We went into 2017 focused on addressing mobility and affordability, and we did get a lot done on both fronts as you can see below. What we weren’t fully expecting, however, was the degree to which we would have to defend Austin’s values on climate change, refugee resettlement, racial equity, immigration, and feminism, among many other subjects. When the Mayor said in his State of the City Address, delivered at the beginning of 2017, that the “world can completely lose its mind but we’re still gonna be Austin, Texas,” he had no way of knowing how accurately that would predict what 2017 had in store or how our city would respond.

We’re still Austin, Texas, and we’re getting better at it all the time.

Here are actions taken by the City and/or by City Council (not just the Mayor):



  • After US withdrew from Paris Agreement, committed with 386 other US Climate Mayors to adopt, honor and uphold the Paris Climate Agreement goals; in Oct., attended Paris Climate Conference; in Dec., signed Chicago Climate Charter at North American Climate Summit
  • In State of the City, condemned Muslim ban
  • Helped lead business coalition opposing federal, state immigration policies
  • With other mayors, met with then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in opposition to federal immigration policy
  • In Oct., joined Dream Coalition, an organization made up of business leaders, civil leaders, and elected officials that words to ensure Dreamers can live and work in the US without fear of being deported.
  • Directed City lobbyists to oppose the President’s executive order authorizing construction of a border wall and his refusal to renew the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, and to support comprehensive immigration reform
  • Joined US Conference of Mayors’ letter to Congress, urging them to fix the broken immigration system
  • Passed $200,000 in emergency funds for Immigrant Legal Services
  • Offered written testimony and supported City of Austin’s lawsuit against SB 4, the sanctuary city bill
  • Responded to a letter about Wonder Woman



  • In approving $110 million to be spent from the 2016 Mobility Bond, authorized agreements with the Texas Department of Transportation in which the city will provide part of the money for design and construction of improvements on TxDOT highways in Austin, including:
    • $46 million of bond money on Loop 360 to replace stoplights with overpasses, with TxDOT kicking in $204 million.
    • $7.5 million for a new cut-through road between RM 2222 and RM 620, joining $17.9 million from TxDOT.
    • $17 million from the city to widen Parmer Lane, augmented by $6 million TxDOT.”
  • Invested $5.7 million in Intersection Traffic Cameras to collect data for efficient signal timing and alleviating traffic and not for citations
  • Invested $3 million toward the creation of a pedestrian plaza and permanent rail station for MetroRail on Fourth Street between Trinity and Neches streets
  • Completed first sidewalk projects from 2016 Mobility Bond
  • Approved funding to expand $20.5-million airport expansion that will give Austin more international gates and new baggage carousels
  • Approved $220 million for new parking garage at airport



  • Coordinating for the first time with Travis County, area colleges, and large employers, proposed jobs plan to get 10,000 Austinites out of poverty and into mid-level jobs in five years
  • Approved “Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint,” designed to address Austin’s housing shortage
  • Led the creation of “Affordable Central Texas,” a non-profit company that will administer the “Austin Affordable Fund” which will purchase and preserve middle-income housing in an effort to prevent the loss of affordable, middle-income apartments at no taxpayer expense
  • Created Anti-Displacement Task Force which held its first meeting in December
  • Continues to advocate for community consensus on CodeNEXT process to rewrite Austin’s outdated land development code
  • As measured by number of residential permits issued, made significant progress on permitting reform, reducing construction costs that contribute to rising housing costs
  • Provided $600,000 aid package to relocate tenants living in an unsafe building
  • Proposed Loan program for Veteran Entrepreneurs
  • Partnered with the Community Loan Center of Austin to institute a low-interest, low-fee personal loan program for COA employees as an alternative to high-cost payday and auto title loans
  • Identified “State Property Tax,” as overwhelming cause of increases in local property tax bills
  • Lowest unemployment rate since 2000



  • Approved new solar agreement allowing Austin Energy to reach 51% renewable energy by 2020 up from 40% today
  • Set new goal to increase the amount of power Austin Energy gets from renewable energy to 65% by 2027
  • After US withdrew from Paris Agreement, committed with 386 other US Climate Mayors to adopt, honor and uphold the Paris Climate Agreement goals
  • In Dec., signed Chicago Climate Charter at North American Climate Summit
  • Represented Austin at Oct. climate conference in Paris
  • Also that month, joined 69 other Mayors for Solar Energy pledging to increase use of solar energy
  • New construction required to be solar ready to save residents money on utility bills
  • Expanded curbside compositing $1.5 million contract will expand collections to 38,000 more homes in the fall of 2017 and extend citywide by 2020
  • Housed, enrolled, and welcomed Hurricane Harvey evacuees



  • $15 million contribution from Moody Foundation makes progress in revamping Waller Creek
  • Approved study to revitalize Seaholm Intake Waterfront Facility
  • Sponsored effort to buy and preserve Montopolis Negro School as a museum
  • Release RFQ for the Colony Park Master Plan II



  • Proposed Downtown Puzzle to, in part, provide a first-time, ongoing funding stream (of $3 Million/yr to $8 Million/yr) to house the homeless and address challenges such as the ARCH downtown, paid for by tourists paying hotel taxes
  • Sponsored resolution authorizing resources to address K2 drug crisis
  • Supported the authorized $242,354 for three additional Homeless Outreach Street Team (HOST) employees
  • Supported a pilot program to increase police presence and street cleaning around downtown homeless shelter to address health and safety crisis
  • Supported pilot program to create a temporary work program for homeless people
  • Sponsored resolution to find city-owned facilities that could temporarily house the homeless
  • Launched a comprehensive homelessness resource website for citizens to learn about homelessness in Austin, to engage with it, and help end homelessness.



  • Remained safest big city in Texas
  • Authorized purchase of 724 body cameras for Austin Police
  • Invested in study lighting in West Campus to address UT safety concerns
  • Supported program to allow inmates to train pets in jail



  • Proposed Downtown Puzzle to, in part, provide a new, ongoing funding stream to boost the local music industry and preservation of music and arts venues, all paid for by tourists paying hotel taxes
  • Successful Red River music pilot that extended hours for outdoor live music extended six more months
  • Approved $200,000 Art Space Assistance Program to help artists with housing affordability
  • Austin named “Music Friendly Community” by State of Texas



  • Chose a new City Manager
  • Created LGBTQ Quality of Life Commission
  • Received report from Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequality, which led to facilitate training of over 200 c-suite and other leaders across health, education, faith, housing/real estate, banking/finance, law enforcement and government sectors re racial equity in February and November. Another 140 leaders are scheduled for training in January 2018 and planning for 300 more in May, 2018
  • Supported renaming roads named after Confederate leaders; waived fees to do so
  • Sponsored resolution to condemn the display of Confederate monuments and memorials and to direct the city manager’s office to prepare a report identifying all of such monuments and memorials
  • Sponsored resolution that renamed Columbus Day in Austin to Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Supported funding Disability-friendly Playgrounds
  • Had a cameo in a rap video
  • Austin named Best Place to Live in America