From the Desk of the Co-Presidents – December 2014

As the end of the year approaches, it’s time for a retrospective: What has this year been like and what have we done with it?

It’s been exciting but disconcerting time for the City of Austin. Austin has been going through serious changes and considering serious issues. Hyde Park has had to adjust to those changes, provide input into those issues, and move forward in the face of uncertainty and dissension.

  • 10-1: Austin held its first single-member district election just last month. HPNA responded to the situation by providing programs to educate Hyde Parkers about the candidates and, as usual, by turning out in copious numbers to vote. The election ended for us when one of the two run-off candidates withdrew. It is now our task to establish a positive relationship with the new City Council.
  • ADUs: Both Austin and Hyde Park, separately and in tandem, spent part of 2014 debating the ramifications of this issue. It remains unresolved. Hyde Park needs to see what develops on the city level and respond to it.
  • Project Connect: Again, for this issue, the HPNA provided several programs designed to educate Hyde Parkers. Despite the efforts of Austin’s outgoing mayor, including his meeting with the HPNA Steering Committee, this bond issue was defeated. Few people would disagree that transportation is a significant issue in Austin, but what solution arises next and how Hyde Park responds to it remain issues for the future.

It’s been good year for the Hyde Park neighborhood. As much as we disagree, we all work together to increase the sense of community.

  • Egg Scramble: Our second egg scramble was bigger and better attended than our first one was. We look forward to the third, and so does the Easter Bunny.
  • Fire Station Festival: It gets better – and bigger – every year. What else do we need to say?
  • Homes Tour: Our first tour devoted to Hyde Park north of 45th Street was not just successful but eye opening. From a baker acclaimed throughout the Austin of his time to a space-shuttle contributor, the residents of those houses were a noteworthy group.

The holidays are a good time to put aside Austin issues and concentrate on community in Hyde Park. In the face of sometimes disturbing city-wide changes, turning to our neighbors can be a way of affirming our social capital and reestablishing the bonds that help us move forward, always keeping in mind the larger issue: What can and should we do to promote the greater good of Hyde Park?

And accordingly, we look forward to seeing all of our neighbors at the Hyde Park Holidays Party on Sunday, December 14!


–Kevin Heyburn & Lorre Weidlich