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Adler delivers State of the City address this weekend

Friday, January 27, 2017 by Nina Hernandez

Last year was a busy one for Mayor Steve Adler. Among many other things, he kicked off a mammoth undertaking to shepherd through a $720 million mobility bond, worked diligently on public outreach on the city’s land use code rewrite and championed a Music and Creative Ecosystem Omnibus to help preserve the city’s legacy as the Live Music Capital of the World.

Walking into Saturday’s State of the City address, it’s clear that many of those issues – and a whole lot more – are still major priorities going into the new year.

One of the topics at the forefront is CodeNEXT, because the draft is due for release on Monday, Jan. 30. CodeNEXT Citizens Advisory Group Chair Jim Duncan praised Adler for making the issue a priority, especially in light of the energy and political capital it took to pass November’s mobility bond.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the highest priority in the mayor’s mind for 2017 is CodeNEXT,” Duncan said. “I’ve been through this a lot in my years. A lot of adoptions, a lot of City Councils. Right now, Mayor Adler is showing more attention to (the rewrite) than any other mayor I have worked with in my career.”

Considering the effort it took to pass the mobility bond, it’s a safe bet that it will be right up there with CodeNEXT in terms of the mayor’s priorities. Urban Transportation Commissioner Celso Baez III said he hopes the momentum from the bond will lead to more discussion about high-capacity transit – whether it comes in the form of rail or another alternative.

“I know there’s overwhelming support for high-capacity transit (on the commission),” said Baez. “And there’s definitely a sense of urgency (surrounding) when different entities might start addressing that.”

The Music and Creative Ecosystem Omnibus is another one of Adler’s projects from 2016 that could be featured in the speech. Earlier this month, Adler pushed for a resolution that would put serious funding toward giving the omnibus teeth.

Music Commissioner Toby Baker said he would like to hear Adler talk about more than just the omnibus on Saturday. “I would really like to hear him lay out some ideas regarding affordability and where he’s going to focus on that this coming year,” Baker said.

The omnibus and the agent of change proposal that would put the responsibility on the newcomer in downtown noise dispute cases is important, Baker acknowledged, but there are other issues plaguing venues.

“We need to have a real discussion about how do we get the community engaged in the music industry outside of just festivals and South by Southwest?” he said. “So on a day-to-day basis, how can an artist make a living doing what they should be doing?”

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