Austin city council votes to remove Human Rights Commissioner |

Austin city council votes to remove Human Rights Commissioner

Miguel Octavio
Updated: July 06, 2021 10:45 PM
Created: July 06, 2021 06:17 PM

(ABC 6 News) - The Austin City Council has formally voted 6-1 to remove Dan Mueller from the city’s Human Rights Commission during its Tuesday meeting.

The Austin HRC voted unanimously to remove him recently. Its recommendation states it's because of his involvement with different groups whose mission does not align with the commission's values. 

Mueller, husband of Rep. Patricia Mueller (R-Austin), said he's being removed because of his political views, especially since his wife was elected into state office. He said what's happening is "cancel culture."

Council members brought up concerns they've gotten from constituents about comments that Mueller has made on different platforms, including social media. 

Although council members acknowledged the work Mueller has done, some said they trust the HRC's decision to remove Mueller. They add the fact that the vote was unanimous is difficult to ignore. 

Councilman Jason Baskin, former HRC chair, voted against the measure. He said he's concerned the precedent could have a negative impact in Austin long-term. 

ABC 6 News emailed and called members of the city's HRC but have not heard back.

Mueller's full statement to the city council: 

"I stand in opposition to the claims of those outside the Human Rights Commission and the actions taken by those within the HRC. I have served on the Human Rights Commission and throughout the community since moving back to the area without incident or issue until recently with no change in my actions, commitment to the community or attitudes to others.

What has changed is that my wife was elected to the MN House of Representatives and now people who were once colleagues and community connections we supported have begun to attack my wife and now me over political differences. These claims are all political and not even connected to me. They are that through attending events with my wife that include the Minnesota Family Council, Minnesota Child Protection League,  and  MN4Freedom event that I am somehow now espousing their values.

The claim is that I am thus not for the Human Rights of all people. But what I learned from the last meeting of the HRC is that the main reason and proof is that my wife signed on to the Protection for Girls in Women’s Sports Bill that seeks to protect girls from competing against biological boys in female sports. Their claim is that this makes my wife and thus me by proxy anti-Trans.This is the furthest from the truth. For over half of my life, I have worked directly with people from every country, background, elderly, youth, those with disabilities and refugees and immigrants, and nearly every organization in Austin.

My commitment has been to create and celebrate unity as could be seen in the parade on the 4th, to have Civil conversations on difficult subjects, and to seek solutions that represent the best for the community. I work daily with individuals to empower them to grow, to find opportunities, and to prosper.

But we now love in a world that wishes to divide by skin color, by religion and by sexual orientation, to attack others through name calling instead of having civil conversations on the issues as I have been called a racist and someone who is not a Christian, and where words are used like inclusion that excludes those who disagree with them or equity that is far from equal for all. We often see these things happening in other cities and these create more division then unity.

So that is why I stand up against these attacks. First, because they are baseless and secondly because this creates a dangerous precedent for our city council and the community of Austin. It is not right for Austin to allow a group to eliminate others simply because they disagree with them politically. It is not right for Austin to allow cancel culture of fear that forces people to agree with them or receive attacks in the media, over social media and Facebook or in their work in the community.

This decision is exactly this before the city council now. I do not believe this is the will of the majority of Austin residents and should not be the dangerous path that the city council chooses to follow. So I urge you to vote against this measure. No matter thr outcome of this vote, I will continue to empower individuals and work for the good of all people in Austin."

Copyright 2021 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company