,  Austin Chamber of Commerce View All Reponses >>

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?

Amit Motwani

City Council, District 3

I don’t categorically delineate between consumer demands and government interests. Government interests, ideally are the same as those of the electorate, especially with respect to public safety. I think the electorate made that clear in the case of Uber/Lyft. However I understand the question (and how those interests can diverge). I actually don’t mind watching our iterative and elastic democratic system work to reach the best solutions—either through consumer demand replacing its elected leadership or across branches of government (in reasonable cases). Yes I support City matching funds for innovation for nonprofits, but I’ve seen that get contrived before, so I’ll scrutinize healthily. Sometimes the whole reason nonprofits exists is because the market can’t find an innovative solution to solve a problem.