Austin city council members discuss vote removing Human Rights Commissioner |

Austin city council members discuss vote removing Human Rights Commissioner

Mackenzie Davis
Updated: July 07, 2021 07:50 PM
Created: July 07, 2021 07:35 PM

(ABC 6 News) - This is something that has never been done before in Austin. All but one city council member voted to remove Human Rights Commissioner, Dan Mueller, Tuesday night.

Austin City Council members say it was nothing against Mueller's personality. His views and things he posted on social media did not align with what the Austin Human Rights Commission stands for.

"This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue. This is a human issue," Oballa Oballa, Austin City Council member, said. "Here we want to make sure that every human, everyone in Austin, their right is respected. It doesn't matter either you are gay, you are white, black, Asian, we want to make sure here we are inclusive and everyone is valued here."

The Human Rights Commissi9on advocates for everyone in Austin and their human rights.

Some social media posts showed that Dan Mueller was opposed to what the Human Rights Commission stands for.

"Sometimes some of his comments on Facebook really hurt me. I look back and 'is this really Mr. Mueller or someone else?,'" Oballa said.

The commission voted 8-0 to have Mueller removed and the city council voted 6-1.

Oballa said he thinks this is eye-opening for everyone.

"We were just following their wishes as we were the governing folks that could have him removed," Paul Fischer, member of the Austin City Council, said. "It has nothing to do with left, right, in between. It's 'you don't align with this commission, we would like you removed.'"

Oballa and Fischer agree that the decision to remove Mueller is nothing against him as a person.

"This is nothing against you and who you are, it's just that you didn't align with the Human Rights Commission," Fischer said.

Oballa says this is not a bad thing because we have to hold each other accountable and we have to solve these problems.

"And this is the message to everyone in Austin: We have to move forward as a loving community and we have to make sure everyone is valued. But we want to make sure that everyone is welcome here and everyone's voice is valued," Oballa said.

The council members are seeing the community reacting in both directions with some saying Mueller should not have been removed because of his freedom of speech. While others agree with the commission on the decision to have the city council vote to remove him.

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