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Austin entrepreneur Joah Spearman announces run for City Council

Austin entrepreneur Josh Spearman has announced his run for City Council District 9 in 2022. (Josh Spearman/Twitter)

Joah Spearman, an involved community member and CEO of travel recommendation startup Localeur, announced his bid for City Council District 9 on Saturday.


Spearman will join the race for District 9, which is currently held by member Kathie Tovo, alongside progressive candidate Zohaib Qadri. Qadri announced his bid for the district on Nov. 13.

In his announcement to Instagram, Spearman said he would address "the most pressing issues in (District 9), including equity, affordability, transit and Austin's housing crisis" and "creativity and the mounting pressures on musicians, small business owners and service industry professionals." Spearman also said he would focus on inclusivity "as the city's Black, Hispanic, working- and middle-class residents struggle to hold on to the quality of life that has made Austin special for decades."

A graduate from the University of Texas, Spearman has lived in Austin for two decades and lived in District 9 for nearly a dozen of those years. After a stint in Washington, D.C., Spearman came back to Austin and founded four businesses, including Localeur, which has since spread to over 200 cities and been featured in national news outlets including Forbes and The Today Show.

Spearman has also been a member of the Austin Music Commission, was named the Emerging Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in 2013 and has spoken and written for various companies and outlets including Inc. Magazine, Amazon and NPR.

Both Spearman and Qadri are looking to champion affordability in the district, which spans across downtown and neighborhoods including Hyde Park, Bouldin Creek and Old West Austin. Tovo, who has served in City Council since 2011, has served the maximum amount of time and will step down on January 6, 2023.

Spearman said he will send out a more formal announcement at a later date. City Council elections will take place on Nov. 8, 2022.

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