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?

Vincent Harding

City Council, District 1

First, seek to stop the displacement of African Americans out of the City of Austin and focus on affordability with specific attention to housing, income, and infrastructure.

Community land trusts and homestead preservation districts will help some existing residents and potentially new residents moving back into Austin. Utilizing city bonds and the city budget to help build new affordable and low income housing units, purchase existing apartments that are relative affordable, and provide home repairs to help long time residents stay in their homes.

From an income perspective, help to increase job education and training programs at little to no cost. Further, we should be providing childcare at little to no costs.

From an infrastructure aspect, the costs of utilities and transportation can be a big driver of costs. I want to improve the mass transit experience and efficiency to make more comfortable wait stops, shorter wait times, and faster transit through dedicated lanes. This will improve conditions for people who have no other option but public transit and could persuade some people to get out of their cars to use mass transit. Improving energy efficiencies in new build and retrofitting existing homes can help with the costs of utilities.