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[00:00:03]

EVENING.

HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S MAYORAL CANDIDATE FORUM.

I AM CAROL EEL CAMP WITH THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS, AUSTIN AREA.

OUR LEAGUE PARTNERS WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S ETHIC REVIEW COMMISSION TO HELP THE VOTERS GET TO KNOW THE CANDIDATES VYING FOR THEIR VOTE.

OUR PURPOSE IS TO ASK QUESTIONS THAT ALLOW THE VOTER TO APPRECIATE THE DIVERSITY OF OPINIONS.

WE WISH WE HAD MORE THAN ONE MINUTE TO HEAR YOUR ANSWERS, BUT I'LL ASK.

WE DON'T.

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

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

THESE CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR ARE EXAMPLES OF THE GOOD THINGS IN OUR DEMOCRACY.

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

OUR CORRECT QUESTIONS ARE CREATED WITH INPUT FROM COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS, GOVERNMENT ENTITIES, AND THE PUBLIC.

NO ONE HAS SEEN THESE QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE.

THESE FORUMS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE CITY OF AUSTIN, ATX N NETWORK IN THE ARCHIVES.

ALONGSIDE ALL THE RECORDINGS OF OUR CITY COUNCIL AND COMMISSION MEETINGS, THE CANDIDATES TONIGHT WILL HAVE TWO MINUTES FOR AN OPENING STATEMENT.

YOU'LL HAVE ONE MINUTE FOR CLOSING STATEMENTS AND BE GIVEN TWO MINUTES TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.

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

WHEN YOU SEE THE RED STOP CARD, PLEASE WRAP UP YOUR THOUGHT WITH A SENTENCE OR TWO, NOT A PARAGRAPH OR FOUR.

WHEN YOU, WE ASK THE CANDIDATES, PLEASE REFRAIN FROM ANY PERSONAL ATTACKS ON THEIR OPPONENTS, AND ASK OUR LIVE AUDIENCE ALSO TO REFRAIN FROM REACTING IN SUPPORT OR OPPOSITION TO STATEMENTS THAT MAY BE MADE.

WE WILL BEGIN IN BALLOT ORDER AND ROTATE SO THAT EACH HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ANSWER FIRST AND AS, AS I STATED BRIEFLY IN THE BEGINNING WITH THIS MANY CANDIDATES, TO KEEP THE ANSWERS FRESH, WE MAY ASK A GROUP, AND THIS WOULD BE THE GROUP ON MY LEFT AND THEN THE GROUP ON THE RIGHT.

UM, A DIFFERENT QUESTION ON THE SAME TOPIC.

WE WILL BEGIN WITH THE TWO MINUTE OPENING STATEMENT, BEGINNING WITH CANDIDATE BREWER.

UH, FIRST OFF, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU TO THE PEOPLE OF AUSTIN FOR TUNING IN OR COMING IN TONIGHT TO COME HERE TO SPEAK.

UH, MY NAME IS PHIL COMPRO BREWER.

I'M A BORN AND RAISED AUSTINITE, UH, UT GOVERNMENT STUDENT, THE BEST SCHOOL IN THE WORLD, AND A, UH, LEGISLATIVE INTERN AT THE TEXAS CAPITAL.

UH, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE REASON WHY I'M SITTING HERE TODAY IS BECAUSE I AM SIMPLY FED UP WITH CITY GOVERNMENT.

THEY'VE SIMPLY ABANDONED US OVER THE YEARS AND LEFT US TO FEND FOR OURSELVES.

TWO YEARS AGO DURING THE FREEZE, WE WERE STUCK WITH NO WATER, NO ELECTRICITY, AND OUR POLITICIANS DECIDED TO GO TO WARMER CLIMATES DOWN TO MEXICO.

SAME THING DURING COVID, A LOT OF OUR PEOPLE COULD NOT WORK AND EARN THE MONEY THAT THEY NEEDED TO PAY BILLS, PAY TAXES, AND TO SURVIVE ON A DAILY BASIS.

AND INSTEAD, OUR GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO ABANDON US ONCE AGAIN.

THE REASON I SIT HERE TODAY IS BECAUSE I STAND FOR THESE PEOPLE.

I LIVE THE SAME EXPERIENCES, AND I STRUGGLE WITH THE SAME THINGS.

NO LONGER DOES THIS CITY NEED SYMPATHIZERS, NO LONGER DOES THIS CITY NEED PEOPLE WHO TELL US THEY UNDERSTAND, BUT THEY DON'T.

THIS CITY NEEDS TO ELECT SOMEONE WHO DEALS WITH THE SAME PROBLEMS, FACES THE SAME PROBLEMS, AND REFUSES TO ABANDON ITS PEOPLE ON A CONSISTENT BASIS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE ISRAEL.

HEY, EVERYBODY.

MY NAME IS CELIA ISRAEL.

UM, THANK YOU TO THE LEGAL VOTERS.

I FEEL COMPELLED TO THANK YOU, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I'VE SERVED THREE TOURS OF DUTY ON THE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE AT THE TEXAS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND YOU'RE, YOU'RE, YOU'RE, YOU ALL DO GREAT WORK STANDING UP FOR COMMON SENSE VOTING REFORMS. UM, I'VE BEEN IN AUSTIN SINCE 1982.

UH, I CAME HERE TO, UM, TO THE BIG BAD UNIVERSITY.

I SAY I WAS RAISED IN BY WORKING CLASS PARENTS.

MY DAD WAS, UH, A TRUCK DRIVER, AND MOM WAS A TEACHER'S AIDE.

IT SERVED ME WELL.

I'VE BEEN A MORE THOUGHTFUL AND COMPASSIONATE MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THOSE WHO ALWAYS SERVING, AND I THINK IT WILL MAKE ME A MORE THOUGHTFUL AND COMPASSIONATE MAYOR OF THE 11 LARGEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY.

UM, WE HAVE, UH, BIG ISSUES AND THERE'S THE SPIRIT OF AUSTIN THAT DREW ME HERE IN 1982.

AND ONE OF THOSE, THOSE BIG ISSUES ARE, ARE LEADING TO THE DEMISE OF THAT SPIRIT.

WE'RE LOSING THAT SPIRIT, AND THAT SPIRIT IS US.

IT'S THE PEOPLE OF AUSTIN.

UM, I WANT TO BE A VOICE FOR THE, FOR THE NURSE, FOR THE, FOR THE BUS DRIVER, FOR THE NINE ONE ONE CALL CENTER OPERATOR.

[00:05:01]

UM, WE'VE BECOME A CITY THAT IS CONTENT WITH PUSHING PEOPLE OUT INSTEAD OF INVITING THEM IN.

THESE ARE LONG TIME ISSUES THAT WE HAVE HAD AND DURING THIS CRISIS, WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK BACK AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME AND BE PROUD OF HOW THIS CITY HAS RESPONDED.

I HAVE THE EXPERIENCE TO BRING TO BEAR AND THE VISIONARY AND BOLD PLANS TO, TO LAY SOME GROUNDWORK AND GET SOME IDEAS GOING SO THAT WE CAN, SO THAT WE CAN DO, DO RIGHT BY THOSE WHO ARE DRIVING THIS ECONOMY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU, CANDIDATE WATSON.

THANK YOU.

AND I WANNA SAY THANK YOU TO THE LEGAL WOMEN VOTERS AND THE CITY OF AUSTIN FOR HAVING A FORUM LIKE THIS SO THAT PEOPLE CAN BETTER SEE THE CANDIDATES.

UH, MY NAME IS KIRK WATSON.

I, UH, STARTED MY PUBLIC POLICY WORK, UH, WHEN GOVERNOR ANNE RICHARDS APPOINTED ME TO CHAIR, UH, THE TEXAS STATE AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR AIR QUALITY IN THE STATE OF TEXAS AT THE TIME, AND WORKED TO MERGE THAT WAS CALLED THE AIR CONTROL BOARD.

WORKED TO MERGE THAT WITH, UM, THE WATER COMMISSION TO CREATE WHAT WE NOW KNOW AS T C Q.

MY FIRST ELECTIVE OFFICE WAS WHEN I WAS ELECTED MAYOR OF AUSTIN, TEXAS.

AND I SERVED AS MAYOR FROM 1997 TO 2001.

UH, SUBSEQUENT TO THAT, I WAS ELECTED IN 2006 TO THE TEXAS SENATE REPRESENTING AUSTIN AND SURROUNDING AREAS FOR 13 AND A HALF YEARS.

FOLLOWING THAT, I BECAME THE FOUNDING DEAN OF THE HOBBY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON.

I'M RUNNING FOR MAYOR CAUSE I LOVE THIS CITY AND I LOVE ITS PEOPLE.

WE'RE AT A REALLY IMPORTANT POINT IN TIME.

WE'VE GONE THROUGH A TRANSITION.

WE'RE NO LONGER A CITY THAT'S BECOMING A BIG CITY.

WE ARE NOW A BIG CITY WITH BIG CITY CHALLENGES.

WHEN I GOT TO AUSTIN IN 1981, THERE WAS ABUNDANCE.

YOU HAD PLENTY OF ROADS, YOU HAD PLENTY OF WATER.

YOU HAD THE ABILITY TO BUY A HOME BY SCRAPING A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY TOGETHER.

WE DON'T HAVE THAT THE WAY WE NEED TO HAVE IT, AND WE NEED SOMEBODY THAT HAS PROVEN SUCCESS IN BEING ABLE TO TAKE ON THE BIG ISSUES THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND TAKE THE BIG IDEAS AND ACTUALLY PUT THEM TO WORK.

UH, I HAVE THAT PROVEN SUCCESS, AND PART OF THE REASON TO BE DOING THIS IS I HAVE TWO MAN PERFECT GRANDDAUGHTERS.

UH, ONE OF THEM IS NAMED EFFY AND ONE OF 'EM IS BIRDIE.

AND THE EFFY EFFECT IS THAT I WANT THEM 20 YEARS FROM NOW TO LOVE THIS CITY THE WAY WE DID WHEN WE FIRST GOT HERE.

AND WE'RE BASICALLY THAT AGE THANK YOU CANDIDATE BURDEN.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HAVING US TONIGHT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HAVING US TONIGHT.

AS YOU SAID, I'M JENNIFER VERDEN.

SOME OF YOU MAY RECALL MY 2020 DISTRICT 10 CITY COUNCIL RACE, IN WHICH I MADE THE RUNOFF AND CAME DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO DEFEATING A VERY WELL FUNDED INCUMBENT.

IN THAT RACE, I FORMED A COALITION OF DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS, AND INDEPENDENTS BECAUSE MY NONPARTISAN COMMON SENSE PLATFORM RESONATES SO WELL ALL ACROSS AUSTIN.

I AM A LIFELONG AUSTINITE.

I'M A UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS GRADUATE WITH A DEGREE IN FINANCE, AND I'M A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS WOMAN.

I AM AN INDEPENDENT REAL ESTATE BROKER, AND I'M ALSO A RESIDENTIAL DESIGN BUILD, REMODELING GENERAL CONTRACTOR.

AS A BROKER, I HAVE IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF THE VERY IMPORTANT AUSTIN HOUSING MARKET, AS WELL AS PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS TO OUR HOUSING AND AFFORDABILITY CRISES.

AS A GENERAL CONTRACTOR, I HAVE IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE AND ZONING ISSUES, AND THE VERY INEFFICIENT BUREAUCRACY OF OUR DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT.

MY NONPARTISAN COMMON SENSE PLATFORM INCLUDES CUTTING TAXES, COST OF LIVING PUBLIC, UH, PUBLIC SAFETY, EFFECTIVELY ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS, SPENDING MONEY WISELY, SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP, MAINTAINING AND PRESERVING OUR PARKS AND GREEN SPACES TO A WORLD CLASS STANDARD, ALL THINGS CORE MUNICIPAL SERVICES LIKE POOLS, PARKS, POTHOLES, PUBLIC SAFETY AND INFRASTRUCTURE, AND SAVING MUNI FOR FUTURE AUSTINITES TO ENJOY.

PLEASE VISIT MY WEBSITE@JENNIFERFORAUSTIN.COM TO SEE MY DETAILED POLICY PAPERS ON ALL OF THESE VERY IMPORTANT SUBJECTS.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE SPELLMAN.

THANK YOU, LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS.

UH, I WAS RAISED BY A VERY STRONG, BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, UM, MOTHER OF SEVEN, NO MONEY, AND SHE TAUGHT ME THE, THE VALUES THAT I BRING HERE TODAY.

UH, THE LAST TIME I HELD OFFICE WAS JUNIOR CLASS, AND I WAS IMPEACHED FOR NOT GOING TO THE MEETINGS, AND THAT'S BECAUSE WE COULDN'T AFFORD TO GO THERE.

THE GAS WAS TOO EXPENSIVE.

UM, I'M A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMAN ONLY BECAUSE I HAVE AN INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL, STRONG WIFE WHO'S MY PARTNER.

UH, WE FELL IN LOVE WITH AUSTIN AND WE SET UP SHOP HERE.

WE'VE HAD 20 PLUS YEARS, 26 YEARS OF GREAT MARRIAGE.

GOOD THING I REMEMBER THAT SHE'S WATCHING 26 YEARS OF

[00:10:01]

GREAT MARRIAGE, AND WE'VE HAD 25 SUCCESSFUL YEARS AS BUSINESS OWNERS.

WE'VE HELPED MANY UP TO 14,000 DIFFERENT HAIR SALONS ACROSS THIS GREAT STATE BECOME ENTREPRENEURS.

92%, I WOULD SAY WOULD BE WOMEN.

SINGLE MOMS THAT GO TO WORK EVERY DAY STAND ON THEIR FEET FOR EIGHT HOURS AND CUT HAIR TO PAY THE BILLS.

AND THIS IS WHY I'M HERE BECAUSE AUSTIN'S A GREAT CITY.

AUSTIN HAS THE BEST DAYS AHEAD OF IT.

UM, RIGHT NOW WE MANAGE THROUGH FAIR.

EVERYONE IN THIS AUDIENCE WILL HAVE TO AGREE WITH ME.

UM, WE TURN ON THE TV, WE'RE TRYING TO SCARE EACH OTHER BACK INTO THE HOUSE.

UM, WE HANDLED COVID HORRIBLY.

WE ALL KNOW THAT.

AND NO ONE'S TALKING ABOUT IT.

WE'VE, UH, WASTED MONEY ON SILLY PLATFORMS THAT NOBODY TALKS ABOUT.

NO ONE'S TALKING ABOUT WHY AUSTIN IS LOSING ITS SOUL.

I APPRECIATE EVERYONE SITTING ON THIS COUNCIL WITH ME.

THEY HAVE THE SAME HARD I DO, AND THEY WANT TO SEE AUSTIN.

SEE, IT'S BETTER DAYS, BUT, UH, I'M THE PURPLE PARTY, AND IF ANYONE HASN'T GOTTEN IT YET, RED AND BLUE MAKE PURPLE.

THAT'S AN OLD HAIR COLOR TRICK.

WHEN YOU TAKE RED AND BLUE, YOU MAKE A PURPLE.

I WORE A PURPLE TIE BECAUSE MY MOM TOLD ME TO WEAR A PURPLE TIE.

AND THAT'S WHY I'M HERE TODAY BECAUSE FAMILY VALUES MATTER AND THE HEART OF THIS CITY IS ITS PEOPLE.

AND I WANNA REPRESENT YOU.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT, WE'RE GONNA JUMP RIGHT IN AND WE'RE GONNA TALK ABOUT THE I 35 PROJECT.

AND THIS IS NOT ON THE MERITS OF THE I 35 EXPANSION, REMODEL, REDO, WHATEVER YOU WANNA CALL IT.

SO WE'D LIKE YOU TO LISTEN TO THE QUESTION AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTION.

IF WE WANTED TO ENHANCE EAST WEST'S 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 IS PROPOSED BY CIVIL ENGINEERING FIRMS, THE DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE AND OTHER GROUPS.

WOULD YOU SUPPORT CITY FUNDING FOR THE CAPS SINCE IT'S NOT IN THE TEXT DOT BUDGET? WHY OR WHY NOT? AND OUR FIRST, UH, WE'LL START WITH CANDIDATE ISRAEL.

UH, THANK YOU.

I I SERVED ON THE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE IN THE TEXAS HOUSE FOR TWO LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS, UM, AND HAVE SEEN POLITICS COME INTO PLAY WITH THE, UM, WITH THE, THE, THE PROJECT THAT IS I 35.

UM, WHEN IT COMES TO STITCHING THIS COMMUNITY BACK TOGETHER, EAST AND WEST, I DO BELIEVE IT IS, I WANNA SEE IT BURIED.

I WANNA SEE IT CAPPED.

BUT WHAT, WHAT, WHAT WE'RE GETTING FROM TEXT.IS NOT THE, IS NOT WHAT THE COMMUNITY WANTS.

AND ULTIMATELY THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO PUT TOGETHER.

SO I, I WANT THERE TO BE MORE CAP, MORE, MORE OF A, MORE OF A CONNECTION SO THAT WE HAVE A LONGER EXTENSION.

AND, UM, THAT IS THE WAY THAT I THINK WE TRULY OVERCOME THE RACIST PAST THAT IS I 35 AND STITCHES ARE GREAT, BUT I WANT TO BUILD CAP BECAUSE THAT'S A WAY TO BUILD FUTURE REVENUE.

YOU COULD PUT A BIKE SHOP OR YOU COULD PUT A COFFEE SHOP ON TOP OF IT.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE WATSON.

I'LL ANSWER THE QUESTION AND I'LL ANSWER THE QUESTION DIRECTLY BY SAYING, YES, UH, I WOULD SUPPORT THAT AND, BUT I THINK IT'S GOING TO REQUIRE US TO BE VERY SMART ABOUT HOW WE GO ABOUT IT BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY EXPENSIVE, UH, ITEM IN ORDER TO PULL THAT OFF.

BUT THAT IS ULTIMATELY WHERE WE NEED TO GET BACK.

IN 2011, I WAS, UH, THE VICE CHAIR OF THE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE, AND THAT WAS WHEN WE FIRST PUT MONEY.

IT WAS CALLED RIDER 42.

WE FIRST PUT MONEY IN THE STATE BUDGET SO THAT WE COULD LOOK AT HOW WE MIGHT IMPROVE I 35.

I'M PLEASED THAT DURING ALL THESE DIFFERENT YEARS, I'VE BEEN IN A POSITION TO PUSH AND GET CHANGES THAT WERE BETTER.

FOR EXAMPLE, IT WAS UP UNTIL 2017, WE STILL HAD TALK OF ADDING LANES TO THE UPPER DECK, BUT WE WERE ABLE TO GET THOSE TAKEN OUT.

UM, AND LEAD TO WHERE, AS YOU HAVE OUTLINED IN YOUR QUESTION, NOW WE WORK WITH DOWNTOWN AUSTIN ALLIANCE, THE URBAN LAND INSTITUTE.

THERE'S A BETTER OPPORTUNITY TO, TO MAKE THAT A CAP, UH, ROADWAY.

AND I WOULD SUPPORT MAKING SURE THAT THAT HAPPENED.

WE'LL CONTINUE ON WITH THAT SAME QUESTION, UH, AND THEN WE'LL COME BACK THIS WAY.

SO, CANDIDATE VERDEN, I'LL ANSWER THE QUESTION DIRECTLY ALSO.

NO, I WOULD NOT SUPPORT THAT.

AND I DO BELIEVE THAT THE PRIMARY DETERMINANTS OF WHAT WE DO WITH I 35 SHOULD BE BASED ON ENGINEERING AND SAFETY ONLY, AND GETTING MORE CARS MORE EFFICIENTLY THROUGH I 35 AND THROUGH AUSTIN.

AND I WILL JUST NOT USE MY WHOLE MINUTE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

CANDIDATE SPELLMAN, LIKE ANY BUSINESS DECISION, I'VE GOTTA SEE THIS IN FRONT OF ME.

YOU'RE ASKING US TO SPEND MORE MONEY THAT'S NOT IN THE BUDGET.

AND IF YOU DO THAT NON RESPONSIBLY, YOU ARE GONNA GO BROKE.

THE CITY'S ALREADY 3 BILLION IN DEBT.

I DO BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO ERASE, UH, THE RACIAL DIVISION BETWEEN OUR CITY.

I

[00:15:01]

DON'T THINK WE'VE DONE ENOUGH ABOUT THAT.

UH, WE BRING IT UP EVERY YEAR AND NOTHING EVER GETS DONE ABOUT THAT.

UM, WHEN YOU TALK TO KIDS, WHEN I TALK ABOUT THIS, YOU HAVE AN FY EFFECT.

I HAVE A DAKOTA, UH, EFFECT THAT'S MY SON, AND HE'S 15.

AND, UH, THOSE KIDS WANT, THEY DON'T SEE IT ANYMORE.

THE, HE'S THE ONLY WHITE BOY IN THE CREW.

IT'S, THEY DON'T SEE COLOR.

BUT GUESS WHAT, WHO DOES THE PEOPLE UP HERE? WE HAVE TO FIGHT AGAINST THAT.

AND IF YOU'RE GONNA GET RID OF IT, YOU HAVE TO MOVE ON IT.

BUT IT HAS TO BE FISCALLY SOUND AND YOU HAVE TO MAKE SENSE FOR THE VOTERS OF THIS CITY.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE BREWER.

UH, ANY MOVEMENT WITH CAPTAINS STITCH HAS TO, UH, BASICALLY GO AGAINST WHAT TECH DOT WANTS.

THE ENTIRE I 35 PROJECT WILL ONLY BENEFIT TEXAS.

THE WAY THAT WE BENEFIT AUSTIN IS BY PROVIDING, UH, ALTERNATIVES RATHER THAN USING I 35.

AND CAPTAINS STITCH IS DEFINITELY A PART THAT COULD WORK WITH IT, BUT THE MORE THAT TECH DOT GETS THEIR HANDS ON IT, THE LESS IT HELPS AUSTIN CAP, UH, BASED OFF WHAT THE OTHER CANDIDATES SAID.

THEY'RE COMPLETELY RIGHT.

CAP AND STITCH IS A VERY EXPENSIVE PROCESS, AND YOU HAVE TO PUT IT IN FRONT OF YOURSELVES BEFORE AGREEING WITH IT, BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE FISCALLY SOUND JUST LIKE GARY SAID.

HOWEVER, IT SHOULD NOT BE THE ONLY METHOD BECAUSE WHEN IT COMES TO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, THAT IS ONE OF THE KEY FACTORS OF BEING ABLE TO CONNECT EAST AND WEST, DESPITE I 35 BEING THE, THE OLD RED ZONE, THE OLD RACIST HIGHWAY.

SO WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO CAPTAINS STITCH, IT CANNOT BE THE ONLY METHOD THAT THIS CITY USES.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

OUR SECOND QUESTION HAS TO DO WITH, UM, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES IN AUSTIN.

AND WE'LL START WITH CANDIDATE WATSON, OUR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE'S OPPORTUNITY.

AUSTIN HAS DONE A FANTASTIC JOB OF DIVERSIFYING THE INDUSTRIES THAT MAKE OUR ECONOMIES STRONG HERE IN THIS CITY.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE CHAMBER ABOUT THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR CITY'S INFRASTRUCTURE, THINKING ROADS, WATER, AND SEWER SYSTEMS, AND HOW THEY DO OR DO NOT SUPPORT THE BUSINESSES THAT ARE MOVING TO AUSTIN? WELL, I, I WOULD SAY TWO THINGS.

ONE IS THAT, UM, THE, THE CHAMBER PLAYS A ROLE AND SHOULD CONTINUE TO PLAY A ROLE IN MAKING SURE THAT AS WE ATTRACT PEOPLE TO THIS CITY AND WE CREATE JOBS, WE DON'T JUST JUDGE OUR SUCCESS BY, AT THE END OF THE YEAR, COUNTING UP THE NUMBER OF W TWO S THAT WE CREATED IN THAT PAST YEAR, IT OUGHT TO INCLUDE OTHER THINGS, INCLUDING THE ROLE THAT THOSE COMPANIES WILL PLAY IN HELPING WITH, WITH THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT THEY END UP PUTTING ADDITIONAL STRESS ON.

AS WE CONTINUE TO GROW, WE WANT THE JOBS, BUT WE NEED THE HELP ON OTHER THINGS AS WELL.

THAT WOULD INCLUDE, FOR EXAMPLE, HOUSING.

I'VE LAID OUT A PROPOSAL FOR HOW WE WOULD HAVE, UH, INDUSTRY AS THEY COME HERE, HAVE EMPLOYER RELATED AGREEMENTS WITH REGARD TO HOUSING.

IT WOULD ALSO INCLUDE THE CHAMBER WORKING WITH US TO GET LOCAL TALENT, THE PEOPLE IN OUR HIGH SCHOOLS RIGHT NOW, INTO THOSE JOBS, SO THAT THEY HAVE TO PLAY.

WE HAVE TO PLAY A ROLE MORE THAN JUST COUNTING THE NUMBER OF JOBS.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

CANDIDATE VERDEN.

SO THE FIRST THING THAT CAME TO MIND WHEN YOU WERE ASKING THIS QUESTION IS JUST OUR LIVE MUSIC, UM, INDUSTRY HERE IN AUSTIN.

THE ONE THING THAT CITY GOVERNMENT AND OUR, WE'RE NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE RIGHT NOW IS PROVIDING THE CORE MUNICIPAL SERVICE OF SAFETY.

WELL, AND THE REASON THAT CAME TO MIND IS BECAUSE THINK ABOUT HOW MANY TIMES YOU'VE HEARD, AND WE READ ABOUT IT IN THE NEWSPAPER ALL THE TIME, THAT EVEN MUSICAL ACTS HERE IN AUSTIN, THEY CANNOT LOAD AND UNLOAD THEIR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AT THE CURB WITHOUT HAVING THEIR ENTIRE TRAILER EITHER STOLEN OR ALL OF THE INSTRUMENTS OUT, STOLEN OUT OF THEIR, UH, THE BACK OF THEIR TRAILER WHILE THEY'RE TRYING TO GET IN AND OUT OF THE CLUBS AT NIGHT.

SO I THINK THAT'S ONE THING WE NEED TO DO IS PROVIDE THAT CORE SERVICE OF PUBLIC SAFETY WELL, TO ENCOURAGE BUSINESSES TO WANT TO CONTINUE TO LOCATE HERE AND TO EXPAND HERE.

AND ALSO, WE MUST STOP THIS UNSUSTAINABLE GROWTH IN TAXES, AND THAT INCLUDES STOP IRRESPONSIBLY PROPOSING NEW BONDS AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE BONDS EQUAL MORE TAXES FOR ALL OF US, INCLUDING HOMEOWNERS, BUSINESSES, AND RENTERS.

THANK YOU CANDIDATES.

SPELLMAN, SAME QUESTION.

COULD YOU REPEAT IT ONE MORE TIME? SURE, PLEASE.

THANK YOU.

OUR CHAMBER OF COMMERCES OPPORTUNITY.

AUSTIN HAS DONE A FANTASTIC JOB OF DIVERSIFYING THE INDUSTRIES THAT ARE MAKING OUR ECONOMY STRONG HERE IN THE CITY.

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE CHAMBER ABOUT THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR CITY'S INFRASTRUCTURE, THINKING ROADS, WATER, AND SEWER SYSTEMS, AND HOW THEY DO OR DO NOT SUPPORT THE BUSINESSES THAT ARE MOVING TO AUSTIN? PERFECT.

I AGREE WITH YOU.

UM, I'M LOOKING AT THIS, UH, SIMPLY AS THEY BRING IN W TWO S, THEY BRING IN REVENUES, BUT THEY ALSO TAX OUR INFRASTRUCTURE.

SO THEY HAVE TO ASSIST IN IMPROVING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE.

UM, WHEN YOU PUT THIS MANY PEOPLE, AND THIS HAS BEEN SOMETHING A, A THREAD SINCE I'VE BEEN DOING THIS, UH, CAMPAIGN.

AS WE'RE GROWING TOO FAST, WE KEEP MAKING AD CAMPAIGNS TO GET MORE AND MORE PEOPLE HERE, MORE AND MORE BUSINESSES HERE.

AND AS WE DO THAT, THE PRICE OF LIVING HERE GOES THROUGH THE ROOF BECAUSE WE'RE TAXING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE.

SO THERE HAS TO BE AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN,

[00:20:01]

UH, THE NEW BUSINESSES COMING HERE, THEIR OBLIGATION OR THEIR DUTY TO PERFORM SOME KIND OF HELP ALONG WITH THE CHAMBER TO MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN HANDLE THE INFLUX OF PEOPLE WHERE WE CAN HAVE THAT SAFETY FACTOR.

WE CAN HAVE THE CLEAN WATER, AND WE CAN HAVE THE HOUSING.

IT JUST CAN'T BE, HEY, LOOK AT GOOGLE CAME HERE, BUT, AND WHAT'S THE TRADE OFF WHEN GOOGLE COMES HERE? OR APPLE OR SAMSUNG OR TESLA? THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

CANDIDATE BR UH, I THINK THE CITY'S DONE A GREAT JOB IN, OF COURSE, BRINGING IN THE W TWO S AND BRINGING IN THE REVENUE.

UH, BUT THE BIGGEST PROBLEM I SEE WITH IT IS THAT THEY, THEY CATER WAY TOO MUCH TO LARGE CORPORATIONS AND LARGE BUSINESSES BECAUSE WHEN WE TALK ABOUT NEW BUSINESSES COMING IN, SUCH AS GOOGLE, SUCH AS APPLE, SUCH AS TESLA, WE'RE ABLE TO PROVIDE THEM WITH NEW INFRASTRUCTURE, ALLOW THEM TO HAVE THE PERMITS THAT THEY WANT TO BUILD, BUILD HUGE FACTORIES, AND PROVIDE HUGE OFFICES FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES.

HOWEVER, WHEN IT COMES TO SMALL BUSINESSES, UH, WHEN YOU HAVE THESE HUGE TAXING BUSINESSES ON THE INFRASTRUCTURE, IT FORCES THESE, UH, BUSINESSES TO PAY MUCH HIGHER.

UH, CURRENTLY THE E ENERGY DEPARTMENT IS TRYING TO RAISE, UH, THE PRICES FOR ENERGY, WHICH CAUSING, WHICH IS CAUSING A LOT OF RESTAURANTS AND BUSINESSES ACROSS THE CITY TO CLOSE.

LUCY AND DISGUISE HAS DECIDED TO LEAVE THIS CITY.

UNCOMMON OBJECTS HAS CHANGED THEIR, UH, LOCATION.

YOU HAVE RESTAURANTS LIKE HUTZ CLOSING DOWN YEARS AGO BECAUSE OF THESE SAME ISSUES.

THE INFRASTRUCTURE IS A GREAT CATERING SYSTEM FOR THE LARGE CORPORATIONS, BUT FOR THE, THE CHAMBER NEEDS TO START FOCUSING ON THESE SMALL BUSINESSES AND PROVIDING THEM EITHER TAX INCENTIVES OR ANYTHING THAT THEY CAN, THAT CAN SUPPORT THEM TO SURVIVE AND BUILD AND THRIVE IN THIS COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE ISRAEL.

YEAH.

YOUR QUESTION SUGGESTS THAT THE COMPANIES ARE DOING SOMETHING FROM US IN EXCHANGE FOR THEM BRINGING JOBS HERE.

AND I THINK WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT DYNAMIC.

UH, YOU HAVEN'T MENTIONED ROADS, WATER, AND, AND SEWER.

UM, IN MY LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT, WE HAVE A LOT OF THE, THE BIG GROW, THE BIG EMPLOYERS, SAMSUNG APPLIED MATERIALS.

APPLE, IT'S TIME FOR US TO SAY, AS WE'RE WORKING ON THESE INCENTIVE PACKAGES, WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING TO THE TABLE? IN OTHER WORDS, WE'RE THE SEXY GIRL AT THE DANCE AT THIS POINT, AND WE, WE NEED TO BE ASKING DIFFERENT KINDS OF QUESTIONS.

WHAT IF YEARS AGO WHEN SAMSUNG WAS BROUGHT HERE, WE HAD SAID, WHAT ARE WE GOING, WE'LL, WE'LL WORK OUT A DEAL WITH YOU, BUT WE WANT CHILDCARE.

WE WANT, UM, MICRO TRANSITS INSTEAD OF THE TRADITIONAL, UH, A FAB PLANT WITH, WITH PARKING LOT ALL AROUND IT.

WE NEED TO BUILD EQUITY INTO THESE, INTO THESE PROJECTS AS WE MOVE FORWARD IN THE FUTURE.

SURE.

THANK YOU.

WE'RE GONNA MOVE OVER TO THE QUESTION OF HOMELESSNESS, AND WE WILL BE BEGINNING WITH THE CANDIDATE VER THE FIRST SENTENCE ON THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S WEBSITE.

PAGE TITLED, ADDRESSING HOMELESSNESS IN AUSTIN READS.

AND I QUOTE, AS PART OF THE HOMELESSNESS RESPONSE, THE CITY OF AUSTIN COLLABORATES WITH AGENCIES, COMMUNITIES, ORGANIZATIONS, AND INDIVIDUALS WORKING TO MAKE HOMELESSNESS RARE, BRIEF, AND NON-RECURRING.

IN YOUR VIEW, HOW REALISTIC AND ACHIEVABLE IS THIS? AND ARE WE SUCCEEDING? WELL, UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE NOT SUCCEEDING AT THAT.

WE HAVE, WE HAVE SPENT HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON THIS HOMELESS CRISIS, AND WE ARE NOT ABLE TO FIND WHAT THE DISCONNECT IS AND WHY WE'RE NOT BEING SUCCESSFUL WITH THAT.

WE NEED TO AUDIT EVERY PENNY OF OUR CURRENT SPENDING ON HOMELESSNESS AND FIND OUT WHAT THAT DISCONNECT IS.

AND WE ALSO NEED TO ENACT A, A TOUGH LOVE APPROACH TO HOMELESSNESS.

WE NEED TO, WELL, WE NEED TO FULLY ENFORCE THE CAMPING BAN, NO EXCEPTIONS.

AND WE NEED TO NOT REINVENT THE WHEEL.

WE HAVE PROVEN MODELS OF SUCCESS THAT HAVE, UH, DONE A VERY GOOD SERVICE FOR OUR CHRONICALLY HOMELESS.

AND THAT IS ALLEN GRAHAM'S MOBILE LOAVES AND FISHES, UM, COMMUNITY FIRST VILLAGE IN TRAVIS COUNTY, AND ALSO BAYER COUNTY'S, UM, HAVEN FOR HOPE, WHICH HAS A VERY SENSIBLE BARRIER TO ENTRY OF NINE MONTHS TO PROVE RESIDENTS BEFORE THEY'RE ABLE TO ACCESS SERVICES.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE SPELLMAN? NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.

WE'RE DOING HORRIBLE.

AND THAT'S BECAUSE GOVERNMENT ALWAYS SLOWS EVERYTHING DOWN.

THIS IS, UH, SOMETHING NEAR AND DEAR TO MY HEART CUZ AT ONE POINT WE WERE HOMELESS WITH SEVEN KIDS, AND WITHOUT THE GRACIOUSNESS OF GREAT OPPORTUN UH, ORGANIZATIONS TO HELP US, WE WOULDN'T HAVE GOT THROUGH THIS.

UM, I CAN TELL YOU THIS RIGHT NOW.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCES.

YOU'VE HEARD US TALK ABOUT OUR CHARITY, PEACE, LOVE, HAPPINESS.

WE ALSO HAVE, UH, J'S PEACE, LOVE, AND HAPPINESS FOUNDATION WHERE WE HAVE WORKED CLOSELY WITH ALAN GRAHAM AND MOBILE LOAVES AND FISHES.

THE SOLUTION IS A COORDINATION.

UH, WE HAVE TO BRING EVERYONE TOGETHER.

WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE I IDENTIFY WHAT CAUSED THE HOMELESSNESS.

WE HAVE TO SERVE THE NEED OF THE HOMELESS PERSON.

WE HAVE TO TREAT 'EM WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT.

WE HAVE TO GIVE 'EM A CLEAR PATH TO GETTING 'EM BACK ON THEIR FEET.

AND WE CANNOT DEMONIZE THEM BECAUSE THEY'RE DOWN ON THE

[00:25:01]

LUCK.

BUT WE MUST HOLD 'EM ACCOUNTABLE TO THE SAME RULES AS EVERYONE ELSE IN THIS CITY.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE BREWER.

UH, THE STATEMENT ITSELF IS ACHIEVABLE, BUT THE CITY ITSELF IS NOT ACHIEVING IT.

THE REASON WHY IS BECAUSE ONE OF THE BIGGEST PROGRAMS WE HAD WAS 3000 BEDS IN THREE YEARS.

BASICALLY FORCING THE CITY TO TRY TO BUILD ITS OWN FOUNDATION, BUILD ITS OWN, UH, HOMELESS, UH, HOMELESSNESS POP, UH, PROGRAM.

AND OF COURSE IT FAILED CUZ WE STARTED FROM SCRATCH.

AND THAT IS A PROBLEM THAT AUSTIN HAS.

EVERY TIME WE HAVE A NEW ISSUE, WE REFUSE TO GO TO THE EXPERTS.

WE REFUSE TO LOOK AT OTHER CITIES AND OTHER EXAMPLES, AND WE DECIDE TO DO EVERYTHING FROM SCRATCH BECAUSE WE ARE LEADERS IN THIS COMMUNITY.

HOWEVER, LUCKILY THE CITY QUALIFIES FOR A LOT OF FEDERAL MONEY, TAKING A LOT OF WEIGHT OFF OF THE AUSTIN TAXPAYER, BUT THAT MONEY SHOULDN'T BE SPENT BY US.

THE THING ABOUT THE STATEMENT THAT I FOCUS ON A LOT IS THE ORGANIZATIONS.

THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF NON-PROFITS HERE IN TRAVIS COUNTY, AND A LOT OF 'EM WORK WITH THE HOMELESSNESS.

A LOT OF 'EM ARE THE BOOTS ON THE GROUND.

THEY'VE DONE THE RESEARCH, THEY ARE THE EXPERTS.

THEY HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS ALREADY IN PLAN, AND THEY'VE ALREADY SERVICED A LOT OF THE HOMELESS POPULATION HERE IN AUSTIN.

WHAT THEY CAN ACHIEVE WITH, UH, A DOLLAR COST US DOUBLE COST US TRIPLE.

SO INSTEAD OF US SPENDING THAT MONEY AND STARTING FROM SCRATCH, THAT MONEY SHOULD BE SENT TO THESE ORGANIZATIONS BUILDING A BETTER, UH, PARTNERSHIP WITH THEM AND LET THEM TAKE CARE OF IT BECAUSE THEY'RE THE ONES DOING IT CORRECTLY.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE ISRAEL, THERE WAS A, A MEMBER OF OUR FAMILY WAS HOMELESS AND HIS NAME WAS TONY.

HE HAD A SEVERAL BODY BLOWS IN LIFE THAT IT LED FOR HIM TO BE, UH, ON THE STREETS HERE IN AUSTIN FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

ULTIMATELY, HE FOUND A DIGNIFIED PLACE TO BE WITH, UH, WITH FOUNDATION COMMUNITIES.

HE HAD AN ADDICTION PROBLEM.

HE HAD PROFESSIONALS AROUND HIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIM.

UM, WHEN WE TALK ABOUT AUSTIN BEING IN A, IN A CRISIS, IT'S AROUND SUPPLY THAT INCLUDES THOSE WHO ARE CURRENTLY UNHOUSED.

IT IS A SIN IN MY BOOK THAT THOSE WHO ARE BUILDING SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR THE LEAST AMONG US WHO HAVE HAD ONE OR TWO BODY BLOWS IN LIFE, AND THEY'VE FOUND THEMSELVES ON THE STREET, THAT FOR THOSE QUALIFIED PARTNERS, WE KNOW THEIR NAMES, THAT IT TAKES THEM TWO YEARS TO GET A SITE PLAN APPROVED BY THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

WE HAVE TO TAKE THESE PROGRAMS THAT ARE URGENT AND, AND, AND ACCELERATE THEM AND MOVE THEM TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE SO THAT WE CAN GET TO THE HEART OF THIS MATTER, WHICH IS NOT ENOUGH HOUSING FOR ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE WATSON.

IT IS THE RIGHT GOAL, BUT IT'S GOING TO, WE'RE GONNA HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT NOT EVERYONE IS GOING.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO ACHIEVE THAT GOAL WITH EVERYONE, AND NOT EVERYONE'S GONNA BE, WE'RE NOT GONNA GET TO THAT GOAL FOR THE BROAD, UH, GROUP OF THOSE LIVING HOMELESS BY DOING THE SAME THING FOR EVERYONE.

AND TOO LONG NOW, WE'VE BEEN GIVEN PRETTY MUCH AN ALL OR NOTHING CHOICE.

CAMPING, WHEREVER YOU WANT TO CAMP OR PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING IN HOTELS.

I SUPPORT MORE PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR THOSE THAT NEED IT.

BUT WE ALSO NEED TO FILL IN THE GAP.

WE NEED TO HAVE THINGS, SERVICES AND ACCESS TO SERVICES IN WAYS IN A CONTINUUM OF CARE THAT WE DON'T CURRENTLY HAVE.

THINGS LIKE RAPID REHOUSING SO THAT THOSE THAT FALL INTO BEING LIVING HOMELESS, WE CAN GET THEM INTO RAPID REHOUSING SO THAT MAYBE THEY DON'T BECOME CHRONICALLY HOMELESS.

WE NEED TO HAVE MORE NON CONGREGATE SHELTERS AND WE'RE GOING TO NEED TO WORK MENTAL HEALTH INTO THIS SO THAT WE MAYBE DON'T HAVE PEOPLE FALLING INTO HOMELESSNESS.

THANK YOU.

OUR NEXT, UH, QUESTION WILL BE ABOUT CITY SERVICES AND STAFFING.

AND WE'LL START WITH CANDIDATES.

SPELLMAN, HERE IS A SAMPLE OF HEADLINES IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS, EMS IS SHORT STAFFED BY 20%.

APD OFFICERS, STRETCH THIN AUSTIN WATER'S SET TO ADDRESS STAFF SHORTAGES.

IF ELECTED, WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS WILL YOU MAKE TO CITY STAFF ABOUT THEIR RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION EFFORTS? IT, IT HAS TO MATCH THE NEED TO LIVE IN THE CITY.

UH, WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND WHY PEOPLE ARE STRETCHED SO THIN.

IT'S SOME POOR DECISION MAKING BY OUR GOVERNMENT HERE IN AUSTIN.

UH, WE DEFUNDED THE POLICE, THEN WE REFUNDED THE POLICE, AND THAT COST US DOUBLE TO PUT 'EM BACK ON.

SO WHEN YOU DID THE FIRST MOVE, YOU HAD THESE, THESE OVERWORKED BOYS AND BLUE AND GIRLS IN BLUE OUT THERE DOING EVERYTHING FROM CATS UP A TREE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TO TRAFFIC STOPS.

UH, WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT YOUR EMS, THEY'RE SOME OF THE LOWEST PAID EMS IN THE COUNTRY.

UH, SO TO ATTRACT THEM, WE HAVE TO PAY THEM MORE.

BUT THEY ALSO HAVE A, SO HAVE TO HAVE A SOLUTION TO LIVING IN THE CITY.

IF YOU GET TAKE A JOB AND YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO DELIVER, YOUR JOB IS, IT'S GONNA, GONNA COST YOU MORE TO GET IN AND OUT OF THE CITY.

I THINK, UH, TO MAKE IT MORE ATTRACTIVE, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A MORE ATTRACTIVE PACKAGE AND YOU HAVE TO TREAT 'EM WITH RESPECT.

THESE PEOPLE NEED YOU OUR RESPECT, NOT TO BE, UM, CRITICIZED EVERY TIME SOMETHING GOES WRONG.

SO THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS I'D RECOMMEND RIGHT OFF THE BAT.

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT OUR COMPENSATION AND WHAT THEY REALLY NEED TO EXIST IN THE CITY.

THANK

[00:30:01]

YOU CANDIDATE BR UH, IT'S GONNA BE VERY MUCH OF AN ECHO OF WHAT GARY SAID, BUT IT REALLY COMES DOWN TO THE TREATMENT OF OUR, UH, UH, EMS AS FOR A RAISE PREVIOUSLY, AND THEY WERE DENIED BY THE CITY COUNCIL, BUT WEEKS LATER THEY GAVE THEMSELVES A 40% RAISE IN 90 SECONDS.

IT'S THINGS LIKE THIS THAT SHOW THAT WE SIMPLY VILLAINIZE OUR CITY SERVICE PROGRAMS RATHER THAN TREATING THEM LIKE THE HEROES THEY ARE.

THERE ARE TEACHERS WHO DRIVE BY THREE OR FOUR DIFFERENT SCHOOL DISTRICTS ON THE WAY TO A I S D.

A LOT OF THESE SAME DISTRICTS WOULD PAY THEM EITHER THE SAME AMOUNT OR EVEN BETTER FOR A MUCH SHORTER COMMUTE.

EVENTUALLY THE PEOPLE OF THIS CITY WILL QUIT ON IT.

THEY WILL GO TO BEDA, THEY WILL GO TO HU, THEY WILL GO TO ROUND ROCK BECAUSE THEY SIMPLY PAY BETTER AND THEY TREAT THEM BETTER.

SO WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING PEOPLE TO LIVE IN THIS CITY MORE, IT COMES DOWN TO AFFORDABILITY AND SIMPLY HOW WE TREAT THEM.

NO LONGER CAN WE CHEAP, UH, TREAT THEM LIKE CHEAP EMPLOYMENT.

WE HAVE TO TREAT THEM AS THE PEOPLE WHO HOLD OUR INFRASTRUCTURE TOGETHER.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE ISRAEL IN, IN MY EXPERIENCE, UM, I WANT THE, I WANT THESE CITY EMPLOYEES TO BE REALLY PROUD OF THAT THEY'RE WORKING FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND THAT MEANS, UM, DOING CREATIVE THINGS TO SAY TO THEM, YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONTINUE TO TELECOMMUTE, UH, TO HAVE FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES, TO, TO HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONTINUE IN EDUCATION, UH, TO, UH, TO, TO BE ABLE TO SAY THAT WE, WE ARE, WE ARE DOING OUR JOB.

BUT THERE'S A FACTOR THAT'S MISSING HERE, AND THAT IS WE ARE LOSING CITY EMPLOYEES NOT JUST BECAUSE OF PAY, BUT ALSO BECAUSE THERE'S A LACK OF LEADERSHIP FROM THE CITY MANAGER AND THE CITY AND, AND THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL.

THERE ARE, THERE ARE GOOD AND DECENT EMPLOYEES AT THE CITY OF AUSTIN WHO ARE NOT GETTING THE SUPPORT THAT THEY NEED WHEN THEY HAVE A CREATIVE IDEA OR SOLUTION AROUND LAND USE, TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT, FOR EXAMPLE.

SO WE, WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE HEARD, THAT THEY ARE RESPECTED, AND I, AND I HOPE THAT, UM, THAT THEY KNOW THAT THEIR VOICE WILL BE HEARD WHEN I AM MAYOR.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

CANDIDATE WATSON.

MY FATHER WAS A LIFETIME CAREER, UH, PUBLIC SERVANT WORKING FOR GOVERNMENT.

AND SO I COME AT IT PRETTY NATURALLY IN TERMS OF MY RESPECT FOR THOSE THAT ACTUALLY PROVIDE THE PUBLIC SERVICE ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS.

THEY RUN OUR CITY, THEY RUN OUR GOVERNMENT.

UM, I THINK THAT'S BEEN REFLECTED IN MY PAST WORK, UM, AS, AS MAYOR, AND YOU SEE IT TODAY IN THE FACT THAT I'VE BEEN ENDORSED IN THIS CAMPAIGN BY EMS. I'VE BEEN ENDORSED BY THE FIREFIGHTERS AND I'VE BEEN ENDORSED BY AFSCME, WHICH IS, UH, THE GROUP THAT REPRESENTS, UH, THE CITY EMPLOYEES.

I'VE HEARD FOR YEARS THAT FOR YEARS THAT WE OUGHT TO RUN GOVERNMENT LIKE A BUSINESS.

WELL, ONE OF THE WAYS BUSINESSES PROVIDE QUALITY SERVICES IS THEY TAKE CARE OF THEIR EMPLOYEES.

THEY MAKE SURE THAT THEIR EMPLOYEES ARE, ARE PAID PROPERLY AND COMPETITIVELY, BUT THEY ALSO CREATE A CAREER OPPORTUNITY THAT IS ONE THAT PEOPLE WANT TO WORK IN.

UH, I THINK WE, WE WE'RE NOT DOING THAT THE WAY WE SHOULD.

AND THAT'S REFLECTED IN OUR NUMBERS.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

CANDIDATE BURDEN, WELL UNDER STAFFING SEEMS TO BE A COMMON THEME THAT WEAVES THROUGHOUT ALMOST EVERY AGENCY AT THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

AND PART OF ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT, OF COURSE, IS THE AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT.

WE HAVE A PUBLIC SAFETY CRISIS THERE BECAUSE WE ARE NOT GETTING THE SUPPORT AND LEADERSHIP THAT WE NEED FROM OUR CITY, UH, LEADERS TO THE, TO THE AUSTIN POLICE DEPARTMENT.

WE NEED TO RESTORE AND HEAL THAT RELATIONSHIP SO THAT IT CREATES AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH, UM, THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WANT TO WORK IN AUSTIN, TEXAS.

BECAUSE WE ARE COMPETING AS WE ARE FOR ALL CITY POSITIONS FOR EMPLOYEES FROM ALL AROUND THE NATION.

AND WE NEED TO BE, WE NEED TO BE AUSTIN ABOUT THAT.

WE ARE ONE OF THE GREATEST CITIES IN THE WORLD.

WE SHOULD BE PROVIDING THE BEST EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BEST ENVIRONMENTS IN WHICH TO WORK.

AND WE NEED TO BE VERY COMPETITIVE WHEN WE ARE RECRUITING BECAUSE WE NEED, WHEN WANT THE HIGHEST QUALITY CANDIDATES TO WORK IN ALL OF OUR CITY AGENCIES, INCLUDING THE DEVELOPMENT DISSER DIS DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, WHICH ABSOLUTELY WE MUST GET FULLY STAFFED SO THAT WE CAN START BUILDING MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING MORE QUICKLY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

WE'LL, UH, HAVE ANOTHER QUESTION RELATING TO CITY SERVICES AND WE'LL START WITH CANDIDATE BR.

UM, WE'VE HAD MULTIPLE BOIL WATER NOTICES IN THE LAST FEW YEARS.

UM, FOR A CITY THIS SIZE, DO WE HAVE ADEQUATE, ADEQUATE STAFFING AND LEADERSHIP AT, IN AT AUSTIN WATER? AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO CORRECT THIS PROBLEM? UH, I WOULD SIMPLY SAY NO.

UH, JUST BECAUSE THIS THING SHOULDN'T BE HAPPENING FOR A LARGE CITY.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO, UH, BOTH ON JUST AN ENVIRONMENTAL LEVEL AS WELL AS A WATER LEVEL, IS SECURING, UH, AUSTIN'S WATER FUTURE.

WE'VE DONE THIS IN THE PAST WITH KIRK WATTS WHEN HE WAS MAYOR, UH, WORKING UP THE RIVER TO MAKE DEALS, MAKE NEGOTIATIONS WITH DIFFERENT REGIONS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THAT WATER, UH, SUSTAINABILITY AND

[00:35:01]

THAT SAFETY.

BUT THEN WHEN IT COMES TO THE ACTUAL PLANTS ITSELF, IT REALLY JUST COMES DOWN TO AFFORDABILITY.

IT'S REALLY HARD TO HAVE THESE, UH, POSITIONS BE FULLY STAFFED WHEN HALF OF THIS CITY CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE IN THIS CITY.

WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE FORCED TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE CITY, THEN THEY CAN NO LONGER VOTE ON THE SAME ISSUES.

AND THEN WHEN YOU HAVE THESE, THEN WHY DO YOU, HOW CAN YOU CONVINCE SOMEONE TO DO THEIR JOB ADEQUATELY AND FULLY WORK FOR THIS CITY FULL-TIME WITH A LOT OF PASSION? SO THE WAY THAT WE CAN DO THIS IS JUST IMPROVING RECRUITMENT, IMPROVING SERVICES BY INCREASING WAGES AND TREATING THESE PEOPLE LIKE HUMAN BEINGS, LIKE WE'VE DISCUSSED BEFORE.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE ISRAEL.

I'M VOTING TO BE THE NEXT MAYOR OF AUSTIN BECAUSE THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO DRIVE THIS CITY CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO LIVE IN THIS CITY.

AND THAT INCLUDES OUR PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES.

AND IT ALWAYS TAKES THE PUBLIC SECTOR A WHILE TO ACCLIMATE TO THE ECONOMIC SHOCK OF THIS, UH, UH, THAT, THAT WE'RE IN.

UM, SO THE, THE OPPORTUNITY FOR AUSTIN WATER IS THE SAME.

I MEAN, THE, THE, UM, THE CRISIS AT AUSTIN WATER IS, IS EMBLEMATIC OF THE CRISIS THAT WE'RE HAVING, WHETHER YOU'RE AN ENGINEER OR A NURSE OR A TEACHER OR A BUS DRIVER OR WHETHER DEVELOPMENT SERVICES.

SO WE'VE GOT TO, WE'VE GOT TO BE FACTORING THE VALUE IN OF THESE PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES AND, UM, WE, WE WANNA HOLD 'EM ACCOUNTABLE, BUT WE WANNA ALSO WANNA HONOR THEM AND VALUE THEM FOR THE WORK THAT THEY DO.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE WATSON.

I APOLOGIZE.

WOULD YOU REPEAT THE QUESTION? SURE.

UM, WE'VE HAD MULTIPLE BOIL WATER NOTICES IN THE LAST FEW YEARS FOR A CITY OF THIS SIZE.

UH, DO WE HAVE ADEQUATE STAFFING AND LEADERSHIP IN AUSTIN WATER? AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM? SO, UH, FOR A CITY OF THIS SIZE, WE SHOULDN'T BE THAT.

WE SHOULDN'T BE HAVING THAT PROBLEM.

HOWEVER, UH, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US AS WE LOOK AT THESE AND, AND BEFORE WE IMMEDIATELY SAY EXACTLY WHAT OUGHT TO HAPPEN ON THAT, RECOGNIZE THAT FROM TIME TO TIME THINGS DO HAPPEN WHERE YOU, YOU THINGS DON'T WORK ALL THE TIME.

UH, THAT'S THING THAT HAPPENS AT OUR HOME, THAT HAPPENS TO US IN OUR JOBS.

AND, AND SO WE, WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL BEFORE WE THINK WE KNOW ALL OF THE ANSWERS TO THAT.

I THINK WE HAVE A REAL OPPORTUNITY COMING UP THOUGH IN WATER, AND THAT IS THAT WE'RE IN THE PROCESS OF, OF HIRING A NEW DIRECTOR OF THAT DEPARTMENT.

UH, THAT DIRECTOR NEEDS TO BE SOMEONE THAT HAS A VISION FOR THAT DEPARTMENT, BUT ALSO HAS THE MANAGEMENT SKILLS TO MAKE SURE THAT SHE OR HE CAN EMPOWER THE PEOPLE THAT ARE WORKING THAT WATER DEPARTMENT, THAT ARE MAKING SURE THAT REDUNDANCIES ARE IN PLACE SO THAT WHEN THINGS NATURALLY BREAK OR SOMETHING HAPPENS LIKE THAT, WELL THAT'S A ONE OFF AS OPPOSED TO WHAT IT SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS.

THANK YOU.

CANDIDATE VERDEN.

SO WATER IS ONE OF THE, OF COURSE, MAIN CORE MUNICIPAL SERVICES THAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PROVIDING.

WELL, FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN, IF I AM ELECTED TO BE THE NEXT MAYOR OF AUSTIN, I AM GOING TO BE THE ONE CANDIDATE THAT WILL ALWAYS STEER COUNSEL BACK AND PRIORITIZE CORE MUNICIPAL SERVICES AND FUNCTIONS IN ABOVE AND BEYOND ANY OTHER DISTRACTIONS OR POLITICAL AMBITIONS THAT SEEM TO DRIVE THIS COUNCIL FOR THE LAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS.

AND JUST CORE MUNICIPAL SERVICES.

WE NEED TO GOVERN MORE PROACTIVELY AND LESS REACTIVELY.

WE NEED TO THINK MORE ABOUT THE FUTURE ABOUT THESE.

WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THESE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR CITY GOVERNMENT AND FOCUS LESS ON THE THINGS THAT ARE PET PROJECTS, SPECIAL INTERESTS, ET CETERA.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

CANDIDATES.

BOWMAN, WHAT A GREAT QUESTION.

UM, WATER'S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE HAVE.

IT'S NOT FUEL.

IT'S NOT, I DON'T CARE ABOUT TAXES, I DON'T CARE ABOUT THE COST OF LIVING.

IF WE DON'T HAVE WATER, WE ALL DIE.

UH, AND THAT IS WRONG.

A CITY OF THIS SIZE SHOULD NOT BE HAVING THESE KIND OF PROBLEMS. BUT I DO HAVE TO AGREE THAT, YOU KNOW, POOP WILL HAPPEN, THAT THINGS WILL BREAK.

AND TO HAVE SOME KIND OF HUMILITY AND UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S STILL A COVID EFFECT OUT THERE.

I CAN TELL YOU THIS BECAUSE I'M NECK DEEP IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN WITH OUR COMPANY.

WE SHIP GLOBALLY.

AND BECAUSE, EXCUSE ME, BECAUSE OF THAT, WE HAVE A, A LACK OF STAFFING HERE.

WE'RE NOT TAKING CARE OF OUR STAFFING.

WE'RE NOT VALUING OUR STAFFING.

AND WHEN SOMETHING GOES CRAZY WRONG, WE GO CRAZY ON THE PEOPLE THAT THEY THINK CAUSED IT.

AND THAT'S USUALLY OUR CITY WORKERS.

SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT, LIKE, SOME OF MY NEIGHBORS ARE LIKE, I CAN'T BELIEVE WE'VE GOTTA BUY A WATER AGAIN.

WELL, IT HAPPENS, BUT IF WE HAVE THE RIGHT PERSON, YOU GO INTO THAT DEPARTMENT, YOU GO, ALL RIGHT, THIS PERSON'S NOT DOING THE JOB.

LET'S SEE WHY THEY'RE NOT DOING THE JOB.

WHO DO WE HIRE TO DO A BETTER JOB? CAN THEY RELATE? CAN THEY BUILD TEAM? THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

WE'RE GONNA TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SAFE CITIES, OUR SAFE CITY, AND I WANT YOU TO ADDRESS THE PARENTS THAT ARE GONNA, OR THAT ARE, THAT YOU'RE VYING FOR THEIR VOTE.

IN THE REPORT METHODOLOGY USED

[00:40:01]

TO IDENTIFY THE DANGEROUS ROADS IN AUSTIN, AS POSTED ON THE CITY OF AUSTIN'S WEBSITE, PAGE ENTITLED HIGH INJURY ROADWAYS.

OVER HALF OF THE TOP 100 LOCATIONS WERE SHOWING UP ON JUST 13 STREET SEGMENTS.

JUST 13.

THESE 13 SEGMENTS REPRESENTED OVER 350 PEOPLE KILLED OR SERIOUSLY INJURED OVER A FIVE YEAR PERIOD.

WHAT STEPS COULD YOU TAKE AS MAYOR IF ELECTED TO SOLVE THIS DANGEROUS SITUATION SO THAT THE PARENTS WHOSE CHILDREN AND SCHOOL BUSES TRAVERSE THESE 13 STREET SEGMENTS IN INTERSECTIONS KNOW THEIR CHILDREN ARE SAFE ON OUR STREETS.

AND WE'LL BEGIN WITH CANDIDATE ISRAEL.

I'VE WORKED, UM, MANY YEARS ON THE ISSUES AROUND TRANSPORTATION AND TRANSPORTATION SAFETY IN PARTICULAR.

THERE'S NOTHING MORE HEARTWRENCHING THAN LISTENING TO, UM, PARENTS, UH, GRANDPARENTS LOVED ONES, UH, PLEAD WITH YOU TO, TO DO SOMETHING.

AND IN I'M TALKING ABOUT THE BILL THAT WAS ABOUT, UM, UH, STATEWIDE BAN ON ON CELL PHONES.

IT TOOK US SIX YEARS TO PASS THAT IN IN THE LEGISLATURE.

IT, I TRIED TO PASS A BILL THAT WOULD HAVE, THAT THE AUSTIN HAS NOW IMPLEMENTED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.

AND THAT IS TAKE, TAKE THE NEIGHBORHOOD SPEED DOWN TO 25 MILES AN HOUR.

SO IT'S, IT'S AN UNSTATED SAFER SPEED.

THE CHANCES OF SOMEONE INTERACTING WITH A CAR AT 30 MILES AN HOUR AND SURVIVING, UH, GO, GO GET 50% BETTER IF THEY INTERACT WITH A CAR GOING 25 MILES PER HOUR.

SO WE DRIVE TOO FAST, WE DRIVE DISTRACTED, WE'RE LOSING TOO MANY OF OUR NEIGHBORS ON THESE ROADS.

AND SPEED IS IS THE BIGGEST, UH, DEAL.

SO WE NEED TO, TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE IMPLEMENTING THAT 25 MILE AN HOUR SPEED IN, IN, IN EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE WATSON.

WELL, WE HAVE THE MAP.

AND SO THE FIR THE FIRST STEP TO THAT OUGHT TO BE THAT WE, UH, TAKE THAT MAP AND WE DETERMINE WHY YOU'RE HAVING A DISPARATE AMOUNT OF, OF DEATH, UH, IN THOSE AREAS, WHY THAT IS HAPPENING, AND THEN HOW THAT BECOMES SOMETHING THAT CAN BE FIXED AND YOU THEN CREATE A FOCUS ON THAT.

UH, THE CITY HAS A A, A VISION, A VISION ZERO THAT IS, UH, DEALS WITH, UH, TRYING TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF DEATHS WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE FULLY IMPLEMENTING THAT.

BUT THE WAY YOU ASK THAT QUESTION, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU, IT'S, IT'S PRE IT'S PRETTY COMMON SENSE AND BASIC.

YOU START THERE, YOU FIND OUT WHAT'S WRONG AND THEN YOU ADDRESS IT SPECIFICALLY.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE VERDEN.

WELL, I THINK THIS AGAIN BOILS DOWN TO COMMON SENSE.

WE KNOW WHAT THE ROADS ARE AND WE KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING, BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE HAVE A POLICE DEPARTMENT THAT IS OVER 250 OFFICERS UNDERSTAFFED UP TO WHAT IS BUDGETED.

AND IF WE HAD A FULLY STAFFED POLICE DEPARTMENT, THEN WE WOULD DO BE ABLE TO DO A LOT MORE, UM, FOCUSED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT WORK.

BUT RIGHT NOW, EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT WE ARE UNDERSTAFFED.

AND I'VE HEARD MANY PEOPLE TALK ABOUT IT ON THE RADIO AND ELSEWHERE, THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THEY'RE NOT DOING ANY TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT NOW.

AND SO I CAN IMAGINE THAT THOSE 13 ROADS HAVE HAD INCREASED, UM, FATALITIES EVEN SINCE THE LAST COUNT.

SO MY RECOMMENDATION, AND OF COURSE WHAT I WOULD DO AS MAYOR IS ALWAYS ADVOCATE FOR A FULLY FUNDED AND FULLY STAFFED POLICE DEPARTMENT SO THAT WE CAN HELP KEEP EVERYONE SAFE.

THANK YOU CANDIDATES, SPELLMAN.

UM, I, I, I WANT TO SAY COMMON SENSE, BUT OBVIOUSLY THERE IS NO COMMON SENSE WHEN IT COMES TO THIS BECAUSE IT'S STILL HAPPENING.

UM, YOU HAVE TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM.

YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHY IT'S HAPPENING.

UH, YOU CAN'T JUST GO GUNS BLAZE AND SAYING, I'M GONNA FIX A PROBLEM WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM.

ONCE YOU INVOLVE THE COMMUNITY, ONCE YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT'S REALLY HAPPENING THERE, AND THEN YOU PUT YOUR RESOURCES AND YOUR BEST PEOPLE ON IT, AND YOU FIX THE PROBLEM, JUST LIKE ANYTHING ELSE, IF YOUR HOUSE IS LEAKING, YOU FIND WHERE THE LEAK IS, YOU PUT THE PAN UNDER IT UNTIL YOU CALL THE PERSON WHO CAN COME IN AND FIX THE LEAK.

AND THAT'S HAPPENING ON OUR ROADS.

AND JUST LIKE MS. VERDEN SAID, WE'RE UNDERSTAFFED.

AND A LOT OF THESE KIDS, AND, AND I HATE TO SAY IT, IT'S THESE TEENAGE KIDS THAT KNOW THEY'RE NOT GONNA GET A SPEEDING TICKET.

AND MY NEIGHBORHOOD, JUST YESTERDAY, I WATCHED A KID GO 30 MILES AN HOUR BY ME AND MY LITTLE DOGS, AND I WAS LIKE, OOH, IF I WAS YOUR DAD, BUT I'M NOT.

SO, YOU KNOW, THAT GOES BACK TO PARENTING A WHOLE DIFFERENT TOPIC.

UM, SO THAT'S WHAT I WOULD DO.

YOU HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT'S THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM.

ADDRESS THE THE PROBLEM.

FIX THE PROBLEM.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE BUR BUR, UH, WHILE I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, I'VE LOST MULTIPLE FRIENDS AND CLASSMATES TO THE SAME ISSUE.

THEM EITHER SPEEDING OR SOMEBODY ELSE SPEEDING AND CAUSING THEM TO BE IN AN ACCIDENT.

AND NEXT YOU NOTE, THE SEAT NEXT TO ME IS EMPTY.

THIS CITY IS BUILT, UH, FOR LESS THAN 500,000 PEOPLE.

THE ROAD, THE INFRASTRUCTURE, EVERYTHING.

NOW WE'RE CLOSER TO A MILLION AND WE HAVE PEOPLE COMMUTING FROM OUTSIDE AREAS EVERY DAY.

OUR ROADS ARE NOT

[00:45:01]

BUILT FOR THIS TYPE OF DENSITY.

OUR SPEEDS ARE NOT BUILT FOR THIS TYPE OF DENSITY.

AND ON TOP OF POLICE DEPARTMENTS, WE NO LONGER HAVE PEOPLE WATCHING OUR ROADS, SLOWING PEOPLE DOWN.

SO OF COURSE, WE NEED TO LOOK AT THESE 13 PLACES AND TAKE CARE OF THESE PLACES AND FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOING ON WITH EITHER SPEED LIMITS OR BUMPS OR HAVING OFFICERS WATCHING THOSE SPOTS.

BUT ONCE YOU TAKE CARE OF THOSE AREAS, IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE OUTSIDE OF THOSE 13 AREAS.

IT WILL CO CONTINUE ACROSS THIS ENTIRE CITY.

WE NEED TO TAKE THESE ROADS AND LOOK AT IT AS A WHOLE PROBLEM.

WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF DIVOTS IN THE ROAD THAT CAUSE PEOPLE TO SWERVE.

WE NEED TO LOOK AT SPEED LIMITS.

WE NEED TO LOOK AT NEIGHBORHOODS AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE SLOWING DOWN.

THIS IS NOT A LIMITED ISSUE TO THESE 13 PLACES.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

I BELIEVE THIS IS OUR LAST QUESTION.

WE MAY HAVE TIME FOR ONE MORE.

OKAY.

UM, ON, AND THIS IS ON THE TOPIC OF LEADERSHIP.

WE'LL START WITH YOU.

CANDIDATE WATSON CONSENSUS IS DEFINED AS A COOPERATIVE PROCESS IN WHICH ALL GROUP MEMBERS DEVELOP AND AGREE TO SUPPORT A DECISION IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE WHOLE.

WHAT WORK OR LIFE EXPERIENCES HAVE YOU HAD THAT WILL HELP YOU WORK TOWARD CONSENSUS WHEN TACKLING THE ISSUES THAT MAY AFFECT COUNCIL DISTRICTS DIFFERENTIALLY? WELL, UM, CONSENSUS IS, IS SOMETHING THAT I'VE A PROVEN TRACK RECORD WITH.

UH, WHEN I WAS APPOINTED TO THE TEXAS AIR CONTROL BOARD, UH, THAT LIFE EXPERIENCE HAD ME, UH, SERVING WITH, UH, UH, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, UH, PEOPLE SAID THAT WOULDN'T WORK.

AND WE WERE NOT ONLY ABLE TO WORK, BUT WE MADE REAL PROGRESS.

WHEN I WAS RUNNING FOR MAYOR THE FIRST TIME, THERE WAS A DEFACTO TWO PARTY SYSTEM IN THIS CITY.

UH, IT WAS ENVIRONMENT VERSUS DEVELOPERS.

IT WAS SOS VERSUS THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, SIERRA CLUB VERSUS THE REAL ESTATE COUNCIL.

AND THEY SAID, IT'S GOING TO PARALYZE THE CITY.

YOU'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO FIX THAT.

AND WE WERE ABLE TO BRING, UH, AN END TO THAT WAR BY BUILDING CONSENSUS AROUND THINGS, INCLUDING SETTING ASIDE MORE PRESERVE LAND THAN ANY TIME IN THE HISTORY OF AUSTIN, IN THE TEXAS SENATE.

IN ORDER FOR ME TO HAVE THE LEVEL OF SUCCESS THAT I HAD, UH, I HAD TO BE ABLE TO BUILD CONSENSUS AROUND VARIOUS BILLS, INCLUDING THE OPEN MEETINGS ACT AND, UH, PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT.

SO MY LIFE EXPERIENCE IS GEARED TOWARD THAT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

CANDIDATE VERDEN? WELL, I HAVE QUITE A PROVEN TRACK RECORD FOR LEADERSHIP AND COMPLETING VERY COMPLEX CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS ON TIME AND ON BUDGET.

UNLIKE THE CITY OF AUSTIN, WHICH HAS BEEN NOTORIOUSLY CAVALIER WITH TIMELINES AND OUR TAX DOLLARS, I, UM, AM ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE THAT I CAN BUILD CONSENSUS BECAUSE EVERYTHING THAT I WANT TO DO FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN INCLUDES TAKING CARE OF THINGS THAT EVERYBODY CARES ABOUT, COST OF LIVING, CUTTING TAXES, EFFECTIVELY, ADDRESSING THE HOMELESSNESS PUB, RESTORING PUBLIC SAFETY.

WE CAN BUILD CONSENSUS AROUND THINGS THAT MAKE SENSE AS LONG AS WE ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE THINGS THAT MAKE SENSE FOR MOST OF US.

AUSTINITES, IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO ACHIEVE CONSENSUS.

IT'S WHEN WE ARE TRYING TO PUSH THROUGH PROJECTS AND ADDITIONAL UNNECESSARY BONDS, ET CETERA.

AND CONTROVERSIAL PROJECTS LIKE PROJECT CONNECT, THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF THINGS WHERE YOU'RE REALLY GONNA HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW YOU'RE GONNA BUILD CONSENSUS.

BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF AUSTINITES HERE ARE REALLY THINKING ABOUT THEIR POCKET BOOKS AND THEIR TAX BILLS.

THEY'RE A LITTLE BIT HARDER TO CONVINCE OF THINGS LIKE THAT.

SO WE HAVE TO JUST GO AHEAD AND PURSUE THINGS THAT MAKE COMMON SENSE FOR ALL OF US.

AUSTINITES, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

CANDIDATE SPELLMAN WORKING.

YEAH, THERE IT IS.

UH, ASK ANYONE UP HERE WHO THEY WANNA GO HAVE A DRINK WITH AFTER IT'S GONNA BE ME, AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

IT'S WHO'S, WHO'S GONNA GET THE JOB DONE? WHO'S GONNA STAY LATE? NO ONE'S GONNA OUTWORK ME.

NO ONE'S GONNA OUT HUSTLE ME.

I COME FROM A FAMILY OF SEVEN POOR LITTLE KIDS, MAN.

GOD BLESS THE IRISH CATHOLICS.

UM, BUT HERE'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU START A BUSINESS FROM NOTHING.

YOU LEARN HOW TO VALUE A DOLLAR.

YOU LEARN HOW TO BUILD CONSENSUS.

YOU LEARN HOW TO SATISFY YOUR CUSTOMER.

AND THIS CASE WILL BE THE CONSTITUENTS OF AUSTIN, TEXAS.

UM, IT'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT EITHER YOU HAVE IT OR YOU DON'T.

AND MY WAY IS THE WAY THE MAJORITY WANTS TO THINK.

AND THAT'S WHY WE'RE THE PURPLE PARTY.

THERE'S NO RIGHT, THERE'S NO WRONG, THERE'S ONLY WIN-WIN FOR EVERYONE WHO SITS IN THE THE COUNCIL WITH ME.

SO, UH, TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, I KNOW I CAN DO THIS JOB.

UH, I'M THRUST HERE BECAUSE I HAVE A 15 YEAR OLD SON AND I WANT HIM TO HAVE A GREAT CITY.

LIKE I HAVE A GREAT CITY AND I WANT HIM TO BE ABLE TO PLAY HIS GUITAR AT ANTONS.

I WANT HIM TO BE OUTSIDE STRUMMING IN FRONT OF THIS, UH, CITY HALL IF HE WANTS TO.

SO YEAH, I CAN DO THIS JOB.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

CANDIDATE BREWER.

UH, CONSENSUS IS EASY.

REACHING ACROSS THE AISLE IS EASY.

I WAS BORN IN SOUTHWEST AUSTIN.

I HAD FRIENDS IN EAST AUSTIN.

I HAD FRIENDS IN WESTLAKE, I HAD FRIENDS IN NORTH AUSTIN.

IT'S EASY.

I COME FROM A DEMOCRAT FAMILY AND I WORK FOR A REPUBLICAN AND THE LEGISLATIVE, UH, LEGISLATIVE INTERN, CAPITAL, CAPITAL, IT'S THINGS LIKE THIS THAT SHOW, IT'S A VERY SIMPLE PROCESS.

MOST OF THIS WORLD LIVES BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES.

IT'S WHEN WE HAVE POLITICIANS THAT

[00:50:01]

FORCE US LEFT OR RIGHT, THEN WE START TO SEE DIVISION.

THAT'S WHEN WE SEE IT HERE EVERY NIGHT DURING CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS.

WHEN WE SEE IT OUT WITH THE BETO AND ABBOTT, UH, DEBATES, WE HAVE THAT IN THE US CAPITAL AS WELL.

MOST OF THIS WORLD IS READY TO REACH ACROSS THE AISLE, AND THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING MY ENTIRE LIFE WITH EITHER MY LIFE, WITH WORK WITH FRIENDS.

CONSENSUS SHOULD NOT BE A CHALLENGE FOR ANYONE.

AND ANYONE WHO SAYS IT IS SHOWS THAT THEY ARE NOT READY FOR THIS KIND OF WORK.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

CANDIDATE ISRAEL.

CONSENSUS ISN'T ALWAYS EASY.

CONSENSUS HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE THE RESPECT OF YOUR PEERS.

UM, IN MY, IN MY EXPERIENCE, I'VE BEEN, I'VE SERVED ON SEVERAL BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL.

I'VE SERVED IN NINE, NINE LEGISLA, NINE YEARS IN THE LEGISLATURE.

YOU WANT, YOU ASK FOR A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE.

AND WHEN MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES WERE MOVING THE UBER AND LYFT BILL FORWARD IN THE LEGISLATURE, I WAS OPPOSED TO THE BILL.

BUT I MADE THE BILL BETTER WITH AN AMENDMENT THAT SAID, WE'RE GONNA CAPTURE DATA FOR SEVEN YEARS INSTEAD OF ONE YEAR.

I WAS DOING THAT FOR THOSE WHO WERE, WHO WILL BE WRITING IN THAT UBER AND LYFT, AND WE CAN CAPTURE THAT DATA SHOULD A CRIME OCCUR SO THAT WE COULD, WE COULD MARK THAT MOMENT AND CAPTURE THAT DATA.

I EARNED THEIR RESPECT BECAUSE I, I AM A TRANSPORTATION CHICK WHO LOVES THE TOPIC.

I ENGAGE MY, WITH MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS ACROSS THE AISLE AND SAID, WE GOTTA MAKE THIS BUILD BETTER.

I KNOW YOU'RE GONNA PASS THE BILL, BUT LET'S MAKE IT A BETTER BILL.

UM, WITH 10 MEMBERS ON THE COUNCIL, THEY EACH HAVE A UNIQUE PERCH AND THEY WILL HAVE MY EAR AND MY ATTENTION AND MY RESPECT FOR THE WORK THAT THEY DO.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

WELL, WE HAVE ABOUT 30 MORE QUESTIONS, BUT WE DON'T HAVE TIME.

UH, I DO WANNA BE ABLE TO GIVE YOU EACH, YOUR TWO MINUTE CLOSING BECAUSE THIS IS THE TIME THAT YOU'RE GONNA ASK FOR THE VOTES AND YOU'RE GONNA TELL US WHY, UH, WE SHOULD VOTE FOR YOU.

SO THIS IS THE TIME FOR YOUR TWO MINUTE CLOSING.

AND WHAT WE'D LIKE TO DO IS START, UH, IT'S, UH, CANDIDATE BURDEN.

IT IS YOUR TURN TO START.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

SO I JUST HAVE ONE SIMPLE QUESTION FOR ALL OF US OUT HERE.

EVERY EVERYBODY IN AUSTIN, ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE DIRECTION THAT AUSTIN HAS BEEN GOING FOR THE PAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS? IF SO, YOU HAVE CHOICES.

IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE DIRECTION THAT AUSTIN HAS BEEN GOING FOR THE PAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO THINGS BETTER AND DIFFERENTLY THAN PLEASE VOTE FOR ME UNDER MY LEADERSHIP.

AS MAYOR, WE WILL FOCUS ON THE TRUE PURPOSE OF CITY GOVERNMENT, WHICH IS TO PROVIDE A SAFE, CLEAN, AND AFFORDABLE CITY FOR ALL OF ITS RESIDENTS.

I WILL, I WILL FOCUS AND I WILL RESTORE FOCUS TO CORE MUNICIPAL SERVICES AND FUNCTIONS.

I SAY IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN BECAUSE IT'S SO IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT THAT IS WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING.

AT THE LEVEL OF CITY GOVERNMENT.

I WOULD VERY MUCH VALUE YOUR SUPPORT AND YOUR VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8TH.

PLEASE GO TO MY WEBSITE@JENNIFERFORAUSTIN.COM.

AND ALSO, WHEN YOU GET A MOMENT, PLEASE TAKE TIME TO VIEW THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE CALLED INQUEST.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU CANDIDATE SPELLMAN, HOW ABOUT, UH, THERE WE GO.

FIRST I HAVE TO THANK YOU LADIES.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

THIS HAS BEEN UNBELIEVABLY FUN.

UM, I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE UP HERE WITH ME.

I'VE LEARNED A LOT FROM EVERY SINGLE PERSON SITTING UP HERE AND I KNOW IT'S GONNA BE HARD NOT TO VOTE FOR THEM AND TO VOTE FOR ME, BUT IT'S JUST THE RIGHT CHOICE.

UM, I WANNA ALSO, UH, JUST TAKE THIS MOMENT TO SAY, UH, THE REASON I GOT INTO THIS IS BECAUSE I LOVE THIS CITY.

UM, I MADE A A A A, I GUESS A PLEDGE.

I WASN'T GONNA TAKE