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Morrison kicks off Council re-election campaign

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 by Elizabeth Pagano

Even though they do not see eye to eye on every issue, Council members Laura Morrison and Sheryl Cole are good friends. So, last night, it was no great surprise to hear Cole praising Morrison as Morrison announced her bid for re-election to the City Council.


Cole told more than 200 supporters gathered at a packed Nuevo Leon, “Laura Morrison is a hard worker, a stickler for detail with rock-solid integrity.”


“I have learned a lot from her,” said Cole. “Most importantly, the value of little things which are really big things, like transparency and public process.”


Cole joked about a recent trip to the mall with Morrison where she managed to convince her fellow Council member to purchase makeup. “I always call her the Berkeley girl who put up her Birkenstocks to come and serve you,” said Cole.


It has not been uncommon for Council members to endorse one another’s candidacies. Last week, Mayor Lee Leffingwell spoke on behalf of Randi Shade’s re-election campaign. Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, Council Member Chris Riley, and Cole were also in attendance.


Bill Spelman and Shade were at Morrison’s party, as were former Council members Margret Hofmann and Brigid Shea and former Mayor Frank Cooksey.


Travis County Constable Bruce Elfant and Planning Commissioner Danette Chimenti also spoke on behalf of Morrison.


Morrison spoke to the crowd last, making mention of the need for cooperation at City Hall. “I believe that it is our responsibility as government officials to collaborate with organizations and other government officials,” said Morrison. “We’ve built some really good, strong relationships over the past two years.”


If elected, this would be Morrison’s second term.


“As a Council member, I really set out to be the kind of leader that I thought that Austin deserves and needs, and that is one that believes in authentic public participation, is willing to collaborate with others and also be accountable,” said Morrison. “Those are always my goals.”


Elfant referenced last week’s vote on the Barton Springs Park PUD to loud applause. “Laura’s not afraid to be the lone vote, and last week you saw that once again,” he said. “If she thinks it’s right, she’s going to be there, and that’s something I am very proud of. You don’t win every vote, but you want to be right on every vote.”


“There are values and principles that I brought to the Council and I feel like it is an incredible responsibility of mine to keep those values in the forefront,” Morrison said.


Morrison faces opposition from Eric Rangel, who bills himself as the candidate “most like a farmers’ market: fresh, local, organic.” She stressed her intention to run a “vigorous” campaign for Place 4.


“There’s a lot of work to do to really make this city the city we want it to be,” Morrison said. “Clearly we face a ton of challenges in the future, and I’m so glad to see my colleagues here because I know I’ll be working with them on solving those challenges.”

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