Dear Austin, It’s All Your Fault!

Dear Austin, It’s All Your Fault!

Dear Austin, it’s all your fault. That’s what they tell people who have any variety of addictions. It’s really you NIMBYs, “activists,” or people who don’t vote enough who are to blame for Austin’s affordability crisis and growth addiction. CodeNEXT is the “solution.” Just take your medicine and shut up. Right? No, wrong!

Action Request: Contact the Mayor and Council members before their May 24, 2018 meeting. Ask them to follow the law and vote yes to place the CodeNEXT petition on the November ballot. And, please ask your neighbors to do the same. Go here for Council information.

Though we do not believe that it’s all your fault, we do think it’s your responsibility to put a stop to this. You can start by backing up the people who are speaking out for you. Check out what the former spokesmen for 10-1 just had published in the Statesman. They call on the Mayor and Council members to withdraw their claims about 10-1 and your right to petition and vote:

Read the Barrientos, Linder and Borgelt op-ed here.

Funny things continue on the heels of the “wee hours” decision by the Mayor and 5 Council allies — Kitchen, Casar, Flannigan, Renteria and Garza — who voted not to adopt the CodeNEXT petition. Their second opportunity is coming up on Thursday, May 24. This time, they will be asked to vote on placing the petition on the November ballot. Again, do our Action Request and read the following:

  1. This Statesman Editorial on Sunday, April 29 urged the Mayor to shelve CodeNEXT and come back next year, and
  2. On Sunday, May 6 some masked folks got rowdy outside an east side forum about Austin’s problem of displacement and gentrification.

The petition was never about CodeNEXT, per se.

The petition was and still is about your right to vote on CodeNEXT “or Comprehensive Land Development Revisions.” If the city shelves CodeNEXT, they are still legally bound to put the petition on the ballot in November.

What is more, if you pass the CodeNEXT petition in November, you will have secured your right to vote on CodeNEXT (or whatever they choose to call it) when it

It's all your fault that the City is hounding you.

The majority of the Austin City Council is using their legal hounds to dog Austin voters.

comes back. Our statement here also assumes that the majority of the City Council will have chosen to continue using their legal hounds to dog your right to vote and force petitioners to sue. We also assume here that petitioners will win in a court of law. We believe so.

Don’t Miss This Community Not Commodity (CNC) email yesterday.

We are trying to consume what the busy beavers at CNC have been working on. It is impressive. You may agree or disagree, or be somewhere in-between but these “supply side solutions” deserve full attention. In addition to the testimony from many good citizens who attended the last two hearings, this is the most thoughtful discussion around town. For additional hearings coming up, we refer you to CNC’s calendar on their home page here.

Supply and Demand Side Solutions

What we mean by “supply side solutions” is what most of the conversations have – understandably – focused on related to CodeNEXT. As we understand CodeNEXT, it is supposedly a supply side solution to get Austin more housing especially through density.

The Austin City Council was warned starting in 2008 about the demand side of the equation — Austin’s hyper-growth.

Some of the materials to explain what we mean are parked at Don’t miss the Eben Fodor Study commissioned by Austin real estate investor and whistle-blower, Brian Rodgers. Also, materials (video and power points) are on the Costs of Growth page at the League of Independent Voters.

IndyAustin is making plans to get around town to talk about the “demand side” of the problem. Because, given how long the barn door has been open — the Austin area’s hyper-growth, that is — there’s a serious question as to what can be done now. What policies by which government entities are subsidizing growth in the Austin area? Can we scrub city of Austin policy making from growth subsidies? How helpful might this be? We want to explore this with you.

If you want to work with us to seek out some answers on the demand side of the equation, let us hear from you. Be part of the solution and call us at 512.535.0989 or email us at

Barton Springs Reopening Splash

Barton Springs Reopening Splash

Come on down to the Barton Springs Reopening Splash, but before you jump in sign the petition for the right to vote on CodeNEXT!

Petitioners will be outside the pool (at both entrances) gathering signatures. Please share this page and invite others to come on over.

Wanna volunteer? Call IndyAustin at 512.535.0989, fill out this Volunteer Form or send us a note to

This event is co-sponsored by IndyAustin, Save Our Springs Alliance (SOS) and Community Not Commodity.


CodeWRECK, Central UnHealth from the Klep Blog & Courtesy of Austin Bulldog

CodeWRECK, Central UnHealth from the Klep Blog & Courtesy of Austin Bulldog

We’ve been busy little beavers building the indy movement here in Austin. What’s the “indy movement?” It is a cross-partisan movement of folks who are working together to counter the kleptocracy working inside both political parties. You know that this kleptocracy exists, don’t you? As a famous Texas independent once said, “You have good people working in a bad system.”

►We’ve got two great Austin stories for you today courtesy of the efforts of Jim Duncan, Community Not Commodity and The Austin Bulldog:

Is CodeNEXT really and truly “CodeWRECK”? This question is asked with humor and intelligence by a nationally renowned planning and zoning expert who lives right here in Austin — our own Jim Duncan. Don’t miss Duncan’s slide show — it’s not only funny, it breaks down CodeNEXT for us regular folk AND offers concrete solutions.

Then don’t miss the non-profit Community Not Commodity’s hard hitting take on CodeNEXT’s second draft,

While we can appreciate that Mayor Steve Adler says he doesn’t yet support CodeNEXT, he is also saying he doesn’t support a public vote on it.

It’s all here — don’t forget to print and sign the CodeNEXT petition and mail it — and follow the action request at the end.

►Then there’s the ongoing controversy about Central Health. We wrote this piece on September 1st about our disappointment with Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt’s reluctance to demand an independent and full accounting.

Don’t Travis County taxpayers deserve to know the truth about the alleged diversion of $35 million from indigent care to the UT at Austin Dell Medical School and Seton Healthcare?

This morning, Ken Martin’s The Austin BullDog released this article doing full justice to the complexity of the embattled Central Health. We strongly suggest that you sign up for the Bulldog’s News Alerts (it’s free). It is always in-depth and investigative journalism at its best.

We’ve got The Papoose Petition Wagon trekking around Austin, so don’t sit on the fence — join us!

Happy Petition Trails, y’all.

PS If you’re going to community events or want to hold one with us, let us get some petitions to you!

Reach the City Council NOW — cancel The Domain subsidies, put CodeNEXT on the ballot!

Reach the City Council NOW — cancel The Domain subsidies, put CodeNEXT on the ballot!

The following release was just sent to Austin media. Please reach the Mayor and City Council now with two simple asks: end The Domain luxury shopping mall subsidies in this budget cycle and put CodeNEXT — a massive overhaul of the city’s land development code — on the November 2018 ballot. Together we save $3 million in public funds and sincerely include ALL of Austin in deciding its future.

Click here to reach the Council & Mayor.

And yes, if the Council fails us, we will continue with three petitions for a public vote.

Join our press conference and pick up petitions this Thursday, 2:30 pm outside and on the eastside of Austin City Hall. Look for The Papoose Petition Wagon!

Grassroots Petitioners Support Councilmember Pool’s Call to End The Domain subsidies,
Call for a November Election on CodeNEXT!

Some of Austin’s finest grassroots activists have jumped on board to support Councilwoman Leslie Pool’s call yesterday to end The Domain subsidies. They are also calling for three petitions to be placed on the November 2018 ballot, rather than next May — especially CodeNEXT. Both actions would amount to a savings for the the city of $3 million and petitioners the time and money to petition for a public vote.

Those petitions, laid out in The Austin Bulldog article released today are:  for “Reasonable Petition Requirements for Voter Referendum”, a new Sign ordinance and a public vote on CodeNEXT, the massive 1000+ page overhaul of the city’s land development code. Petitioners point out that the only petition that currently requires a May election is CodeNEXT and is subject to the timing of the Austin City Council. The Mayor and his allies on Council seem determined to have an April vote on CodeNEXT. But, the Council can slow down CodeNEXT and even put the issue on the ballot for a public vote.

Julie Nitsch, who was a petitioner for the vote on The Domain in 2008, is now the Communications Director for the newly organized political action committee, IndyAustin. Nitsch said, “Right now, the Austin Chamber of Commerce is alerting its members to push to keep the money flowing for The Domain, a truly grotesque taxpayer giveaway especially given Austin’s continued affordability crisis. All IndyAustin is asking is that Councilmembers stop allowing the distortions in public policy demanded by the real estate lobby to continue. We are all – including those working in the real estate industry – in this crisis together and we need to act like it instead of constantly taking from the citizens like there is no tomorrow.  I’m young enough to know that tomorrow means people my age who are largely in the dark about CodeNEXT.“

Northwest Austin resident and 10-1 petitioner, Ed English, said, “At the forum this Saturday held by Community Not Commodity (a local non-profit organization) about the potential for CodeNEXT to displace yet more Austinites, Councilman Flannigan did a little friendly sparring with me on how, as a fiscal conservative, I could support a public vote in May which could cost the city money, perhaps up to $1 million.“ Today, English added, “I would only remind the Council that putting these petitions on the ballot in November is basically free.  Therefore, I ask everyone to join my Councilmember, Leslie Pool, to call for canceling The Domain subsidies AND to join me to ask all Council members and the Mayor to put CodeNEXT on the November 2018 ballot.”

David Jones, a founding board member of IndyAustin and a longtime healthcare advocate for people with HIV said, “Many people I know, including myself, are barely holding on here in Austin. We’re the only major city that has blacks fleeing a central city. The notion that Austin is such a cool place is just that – a notion—and we need to get real by canceling The Domain subsidies and letting Austin (its voters) decide.”

For more information, reach Linda Curtis at 512-657-2089 or simply reply to this message.

Please help spread the word and like us here on Facebook — ask your friends too!