Published : Tuesday, April 16, 2019 | 6:45 AM
Pasadena City Councilmember Margaret McAustin said Tuesday morning she will not be seeking a fourth term on the City Council during the 2020 election cycle.
“Although I have been intending to seek another term, my husband has recently begun medical treatment that has caused me to re-think my priorities,” McAustin said in an early morning email. “The added pressures of a political campaign are simply not compatible with my desire to support my husband in his illness.”
McAustin has served District 2 as a Councilmember since 2007.
“I have championed protection and preservation of our neighborhoods, chaired the Municipal Services Committee as we have moved to a greener, more sustainable city and tirelessly advocated for affordable housing, both within and outside of District Two. I look forward to continuing to pursue this agenda over the 18 months remaining in my term,” she said.
McAustin has long been an advocate of women’s rights.
“I have very much enjoyed the work and my colleagues. My only regret is that, for far too long, I have been the only woman’s voice among our City’s leaders,” McAustin said in her statement today.
“District Two has many capable, committed residents – including a wealth of highly qualified women. I hope and believe that a woman will continue to represent us on the City Council.”
Reactions from McAustin’s colleagues and lone opponent were generous and sympathetic.
“She’s thoroughly prepared and she’s done very good work, particularly on the Municipal Services Committee,” said Mayor Terry Tornek. “And she is, of course, the only woman on the council, so it’s disappointing to lose her.”
City Councilmember and Vice Mayor John Kennedy called McAustin, “one of the strongest affordable housing advocates that the City Council has had. She is someone who takes her job very seriously, is always prepared, and has her brand of public service.”
City Councilmember Victor Gordo said McAustin has done “a tremendous job of serving the people of District 2. I very much understand and support her reasoning. A family comes first and Margaret is going to stand with her husband. That is consistent with the person Margaret is.”
“I think she’s been an incredibly thoughtful contributor and a great collaborator to the council and she will be greatly missed,” said City Councilman Andy Wilson. “I’m deeply saddened and certainly grateful for her many, many years of high-quality service to the City.”
McAustin’s decision leaves City Planning Commissioner Felicia Williams as the sole candidate for the District 2 Council seat in the March 2020 election.
“I wasn’t expecting [the announcement] because we had talked a couple of weeks ago and were just going to play it by ear. She was going to let me know over the summer,” Williams told Pasadena Now on Tuesday. “So I was really saddened to hear that she’s not running because of the sickness John is going through.”