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First-time candidate challenges Martinez in Place 2 race

Tuesday, March 10, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Rookie candidate Jose Quintero, 57, threw his hat into the Council races Monday, challenging Council Member Mike Martinez for the place 2 seat.  Quintero, a member of the Greater East Austin Neighborhood Association and employee of Prestige Wine Sellers, is using the election to call attention to gentrification in East Austin.  “It finally hit home,” Quintero told In Fact Daily. “We need to protect our property rights.”


“My main issue is smart growth,” he continued. “We didn’t want it. It’s an environmental agenda that’s resulting in gentrification and high taxes in East Austin. The poor cannot keep up with their taxes here.”


Quintero took particular issue with the Cesar Chavez Neighborhood Plan and the Planning Commission. “In other parts of town, there are setbacks,” he said. “In East Austin, they let you build condos next to 450 square foot houses.”


He lamented that Austin didn’t have single-member districts, a fact that will almost certainly keep him from winning a citywide election. “Martinez hasn’t helped East Austin,” he said.


Martinez is probably the strongest proponent of single-member districts on the current City Council. He has tried to get the issue on the ballot but could not muster the votes to get the issue on the ballot last year.

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