Laura Cottam Sajbel
Love Austin Pools
Laura Cottam Sajbel, author and adjunct professor at St. Edward's University, lives in Austin where it's possible to swim year-round in the city's outdoor pools. In 2016, when the city’s beloved system of 34 pools was threatened by aging infrastructure and budget shortfalls, Laura began a letter-writing campaign that developed into Love Austin Pools. LAP volunteers met with City Council representatives, spoke with neighborhoods across the city, and learned to navigate city budget and bond processes. Last fall, Austin City Council voted to increase its aquatics budget, and Austin voters approved $40 million in bonds for long-term aquatics projects.