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Standing up for immigrants puts Austin mayor on Global Thinkers List

Foreign Policy honors Steve Adler’s work on international stage

Immigrant Workers Stay Home For 'Day Without Immigrants' Protest
Protesters march in the streets outside the Texas State Capital on 'A Day Without Immigrants' February 16, 2017 in Austin, Texas. The crowd, which grew to well over a thousand participants, marched from the Austin City Hall to the Texas State Capitol
Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images

Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s record of “standing up for immigrants in the heart of red Texas,” has landed him on Foreign Policy magazine’s 2017 list of “reThinkers,” where he joins “legislators, technocrats, comedians, advocates, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, presidents, provocateurs, political prisoners, researchers, strategists, and visionaries ... who together found amazing ways not just to rethink our strange new world but also to reshape it,” according to the publication.

Among the words and deeds that put him on the list were his powerful speech on Jan. 28, the day after President Donald Trump’s had issued what is commonly called a “travel ban” from select countries to the United States. Adler had planned to give a “state of the city” speech focused on housing, but he “pivoted,” as Foreign Policy put it, to the topic of immigration instead. “Immigrants are part of who we are and who we have always been,” Adler said. “The world can completely lose its mind, and we’re still going to be Austin, Texas.”

Adler’s steadfast, outspoken support of the city’s immigration and detention policies—at odds with those on federal and state levels, his work preventing the loss of federal and law-enforcement funds based on those policies, and his leadership of the City Council in addressing immigration-related issues (including its decision to join a lawsuit challenging the the law in federal court) were among the reasons the magazine awarded him a place on the list.

The mayor joins such internationally known figures as San Juan, Puerto Rico, mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei, and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Ca., on the list.

Global reThinkers 2017 [Foreign Policy]