As President of the Austin NAACP, I have had the opportunity to address civil rights issues and disparate impact policies for the past twenty years. Many of these issues are not unique to Austin and as a result, our 2200 branches around the nation, often share ideas and best practices to reduce disparities and make our criminal justice system fair to groups who experience racism and discrimination.
The election of Margaret Moore as the Travis County District Attorney in 2016, was not only a transcendent moment for Travis County, but also an important occurrence for the entire nation.
Under her direction and leadership, the office created a Civil Rights Division to bring the proper focus and scrutiny to police shootings in Travis County that involved African Americans and Hispanic residents. The office clearly has made a difference by widening the scope of investigations and improving communication with the parents and families of victims of critical incidents. Another important component is educating the community about how these investigations are conducted.
Also, Margaret Moore created a Civil Rights Advisory Council to provide community based organizations a seat at the table where critical discussions and best practices could be crafted and implemented.
Clearly, the problems facing the Travis County District Attorney Office and the nation, are comprehensive, systemic and the result of years of disparate impact polices that have resulted in mistrust and often times, a lack of confidence in communities of color. However, Margaret Moore has proven that she is willing to accept the criticism and embrace the challenges. She has taken the courageous and unprecedented steps to listen and hear the concerns of everyone who has expressed dissatisfaction.
Margaret Moore has demonstrated that she will listen and hear the concerns of residents all over Travis County and ensure that all of us have a seat at the table.
This is why I am supporting Margaret Moore.
NAACP President, Austin Branch