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Riley kicks off campaign for Place 1 Council seat

Monday, January 26, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Former Planning Commission member Chris Riley kicked off his campaign for Place 1 on the Austin City Council Friday night in front of a large crowd of supporters. Riley indicated he plans to put his focus on the economy, the environment, and transportation as he runs for the seat being vacated by Lee Leffingwell.


“We need to create green jobs, we need to reduce our dependence on cars and promote alternate forms of transportation, and we need to make sure this community lives up to the expectations that we have of it,” Riley said. “We expect Austin to be the kind of place that provides a home to people across the economic spectrum. We expect Austin to be a place that has a vibrant arts and music scene, and we expect Austin to be a place that tends to its eco-system and all the participants in it…that takes that role seriously.”


Riley put a repeated emphasis on addressing the city’s transportation problems, stressing the need to do more to promote mass transit and cycling. “We see a transportation system that is still stuck in the late 20th century, while cities like Dallas and Houston pull further and further ahead of us,” he said. “We see bikes accounting for just 1.73 percent of journeys to work in the urban core, while our bicycle plan set a fairly modest goal of 4 percent of trips by 2008.” The campaign rally concluded with a speech from a representative of the League of Bicycling Voters praising Riley’s record on cycling issues.


Among those spotted in the crowd at Threadgill’s World Headquarters were Alice Glasco, Perry Lorenz, Charlie Betts, and Roy Whaley, as well as Mike Clark-Madison, Stuart Hersh, Saundra Kirk, Paul Robbins, Bill and Susie Reid and Ted Siff.


In addition to his tenure on the Planning Commission and the Downtown Commission, Riley has been a board member of the Austin Parks Foundation, and co-founded Austin Car Share and the Alliance for Public Transportation.


He is facing Perla Cavazos and Rick Cofer for the Place 1 seat. Riley’s web site is .

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