A message for my colleagues

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Natasha Harper-Madison
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:52 pm

A message for my colleagues

Post by Natasha Harper-Madison »

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you in good health and high spirits. I am writing to inform you of a necessary step I must take in the interest of my well-being and ability to serve our community effectively.

Service is in my heart, as I know it also is for all of you. This year has been extremely challenging for me. I live with depression and anxiety. Thankfully these issues can be treated with focused care. Starting Monday, September 25, I will be taking medical leave for 60 days.

I understand the importance of our work and the commitments we have made to our constituents, and I assure you that my decision to take this leave has not been made lightly. I have every intention of returning to my duties in good health with renewed energy and dedication to continuing to serve District 1 and the entire Austin community.

During this time, I want to reassure you that my dedicated staff is fully prepared to ensure the smooth operation of the District 1 office. Our Constituent Liaison Director Nikki McCullough will continue to be our first line of response to the communication of the residents of District 1. John Lawler, our Policy Strategist, will continue to drive our policy work and collaborate with all of you on the important initiatives that are currently underway. And last but not least, our Chief of Staff Sharon Mays will manage ongoing projects and lead our team through this challenge. I’m thankful to the office of the City Manager and other City staff for the offers to support my team while I am away.

Thank you for your understanding and well-wishes during this time. Your compassion, grace, and support mean a great deal to me, and I look forward to my return to work.

Oh, and happy early birthday Councilwoman Fuentes and Councilmember Vela. Please have an extra slice of cake for me.
Natasha Harper-Madison
Council Member District 1
Leslie Pool
Posts: 236
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: A message for my colleagues

Post by Leslie Pool »

Natasha, I wish you all the best as you take the time needed to heal. Please know that my staff and I are here to support you and your team. I have seen you get through extremely challenging times in the past.

Take good care.

Leslie Pool
Mayor Pro Tem
Council Member, District 7
Colleen Pate
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2023 1:22 pm

Re: A message for my colleagues

Post by Colleen Pate »

Council Member:

Be well. Thanks for your service and passion. My staff and I are here for you and our shared constituents. We're lifting you up.


Posted on behalf of Mayor Watson
Chief of Staff, Mayor Watson's Office
Mackenzie Kelly
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:56 pm

Re: A message for my colleagues

Post by Mackenzie Kelly »


First and foremost, I want to express my deepest appreciation for your courage in sharing your personal challenges with us. It takes tremendous strength to open up about one's struggles, and your willingness to do so is both admirable and inspiring.

Please know that your well-being is of paramount importance, and taking this step to prioritize your mental health is a wise and responsible decision. We all understand the immense pressures and demands that come with public service, and it's crucial to take the time you need to address your depression and anxiety with focused care.

Take care, and know that you have our utmost support and well-wishes during this time.

Warm Regards,

Council Member, District 6
Vanessa Fuentes
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:02 am

Re: A message for my colleagues

Post by Vanessa Fuentes »

CM Harper Madison,

We have your back. I join our community in sending unwavering support and an abundance of positive energy. Your strength and resilience are an inspiration to us all.

Yours in community,
Council Member, District 2