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Concentrating power is undemocratic.
Instead of passing new laws and regulations by consensus, the new form of city government will give the Mayor the power to veto any measure passed by the city council and overturn the will of the majority. That undermines our democratic values.
A strong mayor system UNDERMINES OUR VOICE.
Putting more power in the hands of the mayor will undermine people of color by diminishing the voices of the city council members who represent our diverse communities. Our government should represent the experiences of all citizens, not just one person
The strong mayor idea is a pet project from a handful of wealthy funders.
Sweeping changes amid the pandemic is irresponsible.
Switching to a ‘strong mayor’ form will give corporate interests and big tech company CEOs too much power and influence over Austin. They will be able to use their big donations to elect a friendly Mayor with more powers to stop new rules they don’t like. That is why Big Tech CEOs are funding the campaign to support this change
Our public health decisions need to be driven by science, not politics. Fundamentally changing how our city makes decisions in the middle of a pandemic is a costly distraction from what recovering families need.
The progressive community is opposed.
A growing list of Austin’s most progressive organizations – labor unions, workers advocates, and criminal justice groups are now united in their opposition. The Central Labor Council – a coalition of the area’s 20 labor unions, including AFSCME and Education Austin – voted unanimously to oppose the four charter amendments because they “aren’t genuine democratic reforms; each is part of a strategy designed by a small group of people to concentrate power into fewer hands.”
Amassing of power risks financial instability.
Cities with strong mayors tend to have lower bond ratings, according to Moody’s Investors Services which means higher costs for homeowners and renters alike. Affordability in Austin gets worse as your tax bill and your rent goes up to pay a higher interest rate.
Strong Mayor Cities are Less Efficient.
IBM Corp. published a report a few years ago entitled “Smarter, Faster, Cheaper — An Operations Efficiency Benchmarking Study of 100 American Cities.” The report concluded: “Cities with city manager forms of government are nearly 10% more efficient than cities with strong mayor forms of city government.”
HELPFUL LINKS TO SHARE
By The People ATX Website and Social Media Platforms
Travis County Democratic Party forum: