Mayor Pro Tem 2021

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Greg Casar
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:20 pm

Mayor Pro Tem 2021

Post by Greg Casar » Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:54 pm

Colleagues,

I would be honored to serve as Mayor Pro Tem if elected by you. Every voice in our city should have a say in our local government. If elected Mayor Pro Tem, my commitment is to serve in pursuit of this goal.

In this pandemic, we have shown how local government can save lives when we work together. This coming year, we can address the damage caused by COVID-19, combat our persistent challenges with racial and economic inequality, address housing costs and the climate crisis, and improve everyday Austinites’ quality of life.

I know that homelessness and policing are two of the most unsettled issues in our city and that we have not yet found the path to achieving resolution on these issues. The status quo of decades past has failed us, but the present state of affairs is not acceptable either. We must house people experiencing homelessness and reform policing in a way that makes everyone more safe.

We can achieve these results by recognizing that community members come to the table with different concerns and experiences, but that the vast majority ultimately want to get to the same goal. Based on another contentious election cycle, it is clear that we must continue to advance our shared values -- but the only way forward is to bring the whole community forward along with us in new and different ways.

As District 4 Council Member, I will continue to represent my constituents directly. However, as Mayor Pro Tem, I would have new and different duties. We are greater than the sum of our parts, and as Mayor Pro Tem I would take seriously the responsibility to actively welcome diverse perspectives, encourage healthy debate, and help build the consensus necessary to address our greatest challenges in a way that makes people’s lives better.

Our challenges are not simple, but I am confident they are surmountable because of the great talent and compassion we have on the dais and in our city.

I appreciate CM-elect Fuentes, CM Renteria, CM Kitchen, and CM Pool for offering their support to me in this potential role. I would be honored to have all of your support.

-Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4

Steve Adler
Posts: 396
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:12 pm

Re: Mayor Pro Tem 2021

Post by Steve Adler » Wed Dec 16, 2020 3:34 pm

You have my support for MPT. And if you’re elected, I’ll hold you accountable to your message board post.

I will be directing my attention, over the remaining two years of my term, on joining with you and all of our colleagues in resolving the homelessness and public safety issues now before us. These two issues have such upside potential to improve the quality of life for everyone, but they have also left such division and polarization in the community. We will only get to a good place if we move forward on these issues in a way that helps bring the community together. That work needs to be our focus.

- s
Mayor

Ann Kitchen
Posts: 224
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:04 pm

Re: Mayor Pro Tem 2021

Post by Ann Kitchen » Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:26 pm

Thank you CM Casar.

I appreciate your interest in serving as MPT and your commitment to building consensus with the community and the Council to advance our shared values of housing people experiencing homelessness and ensuring public safety is approached in a way that makes everyone more safe.

We must listen to everyone in our community to resolve our challenges with homelessness, public safety, and the land development code. I am confidant that if we work together with the community, we can move beyond the polarization that has occurred and implement effective solutions.

You have my support for MPT, based on my expectation that you will move forward as you have pledged in your message board post. Thank you for your willingness and commitment to bring your energy to this consensus building and collaborative approach.

Best Regards
Ann Kitchen
City Council d5
Ann Kitchen
Council Member District 5

Delia Garza
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:20 am

Re: Mayor Pro Tem 2021

Post by Delia Garza » Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:00 pm

CM Casar,

Looks like you will soon be MPT Casar. I look forward to seeing you in this important role and you have my complete confidence. Buena suerte companero and of course reach out for any speedy/efficient meeting management tips. I'll be disappointed if you ever go past 10.


All my best,
MPT Garza
Mayor Pro Tem, District 2

Leslie Pool
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: Mayor Pro Tem 2021

Post by Leslie Pool » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:44 pm

Greg, the position of mayor pro tem is, as some point out, largely ceremonial but I see it, too, as a position of increased responsibility to the entire community. I concur with the remarks the mayor and CM Kitchen have made here in support for you as MPT. It’s imperative for us to reestablish equilibrium in our community, bring people together, heal the divisions. We can - we must - set that example in our work on the dais.

I appreciate your genuine desire to be part of that bringing together. I endorse that sentiment, and will join you in that work even as I hold you to that promise. I am looking forward to working with you on the tough issues we'll see in 2021. Resolving the homelessness, public safety, and land development code disputes means sharing in the decision-making; it’s necessary, and it’s the way to build consensus.

Relying on your pledge to build consensus and help reestablish that equilibrium we've lost, you have my support as MPT.

Thank you in advance for committing your significant energies to an inclusive, collaborative approach to our city's governance.
Leslie Pool
Council Member, District 7

Sabino Pio Renteria
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:03 am

Re: Mayor Pro Tem 2021

Post by Sabino Pio Renteria » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:30 pm

CM Casar,

I’m confident you’ll bring the same energy, passion, and advocacy you’ve shown in representing D4 to Mayor Pro Tem.

I look forward to working with you in this new leadership role as our Council undertakes the crucial task of rebuilding our community in the wake of this pandemic and continues to make informed and responsible policies to aid those suffering from homelessness throughout our city.

I’m excited to see the progress this Council will make in the New Year.

Pio
Council Member District 3

Greg Casar
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:20 pm

Re: Mayor Pro Tem 2021

Post by Greg Casar » Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:53 pm

Colleagues,

I appreciate everyone’s support and am thankful that my colleagues are willing to express confidence in my ability to unify the dias and bring our shared goals into focus in the coming year.

Shortly after my announcement, many of you began receiving calls urging you to switch your votes. As several of you have clearly communicated to me, a majority of these callers expressed concerns that this sends a message that Council is becoming too progressive. These arguments are in bad faith by some, and should be recognized for what they are: an intentional opportunity from antagonists who seek to sow division and disunity on this dais.

Others have registered concerns that having both a male Mayor and a male Mayor Pro Tem sends the wrong message to women in our city. This has not gone unnoticed by me, and has been a part of every conversation I’ve held about my candidacy in the first place.

Let me be clear, if the interest amongst my colleagues is to ensure greater female representation, you have my support. But we cannot cave into right-wing pressure from the wealthiest parts of town, simply because our Council has voted to affirm Black Lives Matter, advance labor victories, and to protect the civil rights of our homeless population. We must make it clear that we are not willing to back down if we truly believe what we are doing is right for Austinites.

I say all this, because I’ve received phone calls indicating that I should back out so that we can choose a Mayor Pro Tem from a West Austin district. I believe we are sending the wrong message in this critical time if we choose to select our Mayor Pro Tem from one of the whiter and wealthier districts, rather than from the Eastern Crescent.

Our 10-1 system was created in large part to correct historic wrongs done to my constituents, and all those on the Eastern Crescent of the city. To not select any candidate from the Eastern Crescent for Mayor Pro Tem sends a message that Council is willing to fight for equity, but only until it becomes too controversial. That’s not living up to our commitment as a City and a Council to do right by the constituents who need our advocacy the most.

With a majority female Council, I would be happy to step aside and support a female candidate for Mayor Pro Tem from the Eastern Crescent. I think that any of the four Eastern Crescent Council Members would be a strong candidate. This would send a strong message that we will unite and continue to move forward on issues of civil rights, fighting gentrification, and addressing the disastrous impact of the pandemic on people of color especially.

-Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4

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