(Community Matters) Brewster McCracken announced his race for mayor last night at the home of Laura & Steve Beuerlein. Impressive group of folks attending including Martha Smiley (campaign treasurer), Anne Wynne, Jack McDonald, Council member Sheryl Cole, BJ Stanberry, August Harris, Peggy Pickle, Anita Benevidez Mennucci, Rick Triplett, JJ Baskin, Paul Bury, Celia Israel, Tom Terkel, Elyse Yates and Albert Black.
BJ Stanberry runs Helio Volt and has been collaborating with Brewster and Isaac Barchas from UT’s Austin Technology Incubator on their Pecan Street Project. This project imagines the reinvention of the electric service delivery system, the creation of a new grid which provides for the efficient transmission of locally produced clean energy – especially solar, and also wind. To date Austin Energy, the City of Austin, UT (ATI & Advanced Computing Center) and the Environmental Defense Fund are partners. They are currently recruiting corporate partners and hope to include Google, GE, Dell, Cisco and others.
Brewster appropriately framed our challenge the next two decades, how to ensure the forward economic development momentum needed to make necessary quality of life infrastructure investments (rail, affordable housing, other transportation, education, the arts . . . ) and providing upwardly mobile economic opportunities for Austinites. I like that he’s researched and learned from our economic development initiatives in the 80’s and 90’s which created Austin’s high tech growth and wants to channel the best of that toward growth in clean energy and bio tech industries.