The City Council voted today to place an 8 single-member district and 2 at-large option on the November ballot. This is in addition to the 10 single-member/’Independent’ re-districting commission/various other implementationalia plan that Austinites for Geographic Representation (AGR) petitioned onto the ballot.
Austin voters that want an alternative to the status quo can choose to vote for either plan or for both. The majority-surpassing proposition that gets the most votes will be implemented.
Some folks are adamant that an exclusively SMD system is the only acceptable alternative to the exclusively at-large status quo. I prefer 8-2-1 overall for several reasons and hope Austinites that favor adding substantial geographic representation but are not absolutely devoted to an exclusively SMD system will consider voting for both.
I intend to vote for 8-2-1 and against 10-1.
That’s interesting, Chris. Your comments on SMD parochialism and the process of researching this topic as a result of your arguments made me a lot less enamored of an exclusively SMD approach.
I am also for 8-2-1; although I wish both plans would make the 1 something more than it is today – just a councilmember with additional duties of a ceremonial nature.
In total agreement on the need for a strong mayor. I hope a victory by either of the geographic representation plans might add a little bit more urgency and heft to having a truly citywide leader with veto power, and some minimal bureaucracy that allows real oversight over the CM.