Several of the seats on the new Austin City Council will be be determined in a run-off election on December 16. Early voting is underway through this Friday, December 12. You can find early voting locations at www.traviscountyclerk.org/eclerk/Content.do?code=E.47
To find out more about the candidates and districts, visit www.austinchronicle.com/elections
During the general election, 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, for the candidates who are in the runoff. 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 runoff:
Neither candidate in the District 3 runoff has provided responses to the questionnaire. However, we can provide information based on their actions to date.
One of the District 3 candidates, Sabino (“Pio”) Renteria, has spoken publicly in support of the urban farms. He appeared at the rally in support of Springdale Farm at the City Council meeting last month. Pio has stated that he thinks the urban farms have done a lot for the community and deserve the community’s support.
In contrast, the other candidate for District 3, Susana Almanza, 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.
While we cannot formally endorse Pio Renteria in the absence of responses to our questionnaire, we think he is the far better candidate from the perspective of sustainable urban farms.
- 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?
Don Zimmerman (District 6) | www.donzimmerman.org
Jimmy Flannigan (District 6) | www.jimmyflannigan.com
No response from: