Link

Social

Embed

Download

Download
Download Transcript


[2022 City Council Candidate Forum District 8 ]

[00:00:05]

GOOD EVENING.

WELCOME TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S DISTRICT EIGHT CANDIDATE FORUM.

I AM CAROL EEL CAMP WITH THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, AUSTIN AREA, OUR LEAGUE PARTNERS WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION.

TO HELP YOU GET TO KNOW THE CANDIDATES VYING FOR YOUR VOTE.

AS A LOCAL CHAPTER OF THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, WE ARE A NONPARTISAN POLITICAL ORGANIZATION FOUNDED OVER 100 YEARS AGO.

WE CONSIST OF MEN AND WOMEN PROMOTING INFORMED AND ACTIVE CIVIC PARTICIPATION.

DESPITE THE DIVISIVENESS IN OUR COUNTRY, YOU ALL SIT HERE CANDIDATES AS EXAMPLES OF THE GOOD THINGS IN OUR DEMOCRACY.

IF ELECTED, YOU WILL REPRESENT THE CITIZENS OF THIS DISTRICT AND WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO AFFECT CHANGE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.

THIS IS HOW OUR DEMOCRACY WORKS.

SO LET LET'S GET STARTED.

NOW TODAY'S QUESTIONS WERE CREATED AND EDITED BY THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN, VOTERS OF THE AUSTIN AREA WITH INPUT FROM COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS, GOVERNMENT ENTITIES, AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC, NO CANDIDATE WAS GIVEN THESE QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE.

THESE FORUMS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S ATX AND NETWORK IN THE ARCHIVES ALONGSIDE YOUR CITY COUNCIL AND YOUR COMMISSION MEETINGS CANDIDATES.

TONIGHT, YOU WILL HAVE TWO MINUTE OPENING STATEMENTS AND TWO MINUTE CLOSING STATEMENTS, AND YOU WILL BE GIVEN ONE MINUTE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

OUR TIMEKEEPER WILL HOLD UP A YELLOW WARNING CARD AT THE ONE MINUTE MARK IN YOUR INTRO AND CLOSING AND THE YELLOW WARNING CARD.

THE 32ND MARK IS WHAT YOU'LL SEE DURING YOUR ANSWERS.

THE RED STOP CARD IS WHEN OUR TIME HAS EXPIRED AND THERE WILL BE A SHORT SIGNAL FOR THAT.

CANDIDATES ARE ASKED TO REFRAIN FROM ANY PERSONAL ATTACKS OF THEIR OPPONENTS.

AND WE ASK OUR LIVE AUDIENCE HERE WITH US TONIGHT TO REFRAIN FROM REACTING, EITHER IN SUPPORT OR OPPOSITION TO THE STATEMENTS MADE BY THE CANDIDATES.

WE ARE, WILL BEGIN IN BALLOT ORDER AND ROTATE.

SO EACH OF YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ANSWER FIRST, WE'LL BEGIN WITH YOUR TWO MINUTE OPENING STATEMENTS BEGINNING WITH IN BALLOT ORDER CANDIDATE ELLIS.

GOOD EATING EVERYBODY.

UH, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TONIGHT.

I AM AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, PAIGE JEALOUS, AND I'M RUNNING FOR REELECTION FOR DISTRICT EIGHT CITY COUNCIL.

I AM PRO AFFORDABILITY I'M PRO ENVIRONMENT I'M PRO-CHOICE AND I'M DOING MY PART TO END GUN SAFETY.

THERE IS A LOT OF ISSUES AT HAND THAT FOLKS IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND DISTRICT EIGHT IN PARTICULAR ARE DEALING WITH AND I'VE STEPPED UP TO BUILD WORKING MAJORITIES, TO BE A GOOD NEGOTIATOR ON THE DIAS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR POLICIES ARE EFFECTIVE AND HELPFUL TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

I WAS CO-SPONSOR OF THE 20% HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION TO HELP PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THEIR HOMES, STAY IN THEIR, THEIR HOMES.

UM, I'VE ALSO PUT MY CITY BUDGET BACKED INTO DISTRICT LOCAL PARKS.

AND SO WE WERE ABLE TO MAKE SURE THAT DICK NICHOLS PARK HAD A HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS OF IMPROVEMENTS THAT WERE NOT GOING TO BE PRIORITIZED BY THE PARKS DEPARTMENT IN SHORT FASHION.

SO IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME THAT WE HAVE A LEADER THAT CAN BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER, SOMEONE WHO IS RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE COMMUNITY AND HAS STEPPED UP LIKE WHEN THE WINTER STORM HAPPENED.

AND WE WENT INTO QUICK ACTION TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAD WATER BOTTLE DISTRIBUTION HAPPENING IN EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD IN THIS DISTRICT DAYS BEFORE THE ACTUAL CITY OF AUSTIN STEPPED UP.

I ALSO AM PRO-CHOICE.

I WANNA MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO ABORTION SERVICES.

I THINK THAT FAMILY PLANNING IS REALLY IMPORTANT THESE DAYS.

UM, AS A STATE OF TEXAS CONTINUES TO CHIP AWAY AT OUR LOCAL RIGHTS AND OUR HUMAN RIGHTS HERE IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN, AND I'VE DONE MY PART TO END GUN VIOLENCE AND WANT TO CONTINUE DOING THAT WORK.

AND THAT MEANS A SAFE STORAGE EDUCATION CAMPAIGN AND FREE GUN LOCKS.

SO IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE WORK WITH OUR LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE ARE, UM, YOU KNOW, NOT GETTING GUNS IN THE WRONG HANDS.

THERE IS A BIG ISSUE WITH GUNS BEING STOLEN OUT OF VEHICLES, AND I'VE STEPPED UP TO DO MY PART TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE CHASING THOSE PEOPLE DOWN AND WE'RE ABLE TO BRING, YOU KNOW, BRING THAT PIECE BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY.

SO IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO BE ABLE TO LEVERAGE THE TOOLS THAT WE HAVE AGAINST, YOU KNOW, AGAINST THE STATE FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND I'VE DONE MY PART AND WANNA CONTINUE DOING THAT.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE SMITH.

YES.

I WANNA SAY THANK YOU ALSO TO THE, UH, LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS FOR YOUR, UH, LONGSTANDING TIRELESS EFFORT IN THIS, UH, IN THIS REGARD IN TERMS OF VOTING.

UH, SO MY NAME'S RICHARD SMITH, MY WIFE, KATHLEEN, CAN'T BE HERE TONIGHT, BUT, UH, WE ARE A WE'RE 25 YEAR RESIDENT OF AUSTIN.

WE HAVE TWO CHILDREN AND WE HAVE FOUR GRANDCHILDREN.

MY CAREER HAS BEEN SPENT MOSTLY AS A PATENT ATTORNEY.

AND AS PART OF THAT CAREER DURING THAT CAREER, I'VE BEEN A,

[00:05:01]

UM, A JUDGE FOR ABOUT FIVE AND A HALF YEARS.

AND I'VE ALSO BEEN A, UH, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LAW SCHOOL, UM, ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY.

I'M ON THE, UH, BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

I'M ALSO VERY INVOLVED.

MY WIFE AND I HAVE BEEN VERY INVOLVED WITH THE MOBILE LOAVES AND FISHES AND ACTUALLY WORKING HANDS ON WITH THE HOMELESS.

I'M A MEMBER OF HAN THE O OHIO ASSOCIATION OF NEIGHBORHOODS.

AND I'M ALSO A MEMBER OF THE, UH, A AUSTIN PARKS FOUNDATION.

SO WHY AM I RUNNING? I THINK AS MOST PEOPLE, UH, YOU MIGHT ASK IN AUSTIN, THEY'D SAY, GOSH, YOU KNOW, THE CITY SEEMS TO HAVE REALLY BEEN COMING APART AT THE SEA.

AND THAT'S CERTAINLY WHAT I'VE EXPERIENCED WITH THE, UH, WITH THE SAFETY ISSUES AND HOMELESSNESS AND, UH, SORT OF THE FISCAL ISSUES RELATED TO OUR CITY.

UM, I WANNA BRING AN IMPROVEMENT ON OUR SAFETY HERE.

I WANT TO PROTECT AUSTIN'S NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND, UM, WANNA MAKE AUSTIN MORE LIVABLE FOR ALL RESIDENTS.

I'VE BEEN ENDORSED BY COUNCILWOMAN MACKENZIE KELLY.

I'VE ALSO BEEN ENDORSED BY, UM, ELLEN CLAIR, WHO WAS THE FIRST CITY COUNCIL MEMBER IN DISTRICT GATE.

UM, SHE, UM, THE TRAILBLAZER IN THAT REGARD AND, UH, I'LL NOTE THAT SHE ACTUALLY WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR, UH, PASSING THE, UH, HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION.

UH, I LOOK FORWARD TO THIS EVENING DISCUSSING SOME ISSUES THAT WE CAN ALL TALK ABOUT AND SOME SOLUTIONS.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE ROSS.

HELLO.

MY NAME IS ANTONIO ROSS, AND I'M ALSO RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL IN DISTRICT EIGHT.

I WAS RAISED HERE IN AUSTIN.

I'VE BEEN COMING HERE ALL MY LIFE SINCE I WAS A YOUNG BOY AND I'VE WATCHED AUSTIN GROW AND I'VE ENJOYED THE DIVERSITY THAT IT HAS IN THIS CITY.

AND I ALSO WENT TO THE ARMY FROM AUSTIN AND I DID A LOT OF TRAINING.

I BECAME A SERGEANT, SO I KNOW I'M DISCIPLINED AND I CAN DO THE JOB THAT I NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO HELP OUT AUSTIN TO BECOME GREAT AGAIN.

SO MY, MY MAIN THING HERE IN AUSTIN IS SAFETY.

I WANT SAFETY FOR CHILDREN, HOMELESSNESS, ELDERLY, TRANSPORTATION, WHATEVER IT TAKE.

WE HAVE TO HAVE SAFETY HERE IN AUSTIN.

AND BY DOING THAT, GETTING HOMELESS OFF THE STREETS, WE HAVE TO START OFF WITH A STRUCTURE.

WE HAVE TO CHALLENGE THEIR MENTAL.

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT HOW CAN WE GET EVERYBODY IN THE SAME PLACE AT ONE TIME WITHOUT HAVING ANY CRIME AND THINGS LIKE THAT.

SO WE HAVE TO OPERATE WITH THEIR MENTAL IN ORDER TO HELP THEM OUT.

SO AS YOUR CITY COUNCIL, I'M HERE TO HELP OUR STUDY PSYCHOLOGY AND, UM, UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO AND EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.

I'M ALSO A MEMBER OF THE LONG RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE HERE IN AUSTIN FOR A I S D.

THAT'S WHAT DRAWS ME IN WITH THE CHILDREN.

AND I'M HERE TO WORK FOR YOU.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE HAWKINS.

THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME AND FOR HOLDING THIS FORM.

MY NAME IS KIMBERLY HAWKINS AND I AM ALSO A 25 YEAR RESIDENT OF AUSTIN.

I, UH, MOVED HERE FROM DALLAS.

I AM FROM KANSAS CITY ORIGINALLY, SO I HAVE A GOOD MIDWESTERN SENSE OF, UM, PRACTICALITY.

AND, UH, I AM A PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATE WITH THE PRAG PRAGMA PRAGMATISM ON TOP.

I RAISED MY EX-HUSBAND'S FOUR CHILDREN FROM HIS FIRST MARRIAGE FOR SIX YEARS FOR, UH, TWO OF THEM AND EIGHT YEARS FOR ANOTHER TWO OF THEM.

I ESTIMATE THAT I SAVED THE STATE OF TEXAS ABOUT AT LEAST $250,000.

IF YOU, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU CALCULATE, UM, WHAT IS SPENT ON CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE.

AND I GUARANTEE THEY WOULD'VE BEEN IN FOSTER CARE, HAD I, NOT EAGERLY URGED HIM TO TAKE ON THE KIDS, WHICH HE DIDN'T WANT TO DO.

UM, BECAUSE OF THIS, I LEARNED FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND PEER SUPPORT, MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES.

UM, I HAVE LOOKED AROUND AUSTIN SINCE THINGS HAVE STARTED TO SLOWLY COME BACK TO NORMAL AFTER THE PANDEMIC.

AND I SEE IN AUSTIN, I DON'T QUITE RECOGNIZE ANYMORE.

UH, I HEAR ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT AFFORDABILITY.

I KNOW PEOPLE WHOSE RENTS ARE GOING UP TO AND $300 A MONTH AND THEY CAN'T AFFORD THE RENT AND THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO MOVE.

I KNOW THAT MOST CITIZENS IN AUSTIN HAVE THE ISSUE OF AFFORDABILITY

[00:10:01]

AS THEIR NUMBER ONE CONCERN.

SECOND TO THAT IS SAFETY.

I AM VERY SUPPORTIVE OF OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT, BUT I'M ALSO SUPPORTIVE OF OVER, UH, AGAINST, OVER POLICING.

SO I AM, I FEEL VERY SAFE IN DISTRICT EIGHT, BUT WE HAVE SEEN A RISING CRIME.

WE'VE ALSO STARTED TO SEE A DECLINE AND I WANNA SUPPORT OUR POLICE.

UH, I WANNA DO A LOT OF THINGS.

I FEEL THAT THE JOB IS A PEER SUPPORT JOB AND HOPE THAT, UM, YOU HAVE SOME QUESTIONS FOR ME ABOUT THAT.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

SO WE'RE GONNA START, WE'LL START OUR FIRST QUESTION.

WE'LL START WITH, UH, CANDIDATE SMITH SINCE, UH, CANDIDATE ELLIS WENT FIRST ON THE INTROS, AND THIS IS A, A QUESTION THAT CAME TO US IN THE INBOX.

BUT FOUR YEARS AGO, A LOT OF QUESTIONS AROUND THIS CAME IN OUR INBOX WHEN WE WERE DOING THESE CANDIDATE FORUMS THE SAME TIME, THE SAME AREA, AND IT'S ON ANIMAL CONTROL AND IT'S THE OVERPOPULATION OF DOGS AND CATS CONTINUE TO HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON OUR ENTIRE CITY.

AS OF MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH, THE AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER HAD ACCEPTED MORE THAN 3000 PET SURRENDERS BY OWNERS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE SHELTER'S FISCAL YEAR IN OCTOBER, 2021.

WOULD YOU SUPPORT SPRAY AND SPAY AND NEUTER PROGRAMS THROUGHOUT THE CITY? WHY OR WHY NOT? CANDIDATE SMITH YOU'LL HAVE ONE MINUTE TO ANSWER.

YES, I WOULD.

UH, I'VE BEEN A LONG TERM, UH, LONG TIME PET OWNER DOGS.

CUTE BEAGLE.

IF YOU GO ON MY WEBSITE, YOU CAN SEE SOME PICTURES OF OUR BELE, UH, BUT ABSOLUTELY THE RESPONSIBLE ANIMAL OWNERSHIP REQUIRES SPAY AND NEUTER.

I, I DON'T SEE IT ANY OTHER WAY.

UH, IT'S CRUEL TO NOT DO THAT.

IF YOU'RE GONNA BASICALLY END UP, UH, POCKET OF, YOU KNOW, CREATING A POPULATION OF, UH, OF ANIMALS THAT ARE GONNA END UP ON THE STREET.

AND, UM, SO THAT'S, THAT'S MY ANSWER.

THANK YOU.

SURE.

CANDIDATE ROSS.

YES.

MA'AM.

I DO FEEL THE SAME WAY.

I FEEL THAT THEY SHOULD BE SPAYED AND ND AND IT'S THE MOST RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO SO ABSOLUTELY.

CANADA HAWKINS.

THANK YOU.

UH, ABSOLUTELY.

THIS IS ACTUALLY AN ISSUE THAT WAS A VERY IMPORTANT TO ME EIGHT YEARS AGO, UM, AND WAS TOLD THAT THEY WERE GOING TO CONSIDER A NO KILL POLICY FOR AUSTIN, UM, WHICH I UNDERSTOOD TO MEAN THAT ANIMALS YOU WOULD BE REQUIRED TO SPAY NEW TO YOUR ANIMALS.

MY MOM AND I RESCUE DOGS AND CATS.

WE HAVE FOUR DOGS AND ONE CAT AT THE MOMENT.

UH, I AM A REGULAR PATRON OF EMANATE AND VERY MUCH BELIEVE THIS IS, WOULD SAVE AUSTIN A LOT OF MONEY IF WE ENACTED THIS POLICY.

AND I DON'T KNOW WHY IT WASN'T DONE IN THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, CUZ IT SEEMS LIKE A NO BRAINER TO ME.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE ALICE.

YES.

I'M SUPPORTIVE OF THIS POLICY.

I THINK IF WE ARE GOING TO WORK WITH EITHER THE AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER OR OTHER REGIONAL PARTNERS TO MAINTAIN OUR NO-KILL STATUS, WE HAVE TO LOOK AT HOW TO MAKE SURE WE DON'T HAVE TOO MUCH ANIMAL POPULATION UNINTENDED.

UM, IT'S, IT'S A BIG ISSUE WITH THE AUSTIN ANIMAL CENTER RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THEY ARE OVERWHELMED WITH DOGS.

SO IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO ADOPT A DOG, GO LOOK AT THEIR WEBSITE.

UM, BUT I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE ARE ABLE TO MANAGE OUR, OUR ANIMAL POPULATION IN A WAY THAT'S SAFE AND HEALTHY FOR THEM.

I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU A HOMELESS QUESTION.

TRAVIS COUNTY GOVERNMENT PROVIDES HEALTH IN HUMAN SERVICES TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN IS OUR HOMELESS PROBLEM, A CRISIS IN HOUSING OR IN MENTAL HEALTH.

WHAT IS WORKING ARE NOT WORKING IN THIS BATTLE TO ALLEVIATE THOSE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS AND CANDIDATE.

ROSS WILL START WITH YOU.

I THINK IT'S A BIT OF BOTH THE HOMELESSNESS.

IT STARTS WITH MENTAL THERE'S THREE STAGES OF HOMELESSNESS, I THINK.

AND I FEEL THAT IT'S, IT STARTS WITH MENTAL.

THEN YOU HAVE TO, UH, LOOK INTO LIFESTYLE OR FORCED.

SO I, I THINK IT DOES GO INTO HAND IN HAND WITH EACH OTHER.

SO THAT'S WHY I SAID IN MY OPENING STATEMENT, IF WE'RE GONNA HOUSE THE HOMELESS, WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON A MENTAL FIRST IN ORDER TO GET THEM STABLE, GET 'EM A POSITION, MAKE 'EM FEEL ACCEPTED INTO THEIR COMMUNITY AND CREATE JOBS FOR 'EM.

SO YES, MENTAL AND HOMELESS DOES PLAY A PART IN EACH OTHER.

OKAY.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO COMMENT ON WHAT IS OR IS NOT WORKING? I,

[00:15:01]

THE CAMPING BAND IS NOT WORKING.

I FEEL WE HAVE TO REALLY ENFORCE THAT CAMPING BAND IN ORDER TO GET 'EM BACK IN AND REEL 'EM BACK IN, BUT IF WE'RE GOING ENFORCE THE CAMPING BAND, THEN WE STILL HAVE TO GIVE THEM RESOURCES LIKE FOR MENTAL HEALTH, FOR FOOD, FOR TO MONEY TO CUR FOR THEYSELVES.

SO YES.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

UM, CANDID HAWKINS.

YES.

THIS IS A BIG ISSUE, UM, AS THEY ALL ARE, BUT AS FOR WHAT IS WORKING, I HAVE SEEN THE COMMUNITY FIRST VILLAGE IN NO IN NORTHEAST AUSTIN.

AND IT'S AMAZING.

IT PROVIDES THE SERVICES THAT I THINK HOW PEOPLE TRANSITION OUT OF HOMELESSNESS.

UH, MENTAL HEALTH IS CLEARLY AT THE ROOT OF MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE ON THE STREET.

UM, THEY'RE AS, UH, CANDIDATE ROSS MENTIONED, THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO BE ON THE STREETS, ESPECIALLY KIDS WHO MAY HAVE BEEN REJECTED BY THEIR FAMILIES FOR WHATEVER REASON.

UM, AGAIN, I WANNA FOCUS ON WHAT'S WORKING.

THERE'S ALSO CAMP IN ESPERANZA.

THAT SEEMS TO BE A TRANSITION TO, UH, THE COMMUNITY FIRST TYPE OF MODEL.

BUT I THINK WE SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ANOTHER SITE LIKE COMMUNITY FIRST VILLAGE, UH, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY, PERHAPS IN THE SOUTH SOMEWHERE.

UM, BECAUSE IT'S CLEARLY A BIG PROBLEM AS WE SEE AT M Y AND MAN CHAKA CANDID ELLIS, IT IS CERTAINLY BOTH, YOU KNOW, IT'S PART OF THE HOUSING ASPECT, HOW MUCH HOUSING IS AVAILABLE, WHAT IS THE COST OF THE HOUSING? AND WHO'S BEING PRICED OUT OF THAT MARKET.

IT'S ALSO ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH, BUT NOT EVERY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL WHO FINDS THEMSELF HOMELESS IS DUE TO MENTAL HEALTH.

THERE'S A LOT OF DIFFERENT ISSUES, BUT YES, MENTAL HEALTH IS A COMPONENT OF IT, ESPECIALLY IN A STATE THAT WILL NOT EXPAND ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE.

JUST SIMPLY REFUSES TO, UM, THE HARD PART ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT, YOU KNOW, THE LAWS NEED TO BE ENFORCED.

YOU KNOW, COUNCIL HAS ADOPTED THE CAMPING BAN ITSELF.

THE ENFORCEMENT IS, IS AN ISSUE HERE, BUT WITHOUT HAVING PLACES FOR PEOPLE TO GO THAT, YOU KNOW, INTERIM HOUSING BRIDGE, HOUSING SHELTERS, YOU'RE NOT GONNA SEE, UH, A BIG INCREASE IN PEOPLE BEING MOVED OFF OF THE STREET, BUT IT'S ALSO ABOUT JOBS PROGRAMMING, MAKING SURE PEOPLE HAVE THE STABILITY TO HAVE THEIR DOCUMENTS, THEIR IDENTIFICATION, THEIR, THEIR BIRTH CERTIFICATES.

I'VE BEEN A BIG SUPPORTER OF THE OTHER ONE'S FOUNDATION AND CREATED THE CLEAN CREEK'S CREW THAT ACTUALLY BOTH OF THOSE ARE JOBS PIPELINES FOR INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, BEING ABLE TO MOVE INTO MORE PERMANENT JOBS.

OKAY.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE SMITH.

YES.

UM, IT'S DEFINITELY NOT A HOUSING PROBLEM.

IT'S A HUMAN PROBLEM THAT INVOLVES THE COMPONENTS OF TRAUMA, MENTAL HEALTH ADDICTION, THAT SORT OF THING.

AND, UH, UNFORTUNATELY THE CITY HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON BASICALLY ROOMS FOR FOLKS AND WITH LITTLE ATTENTION TO THE MENTAL HEALTH TRAUMA AND ADDICTION THAT ACCOMPANIES HOMELESS FOLKS.

AND I KNOW THAT FROM WORKING ON THE STREETS WITH THE HOMELESS, EVENTUALLY WHAT WE HAVE TO GET TO IS WHERE PEOPLE CAN BE GET TEMPORARY SHELTER, GET ASSESSMENTS AND GIVE THEM THE OPTION TO GET THE TREATMENT THEY NEED.

BUT WE CAN'T INDEFINITELY HOUSE PEOPLE BECAUSE AS WE'VE SEEN PEOPLE, DON'T STAY, AT LEAST HALF OF THE HOMELESS WILL LEAVE WITHIN SIX MONTHS TO A YEAR.

AND THAT WE KNOW WHY THAT IS CUZ THEY'RE DEALING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS, ADDICTION AND THAT TYPE OF THING.

ALL RIGHT, WE'RE GONNA CHANGE OVER TO THE TOPIC, A TOPIC OF A PROGRAM CALLED ATX WALK, BIKE ROLE.

AND FOR THOSE THAT MAY NOT BE FAMILIAR IN OUR AUDIENCE, IT'S LED BY THE CITY OF AUSTIN PUBLIC WORKS AND AUSTIN TRANSPORTATION TO UPDATE PLANS THAT WILL GOT, THAT WILL GUIDE WHEN AND WHERE WE BUILD PLACES TO WALK, BIKE AND ROLL.

THE, UH, RESIDENTS OF MERIDIAN HAVE REQUESTED CONTINUATION OF THE PAVED TRAIL ALONG HIGHWAY 45 FROM EX GARMENT TO THE MERIDIAN ENTRANCE IN ORDER TO CONNECT WITH RETAIL CAP, METRO, THE VE WAY AND VIOLET CROWN TRAIL, WHICH CONNECTS TO CENTRAL AUSTIN.

WOULD YOU WORK WITH THE CENTRAL TEXAS REGIONAL MOBILITY AUTHORITY TO TIE THESE RESIDENTS TO THE CITY? WHY OR WHY NOT? ABSOLUTELY.

I MEAN, THAT'S A NO BRAINER.

I, I AM A BIG ADVOCATE OF ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF TRANSPORTATION TO CARS AND VERY MUCH WANT TO SEE EVERYBODY HAVE THE, THESE KINDS OF FACILITIES, SIDEWALKS AND BIKE LANES AND, AND ENCOURAGE

[00:20:01]

PEOPLE, UH, TO RIDE SCOOTERS MORE QUITE FRANKLY.

UM, I'M NOT SURE IF THAT'S THE ROLE PART.

I'M NOT ACTUALLY FAMILIAR WITH THIS PROGRAM, BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING I WOULD BE COMPLETELY ON BOARD WITH.

I THINK THE ROLE IS ALSO FOR SKATES, SKATEBOARDS WHEELS OF ANY KIND SCOOTERS.

UH, THE NEXT, UH, ANSWER IS FROM CANDIDATE ELLIS.

I'M REALLY GLAD YOU ASKED THIS CUZ THIS IS ONE OF OUR INITIATIVES WE WERE REACHED OUT TO, BY, UH, SOME FOLKS IN THE MERIDIAN NEIGHBORHOOD WHO HAVE BEEN REALLY EXCITED TO TRY TO BE PROACTIVE ABOUT ADDING THIS CONNECTOR.

SO WHAT IT WOULD DO IS ESSENTIALLY THERE IS A SHARED USE PATH ALONG SH 45 SOUTHWEST AND IT'S, IT'S LOVELY AND IT'S VERY SAFE FOR PEOPLE BECAUSE IT'S OFF OF THE HIGHWAY AND THEY WANNA EXTEND IT ALL THE WAY TO 1826 BECAUSE THE TRAFFIC BETWEEN MOPAC AND 1826 ALONG THAT STRETCH OF HIGHWAY IS INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS.

UM, SO I'M FULLY SUPPORTIVE OF IT.

WE ACTUALLY CAME UP WITH THE IDEA TO TAP INTO AN EXTRA POT OF MONEY THAT THE RMA IS TRYING TO EXPAND RIGHT NOW.

UM, BUT ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT WE DEAL WITH IN DISTRICT EIGHT IS THAT AS MUCH AS THE CITY TRIES TO, YOU KNOW, PROVIDE PROJECTS ALL OVER TOWN, THAT DISTRICT EIGHT ROUTINELY DOESN'T FALL AT THE VERY TOP OF THE LIST.

AND WE'VE BEEN ADVOCATING FOR FINDING PRIVATE FUNDS OR OTHER TYPES OF FUNDS AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL PARTNERS TO HELP US WITH THESE SAFE MOBILITY ACTIONS.

SO I'M FIRMLY SUPPORTIVE OF THIS.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE SMITH.

YES.

I I'M GLAD YOU ASKED, ASKED THAT QUESTION AS WELL.

I THINK THAT MERIDIAN IS A GOOD EXAMPLE WHERE THE FOLKS WHO ARE GONNA TAKE, MAKE USE OF IT, UH, WANT THAT, UH, ACCESS.

AND, UH, IT'S CLEARLY A SITUATION WHERE IT'S MAKES SENSE FOR THEM TO HAVE THE TYPE OF ACCESS THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

UM, THE PROBLEM THAT I HAVE WITH THE SYSTEM IN GENERAL OR THE PROGRAM IN GENERAL IS IT'S OFTEN FORCED ON COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY DON'T WANT IT AND IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE.

UM, I THINK IT'S GREAT TO HAVE OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, BUT THEY NEED TO BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE COMMUNITY.

AND, UM, THE PEOPLE THAT, YOU KNOW, WANT THEM.

I SAW, YOU KNOW, I RECENTLY SAW A, UM, BIKE LANE, TWO BIKE LANES, ONE ON EACH SIDE IN, UH, GREAT HILLS.

AND I GOTTA TELL YOU, IT WAS AT A SLOPE THAT I'M NOT SURE LANCE ARMSTRONG COULD GET UP OKAY.

SO PROBABLY NOT APPROPRIATE THERE, BUT IT TOOK UP, YOU KNOW, PART OF THE, WHAT WAS IT? TWO LANE ROAD.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE ROSS.

YES.

UM, I I'M FOR IT.

I DIDN'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT IT, BUT LIKE I SPOKE EARLIER ABOUT SAFETY LONG AS IT'S FOR SAFETY AND KEEPING THEM OUT THE STREET.

I'M ALL FOR IT.

BUT ANOTHER THING ABOUT IT IS, IS TO LET THE PUBLIC KNOW ABOUT IT.

SO AS WE'RE DRIVING OR GOING BY HIM OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, WE'LL ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THE LANES AND HOW IT GO.

SO JUST TO THROW 'EM IN THERE AND NOT LET THE REST OF THE PUBLIC KNOW WILL BE KIND OF DANGEROUS, BUT I'M FOR IT.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

OUR NEXT, UH, QUESTION IS GONNA BE ABOUT THE POLICE.

THE AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL RECENTLY PASSED TO THE VOTERS NEXT MAY THE ORDINANCE THAT WOULD'VE REMOVED THE OFFICE OF POLICE OVERSIGHT FROM THE POLICE DEPARTMENT'S BENEFIT AND SALARY SYSTEM.

AND TO ESTABLISH IT AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE, THIS COUNCIL COULD HAVE APPROVED IT AND GIVEN THE POLICE OVERSIGHT OFFICE GREATER INVESTIGATIVE CAPACITY, BY ALLOWING IT TO, TO INDEPENDENTLY EXAMINE COMPLAINTS AGAINST OFFICERS HAVE GREATER ACCESS TO INTERNAL DISCIPLINE RECORDS AND OFFICERS, CAMERA FOOTAGE, AND MORE POWER TO SUGGEST DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS TO THE POLICE, CHIEF PHILOSOPHICALLY, DO YOU THINK IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN APPROVED OR NOT NOW, OR SHOULD HAVE BEEN PASSED ON TO THE VOTERS AND WE'LL START WITH, UH, CANDIDATE ELLIS.

YEAH, I KNOW THIS WAS A COMMUNITY LED INITIATIVE AND I SUPPORTED A ADOPTING IT AND WE DIDN'T HAVE THE VOTES TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT.

I STILL SUPPORT THE VOTERS BEING ABLE TO WEIGH IN ON THIS ISSUE.

I THINK THERE HAS TO BE A BALANCE BETWEEN, YOU KNOW, WHAT OVERSIGHT THERE IS FOR OUR OFFICERS, BECAUSE THE COMMUNITY HAS FELT LIKE SOME OF THEIR COMPLAINTS OR INVESTIGATIONS HAVE NOT BEEN HEARD.

UM, THERE'S, THERE'S BEEN AN ISSUE IN THE PAST WITH POLICE BRUTALITY.

AND I THINK THAT WE CAN BOTH WANT A SAFE COMMUNITY WITH A PROPERLY STAFFED DEPARTMENT AND STAND UP AND SAY THAT POLICE BRUTALITY IS UNACCEPTABLE.

WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR, OUR POLICE FORCE IS RESILIENT AND MINDFUL IN, IN THEIR INTERACTIONS WITH THE COMMUNITY, HOPEFULLY COMING FROM THE COMMUNITY THAT THEY REPRESENT SO THAT WE REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT EXPECTATIONS THERE ARE FOR PUBLIC SAFETY.

BUT I DID SUPPORT ADOPTING THIS.

UM, WE DIDN'T HAVE THE VOTES FOR IT, SO I, IT WILL BE GOING TO THE VOTERS IN MAY AT THIS POINT.

SO I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING HOW THE VOTERS, UM, REACT TO THIS PROPOSAL.

OKAY, THANK YOU, CANDIDATE SMITH.

SO I'M

[00:25:01]

A, THE POST TO THIS AND I'M OPPOSED TO IT.

UH, ONCE THERE'S A VOTE IN, UH, IN MAY AND THAT I'M GLAD THERE IS A VOTE, CUZ IT IS SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE ABLE TO WEIGH IN AND PEOPLE SHOULD GET THE FACTS.

UM, THE OFFICE OF POLICE OVERSIGHT HAS, HAS A TERRIBLE RECORD IN TERMS OF THEIR TREATMENT OF THE POLICE.

AND IN FACT, THE, UH, PART OF THESE, UM, AND I'M BY THE WAY, EVERY POLICE OFFICER I KNOW, AND ME MYSELF AS WELL ARE WELCOME OVERSIGHT.

WHAT THEY DON'T WELCOME IS HARASSMENT.

AND IN THE CASE OF THE OPO, THERE WAS A TIPPING OF THE SCALES AGAINST THE POLICE.

SO, UM, ONE OF THE REASONS WE AT A CRISIS LEVEL IN TERMS OF OUR POLICE STAFFING IS HOSTILITY THAT THEY'VE EXPERIENCED FROM THE CITY.

SO I THINK THIS IS A BAD, IF YOU LOOK, GET INTO THE WEEDS OF IT, IT'S A BAD THING AND IT'S GONNA HURT OUR POLICE EVEN MORE.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE ROSS.

WELL, THIS IS A LITTLE TOUCHY SUBJECT FOR ME, BUT I DO FEEL THAT, UM, APD HAS HAD HIS CHALLENGES THEY HAVE, BUT IT DEFINITELY, I DO DEFINITELY FEEL THAT, UH, THEY ARE IMPROVING THROUGH EXTENSIVE TRAINING THROUGH MENTAL EVALUATIONS AND BETTER VETTING.

SO, YOU KNOW, I'VE SEEN A LOT AND I'VE BEEN THROUGH A LOT WITH THE POLICE.

SO I FEEL THAT WE DO NEED THIS.

WE NEED SOMEONE THAT WE CAN, SOME PEOPLE THAT WE CAN CALL, TALK TO TELL 'EM WHAT WENT ON OR BECAUSE WE FEEL THAT WE TELL ANOTHER POLICE IT'S NOT BEING HEARD.

SO ABSOLUTELY WE NEED THAT.

THANK YOU CAN HAWKINS.

I AM DEFINITELY VERY MUCH SUPPORTIVE OF POLICE OVERSIGHT.

I COME FROM A LAW ENFORCEMENT FAMILY.

I WAS VERY CLOSE TO MY UNCLE WHO WAS A 25 YEAR KANSAS CITY VETERAN OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

AND I FEEL FORTUNATE THAT HE WAS VERY MUCH AGAINST OVER POLICING.

AND, UM, YOU KNOW, AT THE SAME TIME I WOULD CHALLENGE HIM ON POLICE BRUTALITY AND HE WOULD BE DEFENSIVE SOMETIMES.

SO I KNOW THERE'S A DELICATE BALANCE AND I KNOW HOW POLICE OFFICERS ARE HUMAN BEINGS.

AND UH, ON TOP OF POLICE OVERSIGHT, WE DO NEED TO SUPPORT POLICE.

WE NEED AND NOT JUST IN MORALE, BUT IN AS, UH, ANTHONY STATED MENTAL, MENTAL HEALTHCARE, MENTAL WELLNESS OVERSIGHT, AND A HOLISTIC PLANT, A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO HOW WE PREVENT, YOU KNOW, POLICE BRUTALITY AND HOW WE SUPPORT OUR POLICE AS WELL.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

WE'RE GONNA, WE'LL START WITH CANDIDATE SMITH ON THIS ONE.

AND WE'RE GONNA TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING, BUT WE'RE GONNA TALK ABOUT BORROWING MONEY, WHICH IS WHAT BONDS ARE.

UM, IN THE PAST, THE CITY COUNCIL ASKED AND RECEIVED AFFORDABLE HOUSING BONDS IN THE FOLLOWING AMOUNTS, 55 MILLION IN 20, IN 2006, 65 MILLION IN 2013 AND 250 MILLION IN 2018.

VOTERS ARE NOW ASKED TO APPROVE 350 MILLION.

THIS NOVEMBER SUPPORTERS APPLAUD THE UNITS BUILT SO FAR AND LAMENT.

IT IS NOT ENOUGH AND OPPONENTS OF THIS UPCOMING BOND ELECTION SAY THAT MORE DEBTS BURDEN HOMEOWNERS, AND WANT THE CITY OF AUSTIN TO DECREASE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT FEE COSTS OF PERMITTING PROCESS TO ENABLE MORE HOUSING UNITS TO BE BUILT.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO BOTH GROUPS? YOU ONLY HAVE A MINUTE.

THANKS.

UH, LET ME JUST, LEMME JUST SPEAK TO THE BOND THING.

UH, LOOK, I, MY THING ABOUT AFFORDABILITY IS IT'S ALWAYS A FUNCTION OF AFFORDABLE FOR WHOM AND HOW DO YOU GET THERE? UH, I THINK THERE ARE WAYS AND YOU COULD, WHERE YOU COULD MAKE IT MORE AFFORDABLE.

PEOPLE WHO ARE IN HOME TO, UH, YOU KNOW, LIVE IN, CONTINUE TO LIVE IN THEIR HOMES, UH, BY SUBS, BY CUTTING PROPERTY TAXES.

MY THING IS THAT THE AFFORDABILITY THAT YOU TALK ABOUT, IT'S NOT REALLY AFFORDABLE HOMES.

IT'S HOMES BUILT THAT ARE AT 30, SORRY, 60 TO 80% OF THE MFI.

UH, ONE THING THAT I'VE RECENTLY LEARNED IS VERY DISTURBING.

DISTRICT EIGHT HAS HAD 2% AFFORDABLE HOMES BUILT FROM THE AMOUNT THAT WAS AUTHORIZED IN 2017, 2%.

TO THE EXTENT WE HAVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING, IT NEEDS TO BE AT 40% OF MFI AND ATE NEEDS TO STEP IT UP.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE ROSS.

YEAH, I AGREE.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING HAS TO TAKE PLACE IN DISTRICT EIGHT.

IT'S HAVE PEOPLE, MAYBE ONE

[00:30:01]

CHECK AWAY FROM BEING HOMELESS.

SO WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING AT THE HOMELESS.

THAT'S ALREADY HOMELESS, BUT WE ALSO GOTTA CURE FOR THE PEOPLE THAT'S IN THE HOMES THAT IF THEY LOSE THEIR JOB, ONE CHECK BEHIND THEY'RE HOMELESS AS WELL.

SO WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT TO MAKE IT MORE AFFORDABLE AND MAYBE TO HAVE A PLAN PUT IN PLACE TO IF THEY ARGUING, READY TO LOSE THEIR HOUSE OR LOSE THEIR JOB, MAYBE THE CITY CAN STEP IN AND HELP OUT.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE HAWKINS.

I KNOW THAT EVERY TIME I GO TO VOTE AND THERE'S A BOND ISSUE ON THE BALLOT, IT'S, I'M JUST DISMAYED BECAUSE IT IS ASKING US TO TAKE ON MORE DEBT.

AND I, IT SEEMS LIKE THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S ONLY GOTTEN MORE AND MORE UNAFFORDABLE.

UM, I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE 2%, UH, AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN DISTRICT EIGHT.

UH, AND IT'S, IT'S JUST, WE DO NEED TO BE FOCUSING ON UNITS OF, OR LOWER DENSITY UNITS THAT, UH, ARE NOT HIGH RISES DISTRICT EIGHT.

DEFINITELY DOESN'T WANT THAT.

I'M ALMOST SURE.

UM, BUT IT'S, UH, IT SEEMS TO BE ONGOING AND NEVER ENDING.

SO IT, SOMETHING DIFFERENT HAS TO BE DONE.

UM, IT DOES IMPACT THE AFFORDABILITY AND WE'VE JUST SEEN THAT GET WORSE AND WORSE AND PARTICULARLY WORSE IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS AS A REMINDER, THAT THE QUESTION WAS, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO BOTH GROUPS IN CANDIDATE ELLIS? WELL, SO I HAVE TO STICK TO THE QUESTION I, I APPRECIATE THAT.

UM, WE HAVE ANOTHER ONE COMING UP.

OKAY.

OKAY, GOOD.

UM, I I'M SUPPORTIVE OF THE BONDS.

I, I UNDERSTAND THE PERSPECTIVE OF, OF BOTH SIDES OF THE COMMUNITY.

UM, BUT WE HAVE TO REALLY ASK OURSELVES WHERE THE VALUES OF, OF AUSTIN LIE.

SO WE KNOW THAT IF WE DON'T STEP UP AND MAKE SURE THERE IS AFFORDABLE HOUSING AVAILABLE, WHETHER IT'S A LONG PROJECT CONNECT, TRANSIT CORRIDORS, OR OTHER AREAS WITH, UM, MORE ACCESS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION THAT WE'RE GONNA END UP IN A SITUATION WHERE PEOPLE ARE ROUTINELY PRICED OUT OF THIS CITY, AND YES, WE NEED IT ALL OVER TOWN.

YES, WE NEED IT IN DISTRICT EIGHT.

UM, BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS THAT IF WE TURN A BLIND EYE TO THE FOLKS WHO MIGHT BE PRICED OUT OF THE COMMUNITY, THAT'S NOT AN AUSTIN VALUE TO ME.

THAT'S NOT WHAT I OVERWHELMINGLY HEAR WHEN I'M KNOCKING ON DOORS.

THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT I HEAR IS ABOUT AFFORDABILITY.

PEOPLE SAY I WAS ABLE TO BUILD A LIFE HERE, BUT I'M WORRIED THAT MY CHILDREN WON'T BE ABLE TO DO THE SAME THING.

AND THEY MAY GO TO SCHOOL, GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL, GRADUATE COLLEGE, AND FIND THEMSELVES DECIDING THAT THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE IN AUSTIN.

AND I JUST KNOW THAT AS THE PRICE OF LAND LABOR AND MATERIALS CONTINUES TO GO UP, WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE PEOPLE, UM, THAT ARE ABLE TO STAY IN THIS COMMUNITY IN LIVABLE WALKABLE SPACES AS WELL.

DID I GET CLOSE TO, UH, WELL, I WAS GONNA ASK THE 2% QUESTION AND I'M STILL GONNA ASK IT.

UM, THE CITY STRATEGIC HOUSING BLUEPRINT COSTS FOR 60,000 NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS TO BE BUILT ACROSS THE CITY BY 2028, INCLUDING 7,000 UNITS IN DISTRICT EIGHT.

AND IT'S THAT NUMBER THAT THE 2% ONLY 2% OF THAT 7,000 HA HAS BEEN BUILT.

SO PLEASE BE MORE SPECIFIC, NOT JUST THAT THAT'S AWFUL AND IT SHOULD BE DONE, BUT WHAT CAN BE DONE.

AND IF YOU DIDN'T ANSWER THE BOND QUESTION, DIDN'T WANNA CIRCLE BACK TO THAT.

YOU COULD DO THAT TOO, IF YOU COULD DO ALL THAT IN A MINUTE.

AND THE FIRST PERSON IS CANDIDATE ROSS, WELL BUILDING THAT MANY UNITS, AFFORDABLE UNITS, HOW LONG WILL THEY BE AFFORDABLE? IT SEEMS LIKE WHEN YOU START US, UH, A RENT AT A CERTAIN SPOT FOR TOO LONG, AFTER TWO OR THREE YEARS, IT'S ALREADY ALMOST OUT OF REACH.

SO CAN WE BUILD AT 2% AND KEEP IT AT AFFORDABLE PRICING WITH EVERYTHING THAT'S GOING ON AROUND US AND PEOPLE, EVERYTHING IS RAISING EXCEPT FOR PEOPLE WAGES.

SO THAT'S WHAT I'M WONDERING.

CAN WE BUILD THAT MANY UNITS AND KEEP 'EM AFFORDABLE FOR THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN? THANK YOU, CANDIDATE HAWKINS.

WHAT I WAS TRYING TO REMEMBER, UM, AND COULDN'T THINK OF A MINUTE AGO WAS THAT I VERY MUCH SUPPORT REDUCING THE BUILDING FEES.

OUR BUILDING FEES ARE DRASTICALLY HIGHER THAN OTHER TEXAS CITIES, UH, IN SOME CASES, 12 TIMES HIGHER.

AND I'M NOT SURE WHY IT SEEMS JUST TO BE GOBSMACKING THAT THEY'RE THAT MUCH HIGHER.

I ALSO SUPPORT,

[00:35:01]

UH, LOOKING AT REGULATIONS AND STREAMLINING THOSE REGULATIONS TO SPEED UP THE PROCESS.

I HEAR A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN'T EVEN GET PERMITS, UH, IN LESS THAN A YEAR JUST TO DO HOUSE REMODELING.

SO FOR THE BUILDING PROCESS AND FOR THESE UNITS THAT WE NEED, DEFINITELY THIS PROCESS HAS TO BE SPED UP.

AND I BELIEVE THAT IS AN ISSUE OF REGULATIONS AND WHAT REGULATIONS CAN BE DONE AWAY WITH OKAY.

CANDIDATE ELLIS.

THANK YOU.

I JUST WANNA BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT WHAT THAT BLUEPRINT IS SAYING IN THIS, THIS MOST RECENT UPDATE.

IT'S SAYING THAT WE'RE ONLY REACHING 2% OF WHAT OUR ACTUAL DISTRICT GOAL IS.

MM-HMM , UM, OBVIOUSLY THIS IS NOT IDEAL.

THERE ARE SOME PARTS OF TOWN THAT HAVE MORE LAND TO DEVELOP AND MORE DESIRE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

UM, ONE THING THAT I THINK IS REALLY IMPORTANT IS TO NOTE THAT, YOU KNOW, AFTER THE HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION THAT'S HAPPENING DOWN AT THE Y TAKES PLACE.

I IMAGINE THAT A LOT OF THOSE OLDER PROPERTIES THAT PREDATE THE SOS ORDINANCE ARE GOING TO BE PRIME FOR REDEVELOPING.

AND IT JUST, IT DOESN'T MEAN THEY'RE JUST GONNA GET BIGGER.

IT MEANS THEY NEED TO ACTUALLY COME MORE INTO COMPLIANCE WITH THE SOS ORDINANCE, WHICH MEANS LESS PARKING LOT ACCESS TO METRO, RAPID TRANSIT, THE PINNACLE CAMPUS AT ACC, WE HOPE WILL BE OPEN IN THE FUTURE.

AND SO I THINK THAT'S REALLY WHERE WE NEED TO BE SMART ABOUT ASKING FOR PEOPLE TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS IN PLACES THAT WILL BE WALKABLE WITH ACCESS TO EDUCATION AND JOBS.

SO I KNOW IT'S BEEN A SLOW GO, UH, FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS, BUT THERE'S NOT A LOT OF OPEN LAND TO DEVELOP IN DISTRICT EIGHT, UNLESS YOU'RE LOOKING AT PROJECTS OF THAT NATURE.

THANK YOU.

IN CANADA SPAN.

SO AFFORDABILITY STARTS AT CITY HALL, RAISING TAXES, CONTINUING TO HAVE THESE HIGH FEES FOR BOTH, UH, PERMITTING AND DEVELOPMENT.

THOSE ARE THINGS THAT CAN BE DEALT WITH AT CITY HALL.

THERE'S ALSO SOME OTHER THINGS THAT THEY CAN DO, UM, LIKE MODIFY THE, UH, THE PROPERTY TAX FOR NEW, NEW HOMEOWNERS.

FIRST TIME, HOMEOWNER HOMEOWNERS.

UM, I DON'T BUY THE PREMISE THAT DISTRICT EIGHT DOESN'T HAVE MUCH LAND.

IT'S GOT A LOT OF LAND AND IT'S ONLY GONNA TAKE, TAKE THE WHEEL OF SOMEBODY TO ACTUALLY BUILD AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

AND I'M TALKING AFFORDABLE FOR PEOPLE MAKING $40,000 OR LESS.

THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

80% MFI IS THE AMOUNT OF MONEY A PERSON IS GONNA MAKE THE FIRST YEAR OUTTA UT.

AND, UH, THAT'S JUST NOT, I MEAN, TO ASK THE, TO ASK VOTERS TO BASICALLY PAY FOR PART OF THAT FOR SOMEONE WHO'S JUST A, A BRAND NEW, UH, GRADUATE FROM UT, I THINK THAT'S JUST NOT, I MEAN, THAT'S NOT FAIR.

AND YOU'RE ALSO AT THE SAME TIME WITH THIS BONDAGE, YOU'RE INCREASING PROPERTY TAXES.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I'M GONNA TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CITY STAFFING AND THIS COMES IN SKILL SETS ASKING ABOUT THE SKILL THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE AND YOUR GUIDANCE THAT YOU'RE GONNA GIVE.

OKAY.

THE FOLLOWING HEADLINES HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS.

EMS IS SHORT STAFFED BY 20% APD OFFICERS ARE STRETCHED THIN AUSTIN WATER SET TO ADDRESS STAFF SHORTAGES.

IF ELECTED, WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS WILL YOU MAKE TO CITY STAFF ABOUT THEIR RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION EFFORTS? WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS WILL YOU MAKE? WE'RE GONNA START WITH CANDIDATE HAWKINS.

THANK YOU.

UM, OBVIOUSLY THE WAGE IS PROBABLY THE MOST CRITICAL PART OF RECRUITMENT, BUT ALSO I KNOW THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE MOVING OUT OF THE NINE TO FIVE JOB TYPE OF SITUATION, BECAUSE THERE'S JUST SO MUCH TOXIC WORK CULTURE THAT I IMAGINE THIS COULD BE AN ISSUE WITH ALL OF THESE SITUATIONS.

THE STRESS OF BEING A FIRST RESPONDER IS NOT MINIMAL.

IT IS SUBSTANTIAL, AND THOSE KINDS OF ISSUES NEED TO ADDRESSED IN RECRUITMENT BENEFITS.

UM, IN TERMS OF MENTAL HEALTH AND MENTAL WELLNESS FOR THIS TYPE OF CITY STAFF IS CRITICAL.

SO I WOULD, I WOULD LOOK AT THOSE ISSUES BECAUSE I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE MAKING PRETTY DECENT HOURLY WAGES, BUT THEY'RE JUST SO MISERABLE AT WORK.

AND I, I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT NECESSARILY THE GROUPS YOU MENTIONED, BUT THAT IS WHAT I WOULD LOOK AT FIRST.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE ELLIS.

THANK YOU.

THIS WAS A BIG FOCUS OF OUR BUDGET CYCLE THIS YEAR.

UM, WE RAISED THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $20 AN HOUR.

UM, WE STARTED ACTUALLY EARLIER THAN THAT, TRYING TO, TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE COULD INCENTIVIZE PEOPLE TO BECOME LIFEGUARDS.

WE WERE AT A POSITION IN THE CITY WHERE WE HAD POOLS READY TO OPEN SOME OF WHICH LIKE THE, THE ONE JUST DICK NICHOLS PARK AND DISTRICT DATE WAS

[00:40:01]

FINALLY READY TO OPEN AFTER TWO YEARS OF BEING UNDER REPAIRS, BUT WE DIDN'T HAVE LIFEGUARDS TO STAFF IT.

SO WE GOT TO WORK AND WE SAID, LET'S SEE IF WE CAN INCREASE THE HOURLY WAGE THERE, PROVIDE SUMMER BONUS INCENTIVES.

AND THEN WE TOOK THAT ONE STEP FURTHER IN THIS BUDGET CYCLE.

SO WE NOT ONLY BROUGHT ALL EMPLOYEES MINIMUM WAGE UP TO $20 AN HOUR, BUT I ALSO CARRIED THE CONTINUITY OF SERVICE CHANGE, WHICH IS A RULE THAT USED TO SAY, IF YOU LEFT THE CITY, YOU GOT RESET BACK AT ZERO YEARS OF SERVICE.

WHEN YOU CAME BACK, YOU NO LONGER GOT YOUR BONUSES AT THE SAME RATE OR YOUR VACATION HOURS THAT YOU HAD ACCRUED AT THE SAME RATE.

SO THIS IS NOT PAYOUTS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

THIS IS JUST IF YOU WORK FOR FIVE YEARS AND YOU COME BACK TO THE CITY, WE MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO COME BACK AND RECRUIT SOME OF THE TALENT THAT HAD LEFT OVER THE PAST YEAR.

SO IT WAS A BIG FOCUS IN THIS BUDGET CYCLE.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE SMITH.

YEAH.

I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT, UH, ANY TYPE OF EMPLOYMENT OBVIOUSLY IS THE ENVIRONMENT AT WHICH YOU WORK.

UH, YOU MENTIONED THE WATER, UM, THE LOSS OF WATER OR THE, BASICALLY THE SHORT STAFFING OF THE WATER DEPARTMENT.

UH, IT CAME OUT RIGHT BEFORE THE, UH, THE LAST BOIL WATER NOTICE THAT THEY HAD LOST LIKE 20 OFFICE, 20, UH, EMPLOYEES IN JANUARY THE MONTH BEFORE THAT'S A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM.

THAT'S SOMETHING THAT SHOULD, SHOULD HAVE BEEN CAUGHT.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, THAT'S IN MY MIND THAT LED A LOT TO THE MORE WATER NOTICE, BUT IN TERMS OF ACTUAL ENVIRONMENT, WE'VE GOTTA MAKE CITY HAVE A, MAKE A PRIORITY.

CERTAINLY THEY NEED TO MAKE PUBLIC SAFETY A PRIORITY.

UM, I MEAN, THAT'S ONE OF THE WAYS THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY INCREASE, UH, RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION IS TO SHOW YOUR EMPLOYEES THAT YOU CARE ABOUT THEM.

UM, CERTAINLY SALARIES WE'RE IN A VERY COMPETITIVE SALARY MARKET, BUT THAT'S NO SURPRISE.

IT'S BEEN THAT WAY IN AUSTIN FOR A LONG TIME.

SO WE'VE GOTTA, WE'VE GOTTA ADAPT TO THAT.

WE MAY NEED TO, MAY NEED TO PAY THE, PAY THEM MORE.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE ROSS.

I AGREE WITH THE CANDIDATES HERE ABOUT THE SALARIES.

YES.

THEY HAVE TO GET WITH THE SALARIES AND GET PEOPLE A LITTLE MORE MONEY.

AND ALSO, UM, THE PROJECT CONNECTED PAGE WAS MS. ELLIS WAS SPEAKING ON THAT WOULD HELP OUT AS WELL BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE FOUND OUT THAT WORKING FROM HOME, THERE'S A LOT OF LESS STRESS YOU MAKING JUST AMOUNT OF MONEY AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO COMMUTE.

SO MAYBE THIS COMMUTE THING GET ON UNDERWAY OR WITH PROJECT AND, AND THE WAGES COME AND WE'LL GET PEOPLE BACK IN AND OUT THERE IN THE FIELD AND WORKING AGAIN, THANK YOU, NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER.

THE TERM NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER COULD BE A EUY EUPHEMISM.

I COULD SAY THAT WORD FOR RACISM AND CLASSISM, AND IT CAN MEAN SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TO OTHER PEOPLE.

WHAT DOES NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER MEAN TO YOU AND HOW DO MULTI-FAMILY BUILDINGS CONTRIBUTE TO OR DETRACT FROM IT? AND WE'LL START WITH YOU CANDIDATE ELLIS.

THANK YOU.

I, I THINK A LOT OF WHAT MAKES A NEIGHBORHOOD SPECIAL IS THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD.

UM, I KNOW THAT THERE'S A LOT OF DIFFERENT REACTIONS TO HOW NEIGHBORHOODS ARE SUPPOSED TO LOOK ARCHITECTURALLY.

UM, BUT I ALSO THINK THERE'S A LOT OF NEIGHBORHOODS IN AUSTIN THAT WHEN PEOPLE SAY, YOU KNOW, AUSTIN SHOULD BE WEIRD, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE THINKING ABOUT THEIR FIRST APARTMENT OR THEIR FIRST HOME.

AND THEY'RE REALIZING THAT MISSING MIDDLE HOUSING CAN BE CHARMING.

I DO THINK THERE'S AN IMPORTANCE IN HAVING CONVERSATIONS, YOU KNOW, WITH CERTAIN AREAS TO FIGURE OUT WHERE THE BEST BALANCE IS OF HAVING THAT TYPE OF HOUSING MIX.

UM, BUT I DO THINK THAT THIS 1984 LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE ESSENTIALLY OUTLAWED ANYTHING BETWEEN A SINGLE FAMILY HOME AND A BIG APARTMENT COMPLEX.

AND THAT'S WHY YOU DON'T SEE THE MISSING MIDDLE HOUSING, UNLESS IT'S, YOU KNOW, PREDATING THE 1984 LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE.

SO I THINK THERE IS A BLEND THAT YOU CAN HAVE.

I THINK THAT NEIGHBORHOODS ARE MUCH MORE ABOUT PEOPLE THAN STRUCTURES, BECAUSE THAT IS REALLY WHAT ENTICES YOU TO BE IN A NEIGHBORHOOD AND WANTS YOU TO STAY IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

IF YOU DECIDE TO STAY THERE FOR A LONG TIME, IT'S GONNA BE THE PEOPLE THAT SURROUND YOU.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE SMITH.

I ACTUALLY AGREE THAT NEIGHBORHOODS ARE BUILT OF PEOPLE, NOT THE STRUCTURES THAT BEING SAID, THOSE PEOPLE BOUGHT INTO THAT NEIGHBORHOOD WITH SOME EXPECTATION THAT THEY, THEIR HOME AND WHAT THEY, YOU KNOW, CONSIDER TO BE IN MANY CASES WHERE THEY'RE GONNA LIVE THE REST OF THEIR LIFE IS GONNA MAINTAIN, UH, SOME SIMILAR NATURE TO WHAT THEY BOUGHT.

UH, I THINK THE BIG PROBLEM THAT PEOPLE HAVE IS WHEN, UH, THE CITY COUNCIL, FOR EXAMPLE, HAS TAKEN AWAY NO NOTICE AND PROTEST RIGHTS FOR, UH, FOR, FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH RESPECT TO CERTAINLY THE VERTICAL MIXED USE, UH, SITUATION WHERE WHAT PEOPLE DON'T WANT IS THEY DON'T WANT DEPARTMENT COMPLEX RIGHT NEXT TO THEIR

[00:45:01]

NEIGHBORHOOD.

THAT'S WHAT THEY DON'T WANT.

AND, UH, IN MOST CASES, BUT AT LEAST THEY SHOULD HAVE THE ABILITY TO GIVE, BE GIVEN NOTICE OF THAT STRUCTURE AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTEST.

THAT'S, THAT'S BUILT INTO OUR DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY AND TAKING, YOU KNOW, TAKING THAT KIND OF THING AWAY WITHOUT, YOU KNOW, BASICALLY DOING SOMETHING ABOUT SOMEBODY'S PROPERTY WITHOUT LETTING THEM KNOW YOU'RE GONNA DO IT.

THAT'S NOT CORRECT.

THANK YOU, CANADA, ROSS.

I TOTALLY AGREE THAT, UM, THE NEIGHBORHOODS ARE MADE OF, OF PEOPLE, BUT IT DEPENDS ON WHAT KIND OF MULTI-FAMILY STRUCTURES YOU'RE BUILDING.

I'VE SEEN SOME NEIGHBORHOODS NOT WANT LOW INCOME HOUSING IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD, BUT THEY WOULDN'T MIND THE HIGH RISE IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD.

SO I, I JUST THINK THAT YOU HAVE TO GET WITH THE PEOPLE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, TALK TO 'EM AND CANDIDATES START COMING TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND MEETING THE PEOPLE AND YOU'LL SEE WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT AND DON'T WANT.

AND I THINK ONCE THEY GET THERE AND SEE A, UH, BUILDING GO UP, THEY WILL BE ACCEPTABLE TO IT.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE HAWKINS.

UH, MY NEIGHBORHOOD IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I LOVE AUSTIN SO MUCH.

I'M VERY PROUD TO LIVE IN A VERY DIVERSE NEIGHBORHOOD.

AND THE CHARACTER OF OUR NEIGHBORHOOD IS THAT WE ARE THERE FOR EACH OTHER.

WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, TEXT CHAINS AND I REALLY FEEL A SENSE OF COMMUNITY IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD.

I WOULD LIKE TO EXPAND THAT I WOULD LIKE TO, UM, ENCOURAGE THE WHOLE OF DISTRICT EIGHT TO THINK OF ITSELF AS A LARGER COMMUNITY, BEYOND MY MAPLE RUN NEIGHBORHOOD.

UM, I DO OPEN MIC, UH, COMEDY AND I, I KIND OF FANTASIZE ABOUT ENCOURAGING OPEN MICS FOR THE DISTRICT IN GENERAL AND THIS CITY IN GENERAL, BUT ESPECIALLY IN DISTRICT DATE, THERE IS A OPEN MIC ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS IN, UM, A DRONE COFFEE THAT IS IN THE OLD HISTORIC ROCK TOUR.

AND IT'S REALLY A GREAT COMPANY.

UM, I CAN'T RECOMMEND IT ENOUGH, IT'S IT REALLY ADDS TO A SENSE OF COMMUNITY.

AND THAT'S WHAT MAKES ME LOVE AUSTIN.

WELL, GUYS, WE HAVE PROBABLY 25 MORE QUESTIONS, BUT I THINK THE TECH TEAM SAID, NO, WE HAVE TO END IN AN HOUR.

UM, AND WE DO, WE KEEP FROM COMING IN THE INBOX.

AND SO WE'VE COME TO THE POINT WHERE IT'S TIME FOR YOUR TWO MINUTE CLOSING STATEMENT.

SO YOU'RE GONNA HAVE, AND WE'LL ACTUALLY START WITH THE WAY IT'S WORKING OUT.

WE'RE GONNA START WITH CANDIDATE SMITH.

UH, BUT IT'S IS YOUR TIME TO TELL THE VOTERS HERE THAT ARE LISTENING AND THE ONES THAT ARE HERE WITH US.

WHY, WHAT IS IT ABOUT YOU THAT YOU'RE SPECIAL AND THAT YOU WANT THE VOTES FROM DISTRICT GATE, CANADA SMITH.

WE'LL START WITH YOU FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE EVENING.

AND, UH, IT'S BEEN ENJOYABLE.

UM, THE JOB OF CITY COUNCIL MEMBER IS A JOB OF PUBLIC SERVICE.

THAT MEANS THAT THE CITY COUNCIL PERSON FOCUSES ON THE CORE ISSUES THAT RELATE TO ALL AUSTINITES PUBLIC SAFETY UTILITIES, TRANSPORTATION, PARKS, FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.

AS A LAWYER, I KNOW HOW TO REPRESENT OTHERS AND FIGHT FOR OTHERS.

AS A JUDGE, I KNOW HOW TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS.

WHEN THERE ARE OFTEN CONFLICTING SIDES OF AN ISSUE.

MY WHOLE LIFE HAS BEEN A LIFE OF PUBLIC SERVICE WITH ME.

YOU'LL SEE THAT I'M VERY PROACTIVE.

I'M A LEADER, NOT A FOLLOWER.

DON'T SIT ON THE SIDELINES IN OFFICE.

I WILL BE ACCESSIBLE.

I WILL LISTEN AND I'LL BE RESPONSIVE.

I WANT TO THANK YOU AGAIN.

UM, I'M HUMBLY ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE AUSTIN BETTER, PLEASE GO TO MY WEBSITE AT RICHARD SMITH.

ATX.COM AND SEE HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE ROSS, AS YOUR CITY, COUNCILMAN, I WILL ADVOCATE FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

I WILL ADVOCATE TO MAKE THEM SAFER.

I WILL.

I'M HANDS ON.

I'M A HANDS ON PERSON.

IF THEY SAY THEY GET NEW LOCKS, I WANT TO BE THERE TO SEE THE NEW LOCKS AND TO TRY IF WE'RE GOING UNDERGROUND

[00:50:01]

WITH PROJECT 360, I WANNA PUT ON A HARD HAT, STEEL TOE BOOTS GOING THE GROUND, MAKE SURE IT'S SAFE FOR EACH AND EVERY LAST ONE OF US HOMELESSNESS, I WANT TO GET OUT THERE, TALK TO THE PEOPLE, SEE WHAT THEY NEED, FIND OUT THEIR MENTAL STATE, HELP 'EM WITH RESOURCES, FOR FOOD.

AND I'VE ALSO STARTED A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION THAT HELPS PEOPLE THAT HAS LIFELONG SICKNESSES, AND I WANT TO CONTINUE MY WORK.

AND IF YOU VOTE FOR ANTONIO ROSS, I GUARANTEE YOU I WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING I DO AND I WILL MAKE YOU PROUD.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE HAWKINS.

THANK YOU.

UH, I REALLY APPRECIATE THIS FORM TONIGHT.

IT'S UM, ALL THE CAMP CAMPAIGNING HAS BEEN A NEW EXPERIENCE FOR ME AND I HAVE LONG BEEN, UH, INTO POLITICS.

I'VE VOLUNTEERED FOR SEVERAL ORGANIZATIONS, BATTLEGROUND, TEXAS BEING THE MOST RECENT ONE BECAUSE I'M VERY FOCUSED ON VOTING AND VOTING RIGHTS, BUT AS A CITY COUNCIL PERSON FOR AUSTIN, I REALLY, UH, AS I MENTIONED, I DO OPEN MY COMEDY SO YOU CAN MAY UNDERSTAND WHY LODI ME ZELENSKY HAS BECOME A PERSONAL HERO FOR ME.

HE STARTED OUT AS A COMEDIAN.

HE'S NOW THE PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE AND THAT'S THE KIND OF INSPIRATION AND, UH, COMMUNITY.

I WOULD LOVE TO EVEN MAKE A DENT IN THAT KIND OF ETHOS AND THAT KIND OF ATMOSPHERE.

THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE HAVE STOOD UP FOR THEMSELVES.

AND AUSTIN IS A SPECIAL PLACE AND WE CONSIDER OURSELVES, UH, DIFFERENT, YOU KNOW, FROM MAYBE OTHER PARTS OF TEXAS.

AND I WANNA PROTECT THAT AND I WANT TO, UH, JUST BE A LEADER IN THE COMMUNITY.

AND, UH, I WANT TO USE MY PEER SUPPORT TRAINING BECAUSE I THINK THAT'S A BIG PART OF THIS JOB.

I THINK THAT, UM, WE NEED THE REPRESENTATIVE NEEDS TO BE RESPONSIVE TO THE PEOPLE.

AND THAT IS SOMETHING I REALLY LOOK FORWARD TO IF I WERE ELECTED.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE ELLIS.

THANK YOU FOR FOUR YEARS, I'VE BEEN A LEADER THAT STEPS UP FOR THIS COMMUNITY.

I'VE SEEN PROBLEMS BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE REALIZED THEY WERE PROBLEMS. I'VE WORKED COLLABORATIVELY, BOTH WITHIN MY OFFICE AND WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS IN THE DISTRICT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE CONSTITUENTS ARE TAKEN CARE OF.

WE STEPPED UP FOR WATER BOTTLE DISTRIBUTION WHEN SOUTHWEST AUSTIN WENT OFFLINE FIRST AND CAME BACK ONLINE LAST DURING THE WINTER STORM, PEOPLE WERE WITHOUT WATER FOR DAYS BEFORE THE CITY WAS ABLE TO DEPLOY THE FEMA WATER BOTTLE DISTRIBUTION.

WE HAVE MADE ROADS IMPROVEMENTS IN ALMOST EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD IN THE DISTRICT.

WE HAVE A HANDFUL MORE ON THE WAY, AND WE'VE STEPPED UP TO PUT OFFICE BUDGET DIRECTLY BACK INTO DISTRICT PARKS THAT WOULD NOT HAVE OTHERWISE GOTTEN THOSE IMPROVEMENTS.

SO WE'VE MADE A LOT OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS.

WE'VE DOUBLED THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION.

UM, WE'VE DELIVERED REAL MEANINGFUL ASSISTANCE TO THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE.

AND I'VE BEEN A VERY STRONG AND CONSISTENT VOTE THAT IS PRO AFFORDABILITY PRO ENVIRONMENT PRO-CHOICE AND DOING MY PART TO END GUN SAFETY.

SO WE HAVE HAD A LOT OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS WITHIN THIS DISTRICT.

I THINK BY AND LARGE, THIS DISTRICT IS MORE UNITED THAN DIVIDED BECAUSE I KNOW THAT WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH, WE STAND TOGETHER AND WE HELP OUR NEIGHBORS.

AND THAT IS WHAT I'VE EXPERIENCED OUT OF THIS DISTRICT.

AND WE HAVE A LOT OF MOMENTUM BUILT AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SERVING THIS COMMUNITY FOR ANOTHER FOUR YEARS.

OKAY.

Y'ALL JUST THOUGHT WE WERE DONE, BUT WE NEED A TWO WORD ANSWER FROM YOU.

OKAY.

TWO WORDS.

IF THERE'S TWO WORDS THAT YOU WANNA LEAVE WITH THE PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO ELECT YOU TO OFFICE THAT DESCRIBE YOU, YOU COULD USE ONE WORD IF YOU WANT, BUT I'M GONNA GIVE YOU TWO, ONE OR TWO, AND WE'RE GONNA JUST GO DOWN.

WE'LL START WITH CANDIDATE ELLISON.

WE'LL JUST GO DOWN THE TABLE.

THIS WAY, CANDIDATE ELLIS ONE OR TWO WORDS.

OH GOSH, THIS IS HARDER THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE.

I WOULD SAY I'M A UNITER.

THAT'S IT? OKAY.

CANDIDATE SMITH RESPONSIVE, GREAT HONEST CANDIDATE HAWKINS, PASSIONATE, PASSIONATE.

LET'S GIVE THESE CANDIDATES A GREAT ROUND OF APPLAUSE.

I JUST WANNA THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SINCERITY IN ANSWERING OUR QUESTIONS THIS EVENING.

AND I'D LIKE TO ADDRESS THE AUDIENCE FOR A MOMENT IN MY INTRO TONIGHT, I TOLD THESE CANDIDATES THAT THEY

[00:55:01]

HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO AFFECT CHANGE, BUT IT'S YOU THE VOTERS OF DISTRICT EIGHT WHO HOLD THE POWER IN OUR DEMOCRACY, YOU HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO ELECT A REPRESENTATIVE AND THE OBLIGATION TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.

ONCE IN OFFICE, THE LEAGUE ENCOURAGES ACTIVE PARTICIPATION OF EACH OF YOU TO AID IN YOUR DECISION.

OUR NONPARTISAN VOTERS GUIDE FOR THIS ELECTION WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT WWW L WV, AUSTIN.ORG IN ENGLISH, SPANISH, VIETNAMESE, AND MANDARIN.

THE PRINTED GUIDE WILL BE DISTRIBUTED IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH.

ONLY AT THIS TIME TO MANY LOCATIONS AROUND TOWN, EARLY VOTING BEGINS OCTOBER 24TH.

OUR VOTERS' GUIDE COMES OUT THE WEEKEND BEFORE EARLY VOTING.

SO START LOOKING AT IT THAT FRIDAY, SATURDAY, AND SUNDAY.

SO EARLY VOTING STARTS MONDAY, OCTOBER 24TH AND ENDS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4TH, ELECTION DAY IS NOVEMBER 8TH.

THE DEADLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN THIS ELECTION IS OCTOBER 11TH.

THERE IS ANOTHER SITE THAT YOU CAN GO TO.

WE HAVE A POSTER UP HERE IN THE FRONT, BUT IT'S VOTE FOUR 11 THAT'S V OT E FOUR ELEVEN.ORG.ORG.

VOTE FOUR ELEVEN.ORG.

IT'S ELECTION INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED.

YOU CAN PUT YOUR INFORMATION IN AND IT WILL TELL YOU EVERYTHING YOU'RE GONNA NEED ON THE BALLOT.

THAT'S COMING UP IN OUR NOVEMBER 8TH ELECTION.

WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR ATTENTION TONIGHT FROM WHEREVER YOU'RE LISTENING OR WATCHING, AND PLEASE BE A PART OF THIS GREAT DEMOCRACY AND GO VOTE.

THANK YOU AND HAVE A GOOD EVENING.