Commission application number 309 submitted by William Alexander on 08/27/2020

First Name William
Middle Name/Initial Eric
Last Name Alexander
Voter Unique Identification number 2145111807
Ethnicity White
Gender Male
Age 25-34
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued Computer Science/Mathematics (Optimization)/Transportation Engineering
What is your occupation? Ph.D. Student
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78703
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78703
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? No
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. Bachelor of Science, 2017 - Major in Mathematics (Optimization concentration) Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, 2017 Master of Science in Engineering - Transportation Engineering Well versed in linear programming, network optimization, machine learning, and numerical analysis
Please describe your ability to be impartial. I consider myself to be a computer scientist first and foremost. As such, I believe most everything in life can be adjudged impartially using a well-defined objective function. I believe that, should such a function be sufficiently transparent, well-defined, and equitable, there can be no imposition of personal bias on a scientific experiment such as redistricting. Therein lies the challenge, however - to create such a function such that all parties are impacted in the least detrimental manner possible. I am well-suited to aid in designing such a function for redistricting our city.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. Austin has been my home for the last three years and represented the first significant departure in my life from a relatively homogeneous demographic makeup in northern Alabama. This is particularly true of my experience within the LGBTQ community in Austin, a vibrant community that is far more visible than the one I saw (or, rather, never saw) growing up in the Bible Belt. What's more, as an active member of a progressive church dedicated to social justice, I have strived to be empathetic to the needs and desires of communities beyond my understanding, in hopes that this world can heal from the divisions by accepting, respecting, and celebrating our differences in addition to our similarities. What's more, I understand from my professional training the complexities of a varied landscape and population on bureaucratic decision-making, as there is generally, in governmental affairs, never a one-size-fits-all solution. This calls us to examine paths for all citizens and non-citizens alike when making lasting changes that will impact our community for a sizeable period of time.
Please provide your employment history. From the beginning, I have focused my career on how to improve the world in which we live. This desire has led me to continue my schooling to better understand our communities' transportation networks - how they are controlled, how they are studied, and how they are impacted by demographics and policy decisions. As an undergraduate researcher, I conducted experiments that would give buses priority clearance through a congested intersection. As a graduate student, I have continued to explore the intelligent transportation field, examining how people make their travel decisions, city planners and metropolitan planning organizations predict a community's traffic, and city engineers adjust traffic control accordingly. A similar level of understanding the rhythm of our community's heartbeat is essential when considering redistricting our city, as to ignore it would certainly lead to oversights and inequities when important community design decisions are made.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Social media
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature William Eric Alexander
District District 10
Does this application qualify? Yes