Friends of Hyde Park Endorses Danielle Skidmore For Austin City Council District 9

The Friends of Hyde Park board, representing the largest neighborhood association serving Hyde Park, voted to endorse Danielle Skidmore for Austin City Council in Austin’s upcoming November 2018 election against Kathie Tovo.

Danielle Skidmore is an LGBTQIA+ advocate. She serves on the City of Austin LGBTQ Quality of Life Advisory Commission. Danielle would be the first openly trans person to be elected to public office in Texas and the first openly trans member of the Austin City Council. Danielle has been endorsed by the national LGBTQ Victory Fund. She helped organize the efforts to defeat the “Bathroom Bill” in the last Texas legislative session and “special session”.

Danielle Skidmore is an advocate for the disability community. Advocating as a special needs parent, she also successfully helped pass a bill in Texas to extend newborn screening for Texas children. This law required two consecutive legislative sessions of fierce advocacy alongside March of Dimes, but Danielle was determined to prevent other parents from being blindsided by events similar to those that left her son Peter in a wheelchair in the absence of statewide newborn screening. As a civil engineer, she is determined to make sidewalks more walkable and streets more accessible for her family and others with similar challenges.

Danielle would also be the first transportation engineer elected to the Austin City Council. As a civil engineer with 24 years experience in transportation, she would bring valuable expertise to the city council to help solve the toughest mobility challenges we face as a city from daily traffic to better alternative transportation needs. She is a proponent of biking, scooters, any modes of transit that get cars off the road—but knows big action for public transportation and smart land use policies are needed for Austin to become a more sustainable and affordable city.

Danielle is a strong advocate for the environment. Danielle will advocate for policies to reduce sprawl, which both contributes to displacement of communities on the East Side and elsewhere and is environmentally damaging. Continuing to grow out, rather than up, pollutes our air and water, increases water runoff, and destroys environmentally sensitive areas around Austin.

Why It’s Time For New Leadership

Since Kathie Tovo was elected into office in 2011, she has made over $4.2 million dollars from the oil and gas fields that she owns, which helped her self-fund both of her previous two city council campaigns with personal money to the tune of over $160,000. Tovo has made 7 years worth of land use and transportation decisions that have cumulatively increased our community’s dependence on oil and gas. We need a city council member that will fight to protect the environment, not one that profits directly from destroying it.

Kathie Tovo is skirting term limits in order to run for a third term. Tovo has already served the two terms that are allowed on the Austin City Council. She is taking advantage of a loophole by paying canvassers to circulate a petition to get on the ballot for a third term. Danielle Skidmore pledges to serve no more than two terms and to respect term limits moving forward.

Kathie Tovo consistently votes against affordable housing and better transit options. Kathie Tovo voted against Plaza Saltillo, Austin Oaks, and Burnet / Rockwood, which all included affordable housing units. Tovo also votes against tools that would enable those suffering high property taxes to stay in their homes, such as when she voted against allowing homeowners the option to build accessory dwelling units (also known as granny flats, tiny homes, or garage apartments). Tovo voted against designating Guadalupe St as an Imagine Austin activity corridor, which allows for increased public transportation that would bring more jobs and a diversity of housing options for people in central Austin along this corridor.

It’s time for new leadership in District 9 that’s truly progressive. Please donate, follow on Facebook, and get involved to help elect Danielle Skidmore as our next Austin City Council member for District 9.

Information About Friends of Hyde Park

Friends of Hyde Park is currently the largest neighborhood association in our neighborhood with 425 current members (approximately 50% renters and 50% homestead homeowners). Friends of Hyde Park advocates for affordable housing and a more walkable, bikeable, inclusive, and transit friendly neighborhood. Sign up for free at this link to become a member and help us improve our neighborhood and community.

Board of Directors of Friends of Hyde Park

Pete Gilcrease
Teresa Griffin
Thomas Ates
Matt Desloge
Tom Clear
Adam Luikart
Robert Prentiss