“You put them first, and they put you last. ‘Cause you’re a chump. A political chump! … Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you are dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that party — you’re not only a chump but you’re a traitor to your race.” — Malcolm X
Malcolm X was an outspoken independent leader who came to embrace all people. His independence formed the basis of his eventual alliance with Dr. Martin Luther King. A fact forgotten in history is Dr. King considered running for President as an independent with peace movement leader Dr. Ben Spock to bring together the predominantly white peace movement with the civil rights movement.
In that spirit, we hope to see you at the Martin Luther King Day March and Festival. This event is a food drive for the Capital Area Food Bank. Please bring non-perishable food items to any locations along the route of this event. Hook up with us at 9 am at UT, at 10 am at the Capitol south steps, or at our booth on Huston-Tillotson campus starting from 10 am to 3 pm. Look for the “CodeNEXT Wrecks Austin” signs.
Has the Mayor asked you for money? Non-chumps unite!
We got a call from a supporter of ours who received a call from Mayor Steve Adler, asking for $350 for his reelection campaign. Our supporter — not a chump — politely told him no, and then called us to pledge the $350 to us.
Rumor has it, that within a few weeks, Adler has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. We should ask ourselves why the popular Mayor, a wealthy man, needs your money to run a reelection campaign?
Could it be that the Mayor is going to need a LOT of money because he is, in effect, running against the people – by opposing your right to vote on CodeNEXT?
CodeNEXT, a massive overhaul of the city’s land development code has multi-billion dollar potential consequences that can impact your affordability for decades. But don’t worry, the Mayor’s got it covered — NOT!
What a Contested Mayor Race Gets You
We hope Laura Morrison’s entry into the Mayoral race brings the city’s growth policies (the demand side of the demand/supply debate) – finally – into high profile.
The Mayor and his allies want to keep talking only about the lack of housing supply – the supply side. They never want to talk about the demand side of this equation – in-migration, mass population growth, spurred on by the real estate lobby. “The Lobby” is primarily the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce and Real Estate Council — truly the tail that has wagged the dog in Austin for as long as most of us can remember. The Chamber has recently been working behind the scenes to get Amazon to build their new headquarters in the Austin area, bringing at least 50,000 new people to the area.
Don’t be a political chump. Help us get more signatures for your right to vote on CodeNEXT.
Where the Council Stands on Your Right to Vote on CodeNEXT
You might have missed during the holiday break this excellent Statesman Editorial on December 28, 2017, that asked the Council members their thoughts on CodeNEXT. We were impressed that they clearly stated their position on the Austin voters’ right to vote on it:
Those who oppose a public vote on CodeNEXT at this time: Mayor Steve Adler, Council members Casar, Renteria, Garza, Flannigan, and Kitchen.
Those who support your right to petition for a public vote on CodeNEXT are: Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, Councilmembers Houston, Alter, and Pool.
What’s 10-1 Got to Do With It?
Mayor Adler, in response to the Statesman’s question of whether he supports putting CodeNEXT up for a public vote said:
“No. Austin just went through a transition from an at-large City Council to a 10-1 district council to ensure that every district has an equal vote, and to ensure that wealthier parts of the city with greater voter turnout no longer control all local decisions. The effort to put CodeNEXT on the ballot is an attempted refusal of the 10-1 system and a return to the old way Austin used to decide everything, which we know is unfair to lower income and minority communities.”
Councilwoman Delia Garza, who actually invented the “Trust Austin” slogan for 10-1, responded to this question with:
“The people pushing for a vote on a very detailed thousand-page document are trying to disingenuously take away power from the 10-1 system that we all worked so hard to create.”
This is Austin politics, folks. These Councilmembers claim that 10-1 (in reality, they mean themselves) ensures better representation than a public vote involving hundreds of thousands of Austinites! This is a contradiction of the spirit of 10-1. It is also a denial of the people’s ultimate check and balance on local government. The right to petition in Texas cities was passed in 1913 as part of the Texas constitutional amendment for home rule. Review our Petition Rights slide show here and stay tuned for more.
There are those who engage in further efforts to daze and confuse Austin. The pro-CodeNEXT AURA (Austin for Urban Rail Action) has been engaging in similar deception, that the petition for the right to vote on CodeNEXT should be likened to a 1968 referendum to fight fair housing!
Non-Political Chumps Unite – sign the petition!
On October 20, 2017, the Austin American-Statesman Editorial Board wrote:
The decision over CodeNext should be made by Austin’s 10-1 council, elected from districts to represent neighborhoods and their interests. But if the council continues to display a tin ear, no one can blame Austin residents for opting for a referendum on CodeNext.
Filing Deadline for Petitions.
We are currently assessing when to file the CodeNEXT petition.
The deadline to get the petition on the ballot for the May 2018 election is the end of January 2018.
Help us decide, download the petitions, get them signed, and turned into us pronto.
Malcolm X also said, “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” In a post 10-1 Austin, we might replace the word “newspapers” with “politicians.” It happens to the best of them.
The third draft of CodeNEXT is coming out on or about February 13, 2018. The petition for a public vote on CodeNEXT is to secure your right to vote on whatever the Council ultimately passes. For lots more on the objections to CodeNEXT, please visit Community Not Commodity here.
This article was written by David Jones, an Austin renter still holding on in Austin, and Linda Curtis, a resident of Bastrop, and one of thousands of displaced Austinites. More about them here.