Great News on the Advocacy Front, Thanks to You!

Austin’s City Council met on Monday and Tuesday of this week to finalize Austin’s budget for 2015. We are thrilled to report good news as a direct result of the public’s advocacy.  Council not only approved funding for the first phase of the City-wide Historic Resources Survey, but approved four full-time positions in the City’s Historic Preservation Office.  That means two additional professional staff to support our City’s current Historic Preservation Officer, in addition to the current full-time administrative staff member. Thank you to all of you who wrote to Council.  We were told that it was through your efforts that the voice of preservation was clearly heard.

Please spread the word about the City’s renewed post for a Historic Preservation Planner in the Historic Preservation Office, which you can link to here:  CoA Historic Preservation Planner.

As many of you know, most of our efforts at Preservation Austin focus on advocacy for the City’s historic preservation policy.  Preservation Austin Board, Committee members and staff have spent a great deal of time developing recommendations and advocating for additional professional positions in the City’s HPO to bring it on par with peer cities. We also pressed for an updated survey of the City’s historic resources as the most appropriate foundation for all planning and decision-making regarding Austin’s historic assets. We are not to the finish line by any means, but today’s news is an encouraging start. A sincere thank you goes to our hard-working Board, Committee members, and our membership.

As a follow-up to your advocacy to Council last weekend, I hope you’ll also take a moment to thank Council members for their support (mama said, mind your manners!). You can copy and paste, or put in your own words, the text below; and write to all of Council at once.

Dear Mayor Leffingwell, Mayor Pro Tem Cole and Council Members:

I am writing to thank you for passing this year’s budget to include an update of the Historic Resources Survey and greater staff support for the City’s Historic Preservation Office.  Both are critical to protect our city’s historic resources as we strive to maintain our unique identity while making way for growth.  Thank you for protecting our city’s character and historic places by supporting these budget items.
Thanks to you all for this last, but important bit of advocacy!