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Leaders emphasize safety in wake of election

Friday, November 18, 2016 by Elizabeth Pagano

City and county leaders gathered yesterday to reassure Travis County residents that they were safe following the presidential election and to send a message that they would not remain silent in the face of prejudice. Mayor Steve Adler and City Council members Delia Garza, Greg Casar, Ann Kitchen and Leslie Pool were joined by Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, District Attorney-elect Margaret Moore and Travis County Sheriff-elect Sally Hernandez. Garza spoke first, saying that they had gathered to address safety concerns and to denounce the discrimination that she said was emboldened by the election. “While I absolutely hope the president-elect succeeds, we cannot normalize the hateful rhetoric espoused during his candidacy. I sincerely hoped he would speak to his supporters and condemn discrimination and bigotry. … As many have pointed out, instead of condemning bigotry, it seems to have (been) given an office in the West Wing,” said Garza. “So we as a community must remain vigilant in protecting our community.” Garza’s stance was echoed by her colleagues, who vowed to stand up for “traditional Austin values.” Hernandez, who has yet to take office but campaigned on at least softening the county’s upholding of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also spoke. “I’m here today to declare everyone in Travis County will be treated equally and fairly in accordance to the law, in that you can rely on law enforcement to protect you,” said Hernandez. “The sheriff’s office will not be part of a deportation force which sacrifices hundreds and thousands of people – our neighbors – to a broken federal immigration system.”

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