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The ATXelerator announces its fifth cohort of future councilmembers and board/commission members

30 future-focused class members from across the city will get started in January

AUSTIN, TX – The ATXelerator has recruited its fifth class filled with 30 engaged and talented Austinites from around the city and a variety of backgrounds including technology professionals, community leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs.

"Once again, we are honored and thoroughly impressed by the quality of another excellent cohort," said ATXelerator Board President Ashley Amini. " Hailing from districts across the city, these Austinites are eager to learn about their city government and get involved in leadership positions as board and commission members or as candidates for office."

When this cohort concludes its class in April, the ATXelerator will have an alumni base of more than 130 Austinites, including more than 20 current or former city board and commission members, two candidates and Councilmember-elect Fuentes serving on the city council. Three commissioners of the 14-member Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, which drew city-council district lines in October, were graduates of the 2020 cohort, including Vice Chair Luis Gonzalez.

The ATXelerator, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2017, is the only elected office candidate recruitment engine in Austin. It is designed to identify, mentor and promote the next generation of future-focused leaders interested in public service. The 30 individuals selected for the Class of 2022 have a standout dedication and commitment to the future success of Austin and to serving our community through public service.

The 2022 class includes:

District 1:

Selina Yee

David Douglas

District 2:

Candace Hennessey

Kyle Unruh

Tami Dumond

District 3:

Anureet Gill

Daniela Silva

Heather Emerson

Lanelle Jarmon

William Hayden Glasstetter

Yasmine Smith

District 4:

Aneka Patel

District 5:

Alyssa Rodriguez

Armin Salek

Michael Nahas

Sharsch Bidargaddi

District 6:

Shireen Kahlon

District 8:

Heather Duval

JC Dwyer

District 9:

Anna Bourland

Brian Nunnery

Eric Hegnes

Erik Huckle

Jess Heck

Kelsey Vizzard

Kym Olson

MacKenzie Seale

Shaayaan Sayed

District 10:

Abby Roedel Schlicher

Jessica Ray

ATXelerator participants receive rigorous training and mentorship by experienced elected officials and community leaders. The 2021 ATXelerator curriculum, which was online, included more than 40 subject-matter experts including former State Senator and Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, Texas Demographic Center’s Dr. Lila Valencia, Mayor Steve Adler, Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon and Habitat for Humanity CEO Phyllis Snodgrass, among others. Each class member is also assigned a mentor, typically a current or former elected official or a professional with experience working in and around city council.

The class’s opening weekend is Jan.7-9, 2022, followed by 10 weekly Wednesday evening sessions taught by experts in the fields of transportation, land use, utilities, economic development, homelessness, diversity and social equity, campaigning and a variety of other issues intended to prepare future candidates and city board and commission members. The ATXelerator has a closing weekend on media training, how to serve on a board or commission and class project presentations. Following the weekend, class members engage in a pitch-style competition before an expert panel of judges and a public event for contest finalists.

About the ATXelerator

The mission of the ATXelerator is to identify and prepare future-focused leaders for public service and educate the community about solutions that will improve Austin's quality of life for generations to come. The program aims to encourage citizens to pursue and prepare for elected office and board/commission service through a technology accelerator model. The ATXelerator’s Advisory Board is comprised of former mayors Lee Cooke, Lee Leffingwell and Bruce Todd; former city council members Brewster McCracken and Randi Shade; and community/business leaders Greta Goldsby, Jeff Hahn, Nan McRaven, John Scarborough and Lemuel Williams. The late Pike Powers was also a founding member of the advisory board. For more information, visit:

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