Austin City Council District 9 candidates’ forum

AUSTIN (KXAN) — District 9 covers Central Austin, including part of the Mueller Development, the University of Texas Campus and much of downtown.

Three candidates are running for the seat, including current council members Kathie Tovo and Chris Riley. The third candidate is Erin McGann.

The district is morphing with so much area in and around downtown changing shape. Like most of Austin, neighbors in this part of town are mostly concerned with property taxes and traffic and transportation issues.

“Public transportation is at the top of our list,” said District 9 resident David Pollack. “My wife and I are both originally from New York, so we’re used to having easily available, reliable public transportation.”

Newcomer McGann says she’s the needed fresh perspective. “The two incumbents have had years to fix the problems in Austin, and this is what we’ve got. We’ve got lots of traffic, we’ve got low affordability and higher utility rates and our infrastructure is crumbling. So it’s time for a change and I am that change.”

Tovo and Riley say with their experience they know the needs of Central Austin.

“When I ran in 2011, I promised to be a council member who listens to the needs and interests of every day Austinites,” said Tovo, “and I’ve kept that promise every day at city hall. I always consider how any vote, big or small, affects every day Austinites.”

“You really want somebody representing District 9 who embraces urban living and is excited about all we can offer here in Austin,” Riley added.

With all of the growth and development in Central Austin, talk of streamlining permitting and reforming code compliance in the city were discussed at the forum, too.

Watch the full video of the forum in the player below:

Leading up to 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 – Watch it here
District 6: September 23, Alamo Drafthouse Lakline – Watch it here
District 7: October 2, Alamo Drafthouse Village – Watch it here 
District 8: September 29, Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter, KXAN anchor Shannon Wolfson will moderate this forum. – Watch it 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 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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