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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?

Todd Phelps


Austin must work with these innovators to help create the kind of town that has a balance that fosters innovation yet retains the iconic businesses and the people who made Austin what it is. The governments’ interests should be in alignment with what constituents need. It would not be wise to forgo all of the benefits of emerging technologies. There needs to be more open communication and foresight before problems occur. For example, allowing scooter riders to leave scooters in places that block sidewalks so that persons in wheelchairs can’t use the sidewalk, this simply should have been foreseen at the outset.