In about ten months, Austin will evolve into a new City Council elections methodology bringing a 10-1 geographic representation plan to City Hall. As the Austin City Council evolves so should our expectations for the next Mayor.
Austin is no longer the sleepy-college-town we use to be. We have all heard the statistics, every day more than 150 people move into our City. Austin is now home to nearly 850,000 people. On a daily basis we live with the reality that we may have lost touch with our community and quality of life values of protecting our environment and neighborhoods, fostering sustainability, affordability, and embracing the multicultural diversity of our City. Yes, Austin is economically strong and we are consistently ranked among the best cities in the U.S., but when long time, native Austinites can no longer afford to live and/or raise our families here; or gentrification has eroded our inner city we're long over due for some self-reflection and a plan of action.
Fundamentally, this should be led by our next Mayor who should possess certain intrinsic abilities that will allow him/her to lead. Our community deserves a leader with a vision that will inspire and take into consideration the needs of our entire community. Access to a quality of life should not be dictated by our zip code and/or which side of I-35 we reside.
Equally important are the characteristics and traits that our next Mayor should embody: Integrity, Trustworthy, Respect, Ability-to-Listen, Pragmatic, Communicator,Humble, Courageous, Innovator, Passionate, Influencer, Honest, Ability-to-Learn, Charismatic, Inclusive, Culturally-Relevant, Holistic, Savvy, Politically Reliable, and Strong.
It is said that good management is the ability to move others from Point A to Point B; and that leadership is the ability to discern where Point B should be. Our future Mayor should be the one who provides leadership and direction. A good Mayor should always exhibit a vision for the future, but having a vision is no good if the Mayor cannot facilitate the discussion to the community.
Our next Mayor should be a communicator and have the ability to listen. If one of the more effective leadership styles is the ability to envision the future, then communicating with citizens to join in that vision is critical. As a community we should also maintain a bias for action and accountability. We don't need more politicians who spend a great deal of time planning without implementing. This is not leadership.
Confidence and respect cannot be attained without your leadership being consistent. People must have confidence that their opinions and thoughts will be heard and taken into consideration.
And finally, a Mayor without integrity is not deserving of public trust.
What are your expectations of our next Mayor?