FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In the wake of the passage of Proposition A’s (Prop A) Project Connect, Voices of Austin (VofA) wonders if Austinites can expect the same magical numbers game shown in the marketing of Prop A to be used in its implementation as well. The ads promoting Prop A stated that Project Connect will reduce traffic congestion by taking over 285,000 cars off the road. Yet no evidence was ever produced showing studies on traffic congestion so those cars must magically disappear. Can Austinites rely on this game of magic numbers in building Project Connect? Is the Austin Transit Partnership board going to govern in the absence of proof as well?
In the districts where VofA concentrated its efforts to educate the public on Prop A’s Project Connect through mail, newspaper, and social media, the proposition did not pass. Thus, proving that voter education is still effective and will continue to make a difference.
VofA will continue to hold City Council and upper City management officials accountable to the people of Austin on issues that affect them including Project Connect, public safety, and land use code reforms.
Austinites deserve real experts that are trained to deal with the critical issues of systemic racism and its effects in public safety. The promise of Austin’s contract with Kroll Associates, Inc. (Kroll) to investigate the APD is a step in the right direction but is Kroll the best hire for the job? Does Kroll have experience overhauling race relations within the criminal justice setting? Does Kroll have experience addressing systemic racism and oppression in any setting? Peck Young, Executive Director of VofA stated, “We need professional recommendations about how to deal with racism. We hope this investment will get us some.”
Austinites deserve city leaders that will listen to their desires in shaping land use reforms. There are no indications that this City Council is any more willing to negotiate with the community leaders that overwhelmingly oppose CodeNEXT to build a balanced land use code. In fact, if all the incumbents win, VofA believes the Council majority will continue to fight to circumvent Judge Soifer’s ruling that the City Council must honor the rights of property owners.
With City Council and the six biggest donors to the Prop A/Project Connect marketing machine heartened by their victory, VofA sees this bunch set to give Austinites more of what they always have: magical government, not reality, and not what is best for Austinites.
Voices of Austin (VofA) is a grassroots citizen’s organization formed to speak out for the vast majority of Austin citizens and organizations. VofA is a registered 501c4 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. It is not a political action committee and will not endorse or oppose candidates or propositions in an election or make financial contributions to candidates or campaigns.
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