Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form, or email your letter directly to Thanks for your patience.
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CM Harper-Madison Continues the Dialogue

RECEIVED Wed., May 15, 2019

Dear Editor,
    City Council has spent countless hours spread across multiple weeks this year discussing the land development code rewrite process, a topic of such incredible complexity and nuance that no one should be too mad when the hardworking journalists covering it make an honest mistake. And in his May 10 “Public Notice” column, Nick Barbaro did what I have to assume was just that when he wrote that I had spent part of the May 2 Council meeting “demagoguing about the deed restrictions that nominally bar people of color from property ownership in Hyde Park.”
    It was a long meeting and I admit I had to check the transcripts to be sure, but the topic of deed restrictions never came up during the conversations, and I had only mentioned Hyde Park during a discussion about a proposed amendment related to missing middle housing in transition zones.
    In previous discussions, I had raised my concerns about carrying over Hyde Park’s Neighborhood Combined Conservation District overlays in a manner that would inoculate the neighborhood from the land use reforms our entire city needs to address our affordability, mobility, and equity problems. I have also pointed out that Hyde Park was established in the late 19th century and infamously marketed as a neighborhood “exclusively for white people.” I have also pointed out on various occasions that our existing land development rules have Jim Crow-era origins and directly contribute to Austin’s standing as one of the most economically segregated cities in the country.
    Whether that counts as “demagoguing” is open to interpretation. As we saw during the CodeNEXT process, these issues stir up passions in people. But the diversity of opinions across Austin could be our greatest resource as we move forward on these topics and I’m still personally committed to careful, thoughtful conversation and collaboration to find solutions that correct the sins of the past and position Austin for a much more equitable future.
Natasha Harper-Madison
Austin City Council, District 1

It's a Small (Modern) World

RECEIVED Fri., May 10, 2019

Dear Editor,
    I am one of the people who helped make Austin weird in the first place. I have often thought that our aging free thinking/free living group should be recognized, appreciated, respected, and even celebrated! Last week I visited one of the older, enduring restaurants, picked up the Chronicle as I entered and sat down at my favorite table. As usual I turned to Tom Tomorrow’s This Modern World and to my dismay found the print too small to read, even with my glasses. I had to wait until I got home and use a magnifying glass. I know with your new format the print is only a few points smaller but for me it has crossed the line. Of course this fact will not alter your new format plans but I feel you should at least be aware of its effect on us older hippies who made Austin weird in the first place and played a huge role in your very success.
Jerry Harris

Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts

RECEIVED Fri., May 10, 2019

Dear Editor,
    My God, the CodeNEXT articles never stop. I have to skip the first 12 pages of the Chronicle. It stopped being about news, and I'm basically just looking at the ads of venues listing their musical lineups. I know you think CodeNEXT is interesting, or important, or something. But it isn't. We can only take so much. I want to slit my throat with your paper. And I would, but I've decided to stop even picking them up. 
Todd Greenbaum
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