Monthly Archives: May 2014

Steve Adler Wants to Be Your Mayor

(Community Matters) “The politicians have had their chance. I’m running for mayor to offer a new way forward. . . . We’ve built a strong economy, a great quality of life and a city with a special soul, and people from across the country are moving here to be part of it. This rapid growth brings many challenges. Traffic congestion is out of control, our environment needs more protections and our kids’ schools need more resources. Our historic neighborhoods are threatened and too many older & long time residents are being priced out of their homes along with our artists & musicians. . . . “

Steven & I enthusiastically endorse Steve. I’m treasurer for his campaign.


EF/CF Spring Service Day

(Community Matters) umh, yeah, I make funny faces but for a good cause. Last week, 25 startup companies and 650+ employees descended on Oak Springs & Sanchez Elementary schools. Twice a year the Entrepreneurs Foundation member companies organize and descend on two low & moderate income elementary schools.


Austin Tax Rates

MarcOtt_CityManager1-304(Community Matters) Thank you City Manager Marc Ott for instructing staff, “NO INCREASE IN THE PROPERTY TAX RATE.” It should have already been taken off the table.

At the same tax rate & considering recent property assessments, taxes are still going up. Should Council lower the rate & find savings in our City budget in light of financing requirements to fix Austin traffic?

Mothers Day

(Community Matters) Steven and I enjoyed spending Saturday evening and Sunday with my parents, celebrating mothers day.

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Methodology of Zandan Poll

zandan-logo(Community Matters) received a note from a friend who took exception with Peter Zandan’s poll’s finding that Austinites satisfaction w/ our city is high and not dependent on socio-economics – that Hispanics are even happier than Whites. The friend who wrote to challenge this finding is close to the ground in Austin’s Hispanic community so I definitely wanted to check out 

Peter is a long time friend & mentor. I admit to discussing some questions and issues prior to the poll going to the field and to having access to results prior to its release. I don’t recall any discussion about the issue of Hispanic satisfaction, however. Caught Peter on his way out of town this morning and an associate was kind enough to summarize the poll’s methodology. The methodology looks really sound – much more so than most polls. [Peter’s reminded me – the poll is of Austin metropolitan citizens – not targeted to voters.]

High-level Summary

The Zandan Poll took great care to be as representative as possible of the Austin population.  In order to do that, an online panel was utilized, a very acceptable and standard practice for modern survey research  (see note below).  The Poll includes large numbers of respondents in each target group (i.e., 184 Hispanics).  Additionally, in order to ensure representativeness, the results were weighted to match latest Census information. Weights for most polls are as high as 1 person being “weighted up” to represent 7 people in the final results.  The weights in the Zandan Poll are extremely modest in comparison, for instance Hispanics have a weight of 1.4 (details for other groups shown below).

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Voices of Austin Community

peter zandan(Community Matters) 86% of Austinites are satisified with Austin’s quality of life – 90% of those under 35yo; 80% of those here longer than 20 years. If you’ve lived here 20 years or less, you think Austin is going in the right direction – longer term residents are more critical. The younger you are (less than 35yo) the more favorable you see the direction of Austin, and it helps to be engaged (attending 90 or more Austin events each year). 39% of Austin residents would not leave the Austin area, 30% plan to move and 22% would do so for work reasons.

My friend, Peter Zandan, commissioned a poll, Voices of the Austin Community.  Zandan Poll website 

I am pleasantly surprised to read that 69% of respondents consider Austin a well-suited place to live for African Americans. I don’t have visibility of the crosstabs and would like to know how African Americans rated that question. Others – LGBT (85%), Hispanics (76%), the Middle Class (68%), People over 50 (67%), the poor (27%).

Not too surprised only 30% of Austinites feel current elected officials represent their interests (very & somewhat well). Am surprised we’re wiling to pay an additional $100/year in property taxes for quality education but only $62/year for rail – though maybe the $73 for infrastructure is on top of that. Is it insightful that 52% find traffic annoying but okay most of the time? $42/yr more for incentives to companies for relocating to Austin, really? wow.

Huge variance between under/over 35yo if we feel a sense of community with people in our neighborhoods – over yes (22%), under only 6%. In the context of all the favorable responses, I have to think about the 49% of respondents who increasingly feel like Austin belongs to other people – only 36% of those under 35yo but 57% of those over 55yo – and 55% of those here longer than 20 years. [again, the crosstabs on ethnicity and geography would be insightful.]

Steve Adler Name Recognition

steve adler launch(Community Matters) The big news here is that Steve Adler’s name recognition was 16% even before his May 4 campaign launch – surprisingly high for someone who’s never run for or held public office. Steve’s name recognition speaks to his broad body of work in the community during his 36 years in Austin. Not surprised Sheryl & Mike, who’ve been Austin city council members for 8 years, have higher name recognition. AusChron: Mike Martinez and the Name Game


The Twins

CASTRO-tmagSF(Community Matters) I’d missed this article on the Castros in the NYTimes. 

I’m also very excited by their recent staff additions.

EF CEO Summit on Corporate Culture

(Community Matters) Last week hosted a CEO Summit on Corporate Culture. More coming; for now these groovy info murals.

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Vegan Enchiladas

(Community Matters) Charles Santos drove down with us from Dallas to attend an event for our dear friend Yakov Sharir. Last night, hosted dinner for Charles, Shawn Sides and Graham Reynolds. Since two of those three and my husband prefer vegan, and since Charles & I love Mexican, found a vegan enchilada recipe (with cilantro avacado cream sauce)– recommend it.

dinner with friends

Titas – La Fete du Ballet

titas 2014 stage reception(Community Matters) Charles Santos pulled it off again – probably his best Titas Gala ever. Fourteen dancers from around the world. Neiman Marcus again the title sponsor. Packed house, the Windspear Opera House at Dallas’ AT&T Performing Arts Center, a champagne reception after on stage, then dinner for 300 in the atrium.


titas 2014 table

Steven and I hosted a super table of friends: Charles, Rick Bond, Cindy Santos, Ed Cunningham, Jim Banks, Ann Arnoult, Margaret Selby & Jessica Lang.

es st cds rb titas 2014

Lemonade Day 2014

(Community Matters) Big day for about 15,000 Austin kids, Lemonade Day 2014. Lots & lots of Lemonade stands around town. Steven interviewed Miranda & April on why they want to be entrepreneurs.