Host Andy Uhler talks with Austin City Council Member and LBJ School Professor Bill Spelman about Propositions 3 and 4, which aim to change how Austin chooses its City Council members.
Austin currently elects seven city council members “at-large” to represent the entire City of Austin. This year, two propositions on the ballot attempt to change the at-large system to a single-member system. If one of these propositions passes, voters in geographically defined electoral districts would vote for single members to represent their interests on the City Council.
According to Spelman, similar propositions have gone before Austin voters six times without success. He thinks most people currently support a change to single-member districts, but the presence of two slightly different propositions may split the votes of support so that neither proposition will pass. If that happens, the next opportunity to vote on the issue will be 2015.
For more information on what’s on the ballot, visit the Travis County Clerk’s website.
Text of the Propositions:
- PROP. 3: Shall the city charter be amended to provide for the election of council members from 10 geographical single-member districts, with the mayor to be elected from the city at large, and to provide for an independent citizens redistricting commission?
- PROP. 4: Shall the city charter be amended to provide for the election of council members from eight geographical single-member districts, with the mayor and two additional council members to be elected from the city at large?
Host: Andy Uhler
Guest: Bill Spelman
Producers: G. Phillip Vela, Jennifer Lee