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[00:00:02]

YEAH.

[I. Call to Order]

NEVER EPISODE.

ALRIGHT, I'M ABOUT TO POUND THIS, SO, OKAY.

ALL RIGHT.

HI, UH, MY NAME IS JEFF ILIAN.

I'M THE, UH, CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE CAP, UH, CAP METRO, UH, BOARD.

AND I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING HERE ON MONDAY, MARCH 25TH.

UH, WE'RE CALLING THE MEETING TO ORDER AT 12 O'CLOCK.

AND, UH, LET'S SEE.

IT LOOKS LIKE WE'VE GOT A FULL HOUSE AND WE WANNA MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PRESENT TO THE BOARD.

UH, SO WE ARE GONNA TRY TO CALL YOU IN A, IN AN ORDERLY AND TIMELY WAY.

SO WE'LL PROBABLY CALL, UH, THREE PEOPLE AT A TIME JUST SO THAT YOU KNOW WHEN YOU'RE UP TO DECK.

ALRIGHT? DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? UH, LET'S SEE AS WE, OKAY, WE WANTED TO CALL US IN HERE AT THE CAP METRO ROSA PARKS, UH, BOARDROOM.

BUT IT, I THINK WE'RE

[II. Safety Briefing]

GONNA START WITH A SAFETY BRIEFING, OUR MONTHLY SAFETY BRIEFING.

UH, GARDNER, IS THAT GONNA BE YOU? YES, SIR.

ALRIGHT.

UH, PLEASE TAKE IT AWAY.

UH, GARDNER, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS BARRY WHITE.

OKAY.

SLIDE, SLIDE.

I HAVE ONE, PLEASE.

STAND BY.

WE ARE GOOD.

.

THERE WE GO.

WELL, A GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYONE.

MY NAME IS GARDNER INE.

I SERVE AS CAPITAL METRO'S EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CHIEF SAFETY OFFICER.

UH, YOU ARE LOCATED IN THE ROSA PARKS, UH, BOARDROOM, AND WE ARE AT 29 10 EAST FIFTH STREET.

IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY, CAT, METRO STAFF OR SECURITY WILL CALL 9 1 1 A ED.

AND A ED IS ACTUALLY LOCATED RIGHT BY THE ELEVATOR.

IF YOU GO OUT AND MAKE A RIGHT TURN, ELEVATOR'S RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU AND AN A AND D AND AN A ED WILL BE LOCATED THERE.

IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY REQUIRING ANY EVACUATION, PLEASE USE ONE OF THE, UH, EXITS THAT YOU CAN SEE IN FRONT OF YOU, OR THE MAIN EXIT RIGHT OUT AND TO THE LEFT WHERE YOU CAME IN TO THE DESIGNATED ASSEMBLY AREA ACROSS THE STREET BY THE SCHOOL ON THE CORNER OF FIFTH AND LINDEN.

IF AN EMERGENCY REQUIRING AN EVACUATION REQUIRES THOSE WITH MOBILITY CHALLENGES TO EXIT FROM THE BOARDROOM'S EAST EXIT, PLEASE ALLOW FOR ASSISTANCE FROM STAFF BEFORE MAKING YOUR WAY DOWN THE STAIRS.

AND THAT CONCLUDES MY SAFETY BRIEFING.

ALRIGHT, NOW, YOU KNOW WHY WE CALL BARRY WHITE, RIGHT? MM-HMM.

AND PRETTY SMOOTH.

ALL RIGHT.

UH, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I APPRECIATE, UH, YOUR, UH, MAKING US AWARE OF WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO JUST IN CASE.

ALRIGHT, SO WE'RE GONNA MOVE

[III. Public Comment]

DIRECTLY INTO PUBLIC COMMENT.

UH, THE FIRST TWO PEOPLE I'M GONNA CALL, ONE WILL BE REMOTE, ONE IS HERE, UH, OPIA JOSEPH WILL BE REMOTE.

UH, I UNDERSTAND SHE'LL HAVE FIVE MINUTES.

UH, BILL MCCALLEY, YOU'RE ON DECK.

AND, UH, ROBERTA GONZALEZ JR.

WILL BE NUMBER THREE.

AND THEN I'LL, AND I'LL START FROM THERE.

DO WE HAVE MS. JOSEPH AVAILABLE? ED, MR. CHAIR? MS. JOSEPH DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE JOINED THE MEETING YET.

AHA.

ALRIGHT, SO, UH, BILL MCKINLEY, WOULD YOU COME FORWARD, IF YOU'LL LET US KNOW WHEN SHE IS AVAILABLE, UH, THEN WE'LL ADD HER THEN.

AND THEN JENNIFER GOVEA WILL BE, WILL NOW BE OUR NUMBER THREE, UH, IN THREE MINUTES? YES.

MR. CHAIRMAN, MEMBERS THE BOARD BILL LEY WITH TRANSIT FORWARD, UM, THIS TIME? YES, WE ARE NOW.

THANK YOU BILL MCKINLEY WITH TRANSIT FORWARD.

UM, AS CHAIR, WHEN I HAD A POSITION THAT WAS BASICALLY YOURS AND DOTTIE, WHEN I HAD A POSITION, MUCH LIKE YOURS, RUNNING A PUBLIC AGENCY, THINGS DIDN'T ALWAYS GO THE WAY WE WANTED THEM TO GO, AND PEOPLE WOULD COME UP AND ASK US TO DO BETTER.

AND THAT'S A GOOD THING.

THAT'S WHAT MAKES DEMOCRACY WORK.

THE FRUSTRATING THING SOMETIMES IS WHEN WE CHOSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PROBLEM, FIX WHAT WAS GOING ON, AND MAKE THINGS BETTER, RATHER THAN BLAMING OTHER PEOPLE, MAKING EXCUSES, WHATEVER, AND THINGS DID GET BETTER, PEOPLE WOULDN'T COME AND TELL US.

SO IN ORDER TO NOT BE THAT PERSON, I AM HERE TODAY TO TELL YOU THAT THE IMPROVEMENT IN RAIL SERVICE, UH, ON SPECIAL EVENTS THAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THE FIRST OFFS AND FC GAME AND THE LATER TWO HAS BEEN NOTHING BUT EXCEPTIONAL.

THE DIFFERENCE IS NIGHT AND DAY.

AND THIS IS NOT JUST COMING FROM ME, I'M IN THE LOS VERDES FAN GROUP AND I ASKED OUR FOLKS TO ACTUALLY REPORT BACK ON A LOT OF THE OPERATIONS.

AND I'M JUST HERE TO TELL YOU THAT TRAINS HAVE BEEN ON TIME, COMMUNICATION HAS BEEN SO MUCH BETTER.

BUS OVERLOADS HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR WHEN PEOPLE CAN'T GET ON THE TRAINS.

AND THE FLOW OUT OF THE GAMES HAS BEEN SUPER EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE, WHILE

[00:05:01]

NOT PERFECT, THE ENERGY AND OBVIOUS CARE YOU ALL HAVE PUT INTO IMPROVING THIS SERVICE IS REALLY WONDERFUL AND SHOULD BE ACKNOWLEDGED.

IN FACT, UM, AT THE SECOND GAME, MY DATE AND I GOT ON AT THE MLK STATION, DOTTIE WAS ON THE PLATFORM.

PERSONALLY, MY DATE COULD NOT BELIEVE SHE WAS BLOWN AWAY THAT THE CEO OF THE AGENCY WAS ACTUALLY OUT THERE MAKING SURE THAT THINGS WERE GOING RIGHT.

AND SHE WAS EVEN MORE BLOWN AWAY WHEN WE CAME OUT AFTER THE GAME, AFTER WATCHING THE FIRST TWO OR THREE TRAINS LEAD JUST TO SEE HOW THE FLOW WENT, DOTTIE WAS STILL ON THE PLATFORM WITH EVERYBODY ELSE.

FURTHERMORE, ANDY HAS BEEN ON THE PLATFORM EACH AND EVERY TIME SINCE MAKING SURE THAT THINGS ARE BETTER.

SO ON BEHALF OF TRANSIT FORWARD AND ON BEHALF OF MYSELF PERSONALLY, I'M JUST HERE TO SAY THANK YOU FOR DOING THE ABSOLUTE RIGHT THING, FOR PUTTING THE ENERGY AND EFFORT INTO IMPROVING THE SITUATION AND FOR BUILDING TRUST WITH THE COMMUNITY THAT WILL HELP US ALL GET BETTER.

MR. CHAIR, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

THANK YOU.

I'M DANG NEAR SPEECHLESS.

UH, , THAT NEVER HAPPENS.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

UM, IT, IT MEANS A LOT TO US BECAUSE WE'VE GOT A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO MAKE A LOT OF SACRIFICES AND, UH, TO HAVE THOSE ACKNOWLEDGED AND TO SEE GROWTH AND PROGRESS IS SO IMPORTANT TO US.

AND, AND I JUST WANT TO THANK STAFF AND THE LEADERSHIP HERE.

SO THANK YOU, BILL.

ALRIGHT, UH, ROBERTO, GOOD AFTERNOON.

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD, UH, NOT USED TO CALLING YOU UP LIKE THIS.

YES, SIR.

I, I'M HERE AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN TODAY, SO, UH, MY NAME IS ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

I'M A MEMBER OF THIS COMMUNITY.

I'VE BEEN A MEMBER OF THIS COMMUNITY FOR ALMOST 30 YEARS.

UH, MY WIFE AND I HAD A, UH, A CHALLENGING, UH, EXPERIMENT THAT WE WERE LOOKING AT, YOU KNOW, AND THAT THAT'S OUR CHILDREN.

SO THOSE ARE OUR EXPERIMENTS, BUT, UH, WE HAD A CHALLENGING TIME AT THAT TIME.

YOU KNOW, WE WERE LOOKING FOR CHILDCARE AT THAT MOMENT, AND PREVIOUS TO THAT WITH OUR OLDEST DAUGHTER, THERE WERE TIMES WHEN I HAD TO TAKE HER WITH ME, UH, TO WORK, TO OUT IN THE FIELD TO DO SOME OTHER THINGS BECAUSE THERE JUST WEREN'T ENOUGH OPTIONS AT THAT TIME.

WE WERE FORTUNATE WHEN CAPITAL METRO ENTERED INTO THE AGREEMENT WITH, UH, BRIGHT HORIZONS FOR THE CHILDCARE AND LEARNING CENTER.

AT THAT TIME, IT WASN'T JUST A CHILDCARE, BUT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO BRING OUR, OUR CHILD INTO AN AREA WHERE WE THOUGHT THAT SHE COULD THRIVE IN THAT, IN THAT, IN THAT ENVIRONMENT.

AND, YOU KNOW, WE PREACH OFTEN AND I PREACH OFTEN ABOUT FAMILY.

WHEN I WAS FIRST, UM, HERE AT CAPITAL METRO, THE IDEA OF A FATHER PERHAPS PARTICIPATING IN THEIR CHILD'S, UH, UPBRINGING, YOU KNOW, WHETHER IT BE AT, AT SCHOOL, TAKING THEM TO SCHOOL AND THINGS LIKE THAT MIGHT'VE BEEN A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT.

I KNOW FOR MY FATHER IT WAS VERY, VERY DIFFERENT THAN, AND SO I, WHEN I WAS PRESENTED WITH THAT OPPORTUNITY, I TOOK ADVANTAGE OF IT FOR THREE YEARS.

WE RODE THE BUS DAILY TO GET TO THE CENTER.

WE'RE FORTUNATE AT THE CENTER IS, IS, UH, CONNECTED TO FREQUENT SERVICE AT THE TIME.

UH, SO MY CHILD AND I SPENT 30 MINUTES EVERY SINGLE DAY JUST BEING, JUST GETTING A CHANCE TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER.

SO I'M FOREVER INDEBTED TO TO THAT, THAT I HAD THAT, THAT OPPORTUNITY DURING HER, HER FORMATIVE YEARS IN THAT, IN THAT PERIOD IN THE, IN THE COMING YEARS.

NOW AS, AS THAT CHILD GREW OUT, YOU KNOW, I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO HELP PROMOTE THAT CENTER WITH PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEES.

AND THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN SEEN AS A, AS A POTENTIAL BENEFIT FOR EMPLOYEES TO COME IN HERE.

IT'S ONE OF THOSE ITEMS THAT, THAT YOU CAN POINT TO AND SAY, I'VE, YOU KNOW, I'VE EXPERIENCED IT, THERE'S BENEFITS TO THAT AND THIS WOULD BE THE KIND OF ENVIRONMENT THAT, THAT THAT WOULD COME TO BE, UH, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO, TO BE PART OF OUR CAPITAL METRO FAMILY.

UH, WE, WE PREACH FAMILY OFTEN.

WE ARE NOT JUST COLLEAGUES AROUND HERE.

WE TRULY DO TREAT EACH OTHER LIKE FAMILY, AND WE DO TAKE CARE OF ONE ANOTHER.

MANY OF US COME TO THIS COMMUNITY, YOU KNOW, NOT HAVING DIRECT FAMILY MEMBERS IN THIS COMMUNITY.

SO WE MUST RELY ON EACH OTHER IN ORDER TO HELP CARE FOR OUR FAMILY.

SO WHAT BECAME MY DAUGHTER, UH, SHE'S NOW A SOPHOMORE IN COLLEGE IN CALIFORNIA.

SHE'S STUDYING BIOCHEMISTRY.

UH, SHE'S ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN EPIDEMIOLOGIST WAY BEFORE ANYONE KNEW WHAT AN EPIDEMIOLOGIST WAS AND WAY BEFORE THE PANDEMIC.

SHE'S GONNA BE DOING RESEARCH THIS SUMMER, UH, WITH ONE OF HER PROFESSORS IN THAT AREA.

SO I'D LIKE TO THINK THAT BRIGHT HORIZONS HELPED, YOU KNOW, PUT A A A GOOD STEP FORWARD IN HER CAREER.

AND SHE'S, I CAN ONLY SEE, YOU KNOW, GREAT THINGS FOR HER IN THE FUTURE.

SO I'M HERE TO PROVIDE SUPPORT, UH, TO THE BOARD.

I'M HERE TO HELP, I'M HERE TO TO, TO DO WHATEVER I CAN, UM, AS WE CONTINUE FORWARD IN FINDING OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP, UH, CONTINUE WITH THIS SERVICE IN THIS AREA.

SO WITH THAT, I THANK YOU.

IS JENNIFER HERE AS WELL? YES, SIR.

OKAY.

I CALL TO SAY JUST LIKE MY CHILDREN, I'M VERY PROUD THAT THEY TOOK AFTER THEIR MOTHER.

YES, SIR.

I'VE HEARD THAT.

I'VE HEARD THAT BEFORE.

I WAS IN THE BUS ONE TIME AND THERE WAS THESE TWO, UH, THIS COUPLE, AND THEY SAID, YOUR DAUGHTER IS SO BEAUTIFUL.

AND I SAID, SHE TAKES AFTER HER MOTHER, AND THEY SAID, OH, NO, WE, WE, WE KNOW THAT .

SO WE'LL SEE.

JENNIFER WILL BE NEXT, FOLLOWED BY, LET ME ADJUST THIS SO YOU CAN SEE ME BETTER.

GOOD AFTERNOON, MEMBERS OF THE BOARD CHAIR, TAVION, UH, PRESIDENT, CEO WATKINS.

MY NAME IS JENNIFER GOVEA AND I'M

[00:10:01]

SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF MYSELF IN SUPPORT OF KEEPING THE CHILDCARE CENTER OPEN AS A VALUABLE BENEFIT TO EMPLOYEES.

I HAVE WORKED AT CAPITAL METRO FOR NEARLY 23 YEARS AND MY SON ETHAN, WAS ONE OF THE FIRST IN THE FIRST CLASS OF KIDS THAT OPENED BRIGHT HORIZONS IN JULY, 2006 WHEN HE WAS JUST SHY OF THREE YEARS OLD.

BRIGHT HORIZONS IS MORE THAN JUST CHILDCARE, AS ROBERTO ALLUDED TO.

THEY HAVE A RICH CURRICULUM AND FAMILY ACTIVITIES TO GET KIDS READY FOR KINDERGARTEN AND SUPPORT FAMILIES.

I'M GONNA COVER FOUR POINTS HERE THAT I THINK ARE IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

FIRST.

THE FIRST ONE IS THAT I DON'T LIVE HERE IN EAST AUSTIN.

I LIVE NEAR CEDAR PARK, WHICH IS ABOUT 20 MILES AWAY, AND MY HUSBAND AND I, UH, CHOSE BRIGHT HORIZONS BECAUSE OF THE REASONS THAT I'VE ALREADY MENTIONED.

UM, WE HAD PEACE OF MIND THAT HE WAS JUST STEPS AWAY IF NEEDED AND WAS BEING PROVIDED.

QUALITY CHILDCARE.

MY SON IS NOW 20 YEARS OLD, UM, AND ATTENDING THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS.

AND I, I LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT BRIGHT HORIZONS GAVE HIM THAT, UH, HEAD START IN HIS EDUCATIONAL CAREER.

WE'RE VERY PROUD OF HIM.

HE'S STUDYING PUBLIC HEALTH.

THE SECOND POINT IS THAT, YOU KNOW, I HAVE STAYED AT CAPITAL METRO FOR THESE MANY YEARS BECAUSE OF THE BENEFITS, THE FEELING OF FAMILY AND PROMOTION OF WORK-LIFE BALANCE.

AND I'VE DONE MY FAIR SHARE OF OVERTIME OVER THE YEARS.

DON'T GET ME WRONG, UM, THIS HAS BEEN MORE IMPORTANT.

THE BENEFITS HAVE BEEN MORE IMPORTANT TO ME THAN CHASING THE DOLLAR AT THE NEXT JOB.

I LOVE MY JOB AND THE COMPREHENSIVE BENEFITS OFFERED ARE A KEY COMPONENT TO MY OVERALL COMPENSATION, JOB SATISFACTION AND WELLBEING.

THIRD, I DON'T, I DON'T THINK THAT ALL THE EMPLOYEES USE ALL THE BENEFITS ALL THE TIME.

THERE ARE DIFFERENT TIMES IN LIFE WHEN, UM, WE MIGHT NEED BENEFITS AT DIFFERENT TIMES.

YOU KNOW, KNOW HOW MUCH IS ALLOCATED TO OUR WELLNESS PROGRAM, FOR EXAMPLE, COMPARED TO HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE USING IT.

THE WELLNESS PROGRAM HAS SHOWN A LOT OF BENEFIT THOUGH BY, UM, HELPING REDUCE, UM, OUR HEALTHCARE COSTS.

SAME WITH THE CHILDCARE CENTER.

IT HELPS REDUCE ABSENTEEISM AND LOWER STAFF TURNOVER AND TURN TURNOVER OF STAFF IS NOT IN A VACUUM.

UM, IT AFFECTS THE TEAMS THAT, UM, ARE WORKING WITH THOSE FOLKS THAT LEAVE THE AGENCY AND, UM, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO SPEND TIME HIRING THE NEXT PERSON TO COME IN.

SO IT, IT AFFECTS MORE THAN JUST THE PERSON LEAVING.

AND FOURTH AND FINALLY, UM, I KNOW THAT CAPITAL METRO HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED AS AN EMPLOYER OF CHOICE HERE IN CENTRAL TEXAS MANY TIMES.

AND I, YOU KNOW, UH, THE CHILDCARE CENTER IS ONE OF THE EXCEPTIONAL BENEFITS TOUTED WHEN RECRUITING THE BEST TALENT TO THE AGENCY TO HELP US SUPPORT PUBLIC TRANSIT.

AND I WANNA THANK YOU AND APPRECIATE THE BOARD FOR TAKING THE TIME TO LISTEN TO THE COMMENTS HERE TODAY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR COMING DOWN AND SHARING WITH US TODAY.

THANK YOU.

ALRIGHT, UM, LET'S SEE.

NEXT WILL BE CATHERINE CROMWELL AND THEN MATTHEW MAHE.

HI, GOOD AFTERNOON, CHAIR PAVILION PRESIDENT AND CEO WATKINS AND BOARD MEMBERS.

MY NAME IS KATIE CROMWELL AND I WORK AS A PLANNER HERE AT CAP METRO.

HOWEVER, TODAY I'M HERE AS PIPER'S MOM, A 14 MONTH OLD ENROLLED ACROSS THE STREET AT BRIGHT HORIZONS TO RESPECTFULLY ASK THE BOARD TO APPROVE THE CONTRACT WITH BRIGHT HORIZONS.

BRIGHT HORIZON'S CHILDCARE CENTER IS A POWERFUL RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION TOOL FOR EMPLOYEES.

I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE.

I WORKED AS A TRANSPORTATION PLANNER IN CENTRAL TEXAS FOR OVER A DECADE.

DURING THAT TIME, I KEPT AN EYE ON CAP METRO JOB LISTINGS BECAUSE I KNEW THAT ONE DAY I WANTED TO START A FAMILY.

WHEN I TOOK THIS JOB IN 2021, I TOOK A SALARY CUT BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN THE SERVICE THAT CAP METRO PROVIDES TO OUR COMMUNITY.

AND BECAUSE I WANT TO WORK FOR AN ORGANIZATION THAT ADVOCATES FOR WOMEN AND FAMILIES IN THE WORKFORCE.

SO MANY IN OUR ORGANIZATION HAVE BENEFITED FROM BRIGHT, HAVING BRIGHT HORIZONS AVAILABLE WHEN THEY HAD YOUNG CHILDREN.

MANY OF THESE TEACHERS HAVE BEEN CARING FOR OUR KIDS SINCE 2006.

SORRY, TRY NOT TO CRY.

UM, JUST LIKE THOSE TEACHERS HAVE WATCHED OUT FOR OUR CHILDREN, NOW IS OUR CHANCE TO WATCH OUT FOR THEM.

I UNDERSTAND THIS CONTRACT IS EXPENSIVE AND WE NEED TO LOOK FOR WAYS TO HOLISTICALLY SERVE OUR CAT METRO EMPLOYEES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN.

BUT BEING A PARENT IN 2024 IS HARDER THAN EVER.

THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT EXPIRATION HAS LED TO A CHILDCARE CLIFF WHERE MILLIONS OF FAMILIES AND CHILDREN ARE LOSING OR WILL LOSE ACCESS TO CHILDCARE.

THIS YEAR.

CLOSING THIS BRIGHT HORIZONS WILL EXACERBATE AN ALREADY DIRE CHILDCARE SITUATION FOR EMPLOYEES AND FOR AUSTIN FAMILIES.

I'D ALSO LIKE TO NOTE THAT PAYING FOR CHILDCARE IS ONLY HALF THE BATTLE.

THE SHORTAGE OF CHILDCARE CENTERS IN CENTRAL AND EAST AUSTIN MEANS MANY PRESCHOOLS HAVE YEARS LONG WAITING LISTS.

THERE'S OFTEN A FEE OF BETWEEN ONE AND $300 TO EVEN GET ON A CENTER'S WAIT LIST WITH NO GUARANTEE OF ENROLLMENT.

IF THIS SCHOOL CLOSES, I TRULY DON'T KNOW WHERE WE WOULD PUT OUR DAUGHTER.

THAT IS HALF AS GOOD AS THIS BRIGHT HORIZONS.

THE TEACHERS ARE INCREDIBLE AND SHE IS

[00:15:01]

THRIVING.

I RESPECTFULLY ASK THE BOARD TO FIND A WAY TO KEEP THE CENTER OPEN LONG TERM WHILE WORKING TO EXPAND CAP METRO EMPLOYEE ENROLLMENT RATES.

THERE ARE DOZENS OF PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY YOUNG CHILDREN WHO RELY ON THIS CENTER AND NEED IT TO CONTINUE OPERATING THIS YEAR AND BEYOND.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME TO COME AND SPEAK TO THE BOARD.

UM, MATTHEW MAHA, FOLLOWED BY ARLEY ALEXANDER, PLEASE GO AHEAD.

GOT THREE MINUTES, MATTHEW.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD CHAIR TAVION PRESIDENT AND CEO WATKINS.

MY NAME IS MATTHEW MEJIA.

I STARTED WORKING AT CAP METRO LAST AUGUST.

I'M A RECENT GRADUATE OF UT'S COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL PLANNING PROGRAM WHERE I FINISHED WITH A 4.0 AND WAS SOLE RECIPIENT OF THE A ICP OUTSTANDING STUDENT AWARD.

I'M CONFIDENT I COULD HAVE FOUND WORK ELSEWHERE, BUT I SAW EMPLOYMENT AT CAP METRO BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN THE MISSION AND I BELIEVE THAT WE SHARE THE SAME CORE VALUES.

PRIOR TO MY TRANSITION INTO PLANNING, I WORKED FOR NEARLY A DECADE IN EDUCATION POLICY, HOLDING A DEGREE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SPORTS SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY.

I WORKED FOR A FEW YEARS AT THE HARLEM CHILDREN'S ZONE, A WORLD RENOWNED COMMUNITY AND EDUCATION NONPROFIT THAT SERVES CENTRAL HARLEM RESIDENTS WITH A PIPELINE OF SERVICES.

PEOPLE VISIT HCZ FROM AROUND THE WORLD HOPING TO LEARN THEIR MODEL SO THEY CAN REPLICATE IT.

I HELPED ORGANIZE THESE VISITS FOR GUESTS RANGING FROM CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATIONS TO SMALL NONPROFITS.

WE ALWAYS USE THE HEADSTART EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTERS AS OUR CLOSER BECAUSE EVERYONE WHO WALKED THROUGH THOSE HALLS AND WITNESSED THE VALUE OF THAT WORK UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS INVESTMENT WAS WORTH IT.

I SAY THAT TO SAY THIS, I BELIEVE YOU ARE UNDERVALUING THIS INVESTMENT WHILE YOU LOOK AT THESE NUMBERS AND SAY, I DON'T KNOW HOW WE CAN JUSTIFY THIS COST.

I SAY, YOU'RE NOT INVESTING IN THIS ENOUGH.

YOU'RE RIGHT THAT THIS SMALL CENTER DOESN'T SERVE ENOUGH OF OUR NEEDS.

WE NEED TO FIND A WAY TO EXPAND THAT OFFERING.

MAYBE A STIPEND WOULD WORK FOR SOME WHILE THIS CHILDCARE CENTER HELPS OTHERS.

MAYBE THE CURRENT CONTRACT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE, BUT ANOTHER WOULD.

THESE OPTIONS ARE CURRENTLY BEING PITTED AGAINST EACH OTHER, CREATING A FALSE CHOICE MODEL FOR ADDRESSING THIS PROBLEM.

IN REALITY, WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT HOW WE CAN PROVIDE ALL OF THESE OPTIONS SO THEY SERVE DIFFERENT EMPLOYEES UNIQUE NEEDS.

WHAT CANNOT HAPPEN IS THAT A LACK OF WILL TO FIND A CREATIVE SOLUTION MEANS THE IMMEDIATE DEFUNDING OF THIS CENTER, LEAVING LONG TIME STAFF MEMBERS OUT OF A JOB AND FAMILY SCRAMBLING TO FIND CHILDCARE SOLUTIONS WHILE THEIR EMPLOYERS STILL EXPECT THEM TO SHOW UP AT WORK.

CAP METRO CANNOT LEAVE FAMILIES, CHILDREN, BABIES TO PAY THE PRICE.

THIS IS NOT A BUSINESS.

WE ARE A PUBLIC SERVICE ORGANIZATION FUNDED BY TAXPAYERS AND THE GRANTS THAT THE PEOPLE BEFORE YOU WORK HARD TO WIN.

CAP METRO INVESTS IN ITS EMPLOYEES AND COMMUNITY IT SERVES BECAUSE THAT IS ITS ROLE BECAUSE THOSE INVESTMENTS PAY DIVIDENDS FOR OUR PUBLIC IMAGE AND EMPLOYEE RETENTION.

THIS BRINGS UP A RELATED ISSUE.

CAP METRO MUST ALSO INCREASE ITS PAID FAMILY LEAVE.

THREE WEEKS IS SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH TIME WHILE CAP METRO IS CONSIDERING ROLLING BACK ITS FAMILY BENEFITS.

THE CITY OF AUSTIN IS MOVING TO 12 WEEKS OF PAID FAMILY LEAVE.

WHY CAN'T WE OFFER 12 WEEKS? SINCE YOU'RE PRIMARILY CONCERNED ABOUT LOOKING AT THIS FROM AN EMPLOYEE RETENTION PERSPECTIVE, I'LL DO THE SAME.

I'M A TOD PLANNER HERE AT CAP METRO.

THE CITY'S E-T-O-D-E-T-O-D TEAM IS CURRENTLY HIRING.

THEY OFFER COMPETITIVE PAY MORE HOLIDAYS AND EIGHT WEEKS OF PAID FAMILY LEAVE.

12 STARTING IN OCTOBER.

I'M EXPECTING MY FIRST CHILD IN JULY.

THE QUESTION YOU NEED TO BE ASKING YOURSELVES IS WHY SHOULD HE STAY AT CAP METRO? AND THE QUESTION I'M ASKING MYSELF IS, IF THEY'RE COMFORTABLE CLOSING AN INFANT SERVING CHILDCARE CENTER WITH NO NOTICE, WHAT ELSE ARE THEY WILLING TO DO? THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COME AND PRESENT.

AND, UH, LET ME, LET ME REMIND YOU THAT THE COUNTY GIVES 12 WEEKS ALREADY.

JUST, JUST WANNA POINT THAT OUT.

.

I'M JUST HERE.

ALRIGHT.

UH, LET'S SEE.

UH, MS. ALEXANDER? YES.

AND THEN ON DECK WOULD BE LAWRENCE DIETER.

SO SHE SAID I'M NOT HELPING.

I THOUGHT I WAS HELPING.

ALRIGHT.

PLEASE GO AHEAD.

THREE MINUTES.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

MY NAME IS ARLIE ALEXANDER.

MY HUSBAND HAS BEEN A BUS OPERATOR FOR CAPITAL METRO VIA THE MINI RECENT CONTRACTORS FOR ALMOST 24 YEARS NOW.

WHEN WE LEARNED THAT WE WERE PREGNANT WITH OUR FIRST CHILD IN 2017, WE TOURED AND PLACED OUR NAME ON THE WAIT LIST AND EVENTUALLY WERE OFFERED A SPOT WHEN OUR CHILD WAS FOUR MONTHS OLD IN JULY OF 2018, THE CENTER HAS BEEN OUR FIRST CHOICE, BUT OUR CHILD'S THIRD CARE PROVIDER.

BY TIME WE LANDED HERE, YOU COULD SAY WE WERE PICKY AND HAD HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR OUR PREEMIE.

BUT OUR BUT LEAVING OUR CHILD WITH MS. LORI WAS NOWHERE NEAR AS SCARY AS LEAVING HER WITH HER PREVIOUS PROVIDERS.

OUR BABY WAS LOVED, SHE WAS HAPPY AND EXCEEDING BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS WHEN THE PANDEMIC HIT, WE WERE BEYOND GRATEFUL THAT THOUGH LIFE WAS NO LONGER THE SAME FOR MOST OF US, IT WAS THE SAME FOR OUR CHILD.

BOTH MY SPOUSE AND I WERE CONSIDERED ESSENTIAL.

HIM AS A BUS OPERATOR AND MYSELF AS AN EMPLOYEE WITH AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, WE WERE BOTH REQUIRED TO CONTINUE TO REPORT AND TO SUPPORT VARIOUS RESPONSIVE EFFORTS THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

MANY CENTERS WERE FORCED TO CLOSE DURING IN THOSE TIMES, BUT BRIGHT HORIZON SHIFTED AND REMAINED OPEN TO SUPPORT THE FAMILIES THAT STILL NEEDED CARE.

EXCUSE ME,

[00:20:01]

MS. MADDIE AND MS. ELISE WELCOME CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE PANDEMIC MASKING AND SOCIAL DISTANCING AND CREATED LESSONS AND NORMALCY FOR OUR CHILD.

AMONGST THOSE SCARY TIMES.

WHEN MS. ELISE LEARNED THAT WE WERE HAVING ANOTHER CHILD, SHE INCORPORATED ADDITIONAL LESSONS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANT TO BE AN OLDER SIBLING, NOT JUST FOR OUR CHILD, BUT THE OTHER FRIENDS WHO WERE BEING BLESSED WITH SIBLINGS AS WELL.

WHEN OUR OLDEST ENTERED KINDERGARTEN IN AUGUST, WE TEETERED WITH THE THOUGHT OF FINDING CHILDCARE CLOSER TO HOME.

HOWEVER, THE LACK OF AVAILABILITY AND COST FOR THE QUALITY MAKES IT WORTH DRIVING 30 MINUTES SOUTH AND KEEPING MY HUSBAND'S HOME BASE HERE AT THE SOUTH GARAGE, MY OLDEST IS ALWAYS EXCITED TO STOP BY TO GET HER TO HELP PICK UP HER SIBLING AND CATCH UP WITH MISS ELISE AND UNCLE CHRISTIAN AS A GROUP OF KIDS AFFECTIONATELY CALLED HIM UPON UP UNTIL HE LEFT FOR THE POLICE ACADEMY.

THIS CENTER HAS BEEN OUR KIDS' EXTENDED FAMILY.

THIS AMAZING GROUP OF PROFESSIONALS HAVE CONTINUED TO MAKE IT EASY FOR MY HUSBAND, YOUR EMPLOYEE, TO CONTINUE TO SHOW UP, DRIVE THE BUS FOR HOURS PAST HIS TIME, HIS EXPECTED TIME TO BE AT WORK AND, UM, EXCUSE ME, PAST THE TIME HE'S EXPECTED TO BE AT WORK GIVEN METRO'S INABILITY TO PROVIDE HIM WITH A RELIEF AT TIMES.

LUCKILY, BRIGHT HORIZON HAS EXTENDED HOURS, WHICH HAS MADE IT EASIER FOR LAST MINUTE PIVOTS WHEN I HAVE TO RUSH TO PICK UP ONE KID FROM AFTERSCHOOL CARE AND THEN RUSH SOUTH TO PICK UP OUR YOUNGEST.

AND MS. SIMMONS MEMO ON THE 21ST, SHE STATED THAT ALL CAPITAL METRO TEAM MEMBERS WHO HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS USING THE CENTER HAVE BEEN CONTACTED.

THAT WAS A LIE TO DATE.

NEITHER MY HUSBAND NOR I HAVE BEEN CONTACT BY, CONTACTED BY ANYONE FROM METRO IN REGARD TO THIS ISSUE.

IF IT WERE NOT, IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE OTHER PARENTS SHARING YOUR 11TH HOUR DECISION TO NO LONGER SUPPORT THE CHILDRE, WE DESPERATELY RELY ON, WE WOULD'VE BEEN LEFT TO SAY, EXCUSE ME, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN LEFT IN THE DARK.

SENDING AARI POSTCARD TO OUR HOME TO SAY YOU APPRECIATE YOUR TRANSIT EMPLOYEES MEANS NOTHING.

WHEN YOU'VE KNOWN FOR SIX MONTHS THAT YOU WERE PLANNING A CALLOUS DISRUPTION TO YOUR LOYAL EMPLOYEES LIVES.

AND WE WERE NOT EVEN WORTHY OF A PHONE CALL IN THIS CLIMATE.

WHEN ALMOST EVERY BUSINESS IS EXPERIENCING STAFFING SHORTAGES AND CHILDCARE CENTERS HAVE LONG WAIT LISTS.

WHERE DO YOU EXPECT US ALL? WHERE DO YOU EXPECT ALL OF US TO FIND CARE WITH LESS THAN A WEEK'S NOTICE? REALLY AWARE.

REALLY, I, LAST THING I REALLY JUST HAVE TO SAY IS SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR MAKING THAT DECISION.

THANK YOU FOR PRESENTING.

UH, LAWRENCE DIETER, UH, IS IS NEXT WITH CHRISTINA CHILD ON DECK.

GOOD AFTERNOON, CAPITAL METRO BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

I AM LAWRENCE DIETER.

UM, I APPLIED TO WORK AT, AT CAPITAL METRO WHILE, UH, LIVING IN CHICAGO, UH, I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE GRANTED AN IN-PERSON INTERVIEW.

I CAME, CAME DOWN TO AUSTIN.

UH, AND, UH, DURING THAT IN-PERSON INTERVIEW, I WAS GIVEN AN IMPROMPTU TOUR OF THE BRIGHT HORIZONS LEARNING ACADEMY.

UM, I DIDN'T KNOW IT WAS A BENEFIT THAT CAP METRO OFFERED.

I WAS VERY IMPRESSED WITH HIS CENTER.

THEN CAME THE JOB OFFER.

UH, CAP METRO DID NOT OFFER HIM AS MUCH MONEY AS I WAS MAKING.

I HAD TO TAKE A PAY CUT IN ORDER TO COME HERE.

BUT AS YOU'VE HEARD, I BELIEVED IN WHAT CAP MITCHELL WAS DOING.

I, UM, BELIEVED IT WAS THE RIGHT THING FOR MY FAMILY.

AND KNOWING THAT IT WOULD BE ONSITE CHILDCARE THAT WAS AFFORDABLE REALLY HELPED OFFSET THAT DECISION TO TAKE A PAY CUT.

I CLEARLY AM A WORKING DAD AND I HAD THE CHANCE TO BOND WITH MY CHILDREN WHILE THEY WERE AT BRIGHT HORIZONS.

UM, I, WE RODE THE BUS TOGETHER.

WE BIKED, UM, OVER TO BRIGHT HORIZONS.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE DID WHATEVER IT DID.

WE SOMETIMES WE CARPOOLED, UH, WITH, WITH MOM AND THINGS LIKE THAT.

I HAD THE CHANCE TO STOP STEP IN AFTER MEETINGS AND, UH, SEE MY KIDS LIKE MAYBE SOMETIMES THEY WERE ASLEEP, UH, NAPPING.

UH, MAYBE SOMETIMES I STOPPED IN FOR A, A GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH FOR LUNCH WITH THEM.

UH, COSTUME PARTIES, EASTER EGG HUNTS, UM, MANY SPECIAL EVENTS THAT BEEN OFFSITE CHILDCARE, NONE OF THAT WOULD'VE EVER HAPPENED.

I WOULD NOT HAVE HAD THE CHANCE TO BOND WITH MY CHILDREN.

UM, IT'S A SPECIAL CENTER.

THE STAFF FROM MS. LORI WHO HANDLED MY VERY TOUGH DAUGHTER VERY WELL, UH, TO MS. UM, MADDIE, TO MS. ELISE.

IT'S A MAGICAL, THEY PREPARE OUR KIDS, THEY TAKE CARE OF OUR KIDS SO WELL.

THEY PREPARE OUR KIDS IN AMAZING WAYS.

UM, I KNOW AS YOU'RE HEARING ALL OUR KIDS EXCEL IN SCHOOL.

MY KIDS ARE IN MIDDLE SCHOOL AND THEY'RE TAKING HIGH SCHOOL CREDIT CLASSES.

UM, IT'S THIS AMAZING RECRUITING TOOL.

SEVERAL OF THESE PARENTS YOU'RE HEARING TALKED TO, I WAS ON THEIR INTERVIEWS.

WE TALKED TO THEM ABOUT BRIGHT HORIZONS.

WE TALKED TO 'EM ABOUT MS. ELISE.

WE TALKED TO 'EM ABOUT MS. MADDIE AND MS. LORI,

[00:25:01]

AND THEY CHOSE TO COME HERE.

SO, UM, I'M URGING THE BOARD TO APPROVE THE ITEM WITH A MINIMUM TERM OF AT LEAST THREE YEARS SO THAT WE CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE A HOLISTIC SOLUTION TO EVERYTHING AT CAP METRO.

CAP METRO NEEDS TO BE A LEADER IN THE COMMUNITY, NOT JUST IN THE TRANSPORTATION WORLD, BUT IN EVERYTHING WE DO.

UM, CAP METRO OFFERS MULTIPLE TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS.

WE OFFER PICKUP RAIL, BUS, METRO BIKE TO MEET THE MOBILITY NEEDS OF OUR COMMUNITY.

IT MUST PROVIDE MULTIPLE TRANSITS, MULTIPLE CHILDCARE SOLUTIONS FOR THE NEEDS OF ITS EMPLOYEES AND THE COMMUNITY.

AND ONSITE CHILDCARE IS A CRITICAL IMPORTANT PART OF THIS SOLUTION.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME IS NEXT, FOLLOWED BY JAMES RYAN.

UM, HI.

I AM CHRISTINA CHILD.

I'M REPRESENTING THE COMMUNITY PARENTS HERE TODAY.

UH, AND I WANNA TALK ABOUT THE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS THAT'S FORCED ALL OF US TO HAVE TO NOT BE WORKING RIGHT NOW.

THIS 11TH HOUR SITUATION THAT WE ARE IN WAS ENTIRELY AVOIDABLE.

THIS BOARD HAD A SIX MONTH RUNWAY TO COME UP WITH AN ALTERNATE SOLUTION THAT COULD HAVE BEEN BENEFICIAL TO EVERYONE.

YOU ALL DID NOT DO THE WORK.

FULL STOP THE PROPOSAL THAT YOU PRESENTED.

IN SPITE OF THAT LACK OF A PLAN COMES WITH DEVASTATING DOWNSTREAM EFFECTS TO OVER 100 ADULTS IN THIS COMMUNITY THAT YOU CLAIM TO SERVE.

SO LET'S, LET'S BREAK THIS DOWN.

FIRST, WE HAVE 17 ESSENTIAL CHILDCARE WORKERS WHO WOULD HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS WITH ZERO NOTICE.

I'LL MENTION ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE WOMEN AND NEARLY ALL OF THEM ARE WOMEN OF COLOR.

AND WE ARE CRACKING THE LID ON THIS PR NIGHTMARE RIGHT HERE.

SECOND, WE HAVE 88 COMMUNITY PARENTS LIKE MYSELF, 44 FAMILIES WHO WOULD'VE LOST CHILDCARE WITH NO NOTICE.

WE HAVE JOBS.

WE LIVE IN EAST AUSTIN.

THIS IS WHAT IT'S LIKE TO TRY TO WORK WITH YOUR KIDS AT HOME.

UH, WE PAY TAXES THAT FUND CAP METRO AND OUR VOTES HAVE HELPED LAND MANY OF YOU IN POSITIONS THAT YOU ENJOY TODAY.

UH, THERE HAS BEEN SO LITTLE REGARD FOR THE HUMAN IMPACT OF YOUR COLLECTIVE NEGLIGENCE THAT THESE TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE WERE NEVER ONCE MENTIONED IN LAST WEEK'S MEETING.

THAT'S ALMOST A HUNDRED PEOPLE.

HUGE CONSEQUENCES.

NEVER MENTIONED PROFITS OVER PEOPLE.

TRULY THE MEDIA.

I MEAN, GET YOUR MEDIA TEAM READY BECAUSE THEY WILL EAT YOU ALIVE.

THIRD, AND THIS IS THE REAL KICKER.

YOU PROPOSE ENDING CHILDCARE FOR NINE OF YOUR OWN FAMILIES.

THE SAME CHILDCARE THAT ALLOWS THEM TO WORK FOR YOU.

MAKE THAT MAKE SENSE BECAUSE WE KNOW FROM THE PANDEMIC THAT WHEN PARENTS LOSE RELIABLE CHILDCARE, SOME OF THEM ARE FORCED TO QUIT THEIR JOBS.

AND WE KNOW THAT IT DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTS WOMEN AND THAT MAKES IT ALL THE MORE DISAPPOINTING THAT THREE WOMEN ON THIS BOARD, DIANE, BECKY ROSS, WHO'S NOT HERE, AND CEO DOTTIE WATKINS, WHO HAS PERSONALLY BENEFITED FROM THIS PROGRAM, DID NOT UTTER A SINGLE WORD OF SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES AT LAST WEEK'S MEETING.

SO DISAPPOINTING.

IF YOU'RE NOT BURNING WITH SHAME AND EMBARRASSMENT AT HOW SLOPPY AND SHORTSIGHTED THIS PROPOSAL HAS BEEN.

I MEAN, JUST YOUR WORK IN GENERAL.

DO BETTER THANK YOU TO COUNCILWOMAN POOL FOR BEING THE SINGLE ADVOCATE FOR FAMILIES AND YOUR OWN CAP METRO, CAP METRO EMPLOYEES, AND FOR PUTTING YOUR PEOPLE ABOVE PROFIT.

THANK YOU.

MR. ROBERTS.

HELLO, I'M JAMES RIVER.

THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TODAY.

I'M A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY WITH A THREE-YEAR-OLD ENROLLED AT CAP METRO BRIGHT HORIZON CENTER.

AND I HAVE A YOUNGER DAUGHTER WHO IS REGISTERED BUT HASN'T STARTED YET.

UM, I HAVE SOME CONCERNS ABOUT THE POSSIBLE CLOSURE OF THE CENTER THAT I'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU.

FIRST I WANNA REITERATE, UM, WHAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE SAID THAT IT'S, UH, ONE YEAR IS THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF TIME, UM, NECESSARY TO FIND ALTERNATIVE CHILDCARE FOR THE FAMILIES THAT ARE ENROLLED.

UM, I'VE JUST BEEN THROUGH THIS PROCESS.

MY DAUGHTER STARTED LESS THAN SIX MONTHS AGO, AND THERE IS INDEED A CHILDCARE CRISIS .

UM, WITH CLOSURE OF THE CENTER, NOT ONLY WILL THERE BE LESS AVAILABLE SUPPLY, OTHER CHILDCARE PROVIDERS IN THE AREA WILL NEED TO TAKE ON THE ADDITIONAL 50 KIDS

[00:30:01]

AND THERE AREN'T A LOT OF THEM.

SECONDLY, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, THE STATED REASON FOR THE CLOSURE IS, UH, BUDGET.

SPECIFICALLY THAT CAP METRO IS SPENDING TOO MUCH PER EMPLOYEE ON THE CENTER, UM, EFFECTIVELY SUBSIDIZING COMMUNITY MEMBERS LIKE MY FAMILY.

I DON'T EXPECT CAP METRO SUBSIDIZE, UM, MY FAMILY'S CHILDCARE.

UM, AND I'VE HEARD THE SAME THING FROM A NUMBER OF OTHER COMMUNITY FAMILIES.

SO I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT'S POSSIBLE IF COMMUNITY MEMBERS WERE PAYING.

UM, A MARKET RATE CLOSING THE CENTER ISN'T JUST PROBLEMATIC FOR PARENTS AND STAFF.

IT'S ALSO HARMFUL TO THE KIDS.

THE OTHER KIDS AT THE CENTER ARE THEIR FRIENDS.

THEY FORM BONDS WITH THEIR TEACHERS EVEN IN FIVE MONTHS.

MY DAUGHTER POINTS OUT THE CAP METRO EVERY TIME WE PASS TO EXCITEDLY PROCLAIM.

THAT'S MY SCHOOL .

AND THIS WEEKEND SHE TOLD ME SHE'S GONNA MISS MISS ELISE ON SUNDAY BECAUSE THE SCHOOL IS CLOSED.

I'D HATE TO TELL HER SOME DAY SOON THAT IT'S CLOSED FOR GOOD.

MS. LEE DOESN'T WORK THERE ANYMORE.

UH, NOBODY DOES .

UM, SO I WOULD STRONGLY URGE THE BOARD TO KEEP THE CENTER OPEN FOR A MINIMUM OF ONE YEAR AND, UH, COMMUNICATE CLEARLY AND DIRECTLY WITH ALL AFFECTED FAMILIES, INCLUDING COMMUNITY FAMILIES.

AND I FURTHER REQUEST THAT THE BOARD COME BACK TO US, UH, IN 60 DAYS, LET'S SAY WITH A PROPOSAL FOR RENEWING THE CONTRACT FOR A LONG-TERM CONTRACT LIKE THE PREVIOUS ONE THAT LASTED SEVEN YEARS.

UM, TELL US WHAT NUMBERS, WHAT WOULD WORK.

LET US TELL YOU IF IT, LIKE WHAT WE CAN DO.

AS I MEAN THE AFFORDABILITY CRISIS, IT AFFECTS ALL OF THE CENTERS, NOT JUST, UM, NOT SPRAY HORIZONS.

AND FINALLY, WHEN IT COMES TO AVAILABILITY AND AFFORDABILITY, REDUCING THE SUPPLY OF CHILDCARE WHILE ADDING MORE DOLLARS, CHASING THE REMAINING SUPPLY IS ONLY GONNA DRIVE LONGER WAIT LISTS AND HIGHER PRICES.

THANK YOU.

UH, EMMA MARTINEZ AND, UH, CHRISTINA LEE WOULD BE ON DECK.

EMMA MARTINEZ GOT THREE MINUTES.

THANK YOU.

GOOD AFTERNOON BOARD MEMBERS.

I'M EMMA MARTINEZ, UM, A CAT METRO EMPLOYEE.

UM, BUT TODAY I'M HERE AS A PARENT, UM, AND A PLANNER.

AND I'M HERE IN SUPPORT OF THE CONTRACT RENEWAL WITH BRIGHT HORIZONS.

THE FIRST THING I WANT TO ADDRESS IS THAT IT'S CLEAR OUR OPERATORS AND MECHANICS HAVE NOT BEEN MEANINGFULLY ENGAGED IN THE PROCESS OF EVALUATING OUR CHILDCARE BENEFITS.

I SPOKE WITH SOME OF OUR OPERATORS LAST WEEK AND NONE OF THEM THAT I SPOKE TO KNEW THAT CHILDCARE BENEFITS WERE EVEN BEING DISCUSSED AT THE BOARD.

HOWEVER, ALL OF THEM SAID THAT IF THE EXISTING CAP METRO CHILDCARE CENTER WAS MORE ACCESSIBLE AND AFFORDABLE TO THEM, THAT IS THE BENEFIT THAT THEY WOULD PREFER.

IMAGINE BEING ABLE TO TAKE A SPLIT SHIFT AND SEE YOUR CHILD WHILE ON BREAK.

THEY SAID, WHO DOESN'T WANT THAT? FURTHERMORE, WHEN I ASKED ABOUT A STIPEND, SEVERAL SAID THAT THEY WOULD PREFER TO USE IT TO PAY FAMILY MEMBERS FOR CHILDCARE.

THIS MEANS IF WE IMPLEMENT A STIPEND PROGRAM THAT CAN BE USED ONLY AT ACCREDITED PROVIDERS, OUR ESSENTIAL WORKERS WHO NEED HELP, MOST MAY NOT EVEN TOUCH THE STIPEND MONEY.

WE WILL SEE MANY OF THE SAME INEQUITIES IN OUR EXISTING SYSTEM REOCCUR.

SO LET'S TALK ABOUT SOLUTIONS.

IN 2006, CAP METRO PROMISED OUR OPERATORS AN ONSITE CHILDCARE CENTER THAT WORKS FOR THEM AND THEY DESERVE OUR FOLLOW THROUGH.

THE CONCERN FROM OUR BOARD IS THAT WE'RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH BANG FOR OUR BUCK IF WE FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT WORK FOR MORE OF OUR OPERATORS.

THERE ARE DOZENS MORE BABIES AND GRAND BABIES JUST WAITING TO INCREASE CAT METRO'S UTILIZATION OF THE ONSITE DAYCARE, WHICH AS I SAID WOULD BE A DREAM COME TRUE FOR MANY OF OUR ESSENTIAL WORKERS.

WE NEED AN INTERDISCIPLINARY TEAM OVERSEEING HOW WE CAN BE INNOVATIVE AND RESOURCEFUL AND MAKE THIS BENEFIT WORK FOR THE GOOD OF ALL EMPLOYEES.

CAP METRO IS KNOWN AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER IN EQUITY, INNOVATION AND TRANSPARENCY.

SO LET'S RISE TO THAT REPUTATION.

OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS NEED TO PAY MORE AND THE SLIDING SCALE RATES SHOULD BE REEXAMINED.

I ASSURE YOU OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS WOULD MUCH RATHER PAY MARKET RATE THAN SAY GOODBYE TO THEIR BELOVED TEACHERS AND FRIENDS.

SUMMER PROGRAMS AND AFTERSCHOOL CARE IS MORE PROFITABLE THAN THE CURRENT SERVICES PROVIDED.

LET'S SPEND THE NEXT SIX MONTHS EXAMINING A COST-EFFECTIVE WAY TO EXPAND CAPACITY WITHOUT AN EXPENSIVE BUILD OUT.

WE SHOULD CONSIDER THAT OUR PROCUREMENT MAY NEED A REDO, NOT JUST RENEGOTIATION.

FINDING THE BEST DEAL ENSURES THE LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY OF OUR DAYCARE CENTER RESTORING SOME OF THE STABILITY FOR FAMILIES AND DAYCARE EMPLOYEES THAT HAS BEEN LOST AT THE VERY MENTION OF ITS CLOSURE.

AND FINALLY, LET'S BE CANDID, RESPECTFULLY, THE RECENT SUGGESTION TO CLOSE OUR DAYCARE AND TRANSITION TO A STIPEND SYSTEM IS NOT ABOUT SUPPORTING OUR EMPLOYEES.

IT'S ABOUT CUTTING COSTS AT THEIR EXPENSE.

INSTEAD, WE NEED TO RENEW THE CURRENT CONTRACT AND INVEST IN OUR EMPLOYEE'S WELLBEING BY PROVIDING CHILDCARE THAT TRULY ACCOMMODATES THEIR NEEDS.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

I THINK, UH, NEXT IS CHRISTINA LEE WITH EDNA YANG ON DECK.

[00:35:02]

THANK YOU.

PLEASE GO AHEAD.

THREE MINUTES.

GOOD AFTERNOON, CAT METRO BOARD.

MY NAME IS CHRISTINA LEE AND I'M A COMMUNITY PARENT SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF MYSELF IN SUPPORT OF IMMEDIATELY SIGNING CAP METRO'S BRIGHT HORIZONS CONTRACT AND AGAINST FUTURE CLOSURE OF THIS DAYCARE, WHICH HAS BEEN A LIFELINE TO BOTH OUR FAMILY AND THIS COMMUNITY.

THEY SAY IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD.

WELL, BRIGHT HORIZONS CAP METRO IS OUR VILLAGE.

AND YOU ALL ARE THREATENING TO RIP THIS LOVING COMMUNITY AWAY FROM US.

THESE DAYCARE TEACHERS HAVE HELD OUR BABIES, KEPT THEM SAFE, SOOTHED THEM TO SLEEP WHEN WE COULDN'T AND WHEN, WHEN WE HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO GO BACK TO WORK.

BECAUSE AUSTIN IS AN EXPENSIVE CITY TO LIVE IN.

SOME OF THE BABIES HAVE BEEN CARED FOR BY THESE AMAZING TEACHERS WHEN THEY WERE AS YOUNG AS SIX WHEN OLD.

AND THE LEVEL OF TRUST, GRATITUDE, AND APPRECIATION WE HAVE FOR THE CENTER AND THEIR CARE OF OUR CHILDREN IS PRICELESS.

ONLINE YOU CAN SEE CAP METRO'S TAGLINE IS GOOD WORK.

THAT DOES GOOD.

IT'S A THING AROUND HERE, APPARENTLY AROUND HERE DOESN'T INCLUDE THE SIDE.

WE ARE NOT ONLY IN MIDDLE OF A CHILDCARE CRISIS AROUND THE COUNTRY AND THIS CITY, WHICH WAS MENTIONED, BUT EAST AUSTIN IS A CHILDCARE DESERT.

FORGET A STIPEND WHEN THERE'S NO ONE TO GIVE THAT MONEY TO AROUND HERE.

CAP METRO WON'T DO GOOD.

THEY'LL DO A GREAT DISSERVICE TO A COMMUNITY THAT'S HELD THEM UP OVER DECADES.

THE MINORITY WORKING CLASS, THE BUS OPERATORS, MECHANICS, THE BUS RIDERS THAT THIS COMPANY DEPENDS ON TO KEEP THE CITY MOVING, PULSING, THRIVING.

I AM SO DEEPLY MORTIFIED THAT THERE ARE MEMBERS OF THIS BOARD, SOME WHO ARE PARENTS THEMSELVES, THINK THAT NUMBERS ON A SPREADSHEET WARRANTS SHUTTING THIS ALL DOWN FOR FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY.

WHAT ABOUT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO COMMUNITY BEYOND THE NINE CURRENTLY ENROLLED EMPLOYEES? WHAT ABOUT THE 60 BABIES, TODDLERS, PRESCHOOLERS WHO HAVE THEIR WORLDS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN? THE FAMILIES OF THE TEACHERS AND CARETAKERS WHO WILL LOSE THEIR LIVELIHOOD? WHAT ABOUT THEM? WHAT ABOUT US? WE ASK THE BOARD TO PLEASE SIGN THE CONTRACT.

KEEP BRIGHT HORIZONS CAP METRO OPEN AND LET US, ESPECIALLY PLEASE LET OUR CHILDREN KEEP OUR VILLAGE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

UH, I THINK EDNA YANG AND UH, MADDIE MITCHELL WILL BE ON DECK.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

MY NAME IS EDNA YANG AND I AM HERE AS A COMMUNITY MEMBER AND A PARENT WITH A CHILD CURRENTLY AT CAPITAL METRO BRIGHT HORIZONS.

MY SON IS IN THE KINDER PREP CLASS.

UH, MY DAUGHTER IS NOW, UH, IN THE SECOND GRADE, BUT SPENT FIVE YEARS BEING CARED FOR AND EDUCATED BY THE DEDICATED, UH, STAFF AT THE CAP METRO CHILDCARE CENTER.

ENDING THE CURRENT CHILDRE CONTRACT WOULD BE SHAMEFUL.

THE CLOSURE OF THIS CENTER WOULD LEAVE A GAPING HOLE AND A TREMENDOUS NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AUSTIN IS ALREADY FACING A CHILDCARE SHORTAGE THAT HAS BEEN WELL-DOCUMENTED.

THE LACK OF AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE DAYCARE OPTIONS, ESPECIALLY THOSE SERVING INFANTS AND TODDLERS IS APPARENT TO EVERYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY CLOSING A CENTER THAT PROVIDES SUCH NEEDED AND ESSENTIAL CARE DEFIES ALL LOGIC CAPITAL METRO EMPLOYEES ARE FRONTLINE WORKERS.

THEY DESERVE AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE.

THEY DESERVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW THAT THEIR CHILDREN ARE BEING CARED FOR AND EDUCATED AT A FACILITY THAT UNDERSTANDS THE PARTICULAR CONSTRAINTS OF THEIR JOBS, AND THAT THEY DESERVE TO HAVE SECURITY IN THEIR CARE OPTIONS AND KNOW THAT THEIR CHILDCARE CHOICES WON'T EVAPORATE.

DUE TO ARGUMENTS ABOUT COST CAPITAL, METRO CLOUD, CHILDCARE CENTER BENEFITS, NOT ONLY THE CAB METRO EMPLOYEES, BUT ALSO THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE.

THOSE OF US WHO HAVE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO PLACE OUR CHILDREN AT THE CENTER, BUT ALSO THOSE OF US WHO RELY ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

YOU CANNOT RECRUIT A RELIABLE AND SUCCESSFUL WORKFORCE, ASK THEM TO DO A DEMANDING JOB AND THEN TAKE AWAY THE BASIC BENEFITS AND RIGHTS THAT ENSURE THE WELLBEING AND SECURITY OF THEIR FAMILIES.

PROVIDING A CHILDCARE SUBSIDY IN LIEU OF THE ACTUAL CHILDCARE CENTER DOES NOTHING TO ALLEVIATE THE DEMAND FOR CHILDCARE IN AUSTIN, ESPECIALLY IN EAST AUSTIN, WHERE OPTIONS FOR SUCH CARE ARE NEARLY NON-EXISTENT.

AND WHERE WAITS FOR INFANT AND TODDLER CARE CAN TAKE ANYWHERE FOR TWO, FROM TWO TO FOUR YEARS.

THE TEACHERS AT CAB METRO'S CHILDCARE CENTER HAVE BEEN CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY'S CHILDREN, MY CHILDREN AS WELL, FOR OVER 17 YEARS.

THE CLOSURE OF THIS FACILITY WOULD NOT ONLY IMPACT OUR FAMILIES, BUT ALSO THE LIVELIHOODS OF THE CENTER'S STAFF.

CLOSING THE CENTER WOULD PUT SOME OF OUR MOST ESSENTIAL AND VULNERABLE CARE WORKERS AT RISK OF UNEMPLOYMENT.

THE REPERCUSSIONS OF THIS PROPOSED CLOSURE WOULD BE FELT DEEPLY BY COUNTLESS FAMILIES WHO RELY ON THIS FACILITY TO ENSURE THE WELLBEING AND SAFETY OF THEIR CHILDREN WHILE THEY ATTEND WORK, WHILE THEY ATTEND SCHOOL.

I WOULD ASK THAT THE BOARD THINK LONG AND HARD ABOUT THE IMPACT OF ITS DECISION TODAY AND ALL THE PEOPLE, THE CHILDREN AND

[00:40:01]

FAMILIES WHO WOULD SUFFER AS A RESULT OF THE CLOSURE OF THIS FACILITY.

I WOULD ASK THAT YOU VOTE TO MAINTAIN THIS CHILDCARE CENTER AND EXTEND THE CONTRACT IN LONG TERM.

PLEASE VOTE TO SUPPORT WORKING FAMILIES AND SUPPORT OUR COMMUNITIES.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

UM, MAD MITCHELL, FOLLOWED BY WAYNE KRAUS YANG.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME SPEAK.

I'M MADDIE MITCHELL.

I AM ONE OF THE TEACHERS THAT HAD BRIGHT HORIZONS.

EXCUSE ME.

OKAY.

THINK I'M READY.

OKAY, SO I LOOK AT IT THIS WAY.

I'VE BEEN WORKING WITH CHILDREN FOR 27 AND A HALF YEARS.

I'VE BEEN WITH BRIGHT HORIZONS FOR 13.

THESE ARE MY KIDS.

YOU KNOW, I WOULD GO TO BAT FOR MY KIDS NO MATTER WHAT.

I WOULD GO TO BAT FOR MY TEACHERS AS WELL.

HENCE, THIS IS WHY I AM HERE.

IF YOU LOOK AT IT THIS WAY, THINK ABOUT IT.

CAP METRO HAS SO MUCH GOING ON.

WHERE ARE THEIR WORKERS AT IF THEY HAVE NO CHILDCARE, AS YOU CAN SEE, SOMEBODY POINTED OUT THEY CANNOT WORK WITH CHILDREN AT HOME.

IT'S, YOU HAVE NO WORKERS TO COME IN.

YOU HAVE NO DRIVERS.

YOU KNOW, NO MECHANICS.

WHERE DOES THAT ALL LEAD US IN A BIG HOLE, RIGHT? THINK ABOUT IT.

THIS HAS, THIS IS OUR LIVELIHOOD TO GET OUT THERE AND FIND SOMETHING ELSE.

NOT IN THIS ECONOMY, NOT IN THIS DAMN TIME.

MAYBE 45 YEARS AGO.

YES, MAYBE 50 SOMETHING YEARS AGO.

BUT NOW IT COMES TO WHERE DO WE STAND WITH THIS CONTRACT? YOU KNOW, LIKE I SAID, THESE ARE MY KIDS.

THESE ARE MY FAMILIES.

WE'RE ALL ONE BIG FAMILY THERE.

I'M AT YOUR TRANSPORTATION RIDER.

YOU KNOW, I AM PASSIONATE FOR WHAT I DO.

I WORK WITH TWO YEAR OLDS.

TWO YEAR OLDS ARE NOT A EASY AGE FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE.

WE REMEMBER, THEY ARE NOT AN EASY AGE.

BUT I LOVE BABIES.

I LOVE KIDS.

AND TO SEE THAT THIS PROGRAM, THIS CENTER STAYS OPEN TO SUPPORT THE COMMUNITIES, SUPPORT THE WORKERS, SUPPORT EVERYBODY THAT IT INVOLVES, LET'S PLEASE LET US AGREE ON A LONG TERM.

AS ONE OF MY PARENTS HAVE SAID LONG TERM, I MEAN IT'S GONNA BENEFIT US ALL IN THE LONG RUN.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

THANK YOU.

WAYNE KRAUS YANG AND THEN NATHAN.

UH, KINSMAN I THINK IS UP AFTER AND ON DECK.

UH, GO AHEAD.

THREE.

YOU'VE GOT THREE MINUTES.

THANK YOU.

I'M LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE TWO CHILDREN WHO HAVE BEEN PART OF THE CAP METRO FAMILY, UM, AND THEY'RE BETTER PEOPLE FOR IT.

AND SO ARE WE.

AND I WANT TO THANK YOU CAP METRO, THE BOARD FOR ACTUALLY HAVING CREATED AN INCREDIBLE NURTURING COMMUNITY.

BUT TODAY THAT THANKS COMES WITH ONE BIG FAT ASTERISK AND THAT'S THAT Y'ALL HAVE TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

CONTINUE TO KEEP IT OPEN AND MAKE A PLAN.

IT'S ONE THING TO PLAN THINGS OUT, FORM A COMMITTEE, DO THIS OUT IN THE OPEN AND GET THINGS DONE RIGHT.

BUT FAILING TO RENEW A CONTRACT RIGHT NOW THAT'S PULLING THE RUG OUT AND DESTROYING ALL THE GREAT THINGS THAT YOU'VE CREATED.

IT'S THE WRONG THING TO DO.

NOW, UH, WHILE I DO HAVE A CHILD LEFT AT, UH, CAPITAL METRO DAYCARE RIGHT NOW, IT WON'T BE FOR LONG.

HE'S GETTING OUTTA THERE SOON.

UH, SO I DON'T REALLY HAVE A STAKE HERE PERSONALLY, BUT I'M HERE 'CAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Y'ALL AND CAPITAL METRO HAVE DONE RIGHT BY US.

INCREDIBLY SO.

A GREAT ATMOSPHERE, THE BEST PLACE FOR CHILDREN, AND IT DESERVES TO REMAIN THAT CAPITAL

[00:45:01]

METRO BROUGHT WONDERFUL PEOPLE INTO THE FAMILY.

YOU MET MADDIE, BUT IT'S NOT JUST HER.

THERE'S LORI, AMELIA, STELLA, LILY, LUCY AND ELISE.

THEY ARE INCREDIBLE FOLKS.

THEY RAISED OUR CHILDREN IN MANY CASES BETTER THAN WE COULD.

THEY TAUGHT 'EM TO READ, THEY TAUGHT 'EM TO COUNT.

AND YEAH, THEY WIPE THEIR BUTTS A LOT.

IF THAT'S NOT FAMILY, I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS.

SO MADDIE'S PART OF OUR FAMILY, BUT SHE AND THE REST OF THEM, THEY'RE ALSO PART OF YOUR FAMILY.

AND YOU DON'T TURN YOUR BACK ON FAMILY.

IT'S THE WRONG THING TO DO.

NOW I'M NOT HERE TO TELL YOU HOW TO RENEGOTIATE A CONTRACT.

YOU WANNA GO TO IT, DO IT, BUT JUST DO IT.

RIGHT.

YOU KNOW, SET A PLAN AND FIGURE THINGS OUT ALONG THE WAY, OUT IN THE OPEN.

BUT FOR NOW, YOU MUST RENEW.

IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

AND ONE OTHER THING ABOUT THAT, UH, STIPEND, UH, MY DAUGHTER, WE PUT HER ON THE WAIT LIST AT, UH, CAPITAL METRO DAYCARE, UH, WHEN BEFORE SHE WAS BORN.

UH, AND WE PUT HER ON A LOT OF OTHER WAIT LISTS TOO, RIGHT? UH, THE FIRST CALL WE EVER GOT BACK FROM ANYONE ELSE WAS WHEN SHE WAS IN KINDERGARTEN.

A STIPEND AIN'T GONNA OPEN THOSE DAYCARE SLOTS.

YOU HAVE A CHANCE NOT TO DESTROY THEM, TO KEEP 'EM OPEN FOR THE COMMUNITY AND FOR CAP METRO, DO THE RIGHT THING.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

UM, NATHAN KINSMAN.

ALL RIGHT.

AND IF THERE'S ANYONE ELSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS THE BOARD WHO HAS NOT SIGNED UP, IF YOU WOULD SIGN UP NOW.

UH, THIS IS, THIS IS THE LAST SPEAKER OF RECORD.

UH, PLEASE GO AHEAD.

THANK YOU.

THREE MINUTES, UH, MEMBERS OF THE BOARD.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HAVING ME TODAY.

UH, MY NAME'S NATHAN KINSMAN.

I'M A PROUD EMPLOYEE OF CAT METRO.

I'M A DATA ANALYST IN THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT.

UM, I'VE BEEN WITH CAT METRO FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS.

UM, I LOVE WORKING HERE.

I LOVE ALL MY COWORKERS.

I CAME TO CAT METRO BECAUSE I REALLY BELIEVE IN THE MISSION OF THIS AGENCY AND, AND WHAT WE DO FOR THE COMMUNITY.

UM, WHEN I CAME TO CAT METRO, UM, THERE WERE A LOT OF REASONS WHY I CAME HERE.

UM, BUT ONE OF THE MAIN SELLING POINTS FOR ME REALLY WAS THE CHILDCARE CENTER BEING RIGHT ON SITE.

UM, YOU KNOW, WHEN I CAME HERE FOR MY INTERVIEW, I, YOU KNOW, TOOK A TOUR OF, OF, UM, THIS BUILDING.

GOT TO KIND OF GO OUT ON THE BUS.

I REMEMBER BEING THERE WITH KIND OF JENNIFER AND LAWRENCE WHO WERE HERE AND THEY POINTED OUT THE CHILDCARE CENTER TO ME.

AND I SAID, WOW.

IT'S LIKE, IT'S RIGHT THERE, RIGHT, RIGHT NEXT TO THE OFFICE THAT IS REALLY CONVENIENT.

AND I CAME HOME AND TOLD MY WIFE ABOUT THAT AND WE SAID, WOW.

LIKE THAT'S, THAT COULD REALLY BE A GAME CHANGER FOR US.

WE SHOULD REALLY TAKE THIS JOB LIKE VERY SERIOUSLY.

UM, SO ULTIMATELY I'M GLAD THAT I CAME TO CAT METRO AND IT'S KIND OF NOT A SURPRISE THAT RIGHT AFTER KIND OF, UM, COMING HERE, MY WIFE AND I STARTED PLANNING ON ADDING TO OUR FAMILY, WHICH I'M REALLY HAPPY TO SAY THAT SHE'S SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT.

WE'RE EXPECTING OUR FIRST CHILD IN MAY.

UM, I'M NERVOUS, I'M EXCITED, I'M TERRIFIED.

I'M KINDA ALL OF THE ABOVE.

UM, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT DID PROVIDE SOME COMFORT IS KNOWING THAT THE BRIGHT HORIZON AND CHILDCARE CENTER IS REALLY OUR TOP OPTION FOR OUR LONG TERM LIKE CHILDCARE SOLUTION.

UH, MY WIFE IS ALSO A PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEE.

WE BOTH WORK FULL TIME.

WE REALLY NEED SOMETHING THAT'S GONNA BE ABLE TO, YOU KNOW, PROVIDE QUALITY CHILDCARE, UH, FOR OUR SON FOR THE NEXT FOUR OR FIVE YEARS OR SO.

UM, WE TOOK A TOUR OF BRIGHT HORIZONS A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO, IMMEDIATELY GOT ON THE WAIT LIST BECAUSE OF JUST HOW IMPRESSED WE WERE.

WE WALKED OUT OF THERE THINKING THIS IS PERFECT.

UM, WE KNOW THAT OUR, FROM SEEING THEIR FACILITIES FROM THE CLASSROOMS KNOWING THIS IS JUST GONNA BE A PERFECT STEP FOR GETTING OUR CHILD READY FOR SCHOOL.

UM, AND TALKING TO MY COWORKERS WHO HAVE, YOU KNOW, HAD THEIR CHILDREN GO THROUGH THAT PROGRAM.

I CAN SEE FROM WHAT THEY'VE TOLD ME AT THAT THAT WILL EXACTLY BE THE CASE.

UM, I GOT REALLY EXCITED ABOUT JUST IMAGINING MYSELF BEING ABLE TO JUST KIND OF DROP MY SON OFF AT THE CHILDCARE CENTER, THEN COME RIGHT OVER TO THIS BUILDING TO DO KIND OF QUALITY WORK FOR THE AGENCY.

UM, IT WAS HARD LEARNING LIKE TWO WEEKS AGO THAT THAT MIGHT NOT BE THE CASE.

THAT THAT'S REALLY KIND SCRAMBLED MY PLANS, UM, ALONG WITH MY WIFE'S TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS KIND OF A LONG-TERM CHILDCARE SOLUTION FOR US.

UM, SO WE'RE KIND OF SCRAMBLING RIGHT NOW ON TOP OF KIND OF EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WE'RE TRYING TO PLAN FOR, UM, WITH A BABY COMING IN TWO MONTHS.

UM, SO I JUST, WHAT I MAINLY JUST WANT, WANT TO ASK OF YOU IS JUST TO LOOK KIND OF BEYOND THE DOLLARS AND CENTS OF THIS.

I DO UNDERSTAND KIND OF THE, THE FINANCIAL ASPECT OF THIS, BUT PLEASE JUST LOOK BEYOND THE DOLLARS AND CENTS AND KINDA ASK YOURSELF WHAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO HERE.

UM, AND I REALLY HOPE THE END ON KIND OF KNOWING THAT THE RIGHT THING TO, TO DO HOPEFULLY IN MY OPINION, BUT HOPEFULLY YOU CAN COME, COME TO YOUR OWN CONCLUSION, IS TO EXTEND, KIND OF FIGURE OUT A LONG-TERM SOLUTION TO KEEP THE CHILDCARE CENTER OPEN LONG TERM.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

APPRECIATE IT.

THANK

[00:50:01]

YOU.

OKAY, SO I HAVE THE JAKE RIGHT, BUT NOW I DON'T KNOW IF THIS IS BOONE OR, OKAY.

ALL RIGHT.

ALRIGHT.

WE WE'RE GONNA, WE'RE GONNA WORK ON PENMANSHIP THIS WEEK, .

ALRIGHT.

ALRIGHT.

THANK YOU.

AND, UH, I WANNA THANK Y'ALL FOR LETTING ME COME UP HERE.

I KNOW I WAS THE LAST MINUTE SIGN UP.

UM, I, MY NAME IS JAKE BOONE.

I'M A PLANNER AT CAPITAL METRO.

I BEGAN HERE IN OCTOBER OF 2023, SO I'M RELATIVELY NEW.

UM, LIKE MANY YOUNG PROFESSIONALS, MY WIFE AND I NEVER THOUGHT HAVING A BABY WOULD BE FEASIBLE FOR US FINANCIALLY.

UM, AND THAT STARTED TO CHANGE WHEN I STARTED MY JOB AT CAPITAL METRO.

I STARTED IN OCTOBER AND IN NOVEMBER WE FOUND OUT THAT SHE WAS PREGNANT.

SO, UM, THINGS HAPPENED FAST AND WHILE WE WERE SCARED, LIKE ALL EXPECTING PARENTS WERE, WE TOOK SO MUCH COMFORT IN KNOWING THAT WE WOULD HAVE THIS, UM, THIS FACILITY AND THIS BENEFIT FOR OUR BABY AND THAT WE WOULD BE ABLE TO STILL WORK, NOT HAVE TO SACRIFICE OUR PROFESSIONAL CAREERS TO RAISE A CHILD.

UM, SO I KNOW THAT MANY OF MY COWORKERS HERE HAVE EXPERIENCED THE SAME THING.

UM, NOW WITH THE FACILITY POTENTIALLY CLOSING, WE'VE HAD TO MAKE DECISIONS AND WE'VE HAD TO BUDGET THINGS DIFFERENTLY.

WE'VE HAD TO LOOK AT DOWNSIZING OUR HOME.

UH, WE'VE HAD TO LOOK AT DOWNSIZING EVERYTHING IN OUR LIVES TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD, UM, FULL PRICE DAYCARE.

UM, I JUST WANNA END BY SAYING TOO, AS A PLANNER AT CAPITAL METRO, A BIG PART OF MY JOB IS FINDING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR THE COMMUNITY AND PROBLEM SOLVING.

AND I'D LIKE TO IMPLORE THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD TO DO THE SAME, UM, PROBLEM SOLVE, FIND CREATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES.

'CAUSE JUST CLOSING IT DOWN WITH A MONTH'S NOTICE IS NOT A CREATIVE SOLUTION.

UH, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

ALRIGHT, THANK YOU.

UH, THOSE ARE ALL THE FOLKS THAT WE HAVE SIGNED UP.

IS THERE ANYONE ELSE IN THE AUDIENCE THAT WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK TO THIS ISSUE? UM, OKAY.

IF YOU, UM, WELL IF YOU'LL, IF YOU'LL GIVE A SHEET AND YOU CAN JUST, I'LL GET ONE FROM HER.

OKAY.

GOT.

ALRIGHT.

ALRIGHT.

MM-HMM.

, THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME SPEAK.

UM, AND IF YOU'LL TELL US YOUR NAME.

MY NAME IS GRACE KENZIE.

OKAY.

UM, I AM A PARENT OF A 13 MONTH OLD AT BRIGHT HORIZONS.

UM, I ACTUALLY DID NOT KNOW THAT BRIGHT HORIZONS CAP METRO WAS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC ORIGINALLY.

I FOUND OUT THROUGH ANOTHER PARENT, UM, AND WE IMMEDIATELY GOT ON THE WAIT LIST.

UM, WE WERE ON THE WAIT LIST FOR ONE YEAR.

UM, WE WERE ATTENDING ANOTHER DAYCARE.

UM, AND I JUST, RIDE HORIZONS IS SO SPECIAL.

I'VE ONLY BEEN THERE FOR SIX MONTHS AND THE THOUGHT OF IT CLOSING IS HEARTBREAKING.

UM, EAST AUSTIN HAS NO DAYCARES.

WE WERE SPENDING 45 MINUTES A DAY DRIVING TO OUR PREVIOUS DAYCARE AND WE LIVE FIVE MINUTES FROM HERE.

AND THAT IS TIME THAT WE'VE GOTTEN BACK WITH OUR CHILD.

UM, THE DAYCARE IS AMAZING.

THE TEACHERS ARE AMAZING.

THEY DO NOT CLOSE RANDOMLY FOR TWO WEEKS IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER, WHICH IS AWESOME.

UM, AND IT'S REALLY ALLOWED MY HUSBAND AND I, UM, TO NOT ONLY BE GREAT PARENTS BUT ALSO EXCEL AT OUR CAREERS AND WE'RE SO GRATEFUL.

UM, I KNOW THIS IS NOT A BLACK AND WHITE SITUATION AND I HOPE THAT WE CAN FIND A COMPROMISE IF, I HOPE THAT YOU CAN SIGN A CONTRACT FOR LONGER THAN A YEAR.

UM, BECAUSE AS YOU KNOW, THAT'S THE TYPICAL WAIT LIST AT MOST DAYCARES.

UM, SO THERE'S GOTTA BE A SOLUTION.

I AM HAPPY TO PAY MORE TO STAY AT THE STATE CARE AND TO HELP THE CAP METRO EMPLOYEES.

UM, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

SO I SEE MS. JOSEPH HAS MADE IT IN, UH, SHE WAS SCHEDULED TO, UH, SPEAK REMOTELY, BUT SHE'S ON SITE.

UM, MS. JOSEPH, RIGHT? YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES, TWO ITEMS. CAN YOU WAIT FOR MR. EASTON? GIVE MY SLIDES? OKAY.

THANK YOU MR. CHAIR MEMBERS, I'M ENOVIA JOSEPH.

MY COMMENTS ARE SPECIFICALLY RELATED TO TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACTS, WHICH OF 1964, WHICH PROHIBITS DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RACE, COLOR, AND NATIONAL ORIGIN.

I JUST WANTED TO CALL TO YOUR ATTENTION THAT CAPITOL METRO ACTUALLY

[00:55:01]

ACKNOWLEDGED THE RACIAL ZONING HISTORY.

AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE SLIDE, YOU'LL SEE AN ADVERTISEMENT WHICH SAYS HYDE PARK IS STRICTLY FOR WHITE PEOPLE AND SPECIFICALLY WHERE YOU WILL START THE LIGHT RAIL.

IT SAYS THERE IS NOT NOW AND NEVER WILL BE NEGROES FOR NEIGHBORS IN HYDE PARK.

NEXT SLIDE.

I JUST WANT YOU TO RECOGNIZE