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Leffingwell, Morrison popular with endorsing Democrats
Thursday, March 27, 2008 by Austin Monitor
Incumbent Council Member Lee Leffingwell was the big winner last night, securing the endorsements of four Democratic clubs holding a joint candidate forum to hear the contenders speak on issues important to Austinites.
The groups, South Austin Democrats, Capital Area Progressive Democrats, Texas Environmental Democrats of Austin, and the Austin Asian American Democrats, met at the Gardner-Betts Juvenile Facility on South Congress.
Three of the four groups—all but Texas Environmental Democrats—endorsed
Three groups also endorsed
Representatives of the four groups each asked the candidates in each race a question. Topics ranged from single-member districts to Water Treatment Plant 4 to transportation issues.
In Place 3, candidates
“I would be working with Capital Metro to improve its routes,” Shade said. “We need to improve relations with the
In Place 1, candidates
Demling said he backed a hybrid form of SMDs. “We need some at-large districts and some local districts. People in some areas of
Leffingwell said he is strongly in support of a hybrid system. “However, there aren’t enough of us on the City Council to get the item put on the charter election ballot. Now I hear these are those who want to wait until after to 2010 census to vote on it. I hope we can find a way to get it on the November ballot.”
Meeker—who previously issued a press release in opposition to single-member districts—said he supports the concept of a hybrid system, but needs to study the issue further before he could issue an opinion.
In Place 4, candidates
Cravey said the City Council is going to have to develop some discipline. “They need to vote no when developers bring them projects that involve an upzoning over the aquifer. We only control about half that area, so we are also going to have to work with other cities in the region to protect the aquifer.”
Galindo said protecting the aquifer may be the most crucial challenge facing the city. “In our part of the aquifer, the properties currently developed constitute about 9.6 percent impervious cover in the area. If all the land that can be developed is, it will put us over the 10 percent threshold where we will damage the aquifer. We need to consider a system where we can transfer development rights from land over the aquifer to land in the desired development zone.”
After the Forum, the groups announced their endorsements for Council:
- South Austin Democrats, Pl. 3 – Randi Shade, Pl. 4 – Laura Morrison, Pl. 1- Lee Leffingwell;
- Texas Environmental Democrats, Pl. 3 – No Endorsement, Pl. 4 – No Endorsement, Pl. 1 – Lee Leffingwell;
- Capital Area Asian American Democrats, Pl. 3 – Jennifer Kim, Pl. 4 – Laura Morrison, Pl. 1 – Lee Leffingwell; and
- Capital Area Progressive Democrats, Pl. 3 -Jennifer Kim, Pl. 4 – Laura Morrison, Pl. 1 – Lee Leffingwell.
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