Austin Parks Foundation is continuously involved in community engagement to ensure that our projects and work align with community values and needs. What is your philosophy on community engagement, and how would you engage with the community to ensure that their needs around parks and open space are appropriately addressed?

Kathie Tovo

City Council, District 9

Community outreach and engagement is critically important to City
policymaking and should be at the heart of everything we do.

During my time on City Council, I have been a strong advocate for robust
community engagement efforts that make our government accessible, and I
have worked to build community engagement into every major initiative I
have led. For instance, I led the effort to establish an Aquatic Master Plan
Task to provide opportunities for public feedback on the plan and its
strategies for managing and maintaining our pools. I led the initiative to
establish the Parks Events Task Force, which involved stakeholders in
determining how to balance use of our parks alongside the physical
capacity of those spaces and the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods.
I have also been an advocate for specific actions to make City efforts more
accessible for our residents, from supporting improvements to our
language access programs to supporting the ability for residents to
participate in citizens communications remotely.

I believe that community engagement is not a program or an individual
activity, but is instead a value that serves as the foundation of every effort
we undertake at the City – and I will continue to explore new opportunities
for getting our residents involved in City decision-making going forward.