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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?

Bobby Levinski

City Council, District 8

The City needs to be more flexible with regard to technological solutions. The “scooter crisis” is a good example. While I do not see electric scooters as a magical transit solution for the masses, it was disappointing to see so much time and resources put into setting up barriers for entry on an idea that can at least whittle away at the surface of our mobility problems. We don’t have all the answers yet, which means we need to be more open to ideas as they come. With regard to the question on government matches on grant funds, I generally like the idea of leveraging our local funds to serve community needs. There is always a question of balancing priorities, so without knowing the specific ask, it would be impossible to commit to a specific match. Hopefully, if the proposal is serving a community need, other funding would have already been set aside to address such need.