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Reporter’s Notebook: The next wave of humanity

Monday, October 15, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

Visit commission meetings… The fractious nature of the city’s newly convened Tourism Commission brought about consideration Monday of amending the group’s bylaws, with the possibility of requiring at least seven votes to approve recommendations that would be forwarded to City Council for possible action. Commissioner Michael Cannatti’s suggestion is based on ingrained differences of opinion on the 11-member commission over the possible expansion of the Austin Convention Center, and the many ways that project impacts usage of the city’s Hotel Occupancy Tax. “I’m concerned about the dynamic, if we’re going to be spending the next three months doing 6-5 votes,” he said. “It’s an idea that might help us fight consensus and work with each other.” Commissioner Scott Joslove said the multi-month process to get a bylaw change approved could be unnecessary since five City Council members and Mayor Steve Adler are up for re-election in November, and any new winners for those positions would likely bring new appointees from each. There was a moment of levity in the discussion when Commissioner Bill Bunch – appointed by Council Member Ann Kitchen, who does not have an opponent in the November election – reminded the other commissioners that he’s not going anywhere by dryly offering, “You all are stuck with me.”

A tale of two contests… Last week, our District 8 forum kicked off with a mysteriously absent candidate. Soon after it began, an out-of-breath Bobby Levinski appeared, apologizing for his tardiness and offering insight into the alarmingly convivial District 8 contest. He explained that he was out block-walking when he got a call from opponent Rich DePalma, reminding him about the event. Meanwhile, over at the United Way forum downtown, things were notably less chill. Mayoral Candidate Travis Duncan jumped onstage mid-event to protest his exclusion, videotaping the whole thing for Facebook (embedded below).

Speaking of Duncan… Along that theme, mayoral candidate Travis Duncan reached out to the Austin Monitor following our coverage of a questionnaire for candidates released by AURA. He explained that he had not been given a questionnaire, and offered his thoughts on the issue of affordable housing, writing:

“As human beings, to determine the type of shelter a person has by the amount of money they possess directly contradicts the facts of our abundant planet. The only thing stopping every single person from living in luxury & vitality is our own limited thinking. When I am the mayor, we will first and foremost establish that the prior right to develop land is given to the future generations, meaning we assert we will build always for the multigenerational vitality of ALL people, and in harmonious resonance with the natural order of our planet. Quite simply, the most reasonable mandate we base our land development code upon must be that ALL new construction must be net-zero, rain water capturing, natural air flow incorporating, geologically resilient, efficient water cycling, and human biofield optimizing. This addresses affordability at the Root Cause, because when we build this way, we eliminate the need for maintenance and utility costs. Contrary to what our incumbents and their tragically misinformed ‘experts’ tell them, we can densify, protect our planet, and provide abundant quality housing for millions of people. By compassionate admission, our incumbents simply lack the creativity, humility, and scientific awareness to lead such an initiative. Our real estate industry must evolve into a more regenerative and innovative model, wherein, rather than depending on the people to pay for shelter in perpetuity (extractive), we will build to eliminate the cost of housing, maximize the quality of life, and then develop profit-sharing and creative uses of our developments to generate more revenue than a rent or purchase could have ever created. When we view Austin as one large business that we all equally own, our immediate imperative is to maximize the potential-actualization of every single human in our business. This requires a foundation of Universal Resource Access, so rather than any person being tied to wage labor to pay for their cost of living, every person can spend every waking moment developing their education, skills, and talents, living their purpose, and ultimately reaching their own personal genius. (Those who consider this science fiction have not kept up with the latest research and technology — WE MUST REVISE THE TEXTBOOKS). This method is the best way to increase our probabilities of massive success. With Universal Resource Access, of which housing is a key part of, Austin will become a city of 1,000,000+ entrepreneurs, inventors, scholars, & artists. This is the next wave of humanity, and it’s on the ballot this November: Travis Duncan for Mayor of Austin, Texas.”

This week’s Reporter’s Notebook comes from the notebooks of Chad Swiatecki and Elizabeth Pagano.

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