Austinites in District 2 learned more about the people who want to lead the city into the future on Wednesday. KXAN is co-hosting forums for the candidates running in all of the 10 new city council districts. The district covers most of Southeast Austin and includes the area around Austin’s airport.
There are four candidates vying the council seat, and three were on hand at the forum held at the Dove Springs Recreation Center to discuss issues affecting this area.
Neighborhoods in Southeast Austin have historically felt underrepresented in city government. The district is predominantly Hispanic, making up more than a third of its population. Some of the key issues candidates discussed Wednesday were poverty and affordability, transportation issues, and access to healthy food options. The area is also home to the Onion Creek neighborhood, which was devastated by flooding last October.
The Dove Springs neighborhood makes up a big portion of this district, too. Some people at the forum say they’re simply looking forward to having someone on council representing their needs.
“Southeast Austin for a long time has not received the resources from the city that other areas of town have because we haven’t had strong representation,” said resident Glen Shield. “We haven’t ever really had a representation from this area. Bob Larson was the last city council member form this area and that was over 20 years ago.”
Candidates also sounded off on the urban rail bond proposal that will up for vote in November. All three at the forum said they were against it because it neglects District 2. They said they want to see extended bus routes.
Watch video of the entire forum in the video player below:
Five local media outlets have teamed up to bring Austinites a comprehensive series of in-district Austin City Council candidate debates as a prelude to the city’s first geographically-dependent-City Council elections. The outlets, local NPR-affiliate KUT, NBC-affiliate KXAN, Univision, the Austin Chronicle, and the Austin Monitor promise a stand out series that will include audience participation and live web streaming.
The series is called Ballot Boxing.
The media outlets believe that the inclusive nature of the events, the wide broadcast of the discussion, and the balance of organizations putting them together will add significantly to the dialogue around the most significant political change in the city’s recent history. A complete schedule of the forums can be found below.
All of the forums will be free and open to the public.
District 1: September 8, Wesley United Methodist Church – RSVP Here
District 2: September 10, Dove Springs Recreation Center – RSVP Here
District 3: September 15, the North Door – RSVP Here
District 4: September 17, the Marchesa Theater –RSVP Here
District 5: September 22, Austin Community College, South Austin Campus – RSVP Here
District 6: September 23, Alamo Drafthouse Lakline – RSVP Here
District 7: October 2, Alamo Drafthouse Village – RSVP Here
District 8: September 29, Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter, KXAN anchor Shannon Wolfson will moderate this forum. – RSVP Here
District 9: October 6, KUT Studio 1a, KXAN anchor Shannon Wolfson will moderate this forum. – RSVP Here
District 10: October 8, LCRA HQ – RSVP Here
Mayor: October 15, KUT Moody Auditorium KXAN anchor Shannon Wolfson will co-moderate this forum. –RSVP Here