The Austin City Council has selected six finalists for the position of City Manager after a year-long secret search process. None of the six candidates included is of Latino ancestry. This is despite Austin’s Latino population comprising over 35 percent of the city’s total population.
This is unacceptable. In May 2017, LULAC District VII went to the Austin City Council requesting that the City Council address the under-representation in Latino employment in Austin City government.
Unfortunately, the Austin City Council continues to fail in appointing Latinos to key leadership positions in City government and other entities such as Central Health board members. The lack of Latino representation restrains Latinos from translating its population presence and growth into political, civic, and economic participation to successfully influence policy outcomes.
LULAC requests that the City Council redo its selection process to have a fair, balanced, and equitable outcome. A quick look at the Executive Positions on the City’s organization chart provides the following:
15 employees, or 26 percent, are White Male
19, or 33 percent, are White Female
4, or 7 percent, are Black Male
4, or 7 percent, are Black Female
10, or 18 percent, are Latino Male
2, or 4 percent, are Latino Female
3, or 5 percent, are Asian American Male
0 are Asian American Female
Of the above that are occupied by acting positions:
5 percent are White Male
5 percent are White Female
2 percent are Black Female
2 percent are Latino Male
4 percent are Asian American Male
In 2013, according to the census, the City’s demographics were 49.7 percent white; 34 percent Latino; 7.2 percent Black; and 6.1 percent Asian. Since 2013, the Latino and Asian communities have grown with estimates of Latinos at 39 percent and Asian at 8 percent. Latinos are also underrepresented at the executive level. In mid-2017, City-wide ethnicity shows White at 54 percent; Latino at 29 percent; Black at 14 percent; and Asian at 3 percent.
LULAC VII will take all necessary avenues to ensure that this discriminatory pattern does not continue, especially in the hiring of the City Manager for the City of Austin. LULAC will take all possible courses including legal action to ensure there is equity in employment for the City of Austin. LULAC requests that the Austin City Council re-do its search process in a comprehensive, inclusive, and transparent manner.
The League of United Latin Americans (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil-rights organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. LULAC District VII comprises several councils in Austin, Texas. LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, including Latino representation in government, and meeting critical needs of today and the future.