Making growth pay for itself!

Did the Downtown Alliance Spend Public Money Illegally?

Before you run off to give thanks and stuff yourselves, we have this stuff for ya!

*  News Flash! 

Dowtown Austin Alliance
Dowtown Austin Alliance

We decided to go after what we believe to be illegal campaign spending by the Downtown Austin Alliance, which spent $440,000 of public money to push the recent rail plan.

Read this Austin Bulldog Article – Brian Rodgers warns city of potential criminal violation!

*  New Flash! 

Do you realize that early voting for 8 out of 11 seats on the Council starts next Monday?!

We proudly endorse the following: (for details read more here)

Please pass this on and vote next week!

District 1:  Ora Houston
District 3:  Susana Almanza
District 4:  Your have two great choices — Casar or Pressley
District 7:  Leslie Pool
District 8:  Ed Scruggs

*  News Flash!  Parkland Update! 

The Council majority practically gave Mayor Lee Leffingwell a heart attack calling to postpone the decision for the Decker Lake high-end golf courses until February for the new Council. Instead, they opted to postpone it until December 11th, the last meeting of the current Austin City Council. We’re praying they leave the new Council a wonderful present. That would be the opportunity to come up with a better plan for Walter E. Long Park, minus high-end golf courses to serve the downtown hotels.

We here at ChangeAustin.org wish you the lovely Thanksgiving. See you on Monday with early voting!

PS Read this special submission from Roger Baker (Austin’s very own “Road Scholar”) entitled, “CAMPO’s $32 Billion Congestion Nightmare“.

CAMPO’s $32 Billion Congestion Nightmare — Threat or Menace?

By Roger Baker

Just when we might have imagined that CAMPO’s history of generating developer-centered transportation planning couldn’t possibly produce a result worse than their previous plan, they have managed to pulled it off.

CAMPO has just gotten the results of its latest planning, and it predicts nightmarish peak hour congestion throughout Travis, Williamson, and Hays Counties in 2040, even if we spend $32 billion on roads and transit by then. And now this vision is likely to become Austin’s legally binding growth blueprint. How did this happen?

To review the current planning situation, CAMPO is the regional, federally sanctioned, transportation planning body for Austin and the surrounding six county metropolitan area. Every five years, CAMPO is required to come up with a new long range plan to get federal and state (mostly gas tax) money for regional road and transit projects. The new 2040 Long Range CAMPO Plan now being debated, modified, and must be approved in time to take effect in May 2015, replacing the CAMPO 2035 Long Range plan that is currently in effect.

CAMPO of course outranks the City of Austin in its bureaucratic pecking order, since it is a federally sanctioned planning body that controls the local spending of federal gas tax money. Given Congressional gridlock, and the fact that federal supervision of both the FHWA and the FTA are weak and chronically starved for money. There isn’t much federal planning supervision except that the local MPOs, the federally assigned planning bodies, have to follow the very explicit rules and deadlines in the federal code which govern the allocation of the shrinking federal money. Meanwhile TxDOT, controlled by Rick Perry’s road-centric appointees, is in a strong position to control CAMPO and other MPOs because of their control of the local allocation of Texas fuel tax revenues for roads.

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Parkland Heist Update

Come tell City staff what you think of their 735-acre parkland heist at their open house tomorrow — at Morris Williams golf course 3851 Manor Road from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. We’ll be there at 4:30.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, write your council members and come to City Hall on Thursday. Details to follow.

Watch this quick video of District 1 candidate, Ora Houston’s testimony before the Parks Commission recently:

Use the information on the post below to contact the Council now. Thank you Austin!

Don’t let them take our parkland.

We just ran this full page ad in the Chronicle. Please take action and share it. We’ll be back with more soon!
ParkAdAbbreviated

 

Mayor Lee Leffingwell: 512-974-2250  *  lee.leffingwell@austintexas.gov  
Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole: 512-974-2266  *  sheryl.cole@austintexas.gov
Councilman Chris Riley: 512-974-2260  *  chris.riley@austintexas.gov
Councilman Mike Martinez: 512-974-2264  *  mike.martinez@austintexas.gov
Councilwoman Kathie Tovo: 512-974-2255  *  kathie.tovo@austintexas.gov 
Councilwoman Laura Morrison: 512-974-2258  *  laura.morrison@austintexas.gov
Councilman Bill Spelman: 512-974-2256  *  bill.spelman@austintexas.gov  

PS Y’all are invited to Wimberley on Saturday, November 22 to help put a stop to the water grabs…more here.

Tell the outgoing Council Hell NO to this 11th hour giveaway!

See the light green area?  That’s 735 acres of parkland that the City Council & Mayor are rushing to hand over to private interests for two high-end golf courses until the year 2105. It’s an area twice as big as Zilker Park and larger than Mueller.

They want to ram it thru on November 20th. Email the Mayor & Council: Hell No to the Decker Lake Golf Courses!
GolfCourseMap-Park

“A golf course closes every 48 hours in this country. Golf is dying on a limb.”
NBC Sports Anchor David Briggs

“Golf has been a crummy business for a long time,” said Paul Swinand, an analyst at Morningstar Inc. in Chicago.

Bloomberg quoted the National Golf Foundation as saying 200,000 players ages 35 and younger “abandoned the game” over the past year.

The City of Austin just bought the Grey Rock Golf Club in March for $9.8 million in Circle C and our municipal courses are running at only 35-40% capacity. Why give up precious parkland for a declining sport?

PS  We helped bring you 10-1 to stop these farcical giveaways. Polls are open from 7 to 7 and you can now vote at any location!

Use it or lose it on Tuesday, Austin!
Change Austin Scorecard

Steal this election for Austin!

FB_robberPostThe Austin Board of Realtors has given the largest contribution — by far — to a single candidate in this election. That would be the $50,000 given to Robert Thomas in District 10. But what is ABOR asking for in return? ABOR does not disclose this on their website nor did they return Ken Martin’s call from TheAustinBulldog.org.

ChangeAustin.org does not dispute that groups should be allowed to raise and spend money to influence elections. After all, we are a PAC.

What we would dispute, however, is that there are PACs that do not disclose exactly what they’re asking the candidates to support.

On the other hand, we have done your homework for you, and we’ve made it abundantly clear exactly what we’re asking the candidates to do:

Read it, share it and steal back Austin!:

ChangeAustin.org/Council-Election
We have endorsed Jason Meeker in City Council District 10, the mighty Northwest.
And, please vote for Tim Mahoney, ACC-Place 1.

PS Today is the last day of early voting. Some polls are open ’til 9 pm tonight, such as the Highland Mall! (check here)

Thank you Austin!

(You might find Martin’s piece about this of interest!)