A respected University of Texas study has found that Austin is the only high-growth city that is losing African Americans, both in terms of numbers and percentage of the total population. Do you consider this a problem? If so, what would you do to reverse or stabilize the decline?

Mariana Salazar

City Council, District 1

Losing our African American population is a significant problem for our city. Historically, District 1 residents, in particular black residents, have faced substantial discrimination, including segregation, redlining and limited access to resources. As District 1 residents today, we still feel some of those challenges. In East Austin, we have under-resourced schools, fewer healthcare options, fewer healthy food options, missing sidewalks, limited public transit and limited children programming in our parks. To reverse the trend of a declining black population, we need to be addressing the affordability crisis, and be creating more equity when it comes to education, public transit, access to health care and better paying jobs for everyone.

As a council member, I will create equity by examining all decisions to be made by City Council through an equity lens. I will ask:

– How are policies benefiting people of color? – How are the outcomes different for people of color? – If they are different? How can outcomes be achieved for everyone? Knowing that not everyone is starting from the same place, what change in policy or practices should be done to achieve equitable outcomes?