'Rich hippies', 'actual weirdos', and 'blacks resisting gentrification' are just some of the other stereotypes on Austin's judgmental map. When a city of Austin employee decided to use this in a presentation, the city manager took action immediately.
“That is completely out of bounds. It's an embarrassment, it's also an insult, and it speaks of a bigger problem in this city,” Nelson Linder, Austin NAACP president said.
Linder was completely shocked to hear a city worker used the map. The employee presented it at a Tuesday at a zoning and platting commission meeting focused on strategic mobility initiatives and street connectivity.
“He/she thought it was funny, and lost touch with reality for a period of time,” Linder said.
This comes 10 months after a training session that was later criticized for comments about women which were thought as sexist and stereotypical. City manager Marc Ott suggested that the instructor at that time slipped through the cracks and ensured he would properly vet in the future. Linder says Ott can't control everyone.
“I wouldn't blame him for it, I would say you have to make sure in that environment, people understand that you don't tolerate that kind of behavior,” Linder said.
In a memo from Marc Ott, the city manager says:
"Using this backdrop was completely inappropriate. Upon learning this morning of its inclusion in a staff presentation, I took immediate action to identify the employee who used such extremely poor judgment. That employee has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation into this matter. "
If the employee is given a second chance, Linder feels the person will reconsider putting something like a judgmental map, in a city presentation.
“Make an example out of people like that and it will stop,” he said.
The city did not release the employee’s name.