City of Austin making efforts to improve the city’s response to hate
AUSTIN, Texas - A resolution (Item #64) condemning antisemitism, racism, and hate is being brought up at Austin City Council this week. The resolution also calls on the City Manager to work to improve the city’s response to acts of hate.
Councilmember Alison Alter is sponsoring the resolution.
Alter is also asking for a briefing on the city’s current protocols and legal options for responding to incidents like these. "It is critical that as a city we join in a united front against hate and make clear that these acts do not represent our community values," Councilmember Alter said in a press release.
The resolution is in response to an increase in hate speech over the past week.
Last week. a series of antisemitic banners were seen hanging from an Austin overpass and a small fire was lit outside of an Austin synagogue. The week before that, anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic graffiti was painted across several student parking spots at Anderson High School.
Mayor Steve Adler has also taken a stand against hate speech, posting on Twitter that it "has no place in our city." Mayor Adler has also asked people to report hate when they see it.
Councilmember Alter has released the following statement about the resolution:
"Over the weekend, someone intentionally set a fire at Congregation Beth Israel in District 10. My family and I belong to Congregation Beth Israel and are disturbed by the increasing levels of antisemitic hate here in Austin. I have spoken with temple and city leadership, the ADL, AFD Chief Baker, and the Fire Marshal and understand that the AFD arson unit is working with the FBI, APD, and other regional law enforcement agencies to identify and apprehend the suspect(s). Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the fire department responded in a matter of minutes, mitigating the structural damage."
"Coming on the heels of the events that took place in October, many people have requested guidance on how best to respond. I encourage folks to utilize and share the resources offered by the Anti-Defamation League available at www.adl.org."
"Additionally, at this week’s Council meeting, I am sponsoring a resolution (Item #64) condemning antisemitism, racism, and hate and calling on the City Manager to work to improve the City’s response to acts of hate. I also have asked for a briefing on the City’s current protocols and legal options for responding to incidents like these. I look forward to unanimous support from my Council colleagues. It is critical that as a city we join in a united front against hate and make clear that these acts do not represent our community values."
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