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How will you help address the affordability problems in Austin?

Lewis Conway Jr.

City Council, District 1

We have proposed three specific plans:

1. The People’s Affordable Housing Plan

Our belief is that housing is a human right. Approaching fair housing from a policy perspective has not fared well for the folks who are supposed to benefit from such policy efforts. However, we believe by creating permanently affordable housing, as opposed to attempting an induction or waiting for naturally occurring affordable housing is the first step. We can do better finding ways to help those who work in the city, to begin to be able to live in the same city they work in.

2. DistriCare

  • We believe our DistriCare plan, a pilot universal health care program for East Austin, will eliminate folks being uninsured and underinsured, as well as provide access to healthcare for folks regardless of their immigration, housing or employment status. With our DistriCare plan service providers would be able to bill one entity. This alone potentially reduces premiums for individual and by expanding Austin Public Health, we can provide genuine access to equitable health care to folks in District 1.
  • Districare is based on Healthy San Francisco, which has been in effect for over 10 years and cost around $45 million a year.

3. Municipal Job Guarantee Program

  • Our proposal is for a permanent “public option” employment program with public purpose that offers a living wage plus benefits to any worker who cannot find decent employment in the wider labor market.
  • The Meet and Confer contract with APA was set to cost the city $82.5 million to provide APD officers with certain specialty compensations. APD officers are the highest paid in the state, making nearly 14 percent more than the next highest-paid department. Currently APD employs roughly 1,600 officers. These jobs would include the repair and maintenance of the city’s
    infrastructure, revamping our waste disposal and recycling efforts, and providing universal child care. Everyone would be guaranteed a minimum salary of $23,000 a year. We would be be able to employ over 3,500 people, with the addition of health and other benefits resulting from DistriCare, this could bring annual compensation up to approximately $50,000.