Commission application number 100 submitted by Erin Dempsey on 06/09/2020

First Name Erin
Middle Name/Initial M.
Last Name Dempsey
Voter Unique Identification number 1086554728
Ethnicity Hispanic or Latino
Gender Female
Age 45-54
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued Doctor of Law
What is your occupation? Small business owner
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78703
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78703
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? Yes
Spouse/Domestic Partner First Name Michael
Spouse/Domestic Partner Middle Name/Initial W.
Spouse/Domestic Partner Last Name Dempsey
Are you applying to be the student member of the commission? No
Have you been continuously registered to vote in the City of Austin for the last five years? Yes
Have you voted in 3 of the last 5 City of Austin general elections (or corresponding runoff if applicable)? Yes
Been appointed to a state or city office? No
Been elected to a state or city office? No
Been a candidate for a state or city office? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of the campaign committee of a candidate for elective state, county, or city office? No
Been a registered state or local lobbyist? No
A paid employee of the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional services contract with the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to the City Council of the City of Austin or to any individual member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
A controlling person of a person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to any member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
Contribute or bundle one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more in aggregate to candidates for City of Austin elective office? No
Please describe your relevant analytical skills. I am a commercial real estate attorney and practiced in national law firms from 2001 until 2019. My job consisted of analyzing facts and figuring out how to best structure transactions for my clients. I reviewed and analyzed various contracts over the years and would assist clients with most of their real estate needs, including, but not limited to, commercial loans secured by real estate, purchase and sales of commercial real estate, defaults and foreclosures, and commercial leasing. In addition, I launched a women's clothing company with my business partner, Jen Caven, in November of 2018. We basically had to learn an entirely new business which entailed a lot of research and analyzing of the retail world.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. I grew up with a dad in the news business and a mom in education. Through the experience of growing up in such a household, I learned how to discern fact from fiction and to listen to all sides. My dad always wanted to present the news in the most impartial way possible which meant understanding the facts and reporting only on the facts. In addition, during my time in law school, we always had to argue both sides. Every exam we took we knew there was no right or wrong answer, we just had to argue and present both sides of the equation to the best of our ability. I am also the mother of two daughters, and I am always working to listen to them completely and to try my best to not press my feelings and my understandings onto them, unless it is truly warranted.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. I have always loved Austin, especially starting in my college years when I attended UT. Although I moved away for awhile my family and I found ourselves making our home in Austin in the summer of 2013. We immediately realized when we moved here that we were home. Austin has this welcoming feeling that I have never felt in any other city. I feel that people that move here are welcomed with open arms and are very supported in their professional endeavors. I love that we live in a large city but that we have beautiful nature all around us. Having such access to parks, trails and bike lanes helps people to get outside and live healthier, happier lives. A personal connection to nature is part of leading a healthy and satisfying life. I also love and appreciate the diverse demographics of Austin. I do not want to live in a place where everyone looks the same and cultural differences are not appreciated and celebrated. As with all major cities, there is always work to do to improve the overall health, well being and education for all of its population. I truly feel that Austin is a city that is constantly evolving and bringing these very important issues to the forefront and working towards finding solutions.
Please provide your employment history. After graduating from the University of Texas, Erin worked as a waitress in Austin until September of 1997 when she moved to Costa Rica for three months to live with a host family, teach English to business men and women in San Jose, take advanced Spanish classes and travel throughout the country. Upon her return to the states Erin traveled in Europe for 6 weeks, taught classes all over San Antonio as a substitute teacher (in N.E.I.S.D. and S.A.I.S.D.), waited tables at J. Alexander's, and applied to law schools all over the country. In the fall of 1998, Erin moved to Atlanta, Georgia to attend Emory School of Law. During her schooling, Erin interned at, among other places, Georgia Legal Services, the INS, Locke, Liddell & Sapp (“Locke”) in Dallas and Morris Manning & Martin in Atlanta. Upon her graduation in 2001, Erin moved to Dallas, Texas where she had accepted a commercial real estate associate position with Locke and studied for, took and passed the State Bar Exam. Throughout Erin’s legal career, she worked in Dallas at Locke (which subsequently merged), K&L Gates (which subsequently merged), and Dykema as an associate and then as Senior Counsel until July of 2013. After that time, Erin and her family moved to Austin where she continued to work on a part time basis for Dykema until August of 2019. In the summer of 2017, Erin and her friend and business partner, Jen Caven, founded Bess & George, LLC (“Bess & George”), a women’s apparel company located in Austin, Texas. Bess & George officially launched online in October of 2018 and has been designing, manufacturing and selling clothes since that time. Bess & George is mainly present online but also participates in various pop up events and markets around the city and the state. My work and life experiences have taken me all over the country and the world. I am a hard working person in general and always an attorney at heart. I believe that my career experiences combined with my education and travel have given me the ability to analyze the facts while also keeping an open heart and mind.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. Erin Dempsey lives in Deep Eddy/Tarrytown with her husband Mike and two daughters, Megan and Tatum. She is busy being a wife and a mom, running her business, volunteering for school and sporting events and the Head for the Cure Foundation, and also supporting her community. Erin loves to read, travel, garden, bake (especially macarons), exercise, organize, decorate and attend all sorts of festivals with her family and friends.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Other (please describe)
How did you hear "Other" option detail Ward Tisdale
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Erin M. Dempsey
District District 10
Does this application qualify? Yes