Austin EcoNetwork is commited to helping you be an eco-informed voter. This campaign season we have worked to provide three resources to help you make your selections for the May 2012 Austin Ctiy Council elections:
(1) Below we have compiled a list of candidate endorsements made by local eco-focused groups. I included excerpts from the eco groups that published their reasoning. For convenience I also posted the links and lists of Chronicle and Statesman endorsements.
(2) We collaborated with a dozen local environmental groups to generate a multi-environmental issue candidate questionnaire. [Click on the candidates' names below to view their responses – Incumbents listed first, then alphabetically]
Mayor: Lee Leffingwell, Richard "Clay" Dafoe, Brigid Shea
Place 2: Mike Martinez, Laura Pressley
Place 5: Bill Spelman, Audrey Tina Cannon, Dominic "Dom" Chavez, David Y. Conley, John Duffy, John A. Rubine, R.A. "Bo" Prudente,
Place 6: Sheryl Cole, Shaun (Dylan) Ireland
(3) We co-produced, and I co-moderated, the televised Election 2012 Green Forum which aired first on channelAustin on April 23rd. YOu can now view the forums for the different races online here
If you prefer to watch TV the old fashioned way, you can view an encore screening on cable channel 10 & streaming online.
- Monday, April 30, 8:00 to 10:00 PM
- Wednesday, May 2, 8:00 to 10:00 PM
- Sunday, May 6, 7:00 to 9:00 PM
- Monday, May 7, 8:00 to 9:00 PM
- Wednesday, May 9, 8:00 to 9:00 PM
EARLY VOTING HAS STARTED – Early voting goes from April 30 through May 8 and the General Election day is May 12. Please vote, encourage your family, friends and coworkers to vote, and volunteer to help your favorite candidates. Local elections typically have low voter awareness and turnout. Therefore you being informed and voting makes a big difference!
They have a downloadable 2.5 page PDF that explains each of their endorsements and non-endorsements
Mayor: Sierra Club endorsed Brigid Shea. They offer lots of specific details about Shea's track record, commitments and approach to SH45, water management, conservation and protecting affordability. They conclude "Shea has continually demonstrated, year after year, that she is a leader who will stand up for the needs of people and the environment. We feel that Shea will be more active and energetic than the current mayor in protecting all that makes Austin a great place to live. She has the vision and energy needed to lead Austin forward to a clean, affordable, livable city."
Place 5: Bill Spelman. They point to both his record and their optimism that he is open to moving to a more progressive agenda.
Place 2 and 6: no endorsements. They point to bad votes or lack of leadership by incumbents, but not having confidence in their challengers.
LOBV is a nonprofit advocacy organization promoting better transportation policy decisions, justice for bicyclists, and more resources to increase the number of bicyclists in the Austin area.
Mayor: Both Lee Leffingwell and Brigid Shea – LOBV asseses that "both have strong track records for cyclists….Shea has stronger environmental credentials in general, which cyclists typically support. Shea has also shown a good understanding of the problems cyclists have getting justice when involved in collisions. Leffingwell has a stronger understanding of cyclists overall needs and has taken a strong stand, in the face of opposition, in favor of microconnectivity."
Place 2: Mike Martinez – They call him "a friend to cyclists" and cite his lead in creating the texting ban for motorists and sponsorship of the local 3-foot passing law.
Place 5: Bill Spelman – "Besides taking the lead in rolling back the all-ages mandatory helmet law in 1997, Spelman has been a consistent supporter of most, if not all, cycling initiatives proposed during his tenure, both ordinary and visionary."
Place 6: Sheryl Cole – They point out that "Cole was a co-sponsor (along with Council Member Chris Riley) for VIVA STREETS!, Austin’s Ciclovía. She also supported the launch of Major Taylor Austin, promoting minority participation in cycling."
Austin Environmental Democrats Endorsements
Austin Environmental Democrats endorsed all the incumbents, in other words, Lee Leffingwell for Mayor, Mike Martinez for Place 2, BIll Spelman for Pace 6 and Sheryl Cole for Place 6. I found this list only on the Burnt Orange Report.
Clean Water Action Endorsements
I cannot locate the online list of endorsements provided by Clean Water Action, though by viewing the websites of the various candidates we can surmise that Brigid Shea garnered the Mayor endorsement, Mike Martinez was endorsed in Place 2, Bill Spelman was their Place 5 choice, and in Place 6 Sheryl Cole.
The Chronicle offered dual endorsements for both Lee Leffingwell and Brigid Shea for Mayor and then the Incumbents in the rest of the races. Mike Martinez – Place 2, Bill Spelman – Place 5, Sheryl Cole – Place 6.
Austin American Statesman Endorsements
All other races: Vote for Council incumbents' return