Tuesday, October 3, 2017

#atxcouncil, #TXLEGE: "Sick Leave" mandate makes clear we can no longer afford Paul Workman

"[R]edeeming the time, because the days are evil."
Ephesians 5:16

Since last week's council meeting, we've had a recurring thought: The reason council keeps pushing this nonsense is because they don't fear the legislature.  And, for good reason, council will never fear the legislature as long as Joe Straus remains speaker.  And Paul Workman is a Straus loyalist....

Last session, Paul Workman filed a bill to eliminate the "ban the box" (note: that didn't actually ban the box) mandate council passed in 2016.  The bill stalled in calendars for a month before getting placed on the calendar too late for consideration.  Thus, the city of Austin's "ban the box" ordinance stands.

This isn't new.  Paul Workman has now served four sessions.  After that time, the Austin City Council remains as out of control as ever.

The reason why is obvious: Paul Workman is the least important member of the Travis County delegation, with the possible exception of Dawnna Dukes, to the speaker.  The Travis County Democrats are more important members of the speaker's team than Paul Workman.  And Joe Straus will always choose the Travis county Democrats over holding the city of Austin accountable.

Obviously, Jay Wiley is running again against Workman.  We've yet to decide how we will engage individual legislative races, beyond a general policy of opposing Straus loyalists.  But we will add that the personal threat this sick leave mandate poses makes it unacceptable to have a Republican state rep representing any part of the city of Austin who will continue to vote for a speaker who undermines legislative efforts to hold the city of Austin accountable.

Finally, we will give one piece of advice to Jay Wiley: 40% of HD-47 voters live within the city of Austin.  We would focus on those precincts with a simple message.  As long as Paul Workman remains in the legislature, nothing will change with the city of Austin.

Bottom Line  This cannot continue.

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