Commission application number 86 submitted by Christopher Cavello on 06/09/2020

First Name Christopher
Last Name Cavello
Voter Unique Identification number 1140951141
Ethnicity Self-describe
Gender Male
Age 55-64
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued Engineering and Design
What is your occupation? Principal of Engineering Design Consultancy
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78741
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78741
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? Yes
Spouse/Domestic Partner First Name Vive
Spouse/Domestic Partner Middle Name/Initial Faith
Spouse/Domestic Partner Last Name Griffith
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 have a degree in Engineering. I am a founding partner of an engineering and design firm specializing in physical product design. This involves a fair amount of analytical skills. I also have a degree in Industrial Design which is focused on the human interaction and needs of end users. This is both analytical and generative. I am very strong visually and understand how to interpret and create visual data
Please describe your ability to be impartial. Design is a collaborative skill. I have done it for more than 20 years. It requires people who can use the collective power of the group to solve problems. This requires being open to any ideas and not casting judgement too soon on suggestions. When final decisions are made from many different options, team members must not allow personal motivations or outcomes to interfere with decisions that are for greater good. In my experience, I have worked with people from all over the world to solve complex problems. Everyone brings some inherent bias that we may not even be aware of just from cultural and life history. Impartiality works on many different levels based on our life and cultural experience. I am a middle aged white male who has had enormous amounts of privilege lubricate my way through life even if I didn't realize it as a younger man. This will color my view of the world and others of me. Self awareness and social awareness are underlying skills to collaborative work. Impartiality is never complete in one's point of view or opinions. Knowing this, helps me check myself to see if my own personal bias is playing into decisions. In collaborative design work, we can fall in love with our own ideas and try to defend them. Good collaborators know to let go of ideas when a better one comes to the fore. That is a fundamental tenet of how I approach problems in my career.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. First of all, I love maps and see the world mostly from a map point of view. I am familiar with GIS mapping and understand how to visualize and interpret data that is associated boundaries. I also love history and look at old maps and photos to understand the physical and cultural changes that have occurred over the last century in our city. I have lived in Austin for more than 25 years and still continue to discover new and interesting aspects that I find fascinating. My wife and I take regular walks in different parts of the city to see it from a slow walking perspective. In many ways the physical geography of Austin has shaped the city's development across hills and escarpments to the west, and blackland prairie to the east. Politics and early city planning has also indelibly shaped many of the districts of our city. Another huge factor is the cultural and financial divides that have affected clustering of people's and building types. When we speak of diversity of geography and demographics we also need to take history into account. Racial clustering in Austin was originally affected by slavery and then social policy from Jim Crow laws. The remnants of neighborhoods with distinctive cultural communities have had a foundation of racial and class segregation from our history. Wealth distribution and political power concentration has accelerated and is driving faster demographic change in traditional neighborhoods and amplifying class and racial segregation. Displacement and change is affecting all aspects of life in Austin. Political representation is one of the key tools a city has to try to find a way to find equilibrium of political power across a diverse community with different levels of power and influence attributed to wealth, race and history. It is not an easy task. Planning and geographic boundaries also need to have an eye for future trends that may be affecting our city over the next ten years.
Please provide your employment history. Founding Partner, Mixer Design Group - Austin 2002-Present Director, Design Edge - Austin - 1995-2002 Product Design Engineer - Dell Computer - Austin - 1994 - 1996 Mechanical Designer - Lunar Design - Palo Alto, CA. 1993 - 1994 Principal - Cavello Design - New York, NY - 1985 - 1992
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. Master's Degree Engineering - Stanford University - California Industrial Design Degree - Pratt Institute - New York Studied Architecture for 2 years before transferring to Industrial Design Songwriter/ Musician Trained in Improvisational Acting - This is where I learned about working freely with ideas in groups and developed the important skill of "Yes. And".... I have had the great fortune to have traveled to cities all over the world. I love Cities and the influence of different cultures.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Newspaper
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Christopher Cavello
District District 9
Does this application qualify? Yes