Adler: “We Are Putting Queso On The Moon”

Special Package from Mayor Steve Adler Will Land on Moon in April

AUSTIN, TX, February 22, 2019 — Mayor Steve Adler today revealed the contents of an official letter to extraterrestrials and future citizens of the solar system that will be placed on the moon approximately 40 days from today, mid-April. The letter was aboard the SpaceX Falcon rocket that launched out of Cape Canaveral, Florida last night.

“Yes, the real moon.” said Mayor Adler.

The Falcon is carrying a moon lander from commercial space exploration outfit SpaceIL, which in turn is carrying the Lunar Library from the Arch Mission Foundation. The physical archive is comprised of millions of documents laser etched in microscopic analog form on a radiation-proof nickel Nanofiche™ disk. It will be placed on the moon permanently.

Space IL’s moon lander will circle the moon in gradually descending orbit in order to facilitate a soft landing. The first and nominal landing opportunity will happen on April 11.

The Arch Mission Foundation’s goal is to archive all human knowledge permanently in space. The Foundation provided this opportunity to Austin’s Mayor. Also included in the Billion Year Archive are:

  • A full copy of the English language Wikipedia
  • 25,000 books and other resources, including collections from Project Gutenberg and the Internet Archive
  • The Long Now Foundation Rosetta and PanLex datasets, which provide a linguistic key to 5000 languages with 1.5 billion cross-language translations.

As part of their program, the Arch Mission invited a limited number of celebrities, influencers, and dignitaries to make a contribution to the Lunar Library.

Mayor Adler’s letter includes a copy of the original, authentic, and never-before-published Kerbey Queso recipe from Kerbey Lane Cafe.

“We choose to send queso to the Moon – and maybe someday chips as well, not because these things are easy, but because they are hard,” said Mayor Adler. “The challenge to eat queso in zero gravity is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, among other key challenges, like next time remembering the chips.”

“We are so happy to take the recipe for our best selling item of all time to the moon,” said Kerbey Lane Cafe CEO Mason Ayer. “I suppose getting the ingredients together out there in space is a whole ‘nother story. But as central artifacts of civilization go, I can’t think of a more important, sustaining foodstuff. No archive, time capsule, library or vault is complete without queso. One day we hope the whole galaxy will benefit. Turns out, the moon isn’t really made of cheese. So we sent some.”

Adler also included a photo of Albert “Leslie” Cochran with the letter, together with an economic incentive package, in hopes of welcoming extraterrestrial visitors and future citizens. “If it helps your decision to visit, please know that extraterrestrial beings have already been to Austin, become cultural icons, and even run for Mayor – and they are forever welcome here. To wit, I am proudly enclosing a photo of Albert ‘Leslie’ Cochran”, the letter states. Adler declined to provide details about the image, commenting, “I’m not going to say exactly what the picture shows, but Leslie mooned Austin enough times. It was about time Austin mooned the moon.”

Mayor Adler’s letter to extraterrestrials ends on a more serious note, echoing President Carter’s message placed on the Voyager in 1977.

“It is my hope that on the future day that you read this, we will have solved the many things on this earth for which we are less proud. Presently, the world has not sufficiently responded to the dire threat of climate change and environmental injustice. And our society has let people become downtrodden, failing to recognize that each human being, regardless of the immutable characteristics of their birth or their station in life, is alive with the same fire that lights the stars at night. Austin today is working to make this a better universe by tackling homelessness and inequity, and through our support for the environment, restorative justice in our community, and the lasting beauty of our arts.

Perhaps a future time capsule will send happy news of our solutions to the vexing problems that threaten what is great in our city and our world. We in Austin do not just hope for a better and more just tomorrow, but are taking the difficult steps in the present, so we will survive our time and we may live into yours. May this message represent our continuing hope and determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe.”

View the letter in full here.

About Arch Mission Foundation

The Arch Mission Foundation is a non-profit organization that maintains a backup of planet Earth, designed to continuously preserve and disseminate humanity’s most important knowledge across time and space. The Arch Mission Foundation is preserving the knowledge and biology of our planet in a solar system wide project called The Billion Year Archive.™ Arch™ Libraries are the most durable records of human civilization ever built. Using new technologies, they preserve more knowledge for more time, than anything ever created. Arch™ Libraries are being designed in a variety of form factors to persist for long-durations on Earth, as well as in other locations across our solar system and beyond. The Arch Mission Foundation was co-founded by Nova Spivack and Nick Slavin. Other key early team members include Mathew Hoerl, Robert C. Jacobson, and Michael Paul. More information about team members and industry advisors can be found at http://www.archmission.org/crew.

For more information visit: http://www.archmission.org

About Mayor Steve Adler

Steve Adler is Austin’s 52nd Mayor and Mayor of All The Queso. His top priorities include mobility, affordability and equity for all Austinites. Adler has been elected a Vice President of the National Council of Democratic Mayors, a Trustee of the United States Conference of Mayors, and Chair of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) policy board.

Mayor Adler has received broad recognition for innovative ideas and leadership. Foreign Policy named him a Global reThinker and Living Cities included Mayor Adler on the list of 25 Disruptive Leaders (along with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and author Ta-Nehihi Coates) to mark that organization’s 25th anniversary. The Austin Chronicle readership has named Mayor Adler as Best City Official each year since 2016, and Chronicle critics named Adler Best Drag Mother for his turn as Mother Ginger in Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker and Most Devoted Pen Pal for his Wonder Woman letter. Austin Monthly has also named Mayor Adler “Best Politician” for “fearlessly speaking up for Austinites [and] proving that a little snark goes a long way to support the morale of a community.”

For more information visit: http://www.mayoradler.com

About Kerbey Lane Cafe

On May 5th, 1980, Kerbey Lane Cafe began operating out of a small house on Kerbey Lane in north- central Austin. Famous for its fluffy pancakes and delicious queso, Kerbey Lane Cafe is dedicated to serving house-made food that is local, fresh and affordable, while providing a welcoming and memorable experience to all who come through its doors. These simple principles helped grow Kerbey Lane Cafe from a single location operating out of a humble house into a beloved Austin institution with eight locations throughout the Austin area.

For more information, visit http://www.kerbeylanecafe.com.

Challenges and Opportunities on AISD Properties

Statement from Mayor Steve Adler and Council Member Kathie Tovo

Our community is faced with a difficult situation related to the Austin Independent School District (AISD). Despite our city’s rapid growth, enrollment at several AISD schools continues to decline. The loss of thousands of students has worsened AISD’s funding challenges and presents the District with some tough choices, including the possibility of school closures, facility leasing, school consolidations, and boundary changes. At the same time, our city is grappling with challenges such as a lack of affordable housing, and finding places to provide parks and public facilities to meet growing community needs. Perhaps these two sets of challenges could add up to one good answer for our community: opportunities for some community needs to be met on all or part of repurposed AISD properties.

The Austin City Council recently adopted a resolution we co-sponsored along with Council Members Alter, Renteria, and Casar, directing City Manager Cronk to prioritize on-going, collaborative work with AISD to identify opportunities to achieve community goals on all or parts of AISD campuses that may be repurposed. Opportunities could include affordable housing in areas where we are seeing gentrification and displacement, workforce development, open space and recreation, child care, and other critical needs.

The community conversations underway will help AISD decide the future of several campuses, and it’s unclear at this time what the Board of Trustees will decide, or should decide. However, our hope is that letting the District know what possibilities exist to meet community needs on all or parts of some campus sites will, at the very least, be useful data points for AISD’s deliberations.

What is absolutely clear at this time is that the tough decisions ahead for AISD have been made even more difficult by our State’s broken school finance system, which is long overdue for a remodel. We applaud the statements we are hearing from our state leadership, which appear to reflect an authentic commitment to making meaningful progress during this legislative session on adequately and equitably funding our schools, while reducing the burden on local property tax payers. We stand ready to help the State find solutions.

-Mayor Steve Adler and Council Member Kathie Tovo

Join us! Project Connect Community Conversation – 12/04

You are invited to a community conversation on the future of transportation in central Texas. The City of Austin and Capital Metro are collaborating on a new vision for how we get around our city. Join Mayor Adler and Mayor Pro Tem Tovo on Tuesday, December 4th, from 6 – 8 pm at Austin City Hall so they can hear your thoughts.

Our affordability and mobility challenges are two of the biggest threats to quality of life in central Texas, and we know you want our city to think big and take action on real solutions, but we need your help to make sure we get it right.

Tuesday, Dec. 4 – 6 – 8 p.m.

Community Conversation with Mayor Adler and Mayor Pro Tem Tovo

Austin City Hall Council Chambers

301 W. 2nd St.

Austin, 78701

Served by downtown transit routes – Use Capital Metro’s Trip Planner to find your route.

RSVP here! https://www.facebook.com/events/2042799639292511/

For more information about Project Connect, visit ProjectConnect.com, and learn more about the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan at austintexas.gov/asmp.

Full Remarks by Mayor Adler on the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting Shalom Austin Vigil (Austin, Texas) – October 28, 2018

The horrifying acts of terror in Pittsburgh shake us all.

Because I am Jewish, this event hits close to home and reverberates at my core. It makes vivid the conversations I had with my grandparents about the anti-Semitism in the Europe that my family fled. And what I see in the media, even over the last year. That hate is horrifying. But Jews do not own being its target.

That very same hate kills African Americans in a Charleston church basement.

It takes lives in a Mosque in Quebec.

It targets the LGBTQ community in Orlando.

It finds Sikhs in a gurdwara in Wisconsin.

It murders Buddhists in a Waddell, AZ, temple.

It’s the same hate. We are all in this together.

So together, we must confront hate, wherever we see it, whenever we see it.

When it looms large and also when the transgressions might seem small.

We must own that today’s political speech of divisiveness tills the ground for hate to grow… when we demonize one another…when the intent of a call to action is to make us afraid of one another, to gain political advantage.

A year or so ago, the headline in a Alt-Right media publication read: “Austin’s Jew Mayor Demands Tranny Police Force”

The article led with a photo of me, smiling. Beneath the photo, the caption read: “It’s very unsettling when Jews try to look human. Just grow the beard and locks you freak.”

Mainstream media asked about the article at that time. I minimized it and its impact.

I was wrong. I resolve to do better. We must all resolve to do better.

My heart breaks and I cry with the victims, the families of those killed and injured, all of the worshippers and the law enforcement officers that bravely responded.

May the memories of those that died make us better.

We Should Consider if We Need a New and Different Process to Fix our Land Development Code.

Colleagues,

Austin’s biggest challenges, such as increasing unaffordability, displacement, gentrification, flooding, and traffic are getting worse. The land development code should be an important tool to help with these challenges, however, our current code is not serving us well. The need to revise this land development code is greater than ever before. Yet, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the CodeNEXT process, so divisive and poisoned, will not get us to a better place.

We should consider the option: cease the CodeNEXT process and ask the City Manager to create a new process that will help us move forward together.

In 2012, the Austin City Council under the old, at-large system, initiated a comprehensive planning process which resulted in the adoption of Imagine Austin, a document intended to guide the growth of our city. Imagine Austin identified rewriting the land development code as a priority because of how important the code is to the day-in-day-out growth and development of our city and to realizing our vision for the future. When we look at the difficult issues of displacement and gentrification, the burdens of traffic and increasing lack of affordability, it is not incorrect to point at least one finger at our existing, outdated land development code.

We must improve on what’s happening now. We can’t keep losing long-time residents because they can’t afford to stay in their neighborhoods. We can’t keep letting our city’s floodwaters go inadequately managed, washing away lives and homes and costing our city hundreds of millions of dollars and untold misery for primarily lower-income residents. Our city is changing, and we have to make strides in better managing that change. We must address the challenges we feel today and those we anticipate for tomorrow or we’ll lose what makes our city special.

I’m proud of the 10-1 council for its work on traffic, housing, affordability, displacement, gentrification, equity, and sustainability. Together, we have made great strides. Cities everywhere are always going to grapple with such issues. Whether a city is growing or shrinking, the problems don’t completely go away — they just look different and continually need to be addressed with newer and more innovative solutions.

We have not, however, been able to accomplish the necessary re-write of our land development code and that limits the benefits we can achieve. The previous at-large council selected our CodeNEXT consultant, Opticos, in March of 2013. That same council then selected the approach, referred to as “The Deep Clean” of the code, in November of 2014. By the time the new 10-1 council was sworn in, the CodeNEXT process was already almost two years old. We elected to continue the process.

Now, however, we need to consider if we have made a wrong turn in how we’ve gone about trying to do this. CodeNEXT, the current process of rewriting our land development code, is big, complicated, technical, and it’s largely misunderstood. The six-year process that got us to this point has had to deal with changes in city staff and leadership, the political landscape, our economy, technology, and our municipal governing systems and philosophy. Maybe we pushed too hard and too fast? Maybe we took too long? Regardless, our challenges remain and they are getting worse every day. One of the biggest impediments to helping our city, our land development code, remains outdated and deficient.

We had been hoping for a process that would bring Austin together and result in a code that would help us solve many of our biggest challenges, however CodeNEXT and the community discussion surrounding it have largely been contentious and marked with misinformation. Preying on the worst fears of Austinites is a near surefire way to kill anything, but we know that that our city’s challenges and the need to re-write our land development code remain.

Colleagues, I believe we should consider if the best way ultimately to find the right path to fix our land development code is to cease our current process and ask the City Manager to create a new process. While we have learned much and made gains as a council in our June work sessions, it seems evident that we’re not going to get to a place of sufficient consensus. Do we believe that continuing to chop at the same wood is going to change the outcome?

This is a good time to consider if we are on the right path. When June ended, the Council realized that to proceed in a meaningful way we needed to run new numbers on housing capacity so that we could advance discussions on transitions and compatibility. We recognized we needed more testing on the impact of the non-zoning sections on the housing capacity we intended to get on corridors. Staff has now informed us they cannot provide answers to these questions by the end of August as we had hoped. Further, we now learn that floodplains may be changing in a very significant way and this alone might justify recalculating and considering new changes to our land development code in order to achieve the goals we seek.

It’s time to evaluate where we are. Is the current process so poisoned that we need a new and different approach that encourages openness, discussion, and finding the truth, rather than the misinformation, hyperbole, fearmongering, and divisive rhetoric we have seen? When a long-time resident says with a straight face that CodeNEXT means every property in their neighborhood will be able to sell alcohol commercially, or a neighborhood listserv warns that most every home in their neighborhood will be demolished and each lot subdivided into 25-foot widths, then something has gone horribly wrong. I keep hearing from too many people that the CodeNEXT process is being pushed by greedy developers intent only on making money from the misfortune of others. But all we need to do is listen to Council Members Casar, Garza, and others to know that this is untrue. I keep hearing from yet others that the folks opposing CodeNEXT are all racists intent on keeping people of color out of their neighborhoods. But all we need to do is listen to Mayor Pro Tem Tovo, Council Member Alter, and others to know that this, too, is untrue.

I’m not sure it is within our power and ability to right the current process. We must do a better job of calling out those that seek advantage and power at the expense of the well-being of our city. They are hurting our city, not helping, and re-living the battles of the past isn’t saving homes from being demolished or keeping people from being displaced – it’s exacerbating and prolonging such tragedies. Oversight, engagement, and transparency are core values of our city, but when people stop being honest to achieve a political end, it hurts our city and our democracy. We need dialogue that is more like Austin, Texas, and less like what we are seeing in Washington D.C.

Change happens at the speed of trust. As a Council, city staff and community, we must restore trust in a process to revise our land development code, and that means we need a new and different, clear and concise path that can move us forward. We need to assess where we are and task City Manager Cronk with evaluating all the good we have gotten from all the work done thus far, and then recommending a new process that builds on the lessons learned from what we’ve done, both good and bad.

There are a lot of people, working in good faith, that have spent a lot of time on this effort, including our city staff. We have learned a lot, narrowed and identified issues, and our community has shown general agreement on some important elements. We have developed ways in which we can significantly enhance environmental protections and mobility choices, among other non-zoning benefits. Many hours of work have helped us better understand our housing needs. We have accomplished these and more and we move forward with significant value in hand.

I now question, however, whether our current process can see us to the end. Before we continue further down the path we are on, I recommend we stop to see if it will really get us to where we need and want to go. In this regard, I remain committed as I have throughout my term as Mayor to finding ways to slow or mitigate gentrification, to stop displacement of long-time residents, to preserve existing housing stock, to support our music and arts community and low and moderate income residents through affordability measures, to find ways to help Austinites who live here and to plan for those we know are coming, all without losing what has always made our city special and continuing to lead on sustainability measures that keep us healthy and safe.

We must get this right and I continue to believe we can. We must deliver for our constituents and our city’s future.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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