My Vision for District 9

My vision for District 9 is one in which multi-generational families, creatives and executives, small business owners and entrepreneurs, young professionals, and seniors can all feel a genuine sense of community, belonging, and high quality of life.

The only way Austin’s quality of life and sense of belonging for all will be maintained – and not just for the most privileged, white, and wealthy – is by sustainably ensuring District 9 remains affordable, creative, and inclusive.

I see a District 9 with more affordable housing, a vibrant local business economy that does not rely on national corporations; a thriving live music and arts scene; public-private partnerships that are envied by cities nationwide; concern for public safety both in our neighborhoods and on our roads; and streets that speak to our commitment in addressing climate change.

The events of 2020 demand Austin collaborates to undo many of the longstanding, negative ramifications of Austin’s 1928 city plan, which divided the city along racial lines and has prevented the kind of equity and cultural harmony that would ensure Austin’s economic and environmental sustainability.

We won’t prioritize short-term concerns within our community, but we’ll embrace our shared values and serve the greater, long-term good of the city.

It’s ours if we work collaboratively and reach for it together.

Where We Are Now
These three qualities – affordable, creative, and inclusive – have made District 9 a special community for decades, and has fostered an enviable quality of life that is under extreme pressure. This is due to failing to meet our city’s challenges with practical city planning, proactive policymaking, and collaboration.

Each day, we learn of
Homeowners and renters who’ve been priced out and have to relocate,
Creatives who no longer feel supported by their home city
Small business owners who face friction dealing with City Hall
Property owners who face uncertain permitting processes and timelines for construction projects, both large and small
Students struggling to find affordable housing while they pursue their education
Parents spending more time in traffic than with their kids
Bicyclists who seek to reduce their carbon footprint, putting their lives at risk

The time to address these problems was yesterday, but we will make do with now.

I’m ready to lead us to solution…
I have built my life, my businesses, my sense of community and my home in District 9 over the last two decades. As your District 9 representative on Austin City Council, I want to play an active role in ensuring thousands of other Austinites can plug in, find abundance, and give back the same way District 9 has allowed me to.

Our beloved Austin is a special place. We have welcomed families, students, young professionals, artists and creatives, small business owners, innovators and entrepreneurs, immigrants, and a host of others with open arms. It’s done this for years because of the values i share with this city. That we care about one another and look out for less fortunate neighbors, support local businesses and nonprofits, celebrate artists, and give to this place as much as this place gives to us. This is part of what makes Austin special.

I am running for City Council to be part of the solution.

This district, and this city, will need your ongoing commitment to our shared values to make it work. We all can be a part of ensuring the Austin we live in years from now is one that’s as affordable, creative and inclusive as the one we fell in love with years ago; an Austin that gives us a special sense of belonging.

Sincerely, Joah

My Relationship with District 9

Graduate of UT-Austin (2005)

Lobbied Texas Legislature for March of Dimes

Raised tens of thousands for Dell Children's Hospital

Avid live music supporter; married to a musician

Serious distance runner; have run a 3:14 marathon

Longtime supporter of Austin PBS & Austin City Limits

Current board member of ZACH Theatre

Prominent advocate for local restaurants & businesses

Early adviser to Rainey Street business owners

Mentor for entrepreneurs through Capital Factory

Creator of the first-ever fashion segment of SXSW

Former owner of a downtown sneaker boutique

Pol. adv. pd. by Joah Spearman Campaign. This campaign has not agreed to comply with the contribution and expenditure limits of the Austin Fair Campaign Ordinance.