Alexander Strenger

For

City Council District 2

Meaningful Police Reform

Focused Accountability, Community Policing and Better Training.

 

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Our City is facing challenges greater than ever before.  Affordability concerns and racial tension have plagued our otherwise amazing city for decades and the COVID-19 crisis, along with recent protests have caused these tensions to reach a boiling point.  Civil unrest and violent criminality are running rampant in Austin and it is imperative that our elected officials provide and enact meaningful solutions in order to address our City’s affordability, homelessness and policing concerns before it’s too late. 

 

Affordable.

Property taxes have increased substantially every year for over a decade, and rents increased at an even higher rate. This results in the working class being driven out of Austin; with the majority of tradesmen, city employees, teachers, artists, and healthcare workers unable to afford to live.

People in Austin are on their knees.    Business are closing forever.  A whole bunch of jobs will never come back.  And to top it off, the city is raising taxes to the highest level in its history.  I don’t know about you, but I refuse to stand for this. 

We need somebody to take a stand against the city robbing you blind.  I will do everything in my power to keep your taxes at a sustainable level.  The City must double the homestead exemption so that  homeowners can save up to 20% on their taxes and so that everyday renters are not continually being priced out of living within the City Limits. 

I will fight with every ounce of my being to preserve the American Dream of owning a single family home and I will make sure that a portion of all affordable housing built by developers goes to students, teachers, artists, healthcare workers, city employees, and blue collar professionals. 

Accessible.

We live in two different Austins. Our booming growth and bustling nightlife make the City feel like a giant playground.  However, an entirely different reality exists for many of our longtime residents (specifically in District 2).

The threat of being priced out of your home by a developer is a constant fear that exists among members of our community.  Predatory lending services (eg. pawn shops, Payday Loans, etc) are deliberately located in Black and Hispanic Communities in order to exploit the people that live there.  And a lack of proper financial knowledge makes it far too easy for our residents to be exploited.

We must to provide all people with the tools they need.  Financial education must be taught in our schools. Until financial literacy becomes a reality, I intend on conducting two town halls per month where will be teaming up with various business associations, financial experts, and start-up entrepreneurs in order to better financially empower the people of District 2. 

Everybody deserves the opportunity to prosper from our economic system and we will do our best to make that into a reality.  Like I said before, Austin’s a giant playground and ALL of us deserve a fair opportunity to play here. 

Accountable.

Rent in Austin is skyrocketing for two reasons: higher property taxes and desirability.  Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and as a result the City uses the increase in population to raise your taxes.  Your landlord then uses this tax increase to justify raising your rent.  This is why I propose a measure that compels all landlords to disclose in writing why they are choosing to raise rents upon signing or renewal. 

The people in District 2 need to understand that they have a voice and that they need to use that voice in order to fight for what they have earned.  District 2 has a voice and it’s time that the City hears us. 

Austin must do a better job of holding our police accountable for their behavior while also ensuring that public safety is not compromised.  All Police Officers should be required to have an active EMT Certification while they are employed by the City (like Firefighters and Paramedics).  We also need to minimize our use of excessive and deadly force.  That is why our police officers need to be required to attain proficiency in submission based martial arts (eg. BJJ, Wrestling, Sambo, Judo).  Yoga and mindful meditation also  need to be more accessible to our officers so that they can have a clearer mindset while out protecting and serving our neighborhoods.

Keeping #ATX Weird

As an Entrepreneur intimately connected to our vibrant nightlife by providing pedicabbing services. I am undeniably part of what defines Austin such a weirdly charismatic City.  I know what it feels like to be pushed out by mainstream policies and will work tirelessly to preserve and grow our unique culture and character.

Supporting Creatives

Designation of affordable housing specifically for artists, musicians, and other creatives at 30-50% MFI.

 

Backing Small Business

COVID-19 has presented a unique set of challenges for Small Business Owners throughout the City. Eviction moratoriums were quickly issued by City Council to prevent landlords from evicting tenants during this unprecedented situation. Little to no relief has been provided for the lifeblood of our City – our diverse and eclectic community of Small Business Owners. I will do my part to prevent this systemic injustice in the future. Without our Small Businesses, Austin would lose a major part of makes us a unique City to call home.

 

 

 

Community Involvement

 

Since repealing the camping ordinance, our homeless population has skyrocketed. Homelessness has increased by over 40% this year alone.  This has also brought along an influx of garbage, illicit drug use, and other behaviors that are harmful to public health and the environment.  While I feel strongly that we need to provide care and compassion towards all people experiencing homelessness, that does not mean that we should enable vagrancy or ignore the clear problems that have arisen.
Offer Tax Credits For Business Community
Every dollar that a business spends feeding, providing clothes, or removing trash from a homeless camp should qualify for an equal tax exemption from either it’s sales or property tax obligations.For example, if Company X spends $10,000 this year on helping the homeless, than that would be $10,000 less that they would have to pay in taxes the next year in the form of a credit.
Use Parking Meters To Donate To Non-Profits
Public parking should offer the opportunity to donate as much money as you like to a homeless services organization selected by the City’s Homelessness Advocate.  This will encourage ALL Austinites to take an active role in providing the essential services that our homeless need in order to get off and stay off the streets.  Who knows, it may even encourage people to actually pay for parking!
Remove Double Standards for Littering
The live music capital of the world is now the homeless capital of the Southwest and we have the influx of litter to prove it.  The amount of refuse that covers our streets is undeniably detrimental to public health, our environment, and every residence quality of life.  We need to address this issue now and clean up our streets immediately. Arrests should only be made if the occupants refuse to clean up their campsites or living space after multiple warnings.