Andy’s Vision for Travis County
Andy Brown believes everyone deserves a life of dignity and respect. The path to get there runs through investing in our community and our people. As our county judge, Andy Brown does not back down. Andy has successfully passed progressive reforms to make our community more fair, just, and equitable for everyone. He isn’t afraid to boldly advocate for change. This is just the start and our community is leading the conversation.
Andy stepped into office during the worst public health crisis in a century. One that continues to claim the lives of too many. At a time when vaccines were not yet available, Andy had a vision to bring vaccines to Travis County that would be focused on equity and meeting the needs of working families hardest hit by COVID-19.
In January, Andy stood up the first drive-thru vaccine distribution site in the State of Texas. Later, through a bi-partisan, four-county collaborative, Andy established the largest drive-thru vaccine site in Texas outside of a FEMA site at the Circuit of the Americas. When help staffing wasn’t available from state or federal leadership, Andy built the Travis County Volunteer Corp to tap into our community’s greatest resource -its people. Nearly 10,000 people signed up to participate, and 3,000 volunteered for at least one of the Travis County Collaborative’s vaccine clinics.
Through his leadership, Andy helped bring an additional 200,000 vaccines to the Travis County region.
Andy kept Travis County kids and families safe by requiring masks and preventing evictions.
Despite strong opposition from state republican leadership, Andy followed the science and prioritized the health and safety of Travis County students, families, and school workers. Andy required masks in schools and county buildings to keep us all safe and safeguard our community’s resiliency. He protected working families and small businesses by maintaining some of the strongest renter protections in the state – and these protections worked.
During Winter Storm Uri, Andy worked hard to help connect all Travis County residents with the resources they needed.
He personally sourced some of the first shipments of water into the county. Andy spent days and nights at the emergency operations command center and took constituent calls from his car to help impacted residents. He helped fix a broken pipe at the Central Texas Food Bank so they could open their doors. Andy also helped set up some of the first food distribution sites across Travis County with community partners like Austin Voices, Austin Interfaith, Workers Defense Project, BASTA, and the Del Valle Community Coalition.
For many people across the county, lack of communication hindered the ability to connect with available resources. Andy created one of the first multilingual resource guides and again connected with trusted community leaders, like Do512, to help connect people with resources.
Even after the first wave of the winter storm passed, Andy continued to work with partners like the Apartment Association, Austin Water Weight, and others to identify large complexes that lacked food and water for multiple weeks. He continued his efforts to improve communication and to connect available county resources with mutual aid groups working with the most impact communities.
Since then, Andy has fought for increased investments in our emergency response system to help with extreme weather conditions, wildfire mitigation, and comprehensive emergency and disaster crisis management.
Health care is a fundamental human right. As the pandemic continues, Andy Brown has worked tirelessly to expand health programs at our Commissioners Court, partnered with neighboring counties to improve funding for health initiatives, and strengthened our ties with non-profits and small businesses to make sure every single person in Travis County has access to quality health care.
Addiction & Substance Use
As our county judge, Andy has prioritized rehabilitation and treatment because recovery is only possible through ongoing care:
- Expanded services for mental and behavioral health care, with a focus on community-based prevention services.
- Increased funding to prevent and treat addiction and substance use, including addressing the opioid epidemic by investing in life-saving methadone and medication-assisted treatment.
- Empowered and partnered with communities to implement programs to curb substance abuse
Recovering from COVID-19
Andy Brown took office in the midst of the worst public health crisis in a century. He knows the importance of decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our loved ones safe from the deadly virus. As our county judge, Andy Brown leads our county’s pandemic response. Since taking office, Andy has:
- Listened to scientists and public health experts and been honest with us about the community effort necessary to get this virus under control and prevent hospitalizations
- Helped keep people housed and small businesses stable by prohibiting evictions and providing much-needed relief
- Ensured our children, educators, and staff are safe in schools by requiring masks
- Focused effort on equitable distribution of vaccines and have been able to ensure vaccines reach the most impacted communities and hardest hit zip codes, created the first drive-through vaccine clinic in Texas and the largest drive-through vaccine clinic outside a FEMA site in Texas
- Created the Travis County Volunteer Corp, a 10,000 people strong volunteer
- Secured more than 200,000 additional vaccines to Travis County through a quad-county collaborative
Economy & Labor
An economy that works for everyone
An economy that works for everyone—not just those at the top—is possible. That’s why Andy is fighting to level the playing field so everyone has a fair shot at success. As our county judge, Andy will:
- Prioritize the needs of our community and the people who live here so we can revitalize historically-excluded communities,
- Protect our community from COVID-19, including people and small businesses struggling to stay afloat,
- Expand opportunity so everyday people can compete in our economy, invest in good-paying jobs, and continue to live in the neighborhood they know and love,
- Ensure the wealthiest and biggest corporations pay their fair share.
- Create more affordable housing, expand rental assistance, and end homelessness.
Labor & Workers Rights
Andy Brown is proud to support Labor. As our county judge, Andy knows that when unions are strong, our community is strong. That’s why he was proud to pass a county budget that increased incomes for county workers. He will continue to work with Labor to strengthen and protect our workforce.
Andy has supported small businesses throughout the pandemic by investing in workforce development, consulting impacted industries on COVID-19 safety measures, and providing rental and other assistance in response to COVID-19. His work focuses on delivering the priorities most important to working families and their businesses.
Andy’s vision for Travis County prioritizes restorative justice, equity, and equality. He believes we can make our community more safe and equitable by investing in our community, crime prevention efforts, mental and behavioral services, and keeping families together rather than building new jails.
Our justice system must become more fair and safe, focusing on preventative policies to reduce the number of people in jail. You shouldn’t have to enter the jail system to receive basic health care.
As county judge, Andy has:
- Defeated an effort to invest over $80 million in a new jail;
- Directed County staff to explore the creation of a Diversion Center to help divert individuals who cycle through our criminal legal system;
- Started the process for creating a shared community vision for what a robust mental and behavioral health system that supports people outside the jail would look like;
- Invested resources to address the opioid epidemic;
- Invested over $600,000 in permanent supportive housing to help address homelessness for justice-involved individuals who repeatedly cycle through the justice system; and
- Invested $1 million in a mental and behavioral health innovation fund to support community-based prevention efforts.
Andy believes we need to improve access to safe, stable housing for a more equitable Travis County and a prosperous economy. That means accessible housing for working families, people experiencing homelessness, and other at-risk residents, like LGBTQIA+ youth and children aging out of foster care, at-risk elderly, veterans, and formerly incarcerated.
In addition to helping our neighbors put down roots, Andy has improved protections for renters and programs to increase responsible and efficient development across the county. As our county judge, Andy has:
- Invested $110 million of Rescue Act funding to help thousands end the cycle of homelessness and provide new opportunities to live and thrive;
- Distributed $89,000 to help elderly and disabled people live in their homes by assisting with needed home repairs;
- Passed some of the most robust eviction protections in the state and country;
- Helped ensure housing stability for thousands of families during COVID-19; and
- Led the way in stopping the cycle of incarceration for people experiencing homelessness by passing $600,000 in permanent supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness.
As one of the most gerrymandered counties in the entire country, Andy has seen the harm discriminatory anti-voting legislation can cause our community.
Andy Brown, our Commissioners Court, and elections officials have been making it easier for Travis County residents to vote, and Andy’s not slowing down. Our elections should be free, fair, safe, and accessible for everyone. As county judge, Andy voted to expand our county elections budget to allow for the purchase of advanced election technology and hire additional elections staff.