Why Residents of Austin City Council District 3 Should Reject Pio Renteria

Pio Renteria Campaign sign near the Negro School in Montopolis

With about five weeks to go until the November 6, 2018 election, the time has come for me to make public who I am supporting in the District 3 city council race.  I write not just as a civically active longtime resident of the district who ran for the newly established city council seat in 2014, but as a father and husband who cherishes his children’s future.

Let me not mince words:  Sabino Renteria’s tenure on the Austin City Council has been a disaster and an embarrassment, and he should be not be re-elected.  I am supporting Susana Almanza this time around, and hope that you will as well.  Susana is the fighter this high-poverty district needs; since the 2014 city council race I have partnered with her on numerous community initiatives, including the fight to preserve the Montopolis Negro School, the battle against CodeNEXT, and the People’s Plan, among others.  She is the sort of activist leader and fighter our community presently needs.

At this stage there really is no point to performing a point-by-point analysis of Pio Renteria’s calamitous tenure on the Austin City Council–he never should have been elected.  Renteria’s shortcomings as a political leader have been apparent for years, as has his lack of intellect.  What remains shameful and galling are the depths to which power-brokers inside the democratic party establishment are willing to sink in order to prop up this sad Tammany Hall puppet, whose more proper place is at a bar drinking a beer instead of presiding over a $4.1 billion dollar budget and over 14,000 employees.  Renteria’s command of policy is so shallow that his public pronouncements invariably descend into (well rehearsed) personal anecdotes, and his memory is so moribund that he is lost without a script or teleprompter, including on the campaign trail.  Needless to say, a politician who cannot speak in public and whose constituent service has been as abhorrent as his, lacks the moral authority to serve as an inspirational leader.

Renteria’s stupidity and venality could be at least somewhat mitigated if Austin had a truly reformist mayor who was committed to rooting out influence-peddling and corruption.  A mayor of the people who could communicate with constituents in multiple languages, for instance.  Sadly, on that score Steve Adler is no Fiorello La Guardia.
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I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the poisonous role Pio’s wife Lori Renteria has played in the politics of the city and district.  The self-described “First Lady of District 3” has not only served as her husband’s “brain” on numerous matters, she reportedly also attempted to secure a city hall office for herself that would be adjacent to her husband’s.  Utterly un-regal, she has basically been carrying on like a trailer park lottery winner instead of as someone committed to fighting for the hoi polloi of the district.  She needs to go just as badly as her husband.

Abraham Lincoln once said that “Most men can endure hardship, but if you really want to test a man’s character give him power.”  By time and again bending over backwards for notorious special interests such as Oracle instead of fighting for the long-suffering poor and working class of their district, Lori and Pio Renteria have betrayed their mission and have failed the most fundamental test of character and courage our gentrifying city poses.

I leave you with this, as it sums up the degree to which Pio Renteria can behave like a cheap, shallow, parvenu little toad.  Most people are not aware that Renteria actually threw these women out of his office when they came to him in need after the 2015 floods that ravaged Montopolis.  This incident alone should furnish enough grounds to un-elect him from office.