By Ed English
Candidate for City Council District 7
It is with great pride and anticipation of a bright future for Austin under a newly created structure for the Austin City Council that I announce to the citizens of Austin and City Council District 7 my decision to become a candidate for the position of Council Member, District 7.
As a 31 year resident of north Austin, I’ve seen a lot of changes over those years. Some for the better, some not. We have a historic opportunity to elect a City Council this November that should remedy a decades old problem. That problem being a lack of geographically balanced representation. As a long term, politically aware and involved individual I believe I have a very good understanding and feel for the issues that face Austin as a whole and District 7 in particular. That said, I also realize that each neighborhood within District 7 may share concerns that other neighborhoods within the district have but with a different order of priority. In addition, a district composed of 80,924 residents (according to the census data used by the ICRC in drawing the district boundaries) will with certainty have some issues that exist in one part of the district and not in others. I have for some time been seeking out the thoughts, concerns and suggestions of individuals and groups across the district from one end to the other. The rational behind this research is simple, and it is rooted in my view of what constitutes effective leadership.
Effective leadership begins as a “bottom up” approach. It is my belief that those who live in this city, working, raising a family, maintaining a home, going to school, paying bills and property taxes and/or the myriad of other tasks related to daily Austin life are best positioned to identify those things that are in need of change. These same individuals are often the best source of workable suggestions for solutions to those aspects of life in Austin that need change. Austinites must live with the consequences of decisions made by our City Council for better or worse. Those qualities we treasure as part of the Austin lifestyle should be protected and promoted. Those aspects of life in Austin that prevent the city from being the best it can be for ALL of Austin are reaching critical and crisis points in time. Effective leadership from a City Council member must be based upon an honest, open minded, attentive and receptive approach to hearing the concerns and suggestions from residents of the district AND balancing those in a cooperative and coalition building manner with council members from other districts.
I’m currently refining the platform for my campaign. This platform will of course be in part based upon my experiences as a long term resident of Austin but will for the most part be based upon the sincere heartfelt input I’m regularly receiving from across the district. As that platform becomes better defined based upon citizen input, I will be submitting additional letters and articles for review and consideration. Please feel free to email me with your concerns, suggestions, expressions of support or whatever you feel is important to you. I more than welcome the input. If elected, this open door policy will stand without compromise.
A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT ME
I was born in Freeport, Texas and raised in the small south Texas town of Falfurrias. After graduating high school there, I enlisted in the Navy. I am a Vietnam Era veteran. My principle duty station was Naval Air Station, Kingsville. Texas where I was a flight instructor/flight simulator operator. After the service I finished my degree at Texas A&I (now known as Texas A&M Kingsville), and earned a BA in Political Science. I graduated Summa Cum Laude and was ranked first in my graduating class. My working career spanned almost 30 years and was predominantly focused on sales and marketing for a variety of companies. I am now retired but occasionally take on a contract position. My wife Robin and I have been married for 34 years, and she is an elementary counselor employed by AISD. We have been Austinites for 31 years and have lived in the same home in Milwood for 30 years. I worked almost daily for the better part of 2 years as a key participate with Austinites for Geographic Representation to get 10-1 on the ballot, passed and implemented. I voluntarily took on the responsibilities of gathering petition signatures, forming a sizeable volunteer group to cover a very large section of north Austin to block walk prior to the November 2012 election and also monitored the progress of the implementation of the 10-1 system by the Applicant Review Panel and Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.
Candidate for Austin City Council, District 7