Austin City Council District 5 candidates’ forum

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The south-central area of District 5 stretches from Lady Bird Lake south to Hays County. The seven candidates running for the council seat met Monday at Austin Community College’s south campus to debate the issues near them. District 5 is large in terms of area, encompassing several diverse neighborhoods.

“District 5 is unique,” said John Rubin who lives near Zilker Park. “I mean, where I live is South Austin, but we’re so close to downtown and Zilker Park, that we’re almost part of downtown at this point.”

Rubin says his neighborhood is getting more and more dense, and he has seen property values double in less than 10 years. Further south in the district, some neighbors feel public safety needs more attention.

“It’d be nice to have law enforcement drive occasionally along here,” said Rocc LaRocca, who lives off of West Gate. “Where you have no law enforcement coming down this way at all, a bunch of houses have been broken into already.”

Many concerns for people living in this district echo those of people across the city, like traffic and affordability. Residential and retail development on South Lamar have impacted traffic and the cost of living. All seven candidates vying for the district’s seat were against the city’s current plan for urban rail expansion, instead opting for more buses and routes.

Going to forums like Monday’s helps these neighbors decide who’s right to lead their district at city hall.

“I can tell whether they are truly going to be there for you, for the people,”said LaRocca.

Watch video of the entire forum in the video below

Up until the November election, KXAN is helping you make an informed vote. For the first time ever, Austin will be represented by geographic districts. All month KXAN has hosted forums with the candidates running for each of the 10 city council districts.

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 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 – Watch it here
District 2: September 10, Dove Springs Recreation Center – Watch it here
District 3: September 15, the North Door – Watch it here
District 4: September 17, the Marchesa Theater – Watch it 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

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