Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

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Colleen Pate
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2023 1:22 pm

Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Colleen Pate »

Colleagues—

As indicated in my previous message board post, I believe that addressing climate in our city is a top priority for this council, and I appreciate the passion of our council members.

I also appreciate that we’ve all heard from many about needs they want addressed in a bond election.

In order to provide a thoughtful and deliberate process, I intend to bring a resolution directing the city manager to work on a comprehensive bond package that would be presented to the voters no later than November 2026. Included in this comprehensive package would be a bond initiative related to climate.

The resolution will also direct the manager to bring back a Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program that will necessarily include the climate bond initiative that will be part of the comprehensive bond program.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 85733.docx

I would like to invite you to join as a co-sponsor to this item. Thank you all for your service and attention to a very important issue.

Kirk
On behalf of Mayor Watson
Chief of Staff, Mayor Watson's Office
Jose Chito Vela
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:16 am

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Jose Chito Vela »

Thank you for this resolution, Mayor. Please add me as a co-sponsor.

Chito
Leslie Pool
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Leslie Pool »

Mayor, please add me as a co-sponsor as well. Thanks for bringing this IFC.

Leslie
Leslie Pool
Mayor Pro Tem
Council Member, District 7
Zo Qadri
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2023 12:46 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Zo Qadri »

Mayor,

Thank you for your leadership. I believe that a comprehensive investment approach is key to combat climate change. I especially look forward to seeing how we can advance our multimodal mobility goals, particularly with Safe Streets Austin's CityLeap Initiative.

Please add me as a co-sponsor.

Best
Zo
Council Member, District 9
Natasha Harper-Madison
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:52 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Natasha Harper-Madison »

Good afternoon, all.
After careful consideration, I plan to support your approach Mr. Mayor and would like to join my colleagues and be added as a co-sponsor.
Addressing climate change requires coordinated efforts beyond our city limits and a thoughtful timeframe will enable us to foster regional collaboration with Travis County and our state delegation. Regional consensus could grant us the opportunity to set a precedent for comprehensive climate policy across Texas.
Additionally, this extended timeframe is essential to settle ongoing shared infrastructure projects and initiatives, such as the Northeast Planning District. It is important that we remain supportive of our current environmental investments and projects, ensuring continuity, attention and resources.
Working together to create a healthier future for our loved ones, our community, and our future generations is one of many opportunities I look forward to.
-NHM
Natasha Harper-Madison
Council Member District 1
Ryan Alter
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Ryan Alter »

Since beginning this process, my goal has always been the same – What can we do as a City to protect this special place we call home today, tomorrow, and for generations to come? I am encouraged that this conversation, which had not been mentioned in future bond discussions, is now taking such a prominent role. To that end, Mayor I would like to be added as a co-sponsor and look forward to the Council and community working together to get this done in a detailed, thoughtful, and expeditious manner.

In the meantime, my co-sponsors and I believe it is important to share the priorities that we have been working on that were to be funded by a variety of methods, not just GO bonds, so that it can remain part of the conversation envisioned in your resolution about where we go from here to protect our environment:

1. Land acquisition that makes meaningful progress towards achieving the land acquisition goal set forth in the Austin Climate Equity Plan that can achieve multiple goals, including water quality and supply preservation, flood prevention, carbon sequestration, open space for parkland use, promotion of local food production, and additional deployment of local solar (EIP Recommendation WL3);
2. Water conservation investments that accelerate and expand Austin Water Utility’s five-year plans for growing the centralized reclaimed water system and replacing existing pipes that have a high risk of leaking;
3. Tree planting including necessary planning to advance Austin’s 50% tree canopy goal, heat resilient infrastructure, and other green infrastructure (EIP Recommendations O9, WL1, WL4, and JSC Recommendation 28);
4. Local solar and battery storage at City-facilities at a level that fully offsets the City’s electricity usage (JSC Recommendation 10);
5. Gap funding for capital projects that reduces carbon emissions from concrete or other sources (EIP Recommendation O11 and JSC Recommendation 14);
6. Flood mitigation projects that could commence construction by July 1, 2025 (EIP Recommendations O13, O14, and CR4);
7. Matching funds for federal grants on sustainability and resilience programs (EIP Recommendation CE7);
8. Charging infrastructure at City facilities to advance the decarbonization of City vehicles and high-emissions equipment that could break ground by July 1, 2025 (EIP Recommendation CO6 and JSC Recommendation 31); and
9. Sustainability and resilience of City facilities that reduce water usage and provide additional climate resilience to extreme temperatures (EIP Recommendations CO1-3, and CR7).

We have always wanted this package to consist of projects that benefit the entire community and that we as a Council could rally around to support. The reality of open meetings rules has unfortunately prohibited some of those conversations and collaboration, which is why we picked from priorities identified in Council-adopted and community-vetted plans.

I look forward to working with all of you moving forward to make the sustained investments necessary to make Austin the sustainable, green city we all want it to be.

Ryan

Environmental Investment Plan memo including staff recommendations (EIP) and Joint Sustainability Committee (JSC): https://services.austintexas.gov/edims/ ... ?id=429602
Council Member, District 5
Jose Velasquez
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:35 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Jose Velasquez »

Thank you for this necessary resolution, Mr. Mayor. And thank you for your leadership on this issue.
Please add me as a co-sponsor.

- CMJV
Council Member, District 3
Paige Ellis
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:37 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Paige Ellis »

We certainly need a robust response to climate-related disasters, and I appreciate this Council’s intent to work on a bond which will protect our constituents moving forward and is also responsive to the impacts of previous damage.

I want to thank CM Ryan Alter for his leadership when he identified this concept. There are many great ideas recommended in the Joint Sustainability Committee Report, and I know we will land on a thorough bond package that serves all parts of Austin and is reflective of the varying needs of our constituents.

I’d like to be added as a cosponsor to the Mayor’s item so that we as a dais can weigh in on the content of the bond proposal together and the timeline for delivery.

-Paige Ellis
Paige Ellis
City Council District 8
Ryan Alter
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Ryan Alter »

Mayor,
I wanted to request a modification to the posting language to make it consistent with what I believe your intent to be as it relates to the timing discussed in your post and resolution. The language of the resolution and your post mention an election “no later than November 2026,” but the posting language is specific to “a November 2026 general obligation bond election.” I would like to ask for the posting language to match the resolution language and state “Approve a resolution related to a comprehensive implementation program and comprehensive bond package program for a general obligation bond election to occur no later than November 2026.”

Ryan
Council Member, District 5
Colleen Pate
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2023 1:22 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Colleen Pate »

Thank you for this feedback. I have shared this language with city staff, and the posting will be updated before today's agenda release.

Kirk
On Behalf of Mayor Watson
Chief of Staff, Mayor Watson's Office
Jose Chito Vela
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 8:16 am

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Jose Chito Vela »

Thanks to CM Ryan Alter for sparking this important conversation. His suggestion of "no later than November 2026" language is a good one. A public process reviewing the various planning documents/projects and suggesting possible climate bond investments could be ready for the November 2025 ballot. Travis County passed both parks and transportation bonds totalling about $500 million in November 2023 with 75% of the vote.

I also strongly support CM Qadri's suggestion of using the climate bond to advance our multi-modal mobility goals. District 4 has numerous gaps in its sidewalk and bicycle network which, if connected, would shift trips from automobiles to walking/biking. Investments in our pedestrian/bike network are some of the most efficent and effective ways to reduce our carbon emmissions.

Chito
Colleen Pate
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2023 1:22 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Colleen Pate »

Based upon prior message board posts and community input, I have made some changes to the resolution for a collaborative effort. Attached is version 2.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 172145.pdf

Thanks,
Kirk

On behalf of Mayor Watson
Chief of Staff, Mayor Watson's Office
Alison Alter
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Alison Alter »

Mayor Watson,

I understand that you are currently in the process of publishing another version of this resolution. In addition to the plans that you have cited in your draft Version 2 above, I’d like to see if you are amenable to including the below plans, as well:

-the forthcoming Austin-Travis County Food Plan
-PARD’s Long Range Plan and Land Management Plan
-Austin-Travis County Community Wildfire Protection Plan
-Urban Forest Plan
-Heat Resilience Playbook

Best,

Council Member Alison Alter
Council Member, District 10
Ryan Alter
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Ryan Alter »

As I mentioned in today’s work session, I would like to propose the inclusion of language that subjects the Bond Advisory Task Force to the eligibility and ethical rules applicable to other boards and commissions, with a specification concerning individuals who have a potential conflict of interest based on their employment or involvement with organizations that have received prior bond funding. I hope this language is acceptable for inclusion in the resolution and appreciate your consideration.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 152056.pdf

- Ryan
Council Member, District 5
Colleen Pate
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2023 1:22 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Colleen Pate »

Council:

I am posting version 2 of item 93; it includes proposed amendments posted on the message board yesterday by CM Alison Alter and CM Ryan Alter.

This also includes changes from the first version that law has recommended. The primary difference that law recommended includes greater detail regarding the Bond Election Advisory Task Force. It is now referenced in the “whereas” clauses and the plan would be to have the Council bring forward a resolution later creating the Task Force with descriptions of items such as membership, duration and areas of focus. My proposal is that we do that in a collaborative process utilizing the message board by the August 29th meeting.

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 165107.pdf

Thanks,
Kirk

On behalf of Mayor Watson
Chief of Staff, Mayor Watson's Office
Leslie Pool
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Comprehensive Climate Implementation Program/Comprehensive Bond Package for 2026

Post by Leslie Pool »

Mayor, thanks for the updated draft. I especially appreciate the additional Whereas around the Bond Election Advisory Task Force. Creating that community task force is a key element of this effort. I would very much like to lead on bringing the resolution creating the BEATF that our legal staff is recommending and intend to put forth a resolution by the end of this week.

Appreciate everyone's work!

Leslie
Leslie Pool
Mayor Pro Tem
Council Member, District 7
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