CM Pool works locally to further Austin’s urban sustainability through policies that support low emission, nature-based, equitable, and resilient systemic change.
About Leslie Pool
Elected in 2014, Council Member Pool's expansive legislative record focuses on the environment and sustainability, transportation, open government accountability and transparency, as well as ethics, campaign finance, and lobbyist reform and reporting requirements.
Leslie has led on the city’s multiple strategies on climate protection, including action calling for a Community Climate Resilience Plan, and, more recently, broadening the city’s resilience efforts to focus on economic, social and racial disparities.
Leslie is a diligent advocate for increased investments in civic assets like community parks, swimming pools, libraries, trails, and open space. In 2015, Leslie traveled to Paris to represent Austin at the historic United Nations Climate Conference (COP21). The objective of the Paris Summit was to achieve a binding, universal agreement on climate. An additional outcome was renewed focus on cities as natural leaders in attaining net zero emission and environmental sustainability goals.
The council member sponsored two key policy initiatives in November 2019 that would expand Austin’s transit map to unanimous council approval: a resolution to identify financing options to fund the building of two new rail stations on Austin’s Red Line in District 7 (at the McKalla Place soccer stadium, and the Broadmoor development near the Domain), and authorization of the public-private Red Line Parkway Trail partnership, which created the Red Line Parkway Initiative, a 32-mile bike and walking trail that would roughly parallel the Red Line railway running through the city.
Leslie’s work on Open Government initiatives means leading in another area where policy-making is a challenge: ethics and campaign finance. Her ordinance changes have strengthened lobby registration and reporting rules and she pioneered passage of electronic filing processes to increase public transparency and access to campaign finance reports, adding enforcement rigor to lobby reporting. The council member was principal co-sponsor for tougher reporting requirements for "secret money" campaign contributions. These areas of government oversight remain some of the most difficult to achieve. In further pursuit of government accountability, she attended the 2019 Canada Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Ottawa where participants from over 100 countries shared their knowledge and solutions for more open and transparent government in a time of technological disruption.
The council member chairs the Balcones Canyonlands Coordinating Committee, is vice chair of the council Audit & Finance Committee, Water Utility Oversight Committee, and the Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee, and she is a trustee on the city’s Employees Retirement System board. She is past chair of the Council Committee on Open Space, Environment, and Sustainability; and chaired the Austin Energy Utility Oversight Committee. She also served as a member of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, the Judicial Committee, and the Economic Opportunity Committee.
Before her election to City Council, Leslie served on numerous civic boards and commissions, including the Downtown Commission, Arts Commission, Telecommunications Commission, and Water/Wastewater Commission. She served on the Downtown Development Advisory Group in the 1990s, and chaired the Seaholm Reuse Planning Committee. She was twice appointed by the Travis County Commissioners Court to serve on Travis County Citizens Bond Advisory committees in 1997 and 2004, and by the City Council to serve on the 2012 City of Austin Citizens Bond Advisory Task Force.
Leslie also served as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee of Liveable City, was a president of the Austin Civic Chorus, and a member of the Austin Choral Union. In 2012 she helped convene the Bull Creek Road Coalition, an alliance of several Central North Austin Neighborhoods.
Before joining the city council in 2015, Leslie’s professional career was as broad and diverse as her civic work. From her employment with the National Wildlife Federation to the Travis County Constable’s office, from the Texas Employment (now Workforce) Commission to the Texas Department of Transportation, she has wide experience in key areas. All of this work in her 40 years in Austin combine to lay a strong foundation for her successes on the City Council.
Leslie and Will Grover live in Rosedale. Leslie’s daughter, Emily, graduated in 2006 from Anderson High School. Emily currently lives and works in New York City.
“District 7 has wonderful neighborhoods. It’s where people want to live. I’m so fortunate to have raised my daughter here in Austin where she benefited from our impressive public schools and strong neighborhoods and long-lasting friendships. This area of town is a perfect representation of all that is special about our city,” Leslie says.“To all the residents of this district, my friends and neighbors: I appreciate your support and willing partnership as my team and I continue to work hard for our city, for our neighborhoods, and for you.”