A respected University of Texas study has found that Austin is the only high-growth city that is losing African Americans, both in terms of numbers and percentage of the total population. Do you consider this a problem? If so, what would you do to reverse or stabilize the decline?

Steve Adler


It’s a huge problem and highlights some of the greatest challenges we face as a city. Even as the number of African Americans in the city may be on the rise again, the percentage is still falling. It is one of the reasons that I felt I needed to run in 2014. It is one of the reasons I led the charge to create the Equity Office, and one of the reasons I convened the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities. Austin has a shameful history of institutional racism, and we still have a great deal of work to do to address that history and to right those historical wrongs. While we have made progress in the last four years, I still want to achieve the goals we set forth in the Spirit of East Austin, and we still need to make more investments in the Eastern Crescent. I’m working with large Austin employers to create more mentoring and pipeline programs to support, elevate, and keep young community members here. I seek to elevate Huston Tillotson as the intellectual center of East Austin and integrate it more fully into the progress of the city.