I'm Ora Houston. I live in the Blackland Neighborhood. I represent District #1. I support Proposition J. Prop J gives voters the final say on Austin’s next comprehensive land development plan - the “next CodeNEXT” – or whatever name is given to the next plan.

Let me be clear. Austin must have a new land use plan. Austin is a rapidly growing city. Density continues to increase and property uses will change. Inaction is not an option.

Why do I support Proposition J?

First, Austin has a racialized history with land use plans. The 1928 Master Plan used the force of law to segregate Austin, forcing people who look like me to move to a specific part of town. 90 years later, the now-shelved CodeNEXT would have had a similar effect. On Austin’s East side CodeNEXT was labeled the “brown and black people removal plan.”

Second, CodeNEXT was drafted to maximize the benefit to developers, at the expense of renters and home owners. Voters should not be deceived again.

Third, a public vote will remove any mystery regarding the next land development plan. The process and the plan will be explained in language “we the people” understand.

Finally, there is democracy. Giving the voters the final say assures their voices will be heard.

I hope you join me and go to the bottom of the ballot and vote “yes” on Prop J.