Commission application number 206 submitted by ROD SANDERS on 07/13/2020

First Name ROD
Last Name SANDERS
Voter Unique Identification number 1140266986
Ethnicity White
Gender Male
Age 65+
Education Level Bachelor's Degree
Major Pursued Sociology & Psychology double-major
What is your occupation? Retired
Submitted Address
City AUSTIN
State TX
Zip 78704
Verified Address
City AUSTIN
State TX
Zip 78704
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. I don't know if I've voted in 3 of the last 5 elections. I'm guessing and I don't keep track. That stated, I am very interested in helping redraw districts because I have been extremely dissatisfied with the way they were drawn in the first place. As a long time 78704 resident, I've been turned off to city politics because the city divided our neighborhood into 3 districts to destroy South Austin as a community and as a unified voice for 78704. I no longer have the bumper sticker on my vehicle: "78704 - More than a zip code. It's a way of life." I am the last of the great people I used to know who still lives in 78704. All the others have been pushed into the burbs or farther to make way for gentrification and the tsunami of New Yorkers and Californians who bought two homes here for the price of one where they came from. Meanwhile, related to this development, the neighborhood has gone from mostly owner occupied to mostly rental. I don't know what kind of analytical skills are being sought. My education has never stopped. I have been a voracious reader my entire life. I read non-fiction almost exclusively. I have a couple years of post-grad work, mostly in Sociology courses relevant to demography. I have a very analytical mind. I understand variables and interactions.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. I stated my main bias. That is the destruction of 78704 as a unified neighborhood. This needs to be corrected. The concept of making every district based on ethnic considerations is fundamentally flawed. It is our location that creates our common interests. Common interests should be the guiding principle for drawing districts. The districts as currently drawn are made to minimize conflict. That might seem like a worthy goal but it is not inclusive. It excludes minority interests in a quest for agreement among council members. I live next to Zilker Park. My interests differ immensely from those with whom I am currently grouped in Creedmore. Travis Heights has had its interests nullified by being grouped with East Austin on the north side of the river! The map of districts looks like a gerrymandered Texas state map. That was apparently their model. Districts should strive to be compact. That's how impartiality should work. Empower people of each geographic area within the city. That would be impartial.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. I've lived in integrated and segregated neighborhoods. Austin is about as segregated as it can get. That should make it less difficult to empower minorities within the city. If northeast Austin is predominately black, then it will advance diversity to make Northeast Austin a compact district with like interests. Same for all areas. East and Southeast Austin should be kept together to ensure Mexican-American representation. Asian-American areas in North Austin should be kept together as much as possible while keeping a district compact. Geography is primary because it is the main determinant of common interests. We're all Americans.
Please provide your employment history. I have over 20 years of self-employment experience. I have over 10 years experience working in the corporate world. I have over 10 years experience working for the federal government. I've been retired for over six years. I have mapping experience. I know Austin. I was a Realtor here for a couple years over 15 years ago.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. I like mapping. I have a massive collection of maps. I am intimately familiar with all areas of Austin. I have good communication skills. I enjoy working with all kinds of people of different backgrounds and ethnicities. I enjoy learning about our city and its changing environment as it grows. I think I would enjoy the experience. A good candidate should have an interest in making Austin better. That's me.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Other (please describe)
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature ROD SANDERS
District District 5
Does this application qualify? Yes