Meet The 2018 Austin City Council Candidates: District 3

Oct 3, 2018

Six candidates are running for the Austin City Council District 3 seat. The district includes parts of East and Southeast Austin, much of it east of I-35. A majority-minority area, the population of District 3 is about 62 percent Latino. It’s also a district made up mostly of renters, with a median household income of $29,430. The city as a whole has a median household income of $52,460.

Watch a forum with the District 3 candidates:

Pio Renteria at KUT's District 3 forum.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Sabino "Pio" Renteria

The incumbent council member, Sabino “Pio” Renteria, bills himself as a “lifetime citizen” of District 3. Council Member Renteria was involved with a number of community board and neighborhood groups before being elected to the District 3 seat in 2014. He also serves on the Capital Metro Board of Directors. 

Susana Almanza at KUT's District 3 forum.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Susana Almanza

Susana Almanza is a longtime neighborhood activist who has served on a number of city boards and commissions. She is director of the local nonprofit PODER, People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources. Almanza is also Renteria's. She previously challenged him for the District 3 seat in 2014. 

James Valadez at KUT's District 3 forum.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

James Valadez

James Valadez is an Austin native and real estate broker. Valadez currently serves on the city's Board of Adjustment, a position he was appointed to by Renteria. 

Jessica Cohen at KUT's District 3 forum.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Jessica Cohen

A Houston native, Jessica Cohen has spent most of her adult life in District 3. Cohen is a network security administrator. She also has 24 years of experience in public service, working as an emergency medical technician. 

Justin Jacobson at KUT's District 3 forum.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Justin Jacobson

Justin Jacobson is a restaurant worker who has been vocal about growing affordability struggles throughout the city. Jacobson's family has lived in Austin for generations. 

Amit Motwani at KUT's District 3 forum.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Amit Motwani

Amit Motwani is the chief information officer for the United Way for Greater Austin. He has previously worked as the director of education and social services for the local nonprofit El Buen Samaritano and as a GED instructor with LifeWorks Austin.

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KUT has partnered with the Austin Monitor, Glasshouse Policy and A Functional Democracy to host a series of candidate forums this month. You can come out to the District 3 forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Tamale House East on East Sixth Street. RSVP here.

Got questions for the candidates? Submit them below, and we may ask them at the forum. 

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