ChangeAustin.org proudly endorses Kathie Tovo against current Austin City Council incumbent Randi Shade in the runoff election for City Council, Place 3 based on Shade’s refusal to oppose a taxpayer subsidy to Formula 1 racing and her opposition to fair geographic representation for Austin voters.
The endorsement acknowledges Kathie Tovo’s opposition to city subsidies for Formula 1 and her enthusiastic support for fair geographic representation (single-member districts) combined with a process that would take the redistricting process out of the hands of the Austin City Council and put it in the hands of a non-partisan redistricting commission.
ChangeAustin.org was co-founded by Brian Rodgers who fought the Domain Mall subsidies and most recently broke the story on the Austin City Council’s “round-robin” open meetings violations. Rodgers said, “It is clear to us that Council Member Shade supports subsidies for Formula 1 and can’t see past the cockeyed economic projections put forth by State Comptroller Susan Combs and the promoters and billionaire owners of Formula 1. Spending $290 million of taxpayer money on a sports franchise in the midst of school closures and social service cuts is a despicable act of runaway government. In addition, Shade does not support geographic representation for city council elections, even though all council members live inside the central city. ChangeAustin members living outside the central city feel politically marooned and have shown enthusiastic support for single member districts while Councilwoman Shade has been pushing a process to keep just another version of the at-large system in place.”
In contrast, Kathie Tovo has run commercials alerting Austinites to the proposal to help divert tax dollars to Formula 1. She also enthusiastically supports single-member districts and believes changing our current system will ensure more geographic representation on the City Council and produce more economic diversity among candidates. She believes Council races have become very costly and time-consuming, which discourages many excellent candidates from pursuing public office. She has also said she will work with the City and community stakeholders to hold a series of public hearings across the community to allow the public to decide what Austin’s new system should look like. This includes a non-partisan redistricting process to take the politics out of drawing district lines.
ChangeAustin.org has a flier they’re asking voters to circulate in their communities and on the internet which can be found here. Live phone calls are now underway to reach thousands of Austin voters who opposed the Domain subsidies in 2008.
Linda Curtis, co-founder of ChangeAustin.org, said, “We are calling on ChangeAustin.org’s supporters to help us break through the cynicism that Austinites feel about their officials — a big reason why they’re not voting. It will take neighbors talking to neighbors to help get folks to the polls. We need your help to reach 12,000 of our supporters!”
Early voting starts today, June 6th and runs through Tuesday, June 14th. Election day is Saturday, June 18th. Polls are open 7 to 7. Early and election day voting polls and information for Travis County and Williamson County are here.