Happy Holidays!

Before 2020 is out, we would like to thank all of the donors, volunteers, and other supporters who aided our organization’s work through one of the most difficult years Austin has faced. You are making a difference!

With your support, we won the trial over City Hall’s controversial rezoning plan, forcing Austin officials to follow state law by notifying local residents of proposed zoning changes and recognizing their right to protest them. We also spent the year increasing awareness of the real estate industry’s relentless drive to gentrify East and Southeast Austin, helping diverse communities across the city connect with one another.

Finally, we succeeded in raising all but $6,000 of the funds necessary to defend Judge Jan Soifer’s protest-rights order from the City of Austin’s controversial and costly appeal. Please help us cover our remaining legal expenses by making a donation today!

Unfortunately, Mayor Steve Adler and his allies on the Austin City Council show no interest in revising our land development code (LDC) using a consensus-driven process involving neighborhoods and local businesses. They have also repeatedly broken their promises to enact an effective anti-displacement program for low- and middle-income Austinites threatened by gentrification.

Our greatest hope for 2021 is an end to the COVID-19 pandemic—but here are five more wishes we have for our community in the forthcoming year:

  1. Respect existing residents. City Hall must start respecting the views of neighborhood residents and locally owned businesses, even when those views may get in the way of plans of land developers.
  2. Be inclusive. If City Hall restarts the LDC rewrite, it must do so using an inclusive, consensus-driven process.
  3. Recognize state-mandated protest rights. Under Texas law, property owners have the right to be notified about proposed zoning changes and the right to protest them. Local officials must recognize these rights and stop all attempts to thwart them.
  4. Place a moratorium on gentrification. City Hall must place a legal moratorium on upzoning in areas of Austin already experiencing gentrification.
  5. Enact anti-displacement programs. City Hall must enact the anti-displacement measures prescribed by The People’s Plan, protecting low- and middle-income residents from being displaced from neighborhoods they built.

Together we can build an Austin for everyone!