Steve Adler


Mayor Steve Adler speaks at a town-hall meeting held at the Greater Mount Zion Church on March 15, 2018.
Credit Andrea Garcia for KUT

Steve Adler became Austin’s 52nd mayor in January 2015 through a new system known as 10-1. It was the first time a mayor was elected citywide, while the other 10 council members were elected by residents from their distinct geographical districts.

After completing his undergraduate at Princeton University, Adler moved to Austin in 1978 to study at the University of Texas School of Law. He has practiced law in Texas for more than three decades, focusing on civil rights and eminent domain issues. Outside of his law practice, Adler spent nearly 10 years working for the Texas Legislature and two decades working with Austin nonprofit organizations. 

As mayor, Adler has prioritized the mobility, affordability and inclusivity of Austin. He initiated the Equity Office and created the Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities. In 2016, voters approved a $720 million mobility bond he proposed to improve main roads and make public transit more accessible. Adler worked to establish the Fair Chance Hiring Ordinance, which aims to make jobs more accessible for those with convictions. He was also a vocal advocate for Austin’s Major League Soccer team.  


The Austin City Council discusses the budget during a virtual meeting Wednesday that was projected on screen at the Palmer Events Center.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The $4 billion budget Austin City Council adopted Thursday includes plans to reduce the police budget by about a third – $150 million. Twenty million dollars is being cut immediately, with $3.5 million going to Austin-Travis County EMS, and $6.5 million going to housing assistance for people living on the street.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Addressing a city that has ground to a halt amid a pandemic, save for frontline workers who can’t stay home and protestors in the streets demanding cuts to the police budget, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said this time of turmoil is a chance to rebuild a more equitable city.

Pedestrians on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail in Austin on June 24.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signaled his encouragement to Austin city leaders to move forward on "additional enforcement mechanisms" related to a recent order Abbott issued requiring Texans to wear masks in most public spaces.

People line up for drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin surpassed a crucial threshold for COVID-19 hospitalizations Tuesday, which could signal possible restrictions on businesses and nonessential travel.

Patrons sit outside at a brewery last month after Texas eased restrictions.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A record 29 people were admitted to the hospital in the Austin area for COVID-19 on Friday, bumping up the seven-day average for new hospital admissions to 17.

People gathered at the Capitol on Sunday to protest police killings of unarmed black people.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Chas Moore, executive director of the Austin Justice Coalition, says he doesn’t condone or criticize protesters’ actions in Austin over the weekend. 

Austin Mayor Steve Adler speaks during a news conference announcing the cancellation of South by Southwest on March 6.
Julia Reihs / KUT

KUT Morning Edition host Jennifer Stayton talked with Austin Mayor Steve Adler about how the city is responding to Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening orders and to answer some of your questions about the city’s response to the pandemic.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin area officials extended their stay-at-home guidelines Friday morning as businesses reopen under new state rules.

Murals adorn boarded-up businesses along Sixth Street. Businesses across the city were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Join KUT on Monday at 11 a.m. for a live conversation with Austin Mayor Steve Adler.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The City of Austin and Travis County are partnering to form a task force focused on reopening the local economy. The Opening Central Texas for Business Task Force will be spearheaded by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. 

The Fairmont Hotel is lit up with ATX inside a heart.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Mayor Steve Adler commended Austinites this week for their work in physical distancing and cutting daily interactions by 50%. New models from UT Austin suggest we’ll need to cut those interactions even more – to 90% – to keep our health care system from being overloaded.

Adler joined KUT’s Jimmy Maas for All Things Considered to talk about getting those interactions down and slowing the spread of the coronavirus. 

A person crosses an empty San Jacinto Boulevard in downtown Austin on Friday.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A "shelter-in-place" order for Austin-Travis County will be announced Tuesday, Mayor Steve Adler confirmed to KUT.

It was unclear when the order would go into effect. 

Flower Child in downtown Austin during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Restaurants are limited to drive-thru, pick-up and delivery service; bars must close; and gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited in Austin effective noon Tuesday.

City and health officials gather at City Hall on March 6 to announce South by Southwest's closure.
Julia Reihs / KUT

The city is sharing additional details on the first confirmed coronavirus cases in Central Texas, Friday morning. 

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Twice last year, Gov. Greg Abbott drew ire from Austin city officials when he suggested that crimes were the result of the city's new approach to homelessness, in which it has relaxed ordinances prohibiting camping or otherwise posting up in public spaces.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler sits in a KUT studio before an interview with KUT's Jennifer Stayton last year.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council is moving closer to a vote on a comprehensive rewrite of the city's land development code, which regulates how we use land and build things in Austin. For years, there have been arguments and misunderstandings about just what those rules would mean for the city.

Temporary shelters and materials gathered under an overpass at Ben White Boulevard and Victory Drive could be cleared out by the Texas Department of Transportation Monday, according to the governor's office.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott's office says it's forging ahead with cleanups of homeless encampments under overpasses in Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Every Walls is a company man.

The 73-year-old veteran served in the Army in Vietnam. He follows rules, and he follows chain of command. He also shares a camp across the street from the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) with a friend.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

"I think the bright spots weren't so much affirmative bright spots as that we avoided some bad things," Austin Mayor Steve Adler says of the 2019 Texas legislative session, which wrapped up Monday.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Austin Mayor Steve Adler wants you to know something.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin Mayor Steve Adler opened the annual State of the City address Wednesday with a quote from Charles Dickens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

Peter Ringenberg/WVPE

Two Austin politicians endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate over the weekend – but it wasn't either of the candidates from Texas.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Austin Mayor Steve Adler sent a letter to the moon offering aliens unlimited queso. Yes, that is indeed a statement of fact.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council last month approved an independent review of how the police department handles sexual assault cases. Mayor Steve Adler, who voted in favor of the review, says he has confidence in Police Chief Brian Manley and the work of the department. But, Adler says, he wants to get at the core of what he calls the "greatest challenges" facing the department in completing sexual assault investigations.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Most mornings, Dave Sullivan bikes from his house in Clarksville to the University of Texas. He then hops on an express bus to his job as a researcher at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

During the election season, his daily commute served as a sort of poll of voters – albeit, with a miniscule sample size.

Eddie Gaspar for KUT

Steve Adler won re-election as Austin mayor in a landslide victory Tuesday and will serve another four years in office as voters came out in record numbers in Travis County.

Adler earned 59 percent of the vote and overpowered his biggest challenger, former Austin City Council Member Laura Morrison, and five other candidates.

Mayor Steve Adler has shored up a second term as mayor of Austin. Incumbent Council Member Kathie Tovo appears to have been re-elected to her District 9 seat. In District 3, Council Member Sabino "Pio" Renteria teeters on the edge of securing his re-election, but will likely head to a runoff against his sister, Susana Almanza. Districts 1 and 8 are headed to runoff elections in December.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Former Austin City Council member Laura Morrison is challenging Mayor Steve Adler this Election Day. Both candidates talked with KUT about why they are running and where they stand on some pressing issues in Austin.

IndyAustin screengrab

One of Austin’s more prolific political action committees has apologized after releasing a video ad featuring Pepe the Frog, a cartoon frog used by anti-Semitic and alt-right groups.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If you’re tired of hearing about the faceoff between Sen. Ted Cruz and Congressman Beto O’Rourke, maybe it’s time to turn your attention to local elections, like the mayor’s race.

Mayor Steve Adler is fighting to retain his seat against six challengers, most of whom are political newcomers with some wild ideas – including building a dome around Austin to keep out “foreigners and California refugees.” (Uber would pay for it.)