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[2022 City Council Candidate Forum District 9 ]

[00:00:06]

AUSTIN DISTRICT NINE CANDIDATE FORUM.

I'M CAROL EEL CAMP WITH THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF THE AUSTIN AREA.

OUR LEAGUE PARTNERS WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION TO HELP VOTERS GET TO KNOW THE CANDIDATES VYING FOR THEIR VOTES.

OUR PURPOSE IS TO ASK QUESTIONS THAT ALLOW THE VOTER TO UNDERSTAND YOUR OPINION ON MATTERS THAT COUNT TO THEM AS A LOCAL CHAPTER OF THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, WE ARE A NONPARTISAN POLITICAL ORGANIZATION FOUNDED OVER 100 YEARS AGO.

WE ARE PEOPLE YOUNG AND NOT SO YOUNG, PROMOTING INFORMED AND ACTIVE CIVIC PARTICIPATION DESPITE THE DIVISIVENESS IN OUR COUNTRY.

YOU CANDIDATES FOR DISTRICT NINE ARE EXAMPLES OF THE GOOD THINGS IN OUR DEMOCRACY.

IF ELECTED, YOU WILL REPRESENT THE CITIZENS OF AUSTIN AND WILL AFFECT CHANGE AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.

OUR QUESTIONS WERE CREATED AND WITH INPUT FROM THE COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS, GOVERNMENT ENTITIES, AND THE PUBLIC, NO CANDIDATE WAS GIVEN THE QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE.

THESE FORUMS WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S ATX N NETWORKS IN THE ARCHIVES.

ALONGSIDE THE RECORDINGS OF OUR CITY COUNCIL AND OUR COMMISSIONER MEETINGS, THE CANDIDATES WILL HAVE A TWO MINUTE OPENING STATEMENT, A ONE MINUTE CLOSING STATEMENT, AND WILL BE GIVEN ONE MINUTE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS.

OUR TIMEKEEPER WILL HOLD UP A YELLOW WARNING CARD AT THE 32ND MARK AND A RED STOP CARD WHEN TIME IS EXPIRED.

PLEASE WRAP UP YOUR THOUGHTS WITH A SENTENCE OR TWO, NOT A PARAGRAPH OR FOUR WHEN YOU SEE THE RED CARD AND HEAR THE FRIENDLY BUZZER.

CANDIDATES ARE ASKED TO REFRAIN FROM ANY PERSONAL ATTACKS OF THEIR OPPONENTS, AND WE ASK OUR LIVE AUDIENCE TO REFRAIN FROM REACTING IN SUPPORT OR OPPOSITION TO THE STATEMENTS MADE BY THESE CANDIDATES.

WE WILL BEGIN IN VALID ORDER AND ROTATE.

SO EACH OF YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ANSWER FIRST WITH THIS MANY CANDIDATES.

AND TO KEEP THE ANSWERS FRESH, WE WILL ASK EACH GROUP A DIFFERENT QUESTION ON THE SAME TOPIC.

WE WILL BEGIN WITH THE TWO MINUTE OPENING STATEMENTS BEGINNING WITH CANDIDATE MITCHELL.

OKAY.

TURN MY MIND.

OKAY.

HI, I'M ZENA MITCHELL.

I'M A TENACIOUS, VORACIOUS WOMAN, AND I'M RUNNING FOR AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL BECAUSE I CAN IGNORE THE UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES IN OUR BELOVED CITY.

THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE WOVEN THE FABRIC OF THIS CITY, THE TEACHERS, CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, MUSICIANS, WAITRESSES, CLOWNS, AND PETTY CABS ARE BEING PUSHED OUT, AND I CAN'T STAND BY ANYMORE AND WATCH IT HAPPEN.

I HAVE A MORE DIVERSE BACKGROUND THAN BACKGROUND THAN MOST BEING A WOMAN IN THE TRADES TEACHING AT AN AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL WITH THE HIGHEST POPULATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS.

ATTENDING HOUSTON TILLSON UNIVERSITY, I SOUGHT OUT EXPERIENCES WHERE I WAS THE MINORITY SO I COULD LEARN FROM OTHERS.

I'M RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL BECAUSE I'VE SEEN WHAT 15 YEARS OF DECISIONS BASED ON PROFIT HAVE MADE THIS CITY LOOK AND FEEL LIKE.

PLEASE GO TO MY WEBSITE, XENA MITCHELL.COM.

I'M NOT MAKING PROMISES.

I'M OFFERING SOLUTIONS BASED ON HUMAN NEEDS AND THE SURVIVAL OF THE PLANET.

MY POLICIES MAY SEEM RADICAL FROM A CAPITALIST POINT OF VIEW.

PEOPLE WILL SAY THAT CAN'T HAPPEN.

YOU CAN'T DO THAT.

WE'VE SEEN WHAT'S HAPPENED TO OUR CITY WHEN DECISIONS ARE MADE FOR PROFIT, 27 FLOORS OF LUXURY APARTMENTS.

A HOME IS NOT A COMMODITY.

IT'S A NECESSITY.

IT SHOULDN'T BE SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER.

MY POLICIES PUT THE PLANET AND PEOPLE, FIRST PEOPLE OF AUSTIN, WE HAVE TO ACT NOW.

LADY BIRD LAKE BECAME MORE TOXIC THIS SUMMER THAN LAST SUMMER.

THE ELECTRICAL GRID TEETS ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE DURING PEAK DEMAND.

IT'S NOT ME ALONE THAT'S GOING TO CREATE A MORE SUSTAINABLE PATH FORWARD.

IT'S US.

I'M ASKING Y'ALL TO GET ON THE BUS AND VOTE FOR ME.

X ZENA MITCHELL, PEOPLE OVER PROFIT AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT NINE, AND REMEMBER WHAT STARTS HERE, CHANGES THE WORLD.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE CADRE.

YEAH.

YOU SAID MY NAME, LAST NAME, CORRECT.

UM, MY NAME IS AHAB ZHA.

I'M A CANDIDATE FOR AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL IN DISTRICT NINE.

UM, I MOVED TO THIS CITY, UH, 13 YEARS AGO.

I'M THE CHILD OF IMMIGRANTS.

UH, SO THOUGH I WASN'T BORN HERE, I MOVED TO AUSTIN AS AS FAST AS I COULD.

UH, IT'S A BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY THAT TOOK ME IN AS ONE OF ITS OWN.

UH, AND IT'S A COMMUNITY THAT AT OUR WORST TIMES, YOU KNOW, WE COME TOGETHER.

YOU KNOW, WHETHER IT BE THE ONSET OF THE, OF THE PANDEMIC, WHETHER IT BE THE WINTER STORM, UH, IT WAS EVERYDAY AUSTINITES WHO, WHO GAVE BACK, UH, TO THE CITY, UH, WHO, WHO DID WRITE WHEN

[00:05:01]

WE HAD A, YOU KNOW, STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAT FAILED US.

AND I THINK THAT'S WHAT MAKES AUSTIN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CITY.

IT'S FILLED WITH NOT ONLY CREATIVES, BUT IT'S WITH, IT'S FILLED WITH PEOPLE WHO, WHO ARE, WHO ARE FILLED WITH SUCH EMPATHY, UH, AND CARE AND, AND LOVE OF ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE OF NEIGHBOR.

UM, YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, AS I SAID, I MOVED TO AUSTIN 13 YEARS AGO TO SCHOOL AT UT.

UM, I, DURING THAT TIME, I GOT EDUCATED.

I MET MY WIFE.

UH, YOU KNOW, WE, WE'VE GOTTEN MARRIED SINCE THEN.

UH, IT'S A CITY THAT I, THAT I, THAT I DEEPLY LOVE.

UH, BUT AUSTIN IS ALSO A CITY THAT THAT'S, THAT'S FAILING ITS MOST VULNERABLE POPULATIONS.

UH, YOU KNOW, WHETHER YOU LOOK AT OUR HOUSING CRISIS, WHETHER YOU LOOK AT THE LACK OF, UH, EQUITABLE TRANSIT IN THIS CITY, OR JUST TRUTHFULLY A LACK OF EQUITY, UH, THE AUSTIN EXPERIENCE DIFFERS WILDLY DEPENDING ON, YOU KNOW, WHERE, WHAT PART OF THE CITY YOU LIVE IN, UH, YOU KNOW, AT TIMES THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN OR, OR, OR, OR, OR WHERE YOU WERE RAISED.

AND THAT SHOULDN'T BE THE CASE.

AUSTIN SHOULD BE A CITY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE.

UH, I'VE SPENT, YOU KNOW, MY YEARS IN, IN, IN, IN WORK, UH, WORKING IN CITY GOVERNMENTS AS AS SMALL AS KYLE, AS LARGE AS HOUSTON.

UH, I'VE DONE POLICY WORK AT THE TEXAS CAPITAL.

UH, AND THEN I'VE ALSO DONE, UH, ELECTORAL ORGANIZING AROUND, UH, CAMPAIGNS, BUT ALSO ADVOCACY WORK, UH, IN, IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UH, AND AT THE STATE CAPITAL, UH, YOU KNOW, I'M READY TO, TO SERVE AND, AND THAT'S WHY I'M RUNNING, TO MAKE SURE THAT I GIVE BACK TO A COMMUNITY THAT'S GIVEN ME SO MUCH.

SO THANK YOU ALL FOR HAVING ME, AND THANK YOU GUYS FOR PUTTING ON THIS EVENT, AND I'M EXCITED ABOUT THE, UH, THE QUESTIONS TO COME.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE SMITH.

UH, I'M GREG SMITH AND I HAVE, UH, BEEN IN AUSTIN FOR OVER 40 YEARS, HAVE LIVED HERE.

AND, UH, MY WIFE AND I DEARLY LOVE AUSTIN.

I, I WAS MOTIVATED TO RUN FOR DISTRICT NINE OUT OF MY, UH, MY FRUSTRATION WITH, UH, SOME OF THE DECISIONS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS.

I, I REALLY NEVER THOUGHT THAT I'D BE IN THIS POSITION, HONESTLY.

AND, UH, YOU KNOW, BEING IN PRIVATE BUSINESS FOR 35 YEARS, UH, WITH A, A, A DEEP EXPERIENCE AND, AND MANAGEMENT AND, UH, PROBLEM SOLVING.

I FELT LIKE, UM, YOU KNOW, THE, THE LEADERSHIP NEEDS NEEDED A NEEDED A CHANGE, HONESTLY.

AND, UH, I THINK LEADERSHIP IS A, IS, UH, A CRISIS SITUATION THAT WE ALSO HAVE IN AUSTIN.

AND WE'RE GONNA DISCUSS A BUNCH OF THESE OTHER CRISIS SITUATIONS, I'M SURE OVER THE NEXT 45 MINUTES.

BUT, UH, AGAIN, I WAS MOTIVATED TO, TO, TO BE, UH, BE A CANDIDATE TO DO MY BEST TO, YOU KNOW, BRING SOLUTIONS TO, UH, THE TOWN THAT MY WIFE AND I TRULY LOVE AND HAS BEEN UNBELIEVABLY GOOD TO US.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE SPEARMAN.

HELLO, MY NAME IS JOE SPEARMAN AND I'M RUNNING FOR DISTRICT NINE.

AND IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE THINK ABOUT WHAT KIND OF DISTRICT DISTRICT NINE IS IT.

THIS IS REALLY THE CONVENING PART OF THE CITY.

THIS IS THE PART OF THE CITY WHERE WHETHER YOU CAN AFFORD TO LIVE IN THIS PART OF THE CITY OR NOT, THIS IS WHERE YOU GO TO ENJOY THE CULTURAL ASSETS OF THE CITY.

WHETHER THAT'S LIVE MUSIC ON RED RIVER, THAT'S THE TRAIL AROUND LADYBIRD LAKE, THAT'S PLACES LIKE ZACH THEATER.

ALL OF THESE ASSETS ARE HERE IN DISTRICT NINE, BUT UNFORTUNATELY, FOR TOO LONG WE'VE HAD POLICIES THAT HAVE PLACED PEOPLE FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY FROM THOSE ASSETS AND FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY FROM THE CENTRAL PART OF THE CITY.

AND SO AS A RESULT, OUR ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS ARE SUFFERING.

THEY'RE BEING PRICED OUTTA THE, THE COMMUNITY.

OUR PARAMEDICS ARE FIREFIGHTERS.

THEY'RE HAVING TO LIVE FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY FROM THE CITY, SOMETIMES EVEN OUTTA THE COUNTY.

TEACHERS AND NURSES ARE BEING ASKED TO LIVE FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY FROM THE COMMUNITIES THAT THEY SERVE.

SO I'M HERE BECAUSE I HAVE A VERY UNIQUE SKILL SET THAT I THINK CAN HELP CITY COUNCIL AND HELP THE CITY ADDRESS THESE ISSUES.

I'VE BEEN AN ENTREPRENEUR FOR THE LAST 13 YEARS IN AUSTIN.

I'VE SERVED ON NON-PROFIT BOARDS LIKE AUSTIN PBS, ZACH, THEATER AID SERVICES OF AUSTIN, AND I'VE SERVED HERE IN CITY HALL ON TWO COMMISSIONS.

I WAS THE VICE CHAIR OF THE AUSTIN MUSIC COMMISSION.

I WAS ALSO ON THE DOWNTOWN COMMISSION.

SO I THINK YOU'RE GONNA SEE A, A SET OF CANDIDATES HERE THAT ARE REALLY ROBUST AND BRING A LOT OF UNIQUE EXPERIENCES.

UM, BUT WHAT I BRING IS A REALLY NUANCED BLEND OF BOTH EXPERIENCE AND PERSPECTIVE THAT I THINK CAN REALLY MEET THE NEEDS OF DISTRICT NINE.

THIS IS A REALLY UNIQUE PART OF THE CITY, AND WE NEED SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS ALL THOSE UNIQUE PARTS OF THE CITY AND HOW TO BRING IT TOGETHER TO BOTH ADDRESS THE ISSUES AND MAXIMIZE THE OPPORTUNITIES WE HAVE AS A CITY.

SO I'M REALLY EXCITED TO SERVE THIS PART OF THE CITY AND REPRESENT DISTRICT NINE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE OLSON.

HI, GOOD AFTERNOON.

MY NAME IS KIM OLSON AND I AM RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT NINE.

I WAS ACTUALLY BORN HERE IN DISTRICT NINE AND HAVE GOTTEN TO ENJOY KIND OF A LOT OF FUN OVER THE YEARS.

BUT, UH, NOW IT SEEMS THAT OUR CITY HAS KIND OF CREATED A HOUSE OF CARDS FAILED LEADERSHIP STYLE, WHERE IT'S PUBLIC

[00:10:01]

SAFETY'S ON A, ON ARI, OR IS A CRIME, IS DEFINITELY ON A RISE.

POWER IS QUESTIONABLE.

AND OUR WATER SOURCES NEED TO DEFINITELY BE EXPANDED AND, AND BUILT UPON.

WE NEED TO GET BACK TO THE BASIC BONES OF GOVERNMENT.

WE NEED TO FIX WHAT WE HAVE NOW BEFORE WE EXPAND AND ADD ONTO IT.

AND THEN WE ALSO NEED A FULL AUDIT OF ALL THE PERMITTING PROCESS AND AUSTIN ENERGY SO FAR, SO WE CAN GET A BETTER LOOK AT TRANSPARENCY.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, I THINK WE NEED TO PUT SOME LEADERSHIP TOGETHER AND, AND LEADERSHIP IN THE CITY COUNCIL.

UM, AND I HAVE, UH, I SERVE AS A CAPTAIN OF THE TEXAS GUARD AND HAVE GONE THROUGH SEVERAL LEADERSHIP COURSES.

AS A RESULT.

I ALSO SERVED ON THE TEXAS NETWORK OF YOUTH SERVICES, SO AS A BOARD MEMBER FOR ABOUT NINE YEARS DOING ADVOCACY WORK FOR UNHOUSED AND FOSTER YOUTH.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE LEFFLER.

GOOD EVENING, EVERYONE.

I'M BEN LEFFLER AND I'M RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL BECAUSE I LOVE THIS CITY DEARLY.

I'VE LIVED HERE MY ENTIRE LIFE.

I CURRENTLY LIVE IN CHERRYWOOD WITH MY WIFE AND OUR TWO YEAR OLD SON.

UM, BUT UNFORTUNATELY, YOU KNOW, WHILE OUR CITY HAS BECOME MUCH MORE VIBRANT, UH, OVER THE COURSE OF MY LIFE, IT'S ALSO BECOME MUCH MORE INEQUITABLE.

OUR FAILURE TO PREPARE FOR THE GROWTH OF AUSTIN HAS CAUSED OUR COMMUNITY TO SPRAWL, AND IT'S CAUSED BOTH ECONOMIC INEQUITIES TO GROW, UM, AND DISPLACE FOLKS THAT WERE ECONOMICALLY AND STRUCTURALLY SEGREGATED TO BEGIN WITH.

UM, THIS IS VERY PERSONAL TO ME BECAUSE I GREW UP IN A WORKING CLASS HOUSEHOLD IN CENTRAL AUSTIN.

MY FOLKS DIDN'T MAKE A WHOLE LOT OF MONEY AND THEY WERE ABLE TO RAISE FOUR BOYS IN CENTRAL AUSTIN.

AND THAT GAVE ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO ACCESS THE INCREDIBLE RESOURCES OF THIS CITY.

I WENT TO WONDERFUL PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND I WENT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND STUDIED GOVERNMENT AND THEN BACK TO THE LBJ SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, WHERE I FOCUSED SPECIFICALLY ON LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.

I ALWAYS WANTED TO DO THIS WORK CAUSE I KNOW THIS IS WHERE WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

AFTER LBJ, I GOT TO WORK IN THE CITY AUDITOR'S OFFICE, AS WELL AS IN A CITY COUNCIL OFFICE, WHERE I WORKED ON HELPING AUSTIN ENERGY REACH HIGHER SUSTAINABILITY GOALS.

UH, I'VE ALSO SERVED ON MY NEIGHBOR ASSOCIATION, AS WELL AS STARTED A NON-PROFIT TO RAISE, UH, FUNDS FOR PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS HERE IN AUSTIN.

I KNOW GOVERNMENT CAN BE A FORCE FOR GOOD WHEN WE ELECT THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

AND I THINK WHILE WE HAVE CHALLENGES AND GROWTH IS CHALLENGING, THERE IS SUCH TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITIES PRESENTED BY, UH, WHAT WE HAVE IN AUSTIN.

WE HAVE THE MOST CREATIVE, SMARTEST, MOST ENGAGED CITIZENRY, AND EVERY COMPANY IN THE WORLD WANTS TO BE HERE.

AND SO WE REALLY SHOULD BE LEADING WHEN IT COMES TO THESE REALLY STICKY ISSUES AROUND HOUSING FOLKS ON THE STREETS, UH, BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND MAKING SURE THAT OUR, UH, ENVIRONMENT IS SUSTAINABLE FOR OUR KIDS AND THEIR KIDS.

SO THAT'S WHY I'M RUNNING.

I, AND, UH, I'M GLAD TO BE HERE TONIGHT.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE GUERRERO.

MY NAME IS LINDA GUERRERO.

I WANT TO FOSTER COMMUNITY VALUES, AND I WANNA CONTINUE THE LONG LEGACY OF MY FAMILY TO STAND UP FOR EQUITY IN AUSTIN.

RIGHT NOW, I'M A SCHOOL TEACHER WITH A I S D.

I HAVE A SPECIAL ED CLASSROOM AT AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL.

I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN DISTRICT NINE, AND FOR ALL MY LIFE, I HAVE DONE PUBLIC SERVICE.

ONE OF THE BIG REASONS THAT I HAVE STEPPED FORWARD IS BECAUSE I HAD SO MANY COMMUNITY LEADERS COME FORWARD AND ASK ME TO PLEASE USE MY EXPERIENCE AND MY PREVIOUS, UH, BACKGROUND, WORKING ON BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS TO BE A PART OF RUNNING FOR DISTRICT NINE.

AS A SPECIAL ED SCHOOL TEACHER, I UNDERSTAND HOW AUSTIN HAS BECOME UNFORDABLE.

I WORKED FOR 28 YEARS, RETIRED, AND THEN BECAUSE OF, UM, TAXES, RISING TAXES AND HIGH WAGE ISSUES, I HAD TO TURN AROUND AND COME BACK TO WORK.

I HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF WORKING ON THE PARKS BOARD, THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMISSION, THE BOND OVERSIGHT COMMISSION.

I SPEARHEADED MANY ORDINANCES THAT HAVE BEEN CHANGED WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

I'VE MADE HUNDREDS OF RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL.

I UNDERSTAND STRONG CONNECTION WITH THE CITY EMPLOYEES AND STAKEHOLDERS THAT HAVE HELPED COME FORWARD AND MAKE THIS CITY BETTER.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE WALD.

HI, MY NAME IS TOM WALD.

I'VE BEEN IN AUSTIN LIVING IN AUSTIN SINCE 1999, AND IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, WHEN I MOVED HERE, I MOVED HERE, BE SIMPLY BECAUSE IT WAS AFFORDABLE, HAD A GREAT LIVE MUSIC SCENE, AND HAD A GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE.

AND, YOU KNOW, FRANKLY, I THINK THERE'S VERY FEW PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO ARE LISTENING TO THIS WHO WOULD DISAGREE THAT, THAT AUSTIN HAS BECOME UNAFFORDABLE.

AND, UM, AND IN THAT, IN THAT TIME, PART OF IT AT THAT IS BECAUSE OF THE GROWTH, THE UNPLANNED GROWTH THAT WE'VE HAD, AND IT'S ALSO AFFECTED OUR MOBILITY.

UM, WE HAVEN'T, UH, EXPANDED OUR TRANSIT SYSTEM.

WE HAVEN'T ADEQUATELY EVEN EXPANDED OUR, OUR, THE REST OF OUR TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS.

[00:15:01]

UM, WALKING AND BIKING AND, UM, I, YOU KNOW, FROM LONG TIME AGO, 16 YEARS AGO, I, I COULD SEE THAT THERE WERE, THERE WERE GROW, THERE WERE GROWING PAINS IN AUSTIN.

UM, I TOOK ACTION BEGINNING IN 2006.

AND SO I THINK WE'RE GONNA HEAR A LOT OF WORDS ABOUT WHAT, WHAT WE CAN DO FOR AUSTIN.

AND FOR THE LAST 16 YEARS, I PUT THOSE WORDS TO ACTION.

UM, I WAS THE FIRST EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BIKE AUSTIN 2009 TO 2014, AND I'VE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN CREATING OUR NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED BIKE WHITE NETWORK.

I'VE EXPANDED OUR SIDEWALK NETWORK.

I'VE ALSO BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN CREATING SAFE CROSSINGS AND EXPANDING ROADWAY SAFETY, UM, PROVISIONS AS WELL.

AND WHEN I WAS CONSIDERING RUNNING, IT WAS CERTAINLY A DIFFICULT DECISION.

I WORKED WITH HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ON AFFORDABILITY ISSUES.

UM, I, I'M INVOLVED WITH MANY NON-PROFITS, AND NONE OF THE PEOPLE I WAS WORKING WITH ON AFFORDABILITY ISSUES OR MOBILITY ISSUES WERE WERE RUNNING.

AND I, THAT WAS WHY I DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO STEP UP.

I THINK IT'S CRITICAL THAT WE HAVE SOMEONE WHO DOES HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH CITY STAFF, WITH CITY LEADERS, WITH CITY COUNCIL ON THESE ISSUES, WHO CAN HIT THE GROUND RUNNING ON DAY ONE TO TACKLE AFFORDABILITY, TO TACKLE MOBILITY ISSUES.

TO TACKLE EQUITY ISSUES.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

WE'RE GONNA GET RIGHT TO IT, AND WE'LL START WITH THIS, UH, FIRST GROUP, UH, ON THE LEFT HERE.

AND I WILL, UH, CANDIDATE CADRE, YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO, TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION WE'RE GONNA TALK ABOUT THE TOPIC IS POLICE.

THE AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL APPROVED A ONE YEAR PILOT PROGRAM ENABLING POLICE CRUISERS TO USE LICENSE PLATE SCANNERS AT FIXED POINTS THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

THESE CAMERAS TAKE PHOTOS OF LICENSE PLATES, STORES THEM IN A DATABASE, AND HELPS POLICE FIND OUT IF SOMEONE IS DRIVING A VEHICLE CONNECTED TO A CRIME.

DO YOU SUPPORT THIS PROGRAM? WHY OR WHY NOT? IN ONE MINUTE, CORRECT.

COOL.

UM, NO, I DON'T, I DON'T SUPPORT THE PROGRAM.

I THINK THERE COULD BE A LOT OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES WITH IT.

UM, YOU KNOW, IT'S MEANT TO, UH, YOU KNOW, TARGET FOLKS WHO HAVE, WHO COMMITTED SOME SORT OF CRIME, BUT IT COULD ALSO TARGET, UH, MEMBERS OF THE I IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY, UNDOCUMENTED FOLKS.

IT COULD ALSO TARGET, YOU KNOW, WITH, YOU KNOW, WITH THE STATE AND GOVERNMENT AND, AND FEDERAL LAWS THAT, THAT HAVE COME DOWN, UH, THAT HAVE OUTLAWED A, YOU KNOW, AN INDIVIDUAL'S RIGHT TO AN ABORTION.

IT COULD ALSO, UH, YOU KNOW, TARGET, UH, FOLKS WHO ARE, WHO ARE LEAVING THE STATE TO, TO GET THAT ABORTION.

SO I DON'T, I DON'T, UM, YOU KNOW, I DON'T SUPPORT IT IN IT IN ITS CURRENT PHASE.

AND I ALSO, YOU KNOW, GOING OFF OF THE, THE POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY ACT THAT, UM, THAT IS GOING TO BE ON THE BALLOT, LIKE I'M, I'M A BIG FAN OF THAT, AND I ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO, TO SIGN ON AND, AND VOTE FOR IT.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE SMITH.

I AM IN FAVOR OF IT.

AND, UH, THE ONLY STIPULATION THERE WOULD BE IS, IS I WANT TO, UH, I WANNA MAKE SURE THAT THAT INFORMATION IS, IS, UH, ONLY HOUSED FOR A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME.

I, I, I'D HAVE TO CONSULT THE EXPERTS ON THAT, BUT YES, I AM IN FAVOR OF, OF USING THOSE READERS.

CANDIDATE SPEARMAN.

HELLO.

UH, I AM NOT IN SUPPORT OF USING THE LICENSE PLATE READERS.

UM, I, I BELIEVE THAT, UM, THERE ARE MANY WAYS IN WHICH THE DATA COULD BE MISUSED, AND IT COULD ALSO BE PASSED OVER TO STATE OR FEDERAL AUTHORITIES FOR OTHER PURPOSES IN WAYS THAT I THINK ARE NOT FAVORABLE FOR OUR COMMUNITY.

AND, AND FUNDAMENTALLY, PUBLIC SAFETY IS ABOUT TRUST.

AND WHILE LICENSE PLATE READERS ARE A TOOL THAT PUBLIC SAFETY PROFESSIONALS WANT TO HAVE ACCESS TO, I BELIEVE THERE ARE MANY OTHER TOOLS THAT WE CAN USE IN OUR COMMUNITY TO BUILD TRUST.

AND SO I'M NOT IN FAVOR OF THEM.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE MITCHELL? YES, I AM.

I DO NOT SUPPORT THE LICENSE PLATE READERS BECAUSE OF CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES.

I DO THINK THERE'S BEEN MORE TOO MANY OCCASIONS WHERE THE CONFIDENTIALITY ACTS OF SUCH PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN SUPERSEDED.

AND I DO BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO GO ABOUT APPREHENDING CRI CRI CRIMINALS.

UM, WHILE I WAS TEACHING, MANY OF MY STUDENTS WERE UNDOCUMENTED AND THEY DROVE CARS.

I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING WE NEED TO ADDRESS BEFORE WE START LICENSE PLATE READER PROGRAMS. THANK YOU.

SO WE'RE KEEPING ON THE TOPIC OF POLICE, AND WE'RE GOING TO, UH, CANDIDATE LEFFLER, YOU'LL BE THE FIRST ONE ON THIS ONE.

AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL JUST PASSED A VERY LARGE PUBLIC SAFETY BUDGET FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR.

DO YOU FEEL THE BUDGET PROVIDES ADEQUATE POLICE, EMS, AND FIRE SERVICES FOR DISTRICT NINE? WHY OR WHY NOT? UM, NO, I DON'T.

I THINK WHAT WE'RE SEEING RIGHT NOW IS THAT SPECIFICALLY OUR EMS DEPARTMENT IS GREATLY UNDERFUNDED.

YOU KNOW, THOSE FOLKS GOT A VERY SMALL, UM, UH, PAY BUMP IN THE, UM, BUDGET, BUT IT LAGS FAR BEHIND THE OTHER PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENTS, FIRE AND POLICE.

UM, I DID A RIDE ALONG WITH OUR EMS, UH, FOLKS, AND EVERY PERSON I SPOKE WITH LIVED OUTSIDE OF AUSTIN.

UM, ALSO

[00:20:01]

THEY HAVE THE HIGHEST VACANCY RATE.

I THINK IT'S SOMEWHERE AROUND 30%.

SO, UM, I THINK I UNDERSTAND THAT PUBLIC SAFETY IS A HUGE PART OF THE BUDGET, BUT I THINK WE NEED TO MOVE, UH, TOWARDS MORE EQUITY ACROSS THOSE DEPARTMENTS BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, PUBLIC SAFETY DOES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED HOLISTICALLY.

I ALSO THINK WE HAVE TO LOOK AT BETTER FUNDING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, I ALSO DID A RIDE ALONG WITH POLICE OFFICERS, AND THEY SAID DOWNTOWN, SPECIFICALLY, 75% OF THEIR CASE, UH, CASES THEY WENT OUT TO ARE MENTAL HEALTH CRISES.

SO, IF WE WANT TO HAVE A SAFE SOCIETY AND HAVE, YOU KNOW, OUR SPECIALISTS RESPOND TO THE THINGS THAT THEY'RE SPECIALIZED TO DO, I THINK WE NEED MORE EQUITY ACROSS THE, UH, THE BUDGET OF OUR PUBLIC SERVICE DEPARTMENT SAFETY DEPARTMENTS.

CANDIDATE GUERRERO YESTERDAY HAD THE, UH, PRIVILEGE TO GO TO AN EMS POPUP TENT WHERE IT WAS PINK DAY.

THEY WERE SERVING, UH, HOMELESS WOMEN, AND THEY HAD, UH, FIVE OR SIX DIFFERENT PEOPLE OUT THERE TRYING TO CONNECT THEM WITH THE SERVICES NEEDED.

IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT WE NEED TO INCREASE THE BUDGET, NOT ONLY FOR EMS, BUT FOR POLICE AND THE FIRE.

AS I LOOKED AND SAW ALL THE AMAZING WORK THAT THEY WERE DOING AT THIS POPUP TENT YESTERDAY, I REALIZED JUST HOW MUCH WORK IS DONE.

WHEN I ASKED SEVERAL OF THEM, WHERE DO YOU DRIVE IN FROM? THEY WERE SAYING, SAN ANTONIO, WE HAVE SO MANY OF OUR FIRST RESPONDERS COMING FORWARD FROM LONG DISTANCES TO HELP US AND CREATE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT.

SO I WOULD APPROVE AND WANT MORE FUNDING FOR THEM, ESPECIALLY THE WAGE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE.

WAL.

I APPRECIATE THE QUESTION.

THANK YOU.

UM, BUT I, I DO FEEL LIKE IT'S REALLY, UM, THE, THE QUESTION REALLY NEEDS TO BE REFRAMED AS FAR AS WHETHER THE BUDGET'S ADEQUATE OR NOT.

I THINK REALLY THE KEY THING IS HOW WE'RE SPENDING THAT MONEY.

SO, AS ONE OF MY OPPONENTS HAD MENTIONED, CERTAINLY EMS NEEDS TO BE, TO HAVE MORE FUNDING, AND WE NEED TO RIGHT SIZE THE APPROACH.

SO SENDING THE RIGHT SORT OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE TO THE RIGHT SITUATION.

UM, IT'S, IT'S VERY MUCH TRUE THAT WE'RE SENDING, UH, ARMED OFFICERS TO MENTAL HEALTH SITUATIONS, AND THAT'S NOT, THAT'S THE, THAT CAN LEAD TO ESCALATION.

UM, BUT THE THING IS THAT THE ALREADY PUBLIC SAFETY ACCOUNTS FOR TWO THIRDS VERSUS BUDGET, EVERYTHING ELSE FITS INTO THAT ONE OTHER THIRD.

AND WE, PEOPLE TALK ABOUT DOUBLING OUR PUBLIC SAFETY BUDGET.

WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY FOR THAT.

SO REALLY WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS MAKE SURE THAT OUR POLICE ARE ABSOLUTELY BEING RESPECTED, THAT OUR FIREFIGHTERS BEING RESPECTED, EMS IS BEING RESPECTED, BUT THAT WE'RE RIGHT SIZING WHAT THE RESPONSE IS.

SO WE NEED TO RESOL TO GO FOR SOLUTIONS, UM, PREVENTATIVE SOLUTIONS INSTEAD OF JUST SIMPLY REACTING.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE OLSON.

RIGHT NOW, AS WE ALL KNOW BETTER, RIGHT NOW, AS WE ALL KNOW, THAT CRIME IS IN THIS SKYRA RISING RATE.

AND, UH, OUR, WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH POLICE OFFICERS, AND WE'RE NOT GONNA GET ENOUGH POLICE OFFICERS UNTIL WE CAN GUARANTEE WHAT THEY WILL BE MAKING NEXT YEAR, WHAT BENEFITS THEY'LL HAVE.

AND UNTIL THEN, WE'RE GONNA JUST HAVE TO TAKE WHATEVER WE GET.

UM, SO I, I DON'T KNOW IF THE NA ANSWER IS REALLY IN THE BUDGET AS MUCH AS IT IS MAYBE WORKING THROUGH THE CONTRACT AND TRYING TO SET A GIVEN SALARY AND BENEFITS SO WE CAN RECRUIT MORE AND THEN SEE WHAT WE CAN DO.

AND KIND OF LIKE EMS OR DIFFERENT THAN OPERATE DIFFERENTLY HERE THAN ANY OTHER CITY, THEY'RE CONSIDERED CIVIL SERVANTS AND FTE'S JUST LIKE ANOTHER CIVIL, UH, ANOTHER CITY EMPLOYEE.

SO ONCE WE HAVE ENOUGH, THAT'S ALL WE CAN GET.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

OUR NEXT TOPIC IS, UH, THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING BONDS.

UM, AND THIS FIRST QUESTION WILL BE FOR CANDIDATE SMITH.

UH, CITY COUNCIL ASKED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING BONDS IN THE PAST 55 MILLION IN, UH, 2006 $65 MILLION IN 2013 AND $250 MILLION.

IN 2018.

VOTERS ARE NOW BEING ASKED TO APPROVE 350 MILLION THIS NOVEMBER.

SUPPORTERS APPLAUD THE UNITS BUILT SO FAR AND LAMENT THAT IT IS NOT ENOUGH.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THIS GROUP, TO THE, TO THE SUPPORTERS? UM, I, YOU KNOW, I'M, I'M IN FAVOR OF HOUSING BOND, AND I, I CAN STAND IN FRONT OF THOSE SUPPORTERS AND, AND UNDERSTAND WHY THEY SUPPORT THAT POSITION.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I WANNA MAKE SURE IS DONE WITH THIS HOUSING BOND IS THAT ALL OF THE MONEY THAT IS APPROVED, ALL THE 350 MILLION GETS SPENT.

AND IT NEEDS TO, IT NEEDS TO MAKE, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WHEN WE PASS THESE TYPES OF BONDS AND WE SPEND THIS TYPE OF MONEY,

[00:25:01]

THAT IT IS AS EASY AS POSSIBLE TO GET THOSE AFFORDABLE UNITS ON THE GROUND AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE AND USE THE MOST AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WAS APPROVED.

AND SO, YOU KNOW, THE FEES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH SOME OF THIS STUFF, THEY JUST, IT HAS TO BE ELIMINATED.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU, UH, CANDIDATE SPEARMAN.

HELLO.

I AM A BIG PROPONENT OF THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING BOND.

I THINK THAT WE HAVE A GREAT TRACK RECORD FROM THE BOND IN 2013, AND ALSO THE BOND IN 2018 OF DEPLOYING THAT CAPITAL.

UM, TO ADDRESS SOME OF OUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING NEEDS, WE NEED TO CONTINUE THAT WORK.

THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING BOND IS, IS ONE OF THE, THE, THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE AT OUR DISPOSAL AS, AS A CITY TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES AROUND AFFORDABILITY.

I THINK WE NEED TO LOOK AT SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS WE CAN DO.

WE HAVE A LOT OF CITY OWNED LAND THAT WE'RE NOT FULLY LEVERAGING, UM, TO ADDRESS SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS AROUND AFFORDABILITY.

SO I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING WE SHOULD LOOK AT AS WELL.

UM, I'M REALLY PROUD TO BE INVESTED IN A PROJECT CALLED PROJECT TRANSITIONS THAT'S NEAR THE SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND, IN WHICH IT'S, WE TAPPED INTO SOME OF THOSE AFFORDABLE HOUSING BONDS, ALSO ACCESS SOME OF THE FEDERAL, UH, STATE FUNDING AND ALSO PRIVATE DONORS LIKE MYSELF CAME IN.

AND WE NEED TO GET MORE COLLABORATIVE WITH THOSE TYPES OF PROJECTS TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

WE BOTH FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND ALSO PEOPLE WHO NEED SERVICES, WRAPAROUND SERVICES ON SITE, AND SOMETHING LIKE PROJECT TRANSITIONS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED TO BE, UM, CELEBRATING AND, AND DOING MORE OF.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, UH, CANDIDATE MITCHELL.

YES, I ABSOLUTELY SUPPORT THE HOUSING BOND, THE PROPERTIES THAT THE CITY OF AUSTIN OWNS, WHERE I THINK WE COULD LEVERAGE THE BOND.

WE WOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE, THE DEVELOPMENT OF THOSE PROPERTIES.

UM, THOSE PROPERTIES, I BELIEVE THE HOUSING ON THOSE PROPERTIES NEED TO BE 75% AFFORDABLE.

RIGHT NOW, I THINK THE CITY OF AUSTIN IS, UM, NEGOTIATING WITH THE PROPERTY THAT AT ST.

JOHN'S AND IH 35, WHERE 25% OF THE DWELLINGS WOULD BE AFFORDABLE.

I, I DON'T THINK THAT'S ENOUGH.

I THINK IT NEEDS TO BE 75% AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

I ALSO HAVE A RENT TO OWN PROPOSAL FOR HIGH DENSITY LIVING, AND I THINK THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN TO GET INVOLVED IN PROVIDING HOME HOME OWNERSHIP IN APARTMENT OWNERSHIP WITH, WITH, WITH, WITH REGARDS TO APARTMENTS CANDIDATE CADRE.

UH, SORRY.

UM, SORRY, JUST TO, UM, CLARIFY, THE SECOND PART OF THE QUESTION WAS WHAT DO, WHAT DO YOU SAY TO FOLKS WHO SAY, WE CELINE MORE HOUSING? CORRECT, YES.

SUPPORTERS APPLAUD THE, THE UNITS BUILT SO FAR AND THEY LAMENT THAT IT IS NOT ENOUGH.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THIS GROUP? YEAH, SO I'M ALSO A BIG FAN OF THE HOUSING BOND.

UM, I WILL BE VOTING FOR IT, UM, HOPEFULLY DURING EARLY VOTE.

UM, BUT NO, I, I AGREE WITH THOSE SUPPORTERS.

I THINK IT'S BEEN SAID, UH, ON THIS DIAS ALREADY.

UM, THE AMOUNT OF FOLKS IN THE CITY WHO, WHO WANT TO BE IN THE CITY, WHO GIVE SO MUCH TO THE CITY, WHO AREN'T ABLE TO LIVE IN THE CITY, WHETHER IT BE FIRE, WHETHER IT BE EMS, YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, ANY SORT OF, UH, FOLKS WHO, WHO GIVE SO MUCH TO THE CITY, WHAT NOT ONLY ARE THEY UNDERSTAFFED, THEY'RE OVERWORKED.

AND THEN, YOU KNOW, I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO DO TWO RIDE-ALONGS WITH EMS. I CAME IN CONTACT WITH PROBABLY OVER 10 EMS UH, WORKERS.

NOT A SINGLE ONE LIVES IN AUSTIN.

AND THAT'S NOT BY CHOICE.

THAT'S BECAUSE THEY CAN'T, THEY'RE BEING PRICED OUT OF THIS CITY.

THAT'S ALSO COMES DOWN TO CITY WORKERS, UH, WHO WORK IN THIS BUILDING, UH, WHO, UH, YOU KNOW, I KNOW FOLKS WHO LIVE IN SAN ANTONIO, WHO LIVE IN MAYNOR, WHO LIVE IN BUTTA.

UH, WE, WE NEED TO DO RIGHT BY THESE FOLKS.

WE NEED TO DO RIGHT BY OUR TEACHERS.

UH, LOOKING AT, UH, COLLABORATIONS BETWEEN A I S D AND BUILDING HOUSING FOR TEACHERS AND, AND STAFF AT A S D, WE, WE'LL KEEP THOSE FOLKS IN THIS COMMUNITY.

UH, SO I THINK THAT THERE'S A LOT MORE THAT WE CAN DO BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE, ARE SUFFERING, AND IT, IT SHOULDN'T JUST BE SOMETHING THAT COMES ALONG WHEN IT'S AN ELECTION.

THANK YOU.

WE'RE GONNA STICK ON THIS TOPIC OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING BONDS, BUT, UM, UH, CANDIDATE GUERRERO, WE'RE GONNA TALK ABOUT THE OPPONENTS NOW, UH, OPPONENTS OF THIS UPCOMING BOND ELECTION, SAY THAT MORE DEBTS BURDEN HOMEOWNERS AND WANT THE CITY OF AUSTIN TO DECREASE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT FEES AND STREAMLINE THE COST OF PERMITTING, OF THE PERMITTING PROCESS TO ENABLE MORE HOUSING UNIT CONSTRUCTIONS.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THIS GROUP? THANK YOU.

I WOULD SAY THAT INDEED WE NEED TO REVAMP THE PERMITTING PROCESS.

WE HAVE GOT TO LOOK AT THAT, AND I WANT TO HEAD THAT UP WHERE WE CAN LOOK AT HOW WE CAN CHANGE THAT PERMITTING PROBLEMS THAT IS CAUSING SO MANY WOES RIGHT NOW.

I HEAR IT EVERYWHERE I GO FROM SOMEONE THAT'S TRYING TO JUST DO AN ADD-ON TO THEIR HOUSE, TO SOMEONE THAT'S DOING 20, 30 FEET OF BUILDING.

SO, YOU KNOW, THIS IS VERY SUBSTANTIAL, AND WE DO HAVE TO LOOK AT THIS AND SEE IF THERE'S A WAY WE CAN CHANGE IT.

ALSO, THOSE THAT ARE, UM, NOT IN FAVOR OF THIS, I WOULD SAY

[00:30:01]

THAT AUSTINITES HAVE ALWAYS STEPPED UP.

WE'VE ALWAYS COME TOGETHER TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY IN THIS CITY AND MAKE IT A BETTER CITY FOR EVERYONE.

THAT'S PART OF EQUITY.

THAT'S ACROSS THE BOARD OF BEING A HOLISTIC PERSON THAT CAN MAKE THIS CITY WHAT IT IS NOW WHERE WE EMBRACE AND WE COME FORWARD AND WE DO THE RIGHT THING.

THANK YOU.

THANKS, CANDIDATE WALLED.

IT'S LIKE YOU'VE READ IN MY MIND, I WAS GONNA SAY YES TO THE LAST QUESTION AND THEN ACTUALLY GIVE THE RESPONSE OF THIS OPPONENT QUESTION.

SO YES, I ABSOLUTELY SUPPORT THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING BONDS.

I ACTUALLY FOUNDED A NON CO-FOUNDED, A NON-PROFIT PEOPLE UNITED FOR MOBILITY ACTION, AND WE WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING $300 MILLION OF ANTI DISPLACEMENT FUNDING IN PROJECT CONNECT.

SO I ABSOLUTELY SUPPORT THOSE SUBSIDIES.

BUT THE, THE TRUTH IS THAT, UM, PEOPLE BEING UNHOUSED AND UNAFFORDABILITY IS BROADLY A FACTOR OF THE MARKET AND THE CITY, UM, RESTRICTING WHAT KIND OF HOUSING CAN BE BUILT.

UM, WE SEE THERE'S A BOOK ACTUALLY CALLED HOUSING IS OUR HOMELESSNESS IS A, IS A HOUSING PROBLEM.

UM, IT, IT DEMONSTRATES THE YEARS AND DECADES OF EVIDENCE THAT WHEN HOUSING COSTS MORE THAN 30% OF A PERSON'S INCOME, THEY'RE MORE LIKELY TO BECOME UNHOUSED.

THERE ARE TRIGGERS SUCH AS DRUG ADDICTION, MENTAL HEALTH, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE THAT CAUSE PEOPLE TO BECOME UNHOUSED.

BUT ULTIMATELY, WHEN PEOPLE IN THESE EXPENSIVE CITIES CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO WHERE BE WHERE THEY ARE, THEY, THEY BECOME UNHOUSED.

UM, AND SO THAT'S WHY WE NEED TO REALLY ATTACK BOTH OF THOSE THINGS, THE MARKET AND, AND MAKING SURE THERE'S MORE HOUSING OVERALL PLUS THE BONDS.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU.

UH, CANDIDATE OLSON.

THANK YOU.

YES.

I, I FIRST OF ALL DO BELIEVE THAT WE NEED TO STREAMLINE THE PERMITTING PROCESS.

WE HAVE THE MOST EXPENSIVE PERMITTING, PERMITTING AND THE MOST NUMEROUS IN, I KNOW, THE MOST EXPENSIVE IN THE COUNTRY FOR SURE NOW.

AND CITY OF DALLAS, FOR EXAMPLE, NOW HAS A PERMITTING PROCESS THAT'S DONE IN 30 DAYS OR LESS FOR ALL THINGS, AND THEY'RE TRYING TO WORK IT DOWN TO, TO TWO WEEKS.

AND SO, INCORPORATED WITH ALL THIS, YOU HAVE ALL THESE PERMITS.

WE HAVE THE MOST EXPENSIVE PERMITTING PROCESS, BUT YET WE CAN'T PAY OUR CITY, CITY EMPLOYEES.

I THINK IT'S TIME WE REALLY KIND OF OPEN THIS UP AND SEE WHERE OUR MONEY IS GOING.

IS IT REALLY GOING TO WHERE IT'S INTENDED? AND IF SO, WHY CAN'T THEY FUND THE, THE RESOURCES NEEDED TO PROCESS THE PERMITTING UNTIL I GET TO SEE WHAT'S ALL IN THE, THE BOND AND WHERE THE MONEY IS ACTUALLY GOING.

I, I DON'T APPROVE OR SUPPORT ANY KIND OF BIG PACKAGE.

IT'S LIKE, IT'S LIKE THOSE PEOPLE THAT GET LEG CONGRESSMEN THAT GET LEGISLATION AND ONLY READ THE FIRST FIRST PAGE OF A BILL AND JUST GO ALONG WITH SOMETHING.

I, I WANNA SEE THE DETAILS.

I NEED A FULL AUDIT AND I WANNA KNOW WHERE MY MONEY'S GOING.

THANK YOU.

READY? CANDIDATE LIFTER.

SO TO THE DETRACTORS OR OPPONENTS OF THIS, UM, I WOULD SAY, YOU KNOW, WE ARE IN A HOUSING CRISIS, AND IT'S NOT JUST MY OPINION.

I'VE KNOCKED ON OVER 5,000 DOORS IN THIS CAMPAIGN, TALKED TO HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE, AND NOT ONE PERSON HAS SAID THAT WE'RE NOT IN SOME SORT OF A HOUSING AND AFFORDABILITY CRISIS.

AND SO IF WE CAN AGREE ON THAT, THEN ONE PART OF THE TOOLKIT WE HAVE IS A HOUSING BOND, AND THAT'S TO ADDRESS THE DEEPEST AFFORDABILITY NECESSARY.

BUT TO THEIR POINT, WE ABSOLUTELY NEED TO STREAMLINE THE PERMITTING PROCESS.

WE ABSOLUTELY NEED TO MAKE COMMON SENSE LAND USE REFORMS SO THAT WE CAN GET THE MOST OUT OF THOSE BONDS, UM, AND GET THE MOST UNITS ON THE GROUND, AS WELL AS TO, YOU KNOW, EXPAND DENSITY BONUS PROGRAMS AND OTHER INCENTIVES FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO BUILD MIDDLE INCOME HOUSING BECAUSE WE NEED ALL OF IT.

UM, I ABSOLUTELY 100% SUPPORT THIS BOND, BUT ALONE, AND WITH THE CURRENT REGULATIONS AND PERMITTING AND FEES IN PLACE, WE'RE NOT GONNA GET NEARLY AS MUCH OUT OF IT AS WE COULD IF WE MAKE THOSE ADDITIONAL UPDATES ALONGSIDE IT.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

WE'LL START THIS ROUND CANDIDATE SPEARMAN, AND WE'RE GONNA TALK, GUYS, WE'RE GONNA TALK ABOUT I 35.

ALL RIGHT.

IF WE WANTED TO ENHANCE EAST WEST CONNECTIVITY AND NON VEHICLE MOBILITY AND ADDRESS THE HISTORY OF SEGREGATION BETWEEN THE EAST SIDE AND THE WEST SIDE THAT I 35 HAS HISTORICALLY REPRESENTED IN AUSTIN, WE COULD CAP AREAS AROUND UT AND CENTRAL DOWNTOWN AS PROPOSED BY CIVIL ENGINEERING FIRMS, THE DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE IN OTHER GROUPS.

WOULD YOU SUPPORT FUNDING THE CAPS, SINCE IT'S NOT IN TECH DOTS BUDGET? WHY OR WHY NOT? CANDIDATE SPEARMAN, THANK YOU.

I HAVE STATED NUMEROUS TIMES THAT I OPPOSE THE EXPANSION OF I 35.

THE QUESTION IS ON THE CAP BECAUSE IT'S, I, I UNDERSTAND.

UM, AND, AND I, I, I START THERE BECAUSE I THINK IT'S FUNDAMENTALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE ADDRESS THE INEQUITIES THAT I 35 HAS IMPOSED ON THIS COMMUNITY FOR DECADES.

I 35 HAS, HAS DIVIDED OUR

[00:35:01]

CITY ALONG RACIAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC LINES.

AND SO I BELIEVE THAT SUPPORTING THE, THE CAP AND STITCH PROGRAM, I, I DO, UH, SUPPORT THE, THE NOTION OF THAT CREATING MORE CONNECTIVITY IN OUR COMMUNITY AND MORE EASTWEST CONNECTIVITY ESPECIALLY.

UM, BUT IN TERMS OF ASSIGNING ADDITIONAL DOLLARS IN VALUE TO I 35, IT REALLY DEPENDS ON IF THE STATE IS ABLE TO LISTEN TO MORE LOCAL INPUT.

RIGHT NOW, IT, IT REALLY SEEMS LIKE THEY'RE NOT, UH, ABSORBING AND, AND LISTENING TO THE LOCAL INPUT AS MUCH AS THEY SHOULD.

AND UNTIL THAT'S DONE, I, I'M REALLY WORRIED THAT I 35 IS GONNA CONTINUE TO BE, BE THIS STAIN ON OUR COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE MITCHELL? YES, I LIKE THE IDEA THAT THE CAPS WOULD ERASE THE DIVISIONS OF OUR CITY, BUT I WOULD NOT SUPPORT ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR THE CAP AND STITCH PROGRAM FOR IH 35.

WE'VE INVESTED HEAVILY IN PROJECT CONNECT, AND I DON'T THINK I CAN SUPPORT MORE MONEY GOING TOWARDS, UM, ROADWAYS FOR SINGLE VEHICULAR TRAFFIC.

IT'S LIKE, IF WE'RE GONNA GO ONE WAY, WE HAVE TO, WE HAVE TO, WE HAVE TO BE ALL IN.

SO, UM, I KIND OF AGREE WITH JOAH.

UM, I LIKE THE IDEA OF IT, BUT, UH, I WOULD NOT SUPPORT THE FUNDS TO EXPAND IH 35.

ALL RIGHT.

CANDIDATE CADRE.

YEAH.

UM, YEAH, I'M GONNA, I'M GONNA GO OFF OF WHAT BOTH OF MY, MY COLLEAGUES TO THE, MY RIGHT AND LEFT HAVE SAID.

UM, YOU KNOW, AND, AND, YOU KNOW, WOULD I SUPPORT THE CAP AND STITCH? YES.

BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE EXPANSION OF I 35 WILL DISPLACE, UH, SO MANY INDIVIDUALS, SO MANY BUSINESSES, IT'LL FURTHER SEGREGATE THE CITY.

UH, SO, YOU KNOW, WHILE, YOU KNOW, A CAP AND STITCH MIGHT BE A COMPROMISE OF SHORTS, IT DOESN'T SOLVE ANYTHING.

THE SUFFERING WOULD STILL CONTINUE AND IT, AND IT DOESN'T BENEFIT THE FOLKS AT, YOU KNOW, THE I 35 EXPANSION IN ITSELF WILL BE, YOU KNOW, WILL BE PUSHING OUT OF THE CITY.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE SMITH, A HUNDRED PERCENT, UH, AM IN FAVOR OF THE CAP AND STITCH PROGRAM, AS WELL AS, UH, THE ADDITIONAL FUNDS THAT WILL BE NEEDED TO, UH, UM, PRODUCE SAFE AND SLOW, UH, ACCESS ROADS BIKEABLE WALKABLE ACROSS, UH, THE OVERPASS, UH, PRODUCES FOUND LAND THAT THE CITY CAN, CAN TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF AND ELIMINATES THE BARRIER THAT YOU SPEAK OF.

AND SO, I'M A, UH, A HUNDRED PERCENT IN FAVOR OF, OF THE CAPS STITCH PROGRAM, UH, WITH THE DOWNTOWN AUSTIN ALLIANCE.

ALL RIGHT, WE'RE GOING TO, AND THE, WE'RE GOING TO USE THE SAME QUESTION, OKAY.

FOR YOU ALL, AND WE'LL START WITH CANDIDATE WALLED.

AND THE QUESTION IS, IT'S THAT 35 IS BEING, THE PROPOSALS ARE THERE, IT'S BEING, IT'S BEING FUNDED.

SO THE QUESTION IS, IS WOULD YOU SUPPORT FUNDING THE CAPS, SINCE IT'S NOT IN TECHS DOTS BUDGET? WHY OR WHY NOT? IT'S A CHALLENGING QUESTION CUZ THERE'S A FEW PREMISES.

AND BEFORE WE CAN EVEN ASK THAT QUESTION OF WHETHER WE WANNA SPEND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, SO, LIKE MY OTHER CANDIDATES HERE, I DO NOT SUPPORT THE EXPANSION OF THE HIGHWAY.

IT'S A MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR PROJECT THAT EVEN TEXT DOT ADMITS WILL NOT, IT'LL RESULT IN LONGER TRAVEL TIMES FOR MOST PEOPLE WHO USE IT.

IT'S, THAT'S A WASTE OF MONEY.

THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THEN SHOULD WE GO FORWARD WITH THAT PROJECT AND SPEND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON IT.

I'VE BEEN WORKING FOR EIGHT YEARS WITH RECONNECT AUSTIN TO GET A PROJECT THAT GOES FORWARD THAT ACTUALLY CREATES ECONOMIC VALUE SO THAT WE CAN PAY FOR THOSE CAPS.

TECH AND OTHER LEADERS HAVE PUSHED BACK AGAINST THAT.

CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS HAVE DONE NOTHING ON IT FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS SINCE CHRIS RILEY WAS ON CITY COUNCIL ASKING IF NOW WE'RE GONNA SPEND $800 BILLION LOCALLY JUST TO CREATE CAPS.

IT'S A REAL TOUGH TALL ORDER UNLESS WE CAN CREATE SOME ECONOMIC VALUE TO COVER THAT COST.

I CAN'T SEE TAKING THAT MONEY AWAY FROM OUR PARKS, FROM OUR OTHER, OTHER ESSENTIAL SERVICES IN THE CITY.

THANK, THANK YOU CANDIDATE OLSON.

I AGREE THAT AS , I'LL GET IT ONE OF THESE TIMES.

I I AGREE THAT IT'S A COMPLICATED ISSUE, BUT I'M STARTING TO SOUND LIKE A BROKEN RECORD.

I DON'T WANNA FUND ANY MORE OF THESE PROJECTS UNTIL WE GET FULL AUDIT AND A FULL TRANSPARENCY.

WE'VE GOT TO HAVE TRUST BUILT BACK IN THIS GOVERNMENT, THE CITY GOVERNMENT AMONGST THE PEOPLE.

I MEAN, WE NEED TRANSPARENCY NOW AND WE NEED IT MOVING FORWARD, ESPECIALLY WITH THE ENERGY RATE INCREASE.

WE NEED TRANSPARENCY THERE AS WELL, JUST TO, I THINK IF THERE'S ACTUALLY A PROOF IN THE PUDDING THAT THIS MONEY IS NEEDED, I THINK IT WOULD JUST MAKE A LOT OF PEOPLE FEEL A LOT BETTER ANYWAY.

SO AGAIN, FULL TRANSPARENCY.

THANK YOU.

[00:40:01]

THANK YOU CANDIDATE LEFFLER.

UM, AS MANY HAVE ALREADY SAID, UM, I ALSO, UH, OPPOSE EXPANDING I 35.

UH, AS A CHERRY WOULD RESONATE, YOU KNOW, THIS, UH, PROPOSED EXPANSION PARTICULARLY WOULD IMPACT OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

IT WOULD TAKE OUT ALL THE BUSINESSES, UM, ALONG FROM 32ND TO 38TH AND A HALF, INCLUDING OUR SON'S DAYCARE CENTER AND DISPLACE FAMILIES.

AND AS WELL AS I THINK IT'S 40 SOME ODD BUSINESSES, UM, AT A TIME WHEN WE KNOW THAT IT'S NOT GONNA, WE CAN'T OUT BUILD CONGESTION AND WE WOULD ONLY EXACERBATE, UM, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS.

THAT BEING SAID, IF TECH DOT DECIDES TO PLOW FORWARD, UH, WE DO HAVE LIMITED OPTIONS AT THIS TIME, AND WE'LL FIND OUT WITH THEIR NEXT ITERATION OF PLANS OF WHERE WE'RE AT.

UM, I DON'T KNOW THAT OUR COMMUNITY WITHOUT KNOWING THE DOLLAR AMOUNTS WILL AGREE TO FUND THOSE THINGS, BUT I THINK IT, IF THEY DO, UH, DECIDE THE WIDEN THE ROAD, THEN WE HAVE TO EXPLORE, YOU KNOW, FEDERAL GRANTS, PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERSHIPS.

DALLAS, UH, COVERED A ROAD WITH PARTIALLY, UH, PRIVATE SECTOR DOLLARS.

THE LAST THING WE NEED IS A 20 LANE WIDE GASH THROUGH THE CENTER OF AUSTIN WITHOUT A CAP ON IT.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE GURE.

UM, I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS THE CAP AND STITCH QUESTION.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK COULD BE POSITIVE FROM THE CAPS DITCH IS THAT WE COULD CREATE SOME MORE ADDITIONAL GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE.

EAST AUSTIN HAS A SCARCITY AND A DEFICIT OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE.

THIS COULD BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HEAL SOME OF THE WOUNDS.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, THAT I KNOW THAT THE CITY OF AUSTIN HAS ALREADY STARTED A STAKEHOLDER PROCESS FOR CAP AND STITCH AND IS BRINGING THAT FORWARD.

WE'RE AT THE CRUX OF WHERE WE ARE NEEDING TO MAKE SOME GREAT DECISIONS ABOUT DO WE BUILD SOMETHING THAT'S SUSTAINABLE? DO WE MAKE OUT RIGHT THE WRONGS? AND WILL CAPS STITCH MOVE FORWARD TO HELP THIS CITY HEAL FROM THE WOUNDEDNESS? AGAIN, WHEN I TALKED TO TEXT DOC, THEY SAID EACH CAPS STITCH WOULD BE BETWEEN SEVEN AND 8 MILLION.

WE'LL HAVE TO SEE HOW WE CAN COME FORWARD WITH THE FUNDING.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

WE ARE GONNA START THIS NEXT, UH, ROUND OF QUESTIONS WITH, UH, CANDIDATE MITCHELL.

THE TOPIC IS LAND DEVELOPMENT RULES AND THE IMPACT ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

ONE SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPER OF AFFORDABLE RENTAL UNITS IN AUSTIN AND ELSEWHERE IN TEXAS TOLD US THAT WHEN THEY PROPOSE URBAN INFILL PROJECTS, THEY OFTEN FACE COMMUNITY FEARS OF DENSITY AND TRAFFIC, YET BUILDING OUTSIDE THE URBAN CORE RESULTS IN SPRAWL, IT STRAINS RESOURCES AND IT CONTRIBUTES TO OUR TRAFFIC CONGESTION.

HOW DO YOU PROPOSE TO RESOLVE THE CONFLICTS PRESENTED BY THESE DEVELOPMENT CHA? CHALLENGES IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS? WILL PROJECT CONNECT HAVE AN IMPACT? AYE.

YAY.

YAY.

UM, ONE MINUTE.

YOU HAVE ONE MINUTE.

THAT'S A LOADED QUESTION.

UM, RIGHT.

THE CODE RIGHT NOW, IF THERE IS THAT KIND OF CHANGE IN DENSITY IN A NEIGHBORHOOD, NEIGHBORHOODS CAN VOICE THEIR DISAGREEMENT WITH THAT BUILD OUT.

SO I DO THINK THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED.

UNFORTUNATELY, THERE'S BEEN TOO MANY NEIGHBORHOODS THAT VOTE OUT THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS BECAUSE OF HOW IT'S GONNA AFFECT THEM.

UM, AND AS FAR AS PROJECT CONNECT AND HOW THE DENSITY GENERALLY GROWS ALONG TRANSIT LINES, UM, I THINK WE ARE GONNA HAVE TO PROVIDE FOR THAT.

I THINK THAT'S GONNA BE, THAT'S GONNA BE PART OF IT.

SO, UM, I THINK WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO TALK TO NEIGHBORS AND MAKE THEM SEE THAT IT CAN'T BE, WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO ADDRESS THE NOT IN MY BACKYARD PART CANDIDATE CADRE.

YEAH, I'M SORRY.

DO YOU MIND REPEATING IT ONE MORE TIME? SINCE IT WAS PRETTY, UH, ONE SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPER OF AFFORDABLE RENTAL UNITS IN AUSTIN AND ELSEWHERE IN TEXAS TOLD US THAT WHEN THEY PROPOSE URBAN INFIELD PROJECTS, THEY OFTEN FACE COMMUNITY FEARS OF DENSITY AND TRAFFIC BUILDING OUTSIDE THE URBAN CORE RESULTS IN SPRAWL, IT STRAINS RESOURCES AND CONTRIBUTES TO A TRAFFIC CONGESTION.

HOW DO YOU PROPOSE TO RESOLVE THE CONFLICTS PRESENTED BY THESE DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS? WILL PROJECT CONNECT HAVE AN IMPACT? YEAH, I MEAN, I THINK FIRST WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE FACTS.

THE FACTS ARE THE, OUR LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE HASN'T BEEN UPDATED SINCE 1984.

UM, WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE FACT THAT THE LACK OF, UH, UPDATING THAT HAS AFFECTED, UH, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF, OF FOLKS WHO CALL THIS CITY HOME AND HAVE PUSHED OUT A LOT OF FOLKS IN THIS COMMUNITY.

UH, THERE'S THINGS THAT WE CAN DO IN THE INTERIM BEFORE UPDATING THAT LINE DEVELOPMENT CODE, WHICH IS, UH, YOU KNOW, GOING OFF OF THE, UH, VMU TWO AND AFFORDABLY AFFORDABILITY UNLOCK PROGRAMS, UH, TO GO

[00:45:01]

OFF OF, UH, YOU KNOW, BUILDING, UM, UM, ADUS IN THE CITY AND ALSO EXPEDITING THE PERMITTING PROCESS.

UH, BUT ULTIMATELY I THINK, YOU KNOW, THE CONFLICT THAT OFTEN OCCURS BETWEEN, UH, STAKEHOLDERS IN THIS COMMUNITY OCCURS BECAUSE OF A LACK OF COMMUNICATION AND A LACK OF TRUST.

SO I THINK CONVERSATIONS NEED TO NEED TO BE, HAVE, AND AT TIMES THERE'S VILLAINIZATION OF, OF THE OTHER SIDE.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I DON'T THINK IN ANYTHING I'VE DONE, WHETHER WORKING, UH, AT THE STATE CAPITAL OR OR WORKING IN OTHER CITY GOVERNMENTS HAS EVER BEEN BENEFICIAL TO, UH, GETTING TO A SOLUTION.

UH, I DO THINK, OH, SORRY, STOP.

YOU KNOW, PROJECT CONNECT IS GONNA PROVIDE US AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD DENSITY ON CORRIDORS.

AND YES, THERE'S GONNA BE NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE GOING TO, UH, OPPOSE ALL OF IT.

THOSE ARE THE SAME FOLKS THAT OPPOSE EVERYTHING.

AND THE, THE ANSWER TO THEM MIGHT SOUND A LITTLE BIT SHOCKING TO THOSE THAT ARE IN THE AUDIENCE AND THAT ARE LISTENING ONLINE.

IT'S TOO BAD.

WE'RE IN A, WE'RE IN A CRISIS SITUATION.

AND MUCH LIKE WHAT BEN SAID, WHEN WE ALL KNOCK ON DOORS, THE THOUSANDS OF DOORS THAT ARE REPRESENTED WITH THE FOLKS THAT ARE UP HERE, THEY ALL TALK ABOUT AFFORDABILITY.

AND SO IF, IF THAT'S THE CASE, WE HAVE TO HAVE COMPROMISE FROM EVERYBODY TO SOLVE, SOLVE THE ISSUE.

AND, UM, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO DO THIS AND WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE GET IT DONE.

CANDIDATE ORMAN, SO OFTEN WHEN WE TALK ABOUT LAND DEVELOPMENT IN, IN, IN OUR CITY, WE, WE IMMEDIATELY TALK ABOUT REAL ESTATE.

WE TALK ABOUT PREFERENCES, WE TALK ABOUT SINGLE FAMILY HOMES, WE TALK ABOUT DENSITY AND HIGH RISES AND MULTI-FAMILY.

TOO OFTEN WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE VERY PEOPLE THAT THIS CODE IS SHOULD BE OPTIMIZED FOR.

SO WE NEED TO BE THINKING ABOUT THESE, THESE ISSUES, ESPECIALLY AT THE NEIGHBORHOOD LEVEL.

WE NEED TO BE THINKING ABOUT THE, THE IMPACT THAT IT'S HAD ALREADY, AND IT'S GONNA CONTINUE TO HAVE ON OUR ESSENTIAL WORKERS, OUR TEACHERS AND NURSES, OUR PARAMEDICS AND FIREFIGHTERS, OUR ARTIST AND MUSICIANS, PEOPLE WHO NEED TO LIVE IN THESE COMMUNITIES AND FILL AFFORDABILITY AND NOT BE BURDENED WITH HOUSING COSTS.

AND SO FOR ME, THE WAY THAT I THINK TO, TO CUT THROUGH THAT CONVERSATION AROUND LAND DEVELOPMENT UPDATES IS TO REALLY CENTER THE CONVERSATION AROUND THE PEOPLE THAT WE'RE OPTIMIZING FOR, WHICH IS EVERYONE IN THIS COMMUNITY FOR TOO LONG, WE'VE HAD EXCLUSIONARY ZONING AND POLICIES THAT HAVE KEPT THOSE PEOPLE OUT OF THESE NEIGHBORHOODS AND KEPT PEOPLE, UM, FROM UNABLE TO ACCESS AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

SO THAT'S SOMETHING THAT I REALLY WANNA WORK ON.

THANK YOU.

UM, WE'RE GONNA STICK ON THIS SAME TOPIC OF LAND DEVELOPMENT RULES AND THE IMPACT ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

WE HAVE A DIFFERENT QUESTION FOR THE NEXT FOUR CANDIDATES.

UH, CAN, AND WE'LL BEGIN WITH CANDIDATE OLSON.

THE CITY'S STRATEGIC HOUSING BLUEPRINT, WHICH CAROL IS HOLDING UP HERE, CALLS FOR 60,000 NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS TO BE BUILT ACROSS THE CITY BY 2028, INCLUDING OVER 3,600 UNITS IN DISTRICT NINE.

ONLY 25% OF THIS GOAL HAS BEEN COMPLETED.

PLEASE TELL US WHAT, IF ANYTHING, YOU WILL CHANGE TO ENSURE THAT ENOUGH AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS A, IS BUILT IN ALL THE COUNCIL DISTRICTS.

AGAIN, I THINK WE, WE NEED TO START WITH THE MENTAL HEALTH AND, AND GETTING MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES TO, TO, UM, TAKE THE, TAKE SOME OF THE BURDEN OFF OF, I I'M GOING A LITTLE OFF SUBJECT THERE.

SO I'M COMING BACK AROUND TO THE, THE EXPANSION OF THE AFFORDABLE APARTMENT UNITS.

I THINK, AGAIN, WE HAVE THOSE SITTING HOTELS THAT ARE JUST SITTING THERE, THEY'RE NOT DOING ANYTHING THAT WE PAID ALL THIS MONEY FOR.

WHY CAN'T WE GET THOSE INTO ACTION? I'VE GONE ON THE WEBSITE AND YOU ALSO SEE A LOT OF AVAILABLE PLACES THAT ARE JUST OPEN THAT HAVE ALREADY CREATED AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

I, I WOULD LIKE TO AGAIN, SEE A FULL AUDIT OF, OF HOW THIS IS WORKING, AND AT THE SAME TIME, I KNOW I'M ALMOST OUTTA TIME, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, IF YOU KEEP RAISING OUR PERMIT FEES TO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE ALREADY THERE, YOU'RE JUST CREATING SOME SORT OF DUST SPIRAL WHERE YOU'RE PRICING ONE OUT TO PUT ANOTHER IN.

AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S GONNA BE A SUSTAINABLE LONG TERM PROGRAM.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE LIFTER.

SO YEAH, WE NEED TO BUILD A LOT MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND DISTRICT NINE IS A GREAT PLACE TO DO THAT BECAUSE WE ARE THE CENTRAL AUSTIN DISTRICT AND WE HAVE THE BEST ACCESS TO TRANSIT AND, UM, AS PROJECT CONNECT, UH, SPECIFICALLY THE ORANGE LINE IS PUT DOWN THE CENTER OF TOWN AND OUR DISTRICT, THIS CREATES AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY.

UM, WE DO NEED TO UPDATE OUR LAND USE CODE, UH, AS WELL AS OUR INCENTIVES TO, TO DEVELOP, UH, MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

UM, THAT MEANS THAT ALONG CORRIDORS WE NEED TO ADDRESS COMPATIBILITY.

UM, YOU KNOW, I, I UNDERSTAND THAT THESE ARE HARD, THAT THIS IS HARD AND PEOPLE ARE EMOTIONAL ABOUT,

[00:50:01]

YOU KNOW, THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS AND THEY SHOULD BE BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBORHOODS IN DISTRICT NINE, BUT IN MY EXPERIENCE, IF YOU GO OUT AND YOU HAVE A CONVERSATION AND YOU DO A COLLABORATIVE PUBLIC INPUT PROCESS, WE CAN AGREE THAT THE STATUS QUO ISN'T WORKING AND WE'RE PRICING AT OUR NEIGHBORS.

AND THAT CREATES A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE UPDATES TO WHERE, YOU KNOW, WE CAN'T BUILD THE THINGS THAT ARE IN HYDE PARK RIGHT NOW.

WE CAN'T BUILD THE THINGS THAT ARE IN GOLDEN CREEK RIGHT NOW.

THERE'S HOUSING DIVERSITY IN THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS, AND THAT CREATES INCOME DIVERSITY AND RACIAL DIVERSITY AND THINGS THAT WE WANT TO HAVE IN AUSTIN.

SO I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES.

CANDIDATE GUERRERO, WITHOUT A SUBSIDIZED APPROACH, DENSITY DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY EQUATE TO AFFORDABILITY.

SO ONE THING WE HAVE TO LOOK AT WHEN WE'RE CREATING NEW HOUSING IS TO SUBSIDIZE THAT WE NEED TO LOWER THE MFI SO THAT PEOPLE WHO REALLY NEED IT, TEACHERS FIREMENS, THE EVERYONE THAT'S STRUGGLING CAN BE IN THOSE HOUSINGS AS THEY'RE BUILT.

I WORKED ON THE UNO OVERLAND PLAN WITH MY NEIGHBORHOOD, AND WE WERE ABLE TO GET THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS INTO THE UNO PLAN.

ALSO, I THINK THAT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT EXISTING COMMERCIAL PLACES ARE ABLE TO HAVE ENTITLEMENTS SO THAT THEY CAN GO UP HIGHER AND MORE SO THAT WE CAN LOOK AT THAT AND SAY, THIS IS AN AREA, THIS WOULD BE GREAT.

LET'S GIVE THEM WHAT THEY NEED, WHICH IS ENTITLEMENTS.

MY NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN HAS ALREADY SEEN AREAS THAT WE FEEL DENSITY WILL REALLY WORK FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

THANK YOU.

AND CANDIDATE WALD.

MS. ACTION.

MS. JACKSON, COULD YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION? YES.

UH, THE CITY'S STRATEGIC HOUSING BLUEPRINT CALLS FOR 60,000 NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS TO BE BUILT ACROSS THE CITY BY 2028, INCLUDING OVER 3,600 UNITS IN DISTRICT NINE.

ONLY 25% OF THIS GOAL HAS BEEN COMPLETED.

PLEASE TELL US WHAT, IF ANYTHING, YOU WILL CHANGE TO ENSURE THAT ENOUGH AFFORDABLE HOUSING IS BUILT IN ALL COUNCIL DISTRICTS.

THAT'S TERRIFIC.

I MEAN, AND THIS IS, I THINK, THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE, AND I THINK SOMETHING THAT WE'VE BEEN MISSING ON COUNCIL FOR THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS, LOT'S BEEN GOING ON, SO I THINK IT'S BEEN TOUGH, BUT REALLY WE NEED LEADERSHIP ON THIS.

MY MANTRA DURING THE CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN TO ENSURE THAT WE BUILD ENOUGH HOUSING ACROSS ALL INCOME LEVELS, INCLUDING INCOME RESTRICTED HOUSING AND SUBSIDIZED HOUSING.

THE SPECIFIC SOLUTIONS ARE, ARE MANY, AND I THINK THE ONES THAT WE NEED TO START ON IMMEDIATELY IN 2023 ARE EXPANDING AFFORDABILITY UNLOCK.

THAT ALWAYS INCLUDES INCOME RESTRICTED UNITS AT THIR, AT 60% MFI, AND WE CAN ADD IN 30% MFI AS WELL.

SO PEOPLE WHO ARE, YOU KNOW, SERVICE INDUSTRY WORKERS, TEACHERS, EMS, UM, AND ON.

UM, IN ADDITION, SOMETHING THAT HAS PROVEN VERY SUCCESSFUL IN MY HOMETOWN IN MINNEAPOLIS IS, UH, ELIMINATING CAR PARKING REQUIREMENTS.

CAR PARKING COSTS A LOT.

IT COSTS A HUGE FRACTION OF THE COST FOR BUILDING HOUSING, PLUS IT TAKES UP SPACE THAT COULD GO TO HOUSING.

SO ELIMINATING CAR PARKING REQUIREMENTS TO GO A LONG WAY TOWARD ALLOWING LOWER, UH, INCOME HOUSING.

AND THEN IN ADDITION, THERE'S A LOT OF PUBLIC LAND THAT THE CITY'S BEEN SITTING ON, AND IT CAN DEVELOP UNITS IMMEDIATELY ON THAT LAND AS WELL.

WELL, AS MUCH AS WE WOULD LOVE TO CONTINUE THIS DISCUSSION FOR ANOTHER THREE HOURS, THE UH, TECH TEAM HAS GIVEN US AN HOUR, AND WE ARE, WE ARE UP WITH THAT HOUR.

AND IT IS TIME FOR YOUR ONE MINUTE CLOSING STATEMENTS, AND WE'D LOVE FOR YOU TO HEAR WHY WE SHOULD VOTE FOR YOU, UH, IN YOUR ONE MINUTE.

AND IN THIS CLOSING, WE WILL BEGIN WITH, UH, CANDIDATE CADRE.

CAN'T BELIEVE AN HOUR'S ALREADY UP.

UM, YEAH.

I WANT TO THANK Y'ALL FOR, FOR HOSTING THIS EVENT.

AGAIN, MY NAME IS AHAB OGA.

UH, I HOPE TURN, EARN Y'ALL'S VOTE, UH, COME OCTOBER 24TH.

IF YOU DON'T VOTE OCTOBER 24TH, YOU HAVE UNTIL NOVEMBER 4TH OR ELECTION TO END NOVEMBER 8TH.

UH, YOU KNOW, I'M, I'M SO THANKFUL TO, TO BE IN THIS POSITION.

UH, YOU KNOW, BEING THE FIRST SOUTH ASIAN, FIRST MUSLIM, YOU KNOW, TO HOPEFULLY BE ON THE DIAS, UH, MEAN SO MUCH REPRESENTATION FOR MY COMMUNITY AND TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE, BUT TO ALSO UPLIFT OTHER FOLKS IN THIS COMMUNITY WHO HAVE, WHO HAVE GIVEN US SO MUCH, UH, AND WHO ALSO DESERVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE.

UH, WE'RE A CAMPAIGN THAT, UH, HAS A BROAD LEVEL OF SUPPORT.

UH, WE HAVE THE MOST INDIVIDUAL DONORS, INDIVIDUAL DONATIONS AND SMALLEST AVERAGE CONTRIBUTION SIZE, UH, OUT OF ANYONE IN THE RACE.

WE'VE BEEN, UH, ENDORSED BY FOLKS IN THE, IN THE UNION LABOR COMMUNITY WITH I B W AND WORKERS' DEFENSE ACTION FUND.

WE'VE BEEN ENDORSED BY STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS, UH, UNIVERSITY DEMOCRATS.

WE'VE BEEN SUPPORTED BY ELECTED OFFICIALS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS.

UH, WE HAVE THE, UH, THE MOVEMENT TO, TO WIN THIS THING, UH, BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S NOT MONEY THAT WILL WIN THIS ELECTION.

UH, IT IS, IT IS PEOPLE, AND WE HAVE THE PEOPLE BEHIND US.

SO I HOPE TO EARN Y'ALL'S VOTE.

UH, CHECK OUT SO FOR AUSTIN.COM, AND IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, UH, I'M MORE THAN HAPPY TO ANSWER IT AFTER THIS.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE SMITH.

YOU KNOW, THE CITIZENS OF AUSTIN AND DISTRICT NINE HAVE A REAL OPPORTUNITY TO, UM, MAKE A STATEMENT AND,

[00:55:01]

AND, UH, VOTE IN A, A REAL LEADER.

AND, UH, I'D LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE EVERYBODY THAT'S HERE TONIGHT.

THIS HAS BEEN A, A WONDERFUL PROCESS FOR ME PERSONALLY.

I'VE LEARNED FROM EVERYBODY.

UH, I, I CERTAINLY WANT YOU TO VOTE FOR ME, BUT I, IF, IF FOR SOME REASON YOU CHOOSE NOT TO DO THAT, PLEASE DO VOTE BECAUSE DISTRICT NINE IS A, A, THE HEARTBEAT IN MY ESTIMATION, UH, OF THE CITY.

AND WE HAVE, UH, A LOT OF DIFFERENT OPTIONS THAT ARE UP HERE TONIGHT.

I'M HONORED TO BE HERE AND I HOPE TO EARN YOUR BOAT.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE SPEARMAN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HOSTING US.

PEOPLE IN DISTRICT NINE KNOW THAT WHAT THEY NEED IN THIS SEAT IS A PROBLEM SOLVER.

WE'VE HAD ENOUGH PEOPLE IN THIS CITY DIAGNOSING THE PROBLEMS, BUT WE NEED NOW TO SOLUTIONS.

IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THE COUNCIL MEMBER ALONE IS GOING TO COME UP WITH ALL THE SOLUTIONS, AND THAT'S WHERE MY SKILL SET MY BACKGROUND, LISTENING TO COMMUNITIES, COLLABORATING, THOSE ARE IMPORTANT SKILLS AND ATTRIBUTES THAT WE NEED IN THIS SEAT.

MY TRACK RECORD AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, AS SOMEONE WHO SERVED THE COMMUNITY ON NONPROFIT BOARDS, AS SERVING ON CITY COMMISSIONS, IT'S, IT'S REALLY RELEVANT.

AND I THINK THAT'S WHY I HAVE THE SUPPORT OF PEOPLE LIKE COLIN WALLACE, THE CEO OF THE PARKS FOUNDATION, PAUL SCOTT, THE CEO OF HEALTH ALLIANCE FOR OSCAR MUSICIANS.

KEVIN MICHAEL FOSTER, WHO'S ON THE A I S D SCHOOL BOARD.

I, I HAVE A VERY, A VERY BROAD COALITION OF SUPPORTERS, AND IT'S BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT IN ME, THEY HAVE SOMEONE WHO WILL LISTEN.

THEY HAVE SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO COLLABORATE, AND THEY HAVE SOMEONE WHO'S GONNA BE A PROBLEM SOLVER.

AND THOSE ARE REALLY IMPORTANT SKILLS THAT WE NEED IN DISTRICT NINE.