We went into 2017 focused on addressing mobility and affordability, and we did get a lot done on both fronts as you can see below. What we weren’t fully expecting, however, was the degree to which we would have to defend Austin’s values on climate change, refugee resettlement, racial equity, immigration, and feminism, among many other subjects. When the Mayor said in his State of the City Address, delivered at the beginning of 2017, that the “world can completely lose its mind but we’re still gonna be Austin, Texas,” he had no way of knowing how accurately that would predict what 2017 had in store or how our city would respond.
We’re still Austin, Texas, and we’re getting better at it all the time.
Here are actions taken by the City and/or by City Council (not just the Mayor): Continue reading
By Mayor Adler
For decades, the Texas Legislature has been a backseat driver, second guesser and insufferable micromanager to Austin. Now, our Legislature and governor have crossed the line by imperiling our most basic freedoms. Not only did state lawmakers recently pass the governor’s sanctuary city bill that went way beyond federal immigration law, but the Texas attorney general just filed suit against me and others for speaking out against it.
We speak out because, if this law goes into effect, Austin and other Texas cities will be forced to make our communities less safe. And we’re speaking out even though this new law would, incredibly enough, allow our state attorney general to remove local elected officials from office if they endorse a different policy, even one that’s in accordance with federal immigration law.
Austin is one of the safest cities in the country, largely because our police focus on keeping all of us safe regardless of where we come from or how we got here. And it’s not just us; cities with similar policies toward immigrants have lower crime rates, higher household income rates and lower unemployment rates. What we do works!
The new Texas sanctuary city law undoes that. Police tell us that the fear that they might ask about immigration status has already made people less willing to report crimes, undoing years of work to establish trust with our immigrant communities. Continue reading