Travis County Revisits Creating Public Defenders’ Office

April 18, 2019
Austin Chronicle

Judging from Monday night’s “conversation” about the possibility of creating a Travis County Public Defenders’ Office, the myriad stakeholders still want to make progress toward that goal – and even managed to agree that any such office must be “adequately” funded. How to get from here to there … remains to be determined.

The Carver Library forum, sponsored by the Travis County Democratic Party, the Black Austin Democrats, and the University Democrats, spent a couple of hours going over the very basic details of what needs to happen – and what it would likely cost – to lay the groundwork for a new PD office. The multi-party sponsorship, the multi-panelist conversation, and the considerable attendance of current courthouse players, suggested both that (to borrow a phrase from Albert King) everybody wants to get to heaven … but nobody is yet eagerly volunteering to endure the necessary transition.