Upcoming Programs: May-June

These upcoming meetings are designed to help us review and update the existing LWV Austin Area Policy Position Statements in six areas:

  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Health Care
  • Environmental Quality
  • Criminal Justice
  • Affordable Housing

Committees will be formed to review each of the six issues. Members: for more information or to volunteer for a committee, please contact VP of Programs Lea Masiello.


Environmental Quality: TESPA

Thursday, June 22
Sustainable Food Center 2921 E 17th St. Bldg. C 7:00-9:00 p.m.

The subject will be “Fighting for the Protection of the Edwards Aquifer.” The director of TESPA (Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association tespatexas.org), Jim Blackburn, will discuss his research, legal pursuits, and action alerts to help keep water flowing through central Texas. See the report, “Protecting Water in the Texas Hill Country,” by Jim Blackburn, and much more by clicking here.

Jim Blackburn is a practicing environmental lawyer and planner. He is a Professor in the Practice of Environmental Law in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rice University and is the Director of the Undergraduate Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability. Blackburn is the Co-Director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center at Rice. Blackburn authored The Book of Texas Bays, published in 2004 by Texas A&M Press, and he has written a new book, A Texan Plan for the Texas Coast, scheduled for publication in the fall of 2017.

RSVPs are appreciated for all program attendance. They are not absolutely necessary except for the Wed., May 24 lunch. Please join us for some very interesting discussions. Contributions of healthy snacks are ALWAYS welcome!


Recent Past Programs:

Health Care: Jane’s Due Process

Wednesday, May 17
Unit Meeting – North
7917 West Rim Drive 7:00 – 9 p.m.

Join us for a conversation led by Tina Hester, Executive Director of Jane’s Due Process. Jane’s Due Process (JDP) is an organization whose mission is to ensure legal representation for pregnant minors in Texas. Jane’s Due Process is one of the few organizations in the country dedicated to pregnant teens and is considered a pioneer in delivering legal services to this group. The core of the JDP program is its statewide toll-free legal hotline and lawyer referral service. Our speaker Tina Hester served as hotline coordinator for three years and was named Executive Director of JDP in 2011. She has spent her career dedicated to social justice and women’s reproductive health at both the state and national levels. She will update us about teen pregnancy and legal rights in Texas.

Education: Foundation Communities

Wednesday, May 24
Lunch at Sierra Vista Learning Center, 4320 S Congress Ave. 11:30-12:30 p.m.

Simple lunch (provided by Foundation Communities) and discussion of the successes of After School Support Services provided by Foundation Communities for ALL students in the neighborhood of their communities. We will learn about their after-school enrichment support programs, attended by over 60% of the neighborhood elementary school. There have been amazing successes to come out of their programs, and the especially impressive way they care for the WHOLE child, providing tutoring, exercise, nutritional information, enrichment activities, and even dinner! 

Affordable Housing: CodeNEXT

Sunday, June 4
Sustainable Food Center 2921 E 17th St. Bldg. C 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Specialists in this area will help us understand how the City of Austin’s new land use CodeNEXT maps will affect the development of more affordable housing in Austin. We will hear from these individuals (and possibly others): Greg Anderson, Director of Operations, Habitat for Humanity; Francisco Enriquez, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Glasshouse Policy; Jim Duncan, a leading national urban planner, from Duncan Associates; and Amy Wong Mok, Founder & CEO of the Asian American Cultural Center and President of the Asian American Community Partnership.

Greg Anderson, Director of Operations, Habitat for Humanity, https://www.austinhabitat.org/. Greg Anderson joined the Austin Habitat team in January 2015 after spending five years at City Hall as Policy Director for Austin Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole. He has more than 15 years of experience in real estate development, including the 360 Condominium Tower and the Austin Habitat for Humanity Community Home Center and currently serves on the City’s Planning Commission.  Greg received both his MBA and his undergraduate degrees in Urban Studies and Geography and the Environment from the University of Texas in Austin.

Francisco Enriquez, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Glasshouse Policy, a first of its kind policy crowdsourcing think tank based in Austin, Texas. An advocate for citizens of the Austin community in the local and state government. Enriquez believes that people want to be a part of the political conversation and help shape public policy but don’t have an easy way to do that. Glasshouse Policy holds forums, online discussions and events to get people involved in local politics.  https://glasshousepolicy.org

Jim Duncan, Urban Planner  http://www.duncanassociates.com Jim has been one of America’s leading urban planners for more than half a century. He co-authored the best-selling APA publication, “Growth Management Principles and Practices” and wrote the “Public Infrastructure” chapter in the ICMA “Planner’s Greenbook.”   Jim has served as national president of the American Planning Association and as president of its Florida chapter.  He is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, the highest honor of his profession.  Jim has a master’s degree in regional and city planning from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of Texas at Austin.  OU has honored him with both an Outstanding Alumni Award and a Regents Alumni Award, the University’s highest honor short of an honorary degree. 

Amy Wong Mok is the Founder & CEO of the Asian American Cultural Center and the President of the Asian American Community Partnership. She currently serves on Austin Arts Commission, the Board of KLRU, Capital of Texas Public Telecommunications Council, Inc., and chairs the Advocacy Committee on the Board of AAEYC (Austin Association for the Education of Young Children). She is a member of the Advisory Council of Texas Center for Education Policy and a member of AARO (Austin Area Research Organization).