“A Watershed Night”

Mayor Steve Adler basks in a big victory, big plans

“The city spoke with a single voice tonight,” declared re-elected Mayor Steve Adler in his victory speech at the Belmont on Sixth. “People want us to look forward, and to act in big ways.”

Steve Adler at his campaign kickoff in January (Photo by Jana Birchum)

After thanking his wife, Diane Land, and his daughters – who joined him onstage – and his campaign staff (Laura Hernandez, Jim Wick, Eugene Sepulveda), Adler began to wax ambitiously about what he hopes to accomplish in his second four-year term.

“We need to act on affordability and equity, in order for everyone to share in the magic of this great city,” he said. “And the voters have said, ‘don’t get stuck in the process.’”

He called his ringing victory – 61% in the early vote, with his closest competitor, former City Council member Laura Morrison, garnering only 19% – a “mandate” for major projects. He mentioned the proposal to expand the Convention Center (“also to help address homelessness and support the arts”), “high capacity transit on dedicated pathways,” leveraging the $250 million affordable housing bond (Proposition A) for “$1 to 1.5 billion” in funding for housing. He also pointed to the city’s support for LGBT rights, and for action on climate change.

"We have been given a mandate,” he said, “and we need to deliver on that process. … Tonight is just a watershed night.”

Very early in the evening, about 7:45pm, Morrison had arrived at her Threadgill’s event, and told several dozen supporters, “I’m very sorry that we couldn’t pull this out.” She had already called Adler to concede the race, based on the early returns, and she thanked all her campaign staff and supporters for their hard work.

Morrison told the Chronicle that she had been hoping that with seven candidates in the race, Adler would be held under 50%, and the difference to be overcome in a December run-off would be 10% or less. She had been encouraged by the enthusiasm of voters who told her they were supporting her, “but of course, the ones who aren’t voting for you don’t come up to tell you that. … The gap was just too big. … It was a hard race to call, and we couldn’t spend thousands to do polling. My supporters were passionate, but there just wasn’t enough of them.”

Adler and Morrison each said that they had an earnest conversation about the challenges facing the city, and that Morrison was eager to help the mayor going forward to address them. At the Belmont, Adler welcomed Morrison’s offer of help and thanked her for service to the city “in and outside city government.”

A little later, he told the Chronicle that the vote – including the strong support for all the bonds – was a call to the city to “move forward and do big things, and the support will be there.” He said the voices “defending the status quo … and wanting to do nothing … those voices lost. … The city is ready to move forward.”

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

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 Steve Adler
Mayor Adler on How the 86th Legislature Will Affect Austin
Adler on the Lege
“Something’s going to have to give. It’s real.”

Michael King, May 29, 2019

The Mayor's State of the City Is … Mixed
Mayor's State of the City
Adler touts city initiatives, decries “shadow” of state backlash

Michael King, April 18, 2019

More by Michael King
Dr. Van Boven Goes to the State's Highest Court
Dr. Van Boven Goes to the State's Highest Court
Beleaguered doctor appeals personally to clear his name

Sept. 29, 2021

Van Boven vs. the Texas Medical Board: Now At the State's Highest Court
Van Boven vs. the Texas Medical Board: Now At the State's Highest Court
Hearing latest step in doctor's lengthy fight

Sept. 28, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Steve Adler, Laura Morrison

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

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

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