Kathie Tovo declares for mayor

And $2 million for another McKinsey study?

Kathie Tovo declares for mayor
A band plays in favor of a cease fire in Gaza in front of City Hall today.

Former Council Member Kathie Tovo announced her candidacy for mayor.

The statement:

“When I first ran for office, I made a commitment to represent everyday Austinites —Austin’s working families. As a Council Member, I supported community-led policy and helped give a voice for progressive policies that would benefit all of us, not just those who want to use the City to make a profit.
I’m still committed to these same progressive values: equity, honest government and standing up for women, workers, immigrants and our LGBTQIA+ community. You can also count on me to fight against bad plans like the I-35 expansion and the State’s attacks on our local freedoms. This campaign will be about engaging with Austinites throughout the city to craft a vision where every Austinite has the opportunity to succeed and thrive.”

Very interesting! No mention of the incumbent.

I think the right candidate could really make the I-35 issue a big deal. Is Tovo that candidate?

I'm going to leave it at that today but I plan to take a closer look at her campaign and platform in the next week or so. Here's Tovo's campaign website.

We're paying $2M for another homelessness study?

Despite deep misgivings from some Council offices and advocates for the homeless, City Council quickly approved a $2 million contract with consulting giant McKinsey to "assess the effectiveness of the strategies, programs, and services provided by the City of Austin and other partners" to address homelessness.

The contract passed on the consent agenda with no debate, but Zo Qadri and Natasha Harper-Madison asked to be shown abstaining.

Now, in theory the city won't be responsible for the entire $2 million bill. Since the review is supposed to include the programs of other entities involved in addressing homelessness (Travis County, Central Health, Integral Health, the Dell Medical School), these other entities are supposed to pick up part of the tab. That is, if they agree to it, which they have yet to do.