Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Austin Racing Events Alliance and City Council Public Hearing on Street Closures

To all participants and supporters of running and triathlon events in Austin:

Many of you may be aware of the recent activity and attention surrounding special events and downtown street closures in the City of Austin.  This Thursday, April 2nd, there is City Council Public hearing regarding the draft of the Special Events Street Closure Ordinance that has been proposed by City staff.   This hearing represents a critical junction in determining how special events are received and permitted by the City of Austin.  Most people agree that the proposed ordinance would force many special events to significantly alter their course and schedule, or move out of the downtown area.

Over the last few months, many of the directors and managers of Austin racing events have organized ourselves into an official group, the Austin Racing Events Alliance (AREA).  The purpose of AREA is to serve as and be recognized as a collective, representative, and collaborative speaking voice relevant to issues that may be of impact to the success and sustainability of racing events in Austin.  The vision of AREA is that by working together in collaboration with the impacted members of the community, the City of Austin, and the occupants, residents, businesses, and visitors of Austin, our events will continue to be successful for our organizations, our sponsors, our participants, and the City of Austin.  Our mission is to be aware of, knowledgeable of, responsive to, and engaged when necessary, in issues, activities, and public policy making, that my be of impact to the success and sustainability of our events.

Representatives of AREA will be present at the City Council public hearing on Thursday, and we are preparing a procession of speakers from our group that will attempt to achieve the following objectives:
  1. Ensure that AREA is represented in the City of Austin's process for improving the special event ordinance.
  2. That the current draft of the ordinance is not adopted in its current form until there has been further input and review by the stakeholders.
We are aware that most of you, like us, are deeply passionate about fitness, the non-profit organizations that the events benefit, and Austin's status as a "Fit City".  We hope that you agree with the purpose of the Austin Racing Events Alliance and that you will support our efforts.  It is the opinion of AREA that the best way for each of you to show your support at this public hearing is to be present as large, visible, but mostly silent group that entrusts the communication of your collective concerns to the AREA representative speakers.  It would be wonderful if all of you that attend the public hearing could wear one of your race shirts from an Austin event so that our group is very visible.

AREA does not feel that this is the correct time for us to bombard city council members with emails and letters, or for us to make passionate pleas on behalf of special events.  That time may come, but for now it is best that we present an organized and collaborative attitude towards improving the Special Events Ordinance.  Of course, each of you has the right to sign up and speak at the public hearing, but we request that you defer until after the AREA representatives have spoken.

The City Council Public Hearing is on Thursday, April 2 at 6 PM at City Hall.

Please contact one of the AREA members listed below if you have questions or suggestions for the group.

Thanks for your support!

Sincerely -

Dave Swincher - Junior Achievement - Silicon Labs Austin Marathon Relay
Dan Carroll - High Five Events - The Austin Triathlon
Michelle Graham - Bounce Marketing & Events – ThunderCloud Turkey Trot, NOCC Balance 5K
Paul Carrozza - RunTex - Congress Avenue Mile, Keep Austin Weird 5K
Matt Fagan - 3M - 3M Half Marathon
Christy Casey - Komen Austin Race for the Cure
Leilani Perry - Red Licorice Events and Austin Runners Club
John Conley - Conley Sports - Austin Marathon & Half Marathon
Stacey Conley - Conley Sports - Austin Marathon & Half Marathon
Joey Trimyer - Conley Sports - Austin Marathon & Half Marathon
Michelle Sandquist - Conley Sports - Austin Marathon & Half Marathon
Gary Metcalf - Cadence Sports, Lance Armstrong Foundation LIVESTRONG Challenge 5K
Brian Leto - Cadence Sports, Lance Armstrong Foundation LIVESTRONG Challenge 5K
Candice Rebbe - Cadence Sports, Lance Armstrong Foundation LIVESTRONG Challenge 5K
Jodye Friedman - Bagelfest 5K
Jack Murray - Jack & Adam's Bicycles
Brad Davison – R&B Sports, CapTexTri
Jann Girard – Austin American Statesman, Capitol 10,000

Christopher Thibert - Austin American Statesman, Capitol 10,000 & Junior 'Dillo Kids Run
Nad Elias - Task Force Member, Bun Run
Gilbert Tuhabonye - Gilbert's Gazelles, Run for the Water 10 Miler
Peter Rauch - The Gazelle Foundation, Run for the Water 10 Miler



Anonymous said...

Why is Rogue Training not included in your letter? Are they not part of AREA?

High Five Events said...

Each business and event must explicitly sign on as a member of AREA. So far, Rogue has not done that. They are very welcome to join.