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District 4 voting guide: Meet the candidates to replace Greg Casar on city council

Early voting begins today for District 4 residents. (Austonia)

Election Day is here, in which District 4 residents will decide who will represent them on city council.

Making up part of northeast Austin, District 4 has been represented by Council Member Greg Casar since 2014. As he makes a bid for U.S. Congress in District 35, a Special Election is being held for who will take his seat on council. Seven candidates are running for this position.

Know before you go

On Election Day, the polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There are seven polling locations for this election:

Only members in this district vote in this election. To know what council district you reside in, click here.

The registration to vote in this election has passed, to check if you are registered, click here.

Don't forget a valid photo ID to present at the polls.

Candidates on the ballot

There are seven candidates running for this position from all walks of life in Austin. Here's a little about them.

Jose "Chito" Vela

Vela is a local immigration and criminal defense attorney, who is an advocate of labor and immigrant rights. Working with each other on the Workers Defense Project, Vela has gained the endorsement of Casar.

Vela's platform includes a focus on:

  • the Project Connect light rail
  • the housing crisis
  • response to the February storm that resulted in the death of an estimated 702 Texans

Amanda Rios

Rios is a longtime Austinite who has worked as a bilingual teacher, she says. The Austin American-Statesman reports she has financially supported the political action committee Save Austin Now.

Her platform includes a focus on:

  • comprehensive public safety
  • ending homeless camping
  • affordability
  • bringing back the live music scene

Monica Guzmán

Guzmán has deep roots in the northeast Austin area, she says. She is the policy director of Go Austin/Vamos Austin (GAVA), an advocacy organization focused on community health outcomes. She has been endorsed by the Austin Chronicle and the Sierra Club.

Her platform focuses on:

  • Comprehensive social justice reform
  • Neighborhood stability
  • Fighting climate change

Jade Lovera

A lifelong northeast Austin resident, Lovera is the chief strategy officer for Women Who Werk, a nonprofit that provides resources for women to succeed.

Her platform includes a focus on:

  • investing in parks
  • community safety
  • improving infrastructure
  • homelessness and mental health investment

Melinda Schiera

Living in Austin since 2005, Schiera volunteered as vice-president and president of the North Austin Civic Association for the past 10 years. Melinda is a freelance marketing data analyst under her business Belt Out Loud Marketing.

Her platform includes a focus on:

  • affordable housing
  • infrastructure
  • public safety

Isa Boonto

An art teacher at Navarro Early College High School and Austin Mutual Aid organizer, Boonto wants to bring affordability concerns to the forefront of the conversation.

Boonto's plaform includes a focus on:

  • Support for Austin’s homeless population
  • Keeping current residents in their dwellings
  • Better partnerships between public and private entities

Ramesses II Setepenre

Returning after his run last year, rideshare driver Setepenre describes himself as a “self-funded, gay eco-socialist.” In the three-person race last year, Setepenre said he ran to represent people like himself and took home 8% of the vote.

Setepenre's platform focuses on:

  • Pro-Black, Brown, LGBTQIA+, Women’s rights, Indigenous rights
  • Pro-drug decriminalization
  • Healthcare for all
  • Living Wages
  • Green New Deal


A big announcement from Austonia

Howdy, and happy holidays.

I have some big news for you.

Austonia is now part of 6AM City, a fast-growing network of hyper-local newsletters across the country.

I’m proud to be telling you this, because 6AM City’s mission is very much like Austonia’s — a daily morning update on events, things-to-do and news, with an underlying mission of community building in the cities they serve.

If you’re not already subscribed, 6AM City’s Austin newsletter is called ATXtoday. One of its city editors is Laura Figi, who you’ll remember for her previous great work on Austonia’s newsletter.

I’ve been reading ATXtoday every day since it launched last year.

Starting this week, you’ll receive ATXtoday every morning and I’m confident it will become part of your daily wake up routine. Be sure to add to your contact list (how to do that here).

Meantime let me thank you for your readership and support of Austonia, and convey my wishes for a great holiday season for you and those close to you.

Thank you,

Mark Dewey

Austonia CEO

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.