Mayor Lee Leffingwell endorsed Student Government presidential candidate John Lawler and running mate Terrence Maas last week in efforts to get the city to collaborate on issues affecting students this election year.
Lawler said he received the news about Leffingwell’s endorsement last Wednesday and is very excited to receive his support because he and Maas ran their campaign based on their experience in dealing with city issues that affect students. This is the first time Leffingwell has endorsed an SG president candidate since he took office in 2009.
“Oftentimes it is advantageous for the University and the city to collaborate, and with John [Lawler] at the helm, well have someone who knows the ropes of both entities,” Leffingwell said. “I look forward to working with John and his team very soon.”
Lawler said this year is a big year for students because the city will vote on whether to implement a single-member districts policy for City Council. If voters choose to implement such a policy, each of Austin’s major areas would have its own City Council member, possibly giving UT its own council member. Currently, the city elects its council members from the city as a whole for six at-large positions on Austin City Council.
Lawler interned for Leffingwell in 2009, and he said he has met with members of the mayor’s office and been to many City Council meetings throughout his tenure as a representative.
“We’re not only the candidates running for office that are talking the most about city issues, but we have the most experience and the most support going into this area,” Lawler said. “The moment we are allowed to step into office, we’ve got the relationships built to get our agenda done.”