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About that mayor pro tem thing…

Tuesday, December 22, 2020 by Elizabeth Pagano

Though it was widely (and weirdly) reported last week that Council Member Greg Casar was the heir apparent to the largely ceremonial title of mayor pro tem, it looks as though that may not be happening after all. According to rumblings at City Hall and a post on the City Council Message Board, Casar’s once-certain victory may be threatened by a push to elect a female mayor pro tem “from a West Austin district,” which is rumored to be Council Member Alison Alter. In a Monday night post on the message board, Casar addressed the potential change in direction. “Let me be clear, if the interest amongst my colleagues is to ensure greater female representation, you have my support. But we cannot cave into right-wing pressure from the wealthiest parts of town, simply because our Council has voted to affirm Black Lives Matter, advance labor victories, and to protect the civil rights of our homeless population. We must make it clear that we are not willing to back down if we truly believe what we are doing is right for Austinites … I say all this, because I’ve received phone calls indicating that I should back out so that we can choose a mayor pro tem from a West Austin district. I believe we are sending the wrong message in this critical time if we choose to select our mayor pro tem from one of the whiter and wealthier districts, rather than from the Eastern Crescent.” Casar goes on to say he would be happy to support a mayor pro tem from Austin’s Eastern Crescent. Council will elect the new mayor pro tem at its Jan. 6 meeting.

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