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
By Mayor Adler
There are lots of opinions on red light cameras, but only one fact: Red light cameras save lives.
Crashes have declined by nearly 84% in Austin at intersections with red light cameras since 2008. Moreover, more than 45% of the red light running citations written are issued to people who don’t live in Austin.
Unquestionably, people are alive today in our city because we use red light cameras.
I encourage all members of the Texas Legislature to reject legislation which would ban this life-saving technology or hinder our ability to hold red light runners accountable, including HB 1244, SB 88 and SB 87. Continue reading