Steve Adler is the 52nd Mayor of Austin, Texas, and is leading the city towards a new level of inclusive civic engagement between residents and their elected officials.

Adler was elected Austin’s 52nd Mayor in December 2014. He practiced civil rights law for many years and served nearly ten years as Chief of Staff and General Counsel for Texas State Senator Eliot Shapleigh, working primarily on school finance, equity and access issues. Mayor Adler has been deeply involved with, and has chaired, many Austin civic and non-profit institutions over the past 20 years.

What does disruptive leadership mean to you in terms of making meaningful change to close racial opportunity gaps at the local level?

Mayor Adler on Disruptive Leadership

“I believe that we will never have racial equality without economic equality. We can never stand together as equals unless we equally and equitably benefit in the incredible economic opportunities that Austin has to offer, and that is something I intend to do something about.”

Among the many initiatives spearheaded by Mayor Adler is the Spirit of East Austin project, launched in September 2015 with the goal of working in partnership with communities to bring equitable and inclusive economic development to East Austin. Mayor Adler will also launch a first-of-its-kind Affordability Audit to rigorously assess where city government is either helpful or harmful to affordability in Austin, and has committed to launching the Austin Affordable Community Trust by the end of 2016. This new funding mechanism will leverage private investment dollars, including residents’ own contributions through crowdfunding and minibonds, to buy up and preserve the city’s existing affordable housing stock.

Mayor Adler with Police Chief Art Acevedo in the MLK Day parade

Mayor Adler has consistently demonstrated a commitment to making the City of Austin both innovative and inclusive. Hear more about the Mayor’s vision for Austin—and for all cities—in his recent “State of Our City” address.

Mayor Adler was recognized in September 2016 as one of Living Cities' 25 Disruptive Leaders working to close racial opportunity gaps.