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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Harper-Madison completes year as mayor pro tem
Friday, December 10, 2021 by Jo Clifton
Last January, City Council members selecting the next mayor pro tem were torn between two choices: Natasha Harper-Madison or Alison Alter. Mayor Steve Adler proposed a solution giving Harper-Madison the job for 2021, with Alter taking over for 2022. At Thursday’s Council meeting, Adler acknowledged Harper-Madison’s work over the past year and thanked her for performing the largely ceremonial duties. He said, “I also think it’s been important this year to introduce you and talk about you to the wider community. I think as a woman of color, a Black woman in this period of time with so many conversations being held about systemic racism and institutional barriers, our community being able to see you in this role I think has been important.” In particular, he said it was important for young people trying to figure out what kinds of possibilities are available to them. For her part, Harper-Madison said her aunts have expressed their pride to see her taking her seat on the dais. She said she was particularly happy, as a person who went to public schools and grew up in the projects, to show young people of color that they can be community leaders, too. Alter will begin her service as mayor pro tem next month.