The three candidates of District 9 will meet 7pm tonight at KUT Studio 1A in a forum sponsored by the Chronicle, Austin Monitor, KUT-FM, KXAN-TV, and Univision.
The city’s central district, D9 is home to the only two incumbents running for a Council seat: Chris Riley and Kathie Tovo. While Riley and Tovo probably have more in common with each other than they do with many of the candidates in other districts, their philosophies of growth and development are distinct enough that there will plenty of fodder for tonight’s discussion.
Council’s continuing work on the subject of Transportation Network Companies demonstrates some of the differences between the two Council members: Riley has been at the forefront of the TNC debate, and pushed pass an ordinance that would allow the two main TNCs, Uber and Lyft, to begin operating legally while permanent rules were being drawn up. Tovo has pressed for more regulations of the companies, including a ban on surge pricing and more stringent insurance requirements.
In a nutshell, that’s much of what separates the two: Riley’s belief in growth, density, and increased transportation options outweighs most other concerns, while Tovo cautions against unrestrained growth, and promotes more traditional neighborhoods and “family-friendly” development.
Erin McGann rounds out the trio as the one newcomer in the race. Like many 10-1 candidates, her focus is intensely on the costs of government - she’s against anything that would raise property taxes.
All Ballot Boxing forums are free and open to the public.
For more on the candidates, including current endorsements, check out our candidate profiles here.
Check back at our Elections homepage for coverage of the D9 forum, as well as a link to the complete video of the forum.
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