All's Fair in Love and Ridesharing
As she continues her efforts to regulate TNCs, City Council Member Ann Kitchen faces a movement to recall her. A PAC called Austin4All is collecting signatures to recall the District 5 CM because "she has purposefully hurt businesses that employ citizens of Austin," according to the petition language. The petitioners claim Kitchen's "kickbacks" from taxi companies are her reason for opposing TNCs (Kitchen's campaign received $4,000 from Lone Star Cab). Austin4All hasn't yet filed with the city clerk or with the state. Rachel Kania, a Texas activist who's been involved with various conservative causes and politicians, is listed as the PAC's treasurer, but that's about all that's known about the group. Lyft and Uber deny any involvement with the recall effort. Kitchen remains unfazed, telling the Chronicle, "I'm going to continue to do my job as a City Council member and I have a responsibility to protect the public safety."
While the petition's support remains unclear at this point, a recall election could occur if 10% of District 5's 48,000 qualified voters sign the petition, and it is submitted to the city and validated by the city clerk. Of the recall, Adler said, "It's a bad idea. Even if you disagree with Council Member Kitchen on this issue, she is a hardworking council member who is positioning us to do great things, I think, for mobility in this city. She's doing really good work. She was elected to do a job and she's doing that job."