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Austin City Council candidate Shaun Ireland recently claimed, in his campaign video among several from candidates posted on the city’s website, "Not a single City Council member lives in South Austin. Nor in North Austin."
In May 2011, we looked at a candidate’s statement that "there’s no one from South Austin on the council," and found that was True.
Only one face on the council has changed since then, but what about their current home addresses?
Ireland, who himself lives on Manchaca Road in the South Lamar neighborhood of South Austin, told us by email that he pulled council members’ addresses from their personal financial statements filed with the city, and sent us his findings.
Meanwhile, in an Austin American-Statesman news story published online May 7, 2012, he narrowed his claim, saying that "no council member lives south of (Lady Bird Lake) or north of 45th Street."
We called council members’ city and campaign staff for the most up-to-date information.
Ireland’s opponent, Place 6 incumbent and Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole, is one of two council members who live in East Austin -- Cole in Wilshire Woods and Mike Martinez in Senate Hills.
Mayor Lee Leffingwell lives in the Highland Park West/Balcones Area neighborhood. Laura Morrison resides in Old West Austin, Chris Riley is downtown and Bill Spelman hails from Hyde Park. The council’s newest member, Kathie Tovo, lives north of the University of Texas in the Heritage neighborhood.
All the addresses are north of Lady Bird Lake. Are they all south of 45th Street?
This is where Ireland’s claim gets interesting, because 45th Street does not extend across the entire city. It’s not oriented directly east-west, either.
But if you drew a line extending 45th Street across the entire city map, Martinez and Leffingwell’s homes would both lie less than a mile north of that line.
Ireland told us, "All City Council members live within six miles of each other … none live south of downtown or north of Koenig (Lane) -- magnetic north, true north, or past the 45th street parallel, whichever the case may be. There are no council members that reside in the Arboretum or near Parmer and Metric, or Onion Creek or the ‘Y’ at Oak Hill."
No council members live in South Austin, as Ireland says, and five council members live south of 45th Street. If that street were extended east and west, though, Leffingwell and Martinez would land north of it, though not by much. We rate Ireland’s statement Mostly True.
Campaign video from Austin City Council Place 6 candidate Shaun Ireland, city website, March 30, 2012
PolitiFact Texas fact-check, "Max Nofziger says Austin City Council bereft of South Austinites," May 3, 2012
Telephone and email interviews with Austin City Council candidate Shaun Ireland, May 2-8, 2012
Copies of Austin finance reports supplied by Shaun Ireland’s campaign, accessed May 4, 2012
Austin American-Statesman news story, "Plan for Austin City Council districts facing hurdles," April 22, 2012
Austin American-Statesman news story, "Cole-Ireland council race has insider-outsider contrast," May 7, 2012
Telephone interview with Amy Everhart, policy director for Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, May 4-9, 2012
Telephone interview with Matt Parkerson, executive aide to Austin Council Member Christopher Riley, May 4, 2012
Telephone and email interviews with Sylvia Camarillo, campaign manager for Austin Council Member Mike Martinez, May 4, 2012
Telephone interview with Karen Roberts, executive assistant to Austin Council Member Kathie Tovo, May 4, 2012
Telephone interview with Joi Harden, policy aide to Austin Council Member Kathie Tovo, May 9, 2012
Telephone and email interviews with Barbara Rush, policy advisor to Austin Council Member Laura Morrison, May 4, 2012
Telephone interview with Deena Estrada, constituent services aide to Austin Council Member Bill Spelman, May 4, 2012
Telephone interview with Phylis Gage, constituent liaison for Austin Council Member Sheryl Cole, May 4, 2012
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