Election Day!

Tuulikki Ylostalo, a volunteer for Rich DePalma, outside Oak Hill Community Center. Photo courtesy of Ayrton Logan.

OK, it’s Election Day. Time for America to redeem herself.

Tonight it looks like I’m going to be covering the District 1 & District 3 Council races for the Monitor. I’ll be hanging out with folks at KUT studios in the late pm and then checking out the election night parties to get reaction from the winners and (many, many) losers in those races. Sigh.

In city politics, the following will be decided today, along with links to past posts on each race to explain what’s on the line. So if you’re wondering what it means if Prop E passes tonight, here’s a handy cheat sheet.

Mayor: Mayor Steve Adler v. Laura Morrison

Council District 1: Vincent Harding v. Natasha Harper-Madison v. Mariana Salazar v. Reedy Spigner v. some other people. No matter who wins, it will be an improvement for urbanists and likely the loss of a reliable vote for anti-density preservationists.

Council District 3: Urbanist-leaning Council Member Pio Renteria v. his anti-urbanist sister Susana Almanza and James Valadez, who has received substantial support from neighborhood preservationists and has spoken out against “excessive density.” I’ve wondered if the preservationists are trying to angle for a run-off by supporting two candidates.

Council District 5: Ann Kitchen (uncontested)

Council District 8: Rich DePalma v. Frank Ward v. Paige Ellis v. Bobby Levinski. This is the only shot Republicans have of keeping a presence on Council.

Council District 9: Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo v. Danielle Skidmore. This race is all about the preservationist v. urbanist narrative. There was also a late attack on Tovo from an outside group and a transphobic attack on Skidmore.

Proposition A: $250 million for affordable housing. Backed by a huge campaign. No organized opposition. Would be historic win if it passes.

Proposition B: $125 million for libraries, cultural centers, museums

Proposition C: $149 million for parks

Proposition D: $184 million for flood mitigation/water quality lands

Proposition E: $16 million for health center in Dove Springs

Proposition F: $38 million for improvements to EMS facilities and fire stations

Proposition G: $160 million for transportation

Proposition H: Empowers City Council to determine how members of Planning Commission will be appointed

All of the above props are backed by another group aligned with the mayor, which has raised significant money. No organized opposition, but Don Zimmerman is pissed.

Proposition I: Doesn’t matter. A spelling check for the city charter.

Proposition J: Requires any “comprehensive” rewrite of the land development code will be subject to voter approval and a waiting period that will extend at least until the following City Council elections. CodeNEXT drama. You know the deal. Too much to link to.

Proposition K: Will require city to hire an independent auditor to conduct an efficiency study of city departments and programs. Mad drama here. Dark money Republican donors + Old Austin neighborhood preservationist Dems in support. Dems and city employees union have funded opposition.

I don’t think I’m going to bother making any public predictions.  That’s partially because I don’t think predictions serve any legitimate journalistic or civic purpose, but probably mostly because I’ve been permanently scarred by doing so in the past.


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