Austin Anthem Urges ‘No’ Vote on City Propositions A and B
From The Yeah, Those People Again Department
It’s late October, which means two things in Austin: wildly fluctuating temperatures, and time to head to the ballot box. This year, Austinites have some very important items on the ballot. In addition to ten propositions to the Texas State Constitution and county bonds (in both Travis and Williamson Counties), Austin residents have two city propositions to consider.
We urge you to vote ‘No’ on both of them. And, we can’t stress enough how important it is that you show up and vote. Off year elections often have very low turnout, and sometimes the actions of a few can overcome the wishes of the majority of the public.
You can read the official language of both from KUT. Voting locations for Travis County residents and Williamson County residents are available on the county’s respective website.
Election Day is November 5th, but you can early vote until November 1st.
Proposition A: The One That Was Supposed To Kill McKalla Place, But Will Really Hurt Local Non-Profits Instead
Y’all remember that small contingent of anti-soccer forces from last year’s epic legislative battle over the stadium at McKalla Place? This was their last-ditch attempt to scuttle it by requiring citywide approval of the deal and the full payment of property taxes during the lease.
Well. You’ll be shocked to hear their torpedo action failed on two fronts. Firstly, because it won’t affect the stadium construction, as that deal has already been signed and executed. Secondly, because the proposition would require voter approval of any and all entertainment or sports facilities in order for the deal to progress.
Which includes youth sports facilities, such as those used by the North Austin Soccer Alliance and the YMCA, along with revered city entertainment facilities such as the Long Center and Zach Theatre. Not surprisingly, all of these organizations have come out against the ballot prop.
We’re big supporters of nonprofits that serve our community, be it through sports or the arts — so we urge you to vote ‘No’ on the City of Austin Proposition A.
Frankly, nobody in the city seems to support this proposition at all, not even the initial supporters.
Proposition B: The One That Tries To Overrule City Council In Low Turnout Elections (Again)
Y’all probably remember that Proposition J ballot item from last year, right? Of course not. But it was the one where a small group of individuals who spend a lot of time slowing up Austin City Hall wanted to make the whole city go to the ballot box for the new land use code. Their goal was to stymie the code overhaul, which was last majorly changed in 1984.
They’re back too — and this time their target is the Austin Convention Center. Kinda.
This proposition would again require a citywide vote (sense a theme here?) to perform any improvements over $20 million towards the building. it’s important to note that a convention center expansion would be funded by a hotel occupancy tax charged on out-of-town guests and not from taxes paid by city of Austin residents. Prop B would also specifically designate how the city could use existing hotel occupancy tax funding, quite likely in a manner in conflict with state law. Passage of Prop B would also likely interfere with the availability of funds for the “Downtown Puzzle” which would include a redevelopment of the Palm School parkland, sustained funding for homeless services and musical artists which would come from a fee that downtown hotels would choose to charge guests.
Voting no on Proposition B will allow the Austin voter to keep our elected members of Council in power — and not the few.
So, in short, vote no on BOTH Proposition A and B. And, don’t just take our word for it. Both the Austin Chronicle and the Austin Chamber of Commerce have come out against them, along with the other organizations we listed.
Austin Anthem is the independent supporters group for Austin FC, the Major League Soccer club of Austin, Texas.
For more information, visit us online at AustinAnthem.org