A look at Isa Boonto, who is running for Austin City Council

North Austin has been home to Isa Boonto since the early 2000s. "I moved to Austin in 2002 with my daughter. I’ve been living in North Austin since 2003," she said.

The teacher and mother has seen the city change and developed a desire for community and government service. She is one of the seven running for the Austin City Council’s District Four seat. "I’m really hopeful that voters will really think about whom they want to represent District Four," said Boonto.

Affordability is on many Austinites' minds, with rent and home prices skyrocketing in a hot market. "Are there ways that we can cap some of the rental properties, are there ways to cap the rent across the board? Is there a way we can look at zoning, outdated zoning policies?" said Boonto.

Boonto said the city is keeping pace with the higher income earners, but not the working class. "We have to continue to advocate for private and non-profits organizations to pay workers. It’s a really simple formula," she said.

"Property taxes are high and a lot of people have retired. On their retirement pay, senior citizens are struggling to pay their taxes," said Boonto.

If elected, Boonto wants to get police staffing back up to levels she feels are adequate. "They are understaffed. They can’t go out on the regular calls that they used to," she said.

In turn, she hopes that can open up room for improvement in the department, and more community policing hours. "They’re not able to take the time to talk to community members, which is what we want," said Boonto.

The solution to homelessness? That's complicated...as all may agree the homeless need to be housed, but how does the city make that happen?

"Not just a Band-Aid that like a voucher for however many months, and if that lapses, then you’ll have to reapply and you’re not even sure if you’ll be eligible when you reapply," said Boonto.

Boonto said she would want to utilize abandoned buildings and work on finding permanent solutions to homelessness, not temporary solutions.

"In district four we have a lot of buildings, warehouses, and office spaces that are not being utilized. Could we look at repurposing some of these spaces?" said Boonto.

Ultimately she hopes to sit down and have conversations with the homeless population themselves about their needs. She said if elected, she vows to be a council member who engages with constituents directly. 

A look at Jose "Chito" Vela, who is running for Austin City Council
Austin City Council District 4 candidates speak at forum

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