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Connolly signs off from Planning Commission

Thursday, April 28, 2022 by Jonathan Lee

João Paulo Connolly bid farewell to the Planning Commission Tuesday after a year and a half of service. Connolly, an organizer with Austin Justice Coalition, signed off with a speech reflecting on the Planning Commission’s role in housing and land use debates. “All too often this commission becomes a proxy space for the city’s unresolved political tensions, battles and contradictions,” Connolly said. “And this commission’s endless attempts to design, micromanage and control the built environment often reflect this untenable position.” Connolly urged commissioners to think of people who don’t often show up to hearings: working-class people of color, renters, young people, LGBTQ people, and people experiencing homelessness. “If all we can succeed in doing is defending the status quo, then these populations I have listed will not stand a chance in Austin,” he said. Greg Anderson, who works for Habitat for Humanity, will take Connolly’s place on the commission.

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