Council Member Pool Leads on Parks, Pools, and Libraries
The city of Austin’s first district-based City Council in more than a century passed a city budget on Thursday, including several important budget initiatives championed by Council Member Leslie Pool.
Pool’s initiatives mainly focused on ensuring that the city adopts an equitable budget that recognizes the needs of the city’s many different neighborhoods and invests in community assets, like pools, parks, and libraries.
Above: Council Member Pool speaks Friday at an Austin Interfaith press conference on the budget.
These initiatives included investing in:
Maintaining safe playground equipment
Fully restoring Austin Public Library’s hours to their pre-recession level of service
Expanding free summer camp and youth programs in underserved areas of the city
“For years, the city has underinvested in our pools, parks, and libraries,” Pool said. “This budget takes a strong first step towards fixing that and making Austin a city that works for all of our neighborhoods.”
The city’s Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is responsible for over 300 playgrounds and 50 public pool facilities across Austin – a number of which have old equipment and infrastructure that needs to be repaired or brought into alignment with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Pool successfully led initiatives to keep these assets safe and accessible by investing in PARD staff to inspect and repair city playgrounds and in much-needed repairs to the decking at Northwest Pool, one of the city’s most-used pools.
“These are the types of community assets we all grew up with,” Pool said, who chairs the Open Space, Environment, and Sustainability Council Committee. “I want to make sure we take good care of them so the next generation can grow up with them too.”
Pool said she was also proud of the other initiatives she led the way on, including:
Helping underserved areas access healthy, affordable food
Providing internship opportunities for at-risk youth
Ensuring that important meetings on rewriting the city’s land-use regulations are videotaped and made available to the public.
For a full list of Council Member Pool's budget initiatives, click here.