by Jeb Boyt
Candidate for City Council District 7
Running for District 7, I will talk about three issues facing Austin: affordability, transportation, and accountability.
Affordability is our big challenge. Without affordability, much of what we value about Austin is in danger. We can’t keep Austin weird if we can’t keep it affordable. The old model of “drive until you can buy,” does not work anymore, at least not for everyone. Many folks today want to live in the Central City. As a result, property values in the Central City are rising, and many folks are finding it hard to find a home that they can afford or are concerned that they may not be able to afford to stay in the home that they have. Other folks are finding that where they can afford to buy, they can’t afford the time it takes to make the drive. People need to be able to find places to live that are convenient to work so that they can spend more time with their families and less time in their cars.
In order to have more affordable housing, we’ve got to build more housing, and we’ve got to make it less expensive to build housing. The City’s CodeNext process gives us an opportunity to look at how we build housing. We can also look at lands owned by the City and other public entities for opportunities to construct affordable housing. We can do this while protecting the cores of our single-family neighborhoods that contribute so much to Austin’s character.
On transportation, I have been working for many years to improve Austin’s streets, transit, and bikeways. I served on the 2012 Bond Advisory Commission, and I have worked in support of every City and County bond election since 1997. With the Alliance for Public Transportation, I have worked to improve Austin’s transit and transportation. With Austin Metro Trails & Greenways, I have worked to improve Austin’s parks, trails, and bikeways.
Transportation and affordability are linked. Providing people with housing opportunities closer to where they work will cut down on how far they have to travel. Providing housing opportunities along transit corridors will allow people to commute via transit. In addition, we’ve got to move forward with major transportation projects. Work is now underway to add managed lanes to Mopac. Planning is underway to build urban rail and rebuild I-35. We need to move forward with those projects, and we need to move forward with Lone Star Rail to link Austin and San Antonio and to take cars off of I-35.
Our new 10-1 city council offers new opportunities for our government to be accountable to the people. As your council member, I will be your council member. You will know that you can contact me if you have problems and concerns. As your council member, I will track bond projects and other public projects in District 7 to make sure that they are on track and that people are aware of what is being planned and what is being built.
In addition, our new 10-1 city council will offer an opportunity for us to find new ways to work together. The new council districts are likely to be represented almost entirely by people who have not been on council and who have not held public office. The new council will have the opportunity to set the tone for Austin’s government going forward. I will work to make sure that our work is cooperative, effective, and of benefit to all of the people of Austin.
Jeb Boyt has lived in Austin for more than 20 years. He is an attorney, and a native of Liberty County. Currently in private practice, he has worked as an attorney for the Attorney General of Texas, Texas General Land Office, Railroad Commission of Texas. Jeb has served on the City of Austin’s 2012 Bond Advisory Committee, Parks Board, Downtown Commission, and Waller Creek Commission. He currently serves on the boards of the Hill Country Conservancy, the Alliance for Public Transportation, and the Austin Environmental Democrats. He and Nada Lulic have been married for 22 years. They have lived in Allandale since 1995, and before that they lived in Crestview and Brentwood.