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(Travis County)

Former Travis County Commissioner Ron Davis, a long-time advocate for Austin's Eastern Crescent, died at 75 on Tuesday night.


Davis was a member of the commissioners court for 18 years as the representative of Travis County's Precinct 1. A fourth-generation Austin native, Davis advocated for the community far before his position as commissioner, making a name for himself as a leader in closing a gasoline storage facility that was polluting the area in the 1980s and 1990s.

After being elected in 1998, Davis became a representative for minority communities and fought against gerrymandering and environmental degradation in northeast Travis County. Among his many accomplishments, Davis's son Ron Davis Jr. told the Austin American-Statesman that he was proudest of bringing the Austin Community College campus into the precinct.

After Davis' retirement in 2017, current Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeff Travillion took his place. Travillion, who has worked to continue Davis' legacy as an East Austin representative, paid his respects to Davis in a written statement.

"Today, Travis County's African-American community mourns the loss of a giant," Travillion wrote. "Commissioner Ron Davis spent decades fighting for the people of eastern Travis County, working to improve the quality of life in the Eastern Crescent. He was a trailblazer whose love for the Eastern Crescent was only surpassed by his love for his family. I offer my sincere condolences to Commissioner Davis' family and friends."

Davis was also mourned on social media by friends, family and coworkers. In a written statement, U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett shared his thoughts on the death of his longtime friend.

"Ron was a compassionate, collaborative but forceful, voice for our neighbors in Eastern Travis County," Doggett said. " Ron acted effectively in response to our neighbors' concerns, especially with regard to environmental degradation. As a fourth-generation Austinite and graduate of Huston-Tillotson University, he brought understanding to his calls for justice and opportunity for all. He was my longtime friend and our strong advocate."

Davis is survived by his wife, Annie, his three children and six grandchildren.

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