Fred Lewis begins campaign to ‘prevent the next CodeNEXT’

CodeNEXT is dead, but people will still be voting on a ballot initiative in November that was aimed at killing CodeNEXT.

The death of CodeNEXT did not render the initiative moot. If approved, the measure would require a lengthy waiting period and voter approval before any major revision of the city’s land development code can go into effect. (Of course, that’s assuming that the initiative is not struck down in court, since the state constitution really does say that zoning cannot be decided by referendum unless it’s a question of whether a city should have zoning at all.)

Hence the yard sign I spotted as I jogged down W. Oltorf the other day.


The small print at the bottom indicates that the sign was paid for by Let Us Vote Austin, a group run by Fred Lewis, the unofficial strategist/puppet master for anti-CodeNEXT efforts.

A report filed on Sept. 7 shows that the committee reported spending $2,500 to get yard signs made. It also spent $498 on t-shirts. The group also recently received two contributions. One from developer Brian Rodgers ($5,000) and one from Linda Bailey ($1,000) a longtime West Austin neighborhood association activist.

We’ll see if more money and/or energy comes into this race. I doubt it. Canceling CodeNEXT sort of sapped the energy on both sides. And the anti-development folks probably can’t count on billboard money to fund their campaign anymore.

3 thoughts on “Fred Lewis begins campaign to ‘prevent the next CodeNEXT’

  1. “The group also recently received two contributions. One from developer Brian Rodgers ($5,000)…”

    Wait: I thought Evil Developers like Brian Rodgers were running the deep state at City Hall operating on behalf of the ABOR to Destroy Austin As We Know It?

  2. CodeNext is not dead and is coming back right after the election with a new name and brand. The mayor and council made that clear with their “reboot” comments. By voting Yes on Prop J, the public gets a vote and say on a comprehensive land code and ensure the final proposal reflects their values, and not City staff, the developer-dominated council or illegal planning commission. A vote for J is a vote for democracy. CodeNext has been a debacle; Prop J protects the public against another one.

    As for Brian Rodgers, he isn’t a member of RECA or ARBOR but a progressive who has demanded growth pay for its self with impact fees, fought the domain subsidies, fought for campaign finance reform, sued the city many times for Open Meetings violations such as Pilot Knob. He also has protected endangered forests and species by buying land in South America. He is an Austin hero.

  3. “A vote for J is a vote for democracy.”

    Actually, it’s a vote for direct democracy — a principle upon which this nation was explicitly NOT based. Our Founding Fathers, rather, espoused representative democracy: electing people to public office who represent your views. If you want to push for change, you can change your vote. Instead, what you’re suggesting is capping representative democracy in the knees Tonya Harding-style, and allowing special interest groups like yours — one that represents a small subset of affluent West Central Austin homeowners, not Austinites on whole — actually *subvert* American democracy as it was intended to run.

    “[N]ot City staff, the developer-dominated council or illegal planning commission.”

    I find it jaw-dropping that you can flip from talking about “values” in one part of a sentence, and then immediately reference the “illegal” Planning Commission in the next — considering you personally sicced the state’s far-right-wing attorney general (!!) on a part of the PC’s group of volunteers (!!!) that includes the local head of Habitat for Humanity (!!!!), all over your personal interpretation of what its composition should be. For those of y’all reading at home, the Chronicle already called out this pile of horse manure for what it is back in May:

    And then there’s the matter of this ostensibly “developer-dominated council,” which is simultaneously amusing and pathetic considering a) there are no “developers” on the city council, and the CMs who oppose your views are mainly far-left populists who represent the *least* affluent parts of Austin, not the other way around; and b) you clearly fail to see the parallels between this unambiguous conspiracy theory and those espoused by a certain occupant of the Oval Office.

    There’s no “deep state” behind the curtain in D.C. anymore than there’s any “deep state” behind the curtain at City Hall, regardless of how many times you bellow to the contrary.

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