NACA MONTHLY MEETING
Download the minutes here: Nov 2021 NACA Meeting Minutes
Thursday, 18 November 2021
Virtual Meeting via Zoom
Matt Myers called the meeting to order at 7:03 PM.
The following statement of Land Rights was read by President Matt Myers:
“Our Civic Association would like to acknowledge that the land boundaries of NACA are original territory of a number of Indigenous peoples–– specifically the Numunuu also known as Comanche Nation and the Tonkawa Tribe. We honor and thank the Indigenous peoples connected to this territory where we live and gather. NACA will work towards decolonizing our practices, and make our Civic Association an inclusive space for all.”
As of the end of October, the General Fund contains $3,152.89 and there are currently 106 members. The Beautification Fund totals $13,590.15, with slightly more than $11,000 invested and more than $2,249.35 immediately available for spending on neighborhood beautification projects. Because of the favorable stock market, it is expected that another $1,000 will be added to the available funds at the end of the year. One possible use of the funds would be to do a raised bed garden renovation at the entrances to the subdivision along Payton Gin in conjunction with the
The Secretary position is still open, for anyone willing to take some simple bullet-point notes during our meetings.
NACA’s Clean Streets Volunteers focused on litter pickup along Rundberg this past Saturday, along with three volunteers from HEB. The next street clean-up will be along Payton Gin from North Lamar to Ohlen Road, meeting up at Navarro Early College High School, on Saturday, January 8th. Work begins at 8:30, and usually lasts for 60–90 minutes, often followed by tacos and socialization.
Approval of September and October 2021 Minutes
The September and October meeting minutes were approved as written.
General Round-Table Discussion
- Desire for neighborhood hazardous waste pick-up (old paint, fluorescent light bulbs) to be driven down to South Austin City facility
- Encouraged by pedestrian-friendly improvements on several streets near Payton Gin. The projects are funded by the 2016 City of Austin Mobility Bond and the Safe Routes to School program.
- Austin FC Season—concerns about parking on streets back into the neighborhood have not materialized. The City set up paid parking for gameday only on Metropolitan and Boyer boulevards, which seemed to provide enough parking. At a meeting next year, Jordan Enke, VP of Stadium Operations for Austin FC, or someone he designates, will report next year on how the season went in terms of impacts on surrounding areas.
- Navarro’s Principal, Steven Covin, has asked for ideas from the neighborhood to alleviate parking issues at the school, whenever there’s a special event (election, immunization clinic, etc.) that puts pressure on the existing on-campus parking for students and faculty. Is there a solution to accept more parking in the neighborhood on days with special event, such as having the school provide temporary parking permits for some streets that usually allow only permit parking? Are there other solutions?
- The camping ban has caused more individuals experiencing homelessness to move back into the neighborhoods and places like Heron Hollow Park. Current protocol is to call 311, but often nothing can be done unless the property owner formally requests support from the police, and many camping sites are not on private property.
- The membership drive, which was postponed when pandemic restrictions reached Stage 4, is targeted for the first quarter of 2022, with flyers drafted and ready for printing.
Guest—Jose “Chito” Vela, Candidate for City Council District 4
Chito Vela last visited NACA as a State House of Representative candidate in a primary run-off with Sheryl Cole, to whom he lost in what he termed a very respectful race.
Upon Greg Casar’s announcement of a run for Congress, Casar was required by state law to resign his seat on the Austin City Council.
The City Council called for a January 25th special election date to fill the remainder of Casar’s term, with early voting starting on January 10th.
Vela came to Austin in 1992 from Laredo as a college student and eventually got a Master’s in Public Affairs from the LBJ School. After law school, he was the City Manager for a small town in South Texas, and then worked at the Attorney General’s Open Records Division, and as a staff attorney for a Texas House of Representatives member from Corpus Christi. Eventually, he opened his own practice, focused on immigration law.
Live in Windsor Park, was a PTSA President at Blanton Elementary, and a former Board Chair at the Worker’s Defense Project. He served as Greg Casar’s appointee to the Planning Commission from 2014–2017, and has had a long-term interest in public service.
He says his main goal is to make sure Austin is a welcoming city for working-class people, not a playground for the wealthy. The price of housing is a big concern.
I want to be compassionate and considerate and respectful of people experiencing homelessness, but City Parks have to be for everyone to use, and not just for encampments. Clearing camps piece-by-piece cannot eliminate the problem. The City has been successful moving people into hotels for temporary housing and getting them off the streets, but there’s not many places to move them for more permanent affordable housing. We’ve got to invest in building more affordable housing, because all the places that used to be inexpensive have gone away.
As an attorney, he has a concern about creating civil rights issue by telling people where they can’t sleep without providing a place where they can.
Guest—Russell Artman, Redfield 34 Project
Russell Artman and his business partner Steve Levine expect to close at the end of the month on the purchase of two apartment complexes across the street from each other at Redfield Lane and Payton Gin. This is not the first affordable housing project they have been involved in. The first project they did was at Croslin Court for home ownership, with 27 units each selling below $200,000.
At Redfield, they intend to make the 34 apartments (mostly one-bedroom) affordable permanent supportive housing units for those transitioning out of homelessness. This will only happen as current tenants leave due to natural attrition so that nobody is displaced. Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) will refer households experiencing homelessness to the Redfield complex, prioritizing those who were displaced from the 78758 zip code previously. The site will be professionally managed by a local property management company, Advanta 360. Community services and case management will be provided as part of the permanent supporting housing opportunity.
Rent will be set at the city’s official level for “affordability” and will be met either through tenant contribution, City or County vouchers, or other forms of assistance. By the end of the project, it will be “net-zero” for the City, such that the funding it provided at the start will have been repaid.
ECHO has worked with the Russell, Steve, and Advanta 360 before.
The January 20, 2022 meeting will include officer elections for 2022.
Meeting adjourned at 8:05 pm by President Matt Myers.