Travis County Commissioner Precinct 1 • Democratic candidates Q & A

Richard Franklin Richard Franklin[/caption]

Richard Franklin


Experience: Del Valle ISD board trustee and precinct chair, past president of the Black Austin Democrats, vice chair of membership for the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats
www.richardfranklin4pct1.info



Why are you running for county commissioner?


I am running for county commissioner, as this is another step that will allow me to serve my community.



What are the top issues the county is currently facing?


Improvement in the quality of life for all residents in Travis County, especially in Precinct 1. All of our needs are priorities; it depends on your situation. Affordability, transportation, lack of health care and mass transit, lack of food access, economic development, pollution of our environment and more: These are all priorities that must be fixed.



Why should people vote for you?


I am the only candidate that has been elected to office, as a Del Valle school board member and precinct chair, and the only candidate that lives in the unincorporated county. I am exposed to and experience all of the issues that the county commissioner must address and fix.








Marc Hoskins Marc Hoskins[/caption]

Marc Hoskins


Experience: Austin business owner, former Texas Senate staffer and lobbyist, former Galveston City Council member
www.electmarchoskins.com



Why are you running for county commissioner?


To provide strong leadership and a new perspective to the challenges that people face on a day-to-day basis. From pay equity to economic development to issues around affordability as well as re-entry, I am prepared to meet those challenges while using my position to advocate for all citizens and work toward solutions for the issues in Precinct 1.



What are the top issues the county is currently facing?


The main issues facing the county are: affordability, transportation, economic development and re-entry, or when an individual has been incarcerated and is reentering society.



Why should people vote for you?


Voters want to know that a person can perform the duties of the office. Being the next county commissioner is more than just attending a weekly meeting. It is about utilizing your experience and network of influence to understand and service the needs of constituents in Precinct 1.







James Nortey James Nortey[/caption]

James Nortey


Experience: attorney, member of the Austin Planning Commission, Zero Waste Advisory Commission member, past president of Black Austin Democrats
www.jamesnortey.com



Why are you running for county commissioner?


Our community has too many neglected needs and gross disparities. I am running to help close the economic and equity divide in Travis County by promoting job growth, containing traffic congestion and taking meaningful steps to improve affordability.



What are the top issues the county is currently facing?


Traffic congestion, a lack of affordability and a lack of economic opportunity are our community’s most urgent issues. To contain traffic congestion, we must use every tool in the toolbox to get better roads, more transportation options and better land planning. We especially need improved bus service and more sidewalks in Precinct 1.



Why should people vote for you?


We are at a critical moment, and Precinct 1 has major challenges to overcome. I believe my background, experience, involvement in the community, detailed policy proposals and proven track record of getting things done show that I am uniquely prepared to be a strong and effective advocate for the people of Precinct 1.







Arthur Sampson Arthur Sampson[/caption]

Arthur Sampson


Experience: More than 30 years experience as a project coordinator, inspector and plan reviewer; liaison for the downtown Austin Alliance; former police officer
www.arthursampson.com



Why are you running for county commissioner?


The residents of Travis County need a voice that is capable of building an alliance necessary to guide the future development and improve the services delivered to Travis County and Precinct 1. Some of the residents in Precinct 1 are lacking the basic needs for a good quality of life.



What are the top issues the county is currently facing?


[Top issues include] public safety; public transportation; infrastructure such as roads, bridges and parks, water quality and environmental protection; the relationship between law enforcement and community; affordable housing; economic development; illegal dumping on our county roads; and social services for senior citizens, the youth [and the disabled]; and mental health.



Why should people vote for you?


My 30 years of experience and knowledge has prepared me for the responsibilities that I will face as Travis County commissioner for Precinct 1. I want to make the commissioner’s office more accessible to the residents of Travis County.







Jeff Travillion Jeff Travillion[/caption]

Jeff Travillion


Experience: served on campus advisory committees, Sloan Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Affairs, studied at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
www.jefftravillion.com



Why are you running for county commissioner?


I have lived, worked and been involved in civic issues in Travis County for more than 30 years. I have dedicated my professional career to significant issues that confront local and state government, including business development, performance measurement and management, process improvement and best practices for government operations.



What are the top issues the county is currently facing?


There are a number of significant problems, but transportation, access to health care, access to safe places for families, and youth development are at the top of the list. We need to overhaul a number of county roads in eastern and northeastern Travis County. However, one strategy to address relieving I-35 [traffic] is to un-toll [SH] 130.



Why should people vote for you?


I have studied community development and political science in a number of settings. I attended a Historically Black College in Mississippi, studied public administration as a Sloan Fellow at the Heinz School of Public Affairs [at Carnegie Mellon] and the Kennedy School of Government [at Harvard] and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. I have worked in state and local government for three decades.




Candidates' responses were edited for space.