ACLU on Acevedo

"Hope is in the air; hard work in front of us."

Here's Austin American Civil Liberties Union President Debbie Russell on Art Acevedo:

Hope is in the air; hard work in front of us.

Art Acevedo was the only candidate to outreach/respond to community groups before the short, brief time we had them all this week. He sympathized with our calls to be included in the process and began building bridges before coming to town (the first time). Community groups labored not only to have oversight of the process and to be more intimately involved, but to do our own investigations of the candidates and eventually secure one single meeting in which to interview the candidates more in-depth than in the larger forums. This meeting allowed for making a comparative analysis in which Art stood head and shoulders above the rest of the highly-qualified bunch. Many had suspicions he was "it" already … the chemistry seemed right...the background checks were impeccable … but seeing it now on paper via our scorecard, he reigned.

The process WAS seriously flawed, but things seemingly worked out. We have laid new ground for the future – for more community inclusion in city processes; for more responsiveness from our leaders. Art speaks, and he does so MOST eloquently, to these democratic ideals.

He has charmed the pants off this weird little city of ours. We've taken his hand in good faith; let's hope the honeymoon lasts forever. Let's work for it!

And on a more personal note: Thank you to all the many, many activists and leaders who allowed me to stand in the eye of our common storm. Blessings for all of your respective hard work, dedication, forgiveness (!), sage advice and love. More so than a new, community-minded police chief, the collaborations made and the camaraderie developed across race lines and issue concerns inspires me to push even harder to build a better community. Today, it sure feels like another world IS possible.

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