KATHIE TOVO has a proven record of prioritizing and investing in the community assets that enrich our communities and keep our residents active, healthy, and educated, such as our parks, pools, libraries, cultural centers, and historic properties.
As Austin grows, it is imperative that we preserve and invest in the community assets that have made Austin so special. Under Kathie's leadership, Austin has made significant progress, helping ensure these critical community assets can remain available and accessible to residents of all ages and abilities – now and in the future.
- Leading the effort to establish dedicated funding for our historic and culture assets, such as the O. Henry Museum, the Elizabet Ney Museum, and more.
- Over the last three budget cycles alone, significantly increasing the parks budget by more than $13 million.
- Adopting the $78 million 2012 parks bond and placing the $149 million 2018 parks bond on the ballot for voter approval, which invest significant resources in acquiring and maintaining parks and making critical repairs to our pools.
- Resisting efforts to focus on pool closures through our Aquatics Master Plan – and instead re-focusing the city on making important investments to maintain our pools.
- Strengthening the rules that require new development to invest in our parks for current and new residents.
- Voting to develop a system-wide transition plan to make our parks accessible to residents of all abilities by bringing them into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Establishing the Parkland Events Task Force, which brought people together to determine how to manage special events on city parks in a way that ensures our parks are preserved and enhanced.
- Improving the city's historic preservation efforts, especially related to outreach and engagement, by expanding the Historic Preservation Office's capacity.
- Reforming the Historic Landmark Commission's voting requirements in order to improve the way the commission operates and to improve the historic designation process generally.
- Helping establish a consistent and ongoing investment in providing lighting at city parks.
Kathie looks forward to continuing to fight to ensure we do not lose the community and cultural assets that have made Austin a special city, by investing real resources in them and by safeguarding and improving the city policies that allow us to protect and enhance them.