Co-Sponsorship Request: Stand Together Against Human Trafficking

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Mackenzie Kelly
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:56 pm

Co-Sponsorship Request: Stand Together Against Human Trafficking

Post by Mackenzie Kelly »

Colleagues,

During a recent meeting I had with the Austin Police Department's Human Trafficking Unit, I was deeply disturbed to learn about the heartbreaking case of a teenage girl who was trafficked from out of state to Austin. She was groomed online for over a year before being lured into this nightmare. Thankfully, the teenager was recovered by the Austin Police Department. However, this tragic incident underscores the critical need for action related to combating human trafficking in our community.

In response to this experience, I drafted a robust resolution that aims to tackle human trafficking from multiple angles. It seeks to educate parents about the dangers of online grooming and human trafficking, providing them with the tools to protect their children from falling prey to these predators through partnerships with schools. Additionally, it calls for the establishment of safe emergency housing for trafficking victims, comprehensive training programs for hotel staff to identify and respond to trafficking situations, and enhanced resources for law enforcement to investigate and combat trafficking effectively.

Human trafficking is not merely a crime; it is a pervasive and insidious form of exploitation that inflicts devastating physical, emotional, and psychological harm on its victims. As council members, we must combat this heinous crime and protect the vulnerable members of our community.

As policymakers, we must take swift action when we feel called. I urge your support for the following resolution I authored, addressing the urgent issue of human trafficking in our city.

Resolution Draft: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 112109.pdf

As festival season approaches, it's crucial to acknowledge a troubling trend: major events like the ones hosted in Austin are vulnerable to human trafficking activity. This unfortunate reality underscores the urgency of our efforts to combat trafficking and protect vulnerable individuals during these times.
I am proud to have Council Members Jose Velásquez and Alison Alter as cosponsors, and I invite each of you to join us in this vital and timely endeavor as additional co-sponsors.

Together, we can take a stand against human trafficking and create a safer, more resilient Austin for everyone.

Thank you for your consideration.

Warm Regards,

mk
Council Member, District 6
Jose Velasquez
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:35 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Stand Together Against Human Trafficking

Post by Jose Velasquez »

I’m proud to co-sponsor Council Member Kelly’s IFC. If the additional resources and training help protect even one person from being targeted, groomed, trafficked or exploited, we will have succeeded.

We need to make it abundantly clear that the exploitation of vulnerable people, most often women and children, at the hands of predatory criminal elements will not be tolerated and will not remain uninvestigated in Austin.

Council Member José Velásquez
Council Member, District 3
Ryan Alter
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2023 3:15 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Stand Together Against Human Trafficking

Post by Ryan Alter »

CM Kelly,

Thank you for calling attention to this issue and bringing forth a variety of methods to prevent trafficking from happening locally. In the current budget, I sponsored, and the Council included, an amendment providing funding for victims of domestic violence to get connected to immediate housing and services, just like you discuss in this resolution. To that end, I’d love to work with you on understanding what gap we have in needs versus the current service level. I would love to be added as a cosponsor and look forward to working with you on this more.

Sincerely,
Ryan
Council Member, District 5
Alison Alter
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

Re: Co-Sponsorship Request: Stand Together Against Human Trafficking

Post by Alison Alter »

Dear Council Member Kelly,

Thank you for the invitation to co-sponsor your resolution and for shedding light on this important issue.

I would like to call your attention to the 2024 Anti-Human Trafficking Summit happening on Thursday, March 21st. This summit is jointly organized by Children at Risk, the Texas Family Leadership Council (TXFLC) and the Texas Racial Equity Collaborative (TREC). You can learn more at https://childrenatrisk.org/event/2024-a ... ng-summit/. I realize that March 21st is a Council Day, but for those who may be interested in participating virtually I wanted to share this resource.

I look forward to this resolution being posted and approved, and to receiving the report back from City management.

Regards,
Alison Alter
Council Member, District 10
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