BETTER AUSTIN TODAY ENDORSES BRIGID SHEA FOR MAYOR
AND LAURA PRESSLEY FOR PLACE 2
Better Austin Today Political Action Committee (BATPAC) is endorsing the following candidates for Mayor and Place 2 in the upcoming city election on May 12, 2012. This announcement is being made on April 30, the day that early voting begins.
Better Austin Today Political Action Committee proudly endorses Laura Pressley for Austin City Council, Place 2.
Like many who have heard her speak during the 2012 election season, we’ve found her to be a refreshing voice for change. She is a sincere candidate who isn’t afraid to talk about the important issues facing Austin that have not been addressed over the last six years by the incumbent in Place 2. Ms. Pressley may be new to politics in Austin, but she is clearly concerned and knowledgeable about the issues that our city faces.
Ms. Pressley understands that traffic congestion, cost of living, employment opportunities, neighborhoods protection, and environment all must be dealt with now to ensure that our city will remain affordable and livable for those who are here today—and in the future. She recognizes that Austin is fast becoming a minority majority city and she has reached out to leaders in Austin’s Hispanic community that believe the current incumbent in Place 2 has not represented them well at City Council. To her credit, she has gained many endorsements from organizations focused on east Austin matters.
Ms. Pressley is also a businesswoman, who knows first-hand what challenges small business owners face today in Austin. She understands what it takes to build a business, create jobs, to meet a payroll, and to succeed as a small business in this economy. Furthermore, her intelligence and character give us confidence that she will be willing to listen to all sides of an issue, is open to different opinions, and will make decisions based on principle—not on what may be politically convenient at the moment.
Here are a few highlights about why BAT PAC endorses Mrs. Pressley:
·Her understanding that traffic congestion will not be solved just by building new roads and that some proposed new roads will actually make problems worse. She opposes SH45W due to the environmental danger it poses, and because it will add traffic congestion to on MoPac.
·She is for fairness in dealing with environmental issues and sees that environmental issues in east Austin have not been accorded the same priority by our city as environmental concerns in west Austin.
·Her belief in equal justice for all. She is concerned about the silence coming from City Hall with regard to police accountability on recent use of force issues.
·She sees the need for leadership at City Hall so Austin can stop talking about problems and start actually solving them.For all these reasons and more, the Board of Directors of BAT PAC endorses Laura Pressley and urges you to vote for her as the best candidate for Austin City Council, Place 2.
Better Austin Today Political Action Committee enthusiastically endorses Brigid Shea to be Austin’s next Mayor.
Ms. Shea has the right experience, personal honesty and integrity to lead Austin. Ms. Shea is no stranger to the complexities at City Council. She was elected to city council in 1993, and during her term as a council member, she led the effort to improve environmental ordinances by working with the development and business communities to build a consensus that protecting our environment was in everyone’s best interest.
During that time, she also dealt with the last Austin Energy rate adjustment case, and worked to ensure that electric rates were fair to both residents and businesses. Since leaving office in 1996, Ms. Shea has continued to be a champion for consumer protection with regard to city utilities. We strongly agree that her experience during the last utility rate case would certainly be an asset to the council as it considers a new electric service rate hike.
In the intervening years, Ms. Shea has worked as a consultant and has worked with the city on environmental issues. She was on the Austin Clean Water Program team that worked to bring Austin’s aging sewer system up to federal standards.
During Ms. Shea’s more than 20 years of involvement with the city, she has also witnessed the growing influence of special interests at City Hall. As our city’s population has grown to more than 800,000 people, the current at-large elections have made our City Council less responsive to the average citizen. Ms. Shea has seen the negative impact of influence peddling. Therefore, she supports changing our city charter, so we can elect leaders from geographical areas and make City Hall more accountable.
Ms. Shea is a mother of two children who attend AISD schools. She recognizes the urgent need for the city and our school districts to work together to make sure that neighborhood schools are academically strong and financially viable now and in the future. Ms. Shea is also concerned that recent City Councils, including the incumbent in this race, are too focused on promoting growth with city subsidies and incentives without a real business plan on how this will impact the cost of living for our community.
We admire how Ms. Shea fights for the causes she believes in. Her candidacy gives Austin voters a clear and positive alternate to what is now happening at City Hall. Ms. Shea’s ability to deal with complex issues, build consensus on issues, and her maturity will be welcomed additions to a city council with no shortage of hot button issues on future agendas.
Here are a few highlights about why we endorse Ms. Shea:
·She opposes the ill-considered, willy-nilly corporate giveaways that seem to be acceptable to the current incumbent. Yet, she understands the important role the city plays in keeping our economy strong, and believes that we need stringent financial analysis on how incentives will help our community before we give taxpayer dollars away.
·To support our schools, Ms. Shea will provide the leadership to build a collaborative effort with AISD and other school districts to identify just what the city can do to keep our neighborhood schools open, safe and successful.
·She is a strong supporter of small and local businesses as the backbone of a thriving economy.
·She believes in greater fiscal discipline to ensure that our city budget and debt stays within our means and does not put our future in financial jeopardy in uncertain economic times.
·Her environmental credentials reflect a balanced approach to protecting our natural resources as our city grows.
·She understands that Austin already is an attractive place to move to, so new growth should not be subsidized. It should pay its own way and not be a burden on existing residents and businesses.
·She will ensure that city policies always put affordability, tax fairness and sound fiscal management as the top priorities in all matters before City Council.The Board of Directors of BAT PAC endorses Brigid Shea and urges you to vote for her as the best candidate to be Austin’s next Mayor.
Better Austin Today is pleased to announce our endorsements for City Council.
Better Austin Today endorses Kathie Tovo for Place 3 and Laura Morrison for Place 4; no consensus was reached for Place 1.
Kathie Tovo - a strong advocate for open, inclusive and accountable government: Ms. Tovo's academic background, steady demeanor and extensive experience in a variety of public policy matters in the past 19 years she's lived here is exactly what Austin needs to bring balance to the dais. From social services to education to neighborhoods to the arts to the environment and planning, her broad swath of public service provides her much-needed context to serve our diverse population at a critical time as we grapple with an out-of-control budget where the special interests gain and the under-served lose. Her intellect is matched by her creativity when faced with difficult problems. Her forthrightness in addressing the critical issues and her integrity as an inclusive mediator of interests demonstrates her commitment to the entire community.
Laura Morrison - a proven leader on important community issues: Councilmember Morrison is far and away the best choice for Place 4. Morrison is BAT's only Councilmember to have achieved a perfect "A" on our scorecards published in the Austin Chronicle over the past 3 years. What we noted in her first run, her "keen intellect, deep respect for differing opinions, and a willingness to fight tenaciously for policies that protect Austin’s environment and neighborhoods" indeed proved to be the right formula for moving Austin forward. She has demonstrated a deep dedication to smart economic policy while giving social equity issues due process. Morrison has proved she has the right combination of vision, integrity and know-how for the job and Austin deserves no less an attentive public servant.
With Ms. Tovo in Place 3, along with our previous endorsement in Place 5 (Bill Spelman) and Morrison retaining her seat in Place 4, we hope that the tenor of our Council will change dramatically, that these three good examples can gain more courage for leadership; inspiring others to improve their performance or exposing those who resist an open, accountable, fiscally responsible government.
Are You Concerned About:
- Traffic and Transportation?
- Austin Losing Its Unique Character?
- Our Environment?
- The East/West Divide?
- The Future of Our City?
All of us have encountered a City Hall that believes that the answers come from inside and from insiders - that public input is something to be tolerated, and only after important decisions have already been made. We need elected officials who respect the ideas and desires of the community, who are committed to open, inclusive, and responsive government, and who will make decisions from the ground up, not from the top down.