The push for a 2024 bond

Is Austin up for a big bond this year?

The push for a 2024 bond
A big crowd a couple weeks ago at Woodlawn Baptist Church in South Austin to hear from city officials (including four Council members) about homelessness in the area. The nearby Sunrise Community Church navigation center, across from Joslin Elementary, has become a lightning rod in the neighborhood.

Last week, a group of Council members made the case for putting a variety of environmental investments on the ballot in November. The five members –– Ryan Alter, Paige Ellis, Vanessa Fuentes, Alison Alter, Jose Velasquez –– wrote in a memo that they believe it makes sense to seek funding for the following environmental priorities from the Environmental Investment Plan framework approved by Council in February:

  • Land Acquisition
  • Green funding for capital projects (low carbon concrete, SITE, affordable housing, etc.)
  • Green Infrastructure and planning
  • Expand All Ages and Abilities Bike Network, urban trails, sidewalks, and shared mobility
  • Unified City of Austin facilities operations, maintenance, and improvement plan
  • Stormwater resilience
  • Community resilience projects for residential and commercial
  • Heat resilience infrastructure
  • Climate change integration
  • ATX Plan: Convert travel lanes on arterial roads to protected bike or bus lanes

The cost remains TBA. Staff estimated the cost of buying 20,000 acres of land at $1 billion, for instance, but the Council members are not yet committing to that full expense. The same is true for many of the other investments –– bike infrastructure, stormwater resilience, etc. It's not yet clear how big they want to go this year.