Mueller Neighborhood Association: 2018 in Review

Lila Valencia Front Porch Flyer

Neighbors and friends,

I have been very fortunate to serve as the Chair of the Mueller Neighborhood Association (MNA) for the last two years. Throughout my tenure on the Steering Committee, I met so many wonderful neighbors, learned about your many talents, was inspired by your generosity and kindness, and continue to be motivated by your tireless initiative to influence decision-making in our neighborhood.

I would like to thank 2018 MNA Steering Committee members who worked to shape and guide the efforts of our organization. I count among our accomplishments drafting a statement of inclusion affirming the MNA’s commitment to building and maintaining an intentionally welcoming and safe neighborhood for each and every one of us. To that end in May, we hosted a diverse panel of neighbors along with Mayor Steve Adler to discuss how to build community through diversity. Additionally, to replace the loss of Front Porch Flyer ad revenues, we secured funding for MNA operations and community events by partnering with business sponsors who donated over $12,000 in monetary and in-kind contributions. A special thank you to our top sponsors: HEB, Ascension/Seton, Austin Emergency Center, and Frost Bank. As these funds rolled in, we implemented the Audit Committee, led by Joan Quenan, to ensure proper management and documentation of transactions. In a continuing effort to understand the needs of the community, we conducted the 2018 MNA Directions survey that captured the opinions of over 350 neighbors and surrounding neighborhood leaders. Findings from this survey were shared with the Mueller Commission and Catellus. You can now engage with the MNA in more ways than ever before, from our revamped website, to our new MNA Facebook page, and now the reboot of the Front Porch Flyer. Use anyone of these, plus NextDoor and email, to stay in touch and share your thoughts.

I would also like to thank our MNA sub-committee chairs. They are the volunteers who put your input to action. This year, the Neighborhood Engagement committee, led by Audrey Glaser and Alison Raffalovich, held a membership drive with teams walking door-to-door to ensure our membership reflects our diversity and growth. The Community Space Initiative committee, led by Karen Sharp, continues to explore opportunities throughout the neighborhood and with the City and other partners that would accommodate a range of meetings and recreational activities. The Transportation and Urban Planning committee, led by Andrew Clements, provided a data- and safety- driven report relating to City-proposed modifications of Zach Scott Street, resulting in a plan that addressed many neighbors’ concerns. I huge thank you to the City of Austin Transportation Department for engaging the community and adding transparency to their process.

I would also like to thank the many volunteers who make our neighborhood events happen. These volunteers help organize all the fun that takes place in our neighborhood, including the Egg Scramble (coordinated by Leila Melhem & Richard Wood), the 4th of July Parade & Festival (chaired by Bill Berman & Bill Kirwin), and Fall Fest (chaired by Kathy Farley & Evan McLendon). These events are a lot of work and truly help to build community. I hope you were able to join in on the fun.

Lastly, I’d like to welcome the 2019 Steering Committee members. They are full of talent and energy and are poised to continue the community building efforts of the MNA. Please keep in mind their success also depends on volunteer efforts from you. With your help, I am confident they will do a great job in 2019.

I look forward to continuing to work with you on helping to build community within and outside of Mueller.

Warm regards,

Lila Valencia