Commission application number 281 submitted by Christina Puentes on 08/13/2020

First Name Christina
Middle Name/Initial A
Last Name Puentes
Voter Unique Identification number 1174275030
Ethnicity Self-describe
Gender Female
Age 25-34
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued Master of Public Affairs
What is your occupation? graduate student
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78758
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78758
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? Yes
Spouse/Domestic Partner First Name Andrew
Spouse/Domestic Partner Middle Name/Initial W
Spouse/Domestic Partner Last Name Thomas
Are you applying to be the student member of the commission? Yes
Are you a student enrolled in a community college or university in the City of Austin? 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 second year student of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, where I just spent a year in Sherri Greenberg's policy research class that pertained to health and transportation access in the outskirts of Travis County's Precinct 1, which also partnered with Mike Trimble of the City of Austin Corridor Program office. During that time, I collaborated with classmates to closely examine Austin's historical context of city planning as well as the city plans themselves. We met with city demographer Ryan Robinson several times to gather a clearer picture of Austin's current city design as well as where residents' needs are not being met around Austin. Outside of that, my current work involves being familiar with AISD's district lines and the overlap with city districts.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. I moved to Austin in 2010 to attend UT and have stayed here ever since. I have no relatives in Austin or related to city government. I have no ties to city, county, or state officials. I want to be involved with a redistricting process that does not cater to special interests or allow greater benefit or power for any single district or community in Austin.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. Every person who is selected to be on this commission needs to have a deep understanding of Austin's racial history and how it factors into today's racial dynamics. The City of Austin was once a haven for Black residents. The 1928 City Plan and subsequent development and redistricting changed that. Right now, our city's schools and communities are incredibly segregated, perhaps more so than ever. Austin is a majority-minority city, filled with Latinx communities with rich histories from across Central and South America, Black communities that have been here for generations, and Asian communities that have made their home in north Austin where I live. Because of our myriad higher education and career opportunities, our city is filled with younger residents who have greater potential to embrace integrated city districts and carry the sea of change that we desperately need. In regards to geography, we have an opportunity to foster a more inclusive culture around parks and recreation with the beautiful greenbelt and central Texas landscape all around us. The current city council is doing good work in ensuring the expansion of access to transportation through the passage of Project Connect. I think that is an important step to increasing access to Austin's amenities and job opportunities for all residents while reducing the pollution and traffic that have plagued the city for years.
Please provide your employment history. Currently working on Kevin Foster's AISD school board race. Current teaching assistant for the Department of English at UT. Co-founder of community group called Reframe the Game. Former 10th grade English teacher at LBJ ECHS. Former 1st grade teacher in Wells Branch. Former volunteer Texas statewide organizer of Wolf PAC, a political organization that formed after Citizens United whose goal is to eliminate political corruption. Former Americorps member of Literacy First (formerly ACE) which operates throughout AISD Title I elementary schools. Former intern for Rep. Todd Hunter in the 83rd Texas Legislative session. Former policy intern for Children's Defense Fund.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. The LBJ School cemented the importance of getting young leaders involved with creating local policies and participating in local government, and because of that, I have developed a strong interest in Austin's city operations. I believe it is critical that we draw city lines in a way that allows for each city district to have fair representation and equitable allocation of resources that meets the needs of the people in each district, including access to city services, parks, affordable housing, and excellent schools. Whether district lines are drawn with the prioritization of the least privileged among us will determine the city's strength as Austin continues to expand and mature.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Other (please describe)
How did you hear "Other" option detail email through the LBJ School of Public Affairs
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Christina Angelique Puentes
District District 7
Does this application qualify? Yes