What happened in Charlottesville could happen to any city. In fact it does. Domestic terrorism has killed more Americans since 9/11 than Al Qaeda & ISIS combined.
Austin has a long history of dealing with racism. We were officially segregated in 1928, and an interstate highway was later build on that dividing line. That segregation has led to inequitable outcomes in education, health, and prosperity and led to incidents of police violence.
Even if we mean well – and we do — mayors face the effects of institutional racism every day. We know that the problems might be complicate, but the evidence of racism is clear. Mayors live this problem. This isn’t politics for us. This is what we work on every day.
Mayors are well-situated to lead on this issue. We can tell the good guys from the bad guys. Only two sides to racism: right side of history and the wrong side of history. Only way to find a solution is to face the problem, and the only one who should be carrying a torch is the Statue of Liberty. Continue reading
On Monday, Mayor Adler proposed a solution to the Downtown Puzzle, his name for the interconnected and geographically contiguous challenges in the eastern part of downtown Austin. After months of discussions with community groups represented at a City Hall press conference, the Mayor proposed harnessing downtown economic activity, including an expansion of the convention center, to raise $30 million for permanent supportive housing for the homeless and create an ongoing funding stream to address homelessness that starts at about $4 million a year until 2021 when it doubles. The Mayor’s proposal, which requires Council action, does not include any property tax increase.
“We have figured out how to put the Downtown Puzzle together by making tourists pay to house the homeless and by harnessing the power of Austin to benefit all Austinites. This plan won’t raise your property taxes, will expand our tax base, and makes a big down payment on the moral imperative to house the homeless,” said Mayor Adler.
By Mayor Adler and Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt
When considering our community’s access to opportunity and prosperity, Austin and Travis County have much to celebrate — but also much work to do.
Though we learned with last week’s release of the Community Advancement Network’s annual Dashboard Report that unemployment in Travis County has declined by more than 50 percent since 2012, we also learned that 25 percent of black and Hispanic families in the county live in poverty, as compared to only 10 percent of other families. Continue reading