Making growth pay for itself!

Category Archives: Cost of Growth

Cost of Growth in Central Texas

Make 1 phone call before Thursday

Every Texas House Representative is expected to vote on House Bill 3298 — a $2 million study for a water grid (aka “Gridzilla) of pipelines across Texas — as early as Thursday.

WaterGridMapSimply make 1 phone call before Thursday, to your Texas House Member. Ask her or him to vote NO on HB 3298.

Here’s where you can find your rep.

The stated purpose of HB 3298 by its author, Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio), is to bring masses water from across Texas to the “triangle” — DFW, Austin and San Antonio — to “meet the needs of population growth”, projected out to 2040. In other words, this is to enable developers to continue building out in areas that don’t have local water supply.

The water will come from the mining of nearby rural area aquifers — Lee and Bastrop counties in our case. We will also see long opposed projects for costly and wasteful reservoirs flooding prime farm and ranch land in NE Texas. Food and timber will be sacrificed for more rooftops for the real estate lobby.

Rural and urban citizens put up a road block in the Senate last week by making 1 phone call to their Senators. Consequently, Rep. Larson is pushing the bill to the House floor as early as this Thursday.

Are you fed up with the off-loaded costs of unbridled growth (roads, public safety, schools, etc.) for all the newcomers, while you get priced out of your homes and apartments? We are!

Don’t bring the “California model” to Texas — it’s a proven disaster.

More facts on HB 3298  

Thank you Austin!

PS While you’re at it, you can also call your State Senator, just in case it gets back to the Senate.

Local control in the crosshairs, come to Bastrop Saturday!

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 1.31.07 PMY’all come on out to Bastrop this Saturday — regardless of party or persuasion — for the “Building the Rural-Urban Coalition for Local Control” meeting put on by the non-profit League of Independent Voters of Texas.
 
Click here to view the agenda.
Click here to reserve a seat.

Besides….our own Brian Rodgers, is speaking on his alternative to the Chamber of Commerce’s model for economic development which stresses unbridled population growth with the costs passed on to you. 

This event is appropriately being held in Bastrop, home of the Texas water wars, as an unholy alliance of the real estate lobby, water marketers and some leading state politicians now in session want to move large quantities of water underlying Lee and Bastrop counties to the I-35 growth corridor.
With the legislature now in session, it’s likely to be a bumpy ride with the rights to local control clearly in the cross-hairs. So show up or forever hold your peace! 

PS Linda didn’t make the runoff for Texas House District 17, but ran a surprisingly strong race as an independent in 3 weeks, coming in third in a five-way race. She is currently locked in a battle with Bastrop County on alleged election misconduct to ensure a fair runoff…also a topic on Saturday that Fred Lewis will be speaking on. More here in today’s Statesman.  

Can you see Linda Curtis in the Texas House?

Do you know that early voting started today in a special election taking place to our east in House Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 12.31.29 AMDistrict 17 (Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, Gonzales and Karnes counties)? Election day is Tuesday, January 6th.
Neither do the voters in HD 17. This is why our own Linda Curtis jumped into this race to run as an independent for the Texas House of Representatives. Linda says,
“This stunt was pulled to replace House Speaker Joe Straus’ water boy — Tim Kleinschmidt — with the Republican Party establishment’s choice to front for the real estate lobby. You all know by now that the intent of Republican insiders (and some key Democrats who are looking the other way) is to grab HD 17’s groundwater to fuel unfettered growth that is driving unaffordability in central Texas.”

Thanks to the antics of our outgoing Governor, who called an election with 3 weeks notice in the middle of the Christmas holidays, the door is open in a 5-way race (two Ds, two Rs and one independent) for Linda Curtis to make history being elected as an independent to the Texas House.

Can you envision Linda walking into the Capitol to take on the big corporate lobbies that are running roughshod over Texans of all persuasions?

You can help Linda by reaching folks who live in HD 17 and donating to her campaign.

Happy Holidays y’all. Don’t let them get away with it!
Brian Rodgers
PS So few people know that there is an election happening, Linda could win this with a few thousand votes. If that happens, maybe the next Governor won’t even consider pulling an election stunt like this.

Vote on Tuesday, Austin…or Else!

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If you don’t vote in the runoff, you better watch out for this.

We never thought 10-1 would be a panacea for all of Austin’s woes, but it has opened up a can of voter whoop ass. Are you gonna use it or lose it, Austin? .

Today is Tuesday, December 16th. It is Election Day in eight runoffs and some of them are likely very close, especially East Austin, District 3 and SW Austin, District 8.

You can vote at ANY poll site from 7 am to 7 pm.

In small turnout runoffs, every vote will count.

Here’s all we ask of you. Consider our endorsements and pass them on to your friends.

It’s called each one, reach one and it’s very effective IF you do it!

If you don’t see an endorsement below, it’s because we didn’t endorse. BUT you may find the questionnaires useful to make your own decision.

ChangeAustin.org proudly endorses the following candidates for Council:
District 1:  Ora Houston
District 3:  Susana Almanza
District 4:  You have two great choices — Casar or Pressley
District 7:  Leslie Pool
District 8:  Ed Scruggs

Vote Austin, or else you might wind up using the whoop ass on your own self!
 
PS We have lots more plans to make growth pay for itself, not like that silly idea for high-end golf courses on public parkland in the middle of a drought. Help us win this election and you’ll be amazed at what new things we can bring to the table.

ChangeAustin.org endorsements for the runoff!

Early voting for 8 out of 11 seats on the Council started yesterday!

ChangeAustin.org proudly endorses the following candidates for City Council:

District 1:  Ora Houston
District 3:  Susana Almanza (watch & share the video!)
District 4:  You have two great choices — Casar or Pressley
District 7:  Leslie Pool
District 8:  Ed Scruggs

Watch Susana Almanza speak to the outgoing City Council on November 20.
Don’t put two-high end golf courses at Decker Lake and call it economic development.

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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