WORK WITH NONPROFITS THAT WE'RE GOING TO, UH, WORK WITH THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE ON THAT PROGRAM.

THANK YOU.

AND THANK YOU FOR SIGNING UP TO SPEAK AND GIVING US YOUR TIME THIS EVENING.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WHAT YOU DID DO DURING THE STORM TO, TO

[00:30:01]

HELP OTHERS, UM, WITHOUT MUCH, UH, CONTACT.

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU WERE OUT OF POWER AND WATER FOR QUITE SOME TIME.

AND SO I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORTS AND WE WILL DEFINITELY, UH, INCLUDE IT BEING PROBABLY A GOOD IDEA FOR THE CITY TO, TO HAVE AN OPEN LINE OF COMMUNICATION WITH YOU AND OTHERS IN, UH, SIMILAR POSITIONS AS YOU IN THE COMMUNITY FOR FUTURE DISASTERS.

DOES ANYONE CARE AND HAPPY TO HELP? THANK YOU SO MUCH.

DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? THANK YOU SO MUCH.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

THANK YOU, PATRICIA.

WHO'S OUR NEXT SPEAKER.

THE NEXT SPEAKER IS LAUREN AMES.

OKAY.

LAUREN, CAN YOU HEAR US? YEAH, I CAN HEAR YOU.

OKAY.

IF YOU DON'T MIND, WOULD YOU TELL US WHAT, UH, CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT YOU LIVE IN AND THEN PLEASE JUST, UH, YOU HAVE THE FLOOR? UH, OF COURSE I LIVE IN DISTRICT SEVEN.

UM, BUT, UH, I'LL, I'LL GIVE MY BRIEF STORY.

UM, I WAS IN DISTRICT FIVE DURING THE, DURING THE STORM.

OKAY.

UH, WELL, GOOD AFTERNOON.

UM, MY NAME IS BORNE AIMS AND I AM REPRESENTING MYSELF.

UM, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND FOR SERVING ON THIS TASK FORCE.

UH, AND FOR HOSTING THESE LISTENING SESSIONS, I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

MY FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS AND COWORKERS IN AUSTIN WERE ALSO WITHOUT POWER DURING THE STORM, BUT I'D LIKE TO BRIEFLY SHARE MY STORY.

UM, I LIVE IN NORTH AUSTIN, BUT I WAS VISITING MY PARTNER AT A LARGE APARTMENT COMPLEX IN SOUTH AUSTIN.

WHEN THE OUTAGE STARTED, UH, ALL OF THE HUNDREDS OF UNITS LOST POWER AND HEAT FOR FIVE DAYS, THE TEMPERATURE OF THE APARTMENT WAS 45 DEGREES ON THE FIRST DAY.

AND WE COULD NOT COOK BECAUSE STOVE ELECTRIC, UH, NONE OF THE STORES NEAR US WERE OPEN AND WE WERE CHARGING OUR PHONES AND OUR CARS.

WE WERE RELATIVELY FORTUNATE, BUT WE WERE EATING COLD SOUP OUT OF CAN INTERNET AND PHONE SERVICE WAS NOT WORKING MOST OF THE TIME ON MY PHONES.

SO I WAS LISTENING TO THE RADIO FOR UPDATES ON THE SECOND DAY, A PIPE BURST AND FLOODED THE COMPLEX WATER WAS POURING IN THE FRONT DOORS.

SO WE WERE COLD, HUNGRY, AND NOW DOES NOT HAVE WATER.

AND THAT WAS, YOU KNOW, THREE IN THE MORNING.

UM, I LIVED THROUGH HURRICANES IN HOUSTON, SO I KNEW TO HAVE WATER IN CUPS SO WE COULD FLUSH THE TOILET.

I TRIED TO DRIVE HOME SEVERAL TIMES, BUT THE STREETS BEFORE LIGHT AND EVEN TRUCKS WERE SPINNING AROUND ON LAMAR.

WE ONLY GOT OUT ON THE THIRD DAY BECAUSE THE COWORKER WITH AN SUV WAS ABLE TO US UP AND BRING US TO MY APARTMENT, WHICH HAD POWER ONLY BECAUSE IT IS NEXT TO A NURSING HOME.

ONCE WE GOT BACK TO MY APARTMENT, I WAS ABLE TO HOST FRIENDS WHO DID ENOUGH POWER, BUT MY APARTMENT DOES NOT HAVE WATER.

DO YOU KNOW AN OUTAGE? AND WE WERE STILL UNDER THE BOIL NOTICE.

I KNOW THAT THIS WILL NOT BE THE LAST TIME.

THIS HAPPENS IN AUSTIN.

AND I AM ASKING THE CITY TO DEVELOP A PLAN FOR NEXT TIME, WHICH I'M VERY HAPPY TO TASKFORCE WHO'S DOING.

WE COULD NOT GET TO A WARMING CENTER OR A FRIEND'S HOUSE BECAUSE THE ROADS WERE NOT DIY AND WE WEREN'T ELIGIBLE FOR A COVID VACCINE.

SO WE WERE WORRIED ABOUT GETTING COVID.

THE INTERNET WAS NOT WORKING ON OUR PHONES SO WE COULD NOT WATCH THE MARATHON UPDATES.

WE COULD NOT LOOK AT GOOGLE DOCS AND WE WERE RELYING ON THE CAR RADIO, BUT THE ONLY NEWS WAS ABOUT ROWING BLACKOUTS.

SO WE'D HAD FULL OUTAGES FOR DAYS.

THE CITY NEEDS TO AT LEAST DIS THE MAJOR ROADS AND HAVE A PLAN TO GET FOOD, WATER, AND HEAT TO PEOPLE WHO ARE FREEZING DURING A BLACKOUT.

THE CITY ALSO COULD PROVIDE INFORMATION ON HOW TO FILE A FLOOD INSURANCE CLAIM, WHICH MANY OF MY FRIENDS HAD TO DO THE INFORMATION SHOULD ALSO BE RELAYED OVER THE RADIO SO PEOPLE WITHOUT INTERNET CAN HEAR IT.

I WAS REALLY, I WAS, I WAS RELYING ON THE RADIO TO GET INFORMATION.

I WAS AMAZED THAT THERE WAS ALMOST NO PRACTICAL INFORMATION AVAILABLE OVER THE RADIO DURING THIS CRISIS.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

THANK YOU SO SO MUCH.

IF YOU, IF YOU HAVE A FEW MINUTES, LAUREN, DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR LAUREN? THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CALLING IN AND SHARING WITH THOSE LAUREN.

WE, WE, UM, APPRECIATE THIS AND WE ALL HAVE REALIZED WE'VE ALL GONE THROUGH A COLLECTIVE TRAUMA.

I'M SO SORRY THAT YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH THIS AND, AND WE WILL DO THE BEST WE CAN TO HELP THE CITY IMPLEMENT AN EMERGENCY PLAN FOR THE FUTURE.

THANK YOU.

I APPRECIATE THAT.

THANK YOU, PATRICIA.

WHO'S OUR NEXT SPEAKER.

THE NEXT SPEAKER IS MIKE BATES.

OKAY.

MR. BATES, CAN YOU HEAR US? YES.

CAN YOU HEAR ME? YES, WE CAN'T.

YOU HAVE THE FLOOR AND IF YOU DON'T MIND, PLEASE LET US KNOW WHAT DISTRICT YOU WERE LIVING IN DURING THE STORM.

YES.

THANK YOU.

UH, MY NAME IS MIKE BATES.

I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH YOU TODAY.

[00:35:01]

UH, I AM A LONGTIME RESIDENT OF AUSTIN AND CURRENTLY IN COUNCIL DISTRICT FIVE, UH, LIVE THROUGH THE WINTER STORM, UH, WITHOUT WATER AND INTERMITTENT POWER.

UM, I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED TO SEE HOW FRAGILE OUR ENERGY SYSTEM IS, AND EVEN MORE DISAPPOINTED WATCHING THE GRID IMPLODE, KNOWING THAT TECHNOLOGY AND SOLUTIONS EXIST TODAY, THAT WHEN DEPLOYED BROADLY WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THE WORST IMPACTS OF THE WINTER STORM.

I'VE SPENT MY ENTIRE CAREER WORKING IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY AND EVACUATING INVOLVED TODAY IN THE ONGOING ENERGY TRANSITION, UH, OR SOME MIGHT CALL IT A REVOLUTION, UH, AND WAS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS.

THE MEMBERS OF THE PECAN STREET PROJECT HERE IN AUSTIN WERE REDEPLOYED ONE OF THE FIRST SMART ENERGY DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS BACK IN 2009 SEVEN.

UH, I CURRENTLY LEAD INTEL'S ENERGY PRACTICE, WHICH INCLUDES A FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY AND SOLUTIONS THAT ARE ENABLING UNLIMITED AMOUNTS OF CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY TO BE INTEGRATED INTO THE MARKETS.

I THINK YOU WOULD AGREE NOT A DAY GOES BY WITHOUT HEARING ANOTHER GAME-CHANGING NEWS ABOUT THIS ENERGY TRANSITION.

UM, WE HEAR ABOUT THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS, UH, ON CLIMATE CHANGE, INCLUDING, UM, THIS WINTER STORM, ALONG WITH MORE PROMISING NEWS ABOUT WHAT I WOULD DESCRIBE AS ONE OF THE BIGGEST TRANSFERS OF WEALTH AND VALUE, MAYBE THE LARGEST EVER FROM CARBON BASED ENERGY INTO CLEAN, RENEWABLE AND RESILIENT ENERGY.

UH, THE WINTER STORM OF 21 DISASTER, WHICH IS STILL REVERBERATING, UH, WITH RECENT NEWS ABOUT, UH, SUPPLY SHORTAGES FROM OUR COT STILL HERE IN THE SUMMER.

UH, IT'S ANOTHER IT'S SHOCKING EXAMPLE OF HOW OUTDATED THE BUSINESS MODEL IS, UH, THAT IS TRANSITIONING COMBINED WITH THE LACK OF INVESTMENT IN SOLUTIONS THAT MAKE THE GRID SMARTER.

I THINK THAT HAVE LED US TO THIS IMPORTANT INFLECTION POINT, UM, IN THE ENERGY, UM, OF SUPPLY AT BIO SYNERGY AND THE MARKET IN GENERAL AND THE TEXAS, UH, THIS PIVOT AWAY FROM CARBON-BASED ENERGY DELIVERED, MOSTLY THIS KIND OF ONE WAY DEEPLY INGRAINED OUTDATED SUPPLY CHAIN IS BEING TURNED ON ITS HEAD.

A LOT OF IT'S LED BY, UM, A LOT OF THE CARDS AND NEUTRALITY MANDATES, INCLUDING, UH, FROM CITIES AND STATES, INCLUDING OUR OWN COMMUNITY CLIMATE PLAN.

UM, I THINK CONSUMERS OF ALL KINDS NOW ARE HAVING MORE CHOICES AND INCENTIVES THAN EVER TO GO GREEN AND WHAT I WOULD CALL ROLLOVER AND OWN ENERGY WITH MANY CHOOSING TO SELL BACK EXCESS TO CAPACITY.

AND THE, THESE ARE ALL GREAT.

UH, I THINK DATA POINTS, BUT, YOU KNOW, MIGHT ASK WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH TODAY'S TOPIC, WHICH HAS BEEN A WINTER STORM OF 21 AND, AND THE SOLUTIONS AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO AND BE THINKING ABOUT, UH, TO LESSEN THE IMPACTS OF THE FUTURE EVENTS.

UH, I THINK, UH, I'D LIKE TO ASK THE COUNCIL OF THE MEMBERS, UH, ON THE CALL TO IMAGINE HOW A FREE EXCHANGE OF, UH, AVAILABLE POWER FROM ALL POINTS OF ELECTRICITY GENERATION, INCLUDING CONSUMER OWNED POWER.

I MIGHT'VE CURBED THE UGLY UGLIEST IMPACTS OF THE WINTER STORM.

UH, TECHNOLOGY EXISTS TODAY THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENABLED AUSTIN ENERGY TO UNLOCK THIS CLEAN ENERGY BY INSTRUMENTING THE ELECTRIC GRID IN A WAY THAT REMOVES ALL BOTTLENECKS FOR INTEGRATING UNLIMITED AMOUNTS OF CLEAN ROOM ENERGY, BOTH CONSUMER OWNED.

AND WHEN I SAY CONSUMER ALSO TALKING COMMERCIAL, INDUSTRIAL CONSUMERS, AS WELL AS RESIDENTIAL, UH, CONSUMERS, UH, IT ALSO TECHNOLOGY ALSO EXISTS TODAY THAT WOULD HAVE ENABLED US ENERGY TO IN COOPERATION WITH ERCOT, THE BALANCE SUPPLY DEMAND WITH WHAT I WOULD CALL SCALPEL LIKE PRECISION THAT WOULD HAVE KEPT THE LIGHTS ON AT THE CRITICAL FACILITIES.

YOU KNOW, FOR EXAMPLE, DOWNTOWN, WHILE ALSO TURNING DOWN THE POWER AND THE NEARBY BUILDINGS, WHERE IN THE STORM GAYS PEOPLE COULDN'T EVEN GET TO.

AND I KNOW THAT WAS A COMPLAINT AND HEARD A LOT ABOUT, UH, UH, SO, SO THE POINT THERE IS THAT THIS TECHNOLOGY EXISTS TODAY AND WITH WOULD HAVE AVOIDED THAT.

I THINK TECHNOLOGY ALSO, I THINK I KNOW TECHNOLOGY ALSO EXIST, UH, THAT WOULD ALLOW US TO INTEGRATE CONSUMER OWNED POWER, UH, WHETHER IT'S SOLAR BATTERIES, UH, GEN SETS TO HELP FILL THE GAPS WHEN THE CENTRALIZED POWER GOES DOWN, LIKE WHAT HAPPENED? THE WINTER STORM IS ALSO WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY, WHERE THERE'S STILL MAINTENANCE ISSUES ON THE CENTRALIZED POWER, WHERE POWER CAN'T GET TO THE POINT OF CONSUMPTION THE POINT HERE BEING INTEGRATING CONSUMER OWN POWER AT THE EDGE OF THE GRID.

UH, NOT ONLY ALLOWS US TO, UM, KEEP THE LIGHTS ON, BUT IT ALSO ALLOWS US TO FILL IN THOSE GAPS IN AREAS WHERE POWER CANNOT BE PROVIDED.

AND IT'S NOT A TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM.

IT'S NOT TECHNOLOGY

[00:40:01]

EXISTS.

IT'S BEING USED TODAY.

IT'S A MARKET PROBLEM.

IT'S WHERE INCUMBENT ENERGY PROVIDERS LACK THE APPETITE, OR MAYBE THE COURAGE TO MOVE INTO THIS MORE ENERGY RESILIENT SERVICE MODEL.

BUT I ALSO SEE AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN, UH, TO EMBRACE THIS ENERGY TRANSITION, UH, AND SETTING THE EXAMPLE FOR OTHER CITY OWNED UTILITIES.

I THINK FIRST BY INVESTING IN, UH, AN UPDATED GRID THAT ENABLES A HUNDRED PERCENT ALWAYS ON CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY VIA TWO WAY FLOW OF POWER FOR ALL POINTS OF GENERATION, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY'RE CONSUMER OWNED UTILITY.

UM, UH, SO BUILDING A GRID THAT ALLOWS FOR HIGHEST AND BEST USE ELECTRONS TO BE CONSUMED AT THIS POINT, UH, AND THAT DOES NOT EXIST TODAY.

I'M ALSO RECOMMENDING THAT, UH, THE CITY CONDUCT A FEASIBILITY STUDY TO IDENTIFY THE NEW REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES THAT, UH, COULD BE GENERATED FROM THIS NEW RE-IMAGINED GRID, INCLUDING SERVICES AROUND SOLAR STORAGE AND EV CHARGING, AS WELL AS ONBOARDING NEW SOURCES OF POWER OF CONSUMER ON ENERGY, AS WELL AS, UH, ENERGY TRADING, UH, EXCESS CAPACITY, UH, AND THEN FINALLY, UH, BUILDING GRID OF THE FUTURE DEMONSTRATION TO SHOW, UH, AND BETTER UNDERSTAND THE LONG RANGE OF, AND PLAN FOR FULL TERRITORY, RIGHT UPGRADE THAT WOULD AGAIN, HELP PREVENT AND MAYBE TO TOTALLY AVOID, UH, THE IMPLICATIONS OF, UM, THE, THE, THAT WE SAW AT THE WINTER STORM OF THIS YEAR AND WHAT WE'RE ALSO SEEING THE SUMMER AND I THINK SHOULD EXPECT TO SEE IN THE FUTURE.

SO THAT'S THE END OF MY COMMENTS.

UM, I REALLY APPRECIATE THE TIME AS I MENTIONED, AND I CAN STAY ON IF ANYONE HAS ANY QUESTIONS THEY WANT TO ASK NOW, THANK YOU, MR. BATES, THIS IS CHAIR DAVIS.

UM, WOULD YOU BE OPEN TO US, REACHING OUT TO YOU TO MAKE SURE, UM, WITH ALL THE IDEAS YOU JUST PROPOSE THAT COULD BE HELPFUL WITH ALL OF YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY, IN PARTICULAR, YOU SAYING THE TECHNOLOGY DID EXIST FOR AUSTIN ENERGY AND PERHAPS AUSTIN ENERGY IN CONJUNCTION WITH ERCOT TO HAVE MITIGATED THE SITUATION PRIOR TO THE EXTREME BLACKOUTS, WOULD YOU BE OPEN TO US REACHING OUT TO YOU TO MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND THAT? ABSOLUTELY.

ANYTIME.

YEAH.

THANK YOU.

AND DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, KATHERINE GONZALEZ, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY, MR. BATES, I HAVE, UH, WHAT I'M HOPING IS AN EASY QUESTION, THOUGH.

I UNDERSTAND IT MIGHT REQUIRE SOME CREATIVITY.

IF CITY OF AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL IN SEPTEMBER, UH, HAS RECEIVED OUR REPORTS.

THEY WANT TO TAKE ACTION.

THEY'VE DECIDED THAT THE NUMBER ONE THING THEY WANT TO DO IS EMBRACE THE ENERGY TRANSITION AND MAKE THE INVESTMENT OUT LONG.

WOULD IT TAKE FOR THE ENTIRE CITY OF AUSTIN TO MAKE THAT TRANSITION IN YOUR, BECAUSE WHAT WE'RE SEEING RIGHT NOW IS DON'T REALLY HAVE TIME.

I MEAN, SHOULD'VE DONE THIS BEFORE AND WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO WAIT.

WE ALREADY HAVE EXPERIENCED SOME POWER INSTABILITY THERE IN SUMMER.

SO I'M CURIOUS HOW FAST ALL OF THIS FROM A LINE IN WORK.

THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

AND OF COURSE I WISH I COULD ANSWER IT.

UM, BUT MY GUESS WOULD BE A FIVE-YEAR PHASED APPROACH WHERE YOU WOULD START WITH THE MOST CRITICAL LOAD BALANCING ISSUES.

LIKE THE ONE I MENTIONED WHERE CRITICAL FACILITIES NEED POWER, WHERE NON-CRITICAL FACILITIES, DON'T, THAT'S, THAT'S LOW HANGING FRUIT IN TERMS OF TECHNOLOGY AND, AND THE ABILITY TO SCALE.

UH, I THINK THE BROADER, UH, THE LONGER TERM, THE INVESTMENTS IN THE GRID ITSELF, UH, PUTTING, YOU KNOW, COMPUTE TYPE TECHNOLOGY, AI ENABLED TECHNOLOGY, AND IS SUBSTATION, UH, ACROSS ALL OF ALL SYNERGY SUBSTATIONS, AS AN EXAMPLE, WOULD PROBABLY TAKE ABOUT FIVE YEARS.

AND, UH, THAT WOULD ALSO ALLOW THE CITY TO COOPERATE ALL THE ED COME ON THE MARKET BY THEN I THINK THEN MAYBE FINISHING OUT OF MAYBE FIVE TO SEVEN YEARS WAS IN, BUT THAT'S A TOTAL SWAG, BUT AGAIN, I DO THINK HE COULD START WITH SOME LOW HANGING FRUIT THAT WOULD HAVE SOME BIG IMPACTS, UM, ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.

FANTASTIC.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

I WILL BE REACHING OUT TO YOU FOR SPECIFICS AGAIN, ON THE LOW-HANGING FRUIT.

I THINK THAT WOULD BE VERY USEFUL FOR US TO INCLUDE IN OUR REPORT FOR WHATEVER IT IS TO CITY COUNCIL AND AUSTIN ENERGY.

DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? JUST A QUICK FOLLOW UP? I WAS JUST GOING TO ASK IF HE COULD SUBMIT HIS, WHAT HE JUST SAID TO US.

YOU, ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THAT MR. BATES SUBMITTING, UM, IS IN WRITING.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

THAT'S

[00:45:01]

VERY INTERESTING.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

AND THEN, UH, JEFFREY CLEMENS.

YES.

UM, BUT YOU, FOR YOUR TESTIMONY TONIGHT, I WAS JUST CURIOUS IF YOU DO HAVE ANY, UM, CITIES ANYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES THAT HAVE MADE THIS TRANSITION.

UM, I KNOW YOU SAID SOME OF THIS MIGHT BE NEW, UM, BUT JUST CURIOUS ABOUT IF YOU KNOW, OF ANY LOCATIONS THAT HAVE TRIED TO MAKE THIS TRANSITION, UM, THERE ARE UTILITIES THAT ARE MAKING THIS TRANSITION WITHIN SOME CITIES.

UM, I CAN, UH, CAN I NOT, THERE'S, THERE'S ONE IN NEW YORK, THERE'S ONE THING, YOUR POWER AUTHORITY, IF THERE'S POCKETS OF THEM AND THAT'S SOMETHING ELSE I CAN FOLLOW UP WITH YOU ON.

UH, BUT YES, THERE ARE AN ISSUE ALREADY THERE INVESTMENTS ARE BEING MADE IN CITIES TO UPGRADE THEIR LIBRARY SYSTEM, UH, TO MEET CARBON NEUTRALITY MANDATES.

SO LIKE FOR INSTANCE, THE CITY OF SACRAMENTO, WHICH IS ALSO MUNICIPAL UTILITY HAS A CARBON NEUTRALITY MANDATE.

I CAN'T REMEMBER THE DATE, BUT THERE'S A WHOLE PHASE IN PLAN TO GET THERE.

THAT INCLUDES, UH, INVESTMENTS MADE BY THAT UTILITY.

THANK YOU.

DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE QUESTIONS? YES.

THIS IS COMMISSIONER FRANKS.

UM, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TESTIMONY.

UM, THIS IS JUST A, MAYBE A QUESTION YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ANSWER BY JUST WANTING TO ASK.

UM, CITY COUNCIL WILL MOST LIKELY WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS WOULD BE IN TRANSITIONING TO THIS DIFFERENT TYPE OF ENERGY SOURCE SOURCING.

SO DO YOU HAVE LIKE A ROUGH ESTIMATE OF WHAT THE FINANCIAL IMPACT MAY BE TO THE CITY? I REALLY, I REALLY DON'T.

IT'S A REALLY COMPLICATED, UM, MODEL AND SOME OF IT IS, YOU KNOW, POLICY INFLUENCED MARKET INFLUENCED.

UH, THE OTHER PART OF IT IS THERE IS A NEW, YOU KNOW, EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE NEW REVENUE GENERATING THAT, UM, WOULD BE INCORPORATED IN ROI ANALYSIS AS WELL.

BUT THAT WOULD TAKE, THAT WOULD TAKE SOME TIME, UM, TO PUT TOGETHER.

THAT'S UNDERSTANDABLE.

THANK YOU.

YEAH.

ANY MORE QUESTIONS? OKAY.

IF I MAY CALL YOU MICHAEL, YOU WILL BE IN TOUCH MOST DEFINITELY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOU'VE SHARED WITH US THIS EVENING.

THANK YOU.

HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.

GOOD NIGHT.

OKAY, PATRICIA, I BELIEVE WE ARE UP TO OUR FOURTH SPEAKER.

IS THAT CORRECT? YES, THAT IS CORRECT.

IF MARISSA IS OUR FOURTH SPEAKER.

YEAH.

THANK YOU, MARISSA.

CAN YOU HEAR US? YES.

OKAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

UM, IF YOU WOULDN'T MIND TELLING US WHAT CITY COUNCIL DISTRICTS YOU LIVED IN DURING THE STORM AND YOU HAVE THE FLOOR.

THANK YOU.

I LIVE IN 10.

UM, I'VE LIVED IN 10 FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS.

UM, SO WHEN, UH, MULTIPLE COPPER PIPES WITHIN OUR HOMES, WALLS BURST AFTER A WEEK OF FREEZING TEMPS AND THREE DAYS WITHOUT POWER WATER WHIPPED THE WALLS.

SO FORCEFULLY THAT OUR MASTER MASTER BEDROOM SOUNDED LIKE A DRIVE-THRU CARWASH, NO JOKE.

THE CHAOS THAT ENSUED AND THE EXTENSIVE DAMAGES TO OUR HOME WOULD BE TO TAKE TOO MUCH TIME TO DESCRIBE, BUT THE PAST FOUR MONTHS HAVE BEEN ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMING.

MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEEN OUR SHATTERED HOME ASSUME WE DID NOT COVER FAUCETS AND PLUMBING WE DID, OR THAT WE DID NOT DRIP ALL OUR FAUCETS WE DID, OR THAT PLUMBING WITHIN OUR WALLS WAS NOT PROPERLY INSULATED.

AND IT WAS, BUT IN THE END, IT DIDN'T MATTER WITHOUT ANY WARNING TO ALLOW FOR PREEMPTIVE ACTION TO MINIMIZE OUR LOSSES.

OUR POWER WAS KEPT FOR THREE DAYS AND OUR HOMES SUSTAINED SIGNIFICANT WATER AND BREACH DAMAGES.

SO WHEN POWER WAS FINALLY RESTORED, WE FELT LITTLE RELIEF TEMPS INSIDE OUR HOME REMAINED IN THE LOW 40, BECAUSE MULTIPLE POWER SEARCHES IRONICALLY HAD ANNIHILATED OUR HEATERS BLOWER MOTOR WE'D ALREADY BEEN FORCED TO SHUT OUR WATER OFF OF OUR MAIN VALVE.

SO WE FINALLY RAISED A WHITE FLAG AND FLED TO A CROWDED HOTEL WITH OUR DOG UNTIL WE COULD GET A PLUMBER, A PLUMBER.

HIS TIME TWO WEEKS LATER TODAY IS JUNE 23RD, MORE THAN FOUR MONTHS AFTER WINTER STORE URI AND HACK OUR HOME REMAINS OFF LIMITS WHILE WE AWAIT COMPLETION OF REPAIRS, WE DO HAVE COMPETENT CONTRACTORS, BUT THEY'RE STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP WITH EXTREME CUSTOMER DEMANDS.

AND THEY'RE FRUSTRATED BY SUPPLY SHORTAGES.

OUR REPAIR EXPENSES HAVE SURPASSED A HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS.

AND SO FAR HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE HAS ONLY COVERED HALF OF THAT.

JUST TWO DAYS AGO.

ONE OF MY CONTRACTORS DISCOVERED ANOTHER FREEZE RELATED ISSUE.

SO OUR EXPENSES WILL CERTAINLY GROW.

I HAVE

[00:50:01]

LOST SLEEP, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY, BUT IN THE END OF MY ANSWER IS ALWAYS SAYING NOTHING, BUT WHAT COULD ERCOT AUSTIN ENERGY AND OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIES DONE DIFFERENTLY? PLENTY.

AND I HAVE SIX VERY BRIEF SUGGESTIONS.

NUMBER ONE, COMMUNICATE RELIABLE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATE AS IF NOBODY HAS ELECTRICITY DURING THE DAY WITHOUT WE HAD NO WIFI AND VERY UNRELIABLE LTE.

SO ALMOST ALL NEWS CAME FROM AN OLD HAND CRANK RADIO.

I HAD SHOVED IN A CLOSET AND CHECKED MESSAGES.

AND DURING THE WORST DAYS, THE CITY OF AUSTIN, SINCE ALERTS VIA EMAIL, TWITTER, AND FACEBOOK, BUT THOSE OF US WITHOUT POWER HAD NO WAY TO DOWNLOAD THEM.

SO IN THE FUTURE, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CITY SENT SIMPLE TEXT MESSAGES AND CREATE A DEDICATED POWER CRISIS PHONE LINE.

IN AN IDEAL WORLD, THIS LINE WOULD BE STAFFED BY TRAINED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE, MAYBE LIKE RETIRED PLUMBERS OR ELECTRICIANS WHO COULD ANSWER TECHNICAL QUESTIONS AND PROVIDE TIMELY UPDATES.

AND I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THIS SHOULD BE A SEPARATE LINE FROM 3 1, 1, WHICH OFTEN PROVIDED CONFLICTING INFORMATION, BUT THAT'S ANOTHER STORY, UH, TO INVEST IN AT LEAST SOME EQUIPMENT THAT MITIGATES ICE AND SNOW, MY NEIGHBORS AND I WERE ESSENTIALLY UNDER HOUSE ARREST.

OUR NEIGHBORHOOD IS FULL OF STEEP HILLS AND THE TWO MAJOR HIGHWAYS THAT BORDER OUR NEIGHBORHOOD WHENEVER PLOWED THREE, ORGANIZE A VOLUNTEER FOUR BY FOUR VEHICLE TEAMS DURING OUR LAST DAY WITHOUT POWER.

I HITCHED A RIDE WITH THE DRIVER OF A FOUR BY FOUR DIESEL TRUCK WHO HAD LOTS OF EXPERIENCE NAVIGATING SNOWY AND ICY ROADS.

AND DURING OUR SHORT DRIVE, HE RECEIVED NUMEROUS PHONE CALLS FROM AREA NEIGHBORS, PLEADING WITH HIM TO PICK UP MEDICINE, FOOD, AND WATER.

HE TOLD ME HE WAS DOING HIS BEST, BUT ADMITTED, FEELING OVERWHELMED.

IMAGINE HOW AUSTIN I COULD HAVE BEEN HELPED IF WE'D HAD A TEAM OF DRIVERS LIKE HIM FOR ORGANIZED A VOLUNTEER CITIZENS RESCUE FORCE, RIGHT AFTER MY HOUSE STARTED FLOODING, I CALLED NINE ONE.

ONE FOR HELP WAS TOLD NINE ONE.

ONE WAS NOT ABLE TO DISPATCH ANYONE TO OUR AREA.

MY EMERGENCY WAS NOT HEALTH-RELATED THANK GOODNESS, BUT IF IT HAD BEEN MUCH LIKE A FOUR BY FOUR DRIVER TEAM, A CITIZENS RESCUE FORCE COULD BE COMPRISED OF PEOPLE TRAINED IN FIRST AID MEDICINE, OR JUST PEOPLE WHO COULD DELIVER FRUIT AND WATER TO SENIOR CITIZENS.

UM, FIVE CREATE AN AUSTIN SPECIFIC VIDEO LIBRARY THAT CITIZENS CAN EASILY ACCESS TO HELP US BETTER PREPARE FOR AN OVERCOME CRISES, WHETHER THEY BE RELATED TO POWER LOSS, BREATHING, TEMPS, OR EXTREME HEAT, A VIDEO TOOLBOX.

SO TO SPEAK.

I SAY AUSTIN SPECIFIC BECAUSE CHECKS OF HOMES ARE OBVIOUSLY NOT BUILT LIKE HOMES IN THE NORTHEAST.

PERHAPS THESE VIDEOS COULD BE ARCHIVED AT THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.

A SMALL EXAMPLE MIGHT BE VIDEOS ON HOW TO TURN OFF OUR WATER AT OUR MAIN BELTS, WHAT TOOLS WE NEED, ET CETERA.

I HAPPENED TO GET MY NEIGHBORS HELP, AND THAT WAS PIVOTAL.

HE HAD THE TOOL TANDY, UM, OR HOW TO IMMEDIATELY POOL CARPETING AND PATTY AS MY TEENAGE SON.

AND I DID BECAUSE OVERWHELMED CONTRACTORS ARE NOT LIKELY TO SHOW UP ANYTIME SOON AFTER A CRISIS AND WET CARPETS OR HEAVEN FOR MOLD AND MILDEW.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE COULD BE ARMING US WITH IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN BUYING OR REVISING HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICIES.

AND FINALLY, THE LAST ONE SIX PROVIDE, PLEASE PROVIDE MORE REBATES AND INCENTIVES FOR PEOPLE TO INVEST IN GREEN ENERGY.

THIS IS KIND OF PATHETIC, BUT MANY HOMES IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD ARE DEPENDENT ON SEWAGE EJECTION PUMPS, WHICH WHICH ARE POWERED BY ELECTRICITY, WHICH MEANT MANY OF US COULD NOT EVEN FLUSH TOILET OR TAKE SHOWER DURING THE POWER OUTAGE.

WE COULD HAVE EASILY BENEFITED FROM GENERATORS OR POWERWALLS WHO COULDN'T HAVE.

SO MY FAMILY AND I ALREADY STRUGGLED WITH CHALLENGES POSED BY COVID, BUT WHEN YOUR STORM YURI TOOK THINGS TO A NEW LEVEL WITH COVID, WE AT LEAST KNEW HOW TO PREPARE AND PROTECT OURSELVES OR COTTON DID NOT GIVE US THAT CHANCE.

AND WE WERE VERY CONCERNED.

THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

THAT'S IT.

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US THIS EVENING.

WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR TIME AND YOUR FEEDBACK.

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, COMMENTS? YES.

THIS IS A TEST TASK FORCE MEMBER CLEMENTS.

AND, UM, I JUST WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU FOR GIVING US YOUR TESTIMONY.

UM, I'M SORRY THAT YOUR HOUSE IS STILL, UM, HALFWAY OFF LIMITS.

I, I CAN UNDERSTAND HOW PROBABLY DISASSOCIATING THAT CAN FEEL, UM, TO HAVE THIS ONCE, YOU KNOW, PLACE THAT YOU FEEL SO COMFORTABLE

[00:55:01]

IN NOW BE BASICALLY A CONSTRUCTION PROJECT.

SO I HOPE THAT YOU ALL CONTINUE TO GET RELIEF.

UM, HOWEVER DIFFICULT THAT CONTINUES TO BEGIN.

UM, UM, BUT JUST THANK YOU AGAIN.

HAVE YOU TRIED TO REACH OUT TO ANYONE REGARDING, UM, THE COST OF YOUR HOME REPAIRS AND ANY RELIEF FUNDS YOU COULD APPLY TO? I'M SORRY, I ONLY CAUGHT HALF OF YOUR QUESTION.

COULD YOU REPEAT IT, PLEASE? HAVE YOU, UM, REACHED OUT TO THE CITY OF BOSTON, ANY DEPARTMENT AT ALL TO SEE IF THERE ARE ANY RELIEF FUNDS YOU COULD APPLY FOR, UM, WITH REGARD TO THE, THAT YOUR HOUSING, YOUR HOUSING REPAIR COSTS? UM, NO, I HAVE NOT.

THE ONLY THING I DID TRY TO DO WAS TO GET A LITTLE BIT OF PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FOR, YOU KNOW, THAT MY HOME VALUE WAS APPRAISED AT A CERTAIN VALUE.

EVEN A FRIEND OF MINE SAID, OBVIOUSLY YOUR HOME, IT'S NOT THAT VALUE RIGHT NOW.

SO I'M APPEALING MY PROPERTY TAXES.

I WAS A LITTLE DISMAYED TO SEE ORIGINALLY THAT YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING LIKE HALF A MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF DAMAGE TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A DISCOUNT.

UM, AND, BUT THIS FRIEND IS CONVINCED, CONVINCED ME THAT I SHOULD STILL APPEAL, EVEN THOUGH I HAVEN'T REACHED THAT'S RIDICULOUS.

I MEAN, THAT'S THE COST OF A PUBLIC HOME.

IT'S NOT MORE THAN THAT.

SO I, IT'S NOT, I HOPE I DON'T HAVE TO MEET THAT CRAZY THRESHOLD TO GET SOME RELIEF.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING WITH US AND, AND, UH, YOUR COMMENTS WILL NOT FALL ON DEAF EARS AND I APPRECIATE, UH, THE FIVE OR SIX POINT PLAN YOU JUST PROVIDED TO US.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, PATRICIA.

I THINK WE'RE READY FOR OUR FIFTH SPEAKER CSO DOMO.

OKAY.

CAN YOU HEAR US CECIL? YES, I CAN.

THANK YOU.

WOULD YOU LET US KNOW WHAT DISTRICT YOU LIVED IN DURING THE STORM AND YOU HAVE THE FLOOR? YES.

THANK YOU.

UH, FIRST OF ALL, I WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU TO EVERYONE ON THE CALL.

UM, WE ALL, UM, I DON'T LIVE IN THE DISTRICT, BUT I WORK FOR, I'M AN, I'M A REGIONAL SUPERVISOR FOR BELCO EQUITIES AND WE OWN AND MANAGE 13 APARTMENT COMMUNITIES.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, RANGING FROM DISTRICT FOUR TO DISTRICT ONE TO DISTRICT SEVEN IS WHERE THE MAJORITY OF OUR PROPERTIES ARE.

I ALSO SERVE ON THE BOARD OF THE AUSTIN APARTMENT ASSOCIATION.

SO AS YOU GUYS CAN IMAGINE, WE WERE PROBABLY THE MOST EFFECTED.

OUR RESIDENTS WERE THE MOST EFFECTED BY THE WINTER STORM AND THE DAMAGE THAT IT CAUSED.

AND, AND ONE THING IT MADE US REALIZE WAS NO AMOUNT OF PREPARATION COULD HAVE PREVENTED WHAT HA WHAT HAPPENED.

AND IT'S BECAUSE TEXAS CONSTRUCTION IS NOT BUILT TO WITHSTAND THE KIND OF WEATHER THAT WE SAW.

SO WE WERE PUT IN A POSITION WHERE WE HAD TO REACT TO THE DISASTERS AS THEY WERE HAPPENING AS THEY CAME AVAILABLE, AS THEY CAME UP.

SO WE WERE ON PILLS FROM THE START, WHENEVER YOU'RE PUT IN A POSITION TO HAVE TO REACT TO SOMETHING, INSTEAD OF BE PROACTIVE TO SOMETHING YOU'RE, YOU'RE, YOU'RE, YOU'RE ALREADY ON YOUR HEELS.

SO, UM, YOU KNOW, OUR STRUGGLES ARE NOT ANY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT ANYBODY ELSE IS ON THE CALL HAVE BEEN THAT I'VE HEARD SO FAR, YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY WAS AFFECTED IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

UM, AND, AND WHAT WE'RE HAPPY TO SEE IS THAT THE CITY THAT THE PEOPLE ON THIS COUNCIL SAW THE NEED TO HAVE A, I GUESS YOU WOULD CALL IT DISASTER PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE, SOME SORT OF COMMITTEE THAT, THAT, THAT, THAT SHOWN SOME IMPORTANCE ON THE REACTION TO A DISASTER.

UM, AND, AND IT'S, UH, YOU KNOW, THE EFFECTS ARE STILL BEING FELT THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE AUSTIN AREA.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE HEAR STORIES ALL THE TIME.

W WE'VE WE'VE WITNESSED THEM BEING IN THE MULTI-FAMILY INDUSTRY.

WE'VE, WE'VE, WE'VE WITNESSED PEOPLE THAT DIDN'T HAVE POWER, COULDN'T GET TO THE STORE.

AND WE ALL DID OUR BEST AS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPANY TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR RESIDENTS AT LEAST HAD BASIC SERVICES TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY.

AND, AND SOMETIMES WE'VE FOUND THAT TO BE CHALLENGING, UM, BECAUSE WE OURSELVES WERE LIMITED, WHETHER IT BE THROUGH POWER OUTAGES OR ACCESSIBILITY TO ROADS.

SO, UM, AND IN

[01:00:01]

SOME CASES IT WAS HEARTBREAKING FOR US TO MUDDY THAT WE WANTED TO HELP, BUT TO THE PEOPLE THAT WE COULD HELP, WE WERE THERE, WE WERE DELIVERING WATER, WE WERE DELIVERING HOT MEALS.

UM, ANYTHING THAT WE COULD DO, WE WERE, WE WERE TRYING TO DO UNTIL WE GOT THE REPAIRS TAKEN CARE OF.

UM, AND I'M SURE YOU'VE HEARD ALREADY THAT, THAT SOMETIMES THE REPAIRS TOOK LONGER THAN EXPECTED BECAUSE THE RESOURCES THAT WERE OUT THERE, THE CONTRACTORS THAT WERE OUT THERE WERE ALREADY STRETCHED THIN.

AND, UM, I DON'T, I CAN'T REMEMBER AUSTIN EVER BEING AFFECTED LIKE THAT, THIS AS A WHOLE, BY A NATURAL DISASTER.

AND I DON'T KNOW IF ANYBODY ON THE CALL CAN REMEMBER, BUT I'M 44 YEARS OLD.

AND, AND, AND I DON'T RECALL A SINGLE TIME WHERE ONE EVENT AFFECTED SUCH A WIDE AREA AND SO MANY PEOPLE.

UM, SO THE, THE, THE WINTER STORM CAUGHT US ALL BY SURPRISE.

UM, SO WE APPRECIATE THAT, THAT SOMEONE SAW THAT THERE IS A NEED, NOT JUST FOR A WINTER STORM COMMITTEE, BUT A DISASTER COMMITTEE, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THE WINTER STORM WAS A ONCE IN A HUNDRED YEAR STORM, BUT OTHER DISASTERS ARE PROBABLY MORE LIKELY.

SO, UM, THE AUSTIN APARTMENT ASSOCIATION, WE DO HAVE SOME RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WE HOPE THIS COUNCIL WILL TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION.

ONE OF THEM BEING AUSTIN ENERGY, ESTABLISHING A NEW POLICY THAT WOULD ALLOW FOR, AND ENCOURAGE RESILIENCY THROUGH ONSITE POWER GENERATION.

AND, AND BASICALLY IT'S, IT'S A, IT'S A MICRO GRID, POWER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM, SOMETHING THAT WILL ALLOW AUSTIN ENERGY TO GENERATE THEIR OWN POWER.

IF THE GRID IS EVER CUT OFF AGAIN.

UM, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF, WELL, THE DAMAGE THAT OCCURRED PROBABLY COULD HAVE BEEN A V COULD HAVE BEEN, UM, COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IF THERE WAS JUST SOME SORT OF POWER, UM, NOT HAVING POWER, JUST MADE THINGS A WHOLE LOT WORSE.

WE'RE ALSO RECOMMEND ALSO RECOMMENDING THAT THE CITY EXPLORE THE PROSPECT OF CREATING A FIRE SPRINKLER PIPE INSULATION REBATE PROGRAM AND WHAT THAT IS.

AND THE MAJORITY OF THE WATER LEAKS THAT THE MULTIFAMILY INDUSTRY SAW WERE FOR UNPROTECTED FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS THAT GO THROUGH SUBFLOORS THAT, THAT, THAT, THAT EXTENDED OUT ONTO THE BALCONY.

THOSE ARE NOT INSULATED AND THEY'RE, AND THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE INSULATED, BUT WE FEEL LIKE, YOU KNOW, ONE THING AND THE WINTER STORM DID WAS IT EXPOSED A LOT OF THE DEFICIENCIES IN TEXAS CONSTRUCTION WHEN IT COMES TO WINTER STORMS. AND WE FEEL LIKE, OKAY, IF OUR FIRE SPRINKLER PIPES WERE BETTER INSULATED, THAT WOULD HAVE THAT, THAT WOULD HAVE STOPPED A LOT OF THE WATER DAMAGE THAT WE HAD IN, IN, IN, IN MOST OF OUR MULTI-FAMILY.

UM, THE THIRD THING THAT WE'D LIKE TO BE, UH, FOUR IS, YOU KNOW, CLEARLY IDENTIFY REPRESENTATIVES ON THE CITY AND THE COUNTY DISASTER RESPONSE TEAM RESPONSIBLE FOR COORDINATED RESOURCE ALLOCATION.

AND THEN OF COURSE, COMMUNICATION WITH MULTIFAMILY PROPERTIES.

UM, WE WOULD LIKE TO ENSURE THAT, YOU KNOW, KEY LOCAL TRADE ASSOCIATIONS ARE ENGAGED WITH THEIR RESPONSE TEAM REPRESENTATIVE FOR INFORMATION SHARING AND RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND, AND INCLUDE KEY LOCAL TRADE ASSOCIATIONS AND DISASTER TRAINING EXERCISES.

SO WHAT WE'RE HOPING IS THAT WE CAN BE A PARTNER