I am in Austin representing the City of Los Angeles for the League of Cities conference. This is a fascinating city, and I have been busy studying the innovation here at the ground level. As Chair of the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and Los Angeles River Committee, I was excited to get close to Austin’s signature waterway. I have been looking, visiting, and touching the Colorado River, which flows through downtown Austin, as well as analyzing the economic development taking place.
I also met with Jose Cisneros, president of the California League of Cities and treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco. We discussed the importance of relationships among municipal governments so that good ideas are shared for the mutual benefit of communities in dense urban cities.
Finally, I met with the City of Austin's Redevelopment Manager and discussed the revitalization of the downtown core, the challenges the city faced, and also the city’s successful growth using tax increment financing, similar to SB 628, signed into law by Governor Brown, which I referenced in this Council motion that I recently introduced.
I had a great visit, but I can’t wait to get home. The trip has inspired some creative ideas for improving our Los Angeles River in the City of Angels, and I’m eager to discuss these concepts with my colleagues at City Hall and the stakeholders in our community.