Ensuring equitable access to quality parks for all Austinites is a key priority for Austin Parks Foundation. How might you work as a decision-maker for both your district and the city as a whole to move the needle on equitable access to quality parks?

Bobby Levinski

City Council, District 8

In 2009, as a policy advisor to Council Member Laura Morrison, I helped
draft the official city policy goal to provide publicly-accessible and
child-friendly parks within at least a 1⁄2-mile walking distance for all Austin
residents. To fill the gaps around town, we must be willing to dedicate the
necessary resources for the acquisition and improvement of public

Southwest Austin is on those areas that lack adequate access to public
parkland, which is why I advocated that the Bond Election Advisory Task
Force include funding for a regional park in Oak Hill within the upcoming
2018 city bond package. I am also very supportive of identifying funding to
complete the master plan for the Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park, which
has sat for far too long, undervalued.

To help fund the parks we need, new developments should help offset the
increased demands on our public parks that they cause. I support
maintaining a strong parkland dedication ordinance and, in 2015,
advocated to increase the fees that developers are required to pay when
building new housing and hotels.

But, building new parks is not enough. We must also protect and enhance
the parks that we already have, which is why I helped organize opposition
to the recent proposal to give away parkland along Lady Bird Lake to a
private enterprise. I have also helped promote the installation of interactive
playscapes at City parks and have helped identify funding for parks
maintenance positions.