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Mayoral, City Council Forums Get Going

Council candidates face questions this weekend.
Photo courtesy
Council candidates face questions this weekend.

For a city that doesn’t really turn out for local elections – try 13% of registered voters last mayoral contest – Austin sure hosts a bunch of local election forums.

There’s been a smattering of events already, but a slate of high-profile endorsement discussions and forums beginning this weekend reminds us that the mayoral and City Council election, scheduled May 12, will be here sooner than we think.

Here’s a list of forums occurring next week, with descriptions pulled from the event organizers. In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the 14 candidates vying for mayor and three council seats.

Austin Progressive Coalition (University Democrats and Central Austin Democrats)

Saturday, March 24th, 10 a.m-1 p.m., Gearing Hall, Room 105, on the UT Campus

University Democrats and Central Austin Democrats will vote on endorsements at the end of the forum. Candidates winning the endorsement of both organizations will be endorsed by the Austin Progressive Coalition. Candidates for Mayor have 10 minutes to speak, followed by joint Q&A. Candidates for City Council have 5 minutes to speak, followed by joint Q&A. 10:00 AM - Socializing and Introductions 10:30 AM - Sheryl Cole 10:35 AM - Shaun Ireland 10:40 AM - Place 6 Q&A 10:50 AM - Bill Spelman 10:55 AM - John Rubine 11:00 AM - Robert Prudente 11:05 AM - John Duffy 11:10 AM - David Conley 11:15 AM - Dominic Chavez 11:20 AM - Tina Cannon 11:25 AM - Place 5 Q&A 11:35 AM - Mike Martinez 11:40 AM - Laura Pressley 11:45 AM - Place 2 Q&A 12:00 PM - Clay Dafoe 12:10 PM - Brigid Shea 12:20 PM - Lee Leffingwell 12:30 PM - Mayor Q&A

League of Bicycling Voters

Monday, March 26, 6-9 p.m., Welch Hall, Room 3.502 on the UT Campus

This event is co-sponsored by UT Orange Bike ProjectAustin Cycling AssociationAustin’s Yellow Bike Project.

Texans for Accountable Government

Monday, March 26, Sherlock's Baker St. Pub & Grill, 9012 Research Blvd., 7-9 p.m.

Rather than asking the same old, unimportant questions about "what will you do for me?", TAGsters will be asking the questions that most effect our community. For example, "Will you support APD's cooperation with the Federal Government when they enforce the deplorable provision of NDAA which allow a person to be detained indefinitely without a charge against them?" Or "Have you done any independent research on the health risks associated with water fluoridation?"

TAG writes that “We've received attendance confirmation from 7 candidates, including: Clay Defoe (Mayoral Candidate); Laura Pressely and Mike Martinez (Place 2); Tina Cannon, John Duffy, and Bill Spelman (Place 5); and Shaun Ireland (Place 6). Still waiting to hear from Sheryl Cole and Lee Leffingwell, as well as other challengers.”

Austin Neighborhoods Council

Wednesday, March 28, 6-9 p.m., Austin Energy Building, 721 Barton Springs Rd.

You can download the ANC’s substantive candidate questionnaire online, which candidates are required to fill out in order to address the group.

Real Estate Council of Austin Hosts Candidate “Power Lunch”

RECA does not endorse, but instead hosts a forum each election. The event next week is a collaboration between RECA and the Austin Apartment Association, Austin Association of Maintenance and Facility Engineers, Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Commercial Real Estate Society, Building Owners and Managers Association, Central Texas Association of Commercial Realtors, Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute, Commercial Leasing and Brokers Association, Commercial Real Estate Women of Austin, Institute of Real Estate Management and the Urban Land Institute.

The event is this Tuesday, March 27, and will be moderated by KEYE's Judy Maggio, but the members-only event is sold out. You can read candidate responses to RECA’s questionnaire on the group’s website.

There's plenty more forums on the way. Check back next week for another round-up from KUT News.  

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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