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ChangeAustin endorses Strayhorn

Friday, April 3, 2009 by Jacob Cottingham

One of Austin’s newest political groups, ChangeAustin.org, endorsed Carole Strayhorn for Mayor, Perla Cavazos for Place 1, Sam Osemene for Place 6 and incumbent Mike Martinez for Place 2 at a press conference in South Austin on Thursday. The group also endorsed Bill Spelman, who is running unopposed for Place 5.

 

ChangeAustin’s Brian Rodgers said the group advocated for “open government, fiscal responsibility, championing local businesses, and prohibiting police from forced blood withdrawals.”

 

Rodgers said ChangeAustin wanted a mayor “with a strong backbone, who could dig in her heels and say ‘enough already!’” Rodgers said members overwhelmingly chose Strayhorn. He told In Fact Daily that she garnered 70 percent of the vote within the organization.

 

Rodgers said mayoral candidates and current Council Member Lee Leffingwell and Brewster McCracken had made “costly errors” overpaying $20 million for Water Treatment Plant #4, and delays on that project. He criticized the two Council Members for “avoiding citizen input on the downtown Green Water Treatment Plant land,” and noted that both “fought Proposition Two,” the Stop Domain Subsidies charter amendment last fall.

 

Rodgers said the group supported Strayhorn for her support of “open government, an end to no-bid contracts except in dire circumstances, supporting a 60 day public review and two public hearings for large expenditures like a biomass electrical plant.” He also commended her support for reducing the amount of signatures required for an ordinance change, and her opposition to increasing the number needed for a charter amendment.

 

ChangeAustin.org was formed from the ashes of the Stop Domain Subsidies PAC by Rodgers and fellow SDS activist Linda Curtis. They have been critical of the WTP#4 land purchase agreement, the contract for the biomass plant, and recently have opposed against Sen. Jeff Wentworth’s senate bill that would increase the number of signatures needed for a local charter amendment to get on a citywide ballot.

 

Strayhorn said she was “honored and thrilled,” with the endorsement and pledged to “change everything about how this city runs.” The Building Managers and Owners Association and the Small Business Group have also endorsed her.

 

Opponent Lee Leffingwell has won endorsements from 28 organizations, including all the city’s Democratic clubs. McCracken and Leffingwell shared an endorsement from the Austin Gay Lesbian Political Caucus.

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