Austinites passed a $7 billion transit referendum in November 2020. Even while transit ridership was low and the future still seemed uncertain, they worked to ensure dedicated funding for transit. How did they do this? Register below to learn more!
Sam Sargent serves as Director of Strategy for the Austin Transit Partnership, the joint venture tasked with the implementation of the Project Connect transit program. He previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Capital Metro in Austin, Texas.
A lawyer by training, Sam spent time in the Austin and Washington offices of U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, focusing on transportation and housing. He holds bachelor’s and law degrees from Boston University.
Sam serves on the City of Austin’s Downtown Commission the board of Movability, Central Texas’ travel demand management non-profit. Sam was a 2019 Mass Transit 40 Under 40 award winner and was an Austin Under 40 finalist in 2019 and 2020.
Jackie Nirenberg has served as community engagement manager for Capital Metro, Austin’s transit authority, since 2015. She designed and led the public involvement effort for Project Connect, CapMetro’s transit expansion plan.
That effort culminated in a historic referendum on November 3, 2020, when Austin voters approved the $7 billion plan, including two new light rail lines and a downtown tunnel.
Before joining CapMetro, Jackie was a Senior Consultant with Austin public involvement firm, Group Solutions, where she led engagement efforts for a number of public projects, including the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan and several other transportation infrastructure projects.
She was named a 2019 Transportation for America Fellow and has twice been a featured presenter at the North American Conference of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). Jackie holds a Master’s degree in Journalism and a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.
When she’s not engaging with the community, Jackie enjoys travel, live music, and her ongoing quest for Austin’s best tacos.
Yannis Banks graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration. He is currently a Community Engagement Coordinator with Capital Metro. In that role he is responsible for creating public engagement plans, making sure the community is informed on the
decisions that Capital Metro makes, expressing what the community thinks about those decisions to CapMetro leadership, facilitating meetings of CapMetro’s Customer Advisory Committees, and many other roles.
Mr. Banks is the co-host of 2 popular radio talk shows, The Forum and The Wakeup Call that airs on KAZI 88.7. He also is a co-host of The Untapped Show on KAZI 88.7 in Austin, TX.
In 2010 he was selected to be the chair of the African-American Subcommittee for the Travis County Complete Count Committee. It was his job to help ensure that as many African-Americans participated in the census as possible. He was selected to be on the 2020 Austin-Travis County Complete County Committee. He is a founding board member of New Leaders Council – Austin which started in 2016.
Tina is a local government affairs consultant in Austin, Texas with over 20 years experience from all sides of City Hall. She has been fortunate to have served as a policy adviser to a city council member, a political appointee on the city’s planning commission, and staffer in multiple city departments as well as the city’s public transit agency. Most recently, she served as the coalition and operations manager of a public education campaign that was critical to securing voter approval of a $7-billion transit expansion in the midst of COVID-19. Her work has spanned numerous areas, including transportation and smart mobility, land use, water resource management, and recycling regulation and incentivization. In her spare time, Tina enjoys riding bikes and exploring parks with her husband and their young son, and geeking out about local public policy.
Scott Morris is a community organizer who serves as a director for the Central Austin CDC, a nonprofit and program sponsor for the Austin Coalition for Transit. Rooted in decades of advocacy, ACT works collaboratively and inclusively to advocate for transit and its interrelated policy areas. ACT has been engaged in the development of Project Connect as stakeholders, and last fall Scott formed ACT-PAC, a community-based political action committee that participated in Austin’s successful Prop A campaign.
Scott first became interested in transportation policy in 2003 when his community was called on to plan for high-capacity transit in the city’s neighborhood planning process. He has helped create nonprofit organizations and worked on a variety of projects that return public value, from urban agriculture to transportation. A digital marketing consultant by profession, Scott attended the University of Texas and has lived in Central Austin for over 30 years, where he and his wife are raising two children.