August Advocacy Update: Your Voice Matters!

AustinParksFoundation APF News, City Budget, Park Advocacy, Support Our Parks

It’s been a busy few weeks at City Hall! Back from a quick break in July, City Council has been working on all things bond, budget and beyond in these first few weeks of August. Read on to learn more about what they’ve been up to and how you can help parks receive more funding this Fall!

Final Vote on Bond Propositions

On August 9th, City Council took their final vote to set bond propositions on the November ballot, totaling $925 million in potential funding for capital projects throughout the city. Thanks to your advocacy, parks fared very well in the bond development process and are set to receive $149 million for park improvements & parkland acquisition and $81.5 million for investments in our cultural and arts centers. If you haven’t already, make sure you are registered to vote by October 9th so you can support parks at the ballot box this November!

First Draft of FY19 Budget

On August 6th, City Manager Spencer Cronk released his first budget and presented it to the City Council. Thanks to the work of parks advocates, the Fiscal Year 2019 budget includes significant increases for the Parks and Recreation Department. However, there’s work to be done to make sure City Council approves these additions and other critical items deserving of funding. We hope that you’ll join us on August 22nd and August 30th at the budget hearings being held at City Hall to urge City Council to fund critical needs in our parks system – see the calendar for more details!

Your Voice Matters

Both bond and budget funding will address far-too-long deferred maintenance in our beloved parks system. Thank you to each and everyone one of you that joined us at a meeting, contacted your City Council member, or talked with your friends and neighbors about these important issues. Parks are a big part of what makes Austin special, and while the needs are many, we simply can’t afford to lose our parks. Below are some immediate actions you can take to make sure our parks are here for the next generations:

  1. Register to vote – you must register by October 9th
  2. Go to the polls for the parks on November 6th (or during Early voting starting October 22nd)
  3. Send City Council a note about the importance of parks funding in the FY19 city budget (use our sample message below!)
  4. Join us at City Hall on August 22nd and 30th

Sample Message to City Council

My name is [your name here], and I’m a resident of [your district here]. Parks are important to me, and that’s why I’m asking you to support Austin Parks Foundation’s ask for better parks funding in the FY 2019 budget. Parks matter to me because []

Every Austinite should have access to a safe, well-maintained park. Please support APF’s budget ask, and help keep Austin special by making our parks the best they can be!