Commission application number 90 submitted by Joshua Blank on 06/09/2020

First Name Joshua
Middle Name/Initial M
Last Name Blank
Suffix PhD
Voter Unique Identification number 1171136389
Ethnicity White
Gender Male
Age 35-44
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued Political Science
What is your occupation? Researcher & Data Analyst, political and market research
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78749
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78749
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? Yes
Spouse/Domestic Partner First Name Jenny
Spouse/Domestic Partner Middle Name/Initial Jean
Spouse/Domestic Partner Last Name Blank
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 am currently the research director of The Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. I regularly collect or find political, demographic, and/or other data for analysis. I have a Masters and Doctorate from UT-Austin in government, where I was trained in American political behavior and social science research methods.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. In my position at UT-Austin, all of my work is non-partisan. Additionally, any research work that I do outside of my capacity at UT-Austin is similarly non-partisan by choice. As someone who follows and studies politics for a living, I pride myself on my ability to be impartial, even detached, from political outcomes (otherwise, I would be unable to do my job effectively).
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. When I first moved to Austin, I was struck by the kindness of its people. And in particular, that this kindness wasn't limited to one part of town or one group of people. Growing up in a city myself (New York, originally), I appreciate that diversity and the unique geography of different parts of any city, individually and in concert, are what make a city vibrant and unique. Austin is no different, and I am proud to be familiar (after 10 years) with all parts of the city, having lived in North Austin, Centrally, and in South Austin over that time period.
Please provide your employment history. I am Research Director of the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin where I regularly analyze political and demographic data. I have a PhD in political science and have extensive data analysis experience, with training in political behavior, psychology, and social science research methods. In my public position, I am overtly non-partisan in my approach and analyses.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. My desire to serve on this board is born out of my love and appreciation for the city, my innate interest in demographic and political data, and a desire to learn how the last 10 years have changed the city's landscape. In doing so, I want to help ensure that the city council is representative of these changes.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Newspaper, From family or friend
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Joshua Mark Paul Blank
District District 8
Does this application qualify? Yes