Expanding Equitable Access to BOA

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Lauren Hartnett
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed May 22, 2019 2:13 pm

Expanding Equitable Access to BOA

Post by Lauren Hartnett » Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:12 pm

On behalf of MPT Harper-Madison:


One of my favorite things about city government is the many avenues and opportunities it offers in the way of civic engagement. Our democracy is at its best and most equitable when it is powered by the full diversity of our kaleidoscopic community. In my mind’s eye, our many boards and commissions are collectively one of the most important vehicles we have for promoting participation and developing a bench of emerging leaders.

On this evening, I want to single out one board member in particular for her service. I appointed Yasmine Smith to serve as the District 1 representative on the Board of Adjustments in early 2019. Tonight marked her final meeting in that role. In the past two years, she brought to the BOA a passionate and rigorous commitment to equity. She has been intent on making the BOA more accessible to lower-income residents, and I am grateful that she was able to play a leading role in the crafting of a recommendation recently approved by the full board that offers policy ideas for Council to consider. The full text of that document is here: http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=352907.

I look forward to bringing these recommendations forward for own deliberations soon. In the meantime, I once again would like to thank Yasmine Smith, her fellow board members, and all of our all-volunteer appointees to our boards and commissions. Their work often flies under the radar, but it is plays an absolutely vital role in our local democracy.

Kind regards,
Policy Director