Commission application number 262 submitted by Aaron Benfield on 08/07/2020

First Name Aaron
Middle Name/Initial Pillans
Last Name Benfield
Voter Unique Identification number 1141071799
Ethnicity White
Gender Male
Age 35-44
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued Molecular Biology
What is your occupation? Sr. Director, Molecular Applications (Diagnostic Testing)
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78730
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78730
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? Yes
Spouse/Domestic Partner First Name Julianna
Spouse/Domestic Partner Middle Name/Initial D
Spouse/Domestic Partner Last Name Benfield
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'm a molecular biology PhD. I'm very scientific and data driven in all of my professional approaches. I would approach this task with the ultimate goal of having equal representation from different groups that make up Austin in a proportional manner. For example, if ~70% of the City of Austin population vote democratic in the city/state/national elections, then 70% of the city districts should be drawn to given no more than 70% democrat city council reps.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. I'm not politically aligned with any party and consider myself an independent. I would approach this task to allow for the city to have districts that accurately align with the demographics of our population to ensure equal representation. I do believe today that there is no representation on the city council from a non-liberal. As an independent, I would fight for equal representation with respect to political, sexual orientation, and racial demographics.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. Austin is a great, diverse city. Geography wise, it represents most of what Texas has to offer, outside of a desert and beach. It is also very diverse from a political perspective. As an independent, I would fight for equal representation with respect to political, sexual orientation, and racial demographics.
Please provide your employment history. Aaron Benfield has over 20 years experience in molecular biology applications within industrial, public health, and academic settings. He is currently the Senior Director of Molecular Applications at Luminex, where he leads a team of Molecular Application Specialists that perform product implementation of Luminex technology at diagnostic customer sites. Aaron is also involved in various aspects of customer development, scientific affairs, as well as marketing and sales activities. Prior to his current role, Aaron received his B.S. and Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Texas at Austin, studying the energetics of biomolecular structure. He then went on to be a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Texas/MD Anderson Cancer Research Center where he studied DNA damage and mutagenesis. Aaron then moved on to become the Molecular Biology Group Manager at the Texas Department of State Health Services, where he oversaw molecular testing for diagnostic and epidemiological purposes.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. We need better representation from a city wide perspective. As of now, 10 of 10 city council members are self-described liberals. The city is not 100% progressives, but is likely closer to 60%. If added to this panel, I would strive for equal representation from all ethnicity, political and sexual orientation groups.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Radio
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Aaron Benfield
District District 6
Does this application qualify? Yes