Austin City Council

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When Austin welcomed its first district-based city council in 2015, it was one of the most diverse councils in the city’s history: majority female, its first-ever Latina council member, plus three fiscal and, at times, social conservatives.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: If City Council Member Don Zimmerman is unhappy about losing the seat he has held for two years, he’s not showing it.

After losing re-election to Jimmy Flannigan – the same candidate he beat to earn his spot on the then-new 10-1 Council in 2014 – Zimmerman said he accepts the will of the voters, particularly in light of how well Hillary Clinton performed in the traditionally conservative northwest suburbs that Zimmerman represents.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Half a dozen posters depicting that British hit band the Beatles color the walls of Justin Estep’s office on Rutherford Lane in North Austin. It brings some levity to an otherwise tense space.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: Alison Alter trounced incumbent City Council Member Sheri Gallo on Tuesday with the help of an energized Travis County Democratic Party, as well as neighbors angry over development proposals for the Grove at Shoal Creek and the Austin Oaks planned unit developments.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Today is runoff election day in the Austin area. You'll be forgiven if you didn't even know there was a runoff election.

Only about 3 percent of registered voters cast a ballot during the early voting period. If you vote today, you'll likely just see two races on the ballot – both for places on the Austin Community College board of trustees. But for those who live in northwest Austin, there’s a third race – this one for city council.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Last week, when the contentious case for the Grove at Shoal Creek returned yet again to City Hall, City Council made welcome progress – but not quite when people expected it. Council was supposed to start its discussion at 9 a.m. But as with many high-profile zoning cases, the discussion started hours later and lasted until late at night. One resident, Frances McIntyre, took notice.


Courtesy of Austin Public LIbrary.

From the Austin Monitor: City Council will consider what is hoped to be the final spending increase for the long-in-the-works Austin Central Library on Thursday, with the total price tag for the project set to fall somewhere just under $126.6 million.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In the wake of the presidential election, several Austin City Council members have decided to speak out in support of the city’s minority populations. 

Audrey McGlinchy via Twitter

Flanked by city colleagues and leaders in both academia and the nonprofit world Wednesday, Mayor Steve Adler introduced the city of Austin to its newest task force: a group that will combat “institutional racism.” The group will be made up of local community leaders in education, immigration and housing.

Leslie Pool Wins District 7

Nov 9, 2016
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: Tuesday night, incumbent Leslie Pool easily won her District 7 seat for City Council against challenger and political newcomer Natalie Gauldin. Early voting results Tuesday evening solidly placed her in the lead by 40 percent, giving rise to dinnertime cheers from her supporters.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: District 4 City Council Member Greg Casar, the youngest member ever elected to the City Council, claimed another victory last night, beating two opponents who seemed almost invisible.

District 2 Council Member Delia Garza – Council’s first Latina, elected during her first run for office in 2014 – also easily defeated two opponents who were barely visible during the campaign.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: In District 10, City Council Member Sheri Gallo and challenger Alison Alter are headed for a December runoff, with Gallo garnering more than 48 percent of the vote to Alter’s 35.52 percent. The other candidates in the race, Robert Walker and Nicholas Virden, received 14.1 percent and slightly more than 2 percent, respectively.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

From the Austin Monitor: It’s anybody’s guess whether the city’s $720 million transportation bond proposition, known as Proposition 1, will win voter approval next week, but if it does not, it won’t be because of lack of funding.

Move Austin Forward, the political action committee supporting the bond, has reported total political expenditures of more than $701,000. The campaign reported it had received nearly $482,000 in contributions and maintained about $75,000 in the bank as of Saturday.

Callie Hernandez for KUT News

From the Austin Monitor: Poll numbers for City Council Member Don Zimmerman and challenger Jimmy Flannigan show the two neck and neck in a race to represent District 6, according to two surveys conducted in September and October for the Austin Monitor by Public Policy Polling of North Carolina.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

In a late Friday ruling, a district judge sided with a local activist against the City of Austin, voiding a December vote taken by city council members on the housing development Pilot Knob. Called Easton Park, the development plans to offer 1,500 apartments and 6,500 single-family homes in southeast Travis County.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Traversing parts of North Lamar Boulevard as a bicyclist or pedestrian – or, even as a driver – can be alarming. The speed limit is high, and substantial barriers exist neither between pedestrians and cars nor between cars going north and those headed south.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Growth and the interests of real estate developers commanded the discussion among candidates vying to represent Austin’s wealthiest district Tuesday night. City Council Member Sheri Gallo, who has held the District 10 Council seat since she was elected in 2014, sat alongside candidates Alison Alter, Nick Virden and Rob Walker fielding questions from residents.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin residents are no strangers to orange cones dotting the highways or construction cranes in the sky. But one KUT listener wondered: Why does it take so long to get anything built around here? 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

In a repeat match of their neck-and-neck 2014 race, Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman and challenger Jimmy Flannigan met Tuesday night beneath a giant screen at the Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline.

There was no feature on the bill, but that was alright. The two candidates vying for District 6 representative provided ample entertainment.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

District 10 is Austin’s wealthiest district – it boasts an annual median family income of $131,100. It’s one of the city’s most sprawling districts, stretching from MoPac to Lake Travis.

The race for District 10 is the most crowded among the five districts on the ballot. Council member Sheri Gallo is the current representative, and she faces three challengers – all who, like Gallo, tout fiscal responsibility, but with some added twists. It's a field of candidates who seem to straddle the political aisle; purple people, if you will.

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