Burnt Orange Report unanimously endorses a YES vote on Proposition 4, which will provide geographic, balanced, inclusive and fair representation on our Austin City Council.
Few people would argue that Austin's current at-large system of municipal government best addresses the needs of our vibrant and rapidly growing city. We will be better served with a larger council comprised of both district and at-large representatives. The current Gentleman's Agreement marginalizes minority candidates, and our all at-large system has resulted in the majority of council members coming from a few hallowed West Austin zip codes. Currently, no member of the Austin City Council resides south of the Colorado River.
Proponents of a hybrid system argue that if a constituent is at odds with their own district representative, they may be out of luck getting City Hall to address their needs. At-large representatives provide an additional option for those who do not see eye-to-eye with their district member on a given issue. Additionally, some issues — such as traffic, waste, water, and utilities — can benefit from a city-wide perspective other than that of the mayor.
If our goal is to increase representation in terms of geography and diversity, a hybrid plan accomplishes both through the creation of district seats and preservation of at-large seats, which can support the election of disparate minority groups.
The current system is broken. Burnt Orange Report unanimously endorses a YES vote on Proposition 4 to create a hybrid Austin City Council.
Early Voting: Monday October 22 – Friday November 2 — Election Day: Tuesday, November 6
Click here for a map of Travis County Early Voting Locations. For all other counties, please contact your County Clerk's office.
Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement. Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff employed by campaigns abstain from voting on those races.