Austin Central Labor Council Slams APR “Entrenched Interests” Statesman Comment

  • STATESMAN: Spokesperson for controversial group pushing for more mayoral power says opponents of their proposals "are entrenched interests that want to protect their power"
  • Proposal would give the Austin mayor a veto over community-supported initiatives, creating more barriers and gridlock
  • Austin Central Labor Council represents cashiers, teachers, bus drivers, electricians, cooks, paramedics, and city employees
  • CLC: "The idea that these workers are somehow 'entrenched interests' is as inaccurate as it is insulting"

Austin — Today the Central Labor Council, representing more than twenty labor unions across the city, released the following statement in response to comments made to the Austin American-Statesman by a spokesperson for the small and controversial group trying to give the mayor a veto over all community-supported initiatives in Austin who accused groups with concerns about their proposals as being "entrenched interests that want to protect their power":

"We are not surprised that political consultants are having a hard time defending their campaign's push to give the mayor a veto over community-supported initiatives, but we are surprised they have decided to attack working people," said the statement. "A small group and their one major donor are trying to change how our city functions in the middle of a pandemic, and our members — including cashiers, teachers, bus drivers, electricians, paramedics, and city employees — are opposed because of the barriers it creates for working people's voices to be heard at City Hall."

"Many of these workers have put their lives at risk to keep our city running during the pandemic, and others have been laid off and are struggling to put food on the table. The idea that these workers, our members, are somehow 'entrenched interests' is as inaccurate as it is insulting."

The Central Labor Council voted to oppose these measures earlier this month. At the time, CLC President Jason Lopez stated:

"For a century labor unions have organized, block walked, and held powerful interests accountable to create a more democratic, free, and just world for all working people," said Jason Lopez, President of the Austin Central Labor Council. "We oppose these charter amendments because they aren't genuine democratic reform; each is part of a strategy designed by a small group of people to concentrate power into fewer hands at a time when wealthy elites are flocking to our city."