AUSTIN (KXAN) — None of the candidates in the Austin City Council races without an incumbent secured more than 50% of the vote in their race, triggering a runoff in three seats. Austin voters will be asked to head back to the polls this December to pick between the top two candidates in those races.

District 3: José Velásquez

Key campaign focuses outlined on Velásquez’s website include:

  • Addressing Austin’s housing crisis through anti-gentrification measures and built off “real-life experiences of lifelong and new residents alike”
  • Expanding high-speed broadband internet access
  • Offering free, full-day Pre-K for all to jumpstart childhood education without cost barriers
  • Incentivizing remote work to ease transportation woes and expand residents’ time spent with loved ones and community members

A fourth-generation Austinite, he said in his candidate interview with the City of Austin he is running for council due to the “lack of urgency around affordability,” citing his experience as a community organizer.

“A lot of people talk about the tale of two cities — I’ve lived it,” he said. “I can speak with authority, intelligence and trust in the community about the disparities facing our city.”

Velásquez added teachers, students, service industry workers, emergency medical personnel and single parents are underserved under current affordability issues.

He also flagged transit issues, equity concerns and environmental elements as key areas his campaign looks to tackle.

The results from Election Night in Austin City Council District 3
The results from Election Night in Austin City Council District 3 (KXAN graphic)

District 3: Daniela Silva

Silva’s campaign website outlines three core tenets of her campaign:

  • Expand building of affordable, dense housing along transit corridors; amend Land Development Code; pass VMU2 to authorize taller buildings; eliminate single-family zoning and mandatory parking minimums
  • Bolster city’s light rail and e-bike system; hone in on cap-and-stitch and other alternatives to the Texas Department of Transportation’s I-35 plan
  • Develop a new hospital in District 3 to serve southeast Austin
  • Expand funding and support alongside Travis County for CommUnityCare
  • Increase funding for Austin-Travis County EMS; sponsor the creation of EMS-run mobile mental health units
  • Expand greenspace throughout east Austin
  • Oppose Austin Energy’s current rate hike; divest from Fayette Coal Power Plant; audit city infrastructure like water, sewage pipes

In her candidate interview with the City of Austin, Silva said she was zeroed in on “equity, justice and a city that can maintain long-term sustainability.”

A bachelor’s and master’s degree recipient from Texas A&M University, Silva flagged her time as a legislative aide to a state senator in Austin and as a policy researcher in Washington, D.C., as part of her expertise. She also noted volunteer work with Community Resilience Trust, the Austin Justice Coalition, El Buen Samaritano, Community First! Village and the Austin Area Urban League.

“I have been boots on the ground working to make Austin a more equitable city,” Silva said. “It’s time to let go of the status quo and throw out the establishment political rulebook.”