By Melissa Zone
Candidate for City Council District 7
My name is Melissa Zone, I am a resident of Crestview and I am running for the District 7 City Council seat because I want to:
- Preserve the unique character of our neighborhoods and our quality of life
- Fight for affordability for all of us in North Central Austin now and in the future
- Take on the complex transportation issues we face throughout the city
- Protect public health, safety and the environment
To accomplish these goals, we need to rethink how our municipal government deals with growth. As our population increases and the city goes through a major overhaul of its land development code called CodeNEXT, we need a council member who understands land development regulations and will protect the interests of the community. I have the experience to effectively guide development, protect our natural resources and preserve our quality of life.
I have a B.A. in Urban Studies and a Master of Public Administration from Cleveland State University. In my 20 years as an urban planner, my accomplishments have included successfully negotiating agreements between developers and communities leading to transportation system improvements, more green space and increased housing affordability at no additional cost to taxpayers. In my current position, I perform transportation and water resource planning and analysis of pending legislation for Travis County. I coauthored the Colorado River Corridor Plan to ensure orderly growth in the region and preserve and enhance environmental, economic, recreational and cultural resources over the next 25 years. My responsibilities also include administering the Transportation and Natural Resources Department’s public engagement and outreach program.
I come from a family of community leaders. Both of my parents were city council members in Cleveland, Ohio. They taught me the importance of civic involvement and giving back to one’s community. My upbringing instilled in me the values of fairness, diversity and compassion for all. Proudly carrying on my family’s tradition of public service, I have led many grassroots efforts to protect the interests of neighborhoods and advance participatory government.
Representing the Crestview Neighborhood Association, I have effectively used my experience to work with City Council members in an ongoing effort to provide park land in North Central Austin. I helped families in Northwest Austin halt a development that would have diverted traffic from Research Boulevard through a residential neighborhood. I also provided free consultation to a family-owned business near Parmer Lane regarding new watershed regulations and saved the owners thousands of dollars in building upgrade costs. As your District 7 representative, I will actively seek out opportunities to meet with citizens, neighborhood associations and small business owners to ensure the city is responsive to neighborhood issues and concerns.
My husband, Phillip, is a fourth generation Texan who shares my love for our community and desire to preserve Austin’s livability and unique qualities that make it such a special place to raise a family and enjoy one’s autumn years. As your City Council representative I will promote fiscal responsibility and openness in government and will dedicate every available resource to address the issues that are important to all residents of District 7.
I hope I can count on your support throughout this campaign and your vote on November 4.