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?

Kathie Tovo

City Council, District 9

I support – and have successfully fought for – increased and ongoing
investment in our parks, pools, and community assets.

During my time on Council, I have strongly and consistently advocated for
improving our parks and pools and ensuring they are accessible to
residents of all ages and abilities. These have included, among other
things, leading the Council or otherwise supporting efforts to:
• Establish a dedicated source of funding for maintaining and improving our
historic cultural assets through Hotel Occupancy Taxes.
• Develop a system-wide transition plan to bring our parks into compliance
with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
• Approve an Aquatics Master Plan with a strong focus on equity and ADA
• Invest an additional $100,000 in this year’s budget for making key ADA
improvements at our parks and $382,000 in next year’s budget.
• Over the last three budget cycles alone, increase PARD’s budget by more
than $13 million.
• Adopt the 2012 parks bond to invest nearly $78 million in parkland
acquisition and in accessibility, infrastructure, and other types of
improvements at our parks, recreation centers, and cemeteries.
• Place a 2018 bond on the ballot which, if approved by the voters, would
invest significant resources in parkland acquisition ($45 million), aquatics
($40 million), parkland improvements and development ($25 million), parks
facilities renovations and accessibility ($21.5 million), and playscapes,
trails, and other infrastructure ($17.5 million).
• Establish consistent investment of $115,000 every year for providing
lighting at City parks.
My leadership has helped us make significant progress on improving our
parks and enhancing parks accessibility – and I look forward to continuing
to work on these issues if re-elected.