Chronicle – District 7 Shares Issues with West Austin

Austin and the 7-10 Split
Candidates in west and west-central districts find common cause
By Richard Whittaker
9:30AM, Tue. Jul. 22

When people first started talking about shifting Austin to single-member City Council districts, the logic was simple. You add more geographic representation, more diversity of opinion, and a more accurate reflection of the city’s needs. Well, the neighboring districts of 7 and 10 have a nice bucket list lined up.

It’s tough to describe what’s happening in District 10 as resentment, but then then it’s not hard to see it either. It’s regularly written off as “suburban sprawl” (with a subtext of being “not really Austin”). Candidate Matt Lamon said, “The number one issue that I hear when I’m knocking on doors is that they feel they don’t have a representative at City Hall.” But in conversations with candidates in both areas, the term “sister districts” came up about 10 and its neighbor to the east, District 7.

In both, public safety (i.e., policing) is going to be a key issue, with a steady demand across candidates in both districts for, at minimum, a redrawing of patrol zones, and preferably a new station house further along to the west. At the moment, the whole area is in Austin PD’s massive and sprawling Baker District. Over in 10, candidate Jason Meeker said that, while the residents don’t feel underpoliced when it comes to emergencies, “There is a very strong feeling among residents that they would like to see more police in the area, not just responding to a crime.”

That’s the complexity facing neighboring 7. It has some of Austin’s most well-established middle class neighborhoods – Crestview, Allandale – but it also has some of the highest need areas of town as well. As candidate Jimmy Paver called it, “a semiaffluent district with some high needs issues.” Ultimately, District 7 comprises two very different areas of town, as highlighted when a recent Allandale neighborhood meeting referred to “Lower District 7.”

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 See also:

Chronicle:  Deliver Us From Traffic

Statesman:  Growth, Traffic Encroaching on Neighborhoods in District 7

Zandan Poll Finds Young Austinites Happy, Older Austinites Less So

Yes, I Am a Nimby

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