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The New APD Execs (or, Art and Debbie, Sitting in a Tree)
Art Acevdeo unveils his executive team; will the ACLU be on board?
DAILY News  August 2, 2007, by Wells Dunbar
"... The ACLU's Cen-Tex chapter is attempting to procure the officers' use-of-force records. Just recently, their Debbie Russell sent out this press release: Acevedo Putting Money Where His Mouth Is The Central TX Civil Liberties Union is already anticipating positive results within APD..."

Support Our Troops – Plink a Quarter in Their Cup
ACLU firebrand Debbie Russel on homeless vets in Austin
DAILY News  August 20, 2008, by Wells Dunbar
"...Debbie Russell, head of the Austin ACLU, is no stranger to controversy. She's recently unleashed a stream of seemingly well-founded invective regarding two issues related to homelessness in Austin: one, whether stepped up police focus on homelessness is the most effective use of resources, and two,the results of a controversial study commissioned by the city council to study panhandling in Austin...."

Single-Member District Drama
SMDs to die tomorrow?
DAILY News  February 27, 2008, by Wells Dunbar
"...This dispatch from the ACLU's Debbie Russell, on an item before City Council tomorrrow:CALL TO ACTION – VOTE NO on ITEM 60 RESOLUTION – LET AUSTIN DEBATE Single Member Districts! At the town hall meeting on single member districts (SMDs) last night – attendees were overwhelming in favor of creating single member districts, and feared that a last-minute resolution added to tomorrow's agenda on discussion of the item will prevent the issue from moving forward. The language of this resolution, it was noted, is extremely biased against SMDs – built on presumptions that have not yet been proven or disproven in the debate locally..."

How Do You Pick a Chief?
APD reviewer list raises questions about the process
News Story  April 13, 2007, by Jordan Smith
"...On paper, each of the nine candidates looks well-qualified, Linder said. Nonetheless, says Debbie Russell of the Austin ACLU (who thinks that Linder, who with Ellison co-chaired the African-American Quality of Life public safety committee, should've been tapped to sit on the phase-one panel), the fact that Futrell has already trimmed the pool to nine, without any community input, leads Russell and other observers to suspect that Futrell is already eyeing a specific candidate for the post..."

How Not to Pick a Police Chief
As the search reaches full speed, so do complaints about the process
News Story  June 8, 2007, by Jordan Smith
"...American Civil Liberties Union Central Texas Chapter President Debbie Russell (a member of the city's Public Safety Task Force) has been a publicly vocal critic of the process, and not the only one. Fellow task force member Richard Franklin, president of the Black Austin Democrats, says that although Futrell promised to bring the community into the discussion early on and to maintain that conversation, she hasn't followed through..."

New Austin 'Spokes' Speak Out Against Tasers
Austin activists coordinate efforts on police tactics, war, and other issues
News Story  February 18, 2005, by Diana Welch
"..."Even though there have been 80 deaths in North America the last four years [attributed to Tasers, according to AI], Austin sees fit to buy [a Taser] for every single cop in the city," said Debbie Russell, who, along with fellow members of the Austin Spokescouncil, organized Friday's demonstration. Tasers "are supposed to be nonlethal weapons? No." Russell has been in the forefront of the Spokescouncil's latest campaign, calling attention to the issue with two appearances before the City Council..."

Naked City
News briefs from Austin, the region, and elsewhere
News Story  August 22, 2008
"...Results of a City Council-commissioned study on panhandling were presented to the Health and Human Services Department this week. The findings? After surveying more than 100 panhandlers, the survey team from UT's Center for Social Work Research found that the average solicitor is white, male, over 40, homeless, and making efforts to work, but "soliciting intermittently for daily survival." Calling the study "one expensive 'we told you so,'" ACLU Austin head Debbie Russell writes, "Taxpayers coughed up $48,000 for the City to hear what they've been told time and time again by countless groups and individuals: Panhandlers are not criminals; People don't choose to solicit, it's a last resort; Barriers to employment are external, not internal, for the most part (lack of ID and living wages, etc.)." She also writes, "There are no 'panhandler mafia rings,' and they are not making hundreds a day," referring to the council-posed question of whether some solicitors are part of organized fundraising rings..."

Our readers talk back.
Columns  May 21, 2004
"...Re: Debbie Russell's curiosity about this being the time to stand up for Nader ["Postmarks," May 7]. Well Debbie, how have you enjoyed the last four years so far? Like it or not, Nader is unelectable and would guarantee another four years of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al...."

Point Austin: Expiation Day
If apologies are in order, the line forms here
News Column  March 11, 2011, by Michael King
"...Or consider the ACLU's+ Debbie Russell, who makes it her self-righteous avocation to denounce everybody else's supposed racism in myriad public meetings or lately at the Austin Post. There she recently posted this scurrilous imaginary portrait of the working relationship between Leffingwell and Mar­tin­ez: "The Mayor simply sits back behind his elevated desk, comforted and likely amused with the antics of his own personal pit bull." By Russell's own hair-trigger standards for outrage, she should certainly be reporting herself to the League of United Latin American Citizens...."

Sanders Report Still Under Wraps
Pressure mounts for city to release full report
News Story  April 23, 2010, by Jordan Smith
"...Debbie Russell crafted and posted the petition with the backing of the Austin Center for Peace and Justice and the Black Austin Democrats (Russell is vice president of the former and a member-at-large of the latter). The petition argues that the city is "erroneously hiding behind" a Texas attorney general opinion to withhold the full report from public disclosure and notes that no judge has yet ruled as to whether or not it should be released: "[T]he public still doesn't know whether the findings of the report show that [Officer Leonardo] Quintana's actions amounted to excessive or justified use of force," reads the petition..."

Beside the Point
'I always feel like ... somebody's waaatching me'
News Column  July 28, 2006, by Wells Dunbar
"...Not so, says the ACLU's Debbie Russell. Aside from their uncertain constitutionality, due to differing civil (ticket in the mail) vs..."

Props Forum Gets Down and Dirty
Props 1 and 2 supporters and opponents prove themselves talented beer-drinkers, chip-eaters, and yellers at Democracy for Texas forum
News Story  May 12, 2006, by Rachel Proctor May
"...This was not well received – as audience members called him a liar and shouted for him to sit down, the moderator moved to take away the microphone. Leffingwell, frazzled, snapped at one of his challengers, activist-about-town Debbie Russell, who was seated in the front row of tables..."

Election Notes
Props 1 and 2 supporters and opponents prove themselves talented beer-drinkers, chip-eaters, and yellers at Democracy for Texas forum
News Story  May 12, 2006, by Rachel Proctor May
"...This was not well received – as audience members called him a liar and shouted for him to sit down, the moderator moved to take away the microphone. Leffingwell, frazzled, snapped at one of his challengers, activist-about-town Debbie Russell, who was seated in the front row of tables..."

Travis County Races
A big day for the Democrats locally, as usual
News Story  November 10, 2016, by Chase Hoffberger
"...As expected, Democrats dominated Travis County elections Tuesday. In contested races, Margaret Moore bested Republican challenger Maura Phelan for district attorney, taking home 66% of the vote, and former Precinct 3 Constable Sally Hernandez earned a two-to-one edge against former Travis County Sheriff's Office detective Joe Martinez (as well as two third-party candidates, Libertarian Eric Guerra and Green Party candidate Debbie Russell) to succeed Greg Hamilton as sheriff..."

Franklin Enters Precinct 1 Race
Announces for Commissioners Court at Victory Grill
DAILY News  August 4, 2015, by Michael King
"...Among the few dozen supporters and observers on hand were some prominent local politicos: Sheriff candidate John Sisson, PODER activists Susana Almanza and Daniel Llanes, the Sierra Club’s Roy Waley, Debbie Russell (a Del Valle ISD trustee), Rev. Jim Rigby, Democratic activist Fidel Acevedo (who also provided a candidate introduction), and recent City Council candidates Eliza May and Andrew Bucknall...."

City Hall Hustle: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
City politics and the people way over there
News Column  December 10, 2010, by Wells Dunbar
"...Judging by the chatter on the Austin Neighborhoods Council listserv and an angry AustinPost blog from activist Debbie Russell, it seems the Hustle rattled a few cages last week in referencing our fair city's "homeowner/neighborhood association-dominated body politic." But one need only look at the City Council agenda for this Thurs­day, Dec. 9, to see the impact of neighborhood voices in determining what draws the most attention...."

City Counseling: CU L8R, Texters!
Technology takes a backseat to safety
News Story  October 30, 2009, by Wells Dunbar
"...The other controversy célèbre, Item 42, came from council (Spelman, Leffingwell, Morrison) and would have prevented Austin Police Department officers from personally conducting phlebotomies (blood draws) on suspected DWI motorists. Texans for Accountable Government spokesdude John Bush testified in support – albeit without the jaunty Lone Ranger-style mask he wore when speaking last time – as did local ACLU leader Debbie Russell..."

Point Austin: Some Spare Change on Panhandling
Austin tries to balance street-level charity and public order
News Column  October 9, 2009, by Michael King
"...Richard Troxell of House the Homeless calls it a "rush to judgment" and is working on a formal response. He has argued forcefully that such ordinances amount to "outlawing poverty," sidestep the much greater need for livable-wage jobs, and more simply, attempt to deprive the homeless of "the right to solicit their fellow human beings for help." For similar civil rights reasons – arguably, a request for money is protected free speech – the ACLU's Debbie Russell has written to the supporting organizations appealing to the providers instead "to continue fighting for long-term, sustainable solutions that don't punish those seeking services."..."

Res Publica
Citizens calendar, July 9-15
News Story  July 10, 2009
"...ETHICAL SOCIETY OF AUSTIN Today's meeting features a talk from ACLU's Central Texas chapter President Debbie Russell. 10am..."

Green Party Leader Holloway Dies
Local activists mourn the loss of one 'passionate and steadfast' friend
News Story  January 16, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...ACLU of Texas Central Texas (Austin) Chapter President Debbie Russell praised Holloway as "passionate and steadfast." She recalled that whenever she was advocating an issue, "If there was another person who could take time off to support me, 90 percent of the time it was Bill. He was right there behind me on every issue and so dedicated to putting things in context." She added that he was "someone who was so solid and together when so often the issues can be so divisive..."

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