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Dear <<First Name>>,

We're back to work.

January 28th marked our first City Council meeting of 2016. Since then, we've had two more on February 4th and most recently on February 11th. Only one of those meetings ended before midnight. That's because we've taken up some high-profile issues.

 
Coming Up In February

Affordability:
We must address the underlying affordability issues that have become a crisis in our City. To that end, I am working with my colleagues to move forward policies like the creation of Homestead Preservation Districts that will help us provide affordable housing and prevent the loss of homesteads of low and moderate income residents.This past Tuesday, February 10th, the committee chair, took an important step in passing a Tenant Relocation Assistance Program. Tenant displacement affects families in a very disruptive and immediate way and places massive financial burdens on the backs of vulnerable communities. We also began an important discussion on Strike Funds, another innovative tool that the City can utilize to increase affordability. Be fully confident that we are looking at every available option out there. Our office is committed to taking on the big issues and coming up with creative solutions so we can make an Affordable Austin for all.  
 

Quarter Cent Fund - UPDATE:
In our last newsletter, I mentioned that the Council would be considering the allocation of the Quarter Cent Fund for transportation projects throughout the City. On January 28th, the City Council approved the Quarter Cent Fund project list, including our list of low-cost, high-impact projects in District 3.

You can check out the full list of projects below but I wanted to highlight a few that I believe will make a big difference for folks in our District:

  • We will be adding a left turn lane on the southbound side of Montopolis Dr. at the Oltorf St. intersection where the Southeast Health and Wellness Clinic is located. Hundreds, if not thousands, of East and Southeast Austin residents receive healthcare at this location and very soon the clinic will be expanding their services to include other agencies such as the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. Recently, the intersection has seen several major vehicle collisions and this is a common sense step we can take to make this intersection safer for families visiting the clinic.
     
  • We will also be making improvements to the pedestrian crossing at Montopolis Dr. and Marigold Terrace. This crosswalk is near the "Tom-Gro" grocery store and is used by Allison Elementary students and families to reach the Montopolis Rec Center and the Dan Ruiz Library.
     
  • With the same goal in mind of making streets safer for students, we will be adding speed cushions or humps at Ledesma Rd. near Mason Ave and a median island for safer crossing at the Springdale Rd. intersection.  Sadly, there has been at least one recent traffic-related student fatality in the area. This project will benefit both District 3 and District 1 residents by making the intersection safer for families at Ortega Elementary.
     
  • Finally, we will add sidewalks on the southbound access road of I35 from Colonial Park Blvd. to Stassney Ln.  This will provide a safe crossing over Williamson Creek for families in the Battle Bend Neighborhood trying to reach Fiesta Mart grocery store and the other stores and restaurants along Stassney Ln.
Check out the full list below. 
The Great TNC Debate:
Mayor Adler's creative incentive proposal would have avoided a costly election, but the TNC corporations were determined not to meet us halfway. Eventually City Council could not concede any more. The City Clerk has briefed council that the election called for by the TNC company's will saddle the Austin Taxpayer with an $800,000 bill. City Council must make sure that multi billion dollar companies who do business in our city not only do so safely, but in accordance with Austin values. 

No matter how expensive and loud this mandated election gets we cannot lose focus on the needs of our Community; affordability, transportation, and community engagement.



Composting or Weekly Recycling?:
The Austin Resource Recovery Department is considering expanding services and needs your input. As Austin moves forward to achieve its Zero Waste goal, the City is contemplating increasing the recycling pickup to every week and expanding the curbside organics collection program citywide. Please take a moment to fill out this survey to voice your preference: Take the survey.

The input Austin Resource Recovery receives will help shape their 2016-2017 budget recommendations which will be considered by the City Council later this year.


All The Best,

Pio



 

February 24th:
Audit and Finance Committee Meeting
February 25th:
Austin Energy Committee Meeting
February 25th - 27th:
6th Annual Austin Latino New Play Festival
February 26th:
Free Car Seat Fitting Station at Gus Garcia Rec. Center
February 28th:
African American Community Heritage Festival
If you have any events that you would like posted on next month's calendar please contact Nic at the email provided at the bottom of the page
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Email Nic @ Nicholas.Solorzano@austintexas.gov


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