Is Austin Unique Without Council Districts?
Austin is unusual because each city council member must win an election citywide. KUT’s Nathan Bernier spoke with Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s fact checking team PolitiFact Texas about Austin’s council setup.
This November, Austin voters are going to see competing plans on the ballot for rejiggering how the city council is elected. One would result in most council members elected from smaller, geographic districts; the other would result in every member being elected from a district. Both plans still leave the mayor elected citywide.
The group Austinites for Geographic Representation claims in a handout that “Austin is the largest city in the U.S. or Texas with no geographic representation.” A citizen researcher helped validate the claim.
It shows that in the dozen U.S. cities more populous than Austin, and these include Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, some or a majority of council members are elected from districts.