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April 07, 2004

Some Endorsements for the May 15th Elections

By Byron LaMasters

Those of you outside of Austin probably wonder why we have so many elections. Every two years Austin voters have the opportunity to vote in up to four elections in four months. Of course, there's the March primary and April runoff. Then there's the City Council / ACC / AISD elections in May, and that run-off in June. This year, there are no city council seats up, but there are three ACC (Austin Community College) seats to fill along with two referendums.

Today, the Austin Progressive Coalition (University Democrats and Central Austin Democrats) screened the candidates and made endorsements in all of the races. The CCYD's (Capitol City Young Democrats) also made endorsements today as well. All of the candidates that I support (and I'm assuming the other posters here do as well) were endorsed today by all of the above organizations (APC, CAD, UD, CCYD).

ACC Place 4: - Jeffrey Richard: Jeffrey is by far the best qualified and most experienced candidate in this race. He's also a Democrat with credentials that appeal to both the business and progressive communities. He served as the vice president of education on the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, and has a tremendous amount of experience in education working for 17 years with educational institutions in Washington D.C. and Austin. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Texas State University.

ACC Place 5: - Rafael Quintanilla: He's the chair of the board and is unopposed. I don't have a particularly good reason to support him, but people that have been around Austin a lot longer than I have said that he's worthy of our support, so that worked for me.

ACC Place 6: - Rodney Ahart (this site should be up next week): Rodney Ahart has worked in the legislature for State Sen. Rodney Ellis and State Reps. Helen Giddings and Dawnna Dukes. During his time in the legislature, he worked on higher education issues and is well prepared to work with the legislature as a member of the ACC board.

YES on Collective Bargaining: One of the referenda we will be voting on is whether to allow collective bargaining for the Austin Firefighters. Collective bargaining would require the city of Austin to meet in good faith with Austin Firefighters to negotiate their contracts. The process would be open and subject to public disclosure. Our firefighters work hard day and night to keep us safe. This is the least that we can do for them.

YES on Travis County Hospital District: This is a simple issue of efficiency and fairness. The current Travis County Health Care Revenue System is convoluted and confusing. Creating a hospital district would make funding our county health care more efficient by simplifying the revenue process. More importantly, this is an issue of fairness. Currently, Austin taxpayers pay five times more than (non-Austin) county residents in taxes to support Travis County health care facilities, even though all Travis County residents have equal access to the facilities. The Hospital District would equalize taxes for all Travis County residents. It would bring in needed money into the system to prevent emergency room overcrowding and to extend the hours of local clinics. That's a good thing for Travis County.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at April 7, 2004 11:16 PM | TrackBack


I concur on all these endoresments. If either Andrew or Jim or Andrea also agrees on all of them (making a 3/5 majority vote?) then I suggest putting them on the side under Endoresements as usual.

Posted by: Karl-T at April 8, 2004 03:54 PM

Lupe Sosa for Place 6!

Posted by: AustinGirl172 at April 13, 2004 03:17 PM

Lupe Sosa is the one candidate for ACC Place 6 who puts the needs of students, particularly students from less affluent neighborhoods at the top of her priorities. Lupe is a dedicated community activist, seeking the office to give the people a voice on the ACC board - rather than as a stepping stone ot higher political office.

Posted by: Carol Cespedes at April 20, 2004 02:39 PM
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