Laura Morrison Files for Mayor
November campaign officially begins: “We’re ready to win”
By Michael King,
2:45PM, Thu. Aug. 16, 2018
Thursday morning, former City Council member Laura Morrison made official what has been her long declared campaign for mayor, to replace incumbent Steve Adler, running for his second term. Morrison told the Chronicle, “We’re ready to win this … it is definitely a winnable campaign.”
The candidate noted that the campaign for November has “revved up” in the last few weeks, with more forums and extensive questionnaires from various organizations reviewing the candidates. “The campaign has entered a new phase,” she said, “and [official filing] is an exciting step to be taking.”
While still acknowledging that her run against a well-funded, generally popular incumbent remains “David vs. Goliath,” Morrison argued “we’ve got people power, we’ve got passion, among the folks supporting our campaign.”
Morrison said the headline Austin issues – e.g., affordability, mobility – will certainly be part of the campaign debate, but continued, “My record shows I can get things done. It’s about leadership – bringing people to the table, about finding the common ground that lets us move forward with real civil dialogue. I think people have been hungry for that, and my record shows that I can bring that and help the city move forward.”
Asked about the current controversies – CodeNEXT, the petition for an “efficiency audit,” and the proposal just approved for Major League Soccer at McKalla Place – that have been roiling Council and public debate in recent weeks, Morrison offered a few comments about each.
On the MLS deal: “I’m extremely disappointed that we have a deal that’s going to forego hundreds of millions of property taxes, combined – for the city, and all the jurisdictions, and we have such difficulty about property taxes right now.”
On CodeNEXT (the land use code revision recently suspended by Council): “I’m concerned about what the process is even going to be, going forward. Certainly the process was way off-track, of all the guidance that my Council put in place for making it an achievable goal. … Frankly, I would like to see our city auditor take a look at what went wrong. I certainly appreciate the work of the city manager and staff, but they were embroiled in what went wrong. We need an independent view.”
On the petition/ballot proposition calling for an “independent efficiency audit”: “I won’t be supporting the [external] audit. Of course I’m for 'efficiency,' but I think we have alternatives — for instance, getting our very capable, very independent auditor to take on some of those issues, and that’s the alternative that we need to be embracing, as opposed to turning it over to an outsider who might not understand the community values that are imbued in the way we work things together in Austin.”
In addition to Mayor Adler, Travis Duncan has also filed for the office. Alex Strenger has declared he is running, but as of Aug. 16 had not yet officially filed. The deadline is Monday, Aug. 20 at 5pm.