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Adler talks CodeNEXT at CNU luncheon

Friday, December 1, 2017 by Caleb Pritchard

Mayor Steve Adler joined several fellow City Council members and about 250 others at the annual Congress for the New Urbanism Central Texas Chapter’s annual luncheon in downtown Austin on Wednesday. The theme of the affair was “Making Place Matter” with Carol Coletta of the Kresge Foundation as the featured speaker. Joining the mayor at his table in the vast ballroom of the JW Marriott Austin were Council members Delia Garza, Ann Kitchen and Alison Alter. Before introducing Coletta, Adler addressed the crowd and spoke of his recent experiences at the Waller Creek Light Show and the opening of the Central Library. He praised both events for drawing diverse crowds from across the city. “One of the challenges that we have is that there are not many places and moments in time when we can find that measure of expressed diversity and a collection of our community in one place,” he said of the light show. “And it felt wonderful.” Contrasting that unity, Adler then mentioned CodeNEXT and drew some audible murmurs. He said the process could well be the most polarizing he has seen in his time in Austin. Nonetheless, he suggested that a successful CodeNEXT could preserve and encourage diversity at the expense of economic segregation. To get there, he said more residents will have to join the relatively small number of activists who have been fighting it out at meetings and in the press. “We have yet to develop the loud voice in our community that is reassuring the community, that says we have to work through issues but we can, in fact, get there with respect to CodeNEXT, which is something that I believe to be true,” the mayor said. “We need to have that voice begin to emerge in our community so that the people who are hearing about it are hearing not only the challenges that we have to be able to get there but also the promise and the expectation that we’re going to be able to do that.”

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