Watch Documentary Here
This past Friday, August 4, 2023, Design Workshop – the City of Austin’s contractor that wrote the proposed Zilker Park Vision Plan -- pressured YouTube to remove the 16-minute documentary “Zilker, Inc.: The Plan to Monetize a Natural Treasure” by award winning local film maker Steve Mims. Released last Wednesday, August 2nd , the film had already received almost 5000 views in just 48 hours and received praise from viewers who called it “beautiful” and “powerful.”
Design Workshop has created an intensely unpopular plan that 80% of Austin opposes –- no wonder they want to pull down this film.
A new version called: “Uncensored: Zilker, Inc.; The Plan to Monetize a Natural Treasure” is now live on YouTube and tells the story that Design Workshop is trying to hide with its unfounded “copyright infringement” claim. The “Uncensored” film removes a few seconds of the original that showed Design Workshop’s logo and project images obtained from the Design Workshop website. “While such use falls within the “fair use” doctrine for copyrighted materials, we chose to remove them rather than have Design Workshop censor the film with its unfounded claims,” said Reid Nelson, Mr. Mims’ attorney.
The Austin City Council is scheduled to hear public testimony and decide the fate of the draft Zilker Park Vision Plan at its Thursday, August 31st meeting at City Hall.
Read more about the film below, but here are three simple things you can do to help save Zilker Park:
1. Watch and share the link to the Uncensored: Zilker, Inc. film with all your friends and followers.
2. Tell them you will be at City Hall on August 31st to speak to the City Council on the future of Zilker Park and Barton Springs and urge them to be there with you.
3. GO HERE and send one simple message to Mayor Watson and the Austin City Council asking them to tell Design Workshop to disclose all public information about the plan and stop censoring its critics. We have suggested some language but feel free to erase it and write your own message. A personal message is the best message!
The film, funded by local investors and Save our Springs Alliance, documents overwhelming local opposition to Design Workshop’s proposed “concrete vision” to build three large parking garages, six bridges, a 5000-seat amphitheater, and other structures in Zilker Park.
The film also documents Design Workshop’s closed-door coordination with ACL/ Live Nation representatives. Design Workshop project lead Claire Hempel had denied ACL/ Live Nation’s involvement in the plan but walked it back when caught on video posted to the City’s website. Live Nation/Ticketmaster now owns controlling interest in the ACL Music Festival by way of a side deal with its pet non-profit Austin Parks Foundation. “Is this the real reason Design
Workshop wants to censor this film?” is a question many who have seen the film were asking this weekend.”
The RewildZilker.org coalition of environmental and neighborhood groups did not sponsor the film but has proposed a more popular alternative vision for a natural, recreational Zilker park that would provide more water protection/ climate mitigation/ shade and save taxpayers over $150 million in construction and operation costs. See the Rewilding plan here The only way we are going to save Zilker Park from being converted into a money-making machine for Live Nation and its allied park concessioners is with your help and the help of everyone you know who loves Zilker Park as a public park and not as an outdoor entertainment
district. Spread the word, write and call council, and be there at City Hall on August 31st .
Send Letter to Council Here