Single-Member District Drama

SMDs to die tomorrow?

This dispatch from the ACLU's Debbie Russell, on an item before City Council tomorrrow:

CALL TO ACTION – VOTE NO on ITEM 60 RESOLUTION – LET AUSTIN DEBATE Single Member Districts!

At the town hall meeting on single member districts (SMDs) last night – attendees were overwhelming in favor of creating single member districts, and feared that a last-minute resolution added to tomorrow's agenda on discussion of the item will prevent the issue from moving forward. The language of this resolution, it was noted, is extremely biased against SMDs – built on presumptions that have not yet been proven or disproven in the debate locally. Actually, some have already been disproven...

Tomorrow at council, at 2pm, (Item #81) the City's hired expert consultant from Washington D.C., Gerald Herbert, will give a presentation as to a proposed map and to the benefits of SMDs and the crafters of the resolution don't seem to be taking into account his prior testimony at Charter Revision Committee meetings. Following his presentation, the item to move this from the May to November ballot as per a recent surprise State mandate (a questionable one at that) will be called (Item 60 – the Mayor will move it to after the presentation) and at that point, interested parties can testify as to this resolution.

Later, at 6pm, there will also be a public hearing (#115) where we discuss the the issue at large. If you want to testify--show up before the items are called (2pm/6pm) to sign up.

BUT MOST IMPORTANT...so we can actually HAVE the debate and start to discuss district options is this resolution * must not pass. While it has some merits--running things through the African American Resource Advisory Commission (who at their last meeting indicated support for moving forward), other pieces are clearly unfounded and cannot logistically even be met (hence its obvious intent to kill the item altogether). The Charter Revision Committee, for instance, has already expired on this item and was not charged with deciding on a map to recommend. That is/was beyond their scope as per council resolution passed last spring creating it.

Please contact THE MAYOR especially (he's leaning towards supporting this but his appointee to the CRC recommended SMDs!) and THE MAYOR PRO-TEM and Councilmembers COLE and MCCRACKEN and urge them NOT TO PASS THIS ITEM!

BEST TO CALL--ASAP--leave a msg. if after hours:
Mayor Wynn: 974-2250
Mayor Pro Tem Dunkerley: 974-2258
Cmbr. McCracken: 974-2256
Cmbr. Cole: 974-2266

Email them all at once: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/council/groupemail.htm

Debbie Russell

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More City Council
COVID-19 Sends Council Meeting Into Virtual Reality
COVID-19 Sends Council Meeting Into Virtual Reality
City Hall to perform open government while maintaining distance

Austin Sanders, March 20, 2020

Council Holds Off on Boycotting Alabama for Restrictive Abortion Laws
Council Won't Boycott Alabama For Now
Abortion protest could do more harm than good, say advocates

Mary Tuma, June 7, 2019

More Single Member Districts
Doing the SMD Shuffle
Doing the SMD Shuffle
Single-member district supporters gather at the Carver

Michael King, May 24, 2011

The Daily Hustle: 2/25/11
The Daily Hustle: 2/25/11
Leffingwell shares the State of the City

Wells Dunbar, Feb. 25, 2011

More by Wells Dunbar
Top 10 City Council Stories
Top 10 City Council Stories
Dais and months

Jan. 6, 2012

City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
To the beating hearts of a great city

Dec. 30, 2011

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

City Council, ACLU, Single Member Districts

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle