CM Garza hoping Austin won't work with 'border wall' businesses

Council Member Delia Garza was joined by Mayor Adler and some of her colleagues on the dais Thursday morning for a press conference about her resolution fighting against the border wall.

"This wall is not about keeping us safe. What it is, is a symbol. What it is, is an attempt to send a harmful and destructive message. We live in a day when political rhetoric is all about making us scared of one another and dividing us from one another and unfortunately I think it's about winning primaries," Mayor Adler said.

"It seems when you look at the facts it really does not reduce crime , it's taken up a lot of investment that can be used for so many other things," Garza said.

Council Member Garza says her resolution reiterates support for immigrants and requires city staff to bring back a policy that would ask businesses to disclose whether they are doing any kind of design, construction or financing for the border wall.

"And then we'll decide what we do with that information. For me an end goal would be that we do not give any business to any businesses that are working on the border wall," Garza said.

Stephen Neusch is president of Black Security Products. The Austin company provides vehicle barriers that stop unwanted attacks on buildings. And Neusch says they're on the City of Austin's vendor list.

"The last one I think we proposed on that they asked me for was doing pedestrian barriers for a gay pride march to help secure them," Neusch said.

And they also submitted a design for the border wall.

So Neusch calls Council's resolution "ridiculous." He says if Black Security has the lowest bid on a project, that saves taxpayer dollars.

"And if they reject one of our bids because we worked with the border wall and it's the low price...1. it's costing people money but I would like to see them actually do it because we would obviously protest and I don't think legally they could discriminate against our bid just because we had affiliation with a federal contract," Neusch said.

And Neusch says Black Security is one of the only companies of its kind in Austin.

"So they're not interested in having a competitive security product that they can use in a city so they're going to... what, put people's lives at risk because of their snubbing of their nose to the federal government. Still doesn't make sense," Neusch said.

Matt Mackowiak, Chairman of the Travis County GOP says "The Austin City Council should stop wasting time on irrelevant issues and instead focus on taxpayers. When the new City Manager arrives, he needs to be focused on affordability and transportation, not federal issues like the border wall."

The border wall item passed on consent Thursday morning with Council Member Troxclair being the only dissenting vote.