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Nonprofits mobilize against Proposition A

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 by Jo Clifton

The political action committee PACE PAC will officially kick off its campaign to defeat Proposition A at a 9 a.m. news conference at the Long Center today. The Long Center itself, along with sister organizations the Austin Symphony, Ballet Austin, Zach Theatre and the Austin Opera, started campaigning this weekend with a flyer for people attending the “Carmina Burana” ballet at the Long Center. According to the flyer, Prop A, which was written in response to the city’s decision to allow a Major League Soccer team, Austin FC, to build a stadium on city property at McKalla Place, would disrupt the current arrangement between the city and nonprofit arts groups. The Long Center, the Austin YMCA, the Zach Theatre, Austin City Limits, SXSW, Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Austin Parks Foundation, Trail of Lights, the Austin Food & Wine Festival, the Kite Festival and the Travis County Democratic Party are among the organizations listed as opposing Prop A. They say the Long Center will be required to pay more than $2.5 million annually in fees to the city if Prop A passes, and other nonprofits could face similar bills. The political action committee also lists 10 of 11 Council members – all but Leslie Pool – as supporting the fight against Prop A. Pool is in a bind because McKalla Place is in her district and some leaders from the organization that brought the petition to the city also live in her district. The arts groups are also taking a stand against Prop B, which would require a citywide vote on expanding the convention center. For more about the groups, see allaustinagainsta.com and phampac.org.

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