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.
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.