Chip In
 

Meet Nick

Nick Virden is a lifelong Austinite, University of Texas alumnus, and change agent fighting to disrupt the Austin City Council establishment. Nick is an outsider whose vision for an accountable Austin City Council is untethered from the corrosive influence of special interests. Nick brings a breath of fresh air to the stale and uninspired politics flowing from the dais. 

 
 

Platform

 
                    AFFORDABILITY In terms of affordability, Nick believes that the city has spending and zoning problems that contribute to increasing unaffordability. Firstly, the city should pay down its bond obligations to stifle our ever-increasing tax burden, which in part contributes to increasing unaffordability. PROPERTY TAXES Moreover, zoning and land use restrictions should be simplified immensely to combat the rising property taxes that are forcing people, especially our Latino, African American, and other minority communities, out of their homes across Austin. The current permitting processes and land use restrictions delay construction and make home up-keep and renovation costlier, in turn making housing and rent some of the most expensive in Texas, especially for those with less disposable income. Reducing the number of permits and restrictions on land use will benefit our workforce because building housing will be cheaper for developers and therefore more affordable to buy or rent for those most in need. We must prove that Austin is committed to leading the fight in tackling unaffordability.  
 
 

Affordability

Property Taxes

District 10 residents are overburdened by an inefficient and unfriendly property tax system. Nick will fight for you at City Hall by implementing a 20% Homestead exemption. 

Zoning

Today's current zoning system has failed to bring about affordability in Austin and CodeNEXT promises more of the same. We need to adopt a more Houston-like (flexible) approach to development that adapts to the needs of our growing population & diverse workforce. A more responsive, zoning-lite system will ensure an ample supply of affordable housing options for both current & future Austinites. 

 

 
 
                   

                   

 
 

Mobility

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Cap Metro perennially underserves Austinites. Previously a frequent rider while attending the University of Texas, Nick witnessed firsthand the inefficiency of a one-size-fits-all approach to public transportation. The Austin City Council should encourage competition between both Public & Private mass transit options to better serve the mobility needs of District 10 residents in particular and Austin residents at-large.

Ridesharing

The majority of the City Council has proven that when it comes to transportation innovation, they prefer to take an "If it's not my idea, it's not a good idea" approach. A large portion of District 10 is not served by the limited supply of taxi cabs and Cap Metro buses effectively, so on-demand ride-sharing provides a reliable, safe, and affordable transportation option around town. Nick will fight to bring back the original, fair ride-sharing rules in addition to leveling the regulatory playing field by relaxing taxicab, chauffeur, and limousine regulations so that there can be more fare flexibility and a greater supply of transportation options for all Austinites.

 

 
 
    
 
 

Tech Innovation

The Austin City Council prove themselves to be hostile to innovation time & time again. Austin's vibrant startup community attracts the best and brightest minds and companies of the tech community from around the world. Nick is a staunch advocate of bringing technological innovation to the user-interface of government itself.