Author Archives: mayoradler

Results from Spirit of East Austin Community Forum

Feedback from the Spirit of East Austin Community Forum has been overwhelmingly positive due in part to the dialogue focused on ways to create equitable economic and community development in East Austin.  After September 12, a qualitative analysis team assembled and collected 1,990 Post-it notes to help determine next steps.

As part of our next steps, we will be scheduling community meetings to present the initial results and receive feedback to ensure they honestly reflect the community’s needs.  The intention is to continue receiving ongoing input from the community while inviting stakeholders to volunteer for working teams to develop a set of community-based recommendations (i.e., projects, policies, and/or programs).

These working teams would be located in critical areas needing attention including, but not limited to, the following neighborhoods: Montopolis, Dove Springs, Colony Park, Rundberg, and Central East Austin among others. The working teams would not replace current neighborhood organizations or efforts.  Instead, they would form parallel to and in collaboration with these groups to gather information and make recommendations. We want to move quickly to form our recommendations and want all input. We expect to have city staff, community members, and other experts to participate in these working teams. Satisfying a set of community-based attributes, each community team would be responsible for developing a set of recommendations that would fall into one of the following categories:

  • Shovel-ready (up to 1 year): Some recommendations would focus on quick, “shovel-ready” projects that may have already received attention, for example, creating sidewalks to increase walkability.
  • Fertile Ground (1 to 3 years): Additional work would focus on projects that require relatively minimal effort, but they have high impact on the community.
  • Strategic (3 to 5+ years): Long–term investments that offer greater community impact and would be strategically focused on dynamic economic development.

Helpful links:

Spirit of East Austin Community Forum analysis (online, interactive presentation)

Spirit of East Austin Online Community Forum (You must log in to access, contribute)

 

Spirit of East Austin

SPEECH: “The future of Austin rises in the East”

“It’s time to take stock of what is good and to build from that foundation of good a better, stronger and more equitable East Austin. To press forward faster, to taking our best assets and leverage them to bring unprecedented focus, energy, investment and opportunity to East Austin.

“As we Face East, we do not excuse or dismiss the parts of our past that are, at best, ugly and unjust. Rather, we can use this history as fuel for the kind of determination to shape a more equitable and prosperous future in our City’s East Austin. The community has gathered before to participate in studies and help create plans. Just by way of example, The African American, Hispanic and Asian Quality of Life reports; Colony Park master plan; the 1984 master plan; neighborhood Master Plans. We thank you for this important work. From those gatherings, some progress has been made. Yet, we all know that what has happened in the past is not nearly enough and not nearly as great as our potential. And, I hope in knowing that, it makes us all the more determined. I am determined.

“This is our shared dilemma: Many of our highest achievements in job creation, higher education, health and technology, happen in other zip codes. This imbalance has threatened the idea of Austin as a just and equitable community for decades. This imbalance does not come as a surprise. This imbalance comes as the outcome of design – the direct result of where this city has focused. It is time to turn that same level of focus to Face East.”

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