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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?

Justin Jacobson

City Council, District 3

The City needs to be as open as possible to emerging markets and technologies, but never waiver in its commitment to our shared values as a community. It needs to be acknowledged that these emerging forces originated to meet the needed demand that led to disruptive change. This in and of itself is not an issue, but many companies that employ this tactic have “do things now and ask for permission later” attitudes. I will agree that some rules broken or bended may be past a point of efficacy, but others are in place for a reason, even if they incur a burden on the part of the consumer. Government is there to make sure those protections are in situ and make proper transitions from rules that are currently not as useful. The City also has a greater stake and long term investment into what happens within the bounds of it jurisdiction. Balancing the needs of the community or marginalized groups versus those on an individual level is where the tension arises. I also make space for the idea that Austin could implement better policies to engage with these forces.