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Austin has long since been perceived as a town of creative innovators. Given the City’s recent regulatory attempts with the sharing and gig economy (Uber, AirBnB, Scooters), what is your position on how the City should handle emerging technologies and emerging markets? What is your view, generally, on the conflict between consumer demands and government interests? Similarly, when non-profits secure grant funding for innovative social solutions that requires a local match, what is your view on city funding being available for the match?

Vincent Harding

City Council, District 1

I think the City should work with emerging technologies and emerging markets. One of the complaints that I heard was that the current Council sometimes makes rules without discussing with the subject matter experts of the industry. I think communication is important as we find ways to keep residents safe and allowing businesses to thrive. Economic development is important for District 1 to provide opportunities for better paying jobs. Increased knowledge regarding an industry is important because it can help the City better tailor a regulation. There is no need to be overbroad for the sake of being overbroad, but each regulation should have a specific purpose. Austin should ask nonprofits that are working to help achieve the City’s strategic outcomes to keep the City informed of the projects, timeline, and requirements of matching grants. Communication helps the City potentially prepare and prioritize potential grants that require local matches. The City should consider the people impact of a potential financial investment.