The Steering Committee is the principal governing and policy recommending body of OWANA. Its actions are governed by the will of the membership as expressed at annual, regular, and special meetings. It is elected annually at the December General Membership meeting.
The Steering Committee generally meets the first Monday of each month when General Membership meetings are not held (i.e., March, June, September, December). All are welcome to attend the Steering Committee meetings. Contact the Chair for specifics on time and place.
Affordable Housing committee
Chair: Marissa Lata
The Affordable Housing Committee works to promote and expand the availability of and access to affordable housing within the Old West Austin neighborhood. The Committee considers opportunities for increasing affordable housing options in the neighborhood, and reviews applications for the OWANA Affordable Housing Fund.
Chair: Sinikka Green
In addition to maintaining the OWANA membership roll and dues, this committee supports outreach and fundraising efforts that enhance the character and life in our neighborhood. Expansion of the business membership is also a focus of efforts, enhancing ties between residents and commercial endeavors in our area.
Chair: Orlando Castillo
The Community Events Committee works with Membership and other OWANA committees to plan fundraisers and other events for OWANA members and the whole neighborhood. Over the past year, the Committee has helped plan the neighborhood National Night Out, Holiday Caroling, Halloween activities, and many other events.
Parks and Greenspace Committee
Chair: Ellu Nasser
The parks in Old West Austin, West Austin Park and Mary Baylor Park, provide recreational amenities for all residents. The Parks and Greenspace Committee focuses on improvements and maintenance issues for our parks. The activities of the Committee include implementing enhancements to landscaping and park facilities, as well as grant development and fundraising to support the enhancements.
Public Safety and Transportation Committee
Chair: Mike Sullivan
This committee serves to address issues that arise in the areas of public safety and transportation within the neighborhood. Along with helping to ensure a reasonable level of safety in the neighborhood, we also hope to use the Neighborhood Plan to identify one major transportation issue to pursue in the upcoming year.
Chair: Erin Thomson
OWANA supports the Land Use goal of the Old West Austin Neighborhood Plan: to protect existing residential property and encourage the development of new residential property by supporting mixed-use development in certain areas of the neighborhood. Due to the pressures on our urban core neighborhood, the Zoning Committee is never at a loss for projects. Much of the work revolves around opposition to demolition of historic properties and the upholding of compatibility standards.
The Audit Committee reviews the finances of the organization on a yearly basis and reports by April of each year.
The Bylaws Committee forms when needed to make recommendations to the General Membership concerning possible amendments to the OWANA Bylaws. The Bylaws may be amended, altered, or repealed by a two-thirds vote at any meeting of the membership, provided that the exact wording of the proposed change is included in the agenda of the required notice of the meeting.
In 2004, the Bylaws Committee recommended modifications. The General Membership approved the recommendations at the December 7, 2004 meeting.
The Design Committee reviews projects within the OWANA area and offers comments to residents and developers on varied aspects of their designs. The General Membership adopted the OWANA Design Guidelines [pdf] in January 2003, as recommended guidance for development within Old West Austin, in order to encourage appropriate design in any new construction or re-development of existing properties.
Each year, the Nominating Committee forms to identify willing candidates for positions on the Steering Committee for the upcoming year. The slate of candidates is presented in the Fall Newsletter. Nominations are also taken from the floor of the December General Membership meeting, where a vote elects the Steering Committee for the following year.
OWANA Representatives to Other Organizations
Austin Neighborhoods Council (ANC) Representative
The Austin Neighborhoods Council acts as a coordinating body for the efforts of Austin area neighborhood groups, serves as a clearinghouse for information, gives guidance in all matters of concern to individual neighborhoods and/or the City of Austin, and strives to make a positive contribution to Austin through the betterment of neighborhoods and the promotion of civic awareness. As a neighborhood association, OWANA belongs to the ANC, and is represented at monthly meetings by the OWANA ANC Representative.
Old West Austin Neighborhood Plan Contact Team (NPCT) Representative
In June 2000, the City Council approved the Old West Austin Neighborhood Plan [pdf], which addresses Land Use, Transportation, Parks and Green Space, and Historic Preservation in the neighborhood. The NPCT is a conduit from the neighborhood to the City of Austin and serves to respond to requests to amend the Old West Austin Neighborhood Plan and to initiate plan amendments. The NPCT is composed of representatives of OWANA, the Clarksville Community Development Corporation (CCDC), and the West End Austin Alliance (WEAA).
West End Austin Alliance (WEAA) Representative
The West End Austin Alliance (WEAA) is an organization that includes stakeholders in the “west end” area of downtown Austin: business owners, property owners, and neighborhood associations. OWANA holds a seat on the WEAA Board, filled by the OWANA WEAA Representative, which generally meets monthly.