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Poll shows majority opposing strong-mayor plan

Thursday, April 8, 2021 by Jo Clifton

Austinites for Equity, a labor-backed political action committee, tells the Austin Monitor its polling indicates that 70 percent of Austin voters can be expected to vote no on Proposition F, which would change Austin’s city government from the current Council-manager system to a strong-mayor system. The group hired Change Research, which surveyed 499 likely voters in the upcoming May 1 election, recruiting respondents via a survey instrument called Dynamic Online Sampling. According to the poll, which was conducted March 16-19, only 19 percent of those surveyed said the mayor does not currently have enough power. About half, or 49 percent, said the mayor has the right amount of power, and 32 percent said the mayor has too much power. Of those surveyed, 57 percent responded that it would be unfair for the mayor to be able to veto laws approved by the majority of Council. The poll found that only 20 percent of respondents would vote yes or lean toward voting yes on Prop F. Said Change Research: “That opposition is shared by majorities of voters across age, race, gender, education and partisan divides.” Austinites for Progressive Reform, the PAC that proposed Prop F, argues that the city government is currently led by an unelected city manager. Nelson Linder, one of the backers of Prop F, has said, “Austin voters deserve to choose the person who leads us. Moving to a mayor-Council system will strengthen our democracy and make our government more responsive to all of us.”

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