AARO’s Class of 2015 – New Members!

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New Members: Colette Pierce Burnette, Don Christian, Benoit Cloutier, Paul Cruz, David Hays, Fred Heldenfels, Pete Inman, Ed Kargbo, Donna Klaeger, Tim Timmerman, Jay Watson…

Texas’ Proposition 7

AARO Admin AARO News, Transportation News

A strong transportation system is fundamental to Texas’ quality of life and economic vitality, attracting new businesses and generating new jobs.  If passed, Proposition 7 would result in an estimated $3 B per year for the state highway fund. Click here to see AARO’s signed statement in support of the Proposition 7. For a detailed analysis of the proposal prepared by the Texas Legislative Council, click here.

AARO Celebrates 35 Years!

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Four-hundred notable regional leaders convened for AARO’s 35th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon on Monday, September 21st. Evan Smith, CEO of the Texas Tribune, engaged Steve Murdock, Juan Tornoe, Alan Graham and Joe Cantalupo in conversation about how to create a vibrant equitable and healthy region for the 7.8 M who will call Central Texas “home” in 2050. Tom Meredith, Community Visionary, explored surprising changes in our future. Slam Poet Champion Christopher-Michael wrote and performed a poem inspired by AARO and Central Texas. “…Acknowledgement is a bridge to solutions. Empathy is a bridge to respect. Education is a bridge to equality. The sum total is a bridge to our future…” – Christopher-Michael, Austin Area Research Organization Click here to download this poem.

AARO Supports Investments in Mobility Infrastructure

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Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) believes that investment in mobility infrastructure is critical to the economic and social well-being of the citizens of Central Texas and supports decisions that will increase the capacity of our mobility systems using approaches that are effective, cost-efficient, protect the environment, and maximize mobility throughout the region. It is noteworthy that: Traffic congestion and affordability are the top concerns for Austin residents. Efficient mobility is essential to the movement of goods, delivery of public safety and other services, and the ability of residents to go to work. Austin’s travel time index outpaces peer communities and constitutes one of the worst traffic congestion situations in the U.S. Congestion costs commuters lost time, wasted fuel, and increased maintenance and adversely affects air quality and the environment. The population of Central Texas is growing and is expected to continue to grow, meaning congestion will only worsen, unless we do something now. Today, our community stands on the threshold of major transportation decisions.  We invite local and regional elected leaders to embrace the following values in their decision-making: Sustainable …

AARO Recognized as Architect of Change at Blueprint Leaders Summit

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On February 25th, the E3 Alliance recognized AARO as an “Architect of Change” award winner for its work to build community accountability for education in Central Texas. “An Architect of Change is an individual or organization exemplifying true commitment to the regional collaborative change process and meaningfully impacting the goals of the Blueprint,” said Susan Dawson, President/Executive Director – E3 Alliance.  In 2011, AARO created a Community Accountability Team in order to lead community engagement activities for E3 alliance and lead implementation of Blueprint Goal #4: Central Texas as a community prepares every child to succeed. AARO members and alumni attended E3’s Blueprint Summit on February 25th to receive the Architect of Change award. From left.  Top Row: Leslie Weston, Alex Gonzales, Barbara Johnson, Khotan Shahbazi-Harmon, Richard Rhodes, Ashton Cumberbatch. Bottom Row: Ed Sharpe, Ali Khataw, Dick Fonte, Christopher Kennedy, Jeffrey Richard, Parc Smith, Jesus Chavez, Bret Champion, Carol Thompson, George Martin, Denise Trauth, Larry Earvin, Pete Winstead, Susan Dawson, Pete Dwyer, Carolyn Gallagher, Martha Smiley, Jon Sloan, Don Christian, Tom Cedel, Earl Maxwell, and Andy Martinez. Current members (2015) …

Drowning in the Central Texas Drought

AARO Admin AARO News, Energy and Water Research, Research Findings, Water News

On February 26th, Austin Area Research Organization released “Drowning in the Central Texas Drought.” The White Paper provides facts about the current drought and Austin’s water supply, and asks, Given the current drought, does it make sense for Austin’s water supply to be solely depending on the amount of rainfall that enters the Highland Lakes? The document also provides recommended actions for the City of Austin. Click here to read “Drowning in the Central Texas Drought.” FACTS: 1) Central Texas is currently in the midst of a major drought. 2) Central Texas’ population continues to grow. 3) The City of Austin has only one source of water. THE BOTTOM LINE: If future rainfall runoff to the Highland Lakes mirrors the last four years, the lakes may contain only three to seven years of an adequate water supply, even with aggressive conservation. ACTION ITEM: The City of Austin and Lower Colorado River Authority should work together with a renewed sense of urgency to analyze conditions and evaluate new water supply options.

AARO welcomes 2015 class of McBee Fellows

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Ms. Tamara Atkinson, Ms. Marina Bhargava, Ms. Sara Hickman, Mr. Sly Majid, Mr. Mark Mayfield, Mr. Hondo Powell, Dr. Ruth Rechis, Mr. Miguel Romano, Mr. Bryant Smith, and Mr. Parc Smith.

AARO urges City of Austin voters to support Proposition 1

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On Monday, September 15, 2014, AARO members approved the following public statement in support of the City of Austin’s Proposition 1 Bond Proposal: The Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) urges Austin voters to support the City of Austin’s Proposition 1 Bond Proposal in this November’s Election. AARO is a member-driven, non-partisan Central Texas business and civic leader organization with its members drawn from the highest levels of business, community, and civic leadership. Our regional leaders work together around strategic long-term issues to seek out information and facts, and recommend decisions that will shape the destiny of the Central Texas region and advance the long-term economic and social well-being of Central Texas. Today, our community stands on the threshold of a making a major investment that will require both our courage and our best strategic thinking. The proposed transportation bond initiative, Proposition 1, is the essential next step in a regional multimodal system of roads and rail that our families and future generations will depend on. Simply stated, it is an investment we must make. Citizens of every generation must take …