How many deaths does it take to get Austin City Council’s attention?

UPDATE 7/24: This post is already outdated. 61 traffic fatalities. H/T @cubbie9000

59 people have been killed in traffic fatalities in Austin in 2015. 6 in just the past two weeks. 18 pedestrians and one person on a bicycle. There were 63 traffic related deaths [edited from 58] in all of 2014. I understand City Council is currently on summer break, but how many deaths does it take to get Austin City Council’s attention? Let’s take a look at their social media accounts since July 4:

Mayor Steve Adler

July 8: Mayor Adler enjoys The Thinkery
July 9: The Mayor shares some insight on dedicated transit lanes he learned while visiting Dublin.
July 10: Mayor Adler spoke at Con Mi Madre. He also met with the Mayor of Saltillo, Mexico.
July 21: New Facebook profile pic

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Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, District 9

The Mayor Pro Tem has not tweeted since July 4, and appears to only have personal Facebook page.

Councilmember Ora Houston, District 1

CM Houston last tweeted on July 2, to announce a Town Hall. Over on Facebook, CM Houston announced a community meeting on July 10, and a recruiting event on July 11.

Councilmember Delia Garza, District 2

CM Garza has an infant, so I’m cutting her some slack. On Facebook, she posted about the Choose Healthier app (7/11) and she served lunch for Summer Meals that Matter (7/21). She appears to publish the same posts to Twitter.

Councilmember Pio Renteria, District 3

CM Renteria announced a Workers Defense Project vigil after a worker died on the job on the Eastside (7/14), asked for feedback for the Y-to-Barton Creek Trail (7/20), and passed along a tip about a traffic hazard on Cesar Chavez on July 21.

Councilmember Gregorio Casar, District 4

CM Casar also met with the Mayor of Saltillo, Mexico (7/10); attended a Texas AFL-CIO conference (7/16); spoke at a CLASP DC panel (7/18); and got to visit the White House and tout increasing paid maternity leave (7/18).

Councilmember Ann Kitchen, District 5

Councilmember Kitchen last posted to Facebook in June. She last tweeted May 23.

Councilmember Don Zimmerman, District 6

It appears that CM Zimmerman abstains from a public Facebook page and tweeting, at least since June 26.

Councilmember Leslie Pool, District 7

CM Pool is one of the more active councilmembers on social media. Here’s a selection of posts from July:

July 8: CM Pool shares an article on right-sizing city roads to reduce collisions without causing additional congestion.
July 8: Announces that Austin was selected to the Designing Cities Conference, focused on “making streets safer, more livable, and more economically vibrant”.
July 11: Shares her admiration of recently sold Green Pastures.
July 11: Shares a petition to protect the Golden Cheeked Warbler.

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Warbler

July 13: Announced a Transportation Department plan to change traffic signals to reduce congestion.
July 16: Like CM Troxclair, CM Pool also wants you to learn about the City Auditor.
July 16: CM Pool tweeted a story about a driver who hit a cyclist with his truck.
July 17: Photos of Pluto.
July 20: Posts an article about the state of the music industry in Austin.
July 22: CM Pool spoke at an ANC meeting.
July 23: Another post about protecting the Warbler.

Councilmember Ellen Troxclair, District 8

Only a couple posts. She wants you to understand the role of the City Auditor (7/20).

Councilmember Sheri Gallo, District 10

CM Gallo is also very active on social media. Here’s her tally:

July 13: Attended Grovefest, site of a new development in Central Austin.
July 15: Celebrated HEB Mueller winning a Green Energy award.
July 15: Retweeted this @ImagineAustin post about #VisionZero, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths in Austin
July 17: Attended the Austin Aces home opener
July 20: Attended a meeting of the Indian-American Coalition of Texas.
July 22: Attended a Pecan Street, Inc. board meeting.

There you have it. 59 deaths. Six in two weeks. 11 elected members of Austin City Council. 2 posts about protecting the life of an endangered bird. 2 tweets about pedestrian & cyclist safety [Edited after Dan Keshet’s feedback].

How many people have to die to get Austin City Council’s attention, and a plan of action? Tell each one of them that 59 deaths is too many, and it’s time to prioritize safer streets in Austin.
You can email all members at once using this form: https://www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members.

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