** All mention of affiliations is for identification purposes only. Better Austin Today is an independent, community-based coalition of individuals with an independent general purpose political action committee.
Mary Arnold is long-time Austin community leader committed to sound planning and environmental protection. Mary currently serves as a board member of the Waterfront Planning Advisory Board, and of Save Muny. She is also a board member of the West Austin Neighborhood Group and member at large on the Golf Advisory Board. Mary is a past member of Austin’s Planning Commission, Parks Board, Water and Wastewater Commission, and Environmental Board. Mary also previously served on the board of the Save Our Springs Alliance and the Hill Country Conservancy. She has an undergraduate Plan II degree and a Masters in Government from The University of Texas at Austin.
Scooter Cheatham is an architect, planner, photographer, and artist with bachelor’s degrees in architecture and a master’s in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a former planner with the Texas General Land Office and was co-director of the Matagorda Bay Estuarine Resource Management Project, an interdisciplinary project for development of land management policy for the Texas gulf coast. He produced the first environmental analysis of the Bull Creek Watershed, co-authored the original Hyde Park Neighborhood Plan of 1984, and authored other neighborhood plans. He is founder and president of Useful wild Plants, Inc., a groundbreaking regional economic botany study of the botanical resources of the southern United States and northern Mexico. He is currently the president of Responsible Growth for Windsor Park Neighborhood.
Jim Duncan is president of a consulting firm that specializes in revising zoning codes for a national public clientele. He started his career as a city planner with the City of Austin in 1961 after graduating from UT and was the City's land development services director in the early 1980s. It was during his tenure with the City that the comprehensive watershed, neighborhood compatibility, capital view protection, parkland dedication and hill country roadway ordinances were all adopted. He is also a past president of the American Planning Association and co-author of "Growth Management Principles and Practices."
Richard Franklin is a married father of four who spent 11 years in the Air Force as a Military Training Instructor, an Avionics Technician and an Air Traffic Controller. He has owned nightclubs and restaurants and most recently has been a financial advisor for 5 years. Richard served as the president of the Black Austin Democrats for two years and was the Vice-Chair for Membership for the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats. Currently Richard serves on the steering committee for Austin's Center for Peace and Justice, and on the board of the Downtown Lions Club and Texas ACLU.
Jeff Jack is an Architect who has made Austin his home since 1984. His architectural practice has included projects all over the United States from Anchorage Alaska to Miami Florida, New York to California. And he has completed projects in over a dozen cities here in Texas. He has been actively involved with community affairs since the late 1980's, has served on many community advisory groups and task forces representing neighborhood interest continually over the years. Jeff worked for the Austin City Council as a policy adviser to council member Beverly Griffith, and now serves on The Board of Adjustment for the City of Austin and on the Stakeholder Committee: City of Austin Town Lake Park Project.. Jeff is an advocate for managing Austin's growth to ensure that we retain our special character, preserve our environment, protect our residential neighborhoods and develop a sustainable economic policy for the future that keeps Austin affordable to those who live here today.
Peggy Maceo is a long-time Austin resident and the owner of an art/exhibit business. Peggy is active in environmental, neighborhood and animal issues. She is Director of Huntington’s Disease Association of Texas, serves on the Urban Forestry Board and the executive council of the Allandale Neighborhood Association. Peggy received her undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas.
Lynn Marshall is the secretary-treasurer and research coordinator of Useful Wild Plants, a regional economic botany study of the botanical resources of the southern United States and northern Mexico. Lynn’s community involvement includes serving as Vice President of the contact team for the University Hills Neighborhood Association, Secretary of Responsible Growth for Windsor Park Neighborhood Association and consultation on various residential and commercial native landscape projects. Lynn received her undergraduate degree from University of Texas.
Sandy McMillan is an Austin community advocate dedicated to protecting Austin’s neighborhoods via community-driven planning principles and environmental stewardship. Currently she serves as the Vice Chair of the Dawson Neighborhood Plan Team (DNPT) and the President of the Dawson Neighborhood Association (DNA). She served two terms as the Secretary for both the DNA and the DNPT. She represents Dawson at the Austin Neighborhoods Council South Central Coalition Sector. Sandy was also one of six finalists for the two Neighborhood Advisor positions with the City of Austin. She is an independent visual artist and a member of several arts organizations. Sandy has a B.A. in Fine Art, an M.A. in Sociology and is an ABD PhD. in Urban Studies, all from the University of New Orleans.
Jason Meeker is an advertising and public relations profesisonal. He helped lead Responsible Growth for Northcross in its successful fight to stop a Walmart Supercenter at Northcross Mall. Jason also ran for Austin City Council in 2008. Today, he serves as Laura Morrison's appointee to the City of Austin's Zoning and Platting Commission. He is vice president of his HOA in Great Hills, and is also the president of the Great Hills Park Neighborhood Association. In 2012, he serves as the NW Sector Rep for the Austin Neighborhoods Council.
Sunny Ogunro has been a small business owner in Austin for the past twenty plus years. Sunny is a City of Austin Immigrant Affairs Commissioner, Treasurer of Outreach Productions and member of NEABACA.
Brian Rodgers is a local real estate investor who led the effort to repeal city tax subsidies for the Domain Shopping Mall. Current efforts involve exposing the true cost of growth and requiring that more of those costs be paid by those who benefit, and pressing for more accurate commercial property appraisals at the Travis Central Appraisal District. Past efforts involved campaign finance reform at the city and open records.
Debbie Russell has engaged in many coalition-building efforts on a local and regional level with a broad range of communities and on a variety of issue fronts. She has worked on many candidate campaigns and issue ballot measures. Debbie volunteers on behalf of the ACLU-TX, focusing on police accountability and open government and was a member of the City of Austin 's Public Safety Task Force. She was selected Austin's "Most Active Activist" in the Austin Chronicle's "Best of 2005"; received the ACLU-TX "Outstanding Activist" award in 2009; and in 2010, she received a "Si Se Puede" award from PODER: People in Defense of the Earth and Her Resources and a Spike Gillespie "Kick Ass Award."
Steve Speir is a thirty-year resident of Austin and a UT graduate. He has an extensive background working in state and national politics within the Democratic Party and has served as chief of staff and legislative director for two state representatives. As a resident of Windsor Park, Steve has seen firsthand the failure of the city neighborhood planning process.
Marcelo Tafoya is a 48 year resident of Austin. Marcelo is very active in the community serving on or associated with thirteen boards and associations including Co-chair of the LULAC National Civil Rights Committee and LULAC District 12, Director; Co-founder of Austin Tejano Music Coalition and the Tejano Artist Music Museum; and Treasurer, Fair Vote PAC of Austin. Marcelo is a Pecan Springs Neighborhood Assn. member where he serves on the neighborhood Safety Taskforce.
Carol Torgrimson is a retired business consultant, former community newspaper publisher, and longtime community advocate. She has worked on behalf of affordable housing, disadvantaged populations and public libraries. Since returning to Texas, Carol has been involved with neighborhood preservation and responsible development. She currently serves on the City of Austin Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Task Force and as Vice President for Transportation of 2222 Coalition of Neighborhood Associations.
Roy Waley, a native of Central Texas, has been an Austin realtor for 15 years. He is a former president of the North Wood NA and an initial member of the Austin Metropolitan Trails Council. Currently Roy serves as Vice Chair of the Austin Regional Group of the Sierra Club.