Making growth pay for itself!

What’s the Dealey, really!?

What we love most about this City Council election is that it’s a horse race. For us, that was the whole point of 10-1.

Today, one of the candidates in District 10 (NW Austin), Mandy Dealey, put out an email stating that: “Yesterday, a local political action committee declared that they would be spending $50,000 to help one of my opponents.” She goes on to say that District 10 is “not for sale to any special interests.” Well, ok…we agree.

But, what’s most revealing is what Dealey leaves out. The candidate receiving this $50,000 spending windfall is Robert Thomas and the special interest is the Austin Board of Realtors (here’s the disclosure). Thomas is most surely the “growthiest” candidate in the race and will unabashedly serve the “bigger is better” growth coalition.

Neither Thomas nor Dealey will stand up to those who are driving subsidized growth and its intimate partner — growing unaffordability – as we learned from their answers to our questionnaire right here.

Meekerpix
This is Jason, Sam and Stephanie.

We’ve known Jason Meeker for 8 years.
He was there when we founded ChangeAustin.org.
We know he has what it takes to stand up to the Austin real estate growth lobby.
Check his answers too

Folks, there’s only one thing money can’t buy. It’s your activism!

Join us this Saturday to phone bank from 10 – 2 pm
602 West 11th St.
(let us know f you’re coming)

Don’t forget to visit our One-Stop-Shop for this City Election
RIGHT HERE

Find your district and READ what the candidates actually SAY — IT’S REVEALING!

Want to help our online social networking (and cheap!) ad campaign?
We would love to get $50K, but we’re happy to get $5 from ya!

Best Ad in Austin No on Rail Bonds

The best campaign ad in Austin was not ours. It’s the No on Rail BondsRailAdjpeg

This ad reeks so badly of establishment entitlement it is reason alone to Vote FOR Tim Mahoney for ACC-Place 1!

Don’t be lazy. Read the candidate’s answers to our questionnaire–they are revealing! Go here and share!

TAKE OUR CITY BACK THIS SATURDAY
AT our PHONE BANK!

Your actual activity — in this hotly competitive election —
is more important than any endorsements including ours.
We will be calling into District 10 this Saturday!
Joins us from 10 – 2 pm at 602 West 11th St.

Wanna help Jason Meeker (District 10) or Tim Mahoney (ACC-Place 1) directly? Here’s Jason’s website and here’s Tim’s.

Like and share this won’t you? For details about the phone bank please contact Linda at 512-535-0989 or .

ChangeAustin.org Proudly Endorses Jason Meeker, District 10!

ChangeAustin.org just decided to endorse Jason Meeker in the District 10 Austin City Council race!

We figured out that if District 10 voters do not target their votes, we’ll wind up with the same kind of failed leadership of the past representing District 10. Here’s our scorecard — see what we mean with Dealey or Thomas? Come see us tonight, October 20th, at Big Daddy’s (9070 Research) at 6 pm to volunteer and celebrate the start of early voting under 10-1. And please share this!
AdMeeker

Celebrate First Day of Early Voting Under 10-1 this Monday night!

To celebrate the start of early voting for the first time under the new 10-1 system, join us this coming Monday the 20th, from 6 to 7:30 pm, at Big Daddy’s Burgers and Bar, 9070 Research map here.

Between beers and burgers, we will entertain discussion about the candidates and how you can help ChangeAustin.org inform more voters using Facebook. Sam Davis will show us how.

We have $100 to spend on ice-tea and beer, so come early before we run outta cash.

How do you like the Reject Riley ad we’ll be running in the Chronicle this week? If you can spare a dime to help pay for it, please do!
Riley Chronicle Final

ChangeAustin.org scorecard for this City Council Election!

FB_Ad_scorecard

We sparked and helped lead the battle for “10-1″.

We did it for one reason — to give Austin voters a chance to take back our city from the real estate lobby “growth machine” that is driving up the cost of living and continues to offload hundreds of millions of dollars in public infrastructure costs onto the backs of current residents to pay for all the new developments.

They can’t get people to move here fast enough, while we try to figure out how we can afford to stay here.

This ain’t about the bag ban, it’s about sacking those who have made our town just one big real estate play — at our expense!

Here’s how we scored Candidates for Austin Mayor and City Council

If you think it’s worthy, please share it!

Let’s take our city back, once and for all of Austin, y’all!

The Case of the Missing Schwab Claw Back

Though the vote on Tuesday by the Travis County Commissioners Court was no surprise (4 to 1 for the Schwab deal), what did take us by surprScreen Shot 2014-08-06 at 8.41.54 PMise was the sleight of hand by the Court majority on the Schwab “claw back” clause. Austin media missed it too!

A claw back clause is supposed to protect the taxpayers by requiring companies who take public dollars and promise x, y and z, actually meet those promises. If they don’t, they have to give the money back.

Thanks to the due diligence of local developer, Ed Wendler, Jr., a longtime proponent of tax incentive reform, we got to see these magicians at the County in full action and they’re on tape!

Here’s how it went down.

At the beginning of the meeting, County Judge Sam Biscoe, who saw Wendler coming, asked the County Attorney, “Is the claw back clause there?” The County Attorney, dutifully answered in the affirmative. No questions asked.

In his testimony, Wendler raises the issue of the claw back stating that it’s there but it’s gutted because it’s only good for years 6 through 10. What about the first five years of the contract? It ain’t there, folks!

Then Commissioner Gerald Daugherty steps in and asks Schwab (not the County Attorney mind you), what their opinion is! What do you think they’re going to tell you, Gerald? Schwab’s response, “it’s ridiculous”.

Former Mayor Bruce Todd, who was appointed by Biscoe to temporarily fill the vacancy in Precinct 2 when Sarah Eckhardt decided to run for County Judge, completed the trick stating that the County needed to keep its word. Hmmm…where have we heard that one before?

Wendler’s most important testimony: giving these incentives in the midst of unparalleled growth is inflationary.

You warned them, Ed.

Now our only question is whether YOU, Austin voters, are ready to claw back our city!

Here’s what some of the candidates for City Council said when we asked them what they would do if the Schwab incentive came to the Austin City Council.

Will Austin Voters Open Up a Can of Whoopass?

Pete Winstead, bulldozing at Commissioners Court last Tuesday, for the Austin Chamber on the Schwab taxpayer dollar handout.
Pete Winstead, bulldozing at Commissioners Court last Tuesday, for the Austin Chamber on the Schwab taxpayer dollar handout.

Former Travis County Judge Bill Aleshire sent us this note today, When deciding whether to grant tax incentives, the right answer comes from asking the right questions. Our elected officials should be asking these questions: How will this tax gift to Schwab make Austin more affordable for people who must pay taxes? Will those taxpayers be safer, healthier, or better off if you vote for the Schwab tax gift?”

To his credit, last Tuesday Commissioner Ron Davis asked Schwab, “Why haven’t you gone to the City of Austin since this project is in the city?” Of course, he got no answer. But we already know the answer, don’t we? Four of the seven City Council members are running in this election. Schwab wanted a no risk deal. In all likelihood, they’ve got their votes before new commissioners take office next year.

The public hasn’t even seen the contract yet, people! The real estate lobby, represented by Pete Winstead last Tuesday, and their minions in public office, are telling Austin residents in so many words to go to hell. Why? Because they can and because they cannot control their greed. But they do this at a risk.

The plunder of Austin is what gave rise to the 10-1 movement. We should know, since we started it.

But whether this turns into a true full-on voter revolt in November when we elect the new Austin City Council, is totally up to YOU – Austin voters.

STAY TUNED and GET INVOLVED now!
We have asked all the candidates running for Council and Mayor to tell us
how they would vote on the Schwab deal if it came to Council.

We will share the candidate responses next Tuesday with you and media at Commissioners Court.

If you can make it down to the Commissioners Court, please do.
That’s Tuesday at 9 am, join us there.
700 Lavaca, 1st Floor

Bring a can of whoopass with you, please. That’s a figure of speech so don’t get too excited, unless you have one of these:  ========>>>

If you feel like emailing the Commissioners, have at it: (please leave a comment below too — we love the entertainment!)
Sam.Biscoe@co.travis.tx.us
ron.davis@co.travis.tx.us
Bruce.Todd@co.travis.tx.us
Margaret.Gomez@co.travis.tx.us
Gerald.Daugherty@co.travis.tx.us

Taxpayer Handout to Schwab…3 days notice!

You know there’s something really wrong when the Austin Business Journal starts sounding like the Rag Blog. But when it comes to a taxpayer handout to Schwab — that the County and the Company have been hiding until the last minute — it appears that we’re all in this together.

Travis County Commissioners Court will hold a “public hearing” tomorrow on a $8.5M (over 10 years) subsidy that includes a $3.6M County grant to Schwab. They gave our community 3 days notice on this one. Whupdedoo!
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Property Tax Forum Saturday!

138Since 2009, ChangeAustin.org has been working in a variety of ways to address the unfair burden placed on homeowners under a property tax system that badly needs reform. We are delighted that many of the candidates running for City Council in November are beginning to address these issues.

Please consider attending this important Property Tax Forum with former Travis County Judge Bill Aleshire, Chief Appraiser, Marya Crigler, Travis County Tax Office COO, Tina Mortan and our own Brian Rodgers.Continue Reading