Category Archives: Letters of Support

See letters of support from Mayor Adler.

“Great Cities Do Big Things” – State of Our City Feb. 16, 2016 Austin, Texas

“Great cities do big things not because they are great. Cities become great because they do big things.”

Thank you, President Fenves. I am grateful for your leadership at the University of Texas and for our growing working relationship and even friendship.

And with the conversations that need to be happening between UT and the City on issues like the development of the Innovation Zone around our new medical school, a replacement arena for the Drum, the future of the MUNY golf course site, as well as expanding opportunities for closer connection between Austin and the incredible intellectual resources of your faculty, there’s a lot for you and me — and the community — to be talking about.

And by the way, I’m grateful to you for skipping the West Virginia game tonight. You get pretty good seats, so I know what kind of sacrifice this is.

President Fenves recounted the story of the Austin Dam. I love that story, because as the Mayor of Austin I’m often asked what the secret sauce is that makes us a magical city and a center for innovation and creativity. Most every other city wishes it could replicate our success. When I attended the climate change talks in Paris, the 100 Resilient Cities meeting in London, the Almedalen Political Rhetoric Festival in Norway, and the traffic control center in Dublin, Ireland, and people found out that I was the Mayor they’d get a big smile on their face and tell me how much they love Austin.

Cities from all over our country and the rest of the world send entire delegations here to troop through our offices in hopes of finding the magic formula written on a white board somewhere.  These leaders from other cities ask me what makes Austin so special. I tell them about Barton Springs and how our commitment to our environment became perhaps our most important asset. I tell them about Willie Nelson and our live music, how by embracing diverse cultures we established an inclusive community where creativity thrives, about a community where it is okay to fail so long as you learn and grow. And I tell them about Michael Dell reinventing the assembly line in his dorm room and how coming up with radical new ideas here doesn’t make you an outcast — it can make you rich and famous.

And then I tell them about the Austin Dam, and how when the dam burst we were set on a path that turned us into a boomtown of the Information Age. The lesson, I tell these visitors from other cities is clear. They need to leave Austin, return to their hometowns, and destroy all their dams and bridges, too.

But some cities just aren’t willing to do the Big Things.

Continue reading after the break.

Continue reading

CAMPO APPROVES AMENDMENT TO US 183 NORTH PROJECT

campoThe Transportation Policy Board for the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) approved an amendment to the CAMPO 2040 Plan for the proposed US 183 North project. The amendment to the 2040 Plan was requested by the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority (CTRMA), the lead project sponsor. CTRMA requested the amendment because as the project progressed through the environmental study process, known as NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act), the details and scope of the project changed.

The changes to the project include: revising the project limits to include SH 45; adding a fourth non-tolled, general purpose lane; increasing the project cost from $225.7 million to $650 million; and changing the year of expenditure from 2017 to 2019.

“The US 183 North project is a great example of how transportation projects can change as a result of public input and feedback. The elements that were added, such as a fourth non-tolled, general purpose lane and flyovers, add to the project cost, but CTRMA and TxDOT listened to drivers’ and transit users’ needs and modified the project to include what the public requested,” said Williamson County Commissioner and CAMPO Board member Cynthia Long.

Transportation Policy Board member and Austin Mayor Steve Adler said, “In this Year of Mobility, adding more lanes and more options to 183 North will increase mobility between northwest and southeast Austin and, together with the Bergstrom Expressway project, make it easier to get to the airport.” (Full News Release from CAMPO)

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Mayor takes the lead with National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge

In October of 2015, Austin Mayor Adler took the lead in the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge to restore and enhance the habitat for Monarch butterflies in the City of Austin. The National Wildlife Federation presented Mayor Adler with a certificate for the most wildlife-friendly city in America.

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We housed the Veterans! (And did a lot more too)

We did it. Thanks to all your help, we were able to find housing for 200 homeless veterans in Austin. Along the way, we created a new way to attack this problem and eliminated the waiting list for homeless veterans to get help. Great cities do big things, and this is a very, very big thing. Good job, Austin.

At the beginning of the year, there were 234 homeless veterans in Austin. When I took up this challenge in May, there were 200 remaining without homes. By Veterans Day, we still needed 118 homes for these heroes. Thanks to your overwhelming support –as well as the tireless work of homeless advocates and the Austin Apartment Association – we found the last of those 200 homes this week. Continue reading