Among the challenges facing City Council candidates in the new single-district system is simply getting the word out. Local Reddit-heads have jumped into the gap, and are scheduling online interviews with the candidates over the next several months. On Monday, District 4 candidate Greg Casar was first man in the barrel.
Also on Monday, as long anticipated, Zoning and Platting Commissioner Jason Meeker decided to join the Council contenders in District 10 (West/Northwest). Meeker has long been a neighborhood activist and advocate at City Hall, and is best known for his involvement with Responsible Growth for Northcross (RG4N), over the Northcross Mall Wal-Mart. He also ran for City Council Place 1 in 2008, against Lee Leffingwell and Allen Demling. Meeker’s entry into the District 10 race (www.meekerforaustin.com) makes eight candidates seeking that seat. You can find brief profiles of all the District 10 candidates here.
Meeker owns Meeker Marcom (a “content marketing, advertising, and public relations firm”), and in his campaign announcement declares, “I will take on the challenges of rapid growth, and welcome the energy and excitement of new people, businesses and fresh ideas, but stand strong for the communities and traditions that make Austin a place we all want to live, work, retire, and play.” You can learn more about Meeker and all the mayoral and Council candidates (and find your Council district) on the Chronicle’s election page.
The Reddit “Ask Me Anything” for Casar ran the usual gauntlet of city issues – transit, urban rail, affordability, ridesharing, property taxes, education, immigration – with a couple of wild cards (“Where do you stand on the Danzig statue?” – no answer) thrown in. A fairly representative Casar response: “I’m going to office out of District 4 instead of staying cooped up at City Hall. We're going to hire a multilingual staff and work on building real trust in [the] district. I'm committed to working with Code & Law enforcement to do the same. Between our Council office and Code & Law enforcement, we'll work with local neighborhood organizations and residents to do proactive enforcement. …”
Local redditors are planning to have AMA’s with as many of the candidates as possible. The current schedule (posted with Casar’s AMA) as of today includes: Erin McGann, Dist. 9 (June 9); Chris Riley, Dist. 9 (June 16); Jay Wiley, Dist. 6 (June 23); Ed Scruggss, Dist. 8 (June 30); Jimmy Flannigan, Dist. 6 (July 14); Jeb Boyt, Dist. 7 (July 21); Dave Floyd, Dist. 5 (Aug. 15); Ed English, Dist. 7 (Aug. 25); Matt Stillwell, Dist. 6 (Sept. 8); Jimmy Paver, Dist. 7 (Sept. 22); Steve Adler, mayor (Sept. 29); Mike Martinez, mayor (Oct. 6).
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