As the country gears up for the 2020 presidential election, we wanted to know where you stood—especially after Kanye West announced he would be running for president this year. The results show many of our readers are voting for Joe Biden.
At 78%, Biden takes 118 of the 152 votes from readers. Readers who commented cited experience, leadership and qualifications.
"We need a president with a brain, with a sense of history, with compassion, and with a sense of justice. We need someone who understands how government runs, who is brave enough to rebuild bridges broken by the incumbent. We are desperate to help educate those citizens who survive off of a simplistic memes," one reader said.
Some stated they were only voting for Biden because he was the Democratic candidate, and vice versa for some of the 15% who voted for the reelection of President Donald Trump. Some readers who chose Trump said they wanted a Republican to stay in office.
Supporters of Trump stated he was the best candidate due to his policies and what he has done for the economy.
"Despite his blunt manner, President Trump is by far better for the country than Joe Biden would be. Trump has had to endure years of almost traitorism by never-Trumpers (Democrats, much of the media, even some fellow Republicans. Despite this, he's been able to carry out most of his campaign promises). If the Democrats win, our republic will be in trouble," one reader said.
Five readers voted for "none of the above." One wrote, "They all seem like terrible options."
Of the three who voted "not sure," one person wrote, "Waiting for a shoe to drop for any of the underwhelming candidates, and thus hoping for a late new entrant to race."
And of the last three who voted for artist Kanye West, none commented on why they support the candidate.
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Stephanie Ashworth lived in a neighborhood north of Tarrytown, near W. 35th St. and Balcones Drive the summer of 2013. One of her neighbors wanted to move to a different school district and decided to rent out their home on Airbnb upon leaving.
“We’re like—’ok’—we didn’t know any better,” Ashworth said. “And it was awful.”
Ashworth said guests played loud music, used the pool naked and would return from trips at the lake stumbling drunk out of party buses.
“It ruins your peace of mind where you should be able to have it. Where you should be able to feel safe, where the kids should be able to go out front,” Ashworth said. “And we shouldn't find used condoms, empty beer bottles, the trash, the parking, it's so disturbing.”
Ashworth is now head of the Austin chapter of the Texas Neighborhood Coalition, a statewide group that assists people looking to restrict and regulate short-term rentals in their residential neighborhoods. She talked to Austonia following Airbnb’s announcement this week that it will deploy new anti-party technology in the US and Canada.
The initiative aims to prevent potentially high-risk reservations by being a more robust version of the “under 25” system, which reviews guests under the age of 25 without positive reviews who are booking locally. A similar variation of this system has been piloted in Australia since October 2021 and has resulted in a 35% drop in incidents of unauthorized parties in pilot areas.
Airbnb is hoping for similar success in other regions but noted that there could still be some hiccups once the system is in effect.
“While we are optimistic that this technology will have a positive impact for the safety of our community and our goal to reduce unauthorized parties—we want to be clear that no system is perfect,” Airbnb wrote in a statement announcing the new tech. “We work hard to deter bad actors from using our platform, but ultimately Airbnb is an online platform that facilitates real world connections.”
For Ashworth, this system falls short of what she’d like to see from the company and she’d like for them to be clearer about what constitutes a party in the company’s eyes.
“So I have no doubt that this technology they're touting for the party houses is nonsense,” Ashworth said. “They are not a company that's run with integrity, they're not a good corporate citizen.”
But people will continue to flock to Airbnb as Austin continues to be a major tourist destination with festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest drawing in thousands. Even on a regular weekend pandemic recovery has been in full swing with downtown entertainment districts seeing visits close to 2019 levels.
Ultimately, Ashworth sees room to accommodate tourists while ensuring neighborhoods remain homey for Austinites.
“My personal opinion is the home team comes first,” Ashworth said. “The whole city doesn't need to be turned over to the tourist industry and areas that are zoned residentially should remain for residents. I do understand that we are a tourist destination. But you can have a short-term rental pretty much anywhere in the city except in residential zones.”
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