I really don’t know who to vote for for Mayor. I’m not interested in telling you who to vote for…I want to provide information and perspective to you so you can make a good decision…
Here’s something I’d like to ask the Mayoral candidates:
Do you know that diesel exhaust is a carcinogen?
If the answer is “No, I didn’t know that”, then that candidate may be too poorly informed (ignorant) to be Mayor.
If the answer is “Yes”, then the question is “Why haven’t you done something about it?” Especially Lee and Brewster, who have recently sworn oaths to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare ( Carole’s oath, last taken in 1981, has probably worn off by now ).
This morning, I went for a walk in the park, my daily constitutional. As usual, I had to dodge the UPS and Fed-ex trucks that constantly criss-cross the neighborhood, spewing toxic clouds of exhaust, poisoning the air wherever they go
Why do we tolerate this? It’s another sign of weakness in the environment movement.
Here’s what a Mayor…or city councilmember…who truly cared about the environment or the health and welfare of the people would do: write a letter to UPS, Fed-ex, and Dhl, explaining that it is unsustainable for them to continue to drive their polluting, carcinogenic behemoths all over town, every day, fouling the people’s air and contributing to global warming. The city could work with them to convert to smaller, battery-powered vehicles. The city could urge them to be the first one to enjoy the competitive advantage of “going green”.
Big Brown…what can you do for me today? Go Green!! Stop spreading that Big Brown toxic cloud coming from your vehicles!
Fed-ex…the citizens of Austin are “Fed-up” with your trucks polluting their air and poisoning the planet. Let us help you make $$$ without poisoning everyone!
The city, which has launched a climate protection program with much fanfare, should calculate the carbon-footprint of these delivery companies and actually DO SOMETHING about it.
But Will wynn doesn’t really care…he’s already gotten what he wanted: his picture in the paper and a puff-piece saying how “green” he is. In the 70’s and 80’s, you actually had to DO SOMETHING to be an environmentalist.
I doubt that any of these Mayoral candidates will do anything about it, either.
We haven’t seen any good strong environmental public policy since I left office in 1996…only a lot of greenwashing. And the big problem with greenwashing, in addition to the hypocrisy, is that the people think something is being done…when it isn’t. The people are lead to believe that things are getting better, when they are really getting worse!
Time is a luxury we can no longer afford!
So I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop when this guy walks up–a stranger–and says, “Max, who should I vote for in the Mayor’s race?” This happens a lot.
I tell him that I don’t know, I haven’t decided who I’m supporting yet…and since I vote on election day, I still have time to make up my mind.
Here’s my problem: I’m a strong environmentalist AND a fiscal conservative…there’s no candidate in the race like that. Lee and Brewster are both big spenders…huge spenders! In their years on the city council, they have only spent more and more money. They can’t tell anyone “NO”! Why? Because the way you make friends in politics is by spreading money around. That’s why they hire all these consultants, and want to build all these projects we can’t afford. Their political ambitions and their wild spending have put the city in a very precarious financial condition. We are really out of position to deal with the economic conditions we find ourselves in.
Carol is “right on” to run against their unsustainable spending. What were Lee and Brew thinking when they gave $60+ MILLION to the wealthiest retail chains in the nation to come to Austin ( The Domain ). If (when) those stores start pulling out, it will be clearly revealed how reckless they were with our money. And how much have they spent in subsidizing the Second street retail area? And how much did they give to the Marriott Corp. to destroy Las Manitas?
Lee and Brew have spent nearly $100 MILLION to turn Austin into Dallas.
How much have they spent on protecting the environment? On reducing the city’s carbon footprint? Very little…
As Molly Ivins used to say, “Watch what they do, not what they say.” That is, watch where they spend money…that reveals their true priorities. Talk is cheap…
The Problem with Carol is that she doesn’t care about the environment…never has, and obviously still doesn’t. In fact, her choice of Louise Epstein as her campaign treasurer is a clear signal that she is hostile to the environment. ( I served with Louise on the City Council, and she was a disaster for the environment, fighting every effort to protect the land, air, and water ).
If elected, Carol would be much better on fiscal issues, which are front-and-center right now, but she would take this opportunity to dismantle the environmental programs that I and many others have fought for over the last thirty years.
On the other hand, Lee and Brew have records as Big Spenders, and we can no longer afford that. Our financial crisis is only going to worsen, and they are still talking about bond elections for hundreds of MILLIONS…They are still oblivious to the new economic reality.
So pick your poison, Austin. If you are an environmentalist who also is concerned about the ever-escalating cost of living here, you have no one to vote FOR…
I can hardly believe it has come to this…
AUSTIN (KXAN) – Austin voters are split three ways on who they want to support for mayor, with only single-digit percentage points separating the top three candidates, according to a KXAN-sponsored poll released late Tuesday.
And with the May 9 election just over two weeks away, nearly a quarter of local voters are still undecided.
City Councilman Lee Leffingwell edges ahead with 27 percent of support. He is followed closely by Mayor Pro-Tem Brewster McCracken at 24 percent. Former mayor Carole Keeton Strayhorn has 21 percent.
A full 22 percent are still undecided.
Mayoral candidates discuss tech start-ups and green companies. See all the clips on KXAN’s website.