Affordability is a top concern for Austinites. Small businesses are working harder than ever to survive and we are in a housing crisis that is crushing renters, hurting homeowners, and affecting seniors who simply want to stay in town. I love this city. Austin is a great place to live, work and play, but that’s not the story for everyone. I’m running because I want my neighbors to be able to stay here and thrive, and I want people to be able to see themselves in the future of Austin.
Austin’s urban planning was deliberately founded in exclusionary zoning. We need land use rules that everyone can understand so we can construct with certainty and build the city we want for our future. I don’t want to get rid of what people love about their neighborhoods, I want to purposefully enhance our neighborhoods, ensure we are welcoming, and make sure that people who live here can afford to stay. We need to streamline the permitting process to support homeowners and we need more homes – both Affordable and market-rate for renters and buyers – including equitable transit-oriented development for working people, and options for students and seniors.
We live in a city where we have made being without a home a criminal act, but we have done little to truly address the issue. To make lasting change, we must increase the pace of units for the unhoused and vulnerable and also encourage Housing First – a national best practice that prioritizes housing along with supportive services. We should better support and coordinate organizations providing services to those experiencing homelessness and also work to intervene sooner for those who are housing insecure so they do not go from homes to the streets.
Everyone should have access to quality public transportation that is reliable, comprehensive and sustainable. We must ensure that Project Connect is implemented equitably, and completed on time and on budget to meet community expectations. We should encourage continued efforts like ATX Walk Bike Roll that contribute to helping people get around more easily. We should support Vision Zero policies to make our streets safer. Improved transit and affordable transit-oriented development not only help us with our climate goals, but also with our affordability challenges by driving down the cost of living.
Our climate crisis is real and we need to get serious about meeting our goal of net-zero emissions. We must protect and increase our green space while ensuring they remain accessible to all. As part of our efforts, we must focus on flood mitigation and manage our water quality and consumption through greater planning and conservation like Water Forward. Let’s regrow our urban forest by planting more street trees to cool our walkways and help with air quality. We should also encourage alternative forms of mobility by continuing to invest in transit infrastructure and more safe paths for pedestrians and cyclists.
ARTS & CULTURE
Artists, musicians and creatives are key to Austin’s culture, and not only deserve to be paid their worth, but also to be able to afford to live in Austin. We must invest in making sure that Austin remains a place for everyone so that what we love the most about our unique creative and cultural character continues to grow and prosper as our city does. We begin by piloting key investments in affordable housing options and strategically investing in our creative community to ensure we pay for and uplift their work.
Small businesses are vital for our local economy. They not only account for jobs, but also add to the culture of community. I know just how important it is for small business owners to have a seat at the table. Like I did at the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, I will continue to be an advocate for the small business community so they may participate and thrive in the prosperity and economic might of Austin.
EQUITABLE, SAFE AND HEALTHY COMMUNITIES
All policy discussions should value lived experience and be grounded in justice, diversity, equity and inclusion. Every person in our community has the right to feel safe, and we must always stand up against hateful rhetoric and actions. We must also continue to advocate for equitable health care and reproductive rights. I believe that Austin only works for all of us when it works for each of us.