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Alter leads Council in fighting antisemitism

Friday, November 5, 2021 by Jo Clifton

City Council Member Alison Alter sponsored a resolution Thursday directing City Manager Spencer Cronk to work to improve the city’s response to acts of hate. All 10 of her colleagues joined as co-sponsors in the resolution and expressed solidarity. Alter has sponsored three previous resolutions condemning violence, hate speech, racism and misinformation, and expressing solidarity with all those targeted by hate groups, including Muslims and Asian Americans. Over the weekend, someone set fire to Congregation Beth Israel in District 10, which Alter and her family attend. The perpetrator has not been apprehended, but law enforcement groups are investigating. In a news release, Alter said, “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.” She urged Austinites to support Jewish community groups in their fight against antisemitism. The resolution reads in part, “The City Council of Austin directs the city manager to research best practices from peer cities and to collaborate with local community groups, including Shalom Austin and the Anti-Defamation League, to review and then identify and implement improvements to the city’s response to hate. The improvements should include training for relevant city staff that educates participants in how hate manifests, how to effectively respond to incidents of hate, and how social media is used to propagate hate.” The manager was directed to report back to Council and make recommendations within 120 days.

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