I hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday season! Coming off of a very busy season, my staff and I enjoyed a bit of time off ourselves for the holidays and now we’re now back to work at City Hall, ready for all that 2017 holds for our city and our district.

Council spent a very productive two days together last week with senior professional staff and consultants with expertise in municipal governments to rethink our approach to budgeting and decision-making. I was impressed to learn that the consultants are donating their time to the City -- that’s a generous gift and I much appreciate their insights and input.

In our first Council budgets over the last two years, my colleagues and I have targeted major investments in transportation and mobility infrastructure; in parks, pools, libraries, and community assets; and in renewable energy resources, especially augmenting our purchase of solar and wind alternative energy sources and focusing on reducing air pollution. We also enacted the first major homestead exemption and lowered energy rates for city residents. 

We adopted new protections for our city's most vulnerable residents, new ethics rules and reporting for lobbyists and political campaigns, and sought new ways for our residents to engage in their city government.

Now, as we start a new year, I'm looking forward to the things we can accomplish together to maintain our quality of life and ensure Austin is a place where all of our neighbors can live and thrive. This coming year, I plan to continue focusing on the pressing needs of managing our growth and making Austin more affordable, and also to find new ways to help homeless families, ensure parks sustainability, and improve outreach and public education on historic preservation.

As always, I am honored and humbled by the trust District 7 residents have placed in me to represent you on Austin City Council, and I look forward to working with you over the next several years to continue to improve the city we all love.


Leslie Pool
Council Member, District 7

In This Newsletter

Your Community Resources

Community & City News 

Keep Our Pools Open, Help Recruit Lifeguards
The Parks & Recreation Department (PARD) is ramping up its lifeguard recruiting efforts for the coming season – and needs your help to get the word out!

Residents can play a key role in helping ensure PARD's efforts are successful by spreading the word and encouraging potential lifeguard recruits to apply early. Each new recruit brings the City of Austin closer to being able to fully staff our community pools.

Click here to read more. 

Taking "Archer's Challenge:"
Learning About Challenges Facing Neighbors with Disabilities
Before the holidays, Archer Hadley, a local disability rights advocate and member of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, brought his “Archer’s Challenge” to City Hall.

The goal: to help policymakers understand the challenges facing people who live with disabilities in our community. 

Read more about Archer's Challenge and District 7 residents living with disabilities here.
City Announces New Artist-in-Residence Program 

The City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division, part of the Economic Development Department, announced the launch of the City's first Artist-in-Residence program.

Chosen from a competitive field of staff-generated proposals in the City’s Idea Accelerator initiative, the nine-month pilot program will embed an artist within a City department to help resolve problems, provide innovative or new process improvements, and engage residents around community issues in creative ways.
Read more about the program and how to apply here.
Austin Receives Grants to Help Homeless Residents
Last year, Austin made major strides in reducing veteran homelessness. This year, Austin is already taking some big steps toward helping homeless youth.

So far, Austin has won two major grants. The first, $1.5 million over three years from Bloomberg Philanthropies, will improve the city's homelessness services by improving how it collects and analyzes relevant data. Click here for more information.

The second, a federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant of $5.2 million to Austin and Travis County will go toward building a robust, collaborative system in which different governmental agencies and non-profits will work together to end youth homelessness.

The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) will lead the implementation of this HUD grant as the lead agency of the Austin/Travis County Continuum of Care. Click here for more information.


Austin wins two major grants to help the homeless.

Civics Handbook:

Engaging with City Policymaking
City Council sets city policy on many different issues, from parks to public safety to land use and much, much more. These policies help shape what kind of city Austin is today and what kind of city it will be tomorrow – so it is important for residents to stay informed and to participate in city policymaking on the issues they care about.
However, staying in the loop on what is happening at the city can be daunting. Council is constantly thinking through whether to adopt new policies on this, amend old policies on that, or take other important actions. With so much going on, how can someone keep up with it all?

Click here to find out.

Community Events & Opportunities

Join your neighbors. Build your community.

Thursdays in January
Healthcare Enrollment Assistance

Secure Your Health is providing free assistance for Affordable Care Act enrollment, CHIP Medicare, and food stamps. Set an appointment by calling 512-386-7777.

Thursdays in January
By Appointment: 512-386-7777.
Asian-American Resource Center
8401 Cameron Rd.

Click here for more information.

Online through January
American Center Survey

The Asian-American Resource Center is seeking feedback for a community engagement survey open through the end of January 2017.

The survey results will help the AARC improve its planning and communication.

Click here to take the online survey.

Click here for more info on the AARC.

Friday, Jan. 20

Ramsey Park Clean-Up/Fun Run

Community members are hosting a morning run in which participants can help collect trash and clean up as they run. The clean-up/fun run will be held at Ramsey Park in the Rosedale neighborhood.

Friday, January 20
6 am to 9 am
Ramsey Park
4301 Rosedale Ave.

Click here for more information.

Saturday, Jan. 21
North Shoal Creek Planning

City staff will be hosting the fourth meeting in the ongoing effort to establish a neighborhood plan for North Shoal Creek. This meeting will discuss "the elements of community character and built environment."

Saturday, January 21
9 am to 12 pm
Pillow Elementary School Cafeteria
3025 Crosscreek Dr.

Click here for more information.

Saturday, Jan. 21
Tet Festival

The Vietnamese-American Community of Austin, TX (VACAT) is hosting its 18th Annual Tet Celebration. Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, is an important holiday in Vietnamese culture.

Saturday, January 21
10 am to 5 pm | 7 pm to 12 am
Travis Expo Center - Leudecke Arena
7311 Decker Ln.

Click here for more information.

Thursday, Jan. 26
Tea Swap

The Asian-American Resource Center is hosting a tea swap event in which tea connoisseurs and tea amateurs alike can attend and try delicious teas. Space is limited. Attendees can RSVP online.

Thursday, January 26
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Asian-American Resource Center
8401 Cameron Rd.

Click here for more information.

Through Feb. 2
Women Hall of Fame Nominations

The City of Austin Commission for Women is accepting nominations for its annual Women Hall of Fame. 

Click here for more information and to nominate someone.

Through April
Tax Preparation Assistance

Volunteers with Foundation Communities are providing free tax preparation assistance to those who meet certain criteria.

Click here for more on eligibility, locations, and other information.

Your Community Resources is Ready for Your Phone 
Last September, District 7 rolled out the new constituent services website, featuring many different tools and resources that can help you learn more about your community and engage with city services and policymaking.

Now, our staff have finished up optimizing the site for mobile devices, so you can more easily navigate it on your cell phone.

Click here to visit the site -- and make sure you check back regularly for new content!

District 7 Community Calendar

There are lots of great events and opportunities in District 7 – from ways to engage with the city government to civic association meetings.

To help you keep track of all these opportunities, our staff has put together a District 7 Community Calendar.

Click here to check out the calendar – and then share it with your neighbors! 
Breaking Down the Austin Budget
This in-depth, interactive infographic takes a look at how the City of Austin writes its budget and what investments it made in the current city budget.

Currently, only the section exploring the city's budgeting processes is available -- be sure to check back regularly for updates!

Click here to check it out! 

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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