Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 2012 Engage - A Conversation with Austin's Mayoral Candidates

As the May 12 Austin mayoral race nears, we invited the candidates to join us in a conversation on the Dell Hall stage at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on April 3 for a special edition of the Engage breakfast series.

The Dell Hall Stage at the Long Center

We asked candidates Clay Dafoe, Lee Leffingwell and Brigid Shea, what will the hot issues be on May 12 and beyond? What leadership skills will be required of elected officials as Austin faces challenges over healthcare, education, transportation, water resources, and other issues? How can we get more citizens to their polling places? KXAN reporter Josh Hinkle served as moderator.


On this post, you'll find highlights of the panelists' remarks, a full audio recording, results of our live, interactive audience poll, and links to resources and media coverage. We want to hear from you, too. What issues do you think the next mayor should address? What do you think we should do to get more voters to the polls?

Get out the Vote!
Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir gave a special presentation on voter registration. Voter turnout for Austin's mayoral and council races have been stunningly low over the years. In the last council race, only 7.4 percent of registered voters cast a ballot. Do your part to get out the vote. First, make voting in this election a personal priority. Second, urge your co-workers, friends, family and colleagues to vote! You have until April 12 to register for the May 12 mayoral election. For information and a list of early polling places visit http://www.co.travis.tx.us/county_clerk/election/default.asp.

The Candidates on Leadership
The candidates led off the conversation by discussing the leadership qualities an elected official should have. We tweeted a few of the highlights:

  • Clay Dafoe
    "Integrity is the most important character of a leader."
    "Persistence is an important characteristic of a leader."
  • Lee Leffingwell
    "A leader needs to be honest, a person of integrity and someone who is steady."
    "A good leader needs to listen to a lot of people. Not the voices you hear all the time in the activist community."
  • Brigid Shea
    "A leader has to be able to ask tough questions."
    "A key leadership quality of an elected official is to be able to listen to people."

Resources and media links:


Live polling results:

As always, many thanks to our presenting sponsor Capital One Bank. Special thanks to the Long Center for the Performing Arts for providing our venue space. And thanks to our other partners, KXAN News, Community Impact News, Sterling Affairs Catering and Events - and our mobile technology partner 44Doors.

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