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Priorities

 Leadership  - Any policy is just an idea without a leader who can accomplish it. Our City doesn’t have a crisis of good ideas, we have a crisis of leadership.  More than anything, I am a leader.  My 30+ years of management have allowed me to grow that muscle and understand what it truly means to lead.  In a time when change is needed, having leaders who will make difficult decisions is critical.  As was written in the guiding document of Imagine Austin – “Change isn’t easy.  Actively preparing for change and uncertainty can be tough.  However, the potential rewards can outweigh the discomforts.  Choosing a different path for our city will require doing things differently.  Having imagined a better Austin, it is incumbent upon us to realize our vision.”  10 years after Imagine Austin was adopted, it is time for us to start realizing that vision.

Leadership

 Public Safety  - What good are we doing as leaders if we do not have a community that feels safe?  10 years ago, Austin was one of the safest, large cities in the country – do you feel like that is true today.  What is your individual experience and how has your city responded to you concerns?  Do you feel safer today than you did 3, 4, 8, 10 years ago?  This is a simple question, that for many reasons, people are not comfortable talking about.  I will stand and be the advocate for safety.  I will hold all of our leaders accountable for delivering on the vision of Imagine Austin that used the word safe 128 times to describe what is needed for a better future.  A safer path of travel to schools and stores.  A safer neighborhood that includes partnerships between residents and police. A parks and trail system that is safe for everyone to use without the fear of harm or nuisance.  A 911 and 311 system that can differentiate between a need for social services and a need to react to a crime being committed.  This is not a “big idea”.  This is the baseline for any healthy, vibrant, inclusive community.  Before we start to solve this problem with more money, less money, more cadets, less police, enforcing the law or defining low-level crime, we need to agree that we all care about being safe and electing leaders that understand the basic right that is expected by every citizen.  I will make the tough decisions that bring safety back to everyone in our community and I am the only candidate willing to stand up and talk about it.

Public Safety

 Affordability  - A housing crisis doesn’t happen overnight.  It manifests itself over generations, but it is never hidden.  Only when it becomes a crisis, do people seem to pay attention and when it does, it shines a light on not only the policies that helped to create it, but the failure of leadership to recognize the problem and have the will to course correct.  We have spent years discussing, meeting, advocating and approving plans that laid out a path to success, but we never had the leaders to execute the plan.  Imagine Austin was the first step and along the way, we lost the will to make it a reality.  Our first housing and affordability priority has to be making the process of delivering all types of housing more predictable and less costly.  We will start by creating a culture of service in all city departments that touch the permitting process.  As a city and its leaders, we have to be advocates of housing not obstructionists.  We must reduce the fees that add unnecessary expense to our housing supply and create a predictable and repeatable path to a building permit.  Once we have solved those fundamental problems, we can start working to achieve the goals so clearly defined by Imagine Austin.

Housing and Affordability

 Transportation  - Transportation has to be more than just Project Connect.  Austin has a vision of a transportation network that “provides a wide variety of options that are efficient , reliable, and cost-effective to serve the diverse needs and capabilities of our citizens” (Imagine Ausin).  As a your leader, It is my responsible to ensure that we have a transit system that provides safe access serving our entire community: teachers, students, service workers, musicians, business owners and visitors to our city.  It is also my responsibility to make sure that we get as much benefit as possible from our citizen’s tax and that the money allocated delivers the best system as quickly as possible. I will help to define what success looks like and holds those responsible for its implementation, including myself, accountable for the results.  I will also be an advocate for change if the direction we choose does not produce the results we expect.

Transportation

 Homelessness  - Austin is spending $170 million of taxpayer money in our attempt to address homelessness, with little to show for it. Our current policy decisions, like permitting public camping, are stopgap measures at best. We must address the root causes—issues like the mental health & addiction crisis, the exorbitant price of housing, and deficiencies in the foster care system—while always demanding that our investments produce results.

Homelessness

 Social Services  - A strong, accountable safety net for those in need is an absolute must-have if our city hopes to address its most pressing issues. A helping hand is never a waste of taxpayer funds, but making sure that money is spent responsibly and that its objectives are being met is the only responsible path forward. Community health centers, a street-to-home pipeline approach to homelessness, rent assistance, and jobs training are all strong examples of smart investments if they're made with accountability in mind.

Social Services

 Accountability  - City Hall simply must be more accountable to the residents it serves. New ideas and novel approaches to urban issues are important, but we need to have a structured program of accountability for every dollar spent. Creating an Office of Innovation, with staff dedicated to finding efficient solutions to our problems and working with community stakeholders, is a good first step. Austin also needs a top-to-bottom review of spending, alongside an accessibility review—getting someone on the phone at City Hall shouldn't be an all-day affair.

Accountability

 Economic Opportunity  - A vibrant and diverse economy is essential for the health of our city. Leaders must foster opportunities and provide the support necessary for our economy to grow and flourish. Our city leaders have found it easier to create barriers than doors. Doors that open the programs necessary for our small businesses, creative class, and entrepreneurs that have always been part of Austin’s culture. We will continue to develop programs that help grow our workforce and provide a greater variety of economic opportunities for our entire community.

Economic Opportunity

This campaign has not agreed to comply with the contribution and expenditure limits of the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance.

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Pol. adv. pd. by the Greg Smith Campaign, Greg Smith for District 9.

Running to Represent Austin,

City Council District 9

To Connect with Greg, call

(512) 560-4734

greg@gregford9.com

Running to Represent

Austin City Council District 9

To Connect with Greg, call

(512) 560-4734

greg@gregford9.com

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