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Prop C: More Influential Than Ever Before, Office of Police Oversight Director Farah Muscadin Set To Redistribute Millions Of Policing Dollars To Marxist Programming

by Every Texan

Instead, the police abolitionist “community” activists (DSA, Grassroots Leadership, Texas Appleseed, Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, AJC, Undoing White Supremacy Austin, Just Liberty, Alex Vitale, Counterbalance ATX, Black Sovereign Nation, Mike Ramos Brigade, Homes Not Handcuffs, & etc.) got what they wanted when the funds for the police officers’ pay raise were REDISTRIBUTED to create the new Office of Police Oversight, a local, city government board (rather than composed of civilians) charged with formally investigating and constantly lambasting the police officers’ work to carry out public safety operations (REDISTRIBUTION OF POLICE DOLLARS TO OTHER PROGRAMMING = DEFUNDING THE POLICE CIRCA 2018).

Whatever flavor of the Democrat party that you slice it, a nationwide campaign has spread to all of the Democrat stronghold cities across the country to execute the same Marxist policies of defunding the respective PDs, and redistributing/reinvesting/divesting/reimagining in the Democratic stronghold cities, and everything that these Democrats are doing is blamed on Conservatives/Trump.

In the above hour and a half Zoom meeting, End-of-Policing Marxist Alex Vitale is nothing more than a white liberal who, at one point, complains about being a public employee for the state of New York for 20 years.

 

 

 

 

 

This video is currently restricted on Twitter. It was saved for those who want to hear the truth.

AJC, who call themselves “a liberal, Black-led group,” persuaded the city to reject and derail the police contract. Austin cut the cost of the funding that would have benefitted the police officers by $40 million over four years, allowing for the redistribution of millions of police dollars to address “unsheltered homelessness.” San Francisco-style homeless industrial complex “non-profit” organizations won, and the taxpayer lost.

This is an example of Marxism that has been planned and was to be executed whether or not Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president, since it was former president Obama’s executive order. To politically exploit one ethnic group of people over the others while representing America as whole in a city blatantly discriminates against all other ethnic groups. This type of promotion is un-American and promotes and continues the division in our civil society.
ANONYMOUS complaints are extremely dangerous. There is no transparency/integrity/honesty/lawful means of accomplishing this, where before, “When someone wanted to file a complaint … they had to fill out a form, and also fill out an affidavit swearing to the contents,” Muscadin said. That form, which she said resembled a job application, then had to be notarized.” Records held by the oversight office will be made public on the office’s website. So, say a bariatric individual who was fired from their previous job at a public Chicago University with zero law enforcement experience magically gets hired to give activists who have a penchant to gut the police department an ear is given power to conduct anonymous complaints. What could go wrong? Muscadin tried to frame a whistleblower at the Chicago University who was exposing the administration’s financial kickbacks, and ultimately, someone she did not like. She has the full power to cherry pick whoever she does not like, or whomever cannot satisfy her “eloquent Black rage” from the APD.
Police Union Contracts from 81 cities were obtained by these end-of-policing activists in order to attain their goal of making them be on par with other progressive police departments (an oxymoron).

With the anonymous complaints set up, and AWOL Austin Mayor Adler nowhere to be found or heard, tax dollars were used to have APD and Texas State Troopers babysit rioters from out of town that descended upon Austin, Summer 2020.

As if the APD wasn’t under attack by far-left, progressive Democrat anti-police activists already, incompetency proved prevalent with Cronk’s creation of The Reimagining Public Safety (RPS) City-Community Task Force in August 2020, consisting of the Marxist abolitionist-policing agenda, and in whole, a completely partisan, unbalanced, extremely biased “representation” of ALL Austin citizens. It’s anything but, such as “community members” who demand free rent or say they will set fire to APD Headquarters.

It’s not enough that our tax dollars were used to spend $23k on gift cards for people to attend the RPS Zoom “work” sessions to defund APD.

Task Force Community Members

  • Quincy Dunlap – Austin Area Urban League

  • Hailey Easley – Austin Asian Community Health Initiative

  • Emily Gerrick – Texas Fair Defense Project

  • Monica Guzmán – Go! Austin/Vamos! Austin (GAVA)

  • Priscilla Hale – allgo

  • Dawn Handley – Integral Care

  • Chris Harris – Texas Appleseed

  • David Johnson – Grassroots Leadership

  • Amanda Lewis – Survivor Justice Project

  • Nelson Linder – National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

  • Kathy Mitchell – Just Liberty

  • Chas Moore – Austin Justice Coalition

  • Cary Roberts – Greater Austin Crime Commission

  • Paula Rojas – Communities of Color United

  • Matt Simpson – American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

  • Alicia Torres – ICE Fuera de Austin

  • Cate Graziani – Texas Harm Reduction Alliance

Local media are paid to play when they furnish a list of Marxist “community” groups who have contributed to the destruction of what was once a beautiful city, but let us know in the comments of a Democrat stronghold city that is thriving and doesm’t look like crap.  Even after democracy prevailed, these groups fight against the voters of Austin. All of these groups oppose funding for the police. Talk about voter suppression.

Task Force City of Austin Members

  • Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde – Deputy City Manager

  • Rey Arellano – Assistant City Manager

  • Shannon Jones – Interim Assistant City Manager

  • Farah Muscadin – Director, Office of Police Oversight

  • Brion Oaks – Chief Equity Officer, Equity Office

City Community Task Force Work Groups

Combined Work Group: Reimagining 911 and Non-Police Crisis Response

Developing a deeper understanding of the needs of people who call 911 to develop recommendations to best address those needs including transitioning 9-1-1 communications from APD to independent or alternate City department management and reimagining a new response system which diverts 9-1-1 calls that come that do not warrant a police response to a non-police crisis line and response team similar to other models other cities.

Contact: Kathy Mitchell

mitckagardener@yahoo.com

Cate Graziani

cgraziani@harmreductiontx.org

Police Staffing: Patrol and Criminal Investigations

Evaluating current police staffing and patrol models to develop recommendations for effective alternative approaches to crime deterrence while reducing the negative impact of patrol and criminal investigation procedures on vulnerable communities.

Contact:  Kathy Mitchell

mitckagardener@yahoo.com

Public Health Reinvestment

Exploring ways redefine public safety (and in some ways public health) to include access to affordable, equitable, accessible, high quality healthcare and housing. Focus will center on recommendations for public health reinvestments in the community while divesting from harmful punitive models.

Contact: Cate Graziani

cgraziani@harmreductiontx.org

Uprooting Punitive and Harm Culture in Intersecting Systems

Assessing the ways punitive culture directs public safety efforts and develop recommendations and processes for their deconstruction and replacement.

Contact: David Johnson

criminaljustice@grassrootsleadership.org

Patrol and Surveillance

Addressing why and how patrol and surveillance policies harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and fail to develop community safety. The group will explore how to divest funding from these operational areas towards creative solutions to community needs.

Contact: David Johnson

criminaljustice@grassrootsleadership.org

Business and Economic Development

Consider how public safety issues affect businesses and economic development, including ordinance changes and staffing levels.

Contact: Cary Roberts

info@austincrime.org

Equity Re-investment in Community

Identify and create upstream mechanisms that prevent the need for policing and invest in impacted communities to address long standing inequities.

Contact: Paula X. Rojas

paulax@mamabaila.com

Meaningful Community Engagement

Centering the voices of those most directly harmed by systems in Reimagining Public Safety conversations by creating processes and opportunities for disproportionately impacted residents to offer up their experiences and own thoughts on what they need to feel safe. The input will ensure task force working group proposals and recommendations are informed by community members and not just organizational representatives.

Contact: Alicia Torres

atorres@grassrootsleadership.org

Violence Survivor Services and Prevention

Exploring opportunities to improve services to survivors of violence both within and outside of APD. So few survivors report their abuse to law enforcement yet so much of the resources to mitigate violence are funneled through that department. We hope to explore ways that victims/survivors can access these resources.

Contact: Amanda Lewis

amichellewis@gmail.com

Other “community members” Muscadin decided to collaborate with in gutting APD after the activists’ win of derailing the police labor contract and redistributing police dollars to “other programming,” like her Office of Police Oversight, which, in the best interest of Austin, should be dissolved. All of it.

Activist Social Justice Worker Nakia Winfield
LBGQT affirming Senior APD Officer Erica Danielle
Senior APD Officer Erica Danielle

Chas Moore and Fatima Mann pose at a Texas Monthly event for Gentrification and Police Brutality

Njera Keith and Kristina Brown of 400+1

Muscadin was fired for committing fraud and false sexual harassment charges of the whistleblower who exposed her crime at @ChicagoState (CSU) Faculty Voice blog! Where is the transparency, Muscadin?

Government official has a private Twitter account. Where is the transparency? Note: Does anyone believe this “full woman” can move on the tennis court?

So, Muscadin, the PERSON in CHARGE of Austin Police OVERSIGHT was tried on numerous occasions to have a whistleblower FALSELY accused of sexual harassment!

CSU pays professors $650,000 for trying to shut down their whistleblower blog. WHERE IS THE TRANSPARENCY, MUSCADIN? 

Professors Phillip Beverly and Robert Bionaz’s lawsuit was one of four filed on July 1, 2014.

HOW did MUSCADIN get the job of Director of the Office of Police Oversight? She had her job at Chicago State terminated and she was involved in trying to set up a professor with FALSE sexual harassment accusations. How does some university administration anti-free speech bully from Chicago help solve police issues in Austin?

Get to know Farah Muscadin better through her recent interview with Terri Broussard Williams below.

SPEAKERS

Farah Muscadin, Terri Broussard Williams

Terri Broussard Williams  00:04

Welcome to this episode of Pink Granite, I’m Terri Broussard Williams, the founder of Movement Maker. And it’s always the pleasure and an honor to be here on this platform. And today, it’s even a real treat or like a greater treat than normal, because I’m here with Farah Muscadin, who is in an incredible Firestarter, a female leader, and someone who always shows up with integrity in their heart. Welcome Farah.

Farah Muscadin  01:01

Welcome. Thank you for being here. It’s good to see you Terri.

Terri Broussard Williams  01:06

I know I have not seen people it since March. But to see you on video is definitely a treat. I can always feel your energy. So even through video I can I can feel it.

Farah Muscadin  01:21

Thank you.

Terri Broussard Williams  01:23

Well, I have been looking forward to this conversation for a lot of reasons. One, because you are such a sparkly, smart human. And to because you’ve had such a journey since you’ve been here in Austin. And I think it’s something that the listeners can learn from but also be inspired by. So I want to just get started with some some basics. Tell us who you are, how long you’ve been in Austin, and how you made your way here.

Farah Muscadin  01:54

Okay, so my name is Farah Muscadin. I am the Director of the Office of Police Oversight. It’s a department in the City of Austin. And we provide oversight over the Austin Police Department. And we are also basically the place where members of the community if they have a positive or negative experience with APD, they come to our office. And so it’s been an interesting journey with coming into this role. I am originally from Chicago. I grew up in a small suburb of Chicago. And in 2016, I was really looking to making a change in my life. And so I was working at a university that was going through state university that was going through some financial troubles. They were state funded university in the state hadn’t passed a budget and so they had to really make some tough decisions. And they had to layoff 300 people. So I’m the 300 people that was a third of their staff and staff of 900 have been laid off 300 and so I was one of those 300 (Liar, more like 900. Thanks for playing.) at the end of April. And I was just looking for something different. I honestly thought I was going to go to DC DC is like one of my favorite cities. I thought I was going to go work at George Mason University. But that didn’t work out. And in a weird way. Austin kind of fell in my lap. The last time I had been Austin was maybe 20 years ago. I came for spring break during law school. And Austin is so different so different than what I remember. SXSW was literally just on Sixth Street and you got dropped off a couple blocks and you just kind of walk in and out of bars on Sixth Street. It isn’t what it is now. It’s amazing what is going into but and so I decided to come out to visit Austin Memorial Day weekend 2016. And I’m somebody that I go how I feel about situations and kind of one of those universe people. And so literally the second I got off the plane, I knew I was meant to be in Austin. And so I just got off the plane and started looking for an apartment and so I wound up moving to Austin on July 2016. So once I come once I came back from holiday weekend I put my house on the market, found a tenant and sold all my stuff packed up my car and moved to Austin. And so it’s been an interesting journey. I don’t know if I would recommend moving to a place with no friends and no job and no connections. I don’t know if I would recommend that. But I think that everybody’s journey is their own journey. I left Chicago in a pretty even though I’d been laid off. (Liar, she was fired. Try again).  I had worked in politics in Chicago. And so I wasn’t concerned about not having a job in Chicago. And working in politics affords a lot of opportunities. So they were there for me and I left a few job offers in Chicago to come to Austin with no job. It was humbling, I’d have to say because I tend to be very proud of my resume. But when you come to a city that’s not where you’re from, like, no one else in cared about my experience in Chicago, you don’t I mean, and so it was interesting, my humbling journey because, you know, I really did start over like with meeting friends, networking, having new professionals connections, I really have nothing when I came here. So I was building up from scratch. And so you know, I, I took every opportunity to, to meet people. So I did all sorts of jobs. So I was a receptionist, I worked in music store I was, I did legal document review, which really kind of sucks the life out of you. I hated legal document. So then I decided, you know what, let me spend some time volunteering, getting to know more people in the community. So I just did that. And then it was it was I hit a year of kind of being unemployed or underemployed. I was like, What am I going to do? And so I randomly found this job on LinkedIn, because I scoured LinkedIn every single day, being a community engagement strategist in this department, but I couldn’t find the department on the city’s website. And so I want to calling a few people asking them I’m like, is this a real department because the job also wasn’t posted on the city website. So I was like, is this a scam? We’ll turn it in. And but it was a two month job. And I remember having a conversation with my parents, like, I can’t take a two month job, like, I need a job job. And I remember parents are like, you shouldn’t worry about that is two to two months, you’re like, go in, do your thing, he’ll be fine. And so my parents were right. And so I took that job in August of 2017. Didn’t know this literally. And then from that job, it was working on a consumer protection grant. And it was housed in the partner was the innovation office, and they were housing City Hall. So I was literally in City Hall every day, and you meet all sorts of people in City Hall. And so from then I was asked to be the project manager for the redesign of the city’s website, which was crazy to me, because like, I can barely do Excel, right? (Recall the Low Morale at City Hall due to all the incompetence, e.g., Muscadin has zero LE experience) And me, I like, okay, you want me to, like help manage the redesign of the city’s website using it wasn’t just the design, there’s the technology behind it. And they’re like, nope, you’ll be fine. I mean, you have the skill set that we’re looking for. And so they were actually right, like, it actually worked out that a non techie was on the team, because the team was made up of techies, and they speak a completely different language. We practice I’m like, Well, if y’all can get me to understand it, then you can get the message to understand it, you know what I mean. And so, and it helps with getting them organized and getting the project back, back on track. And then I started that job in October 2017. And then I started getting these random phone calls. from people I didn’t know when I was like, kind of what’s going on. Eventually, I figured out that someone had recommended me to be the interim police monitor, and that was really interesting, because at the time, I didn’t know Austin had police monitors office. And then I wound up meeting with the interim city manager (Claire Elaine Hart) in January. And she offered me the job and so I had that job by the end of January of 2018. So it’s amazing because even though a year to finally get a job that two month job, I essentially had two three jobs in six months with the city and then I got the job permanently about five months later. So it just seemed kind of like things just fell into place. For me that just the the networking and just not giving up because it’s sometimes can get really easy to give up and kind of second guess yourself but really, I had a lot of support. And I just kind of had to hang in there until the right thing happened and what’s the right thing happened doors just started opening and it was just insane.

Terri Broussard Williams  09:11

I want to jump in here you said a whole lot. But there’s some things that I would love for us to just double click on and talk about because I mean you said so many things, so many things that will resonate with the people that are listening. And the first is just moving Austin you know, I moved to Austin knowing two people and I did have a job so I was fortunate in that manner. But it can be a hard city to crack into we think you know keep Austin weird. It’s so much fun. But especially when you’re a person of color or you’re a black woman coming to the city it can be a very challenging thing just to find your your your way in. And so you did that I remember you calling you know, email telling me, you know, saying, Hey, I’m new to town and I’m like, this girl really No, she getting into this is a hard place to navigate. But, you know, I think that you can really give some inspiration to people who are thinking about moving here. You know, as a you and I have talked before, Austin is the only city in the country where the number of black people who are here today are not going to be the number of black people who are here a year from now, it’s going to be less than. So tell us a little bit about what that was like. Yeah, especially coming from Chicago.

Farah Muscadin  10:38

Yeah, no, it was interesting. I put out into the universe that I wanted to move somewhere that was the polar opposite of Chicago. And Austin is absolutely the polar opposite of Chicago. And in every aspect, we literally have nothing in common and so. So yeah, it was, I feel like I’m a natural networker. And so it comes very easy to me, one of the things that I did is that when I, before I moved out here, I sent out like 500, random LinkedIn requests to people I didn’t know like, I didn’t know anybody. And most people accepted it. And I would email them and be like, I’m not an expert, or I’m just kind of moving to Austin, and I don’t know anybody. And can we connect. And so it was interesting, because one of the people that I connected with worked for the city in the Procurement Office, and she’s just like, the second you get here, call me, and we’ll get together. And so literally, I came to Austin on a Wednesday, and I called her when I got here. And she invited me to, to dinner, and to go to a movie and with her friends, and who are her friends Sylnovia Holt-Rabb who’s the deputy director of the economic development department, and Dr. Pierce Burnette, who’s the president of HTU. So it was just amazing. So they have been super, super helpful. And what was interesting is about eight months into living here, I was appointed to the African American quality of life commission. And that was amazing. And who was the liaison to the commission was Sylnovia Holt-Rabb. And so it was just, you know, and I had coffee with Linda Medina Lopez was one of the people I met is just like, she will help anybody. And so I met with her and she helped me meet people in the Girl Scouts. And she’s involved in a lot of stuff. And so she just kind of opened herself to me, she’s the one who introduced me to leadership, Austin encouraged me to apply, I and so it was just amazing how a lot of the people that I just reached out to randomly on LinkedIn, were just so helpful. And, you know, part of networking is also following up. So, you know, I was messaging these people in May, I moved in July. And so it was also kind of continuing having those connections and just, you know, pinging them every so often. And many of them I met, you know, in person and had coffee with and, you know, just try it because it is hard, like when you move to a city and you have no friends. You know what I mean? There’s no I do know, like, girl night, you know, does not exist, it doesn’t exist. You have to you have to build that. And to your point about the African American community I made the rookie mistake is number one, I told you, I got off the plane, I went to look for an apartment, well it took me to Westlake.

Terri Broussard Williams  13:35

Oh.

Farah Muscadin  13:41

Yeah, and so that was interesting. I just loved 360 and I love just beautiful 360. And so I was just like, and I was leaving such a stressful job. And part of me making the decision to move it wasn’t because I wanted something different. It’s also because I really wanted a different lifestyle for myself because I mean, you can Chicago’s just a fast lifestyle. And it’s really about kind of who you know, and in people want things yesterday and it’s a hard place to kind of stop and smell the roses. And that’s really what I was looking for. And so I was looking to really kind of slow down, breathe, literally breathe and take a break. And so I remember when I was driving down 360 I was like, just the scenery was so calming to me. I was like, I want to live over here. So that’s really how I got there, not knowing that it’s not the most diverse.

Terri Broussard Williams  14:30

Okay, I lived off 360 my first apartment was the gables champion. grandview off 360 and I just remember driving down that road and thinking like how blessed am I to live here with this is beautiful.

Farah Muscadin  14:42

Yeah, it’s it’s beautiful over there. Yeah, no, it was it was it was so nice. I lived there you know two years and you know, because I didn’t really have like a steady job. I can you know, come and go as I please. I wasn’t really stuck in that 360 traffic. You know what I mean? And I just you know, wherever anybody invited me, I didn’t care what it was, because I didn’t really know the city well enough to understand how the traffic patterns and kind of living kind of closer to where you work. So I went everywhere. I was in South Austin, East Austin, north, I went everywhere and care. I mean, as long as the GPS could guide me there, I, you know, it was fine with me. And so from that standpoint, it helped me get to know the city a little bit more, and just kind of the uniqueness of the different neighborhoods and stuff like that. So yeah, no, I appreciated that. I would just say that. I think it’s important to be consistent when you meet people, and you’re networking. Because everybody’s busy. And I think that people have good intentions is not that really people ignore you from not responsible, they just get busy. And so I know, I appreciate the extra ping saying, because half the time I forgot to respond, or it’s in draft, or I didn’t respond, I forgot to hit STAT. Do you know what I mean? And so like, I always appreciate when someone follows up with me and says, Hey, can you do you know what I mean? And so I did a lot of that. And I went to a lot of free events. There’s a lot of free events, I think people I mean, now with COVID, it’s different. But Austin is a place where there’s a lot of free events. And I had a dog at the time I have to now, but there are a lot of free dog events in Boston. So I went to a lot of those. And it was just a great way to meet people. And I remember there’s this yoga studio 360 that I would want to and I remember just randomly talking to this woman. And she was so nice. And she we just hit it off. And she wound up inviting me to a fundraiser for the refuge. And it was all women. And I swear they raised like $250,000 in like an hour and room of like powerful women in Austin like the who’s who, from a random woman I met at the yoga studio who invited me because, you know, she thought it would be a good place for me to network. And so I just met all sorts of people from attending that event that she invited me to, and in she comes my ticket, I didn’t pay anything I like to do is show up. And so I thought that was really nice. But those I have a lot of stories like that for people in Austin, that I met here.

Terri Broussard Williams  17:19

And I you know, I think there were a couple of things that you said that we should underline. And I think you’d have to be intentional with what you put out. You started off by sending out 500 connection requests in May, but you didn’t move till July. And then you were determined, like you followed up and you made sure that people knew that you really wanted to get to know them. But also some of it is just who you are. You truly are this, this ray of light and sparkly persons. I think that people are drawn to that. And Austin welcomes that. So if you are listening and you’re thinking about moving to Austin, know that there is definitely a path in a way I have a very similar story. I moved here again, the only two people and the week that I moved, neither of them were here. But you know, I had served on the board of leadership Lafayette and had just graduated from leadership, Louisiana, which is like leadership, Austin, it’s a co ed program, which is a little different than leadership, Texas. But you know, I didn’t know anyone. So I called leadership Austin and was like, hey, I want to volunteer what you got. And Heather mckissick was in her first month on the job and she had coffee with me and found me a committee spot. And you know, next thing I knew I was plugged in, but you have to, you know, show up with a good heart, good work ethic and good intentions. And I say that all the time. If you have those three things, three things, when you’re here, you’re going to be fine. And so one thing that you said that I just love was that you know you were thinking about Should I apply for the job, that’s two months or not, and your parents are like, just go and do your thing. What I’ve learned from you is that you are so connected with your family and your heritage, and you have this incredible political story, even within your family, tell us how your family has really shaped your life.

Farah Muscadin  19:10

Yeah, so both my parents are immigrants from Haiti, my whole family is Haitian. And it is how I identify it’s a very huge part of my life. And how I see the world I have a very kind of global perspective. And I think that definitely comes from my from my parents. And so Haitian Parents are very strict. You know, you become lawyers or doctors or engineers. And so ambitions were high. You know, college was not an option. I actually grew up with my parents telling me that they were going to pick the college and I was going to go to which was interesting. I mean, they never, they never really, they’re just told me that but it didn’t happen that way. I got to go to And so it’s just I also have a very close relationship with my mom’s siblings. So my mom’s younger sister is one of my best friends. And my uncle, my mom’s younger brother. My mom’s oldest, is a huge mentor. He’s an attorney. And he’s a shareholder with green Greenberg Traurig, and so he was the one who connected me with Karen. And so the four of them really, I don’t really make a decision in my life without consulting the four of them. And so they, it was actually my uncle who put Austin and said, Why don’t you live in Austin? And that’s how the research started. And so yeah, so it’s just very, very close knit. very supportive. I had, you know, part of the reason why I stayed in Chicago for so long is because my parents were there. And I had such a close relationship with my parents. I mean, the first house I bought was down the street. And so, um, so it was, it was tough decision to move. But I also realized that, you know, it was my time, right, you know, and it was time for me to do what I wanted to do for myself. And just because I wasn’t geographically close to my parents didn’t mean that I wouldn’t maintain being close to them. And so they understood that I really needed to be on my own journey. And were really a super supportive, and they just knew that it was just a matter of time. And so like, there was one moment where I thought, well, because I still pretty so connected to Chicago, and I was still getting calls for opportunities. And, you know, my dad’s like, no, they’re like, You’re not coming back. So yeah, there was a point in time where I thought I was approaching. This was summer 2017. And I was approaching like a year of being unemployed, underemployed, really unemployed. And I’ve just always been a very independent person. I’ve just always kind of done my own thing and supporting myself. And you know, it was just, I felt like I needed to make some decisions. And then a part of me was like, Well, did I make the right decision by moving? You know, especially with not having anything? Should I have waited until I had something before I moved, you know, all those kind of self doubt thoughts that come come into your head, and my parents were like, no, they’re like, you’re meant to be there. Just be patient. It’s coming in. So. And they really pushed me to apply for that two month job, because I thought like, you know, this two month job is a two month job, right. And I think they even said that they weren’t going to extend it in the job posting. And so yeah, so it was, it was just amazing to get that job. And then it was a community engagement job. So I utilized that job to not only do community engagement on the project I was working on, but also to meet people in the community. And a lot of those people that this is why I think that like, for me, like understanding kind of the universe and how everything happens for a reason. But a lot of those people that I was meeting during community engagement for that project, or a lot of the people who kind of signed off and endorsed me to become the interim police monitor. And so like, had I not had that job and taking those opportunities to meet the people in the community who was working with you this grant, I just don’t know, like if that would have happened. And so it was, it was helpful for me in getting this job that I wasn’t from Austin, which was odd, because I felt like part of the reason why I was having a hard time getting a job is because most of everything on my resume was Chicago. But the fact that I had had, you know, relationships in the community really helps, helps me and kind of pushed me over the edge and getting that job too. So it wasn’t just about being new. It was about Yeah, I knew but also members of the community knew who I was.

Terri Broussard Williams  24:34

I talk a lot about faith and fortitude. Just faith is having this belief that there’s something out there bigger than yourself, you know, this belief that you know, what is meant to be for you to work on or to be a part of what happened. fortitude is just knowing there’s always, always a way. And so, you know, everything that you said speaks to both of those things. And I think that we don’t realize how much What is happening to people right now, you know, you were at a university that had to layoff a third of the workforce, how many state institutions are having lay people off right now? You know, and, and then you show up at the space and just find a way. And so I think that I just want, I appreciate your sincerity and your honesty, because these are things that are happening to people right now. And I think that you can really just show people that there, there is always a way, you have to have that fortitude. And so I want to change the conversation up a little bit and talk about fortitude even a little more. And so you know, I’ve had the opportunity of watching you from afar lead, at a time when it is not easy to lead, no lead at a time where you know, the skin that you were that we were, can be heavy inside, and also heavy just in the world around us. And the watch you lead at a time where the work that you do. Everyone has all their eyes on you. And so fortitude, knowing that there is a way knowing that you are meant for this role. Knowing that you have worked your way to have this role definitely serves you every day. But tell us a little bit what is it like day to day being in charge of something that is so bigger than all of us?

Farah Muscadin  26:26

Yeah, so it is it has changed. It has changed a lot. So I’ve been in this role two and a half years. And when I first was appointed, it was like being thrown into the fire because it was uncharted territory for the city and the police department. Because there it had been maybe the first time in a very, very long time in recent memory that the city didn’t have a contract with the US to Police Association. And obviously, I didn’t have that background, because I wasn’t you know, here. And so it threw me in the into the fire of that situation, it threw me into a very, very heavy political climate. I got to know council members very well right away, which was interesting. And a lot of my work that I was doing or that I was tasked with was going to receive a lot of public attention and praise and scrutiny, right? Because essentially, I was tasked with figuring out what the best police oversight structure was for the city of Austin. And so it it, it was really interesting in that I felt like I was like, I’m built for this, like, I felt like every job and every experience that I had prior to that really prepared me for this moment. And it was a hot seat moment. And I was working constantly. But I didn’t like no one was really gonna see me sweat, right. And so I also felt like, you know, I got this because I’ve been in those situations as a lobbyist, as a public defender, you know, what I mean, is working, I used to be on a lobbying team. So I was just like, with all of those things that I had experienced there. I’m like, this is really important. And it is a big deal. But I knew I could handle it. And I knew it was also an opportunity to establish myself as a person in the city of Austin that nobody knew. And so in a way I was proving myself and also establishing myself in the position. And so I think that’s always something that particularly with new people that you have to be mindful of, is that in a way, I guess you can say it was an audition, so to speak. But I was really I was fundamentally passionate about the work because I had always been interested in wanting to be involved in community policing. And what was so odd again, this is the universe was so odd about this is that obviously I didn’t know that this is my path, right? I didn’t even know this office existed. But when I got here, I got involved in policing issues. And so one of the things that I took up when I was on the commission was getting to know APD and going on a ride along and Who would have known that only a few months later, would I be in this position and the chain of command would have been like oh yeah, we know her she contact we know from the commission and she contact has to be on a ride along and she’s called us to talk to us about you know, the Austin police department so like, those touch points and kind of relationships were already kind of there by got there, but I didn’t even but I didn’t know that it would be helpful to me later on. Right. And so now it’s it’s I say it’s different. Because we have built this new office. We gone from the Office of police monitor the Office of police oversight. I think that we have more kind of public recognition. And people know that we exist and are more educated about what we do. But, you know, post George Floyd and the protests the work has become, it has always been important. (We’re not Minneapolis. This isn’t Austin’s fight) But I think now people really see how it can be meaningful to to long standing change. (Nope. Go move to Minneapolis, and take Cronk with you-he’s from there.) And it has absolutely elevated my position. And so I’m on the executive team working on reimagining public safety for the city of Austin. I’m the project lead for a lot of assessments that’s going on in the police department. And, and I see this as a compliment. And also a vote of trust, when we are my office has practically doubled in two years in terms of funding, staffing, and we have been given our scope has expanded exponentially. (Muscadin has triply confirmed that APD has been defunded since 2018). And so I see that as a vote of confidence from the city manager and council saying that we know Farah’s work, we know she can handle this expansion. And we also want to invest in police oversight, because we think it’s important for our community. So we went from 1.7 million to 3.4 million, and, you know, 11 employees to know, excuse me, 20. And so that is that is unbelievable. And part of you, I’m saying it’s unbelievable, because city of Austin has had oversight since 2002. And so for 16 years, it had basically had the same budget, maybe about a million dollars, 1.1 million. And in two years, we have doubled the budget. (This is at a loss for the taxpayers and to the gutting of APD) So I mean, for me, I see. And I you know, I talked about this with my staff, I mean, it’s not just about me, it’s about us as a staff in terms of what we were able to accomplish and how we have not only the trust of the community, but we have the trust of Council of the city manager to really say we’re going to invest in this work, because we see it as a key stakeholder in getting us to where we want to be, which is equitable policing, where that’s fundamentally what we’re talking about what we want is every community in the city of Austin to be released in the same way, and we know that they’re not. And so and I appreciate us, the Office of police oversight really being an active stakeholder in that conversation. Because we clearly have a vested interest in ensuring that everybody feels safe and is treated respectfully. (especially all the criminals that have been released)

Terri Broussard Williams  32:36

Yeah, you can grow that team from 11 to 20. Because you’re showing up with a good heart, good intentions and good work ethic. And so those are the things that allow you to be a leader that’s going to turn this moment into a movement. So I’m not surprised by any of that. And I know that it hasn’t come easy, you know, there ever been a time where you just wanted to throw your hands in the air and say I’m, I might have come here with nothing, I might have waited two years for this perfect role for me. But I’m done. I give up. Has that moment ever crossed your mind?

Farah Muscadin  33:07

No, no, if anything is the opposite. I have always been somebody who has been very upwardly mobile. And I generally get the two year itch, because I just want to move up the ladder. And this is probably the first job that I’ve had. I mean, this is literally my eighth career change all over the place and make sense to me. But I mean, I’ve, I’ve done so many different things. But this is the first time I’ve been in a position where I felt like I wanted to stay. And I just feel like I I am building and expanding at the same time. And I really want to see it. Like kind of my, my, my goals and my expectations for the office come to fruition. So no, I’m not but I mean, I am regularly frustrated. I am you know, it is frustrating working in a male dominated environment. And I will say that male dominated and policing is different than male dominated in lobbying. When I was a, it was primarily obviously white males who are mainly lobbyists, there were very few black female lobbyists and even less female Latinx lobbyists. And so I’m, I’m used to kind of the male dominated industries. When you add law enforcement and the historical context and kind of the the institution of that into the equation, it’s different. It’s, you know, I don’t know what I’m doing, or I don’t know anything about law enforcement. I couldn’t possibly know anything about law enforcement. And, you know, and you’re a woman and you don’t really understand, you know, what I mean?

Terri Broussard Williams  34:42

The intimidation tactics, they’re not pretty.

Farah Muscadin  34:45

Yeah, I mean, but they don’t work on me and I make it very clear.

Terri Broussard Williams  34:49

Of course, you should talk about that. You know, I don’t think people realize just the fortitude it takes everyday to show up and show up with a good heart and get you know, into the work that you do isn’t easy. And I don’t think that people make it easy for you tell us a little bit about that.

Farah Muscadin  35:07

No, they don’t. I think that the police department and the Police Association are used to, you know, utilizing intimidation tactics, and they’ve tried to use it on me, they’ve come after me personally. But at the end of the day, you know, I am who I am, I have good intentions and a person for integrity. And whatever they throw at me will never stick. Right, it will never stick period. And, and sometimes I have to be very direct. And, you know, I have four things that I’m very proud of, right? I’m proud of the fact that I’m a Black woman, I’m Black, I’m proud of the fact that I’m a woman. I’m proud of the fact that I’m Haitian. And I’m proud of the fact that I’m from Chicago.

So those four things I can tell you that the Austin Police Department and the Austin Police Association has not encountered, and I have all four strategy in terms of what they’re used to, in terms of their intimidation tactics, may have worked on other people, but they’re, they’ve, they’re not going to work on somebody with those 4 characteristics that I have. And so they’re gonna have to come up with something different because I’ve seen it, I’ve been through it. And this is really kind of childsplay in terms of their tactics. And so it’s not going to inhibit me from really pushing the conversation forward and doing the work. Because at the end of the day, we’re talking about lives, right.

And so, you know, I’ve told people this, this example, when I decided to move down here, it was a year after Sandra Bland incident, and I am someone who was very independent. I live my life, like, no one could tell me anything, right. And I have never been afraid to drive anywhere in my life. And one of my closest friends from college law school is a white woman. And I called her and I asked her if she would drive from Chicago with me to Austin. And so that should tell you a lot about what it is for a person of color, particularly a Black person, because I felt safer driving, I think that 16 or 14 hour drive with a white woman with me in the car than by myself. And I related a lot to Sandra Bland. We’re both from a sort of Chicago, we’re both moving to Texas start on new lives. And that could have been me. Yeah, that could have been me.

Terri Broussard Williams  37:22

I just got goosebumps.

Sandra Bland was a 28-y/o activist who hung herself in a jail cell outside HOUSTON three days after being arrested during a traffic stop. Her death was ruled a suicide (asphyxiation). Bland was from Naperville, ILLINOIS, and the non-compliant, uncooperative Bland created the mechanism of a very volatile, out-of-control situation. Despite repeated, clear attempts at commands the entire time from HISPANIC Texas Trooper Brian Encinia, Bland chose to go with her activist mind set (as evidenced by her YouTube anti-police crusade “Sandy Speaks” in which she discussed officer-involved shootings of assumed-to-be innocent unarmed black men and compliance at traffic stops), which was the root of her refusal to comply with a lawful request. Since she took her own life, rather than the Trooper, she was emotionally unstable and unfortunately, her radical activism has resulted in galvanizing the Black Lives Matter movement of abolishing police and justifying criminal behavior rather than the personal responsibility for one’s own mental health issues. Encinia was forced to give up his license and agreed to never work as an Officer again.

Farah Muscadin  37:23

You know what I’m saying? And so that was a real wakening for me because that that shifted for me is when the world really changed when I when I when I and my friend understood. And she said yes, immediately, and she jumped out with me. And we, we didn’t blink an eye. But the fact that I felt like I needed to do that was really, you know, troubling. And even most recently, I had to drive to Florida, because my grandmother passed. And it’s a 16 hour drive. And my family called me every hour on the hour to make sure I was okay. Tell me what person, what white person, has to has a family member that is concerned about them being stopped by police on a road trip, and they call you every hour on the hour to make sure you’re safe. And so that, to me, is why I’m never going to stop or feel that way about this work is because like I shouldn’t need my white friend to drive with me from Chicago. And I shouldn’t need my family to call me every hour to make sure I’m safe from police, from police. Right? Not that the car broke down, or I got into an accident, you know what I mean? Like they want to make sure I was because I’m driving through Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and three, all the names. They want you to make sure I was safe from police on a 16 hour trip. (Muscadin must have a fear of flying planes.)  And so that that should be concerning to everybody, not just the people who look like me, that should be concerning, because that essentially, is the world that we live in. And I’m not I’m not accepting that as a status quo. I will never accept that as the status quo, ever. (So Muscadin is traumatizing herself from the stories she has heard, yet she has never spoken of any negative encounter(s) of police in her own, troubling personal life.)

Terri Broussard Williams  39:01

I don’t, you know, life is so complicated yet. So oftentimes, our perception of life is what we see on TV, you know, what we might see on CSI or Chicago PD or whatever. (Yes, these TV shows are reality, that’s why networks have cancelled shows such as COPS.) People think that those things only happen on TV. They happen in real life. You know, when, you know, people I know walk their dogs around their neighborhood, I’m like, are you walking your dog like in daylight? Like what you know, like, we shouldn’t have to, we shouldn’t have to worry about those things. And you know, when you do work, like what you’re doing or even the work that I do, as you know, a Black lobbyist because there are very few when I was in Louisiana, rural like to same age, you know, work hits different. It feels different. You have a greater ownership of it. And it’s something that you choose to do and you do it because you know that if not you then who and if not you then when So I’m not surprised that you say the intimidation tactics don’t work on you. First of all, you’re from Chicago. So when they go low, you go high, right? But, but that work is just so much more meaningful. And so, you know, I want to begin to close our conversation. And I want to ask you, so what’s next? What does life look like beyond this?

Farah Muscadin  40:26

Yeah, so I think what’s next, I’m looking forward to life post COVID. Because I think even that, that requires some sort of reflection, because it’s just our lives are just so different. And so I’m absolutely looking forward to towards life post COVID. I am looking forward to this transformation in policing, it’s going to be hard, but I know we can do it. And I have faith that we can do it here in Austin. And, you know, I’m also looking forward to some more kind of personal growth and advancement in myself. Because even though I’ve been here for four years, it still feels new. And so I, you know, I consider myself an Austinite, But I, you know, I, I, I’m looking forward to not feeling new anymore.

Terri Broussard Williams  41:24

I don’t know if that ever goes away? I’ve been in Austin since 2008. And I don’t know, if I still feel rooted. You know, I can check all the boxes, I’ve won, like all the awards, all of things and still don’t have those roots.

Farah Muscadin  41:36

Yeah, it’s gonna be important for me, because I feel like I’m in Austin for a reason. And I think that some of those reasons have presented themselves, some of them haven’t. I don’t really see myself starting over and moving again. And so I mean, granted, notwithstanding that, you know… You do say that quite often, I’ve heard you say that before. You know, I tell people I’m like, Well, you know, let’s Michelle Obama calls me y’all, then, you know, I’m out.  But beyond that happening, I do plan on being in Austin. And so. So that, for me is with that commitment of knowing that I want to be here and stay here is is also showing how I need to have that stronger connection. And I’m looking forward to that. I think I think I’m close. I think COVID has kind of veered it in a different direction. You know, post COVID. I think that it’ll be easier for me. And also just kind of getting used to. I don’t have much anonymity anymore. (Why would a government official think this should be the case? Where is the transparency, Muscadin?) With working, so I still have to get used to that. But I mean, I’ve had, I’ve had a really, really tough days. And I remember I was just so upset about something. I was walking out into the hall and this random woman came up to me, I had no idea who she was. And she said, Are you the police monitor? And I said, Yes. And she said, you’re doing a good job. She said, I know it’s a good job, and we support you. And that just made my day instead. So it’s just those a friend of mine called it the God week. And I was like, Okay, I’ll take it. And so yeah, so I’m looking forward to that work, because it will positively impact everybody.

Terri Broussard Williams  43:19

So how do you wind down, is that wind with a D? Or is it wine with an E?  How do you relax?

Farah Muscadin  43:28

Yeah, so that’s one of the things that I love about Austin that I felt missing in Chicago. And so, you know, I am a universe person. And so that that, to me, is very accepting and non judging in Austin, and I’m into meditation and yoga and Reiki and all of those things are non judgy. in Austin that are you kind of do on a low in Chicago. It’s not really commonplace there. And so I felt like when even though I’m proud of being from Chicago, I never really felt like it was my city. I lived there because I grew up there, right? My parents brought me there. And so I did not have that. That kind of deeper soul connection to it, because Chicagoans are super proud. And it is really important where you went to high school in Chicago, you know, what I mean?

Terri Broussard Williams  44:16

as in the south.

Farah Muscadin  44:19

It’s very strange to me. But I do feel that connection, that kind of spiritual connection to Austin, which makes it feel like it’s more my city. I know, I come off as a big city girl, but I I kind of like the slower pace not too slow, but like slower, you know. And so I do feel that more kind of spiritual level connection. And so I appreciate the things that I’m into to relax, like, I love acupuncture. I love Love, love acupuncture. I love Reiki I love meditation. I love the fact that there are almost meditation centers all over the city. You don’t really find that in Chicago. And I love the fact that people are so open and accepting to it like it’s not you’re not going to get the side eye, when you’re saying, Oh, I have a meditation room, or I do that here, and also people who are like, oh, what meditation technique do you use? You know what I mean? And so that is what I love, and I feel super comfortable about. And the other thing I love about Austin, is people say, Hello. I mean, I talk to strangers pre-COVID almost every day. And it’s just not something I experienced in Chicago, you know, people say hi to you here. And maybe it’s the southern hospitality. But I love that, because it’s, it’s personable, and it’s welcoming. And I think saying, hello, is something small that you can do. That’s very nice. And they mean a lot to someone that you know, but you just don’t know. But that could mean make somebody’s day, and then happened to so much in Austin, that I appreciate that a lot.

Terri Broussard Williams  45:48

Hello, it’s like, you know, it opens the door to so many possibilities. They probably take that for granted. You know, being from the south that everyone says, Hello, my mother always say that Hello, is for everyone. So before we close out, is there anything that you, you want to share with the listeners that we haven’t covered?

Farah Muscadin  46:08

Um, I would say that it’s okay to have some self doubt, it’s okay to because that voice is going to be there. And you can’t necessarily shut it up all the time. But you can tell it to be quiet. And I think what’s most important is to believe in yourself. There’s two things that do models that I have from my mother that I absolutely live by. And they mean so much to me now, as I got older than I was when she was telling me this when I was younger. But she told me, she always told me everything happens for a reason. And not to expect to know the reasons sometimes you may know the reasons, sometimes you may not, but know that there always is a reason. And then she also told me to be open to receive. Because there are things that may be there for you, but you might be blocking them, it could be the self doubt, it could be the fear, right? And addressing those things will make you more open so that you can receive with what is yours. And so I live my life in that way. And I think that had I not been open to being to receive that having three different jobs and six months and that trajectory with me in the city of Austin, it wouldn’t have happened. So I just say, you know, to the extent that you can, because you can’t control kind of those negative feelings and the fear that comes up because I think those are natural, but I think you can tell them to shut up. And I think, you know, have you know, continue to have faith in yourself and just be open because if it’s meant for you, it’ll be for you.

Terri Broussard Williams  47:41

That’s right. It always is right. Always Always is.

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