Editor’s note: This is one of a series of profiles on the candidates for the Austin mayor’s race.
Serving one term as the mayor of Austin is quite possibly “the biggest honor” incumbent Steve Adler said he has ever received. He hopes to keep that role for another term.
“I want to finish a lot of the work that we started,” Adler said. “For all the things that are going right — and there are many of them — we have some pretty significant challenges, and they’re big.”
Adler said his campaign is focused primarily on continuing advancements the city council has made with issues of affordability, transportation and equity.
Tenants’ rights is an area Adler said he wants to address in tackling affordability, including making it easier for tenants to receive legal and financial support.
Adler also said he will prioritize preserving existing affordable housing apartments and developing more units that are “mixed-income” to ensure widespread community access.
Adler said he was proud of the Austin City Council over the past four years, which is the first council to have representatives from districts all over the city. Working on issues such as increased minimum wage and mandatory paid sick leave are highlights, he said.
“This has been, I think, one of the most active councils that Austin’s had … one that hasn’t shied away from controversial issues and I’m proud of that,” Adler said.
As a “pretty progressive Democrat,” Adler said he wants students to know he has worked extensively on immigration issues and against Senate Bill 4, which banned sanctuary cities in Texas. He said Austin has become a leader for other cities, especially in advocating for LGBTQ rights and climate change awareness.
“In the past four years Austin has really stepped forward to assume a leadership role, which is the luxury of having a city that is generally united on those issues,” Adler said. “I’ll continue that fight to preserve the spirit and soul and culture of Austin.”