Travis County Law [Video]

Sheriff explains cite and release to Austin Interfaith

Last Sunday night, local community organizers Austin Interfaith took an interesting new direction. After years of simply giving their seal of approval to candidates, the group pledged to start a massive get-out-the-vote operation on progressive issues.

The most informative part of the night may have come from elected officials reaching out on policy.



Case in point: Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton explained exactly what the state's new cite and release law means for law enforcement and citizens. After that, Major Mark Sawa gave details about the new anonymous complaints system they have put in place. That's been a particularly pointed issue because of popular concerns that local law enforcement has been acting as de facto immigration enforcement.

As for the rest of the evening, Austin Interfaith's leadership is hoping that their citywide grassroots network of 30 churches, unions and local organizing groups can translate into 20,000 votes for progressive issues. It's less about backing individual candidates and more about getting potential voters informed and motivated about concerns central to the AI platform: Worker's rights, improved police accountability and community relations, improved educational opportunities, continued funding for the Capital IDEA continuing education program, (Mayor Lee Leffingwell committed to work on that issue at the meeting) meaningful immigration reform, the DREAM Act (Congressman Lloyd Doggett confirmed that he'll re-introduce that next session), plus affordable and sensible health care provisions.

Looking at those numbers, 20,000 doesn't sound like a lot in a city closing in on a population of 1 million: But considering how dismal election turnout is, delivering on that promise could give Austin Interfaith surprising clout at the ballot box.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Election 2010
The Definition of Voter Eligibility
The Definition of Voter Eligibility
Could Dan Neil challenge the HD48 result?

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 8, 2010

Donna Howard Still the Winner
Donna Howard Still the Winner
Dist. 48 incumbent increases lead by one vote

Lee Nichols, Nov. 8, 2010

More Austin Interfaith
Hanger Heading Here
Hanger Heading Here
Council backs cash for company relocation

Wells Dunbar, Jan. 28, 2010

Keel's Lack of (Inter)Faith
Keel's Lack of (Inter)Faith
Group rebuts GOP claims of partisanship

Richard Whittaker, Nov. 3, 2008

More by Richard Whittaker
This Is Your Brain on Conspiracies As <i>Duncan</i> Hits Panic Fest
This Is Your Brain on Conspiracies As Duncan Hits Panic Fest
John Valley's comedy warns about ignoring conspiracy theorists

April 8, 2021

The Tunnel
Fire in the mountain in the Norwegian disaster flick

April 9, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Election 2010, Austin Interfaith, Cops, Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton, Major Mark Sawa, Cite and release

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle