Austin City Council Place 1 Endorsement: Chris Riley

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We are encouraged by the fact that regardless of whether Perla Cavazos or Chris Riley is elected to fill the remainder of Councilman Lee Leffingwell's term, the City of Austin will be in good hands. Judging from the split nature that the endorsements from across Austin have run in this race, voters are enjoying the opportunity to pick a side and vision that best fits their views (as well as doing so with a minimum of personal attacks or politics). Similar to the rest of Austin, our staff has supporters on both sides of this race.

A year ago we wrote the following about our city endorsements.

The greatest challenge the city council has faced in recent years is its evolution into a mediocre, consensus driven body, often bereft of the passion, hope, and big-city vision which powers its citizens and creative economy on a daily basis. This is not to say that every member must be a champion or an advocate- it is just to say that an occasional clash of ideas based upon personal philosophy rather than personal politics would be nice.

The values expressed in that statement strongly guide our choice of Chris Riley over Perla Cavazos in this election. Our staff has met with and talked directly with the candidates on multiple occasions. We see how the candidates have reacted to questions in multiple forums. Those interactions and experiences lead us to the following conclusions.

Chris Riley wants, needs, and deserves to be on the city council. His passion for good city government is obvious. His vision for a model next-generation city that respects our environment is clear. His values are rooted in the Austin of old, the one he was born in raised in, while his education and lengthy public service give him the credibility to plan for the Austin of tomorrow. Chris Riley brings more than a new vote to the council, he brings a new perspective. He lives what he advocates.

The City Council we elect this year (combined with Randi Shade and Laura Morrison newly elected last year) has a high likelihood of governing Austin well into the next decade. Chris Riley's energy and enthusiasm for “what could be” is needed to create a working coalition that will turn the tide against mediocre, consensus driven policy bereft of imagination at city hall.

Call Chris Riley a geek, call him a nerd; either way we'd also like to call him “Councilman”.

We endorse Chris Riley for Place 1.

On the Web:

Also of Interest: Austin Contrarian Endorsement

Also of Interest: M1EK Endorsement

Members of the Burnt Orange Report staff employed by campaigns abstain from voting on those races. Endorsements are made based on a weighted consensus of the staff, which guides the type and tone of endorsement.


About Author

Burnt Orange Report

Burnt Orange Report, or BOR for short, is Texas' largest political blog, written from a progressive/liberal/Democratic standpoint.


  1. I agree
    No matter which of these 2 is elected, this seat will be in good hands. I've only met Perla twice, but she seems intelligent & passionate, and I can't think of any issue I disagree with her on. I chose to support Chris Riley in this race because he walks his talk. It was the Austin Car Share thing that really won me over. Not everyone is fit enough to bike everywhere, and Goddess knows that Capitol Metro is inadequate to be 100% of the transportation needs of anyone who wants to have any kind of social life. But the car sharing program – that is something a great number of people can do. So, it doesn't make a difference just for himself, but helps others do so, too.

    If Perla doesn't win this time, I hope she runs again. Her knowledge, interest & passion are to valuable not to have involved. But this time, I support & am volunteering for, Chris Riley.

  2. Chris Riley is an Excellent Choice
    I agree completely with your endorsement of Chris for city council.  Chris has twenty years plus history working on behalf of our city.  He knows the ins and outs of City Hall, has served on boards and commissions, as a leader of his neighborhood association and understands economic development.  

    Perla is an impressive public servant.  She will make a good elected official in the future; however, her knowledge and capabilities at this time are not close to Chris'.  

    Chris, a lifelong Austinite, will hit the ground running – no learning curve.  Good thing, we don't have time for a learning curve given the choices we face maintaining our quality of life in the face of current economic challenges.

  3. Thank You, Burnt Orange Report!
    Thanks so much. I'm really pleased to receive this endorsement, knowing how closely you guys follow local races. I've really enjoyed your work, and, as of late, interacting with your readers. I look forward to continuing this relationship for years to come.

    It's been great seeing so many of the Burnt Orange staff at UDems meetings, CCYD events, community forums, and even in our campaign office. I'm so glad to see your enthusiasm for offline involvement mirroring your great efforts online.

    And KT, when you get that first flat tire on your new bicycle, I'll be first in line to help pump it back up.

    All the best,

    Chris Riley

  4. make_it_blue on

    Great choice!
    I love Chris because I believe in his policy and I know that he has the experience and work ethic to carry out his plans.  We would all be very lucky to have Chris Riley as our next councilman.  

  5. Another Winner!
    Perla is bright–and qualified, but Riley scores well on both counts as well and has more experience in the labyrinth of Austin city government. She'll be elected, but not this time.

  6. Great choice
    but then again, I'm a transit geek so I'm biased. Both candidates would make fine council members but Chris really stands on in both his wonkishness and hands on experience helping Austin.  

  7. Chris is Legit!
    I've heard Chris speak on various occasions, and he knows EVERYTHING about Austin. He already has a proven record of service for Austin, and he knows what steps need to be taken to serve the city better. Y'all stated it perfectly in the endorsement – “his enthusiasm for what could be.” He has a vision that is backed with experience, and that's what's won me over in this race.  

  8. Great Choice!
    Perla is going to sit on the council one day – but Chris is the person we need most on the council Today. I have met few people in Austin with such extensive knowledge of the city, its issues and its politics.

    When it comes to finding innovative ways to address our traffic problems – in all parts of the city – there is no one that can touch Chris.  

  9. M. Eddie Rodriguez on

    I think Perla is the better choice.
    Too often Austin is stuck with the same line of thinking that tends to center around certain populations.

    Every segment of Austin needs a voice and I know Perla is committed to being that person.

    Her background and education tells me that she has the momentum and perspective to make Austin a better place for those who need it the most.

    I am always impressed with those of humble beginnings who able to make it and still not forget from where they came from. I think she is young enough not to be cynical and yet has enough policy experience to be able to make real changes for Austin.

    My vote is committed to Perla.

  10. Chris is the clear choice. In any other race, Perla would have
    been a nice choice, but Chris goes above and beyond on every issue.

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