Today #Our Power Stop Handouts To Austin's 1%

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Today   #Our Power   Stop Handouts To Austin's 1%
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RSVP @ http://bit.ly/1GcHkz5

The people’s control over Austin Energy is under attack by the Texas Legislature and by large industrial ratepayers looking to receive handouts for reduced electricity rates. Senator Troy Fraser and Representative Paul Workman are threatening to put Austin Energy on a path to deregulation unless Mayor Adler and the Austin City Council renew 15-year old contracts that provide a sweetheart deal for big businesses like Samsung and Freescale.

It is unconscionable that these corporations and their pro-industry friends at the legislature decided to threaten the people’s utility at a time when

◘ Austin Energy is more than $80 million dollars in debt,

◘ When impoverished communities of color are being rapidly displaced and gentrified, and

◘ When thousands of Austinites are being threatened with having their electricity cut off because they’re unable to pay their rising utility bills.

All so the 1% can get yet another handout on the backs of the poor.

Folks are mobilizing to make sure that the 1% doesn’t win without a fight. Preserving public control over Austin Energy is of paramount importance, as Austin relies on revenue generated from the utility to provide funding for parks, libraries, and public safety services like fire, EMS, and the police.

You can speak up in support for:

◘ local control of Austin Energy,

◘ for rate fairness and equity, and

◘ to demand that any handouts to Austin’s 1% be coupled with aid to those most impacted by poverty in our community.

Rumor around City Hall is that the Mayor and AE will negotiate a 1-2 year extension of these corporate handouts until a longer-term deal can be bargained. We'll have to organize to make sure the needs of the poor and working class are prioritized in any deal.

Timeline:

◘ Wednesday, April 29th from 6pm to 8:30pm at the IBEW Local 520 parking lot – Join us for an #OurPower meeting to discuss strategies for engaging city council, media, and organizing in your neighborhood to preserve local control of Austin Energy. Click here (http://bit.ly/1GcHkz5) for meeting details and to RSVP.

◘ May 4th (12 noon, location TBD) – Hold for possible press conference on proposal to renew special contracts with a focus on equity and economic justice.

◘ May 7th (4pm at Austin City Hall) – City Council public hearing on a proposal to renew the reduced industrial rate tariff for certain corporations and industrial ratepayers.

◘ May 14th (Time TBD, Austin City Hall) – Second reading if needed

◘ May 21st (Time TBD, Austin City Hall) – Third reading if needed

Here are some stories from the Austin American Statesman for background on the issue.

Lawmakers give Austin Energy a verbal beating – April, 14, 2015 (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5iTbxYe5pIENGFQNlIxMUNDaGs/view?usp=sharing)

Editorial Board supports renewing contracts for reduced electricity – April, 20, 2015 (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5iTbxYe5pIEU0J6OHk3S2JfcXc/view?usp=sharing)
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