Most of us are familiar with the high profile races being decided in the upcoming election, but did you know that voters will also be deciding whether or not to approve funding for capital improvements in city infrastructure? This year voters will have the choice whether or not to support $925 million dollars in investment in city infrastructure spread out over seven different propositions. Austin Parks Foundation is supporting two of these propositions in particular – Propositions B and C.
Wait, where did these Propositions come from and how do they work?
City Council created a citizen-led Bond Election Advisory Task Force in 2016 to work with city staff and the public to study Austin’s needs. They then proposed projects to City Council to consider for bond funding in the 2018 election. Austin City Council voted in August to put 7 Propositions, A through G, before voters for their consideration to fund reinvestments into many kinds of existing infrastructure. You can read more on each bond proposition here. General obligation bonds – the type of bond before voters this election – are like loans you or I might take out for municipalities, except that they must get voter-approval before doing so. They are paid back over a 20+ year timeframe, generally by property tax revenue collected by the city.
What are Propositions B & C?
Propositions B & C would fund improvements to Austin’s parks, pools, trails and cultural centers, helping us preserve what makes Austin special for current and future Austinites.
Proposition B includes $81.5 million for repairs, renovations, and improvements to:
- Emma S. Barrientos Mexican-American Cultural Center
- George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural, and Genealogy Center
- Asian American Resource Center
- Mexic-Arte Museum
- Dougherty Arts Center.
Proposition C includes $149 million to:
- acquire new parkland in areas without access to parks
- fund aquatics improvements
- develop and improve existing parkland
- create better ADA-accessibility
- improve infrastructure such as playscapes, trails and athletic fields.
Care about parks? Vote!
Our Parks and Recreation Department has been underfunded through the years. It currently has a rolling needs assessment totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. If we want to keep and maintain our parks, pools, trails, and open spaces, we need to step up to the plate and support this desperately needed funding. As Austin continues to grow, it’s more important than ever that we protect our parks and make sure that all Austinites have access to open, green space to meet their neighbors, exercise and take part in a healthy lifestyle, and build community. We hope you’ll support our parks with your vote! Early voting runs October 22-November 2, and Election Day is November 6. You can find the closest polling place to you here.