As our city has experienced dramatic economic growth, we have also faced a growing affordability problem with increasing numbers of Austinites priced out of their neighborhoods, moving to District 6 or farther. Decades of status-quo policy making on housing, regulation, and taxation has led to negative impacts for renters, homeowners, and small businesses. We must think differently about every aspect of city government to achieve a more equitable and affordable future.
Tax and affordability solutions include:
- Expanding the role of non-profit partners in coordinating response for community challenges — leading to more efficient, community-engaged solutions, economies of scale across jurisdictions, opportunities for private philanthropy, and overall cost savings to the taxpayers
- Completing efficiency studies on our public safety agencies, helping focus response to the need rather than sending multiple units from multiple departments to the same call, as well as right-sizing departments
- Implementing a fully-resourced Neighborhood Watch program that can educate D6 residents on how to better protect their property and provide lower-cost and community-focused support for traditional patrols
- Continued work to reform our development services and permitting processes which have led to increased costs for businesses and homeowners
What we've already accomplished
- Successfully limited tax increases in the 2018 and 2020 city budgets (and voted against the 2017 and 2019 budgets)
- Authored and passed unanimously multiple resolutions focused on pandemic economic response for industries impacted by SXSW cancellation
- Launched COVID-related economic loan and grant programs for small businesses, child-care, non-profits, and pandemic-related costs
- Supported COVID-related economic support for individuals, including the RISE fund and rental assistance programs
- Held firm on police union contract negotiations in 2018, substantially reducing costs to the taxpayers
- Held firm on fire union contract negotiations in 2018, substantially reducing overtime costs, saving millions of dollars
- New investments in workforce development to help current Austinites attain higher paying jobs
- Addressed water meter errors, working with D6 residents to prove discrepancies in water bills leading to an unprecedented apology by Austin Energy
- Worked with Rep. John Bucy III to file bills in the 2019 Texas Legislature to allow for senior and veteran discounts on the city's drainage fee as well as a bill that would eliminate a decades-old exemption allowing developers around Lakeline Mall to avoid paying traffic impact fees for new development.