resolution to boycott Alabama.

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resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby Leslie Pool » Fri May 17, 2019 11:23 am

Colleagues,

In response to Alabama’s newly signed anti-abortion law – the most restrictive in the country – I am drafting a resolution for the June 6 Council agenda that would prohibit the city from doing business with Alabama, including any staff travel to the state for meetings or conventions.

Alabama's new statute is an assault on women’s constitutional right to make our own decisions about our reproductive health, and Austin should help fight back. The law is set to take effect in six months, although legal challenges will likely hobble that timeline. Of course, the Alabama bill comes at a time when states across the nation, including Texas, are taking aggressive action against women as part of an organized effort to overturn Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court.

The last time the city stood united on an economic boycott was in 2010, after Arizona passed a reprehensible law that gave state and local police unprecedented authority to check the immigration status of any individual stopped for a traffic violation or any other alleged violation. That boycott was lifted in 2018 after the courts overturned the anti-immigrant law.

I welcome anyone who would like to join me on this resolution.

Best,

Leslie
Council Member District 7
Leslie Pool
 
Posts: 144
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Re: resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby David Chincanchan » Fri May 17, 2019 3:23 pm

Council Member Pool,

Council Member Renteria asked me to reply to thank you for bringing this forward and to offer his support. He would like to join you in this effort as a co-sponsor and believes that it is important for Austin to be a national leader in denouncing unconstitutional attacks on women’s rights. Please let us know how our office can help.

Thank you,

David
Chief of Staff
Office of Council Member Sabino "Pio" Renteria, District 3
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Re: resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby Delia Garza » Mon May 20, 2019 4:21 pm

Thank you CM Pool for proposing this resolution. I whole heartedly agree with the purpose in spirit. Ensuring women’s reproductive rights is what inspired me to participate in my first ever march in college and I haven’t stopped marching since then. I appreciate how resolutions are how City Council expresses our values and priorities, and as such, symbolic resolutions have an important purpose. That’s why I sponsored Resolution No. 20151015-039, supporting access to affordable reproductive healthcare through Planned Parenthood, for example.

But with any action we take on Council, we have to consider its impact. Alabama’s ban on abortion services will likely have a disproportionate impact on women and families with fewer resources to find healthcare elsewhere. I have concerns that a resolution like the one you’re proposing may have a similarly disproportionate impact on women and families working in the hospitality and service industries, who may already be struggling to get by. In our city, the workers in the service and hospitality industries who depend on travel and convention center activity for jobs and wages come from every council district, though the economic activity takes place largely downtown. Because, as our Convention Center leaders like to remind me, I represent many of these workers, I am sensitive to actions that may impact their livelihoods. I’m also curious to know if we have reached out to advocates in Alabama to ask if this type of action aligns with their strategy.

I support the intent of your proposed resolution, and I appreciate the passion and urgency you’ve expressed, but I hope that we can both find a way to mitigate its impact on the Alabamans who will already experience greater hardship because of their state government’s actions, and align our efforts with the advocates who are on the front lines in Alabama.

MPT Garza
Council Member District 2
Delia Garza
 
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Re: resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby Leslie Pool » Tue May 21, 2019 9:48 am

MPT Garza, thank you very much for your feedback. I see this boycott as being very similar to Austin's boycott of Arizona from 2010-2018 - a boycott that I supported and one that was in effect for four years after we started the new 10-1 council until City Manager Cronk lifted it last year. So there is a sort of precedent, if you will, of us supporting these types of boycotts. I think it is critical now, just as it was when MPT Martinez sponsored the boycott of Arizona, that Austin stands up for what is right and what we believe in. I will certainly take into account your concerns and work to draft a resolution that addresses them. Thanks again for sharing your concerns.

Regards,

Leslie
Council Member District 7
Leslie Pool
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby Jimmy Flannigan » Wed May 22, 2019 1:34 pm

Thank you CM Garza for your insight. I share your concerns with the resolution, including the message it may send about bad legislation passed in other states that was slightly less-worse but did not result in such a response. I believe this council is united in our support for access to reproductive healthcare beyond the low, low bar set by Alabama.
Jimmy Flannigan
Council Member, District 6
Jimmy Flannigan
 
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Re: resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby Paige Ellis » Thu May 23, 2019 11:23 am

I will also echo what MPT Garza and CM Flannigan have said regarding the notion of a boycott. I am happy to lead on direction in a similar spirit of MPT Garza’s previous resolution so that we can continue to make meaningful gains in allowing residents to access healthcare and health education here in Austin.
Paige Ellis
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Re: resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby Greg Casar » Thu May 23, 2019 12:33 pm

Thank you, Mayor Pro Tem Garza, for your post. Boycotts are an important tactic for making social change. In the case of Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB 1070, the City of Austin participated in a boycott coordinated and heavily supported by immigrant rights activists in Arizona. In the case of the recent anti-abortion (and unconstitutional) laws passed in Alabama and other states, I would only want to participate in a boycott if and when reproductive justice advocates on the ground call for such a boycott in a coordinated way. We know that when we work in solidarity with directly impacted people, that’s when we are most effective. So I’d like to take the lead of reproductive justice advocates in Alabama, Ohio, Missouri, and frankly here in Texas, as we move forward on protecting the right to abortion as health care. At this moment, I believe that many advocates are still discussing what tactics are most appropriate in this case.

Our dais is unanimously committed to protecting abortion rights—and I appreciate the leadership of Mayor Pro Tem Garza, CM Renteria, CM Ellis and CM Pool on this issue (who all have posted), along with all the other Council Members and the Mayor. I appreciate the conversation on how we can best work together toward our jointly shared mission.

Thanks,
Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4
Greg Casar
 
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Re: resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby Greg Casar » Thu May 23, 2019 3:12 pm

In my post, I neglected to recognize CM Flannigan's previous post in this thread. I apologize; it was an unintentional oversight. I concur with CM Flannigan's perspective as well, and look forward to working together on our shared goals.

Thanks,
Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4
Greg Casar
 
Posts: 84
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Re: resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby Leslie Pool » Thu May 23, 2019 3:20 pm

Colleagues, since posting my original message about boycotting Alabama, I have received a tremendous amount of support. I have also worked hard to draft a resolution that takes into account the feedback and concerns that have been raised. For example, the resolution clearly states that we oppose the anti-choice actions taken not only in Alabama but also in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, Utah, and Texas. There should be no mistaking where we stand.

My hope is to not just pass a symbolic resolution or to send a message. My hope is to find creative ways to have an impact on Alabama (the only state to pass a total ban) without causing negative effects on low-income people. I’d like to see other cities throughout the country follow suit in order to truly make a difference.

In particular, I appreciate the help and support of NARAL and the Lilith Fund for working with me in putting together this resolution. I am also pleased to have the support of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. My thanks to Council Members Kathie Tovo, Pio Renteria, Ann Kitchen, and Alison Alter for joining me on this resolution in taking a stand against anti-abortion actions.

Here's the resolution ... https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outl ... reserved=0

I appreciate all who have contributed to this resolution for our action on June 6.

Best,

Leslie
Council Member District 7
Leslie Pool
 
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: resolution to boycott Alabama.

Postby Amy Smith » Thu May 23, 2019 4:21 pm

Here is CM Pool's resolution:

http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 161915.pdf

Thank you.
Policy Advisor
Office of Leslie Pool, District 7
Amy Smith
 
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