Chris Riley for Council

Downtown advocate announces run in '09

Chris Riley for Council

More filings for council: Attorney and former Austin Planning Commission and Downtown Commission member Chris Riley has officially announced that he'll be running for council next year.

In his press release, Riley puts out a platform of "protecting Austin's environmental resources, improving public transportation, and increasing citizen engagement in city decision-making." He'll be launching his campaign website,, later this week.

Riley doesn't name which seat he's running for (probably because the one he's looking for may not be vacant yet *cough*leeleffingwell*cough*), but instead touts his list of 200 supporters and his background as an environmental advocate (co-founding Austin CarShare) and a voice for downtown, having served on the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association.

See below the fold for his full press release.

Chris Riley Enters Race For Austin City Council

Austin Native Announces Over 200 Early Supporters

Austin, Texas – Austin lawyer and civic activist Chris Riley announced today that he has filed papers appointing a campaign treasurer and entered the 2009 race for Austin City Council. Riley, an Austin native and longtime downtown neighborhood leader, said he will focus his campaign on protecting Austin's environmental resources, improving public transportation, and increasing citizen engagement in city decision-making.

"I’m running for City Council to offer proven leadership in the difficult times ahead, and to deliver the kind of creative solutions that Austinites demand and deserve," Riley said. "I view the current economic downturn as an opportunity to get serious about addressing some of our biggest ongoing challenges, especially protecting Austin’s unique character.”

Riley enters the race with the most civic experience of any announced Council candidate. “I believe that my years of public service are proof of my commitment to our city and citizens," Riley said. “Now I’m ready to take my service to the next level, and I’m asking for the support of a broad range of Austinites to help me do more to improve our community’s quality of life.”

Riley served on the Austin Planning Commission for six years and on the Downtown Commission for eight years, chairing each for two years. He co-founded and served as president of the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association, co-founded Austin CarShare and the Alliance for Public Transit, and served on the Board of Directors of the Austin Parks Foundation, Austin History Center Association, and Women's Advocacy Project. Riley also worked with the Downtown Austin Alliance, the Old Austin Neighborhood Association, and many City task forces. Riley attended Austin High School, and served as a Congressional Page for Congressman J.J. “Jake” Pickle. He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in economics in 1986. Riley received his JD from the University of Texas School of Law in 1989 and worked as an attorney at the Texas Supreme Court for five years. He then worked for The Rusk Firm for 12 years, representing victims’ families in wrongful death cases.

Riley enters the race with a wide-ranging list of prominent endorsers and an experienced campaign team. Riley said that he has appointed Austin lawyer Catherine Mauzy to serve as campaign treasurer, and hired activist Katherine Haenschen to serve as campaign manager.

"I have known Chris for almost 20 years and consistently admired his commitment to Austin and love for our city," said Mauzy. "I believe that he’s exactly the kind of big-picture problem-solver that we need at City Hall right now."

Haenschen is a veteran of the Obama for America campaign and directed a record-breaking voter registration drive for the Travis County Democratic Party this year.

Riley said he will launch his campaign website,, later this week.

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