Commission application number 147 submitted by Jennifer Thomas on 06/18/2020

First Name Jennifer
Last Name Thomas
Voter Unique Identification number 1177408463
Ethnicity White
Gender Female
Age 25-34
Education Level Bachelor's Degree
Major Pursued Economics
What is your occupation? Financial Advisor
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 79702
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 79702
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? No
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. My brain has always been math-oriented. I went to college and became an economics major wanting to continue using this skill. I then went in the business field and finance specifically to use these skills in a practical way in real life, rather than theory which I had learned about throughout my education. My job working at an asset management firms forces me to use analytical skills on a daily basis focusing around money, the stock and bond market, alternative investments, taxes, social security, insurance, etc.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. I have never been a fan of the political two party system as it forces us as humans to fit into boxes, something we are not designed to do as complex species. I always come back to this thought during local, state and national elections. The best candidate may not always be affiliated with the party you may generally associate yourself with. Especially now a days as people are being pushed to the edges of their parties, it’s more important now to be impartial and come towards decisions with an unbiased approach. I’m school, I took many classes, and have since read many books, on implicit bias, training, group-think, etc. This has educated me on my own biases I was not aware of which I bring to any big decision I make. I do not make rash decisions. I take a step back and think about what outside forces may be affecting my decision-making and think critically about that prior to deciding.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. I grew up in the predominantly white area of Westlake. I left and went to college in Chicago because I wanted to surround myself with a more diverse community. Moving back to Austin I chose the historically black neighborhood of East Austin to continue this (although gentrification has not helped this). I came back to Austin because I have always appreciated the welcoming and open culture towards people of all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, religious affiliations, etc.
Please provide your employment history. As described above, through my liberal arts education, I was able to get a well-rounded approach to critical thinking and analysis. Since graduating I have worked at two companies in the money management industry where critical thinking., problem solving, and analysis are of the utmost importance to succeed at your job. My first job was at Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) in Austin. I was an associate working with financial advisors around the country on how they could act in the best interests of their clients. I was promoted to senior associate where I took on my own clients and a larger role at the firm. I moved over to BlackRock where I was promoted again to Vice President working with financial advisors mainly in Texas to legally act as fiduciaries for their clients and make the best decisions they could. This is a big responsibility that I have never taken lightly. All of these jobs required time management, critical thinking, problem solving, multi-tasking, professionalism, and analytical skills.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. As a millennial and a woman, I feel I represent a large group of the population that wants to have input and a say on how we can improve our communities for generations to come. I want to be part of that and hope you will consider me.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Social media, Austintexas.gov, redistrictATX.org
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Jennifer Thomas
District District 3
Does this application qualify? Yes