AUSTIN — “We don’t have another minute for you, Mayor Adler or council! Your minute is up! We are taking our city back!”
As citizens in Texas’ capital city languish under the harmful decisions of the all-Democrat Austin City Council, local business owner and single mom Becky McMillian announced Wednesday she’s organizing an effort to remove the officials from office.
Your Minute Is Up is the name of McMillian’s new political action committee, and she and a group of community volunteers are now seeking to gather enough petition signatures from across the city to kick out Mayor Steve Adler and three city council members.
“Over the past six months, our jaws have dropped at the stunning disregard for and rapid degradation of our quality of life in Austin as displayed by our Council and Mayor,” McMillian wrote in a press release.
McMillian detailed several of the council’s recent and ongoing decisions that enflamed chaos in the community and hurt citizens, including last year, when the council decided to allow homeless individuals to camp in nearly all public spaces across the city.
“The homeless are now migrating into neighborhoods and endangering the lives of citizens and themselves,” McMillian said.
The decision sparked an increase in violent crime and ignited a wildfire of public backlash, where over 111,000 citizens signed a petition demanding the law’s reversal and a slew of local, state, and national law enforcement and elected officials spoke out against the council.
Additionally, last month the council defunded the local police department by one-third and hit already struggling citizens with even higher tax bills and a record-high $7 billion rail and bus proposal that would only address a small portion of transportation issues—but could raise property taxes an estimated 25 percent.
“The reasons for a recall are numerous: for mismanagement of public policies and resources that have eroded the Austin brand and decreased affordability for all citizens, for catering to special interest which is reducing the quality of life for residents and visitors, and for endangering the lives of health, safety and welfare of Austin citizens and local businesses,” wrote McMillian.
The council’s recent actions have already provoked a variety of campaigns to reform city government, including Our Town Austin, which was a petition effort at the end of last year that also tried to remove council members from office but “got crushed by COVID-19,” according to McMillian. Twenty citizens have also signed up to compete for five city council seats in the November election.
As far as McMillian’s new community group, they will have to gather signatures from at least 10 percent of the entire city’s registered voters—around 66,000 signatures—to fire the mayor. To remove each council member, they’ll need at least 10 percent from the member’s district.
If the PAC is successful in gathering enough signatures and the petition is certified by the city, the mayor and council members would have five days to resign. If they did not leave office within that time frame, the council must order a recall election.
“For these and many other reasons, we intend on recalling Mayor Steve Adler and City Council members Sabino Renteria, Ann Kitchen, and Paige Ellis. The other incumbent candidates, we anticipate, will not be re-elected in the November general election,” McMillian added.