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Cavazos kicks off Place 1 campaign

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Place 1 contender Perla Cavazos told an enthusiastic crowd gathered for her campaign kickoff Tuesday night, “What the city needs now is not just one more vote for the majority, but someone who can bring more people to the table.” Cavazos promised to be that person if elected to fill the seat being vacated by Council Member Lee Leffingwell this spring.


Cavazos said she will be focusing on the economy, affordable housing and helping average citizens. She said the economic downturn did not really hit home for her until “the biggest giant rabbit” that bred and spread across the nation with amazing speed—Starbucks—announced it would be laying off 7000 employees and closing stores. She noted that two of those stores are in Austin.


Environmentalist Robin Rather introduced Cavazos, and said the candidate has “a fresh perspective” on solutions to Austin’s problems. Cavazos is a former member of the Planning Commission and former chair of the Austin Women’s Political Caucus. She quit her job as a policy analyst for State Sen. John Whitmire to run for Council.


The crowd included mayoral candidate Leffingwell and fellow Council Member Mike Martinez, who is running unopposed, as well as a number of Democrats active in local campaigns: Joe Pinnelli, Jan Soifer, labor leader Jack Kirfman, environmental activists Roy Whaley and Kedron Touvell, former Mayor Gus Garcia, and businessmen Bill McClellan and Howard Falkenberg.


Mayor Pro Tem Brewster McCracken, who is also running for Mayor, was not there. He said he has told all the candidates in other races he will not be attending their campaign kick-offs because “if you show up to one candidate’s announcement and not another it could be misunderstood.” However, he said that was not an implied criticism of those candidates who attended.


Cavazos will face another former Planning Commissioner and downtown neighborhood advocate, Chris Riley, in the May 9 election. Rick Cofer abandoned his campaign for the seat last week.

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