Making growth pay for itself!

Category Archives: Cost of Growth

Cost of Growth in Central Texas

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!)

Steal this election Austin

FB_robberPost
The first election under the new Austin City Council 10-1 Voting System is a test, Austin. Will you grab the power you are entitled to, to cast an informed vote to take our city back from those who continue to offload the costs of growth on to backs of current residents? Or will you say to all of the newcomers, “Welcome to Austin, but pay your own way?”

Click right here to get your power, Austin!

Read it, share it and steal this election for yourself!
City elections are non-partisan! Be a small “i” independent voter — vote for Meeker!

Meet Jason, Sam and Stephanie.
Meet Jason, Sam and Stephanie.

Vote Jason Meeker – City Council District 10, the mighty Northwest Austin!

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 and pass it on to your NW friends!

Check Jason’s answers and 40 other candidates running for Austin City Council!
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?
Make a donation today or contact us to help!

What’s the Dealey, really!?

Meet Jason, Sam and Stephanie.
Meet Jason, Sam and Stephanie.

What we love most about this election is that there’s a horse race — that was why ChangeAustin.org helped pass the new 10-1 voting system and why we’re supporting Jason Meeker in District 10. You can compare all Council and Mayoral candidates under the “Council Election” menu item above or right here.

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.

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. (call or text for details @ 512-657-2089)
***

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!

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.