2014 Austin City Council and Mayoral Candidates

For the first time, residents of the City of Austin will vote for district-specific council members. This historic election has significant implications for the future of local food in the City.

Early voting for City of Austin candidates is October 20-31, and election day is on November 4, 2014.

Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance sent a questionnaire to all of the candidates for whom we could find email addresses. We provided a brief background on some key issues, and asked five questions.

Below is a table showing each candidate’s response to these questions. If a candidate did not respond to our questionnaire, we have not listed him/her in this chart. After the chart are links to PDF files of the candidate’s responses for those who provided additional comments.


Special note on the DISTRICT 3 race:

The race for District 3, with over a dozen candidates, is one of the most significant for the future of local foods. One of the candidates for District 3, Susana Almanza, declined to respond to our questionnaire, but has a track record of being very against urban farms. She and her campaign manager were the leading voices trying to stop urban farms in residential areas in 2013, and they used very aggressive and disturbing language against the farmers.

Although we are not endorsing a specific candidate at this time, FARFA urges Austin residents in District 3 to vote for one of the candidates who expressed their support for urban farms in the questionnaire responses, specifically:

  • Julian Fernandez: Mr. Fernandez was the only candidate to speak up for the urban farms at the November 2013 City Council hearing
  • Fred McGhee
  • Eric Rangel
  • Ricardo Turullols-Bonilla
  • Jose Valera

QUESTIONS

  • Q1: Do you support reforms at the health department such as simplifying the regulations imposed on local producers and creating an ombudsman position to help producers understand the requirements?
  • Q2: Do you support reducing fees to support small-scale local farmers and food producers?
  • Q3: Do you support measures to improve access to land for growing food, such as allowing public property to be used for nonprofit community gardens and working with County officials to reduce property tax burdens on small urban farmers?
  • Q4: Do you support people’s ability to grow food and sell food in residential areas, subject to reasonable requirements (such as available parking) to protect neighbors’ interests?
  • Q5: Do you support urban farms’ ability to host such events, subject to reasonable requirements (such as available parking and music restrictions) to protect neighbors’ interests?

Austin-City-Elections-questionnaire-responses-2014-chart

Delia Garza | www.deliagarza.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Julian Fernandez | www.electjulian.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Fred McGhee | www.fredmcghee.com  | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Eric Rangel | www.voterangel.com
Ricardo Turullols-Bonilla | www.ricardoforaustin3.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Jose Valera | www.josevalera.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Ann Kitchen | www.kitchenforaustin.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Mike Rodriguez | www.mikerodriguezforaustincouncil.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Jimmy Flannigan | www.jimmyflannigan.com
Jay Wiley | www.jaywileyforaustin.com
Don Zimmerman | www.donzimmerman.org
Jeb Boyt | www.jebforaustin.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Ed English | www.edenglishaustindistrict7.org
Rebecca Bray | www.brayfor8.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Ellen Troxclair | www.ellenforaustin.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Erin McGann | www.erinforcitycouncil.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Chris Riley | www.chrisforaustin.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Kathie Tovo | www.kathieforaustin.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Mandy Dealey | www.mandydealey.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Matt Lamon | www.mattlamon.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Steve Adler | www.adlerforaustin.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Mike Martinez | www.mike4mayor.com | RESPONSE TO QUESTIONNAIRE (click to download PDF)
Todd Phelps | www.phelpsforaustin.com