AUSTIN, Texas — The District 1 Austin City Council member announced Wednesday that she will not be seeking reelection.
Ora Houston released a statement saying after "months of personal discernment and conversations with confidants," the decision to not seek out a second term was made.
It has been a joy, privilege and a huge responsibility to represent the 'blended family' of District #1," said Houston. "Over the next seven months there are major issues to address and votes to take which will impact our City for generations, and the individuals who live here now and in the future."
"The council must make equitable decisions on the land development code and associated chapters; the adoption of the FY 19 budget; the contents/amounts to include in the 2018 Bond Proposal to be voted on in November; the possibility of placing changes to the City Charter on the same ballot; and assuring that 'justice for all' is accountable, transparent, unbiased, effective, and affordable."
Council Member Houston will focus on executing the responsibilities as the representative of the District and will continue to support the City to not lose sight that all planning, transit and infrastructure, must be inclusive of the outer edges of the City not only the center city.
The future for her will be a blend of a lot more personal time with opportunities for continued activism and citizen engagement.
For three years, five months and 8 days (but who’s counting), I laid a foundation of listening to the people, of civility, and approachable through many important transitions that were outlined in the State of the District, on June 9th. I will continue to represent all constituents with integrity, vigor and compassion until my term ends. As I am fond of saying, "This is an 8 day a week job, 24/7."
Time to unclutter my home and look forward to checking off my ABC list - Alaska, Belize and Cuba. Please be assured that I will not become a slacker, I will remain an active, inclusive and civil voice in the City I call home: Austin, Tejas!
Houston’s professional history includes 27 years with the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and, prior to that, working as a caseworker with Child Protective Services and Austin Travis County MHMR. After retirement, Houston worked in the office of Texas Senator Gonzalo Barrientos from 1999 to 2003.
District 1 includes Northeast Austin and parts of East Austin. Lewis Conway Jr., Mariana Salazar and Natasha Harper-Madison, have recently announced their runs for the seat. Former Travis County Democratic Party Chair Vince Harding announced Wednesday within two hours of Houston's announcement that he, too, is seeking the seat. His campaign manager says an official announcement is planned Friday.