NAAO-PAC Endorses Steve Adler for Mayor

Date of Release: July 30, 2014


AUSTIN, TX –The Network of Asian American Organizations (NAAO) and its member organizations hosted a candidate forum on Saturday, July 26, 2014, at the Asian American Resource Center. Mayoral and city council candidates spoke at the forum.

Following the forum, the NAAO PAC, a separate organization, endorsed the following candidates:

MAYOR: Steve Adler

Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole has shown a good working knowledge of the city budget and has been a strong supporter of the Asian American Resource Center (AARC) and M/WBE programs.

Council Member Mike Martinez co-sponsored the Asian American Quality of Life Initiative, has appointed Asian Americans and strengthened minority contracting goals.

We greatly appreciate the service of Mayor Pro Tem Cole and Council Member Martinez; however, we feel that changing to the new 10-1 system of council representation brings a historic opportunity for new leadership and a fresh perspective. Steve Adler will bring the effective leadership style he’s demonstrated through his community service. Adler is skilled at finding common ground and developing solutions that address the interests of diverse stakeholders. He has shown a strong interest in working with the Asian American community. As Austin grows into an international city, the NAAO PAC believes Adler will be a strong leader to help guide us through the complex challenges ahead.

DISTRICT 3: Fred McGhee

Susana Almanza has raised the most money in the race for District 3, however we have not had the opportunity to evaluate her candidacy as she did not respond to our questionnaire nor attend the NAAO forum.

Fred McGhee has been sensitive to the needs of minority groups, including the Asian American community. His work on city and neighborhood issues, his military service in the U.S. Navy and his passion for sustainability make him qualified to serve on Austin’s city council. He has demonstrated a willingness to reach out and work with the Asian American community, and we look forward to working with Dr. McGhee should he be elected to city council.

DISTRICT 4: Gregorio Casar

Katrina Daniel has served the public in various roles including the Central Health Board of Managers, and we appreciate her leadership in the community.

Gregorio Casar has shown that he can bring opposing sides together to tackle tough issues and develop solutions that benefit the community. He has been an advocate on Travis County’s Economic Development Task Force for the County’s HUB-M/WBE guidelines to apply to all projects receiving subsidies from Travis County, and that it establish streamlined procedures for monitoring compliance. He has also advocated for the safety of construction workers. His leadership and thoughtful approach to public policy, his experience on the Restore Rundberg Team and the Community Development Commission, and his championing of social equity issues make him our favored candidate for District 4.

DISTRICT 5: Ann Kitchen

During Ann Kitchen’s long-standing community service, including her tenure as a state representative and a member of the Charter Revision Committee, she has been an advocate for the interests of the Asian American community. We look forward to supporting her candidacy for city council.

DISTRICT 8: Eliza May

Darrell Pierce has raised the most money in the race for District 8, however we have not had the opportunity to evaluate his candidacy as he did not respond to our questionnaire nor attend the NAAO forum.

As the CEO for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for six years, Eliza May worked with the Austin Asian American Chamber of Commerce and established the Multi-Ethnic Chamber Alliance. She supports the full development of the AARC to enrich the greater community and strengthen the city’s international program for business development. Ms. May has had a good relationship with the Asian American community, and we look forward to assisting in her election.

DISTRICT 9: Council Member Kathie Tovo

The Asian American community has good working relationships with both Council Member Chris Riley and Council Member Kathie Tovo. Chris Riley has appointed numerous Asian Americans to boards and commissions and is a supporter of public-private partnerships for public spaces and economic development.

Kathie Tovo’s contributions and support for the Asian American community have been formidable. This includes adding a much-needed commercial kitchen to the AARC, the creation of the Asian American Quality of Life Commission, appointing Asian Americans to boards and commissions, and expanding and enhancing requirements for third-party agreements in support of the MBE/WBE Procurement Program. She has been a leader for our issues and has shown a deep and personal interest in the Asian American community. We look forward to her continued service on the city council.

DISTRICT 10: Mandy Dealey

Robert Thomas has been supportive of M/WBE programs as critical to the economic health of Austin. He has been involved with community organizations addressing domestic violence, education and neighborhood issues, and we appreciate his public service.

Marjorie Burciaga has shown an interest in learning about the Asian American community, and we appreciate her public service and involvement in community issues.

Mandy Dealey has been very involved in city issues over a long period of time, serving on six city boards, commissions and task forces, including vice-chair of the City of Austin Planning Commission. As the chair of the Waterfront Overlay Task Force, she sought to protect the shoreline and waterfront along Lady Bird Lake for future generations to enjoy. She is a long-standing advocate for causes affecting the most vulnerable populations in Austin, including the Austin Area Mental Health Association. She has impressed us with her many years of dedicated community service and her compassion towards those in need. District 10 has a high percentage of Asian American voters, and we look forward to helping elect her to the city council.

The NAAO PAC is withholding endorsement decisions for Districts 1, 2, 6 and 7 pending further interviews.

Photos of the forum are available to the media upon request.