Austin Founder Lions Club

Austin Redistricting - Magdalena Blanco & TJ Costello

  • 05 Dec 2013
  • 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Wells Fargo Bldg, 400 W 15th St, 3rd floor


  • please note there will be a $5 fee for parking in the garage.
Austin Redistricting
Independent District Citizens Commission
introduction by Lion Mac Ragsdale

Per City Charter Article II Section 1, the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission is empowered to divide the city into 10 geographical council districts for the election of council members. The City Charter, which was passed by 60% of Austin voters in the November 2012 elections, outlines the independent, citizen-driven process for the ICRC.


Magdalena BlancoSpeaker's Bio:
Magdalena Blanco has over 10 years combined experience in the public sector and small business. Her experience spans across public finance, government information systems, economic development, and program development and management. 

Magdalena received her Master’s in Public Administration from Texas State University, and her B.A in Political Science from California State University – San Marcos. In 2010 she became a published author of “Economic Development Corporations in Texas – Preliminary assessment of statutory compliance of 4A and 4B EDCs in Texas with the Development Corporation Act of 1979.” 

Magdalena began her public service in 1989 as a junior leader at the San Dieguito Boys & Girls Club, and over the last 20 years has continued as a community volunteer. In addition to her service on the Austin Redistricting Commission, she is also a Director on the Travis County Strategic Housing Finance Corporation, which promotes creative financing for affordable housing in Travis County. In 2002, Magdalena, her husband, and three children moved to the Austin-metro area from southern California; and since 2006 have been residents of Northeast Austin.

TJ CostelloTJ Costello currently serves as an Economist for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in the Economic Development and Analysis Department where he is charged with analyzing and interpreting the economic impact and incremental tax benefit from the business development activities of local communities. He also assists Texans and non-Texans with economic analysis as directed by the Comptroller. 

Previously, TJ has worked with local, national, and international organizations earning a reputation as an expert in the fields of applied economics, market research, qualitative analysis and facilitation. This includes work as the Director of Economic Development at the Greater Austin San Antonio Corridor Council, National Marketing Coordinator for the American Arbitration Association, and working with other state and local organizations through Box Free Thinking. 

TJ is originally from the New York City area and holds a degree in “applied economics” from Ithaca College and received his MPAff from the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 2003 with a Graduate Portfolio in Dispute Resolution from the UT Law School. In addition to his professional experience, TJ is an award winning H.S. basketball coach as well as a former basketball coach and lecturer at Concordia University. He has served on a number of municipal boards including the Vision 2000 Task Force and Zoning Board in South Brunswick, NJ and the Citizens Action Team in Hillsboro, TX. TJ is long-time member of the Texas Rugby Union and he has served as president of the LBJ School Austin Alumni Association as well as the New Jersey Chapter of the Ithaca College Alumni Association. He is also a frequent speaker on market research methods as well as on leadership and teamwork.

Featured Lunch Menu: Sliced tenderloin of beef with mixed grilled vegetables and roasted potatoes; mixed field green salad with assorted rolls and a featured daily dessert. Vegetarian meal or Grilled Chicken Caesar salad are available alternatives as well.

Please register by noon on Wednesday

We order meals based on your reservations and must pay for them even if you do not show up. Please keep this in mind if your plans shift and cancel your reservation so we can adjust the headcount.

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