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Leffingwell launches re-election campaign

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 by Austin Monitor

Austin City Council Member Lee Leffingwell launched his re-election campaign Tuesday night in front of a crowd of more than 100 supporters at Nuevo Leon. Leffingwell also got a boost from fellow Council Member Mike Martinez, who urged the crowd to open their checkbooks for Leffingwell’s campaign.


Leffingwell stressed his experience and his accomplishments on the Council during his first term as reasons he should spend another three years in office. “In my view, being an effective public servant is about bringing people together, tapping their passion for Austin, creating consensus around our priorities and crafting solutions to our problems,” he said. “More often than not, I think that kind of leadership requires selflessness and humility. I think those qualities come with maturity,” said Leffingwell, who is 68.


Leffingwell cited the city’s Water Conservation Task Force, the planned consolidation of the various municipal police agencies within APD, and improved labor relations at Capital Metro among some of his most significant accomplishments. “I led a water conservation task force that developed a plan to save 33 million gallons a day of water. That amount of water will save enough energy to prevent the emission of 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere each year,” he said. As for the relationship between Capital Metro and the Amalgamated Transit Union members, he said, “I spent a very long year on the Capital Metro board. My focus there was to try to work on solving their labor problems, and I think we laid a very good foundation for that, It’s going to be essential to our future mass transportation efforts.”


Martinez joined Leffingwell at his campaign event and offered praise for his Council colleague. “He’s become a mentor to me, he’s become a dear friend, and I look to his guidance and leadership all the time,” Martinez said. “We don’t have to agree on every issue, and we don’t, but we respect one another. When you disagree with Lee Leffingwell, there’s no backstabbing, there’s no bitterness; it’s just a disagreement based in principle. That’s why I look to this man for guidance and leadership.” Martinez concluded with a call for donations for Leffingwell’s campaign, telling the crowd that “I’m here to ask you to help me get him re-elected.” Documents filed with the City Clerk’s office show Leffingwell has just over $45,000 in his campaign fund. So far, only Allen Demling has filed to run against Leffingwell in Place 1, but Responsible Growth for Northcross Communications Director Jason Meeker could announce his candidacy in the near future.


Also among the crowd Tuesday night was a diverse mixture of Austin neighborhood activists, business leaders, and environmentalists. Downtown developer Perry Lorenz and restaurant owner Brad Meltzer were there, along with attorneys Dowe Gullatt and Nikelle Meade, who both deal with land-use issues before various city boards and commissions. Environmental Board Members Dave Anderson and Mary Ann Neely, Craig Smith of the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District and Rick Cofer of the “Bag The Bags Coalition” were spotted in the crowd, while neighborhood activists included Linda Moore of the North Austin Civic Association and downtown resident Chris Riley.

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