ON THE ISSUES

For most of the past 25 years, I’ve had the privilege of serving our community as an elected leader, first as Austin mayor and then as state senator. Working together with the amazing people of Austin and Central Texas, we’ve accomplished a lot of big things, many of which helped to lay the groundwork for two decades of extraordinary prosperity and  happiness.

Today we face a new and different set of challenges, some of which are undeniably the byproduct of Austin’s own success in positioning our community to thrive. Rising housing costs, increased traffic, growing inequity and other areas of great concern are all, in some measure, the direct result of our rapid transformation into a city and region widely regarded as one of the best places in the country – if not the world – to live, work and enjoy life.

But even though some of our challenges are new or bigger than before, I believe that finding answers to those challenges requires exactly the same kind of inclusive leadership that I’ve successfully used throughout my career. As a public servant, my approach has always been to listen carefully, to ask good questions, to offer up new ideas for taking on big challenges, to bring diverse interests together to build consensus and then to take action and get things done.

Let’s be clear, though: some of the biggest tests we face today have their origin – and resolution – beyond our city limits and county lines. Inflation, gas prices and supply chain issues are increasing our cost of living. Climate change puts us at risk of more extreme weather events and other environmental problems. A national epidemic of gun violence threatens our safety. The assault on some of our fundamental rights by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Legislature violates the core values of our community.

In short, there are some things we can control, and some we can’t. Especially when things outside of our control so jeopardize who we are and who we aspire to be, it’s more important than ever that we find innovative new ways to address the problems that we can. In that spirit, over the upcoming weeks I’ll be offering my thoughts on the issues that I know are of most concern to Austinites, along with some possible solutions that we can explore, together.

I invite you to please reach out to our campaign and share your reaction, as well as your own perspectives or proposals.