Austin considers boycotting official use of Trump products

A display of Trump wine, water and steaks. (AP photo)
A display of Trump wine, water and steaks. (AP photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On the heels of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, Austin’s Human Rights Commission voted in favor — in an 8-2 vote — of a recommendation to city council that would ban the city from using any Trump products or services.

The resolution recommends city council condemn President Trump’s and Vice President Mike Pence’s statements that discriminate against people based on their race, gender, national origin, religion or immigration status.

KXAN spoke with a Trump supporter, as well as the Travis County Taxpayer’s Union, who both said the city should be spending its time on matters it can control, like traffic, for example.

At the commission meeting Monday night, commissioners said the resolution is really symbolic, but sends an important message that Austin is welcoming and inclusive.

“I just find it disheartening that he is playing with the integrity of the office of the presidency,” Austin Human Rights Commissioner Garry Brown said. “Will this resolution change anything on its own? No. But adding our voice to the thousands and thousands and thousands of others across this country, that what he says and what he does is not okay.”

Some, like Roger Faulk, with the Travis County Taxpayer’s Union and President Trump supporter Bubba Bashaw, question, quite frankly, why the city is getting involved at all.

“I think it’s ridiculous. I think this city has a lot of challenges and a lot of problems and a lot of work to be done, and we shouldn’t be wasting our time on petty, partisan tantrums that are going to have no effect on the real world,” Faulk said. “How does boycotting Donald Trump resolve or made headway against rights issues? That makes no sense.”

“I think we’ve got a lot of homeless, we’ve got a lot of hungry people, we’ve got a lot of kids that go to school. I think there’s a great opportunity for the Human Rights Commission to make a positive impact on our city and playing with Trump paraphernalia is a waste of taxpayer dollars,” Bashaw said.

City officials told KXAN they do not believe any Trump products or services have been used in the line of official city business.

“I would imagine that the city, when employees go on a business trip on behalf of the city they don’t stay at Trump hotels, but you never know, and we just want to make sure that we’re covering all the bases,” Brown said. “The city prides itself on its human rights record and being welcoming to people of all walks of life.”

It will now be up to the city council to decide whether to adopt the recommended resolution.

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