AURA Endorses Re-Election of Austin City Council Member Greg Casar

Members of AURA have voted overwhelmingly to endorse Austin City Council member Gregorio Casar, who represents District 4, for re-election in November. Continue reading

AURA calls on Austin City Council and Capital Metro to Transform Austin for Transit

For Immediate Release AURA calls on Austin City Council and Capital Metro to Transform Austin for Transit May 16, 2016 Austin, Texas AURA today calls on Austin City Council and Capital Metro to enact the critical next steps needed to make Austin a transit-oriented city. If adopted, these steps would move us well toward a key AURA goal: that Austinites will take over half their trips via public transportation, walking, or bicycling by 2040. AURA’s new report “Transit City: A Vision for a Multimodal Austin” argues for implementation of a high-frequency bus network, permitting of abundant housing near existing transit, full funding of the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, construction of missing sidewalks already identified by the city as High Priority needs, liberalization of parking requirements throughout the city, and more. Continue reading

Democratic Candidates for Texas House District 49 respond to AURA's questionnaire

AURA submitted a questionnaire to all Democratic Party candidates running for Texas House District 49. Long time representative Elliott Naishtat has announced he will not seek another term; the Democratic Party primary is expected to serve as a de facto election. Since HD-49 is the only Texas House seat entirely within the city limits of Austin, AURA asked candidates for their views on state issues that affect Austin's land use, transit, and urban living. We received responses from three candidates: Huey Fischer, Gina Hinojosa, and Heather Way. We present their responses below. We have not received answers from Aspen Dunaway, Kenton Johnson, Blake Rocap, and Matthew Shrum. We will publish them if they answer later. UPDATE, 2/9/2016: We have received responses from Aspen Dunaway and have posted them below.   Continue reading

Relocation Assistance

As Austin’s housing market tightens, our low-income renters continue to be the most impacted. Austin has lost thousands of market-rate affordable housing and continues to see affordability disappear. Many Austinites have abruptly lost their homes and are subsequently pushed out of the city altogether. AURA recognizes the need to help displaced families find homes in Austin, which is why it endorses a Tenant Relocation Assistance ordinance. Continue reading

AURA commends City Council for allowing more backyard cottages in Austin

For Immediate Release AURA commends City Council for allowing more backyard cottages in Austin November 19, 2015 Austin, Texas AURA, an urbanist grassroots non-profit that works toward an Austin for Everyone, commends City Council for taking action to allow more Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) – known colloquially as granny flats, garage apartments, or backyard cottages – to be built in Austin. Continue reading

AURA urges City Council: After 18 months of public input, it is time to legalize backyard cottages citywide

For Immediate Release AURA will host a press conference Tuesday, November 17 at 8:30 am at City Hall November 17, 2015 Austin, Texas AURA, an urbanist grassroots non-profit that works toward an Austin for Everyone, along with a diverse coalition of organizations strongly urge Austin City Council to adopt the draft ordinance on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)—known colloquially as granny flats, garage apartments, or backyard cottages. Continue reading

Convention Center Follies; Austin Edition

The Austin Convention Center has recommended a long range master plan laying out their case for expansion west, taking the blocks bounded by 2nd on the South, 4th on the North, Trinity on the East, and San Jacinto on the West.  AURA opposes this on a variety of grounds, ranging from the tax revenue for the city to the viability of convention center-driven economic development to impacts on the downtown streetscape.   Continue reading

AURA Endorses Travis County Courthouse

Following a vote of our members, AURA is proud to announce our support of the Travis County Courthouse Bond Proposition.  The new Courthouse will replace aging infrastructure; the Courthouse will be centrally-located and transit accessible.     AURA member and co-founder Julio Gonzalez Altamirano says “This is a great deal. For a few bucks a month, we solve our Courtroom space needs for a century. If you want to save money, this is the time to build the basics - loan rates are unlikely to stay low forever. Building now is the fiscally sensible choice.” AURA board member Susan Somers adds  ““Everyone agrees on the need. We can either build modern, compact, and near transit...or we can build a facility that contributes to sprawl. AURA chose the former.” Continue reading

Guadalupe Corridor Is For People

AURA's Guadalupe Corridor Working Group has been following the corridor study process and has released the following report.  We call on Austin City Council and the Transportation Department to take bold steps.  We specifically encourage extending the transit priority lanes from downtown to the Drag, removing the wall on the east side of Guadalupe, and removing the on-street parking from the west side.  

Parkland Accessibility

At AURA, we're focused on building an Austin for Everyone through abundant housing and better public transportation.  Part of our platform calls for better utilizing our public parks by locating more housing near them - and make better child-friendly urban spaces.  With that in mind, we have some concerns about agenda item 58 on this week's Council agenda.   Continue reading