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?

Ann Kitchen

City Council, District 5

Yes this is obviously a problem. I believe this is the result of the accumulation of decades of decisions and mistakes to not address the underlying racism and economic inequality in our society. While

symbolic I was proud to lead the effort to rename Robert E. Lee Road after Azie Taylor Morton which was an instructive and learning process for many in the community in terms of the attitudes existing in our city. More substantive, I was happy to support the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequities report; actions like hiring an Equity Officer, staffing the Equity Office; and look forward to continue supporting recommendations from the Task Force and integration into the city’s Strategic Plan.

Economic inequality is a difficult and growing problem in Austin and many other cities across the country. In Austin my priorities to address inequality include programs concerning housing, health, and income. That is why I have supported the largest housing bond in our history along with a large number of housing initiatives over my first term. Income approaches include raising city staff pay and recent actions to modify city incentive policies to support lower wage workers.