We have had some beautiful weather recently here in Austin -- and with any luck, we will continue to have nice weather for some of Austin's upcoming city-wide events, such as "It's My Park Day" or the Zilker Kite Festival. 

The weather also has me thinking about all the wonderful natural resources we have here in Austin and it's highlighted for me some of the hard work my colleagues and I have been doing to protect and promote our environment.

In my first term on Council, I chaired the Open Space Committee and worked with my colleagues on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Austin Community Climate Plan and increase Austin Energy's solar usage. More recently, I've overseen initiatives to bring Austin into the Biophilic Cities Network, adopt a 'Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights,' implement a planning grant from the National League of Cities' 'Connecting Children to Nature' initiative, and make it easier for new residential and commercial buildings to be retrofitted to install solar.

Going forward, I hope to build on this important work as the newly appointed chair of the Austin Energy Oversight Committee to ensure that future generations of Austin residents will continue to have the opportunity to enjoy our beautiful weather and our rich natural environment.


Leslie Pool
Council Member, District 7

In This Newsletter

Your Community Resources

Community & City News 

CodeNEXT Gears Up: City Staff Release Draft Code

The draft Land Development Code is here.
In late January, City of Austin planning staff released the first public draft of a proposed new Land Development Code.
The release of the draft code is a key step in a broader process, known as CodeNEXT, through which city staff have sought to overhaul regulations governing how private property is used and developed in Austin.

Click here to read more. 

City Service Highlight: Immigrant Affairs Resources
At last week's Council meeting, City Council approved a contract with Catholic Charities of Central Texas (CCCTX) to provide legal services and counseling for Austin residents who are immigrants.
This item supplements an existing contract with CCCTX to provide services such as running "Immigration 101" sessions, helping residents obtain legal status and authorization to work, and providing trauma counseling.
Click here to read more.

Help Keep Northwest Pool Cool!
An Allandale resident has launched a campaign to help keep Northwest Pool cool during the summer heat. The effort -- which the Allandale Neighborhood Association has endorsed -- involves raising money to purchase two aerators and donate them to the Parks and Recreation Department for use at Northwest Pool.

Click here for more information and to make a donation.
Austin Joins the 'Biophilic Cities Network'
Austin has joined the 'Biophilic Cities Network,' recognizing the work the city has done to protect its natural resources and adopt policies that promote sustainability.

As part of the organization, Austin will continue monitoring its progress toward metrics measuring how well it is doing at connecting people with healthy ecosystems.

The Biophilic Cities Network is a partnership of cities across the country dedicated to "redefining the very essence of cities as places of wild and restorative nature."

Click here to read more.

Civics Handbook:

Engaging with the State Legislature
As city workers, most of our Civics Handbook posts will naturally focus on helping you learn more about city processes and effective ways to engage with your city government. But policymaking does not stop at City Hall. Legislators at all levels of government -- local, state, and federal -- can have a big impact on our residents' lives. 
In this post, we will focus on the Texas Legislature, which meets in session every odd-numbered year for roughly five months. We will discuss how the state legislature works, identify the officials who represent you, describe how you can participate, and provide a number of helpful resources.

Click here to read more.

Community Events & Opportunities

Join your neighbors. Build your community.

Saturday, Feb. 25

Keep Northwest Park Beautiful

Community members are hosting a clean-up at Northwest Park to pick up litter and paint over graffiti.

Saturday, February 25
9 am to 12 pm
Northwest Park
7000 Ardath St.

Click here for more information.

Saturday, Feb. 25
North Shoal Creek Planning

City staff will be hosting the fifth meeting in the ongoing effort to establish a neighborhood plan for North Shoal Creek.

Saturday, February 25
9 am to 12 pm
Pillow Elementary School Cafeteria
3025 Crosscreek Dr.

Click here for more information.

Saturday, Feb. 25
CodeNEXT Community Engagement

Staff are holding meetings throughout the city to roll out the draft Land Development Code and solicit community feedback.

Saturday, February 25
1 pm to 3 pm
Lanier High School
1201 Payton Gin Rd.

Click here for more information.

Saturday, Mar. 4
Mobility Solutions Workshop

The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan and Project Connect are hosting a joint meeting to collect feedback on both initiatives.

Saturday, March 4
8:30 am to 1 pm
Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 Congress Ave.

Click here for more information.


Saturday, Mar. 4

It's My Park Day

"It's My Park Day" is a city-wide event through which thousands of volunteers across the city of Austin help improve their local parks.

Click here for more information.


Sunday, Mar. 5
Zilker Kite Festival

The Zilker Kite Festival is an annual, day-long event at Zilker Park that is free to all. The event benefits Communities in Schools of Central Texas.

Click here for more information.

Your Community Resources

Get Your 'Every Kid in a Park' Pass
The Obama Administration and the National Parks Service (NPS) launched an initiative in 2015-16 to get 'Every Kid in a Park' as part of NPS' centennial celebration.

Through this initiative, every fourth grade student has the opportunity to get an 'Every Kid in a Park' pass for free entry into the country's national parks.

This initiative is continuing through August 2017. To learn more and access a free pass for your child, click here
Introducing the 'City Round-Up' 
There's quite a lot going on at the city and even Austinites who try to stay up-to-date on city efforts and initiatives may still end up missing a lot of otherwise interesting news.
So, in an effort to keep you in-the-loop on what's happening at the city, we plan to publish regular "City Round-Up" posts on our District 7 blog. Each round-up will highlight a handful of interesting initiatives, resources, opportunities, and news in short blurbs -- and will link to additional information in case you want to learn more.

Click here to read the City Round-Up posts.
Help the City Map Mobility Concerns
Last year, City Council adopted the Vision Zero Action Plan to reduce traffic-related deaths in the city -- and then invested in the plan through the recent mobility bond.

To support these efforts, professional city staff have created a Vision Zero Input Map through which users can help them identify places in Austin that are dangerous for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and other residents of all ages and abilities.

You can access the tool online here.

Check Out Our Interactive Public Officials Map!
District 7 residents are represented by many different elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government.
Our office has created an interactive map with information on the many elected officials who represent you and your neighbors at different levels of government.

Click here to check out our interactive map.
Connect with District 7 Online!
Follow our staff on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for a behind-the-scenes look at our work. Visit our website and check out many of the resources available for you and your community!
Copyright © 2017 Council Member Leslie Pool, District 7, All rights reserved.

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