Spirit of East Austin Community Email

Jun 29, 2016 - 9:38 am

Thank you again for your engaged patience as we move the Spirit of East Austin Initiative forward.  Since our last email, we have worked with community leaders to identify ideas that can create equitable, sustainable, and transformative development in Austin’s “Eastern Crescent.” We’d like to thank the working group - City Council Members Houston, Renteria, Troxclair, and Pool – and all of the community members who attended the initial community forum on September 12. 

The Spirit of East Austin is about building holistic communities, focused on jobs and workforce development, health and wellness, education, mixed-income housing, and mobility in the “Eastern Crescent.”  We’re prepared to demonstrate new creativity, risk-taking, hard work, patience and strategic partnerships to reverse the damages caused by historic inequity and benign neglect.

We have continued to meet with stakeholder groups from Central East Austin, Colony Park, Del Valle, Dove Springs, Montopolis, and Rundberg. Those groups include the Colony Park, Dove Springs, and Montopolis neighborhood groups; La Raza Roundtable; Six Square; Go! Austin/Vamos! Austin (GAVA); Community Advancement Network (CAN) Board Members; Asian, Black, and Hispanic chambers of commerce; and the Del Valle ISD. We have presented and received ideas at those meetings that have the potential to move us closer toward our goals for the project.

A major emphasis of our efforts has been on “collective impact.” The ”collective impact model” helps to ensure that we collaborate with different sectors (public, private and non-profit), align our efforts with our community partners, and identify measures for success that reflect our goal of equitable economic development.  We have sought out and talked with Purpose Built Communities, a nonprofit organization, as a potential partner to help build a coordinated, holistic approach to break intergenerational poverty in the “Eastern Crescent.” 

We understand that you are hungry for substantive change in our communities. So are we. It’s important that we do it right this time, and doing so requires that we be strategic, intentional and deliberate.

We will continue to meet and work with all of our community partners - from grassroots advocates to business leaders - on our way to achieving equitable, transformative and sustainable development in the “Eastern Crescent.” As we have promised, we plan to have a list of big ideas for community input in the near future. As we did in our initial meeting, we will continue to seek out innovative ways to keep everyone informed and involved. The Spirit of East Austin Initiative, done right, can fix what has been wrong for too long. We’re not looking for a quick fix.

We’re working to get the job done right, and we appreciate your support in achieving this common goal.