Why Steve? This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Every single person currently announced and/or expected to run is a friend. Everyone of them have been important and good contributors to Austin. And, this next term for Austin City Council is an inflection point for the future of our city.
What we need today is the collective vision and wisdom of all Austin’s constituencies – not an Armageddon meltdown as we have our usual romp ’em stomp ’ems but a thoughtful, deliberate, fair coming together of competing visions. We live in the greatest city exactly because we’ve battled competing visions and come to consensus (consensus might be a bit nicely slanted but at least somewhere in the middle). Our communities of color have been underrepresented in the past; I’m pleased we’re absolutely at the table today and have strong voices. We don’t have the luxury of another 20 years to reach a consensus about how we’re handling growth, transportation, education, economic development. We need leadership that brings us together and teases out the best from all of us.
Steve has a unique way of being, skills set, vision and gift for building bridges that I know will help 10 council members elected in various and distinct districts rise above those individual district interests to act in the best interests of the greater Austin, while continuing to forcefully represent the interests of their constituencies.
Whether in his law practice, the three sessions and six years he spent working in the state legislature – especially on public education, for $50/month, serving as the board chair for Ballet Austin, as the board chair for the Anti-Defamation League in Austin and now on its international board and executive committee, on the board of GenAustin (he’s the dad of 3 smart, successful young women), as a member of the founding board and now the board chair for the Texas Tribune . . . Steve has always been a transformative, visionary, thoughtful and inclusive leader. He hasn’t aspired to be an elected official, but he has always worked to help make Austin one of the great cities in the world, one that values what we have – our people, our environment, our economic opportunity – and what we can be for our citizens, especially our children. Given the unique next term in Austin’s chapter, he’s being called so all Austin constituencies have a voice and so that we will make the right decisions and take action so we love Austin in the future as much as we love Austin today.