Nary a Whisper

RECEIVED Tue., Dec. 18, 2018

Dear Editor and All Readers,
    Just how progressive is Austin? I often ponder that question.
    I was delighted that the city passed the sick leave ordinance but was dismayed when that same ordinance was brought down by order of the state's 3rd Court of Appeals ["3rd Court Halts Paid Sick Leave," Daily News, Nov. 16]. I thought that surely the city's progressive leaders would stage demonstrations, strikes, and rallies in order to illustrate the demand for a just sick leave policy for the city's workers. But, nary a whisper was heard. If only there was a charismatic leader to agitate and inspire the progressives. Wait, what about Beto? Nope, the election is over, he's gone on to other things.
    Just how progressive is Austin? Well, the other day I was in a small car accident and had to be sans auto for a day. I don't use Uber or Lyft, they're both companies that, inter alia, exploit their drivers and work against the interests of labor unions (just ask Seattle). Luckily there is RideAustin, the city's progressive alternative. As I was midride, glowing in my self-righteousness (I earned it), I asked the driver how he liked working for RideAustin. He said he liked it but also stated that he didn't think the company would be around much longer due to competition and the lack of customers.
    But I thought Austin was a progressive city with an abundant populace of stalwart fellow travelers who consumed with a conscience? Wrong again. Austin is not a progressive city; it is a liberal city, but it's not progressive. Chick-fil-A flourishes here, as do Uber, Lyft, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, etc., all corporations that have a history of anti-progressive policies. Despite what we think, there is an ironclad link between our consumption and the creation, or destruction, of progressive public policies.
Michael Sipes
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