Austin City Council Candidates’ Score Cards


WHAT DISTRICT ARE YOU IN? Go here, and enter your address under the council pictures.

For voter verification, polling locations, sample ballot, etc, go HERE

We invite you visit the League of Women Voters – Austin Voter’s Guide and to watch the candidate forums they hosted:  Mayoral ForumDistrict 1; District 3;  District 5;  District 8; and District 9.  KUT also conducted candidate forums in each race.


More than half the candidates in the city council/mayoral races completed our questionnaire and several told us our questionnaire was HARD compared to most. We dug deep into the issues, and it helped really suss out who knew their stuff when it comes to big picture items like the cost of growth and who is more inclined towards growth at ANY cost.

We thank all who participated. While we expected Mayor Adler and Councilmember Renteria to not respond, we were disappointed more candidates in District 8 didn’t respond and that Vince Harding, in District 1, didn’t respond, as this is a hard race to gauge.

The good folks over at have diligently housed a multitude of organizational questionnaires, with respective candidate responses, at their website. This link takes you to our questionnaire directly, and if you click on a question, you will see the answers by all the individual candidates that submitted to us (except for Misael Ramos in District 1, as they didn’t include write-ins). We didn’t submit a questionnaire in the District 5 race, as the incumbent, Ann Kitchen, is unopposed.

PROCESS: Candidates were asked to answer the 12 questions with both a numerical ranking on a 1-10 scale on how much they agree with the premise, and follow up with a short response giving us more insight on the issue.

In grading, we added up the candidate’s collective 1-10 numerical responses, and then we had a team of graders score the comments on a scale of 1-10. We then took the average of those individual graders’s scores and added that to their scaled numbers for a final grade. We then applied a curve, because we recognized our questionnaire was HARD! As you can see, we had only three “A+’s” and then there was a bit of a gap before a couple of “A-‘s”, with no “As” in the bunch. Those in the B range still did fairly well, and are for the most part aligned with our platform, so in the case of District 3 and District 9, where we had no “A’s,” we consider the “B’s” the best in the bunch.

The final grades indicate: 1. how much a candidate agrees with us on the issues we have in Austin and on the solutions to fix them, and 2. how well they understand the nuances of the issue.  So in some cases, the candidate might not agree with us on the solution, if they still displayed a deep understanding of the issue, they still would have received a mid-range score from graders. There were secondary considerations such as: the right mix of brevity (we asked for a 350 word limit) and knowledge, not wavering off into a sideline issue more comfortable to them, etc. Here’s the guide we used as scorers:

0-2: No comment at all; OR a comment that doesn’t address the issue/tangents off to another topic showing a basic lack of understanding of the issue; OR addresses it in a way that completely opposes our stance on the issue;   3-5: Comments that somewhat opposes our stance on the issue; OR “cop-out” answers that are generally supportive of the issue, but don’t expand in any way that displays they understand the issue beyond the wording from the question;   6-8: Comments that somewhat challenge our stance on the issue, but is well thought-out/a unique perspective; OR comments that are generally with us on the issue and display some knowledge of the issue, but fail to address the core point of the question;  9-10: “Right on!” Comments that fully display an understanding of the issue…and is in line with our platform.







  1. Kirsten Dean

    What were the quedtions?? I can’t find tris info on your page and without knowing your questions and the candidates’ answers, this “score card” is meaningless.

    • deb russell

      The questionnaire is linked above. It explains there that their answers are linked to each question. Here it is directly.


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