Progress takes vision. We need leaders who think big and innovate to move our city forward. In a city that has doubled in population every 20-25 years since its founding in 1839, a growth versus no-growth political divide is a false dichotomy. Austin grows because it’s a great place to live with ample opportunity. Let’s, as a community, accept this fact and get ahead of growth by planning for it.
Good policy starts with good government. The core function of local government is to serve the interests of all citizens living within its boundaries. Conversely, when government disproportionately focuses on certain "special interests" and not the whole, it fails to carry out its mission. In its training, education and actions, the ATXelerator promotes good government and develops leaders to implement policies that benefit the entire community, not the few.
Every successful organization starts with its people. City policymakers should be no exception. The ATXelerator is an innovative and unique program that recruits and trains community leaders interested in advocating for future-focused city policy, serving on a city board or commission or, in some instances, running for city council.
Consistent and predictable population growth in Austin is not arguable. It’s a fact. Developing policy to more efficiently house people and enable them to travel in and out of the city using various modes of transportation is the only responsible approach to growth. It’s time to approach growth and how to plan for it from a data-driven standpoint.
The Smart Cities movement aims to create cities that embrace sustainable economic development and high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas, including economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government. When there is a commitment and focus on all these areas working together, cities thrive and their citizens enjoy better quality of life.