(Community Matters) I’ve never spent much time understanding the economics of Austin Energy – know our mayor plans to do so. It’s important that our city utilities are positioned to respond to market realities and continue best serving Austin residents & other customers. I certainly don’t oppose the equivalent of dividend transfers and believe transparent allocations are the prerogative of the council & city manager – just not sure there is transparency nor that we’re not handicapping the utilities.
Austin Monitor story:
Explainer: The Austin Energy-CoA funds transfer
The Explainer takes a deeper look at stories we have been following. This week, we tackle the annual transfer from Austin Energy to the City of Austin’s General Fund.
The annual transfer of what has historically been many millions of dollars in cash from the coffers of Austin Energy to those just across the river at City Hall is typical of publicly owned utilities, whether those who live outside the city yet pay Austin Energy for their electricity like to think so or not. This sometimes causes legislators to look at Austin Energy as a problem rather than a top-rated utility.
And sometimes it causes City Council — which is charged with governing the utility to benefit ratepayers as well as the city as a whole — to squirm.
(Community Matters) Been warning about the potential acceleration in loss of progressive and liberal support for years – and now that Israel’s prime minister has jumped the shark, there’s even more risk.
NYTimes Mag: Do the Democrats and Israel Have a Future Together?
“But Jewish Democrats worry about the prospect of keeping liberal support for Israel a viable long-term position for a party base that is overwhelmingly non-Jewish and increasingly critical of the country.”
“. . . many now consider him [Netanyahu] the de facto president of the Israeli chapter of Republicans Abroad.
“And support for Israel has also declined within American government in general. A recent focus group of congressional staffers — tomorrow’s policy makers — revealed ebbing support for Israel.”
You don’t replace a true statesman (former ambassador Michael Oren) with Ron Dermer as your ambassador, allowing him to continue as US political operative, expecting to win more friends. Dermer (now Israel’s ambassador in the US) is a Miami Beach native and Netanyahu’s closest confidant, who, before becoming an Israeli citizen, worked for the Republican takeover of the House in 1994.
Happy to see J Street stepping up and bringing some sanity to the discussion. Proud to be a national leadership circle member of this Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace political organization. I continue to believe in Israel’s ability to become the place of justice for all, just not under the current administration.
Don’t know how this prime minister can earn back any creed with this administration or most of the electorate – perhaps concessions in Palestinian negotiations and a new ambassador to start.
(Community Matters) Good HBR article
(Community Matters) “Not enough people spoke out. It was a tough time, some folks were scared. Some folks were just busy. Some were indifferent. And because not enough spoke out, the line between right and wrong started blurring and shifting until a critical mass of people had crossed over. And then it was too late.” – Mayor Steve Adler at yesterday’s ADL Jurisprudence Breakfast
Mayor Adler’s comments seem especially well timed:
It’s great to be with you today, to join in honoring —— and in celebrating the mission of the Anti-Defamation League.
We do that, today, by honoring leaders who exemplify the courage and compassion that help keep democracy healthy in good times and in tough times.
Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court,
Catherine Q. Morse, General Counsel for Samsung Austin Semiconductor.
The ADL all about preserving democracy as well. And it does this by securing just and fair treatment for not only the Jewish people but, by its stated mission first written 100 years ago, to secure just and fair treatment for all people.
(Community Matters) Proud of Mayor Steve Adler for floating a strawman then responding quickly and responsibly to public & colleagues’ input. As a result, the Mayor has pulled off the table the idea of raising civic funds through a foundation. Instead, he and the City Manager have identified unfilled and already funded City of Austin positions which can transfer to the Mayor’s office.
(Community Matters) okay . . . definite risk of over exposure, and still . . . also very flattered to be profiled with my husband in the new issue of Austin Way Magazine.
the article says I helped introduce Mayor Castro to President Obama. Should have said I met Mayor Castro while seeing him on behalf of the President.
(Community Matters) Extraordinary honor being recognized by HRC for the work we do together in this community. Receiving an award in honor of Bettie Naylor is especially delightful. Following in this honor such dear friends as Gary Cooper & Richard Hartgrove and Alisa Weldon & Lynn Yedell all the more meaningful. And Mayor Adler proclaiming February 21, 2015 Eugene Sepulveda & Steven Tomlinson Day, well . . . that’s just a cherry on top.
There were two very restless, near sleepless nights leading up to yesterday. What birthed is my realization that the end game isn’t just constitutional equality (as I’ve always thought); it is for every transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual American in every nook & cranny of this country to be safe, to not fear others finding out who they really are or who they love.
Loved sharing the evening in the J. W. Marriott ballroom full of so many friends – at our table: Cari Anderson & Tish Smith, Suzanne Deal Booth, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Charles Duggan, Diane Land & Mayor Steve Adler, Cameron Lockley and Kimberley Wilson Vincent. What a treat that Senator Kirk Watson emceed and Aimee & Ed Cunningham presented; they’ve each inspired and engaged us in the work of equality & social equity. . . and very dear friends including: Michael Mitchell, Judge James Arth, Sarah Goodfriend & Suzanne Bryant and Michael Barnes & Kip Keller. (Lynn Meredith wasn’t in the room but I received a text from S. America during the event and felt her & Tommie with us in spirit!)
How lucky am I to share this life with such an extraordinary man who loves, empowers & inspires me. I love you Steven Robert Tomlinson.
(Community Matters) First same sex marriage in Texas and it’s between two dear friends (Sarah Goodfriend & Suzanne Bryant) and our dearest friend Michael Mitchell issued the license!
Austin American Statesman story
(Community Matters) It Pays to Have a Leader with the Nimbleness & Commitment to Innovation of an Entrepreneur: Reminds me of our best entrepreneurs – they’ll throw out a strawdog for comment and reply, then emerge with the best plan. About time we stir things up and try new ways in Austin, Tx.
“I’ll be asking for three to five FTE’s [full-time equivalent employees] for rest of fiscal year that the City Manager says are available in the existing budget (at no additional new cost to taxpayers),” he texted.
(Austin Monitor: Friday, Feb 20): After hearing strong opposition from his colleagues as well as others, Mayor Steve Adler is proposing a complete revamp of his plan for additional staffing in the Mayor’s office.
Adler told the Austin Monitor Thursday that he would be pulling down his proposal to fund additional staff for the Mayor’s office through the Better Austin Foundation. Adler said he expects to have a total of nine staff members. He currently has four on his staff plus Sara Hartley, who is on loan from the public information office.
(Community Matters) incredibly flattered by this write up
2011 profile here – Deep Connection
(Community Matters) I was just struck by the question – has the American treatment of Muslim prisoners (water boarding, simulated sodomy & other atrocities) contributed to the spiraling atrocities we are seeing today?
(Community Matters) Such an encouraging trend to see more & more CEOs recognizing the primacy of customer, employee and community interests right up there with those of shareholders. I believe this is in the long term beneficial interests of shareholders anyhow.
Unpacking Corporate Purpose: A Report on the Beliefs of Executives, Investors and Scholars (Aspen Institute)