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I WROTE UP,

[Transgender Rights Press Conference on March 9, 2022.]

[00:00:04]

GO AHEAD EFFORTS TO LIMIT THE RIGHTS OF LGBTQ PLUS COMMUNITIES AND THEY'RE TOXIC TRANSPHOBIC POLICIES FOR TOO LONG STATE LEADERSHIP HAS OSTRACIZED AND LGBTQ PLUS COMMUNITY CASTING ASIDE THEIR, THEIR LIFE, THEIR VOTE, FIDO ROLES, THEIR PARTICIPATION IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AND IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS TEXAS, AUSTIN IS A MAGICAL PLACE BUILT ON INCLUSIVENESS AND RESPECT.

THAT'S WHY THIS DIRECTIVE IS SO OUT OF PLACE IN OUR COMMUNITY.

AND IN TEXAS, WE STAND WITH THE COUNTY LEADERS, WITH THEIR COMMUNITY LEADERS, WITH OUR DISTRICT AND COUNTY ATTORNEYS.

IN OPPOSING THIS DIRECTIVE, WE ARE PROUD THAT THIS POSITION INTEGRAL TO OUR CULTURE AND OUR CORE VALUES HAS BEEN LONG-STANDING AND CONSISTENTLY AND LOUDLY EXPRESSED IN OUR COMMUNITY'S WORDS AND IN OUR ACTIONS AS AUSTIN GROWS RAPIDLY.

SO DOES OUR LGBTQ PLUS COMMUNITY AWESOME IS THE THIRD LARGEST LGBTQ PLUS POPULATION PER CAPITA IN THE UNITED STATES, NINE OUT OF THE 146 PEOPLE WHO ARE MOVING HERE DAILY, IDENTIFY AS BEING LGBTQ PLUS AUSTIN OFTEN RANKED ON THE LIST OF THE LGBTQ PLUS FRIENDLY CITIES, PARTICULARLY IN THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT AUSTIN OFFERS AS BUSINESS OWNERS AND AS MUSICIANS, AUSTIN NAMED ONE OF THE FIVE TOP MOST INCLUSIVE CITIES IN AMERICA.

WE HAVE A HISTORY OF INCLUSION IN OUR CITY.

IT'S WHO WE ARE.

IT IS, IT IS BUILT INTO OUR CULTURE, OUR FOUNDATION.

IT'S HOW WE SEE OURSELVES.

AND IT'S HOW WE WANT THE WORLD TO SEE US.

WHAT WE'RE SEEING HAPPEN RIGHT NOW AT THE STATE LEVEL WITH THIS DIRECTIVE IS FRIGHTENING AND IT IS HORRIFIC.

IT HAS NO PLACE IN OUR CITY OR OUR STATE.

I'M GONNA CONCLUDE THIS AT THE END.

WHEN I COME BACK UP TO READ A PROCLAMATION ON BEHALF OF OUR CITY AND EVERYONE STANDING UP HERE NOW, BUT BEFORE WE GET THERE, THERE ARE A FEW PEOPLE THAT WANT TO ALSO VISIT WITH YOU.

WE'RE GOING TO BEGIN WITH, UH, JEN FAM WITH A TENT, WHICH IS TRANSGENDER EDUCATION NETWORK OF TEXAS.

HELLO AND GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME IS JEN FAM.

MY PRONOUNS ARE THEY THEM? AND I'M THE COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH MANAGER AT THE TRANSGENDER EDUCATION NETWORK OF TEXAS TENT IS THE LARGEST BIPAP TRANS LED POLICY LED ORGANIZATION HERE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS.

WE PROVIDE EDUCATION AND GENDER INCLUSIVE TRAINING FOR LEADERS ACROSS THE STATE AND GALVANIZED COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT FOR POLITICAL ACTION AND ADVOCACY AND DOING SO.

WE'VE HELPED IN MAINTAINING A PERMANENT AND VISIBLE NETWORK OF TRANS PEOPLE HERE IN TEXAS.

OUR WORK MUST BE DONE IN A WAY THAT PRIORITIZES MANY OF THE INTERSECTIONS BETWEEN GENDER JUSTICE, RACIAL JUSTICE, SOCIOECONOMIC

[00:05:01]

STATUS, AND DISABILITY JUSTICE IN TEXAS AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE BLACK, INDIGENOUS AND TRANS SIBLINGS OF COLOR, ESPECIALLY TRANS YOUTH ARE BEING THE MOST IMPACTED SPECIFICALLY THOSE WITHIN OUR CPS SYSTEM WHO ARE AMONG THE MOST MARGINALIZED AND THE MOST VULNERABLE, OUR FIGHT FOR GENDER EQUITY AND TRANS INCLUSION ON POLITICAL AND SOCIAL LEVELS MUST NOT ONLY INCLUDE, BUT ULTIMATELY CENTER THEIR RESILIENCE AND EXPERIENCES AS WE WORK TOGETHER TO MOVE THE NEEDLE FORWARD.

AND WE KNOW THAT WE CANNOT DO THAT WORK ALONE ON BEHALF OF TENT, WE WANT TO THANK THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND MAYOR ADLER, AS WELL AS TRAVIS COUNTY AND JUDGE BROWN FOR PRIORITIZING THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF TRANS YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO LOVE THEM.

THIS PROCLAMATION, CEMENTS AUSTIN AS AN AFFIRMING CITY, WHERE WE FIGHT FOR CHILDREN TO BE THEMSELVES HAVING LOVING AND SUPPORTIVE FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS IS NOT THE GREATEST DANGER TO TRANSGENDER CHILDREN.

IN FACT, ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL LGBTQ YOUTH SUICIDE PREVENTION ORGANIZATION, THE TREVOR PROJECT, WE KNOW THAT TRANSGENDER AND NON-BINARY YOUTH WHO SIMPLY HAVE THEIR PRONOUNS RESPECTED BY THOSE IN THEIR HOMES ARE HALF AS LIKELY TO ATTEMPT SUICIDE, REMOVING TRANSGENDER AND NON-BINARY CHILDREN FROM LOVING HOUSEHOLDS CAN CAUSE AND IS CAUSING AND REPARABLE TRAGIC HARM, AGE APPROPRIATE, GENDER AFFIRMING CARE IS LIFE SAVING CARE.

EVERY CREDIBLE MEDICAL ORGANIZATION, INCLUDING THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, THE AMERICAN ACADEMY FOR PEDIATRICS AND THE AMERICAN ACADEMY FOR CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY CALLS FOR AFFIRMING CARE FOR TRANSGENDER AND NON-BINARY PEOPLE WE KNOW, I KNOW THAT THIS CARE SAVES LIVES THROUGH THIS HISTORIC PROCLAMATION.

THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND TRAVIS COUNTY ARE SHOWING THEIR COMMITMENT TO KEEPING LIFE SAVING HEALTH CARE, ACCESSIBLE TO TRANSGENDER YOUTH, TRANS TEXANS, TRANS YOUTH, AND THEIR FAMILIES.

WE SEE YOU AND WE LOVE YOU TENTS AND OUR PARTNERS, INCLUDING MAYOR ADLER AND JUDGE BROWN ARE WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO PUSH BACK THESE HARMFUL HATEFUL POLICIES AND LEGISLATION THERE'S SPACE FOR YOU IN TEXAS.

AND HERE IN AUSTIN, YOU ARE WELCOMED TO ANYONE WHO LOVES SOMEONE WHO IS TRANS INTERSEX, OR NON-BINARY SHOW UP FIGHT FOR US, LISTEN TO US AND SEE HOW RESILIENTLY AND RELENTLESSLY ALL INSPIRING WE ARE, BUT WE CAN NOT STOP HERE.

TRANS YOUTH ARE COUNTING ON US TO SIMPLY BE ABLE TO EXIST AND SURVIVE IN TEXAS.

AND WE KNOW THAT WE OWE THEM SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT.

JUST ALONE.

THANK YOU.

NEXT.

WE'RE GOING TO CALL UP, UH, JUDGE BROWN TO, TO SPEAK WITH US.

AND I THINK ASH HALL, UH, LEGISLATIVE CONSULTANT AND, UH, NON-BINARY, UH, ADVOCATE.

GOOD MORNING.

I'M TRAVIS COUNTY, JUDGE ANDY BROWN.

WE'RE STANDING HERE THIS MORNING TO SHOW OUR SUPPORT FOR TRANS YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES ALL ACROSS TEXAS AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

WE BELIEVE IN FREEDOM OF IDENTITY AND EXPRESSION, WHICH RECENT EFFORTS AT THE STATE LEVEL WOULD OPPOSE LAST MONTH.

OUR STATE LEADERSHIP ISSUED AN ORDER THAT VIOLATES THE SAFETY AND FREEDOMS OF OUR TRANSGENDER YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES.

THE GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY GENERAL'S ORDER AGAINST TRANS KIDS WILL HAVE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES AND POSES, DANGEROUS THREATS TO PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF NOT ONLY OUR TRANSGENDER YOUTH, BUT ALSO OUR ENTIRE LGBTQ PLUS COMMUNITY.

[00:10:02]

THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO MAKE IT A PRIORITY TO PROVIDE SUPPORT, PROTECT THE SAFETY AND ENSURE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE FOR TRANSGENDER YOUTH EFFORTS THAT DENIED MEDICAL CARE FOR TRANSGENDER YOUTH ARE UNJUST AND ARE NOT SUPPORTED BY MAJOR HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS.

TODAY.

WE WILL STAND TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY TO FIGHT FOR THE PROTECTIONS AND SUPPORT OF OUR LGBTQ PLUS COMMUNITY.

TODAY, WE WILL STAND TOGETHER TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF TRANSGENDER YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES AND TRAVIS COUNTY.

I'LL NOW HAND IT OVER TO ASH HALL.

THANK YOU, JUDGE BROWN.

AND THANK YOU FOR CALLING ON ME TO ASSIST THE COUNTY WITH THE COUNTY'S PROCLAMATION IN SUPPORT OF TRANS YOUTH, WHICH IN TURN INFORMED, THE CITY'S PROCLAMATION IS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO BE STANDING HERE TODAY AS A NON-BINARY TRANSGENDER TEXAN, KNOWING THAT MY CITY AND MY COUNTY STAND IN FULL SUPPORT WITH OUR TRANSGENDER YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES.

THIS IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH.

WHEN GOVERNOR ABBOTT AND KEN PAXTON MADE THE DECISION TO SEND OUT ORDERS AND LETTERS AGAINST TRANSGENDER YOUTH AGAINST LIFESAVING GENDER AFFIRMING CARE, THEY CHOSE TO INCREASE THE RISK OF DEATH BY SUICIDE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND THE CHANCE OF TARGETED HARASSMENT AND HATE CRIMES AGAINST OUR COMMUNITIES AS A WHOLE, THEY ALSO CHOSE TO INCREASE THE CHANCES THAT OUR TRANSGENDER CHILDREN WOULD BE RIPPED AWAY FROM FAMILIES WHO SUPPORT THEM AND LOVE THEM FOR WHO THEY ARE.

THAT TO ME IS CHILD ABUSE IN A WAY THAT AFFIRMING OUR CHILDREN COULD NEVER, EVER BE.

I HOPE TODAY IS A DAY FOR RELIEF FOR OUR COMMUNITIES AND THEIR FAMILIES, KNOWING THAT TRAVIS COUNTY AND THE CITY OF AUSTIN STANDS STRONG WITH TRANSGENDER YOUTH AND THEIR PARENTS, AND WE'LL FIGHT AND MAKE SURE NOT TO COOPERATE WITH A BIGOTRY THAT THE STATE GOVERNMENT IS PUTTING GUN OUT AGAINST OUR COMMUNITIES.

THANK YOU AGAIN TO JUDGE BROWN AND TO MAYOR ADLER FOR THESE PROCLAMATIONS AND FOR PROTECTING OUR FAMILIES, PROTECT TRANS YOUTH THANK YOU, MAYOR.

UM, I REPRESENT CENTRAL AUSTIN AND THE TEXAS HOUSE, BUT I SPEAK TO YOU TODAY AS THE VICE-CHAIR OF THE HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE.

THE COMMITTEE TASKED WITH OVERSEEING THE AGENCY THAT IS THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES.

AND I'M TOO FAMILIAR WITH THE FAILINGS OF THIS AGENCY, AN AGENCY, A FOSTER CARE SYSTEM THAT HAS BEEN DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR VIOLATING THE RIGHTS OF THE MOST VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN TEXAS.

AND THAT HASN'T BEEN UNDER COURT ORDER FOR MORE THAN A DECADE TO FIX THIS PROBLEM.

AND STILL OUR CHILDREN ARE LOST IN THE SYSTEM.

A REPORT ISSUED LAST YEAR FOUND THAT 23 CHILDREN HAD DIED IN OUR CARE IN THE PROCEEDING TWO YEARS.

AND JUST LAST YEAR ALONE, WE SHIPPED OUT OVER 2000 TIMES, VULNERABLE TEXAS CHILDREN OUTSIDE OF THIS STATE, BECAUSE WE COULD NOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THEM HERE WITHIN OUR OWN STATE.

AND IT'S AGAINST THIS BACKDROP IN THIS CONTEXT, A CONTEXT THAT IS LIVING HELL FOR CHILDREN IN THE SYSTEM WHO ARE BEING TRAFFICKED, WHO ARE BEING SOLD FOR SEX, WHO ARE BEING DENIED, ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE, MENTAL HEALTH CARE THAT THEY NEED CHILDREN WHO ARE SO LOST, THAT WHEN THEY ARE EMANCIPATED FROM THE SYSTEM WITHIN TWO YEARS, 50% OF THEM ENDED UP ON THE STREET AND HOMELESS IN THE STATE OF TEXAS.

IT IS IN THAT CONTEXT THAT OUR GOVERNOR CHOOSES TO THROW THE FULL POWER, WEIGHT, AND RESOURCES OF THE INSTITUTION.

THAT IS THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES.

NOT BEHIND FIXING A SYSTEM THAT HAS BEEN BROKEN FOR FAR TOO LONG, BUT BEHIND TERRORIZING OUR FAMILIES TERRORIZING LOVING FAMILIES.

LAST WEEK, I WAS IN A RESTAURANT WITH MY FAMILY, HAVING DINNER AND A CONSTITUENT CAME UP TO ME AND SHE ASKED, DO I NEED TO BE SCARED? SHE SAID, I HAVE A TRANS GENDER DAUGHTER AND DO WE NEED TO MOVE?

[00:15:05]

WE TAKE COMFORT IN KNOWING THAT WE HAVE AMAZING LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO ARE WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK WITH COMMUNITY GROUPS, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO KEEP OUR FAMILIES SAFE.

BUT THERE IS ONE MAN WHO CREATED THIS CRISIS, AND THAT IS OUR GOVERNOR, GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT.

THAT IS THE POWER OF THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR, OF THE STATE OF TEXAS WITH THE STROKE OF HIS PEN.

HE COULD UNDO THIS NIGHTMARE FOR TEXAS FAMILIES TODAY.

HE COULD VOW TO NOT JUST REFRAIN FROM PERSECUTING, TEXAS FAMILIES, BUT TO ACTUALLY BE A SHIELD AGAINST ATTACKS ON OUR FAMILIES THAT ARE MOTIVATED BY HATE AND BY FEAR AND BY PERHAPS THE BIGGEST EVIL OF ALL POLITICAL AMBITION.

AND IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE TO HAVE A GOVERNOR IN THE STATE OF TEXAS WHO STOOD WITH FAMILIES AND PROTECTED THEM.

THAT IS WHAT I EXPECT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS.

AND THAT IS WHAT EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN TEXAS MUST DEMAND OF OUR GOVERNOR.

IF WE ARE TO PRESERVE THE SANCTITY AND WELLBEING OF TEXAS FAMILIES.

THANK YOU, TRAVIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY HOSA GARZA.

GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME IS JOSE.

GOT A SON I'M HUMBLED TO BE YOUR DISTRICT ATTORNEY RIGHT NOW THROUGHOUT OUR COMMUNITY.

PARENTS ARE TERRIFIED IN THIS MOMENT WHERE THERE IS STILL SO MUCH INSTABILITY IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THE GOVERNOR AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAVE CREATED EVEN MORE.

I WANT TO ASSURE OUR RESIDENTS WITH TRANSGENDER CHILDREN, THAT LOCAL LEADERS HERE IN TRAVIS COUNTY AND IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE STATE STAND WITH YOU.

WE WILL FIGHT WITH EVERY OUNCE OF OUR BEING THE GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY GENERALS, CRUEL DIRECTIVES.

I'M SO GRATEFUL TO THE MAYOR, TO THE COUNTY JUDGE, TO TRAVIS COUNTY AND TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP AND RESOLVE ELECTED OFFICIALS HAVE A SOLEMN RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT THE MOST VULNERABLE AMONG US.

GENDER AFFIRMING TREATMENT SAVES LIVES AND IS SUPPORTED BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS ACROSS THE STATE AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THAT'S WHY THERE IS NOT A SINGLE STATE IN THE COUNTRY THAT HAS BANNED GENDER AFFIRMING TREATMENT.

AND THERE CERTAINLY ISN'T A STATE IN WHICH IT IS A CRIME IN OUR DEMOCRACY, THE GOVERNOR AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DO NOT MAKE THE LAW.

WE SHOULD BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT THEY HAVE DONE.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ISSUED AN OPINION AND THE GOVERNOR ISSUED A PRESS RELEASE DURING OUR LAST LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE REJECTED A BILL THAT SOUGHT TO DO THE SAME THING.

THESE OPINIONS, THE GOVERNOR'S PRESS RELEASE ARE CLEARLY NOT LAW, BUT IT'S NOT JUST THAT THE ACTIONS OF THE GOVERNOR AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ARE CRUEL AND UNLAWFUL.

THEY ALSO MAKE OUR COMMUNITY LESS SAFE EVERY DAY.

THE TRAVIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE AND OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT PARTNERS INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE REAL ACTS OF CHILD ABUSE.

EVERY DAY.

OUR OFFICE IS DEDICATE SIGNIFICANT RESOURCES TO HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE WHO HARM CHILDREN IN OUR COMMUNITY, DIRECTING RESOURCES AWAY FROM THAT CRUCIAL WORK TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS IS RECKLESS, AND IT THREATENS OUR PUBLIC SAFETY AT THE TRAVIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO UPHOLD OUR SOLEMN OATH TO PROTECT THE MOST VULNERABLE MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY.

I AM PROUD TO STAND WITH MY COLLEAGUES, THE CITY OF AUSTIN IN TRAVIS

[00:20:01]

COUNTY AND OUR DELEGATION TO THE LEGISLATURE TO AFFIRM OUR UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO TRANSGENDER CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS AND OUR COMMUNITY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

TRAVIS COUNTY ATTORNEY DAHLIA KARSA.

THANK YOU, MAYOR.

THANK YOU, JUDGE BROWN FOR BRINGING THIS GROUP TOGETHER.

UM, BEFORE I HAD THE PRIVILEGE AND HONOR TO SERVE AS THE TRAVIS COUNTY ATTORNEY, I WORKED IN THIS BUILDING FOR SIX YEARS AS AN AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL MEMBER AND THE MAYOR PRO TEM.

UH, BEFORE THAT I WAS A LAWYER FOR THE STATE HELPING FAMILIES GET CHILD SUPPORT.

AND BEFORE THAT I WAS AN AUSTIN FIREFIGHTER FOR SIX, BUT I CAN TELL YOU, EVEN THOUGH ALL THOSE JOBS ARE TOUGH JOBS, THE TOUGHEST JOB I'VE EVER HAD IS BEING A PARENT EVERY DAY, EVERY DAY, FAMILIES IN OUR COMMUNITY PARENTS MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND TO PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN AND WHAT OUR REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERSHIP IS DOING TO THE FAMILIES OF THIS STATE IS HEARTBREAKING AND APPALLING LEADERSHIP IN ANY CAPACITY SHOULD BE HELPING FAMILIES, NOT TRYING TO TEAR THEM APART.

AND THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT SOME FAMILIES.

THIS IS ABOUT ALL OUR FAMILIES BECAUSE TRANSGENDER YOUTH ARE JUST NOT CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS, THEIR COUSINS, THEIR CLASSMATES, THEIR BANDMATES THEY'RE PEOPLE IN THIS COMMUNITY.

AND EVERY CHILD IS INTEGRAL TO THIS COMMUNITY.

THIS OPINION BY OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL IS NOT LEGALLY BINDING, BUT IT IS ALREADY DEVASTATING HAS DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES FOR TEXAS FAMILIES.

THIS OPINION DOES NOT RELY ON FACTS OR SCIENCE.

OUR COURTS ARE THE FACT FINDERS.

THESE EFFORTS MERELY TAX, THE ALREADY STRETCHED, STRETCHED RESOURCES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY.

PROTECTIVE SERVICES IS REPRESENTATIVE IN A HOST.

I MENTIONED OUR STATE SHOULD BE FIXING THE SYSTEM THAT COURTS HAVE ALREADY RULED AS UNSAFE AND UNSOUND INSTEAD OF SPENDING RESOURCES, UM, ON THIS POLITICAL ATTACK AGAINST TEXAS FAMILIES.

LET ME BE CLEAR.

PARENTS WHO DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO HELP THEIR BRAVE CHILDREN FIND AFFIRMING CARE, HAVE BROKEN, NO LAWS, EDUCATORS, DOCTORS, NURSES, AND OTHERS WHO HELP TRANS YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILY FIND THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF CARE HAVE BROKEN NO LAWS.

MY OFFICE WILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT TRANS YOUTH AND THEIR PARENTS AND PROTECT THEM FROM ANY ATTEMPTS TO DISRUPT THEIR LIVES AND CAUSE ANY MORE PAIN.

THE TRAVIS COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IS FOCUSED ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE RESOURCES OF THIS OFFICE WILL NOT BE USED TO FURTHER POLICIES OF HATE, FEAR AND DISCRIMINATION.

THANK YOU.

KAI.

YOU WANT TO COME DOWN HERE WITH US.

THIS PROCLAMATION IS FOR YOU.

WE HAVE A PROCLAMATION, BE IT KNOWN THAT, WHEREAS ON FEBRUARY 22ND, 2022, GOVERNOR ABBOTT AND ATTORNEY GENERAL, PAXTON ISSUED DISTURBING AND DANGEROUS DIRECTORS IMPEDING THE SAFETY AND PERSONAL FREEDOMS OF OUR TRANSGENDER YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES.

AND WHEREAS THE CITY OF AUSTIN VALUES AND RECOGNIZES THE LGBTQ PLUS COMMUNITY AND WILL NOT SUPPORT ANY EFFORTS TO COMPROMISE THE WELFARE AND SAFETY OF OUR LGBTQ PLUS YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES.

AND WE'RE AS AFFIRMATION OF THEIR GENDER IDENTITY AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ARE VITAL TO HOW CHILDREN AND TEENS SEE THEMSELVES AND THEIR ABILITY TO THRIVE.

AND WHEREAS FAMILY SUPPORT AND PROFESSIONAL CARE REDUCED SUICIDE ATTEMPTS BY LGBTQ PLUS YOUTH BY 40%.

AND WHEREAS IT IS CRITICAL FOR FAMILIES AND TRANSGENDER YOUTH TO HAVE SAFE ACCESS TO RESOURCES AND PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE TO ENSURE A POSITIVE QUALITY OF LIFE.

AND WHEREAS MAJOR MEDICAL HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS,

[00:25:01]

SUPPORT GENDER AFFIRMING CARE AND OPPOSE LEGISLATION THAT WILL HINDER MEDICAL CARE FOR OUR TRANSGENDER YOUTH.

AND WE'RE AS DISMISSING THE NEEDS OF TRANSGENDER YOUTH AND FAMILIES IS FUNDAMENTALLY NEGLIGENT AND POSES A SIGNIFICANT RISK THAT MAY HAVE HARMFUL AND DANGEROUS PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CONSEQUENCES.

AND WHEREAS ACTIONS LIKE THOSE OF GOVERNOR ABBOTT AND ATTORNEY GENERAL, PAXTON ARE LIKELY TO INCREASE REJECTION TARGETED HARASSMENT AND HATE CRIMES AGAINST OUR TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX YOUTH.

AND WHEREAS THE INTENDED DIRECTIVES BY GOVERNOR ABBOTT AND ATTORNEY GENERAL, PAXTON ARE A MISREPRESENTATION OF THE LAW AND INTEND TO ERODE THE RIGHTS OF FAMILIES AND LGBTQ I A PLUS YOUTH STATEWIDE.

AND WHEREAS CITY OF AUSTIN LEADERSHIP HAS A LONG HISTORY.

I WAS STANDING IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR LGBTQ PLUS COMMUNITY, INCLUDING ACTIONS OF THE CITY COUNCIL TO LOBBY AGAINST THE LGBTQ PLUS BILLS AT THE LEGISLATURE THAT WOULD DIMINISH THE CITY'S ABILITY TO PROTECT CIVIL RIGHTS, THREATENED ITS WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT AND TARNISH ITS STATUS AS AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY.

AND WHEREAS AUSTIN STANDS IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR LGBTQ PLUS COMMUNITY WILL PROTECT THEIR RIGHTS TO SEE CARE AND FEEL PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY SAFE IN OUR COMMUNITY AND WILL OPPOSE ACTIONS THAT NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE WELLBEING AND RIGHTS OF THE LGBTQ PLUS YOUTH AND THEIR FAMILIES.

AND WE'RE AS AUSTIN SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A SAFE PLACE, THE SANCTUARY FOR TRANSGENDER CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES.

NOW, THEREFORE I, STEVE ADLER, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN, TEXAS, TOGETHER WITH MY COLLEAGUES ON THE AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL DO HEREBY PROCLAIM MARCH 9TH, THE YEAR 2022 AS TRANSGENDER YOUTH AND FAMILY SAFETY DAY IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, KAI, THIS IS YOURS UH, BESIDES JUST KIND OF SHOWING SUPPORT FOR THE LGBTQ PLUS COMMUNITY WITH THIS PROCLAMATION.

DOES THIS HAVE ANY TEETH IN ACTUALLY PREVENTING ANY OF THESE CASES FROM BEING PROSECUTED? WELL, I THINK THE ULTIMATE QUESTION IN OUR COUNTY ON PROSECUTION IS GOING TO BE UP TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY AND THE COUNTY ATTORNEY.

I DON'T KNOW, I DON'T, I DON'T KNOW FOR WHAT I'VE HEARD OF, WHAT YOU JUST HEARD THEM SAY.

I DON'T ANTICIPATE ANY OF THOSE PROXIMATE PROSECUTIONS HERE, THERE ANY CONCERN THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL COULD STEP IN AND TAKE OVER FROM OUR, OUR ATTORNEY.

I THINK THERE'S BEEN A LEGAL, UH, COURT RULING ABOUT WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY TO PROSECUTE ON THE LOCAL LEVEL.

AND THAT IS STRICTLY THE COUNTY ATTORNEY AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, UH, WITH REGARDS TO THE COUNTY ATTORNEY, WE PROSECUTE MISDEMEANORS, THE DA PROSECUTES FELONIES AND HOW, UM, OUR OFFICE COULD BE AFFECTED WOULD BE THE REPORTING REQUIREMENT.

UM, FAILURE TO REPORT IS A CLASS, A MISDEMEANOR.

UM, AND I WILL SAY THAT IT'S INCREDIBLY DISTURBING HOW OUR STATE LEADERSHIP CONTINUES TO TURN OUR OWN, OUR OWN TEXANS INTO VIGILANTE, SO TO SPEAK, UM, REPORTING THINGS, UM, TURNING FELLOW TEXANS IN FOR THINGS LIKE, UM, YOU KNOW, NOT, NOT REPORTING CARE THAT PEOPLE ARE, WHAT I BELIEVE IS AS CARE THAT FAMILIES ARE PROVIDING TO THEIR FAMILY, TO THEIR CHILDREN.

NO ONE ELSE DOES.

UM, WHAT DOES I, I GUESS, UH, INVESTIGATING, UH, GENDER AFFIRMING CARE AS CHILD ABUSE, HOW DOES THAT TAKE AWAY FROM WHAT DSPS DOES WHEN THEY'RE ALREADY SO STRAINED? LIKE YOU MENTIONED A 23 KIDS DIED IN FOSTER CARE IN TEXAS LAST YEAR.

HOW DOES THIS TAKE AWAY FROM TRUE CHILD ABUSE THAT

[00:30:01]

THEY'RE INVESTIGATING? WELL, WE KNOW THAT WE HAVE MEAGER RESOURCES WITHIN OUR AGENCY ALREADY.

IN FACT, THE FORMER LEADER OF THAT AGENCY JUST WASN'T QUOTED IN A STORY LAST MONTH SAYING, UM, WE INADEQUATELY FUND THIS AGENCY.

WE KNOW THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF UNFILLED POSITIONS IN THE AGENCY RIGHT NOW, MORALE IS LOW.

UM, UH, IT'S HARD TO FIND PEOPLE TO DO THIS WORK, ESPECIALLY DUE TO THE DYSFUNCTION IN THE AGENCY.

AND, UM, SO NO, THERE ARE NOT RESOURCES.

THERE IS NOT TIME.

THERE IS NOT STAFF TO DIRECT TOWARD THIS AIM.

AND EVEN IF WE HAD ALL THE RESOURCES IN THE WORLD, IT IS NOT APPROPRIATE.

AND, UM, IT IS A SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS WHEN WE USE THOSE RESOURCES TO GO AFTER LOVING TEXAS FAMILIES WHO ARE DOING THE BEST, THEY KNOW HOW TO DO UNDER AND FOLLOWING THE ADVICE AND GUIDANCE OF MEDICAL DOCTORS.

UM, ALSO KIND OF LOOKING ON THE GRANDER SCHEME OF THINGS, HARRIS COUNTY HAS ALSO ISSUED SIMILAR SENTIMENTS, BUT OBVIOUSLY OUR STATE LEADERSHIP IS SET IN THEIR WAYS.

IS THERE ANY HOPE THAT MAYBE IF, IF MORE CITIES LIKE AUSTIN, IF HOUSTON AND DALLAS DO THE SAME, MAYBE THE WHITE HOUSE COULD STEP IN AND, AND PUT A STOP TO WHAT GOVERNOR ABBOTT IS DOING.

I THINK THAT THAT THE, THE, THE WHITE HOUSE HAS ALREADY STARTED MOVING FORWARD IN THIS REGARD.

AND WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE, UH, ACTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT BY THE ACL OU AND, AND OTHERS.

UH, BUT WE, IT IS ENCOURAGING TO SEE OTHER CITIES STAND UP.

AND I WOULD JUST REMIND EVERYBODY THAT FUNDAMENTALLY THE, THE, THE GREATEST POWER THAT WE HAVE IS THE ABILITY TO VOTE.

AND I URGE EVERYBODY WHEN THEY'RE VOTING IN NOVEMBER TO BE CONSIDERING THIS ISSUE.

ANYTHING ELSE? THANKS A LOT FOR BEING WITH US TODAY.



* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.