Austinites for Geographic Representation will hold a kickoff rally Saturday, Oct 22nd at Mexitas Restaurant at 12th Street and IH-35, from 3-5 PM. Free food will be provided and there will be a cash bar. Everyone in Austin, from across the political spectrum, is welcome.
Why Districts? Why Now?
Did you know Austin is the largest proportionally representative municipality in the country? Each "at-large" Councilmember represents all 812,500 Austinites - more constituents than most US Representatives answer to! Having to appeal to all of the elected leaders to see who might help you with an issue in your part of town, where no one is specifically accountable to you, has caused a major democracy gap in our City. It has eroded trust.
At the City of Austin's Charter Revision Commission meeting last week, former state Senator Gonzalo Barrientos and chair, quipped that "there ain't a lot of faith right now" in our local council government. While this commission's still developing what plan to recommend our Council, and considering this Commission's recommendation can be easily ignored by them (it has on this matter in the past), the community is moving forward as they don't trust politicians protecting their own interests to "do the right thing."
At a noon press conference Wednesday at City Hall, the broad-based grassroots coalition Austinites for Geographic Representation announced a petition drive to amend the Austin City Charter to elect 10 Council members by geographic districts and the Mayor citywide. The proposal would also create an Independent Citizens Commission to draw the Districts.