Op-ed: Ed English – When Experience Meets Leadership

Editor’s note. AustinDistrict7.org’s editorial board, consisting of neighborhood leaders from throughout the new District 7, met at the start of October to discuss a candidate endorsement, but decided not to endorse. Instead, the site has offered each candidate the opportunity to submit an endorsement by local supporters. The following endorsement was submitted by Richard Baccus from Walnut Creek/Eubank Acres and includes statements from several other people.

I spent quite a bit of time researching the candidates because I wanted to get it right.  There are many good candidates in this race, but it’s one thing to talk about change; it’s another to actually do it.  Ed English is a man of integrity, honor, and service.  He is the only District 7 candidate who took large scale action to make historic change happen as a leader of the victorious Austinites for Geographic Representation movement, known as 10-1.

In 2012, we saw tens of thousands of Austinites come together, united for a worthy common cause. The new 10-1 system’s mission is to transform the City Council into a representative body that will be more centered on the neighborhoods where we live, creating greater levels of accountability and transparency in our local government.

In that role, Ed has consistently taken the lead. He was a leading voice against the current rail bond, citing it’s “upside down priorities” and unaffordability, while his opponents sat silent.  His depth of knowledge on a vast number of community issues is impressive and his positions thoughtful, balanced, and fair.

Ed is politically independent, and this isn’t a stepping stone for a political career for him; he is a servant leader who wants to work for his community, taking no money from special interests.

As a leader, Ed was the first candidate to come out in favor of a 20% Homestead Tax Exemption.  Despite critics attempting to dismiss his idea; now most candidates across the city are supporting this idea as their own.

Ed has consistently been against corporate giveaways that increase traffic, pressure environmental resources, and leave the burden on the taxpayer.  Ed is a leader who has actually put a foot forward in getting our neighborhoods a voice, and making those who spend our taxes more accountable.

Ed English is the only candidate in District 7 who scored an “A” on ChangeAustin.org’s questionnaire.  ChangeAustin.org is an advocate for sustainable growth and affordability.  Ed, a middle class retired businessman and veteran, first hand understands the importance of protecting homeowners from being taxed out of their homes.

Even though the Austin American-Statesman has endorsed the rail bond package and a District 7 candidate that supports it as well, they still singled Ed English out as an honorable mention saying they were “impressed.”  What’s impressive is his stand against a rail package that costs too much and does too little.

Ed is not endorsed by the pro rail bond Sierra Club.

Ed is not endorsed by the pro rail bond Austin Chronicle

Ed is not endorsed by the pro rail bond Austin American-Statesman.

Ed is not endorsed by the pro rail bond Laura Morrison who sits on the current Council.

Ed is not endorsed by the insiders that have grown Austin irresponsibly being led by special interests instead of leading them.  The result?  Worse traffic and higher taxes.

Ed has not sat on bond commissions that have indebted the city and touted that as reform experience.

Ed is endorsed by real community leaders and all those who work with him in effecting real change and reform in our city.   Unlike other candidates that use terms like “lifelong resident” to soften the truth about residency.  Ed and his wife Robyn plainly say that they own their home of 31 years in Austin.  Ed has served his country, owned his own small business, and now is actively serving his community.  Candidate or not, he will always be fighting for our voice, our taxes, and our quality of life.

Here is what just a few community movers have to say about Ed:

“I heard Ed English at a candidate forum. I was so impressed by his knowledge of the issues facing our fast-growing city, and his common sense approach to proposed solutions, I found myself wishing he was running for Mayor.  I was impressed enough to donate to his campaign even though he is not in my district.  Good people with a sane, fiscally responsible approach to managing our city NEED to be on the Austin Council.  I would encourage you to listen to what he has to say and if possible support him with a donation and some time.”

-H.Sandra Chevalier-Batik

“Ed was a tireless grassroots leader for 10-1.  His efforts mobilized neighbors throughout North and Central Austin to spread the message.  The people of District 7 voted to give themselves a voice at City Hall and Ed English would be outstanding as that voice.”

Peck Young, consultant to Austinites for Geographic Representation

“I met Ed during the 10-1 movement for geographic representation.  One of the first things I noticed about him was his ability to work with people.  He actively listens and is able to build consensus with folks from all parts of town, with all different perspectives.   He worked hard because he knows that ALL of our neighborhoods and communities deserve to be truly represented at City Hall.  As an outspoken leader, he understands that effective leadership begins as a ‘bottom up’ approach.   He knows that those who live in this city working, raising a family, maintaining a home, going to school, paying bills, and property taxes, or the myriad of other tasks related to daily Austin life are best positioned to identify those things that are in need of change.”

Bruce Todd (former Mayor)

“Ed English is the most qualified candidate in the District 7 election. His experience with Austin’s new 10 – 1 will be valuable to the citizens of Austin. He is a dedicated public servant. I am honored to support him to represent my District 7.”

Dolores Ortega Carter


This is why I’m supporting Ed English in his run for my district where I own a home, operate a small business, and raise my family.  There is a difference in talking about change, and actually changing something.  That difference is Ed English.

Richard Baccus  Walnut Creek Eubank Acres


For more information, visit  http://edenglishaustindistrict7.org/