For Austin: Deputy Mayor for Philanthropy and Social Sector services
June 23, 2009 § 20 Comments
From David Davenport
President and CEO
Fifteen months ago, I moved to Austin to take over the reigns of Capital Area Food Bank. Topping my list of reasons for making the move from Houston was the quality and capabilities of the staff and the strength of the organization built by my predecessor Judy Carter. Also factoring into the important thought process was my desire to live and work in a city that strives to be the most livable city in country. Any city with such a stated vision is worth a serious look.
Austin’s core values and culture of innovation coupled with a commitment to a high quality of life makes our community unique among Texas cities and cities across our country. But with all our greenness, quirkiness, uniqueness and weirdness we must still face the important and painful reality that the quality of life embraced so strongly here in Austin does not extend to all our city’s residents. Not even close.
At a candidate forum sponsored by the Austin Area Human Service Association (AAHSA) then Mayoral candidate Lee Leffingwell seemed to “get it”. He made it clear that even in difficult times the city would stay committed to maintaining funding for key human service organizations providing critical programs and services to our neighbors in need. I applaud that stated commitment. I recognize these are challenging times and governmental budgets are tight (like those of organizations like CAFB) but I feel the need to come forward with a bold proposal that I hope our new Mayor will embrace.
Austin needs a Deputy Mayor for Philanthropy and Social Sector services.
This critically important position would strategically coordinate the resources of our great community to achieve an improved quality of life for all our city’s residents. Nearly as important, Austin will once again set the example by being the model for other cities to follow.
There’s nothing weird about it – it‘s just good business.
Let’s take this important step together as a community. Let’s get to work extending the quality of life that so many of us enjoy to all our residents. Let’s be innovative, gutsy, creative, committed and inclusive. Let’s live our values and make the vision of a livable city for all a reality.