• While registered lobbyists are required to file quarterly activity reports stating whom they’ve lobbied for and how much money was spent on lobbying efforts — only 21 people filled out the forms from January 2013 to December 2014. Only 13 filed reports covering more than one reporting period. (There is an exemption if the lobbyist had “no activity” the previous quarter and no changes from a previous report.)
Click Read More for entire article
According to an Austin Tenants’ Council survey conducted in 2012 and 2014, more than nine in ten Austin landlords of apartment complexes with 50 or more units did not accept housing vouchers. Most voucher holders are people of color. Voucher holders wait years to receive a voucher and then struggle to find anywhere to live, with little choice but to look for housing in racially segregated, economically depressed parts of town. This is the reality of discrimination, a reality in which the AAA’s opposition to source of income protection would continue. Here’s what it looks like:
entire article here:
Two articles talk about why the quality of life is degrading in Austin, but neither article talks about what the public needs to know about these issues:
We have reported on this before, but Austin's Rat Pack is the real problem. These five lawyers/attorneys work closely with City Manager Ott and Asst. Manager Richards to ensure their clients receive a staggering amount of waivers and incentive packages from the City of Austin:
Mike King in his article never points out that Nick Barbaro, who runs the Chronicle is also married to Susan Moffat, a founder of SXSW. How much has SxSW received in waivers since 2009? $2,585,346
2009 - $164,364
2010 - $224,708
2011 - $322,492
2012 - $441,277
2013 - $676,861
2014 - $755,644
2015 - $1,030,834
Unfortunately, these kind of giveaways hurt more than just taxpayers. The money and staff time that is spent on these clients have to be made up somewhere and it is small business owners and contractors who are paying the heavy price in extra fees and costs from everything from higher utility rates to excessive requirements for simple things, like remodels. This also affects hurts renters far more than home owners. When a contractor passes excessive over runs and extra fees along to small landlords, they have to pass those fees along to their tenants.
There is also this line:
"That's a five-alarm population boom. And the city came to it honestly, for the most part, by migration. Lured by jobs in the tech, government, and education sectors—plus a high quality of life marked by abundant live music and delicious breakfast tacos—tens of thousands of people made their homes in Austin in recent years."
This is completely false. Austin's growth is not caused by migration.The boom in Austin started in 2004, when the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the businesses that rely on the Rat Pack decided to create Opportunity Austin--a plan for growth that has never been shared with Austinites.
Austin Chamber of Commerce, RECA, and ARBOR are currently pushing forward Opportunity 3.0 despite the affordability, water, and transportation issues that Opportunity 1.0 and 2.0 have created.
Chamber's page on Opportunity Austin:
A report showing how Austin's metroplex has been mapped out for :opportunities":
And an article, where another city interviews Gary Farmer on the strengths of Opportunity Austin:
What's really disturbing is that Opportunity Austin could have been a great thing for Austin--if it had been shaped to ensure sustainability. Thanks to the Rat Pack, its control over City Staff, and its connections to the Statesman and the Chronicle, that hasn't happened.
Whether Opportunity Austin 3.0 can be changed to be more substainable depends on whether Austinites are fed up enough to begin standing up to the Rat Pack and the media, and to start asking some tough questions.
As of Jan. 15, Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan are about 34 percent full, low enough to keep Austin in stage two restrictions.
See current lake levels from LCRA
In stage two, watering is allowed once a week. In stage three, watering will still be allowed once a week but for fewer hours. In stage four, no outdoor watering is permitted, according to Derma Gross, Austin Water Conservation Division Manager.
One of Gallo’s priorities, which the new City Council will address today, is changing the Council’s format to be more accessible to the public and more respectful of the constituents’ time.
More than a few Council members have shown frustration with the process in the past, Gallo said. The meetings lasted too long — some ran until 3 a.m. — and many decisions on new resolutions were made late at night.
“It’s very disrespectful to expect people to be somewhere in the middle of the night when they have work and they have families,” Gallo said.
Gentrification has always been a top-down affair, not a spontaneous hipster influx, orchestrated by the real estate developers and investors who pull the strings of city policy, with individual home-buyers deployed in mopping up operations.
Not about Austin, but a good piece on the class warfare that nobody wants to talk about.
Please note: In 2004, the Austin Chamber of Commerce began an initiative called "Opportunity 1.0". One of the questions taxpayers should be asking is why the Chamber's plan, and the next two plans, have been embraced by CAMPO, Travis County and City of Austin government officials without consulting citizens if this is really what we want for our city:
Beth Ann Ray from the Chamber of Commerce, speaking June 13th:
"based on our input, from Project Connect, and the meetings and workshops that we have had with the project staff, you have an LPA that our committee (our transportation committee) selected actually, way back in the beginning in the first workshop we did, and a few weeks ago, that same committtee recommended to our board that they consider supporting the entire LPA from Grove all the way up to ACC’s flagship campus up at Highland redevelopment."
read more here:
please note: In 2004, the Austin Chamber of Commerce began an initiative called "Opportunity 1.0". One of the questions taxpayers should be asking is why the Chamber's plan, and the next two plans, have been embraced by CAMPO, Travis County and City of Austin government officials without consulting citizens if this is really what we want for our city: