Two puppies named Bernie and Hillary scurried around supporters of Texas house candidate Gina Hinojosa Thursday during a rally on the West Mall in support of the no-kill status at Austin animal shelters.
As one of the seven Democrats running for House District 49, the district encompassing West Campus and UT, Hinojosa stressed her support for the city’s ban on euthanising sick and hurt animals throughout Austin’s shelters.
“She understands that being a no-kill status [city] is part of what energizes this city,” Tamala Barksdale, a Hinojosa campaign volunteer, said. “She is the person in this race best positioned to represent that value for Austin, and fight any legislation that would come up and jeopardize our no-kill status.”
In February 2011, Austin City Council members approved a ban on the euthanization of animals held in animal shelters, which allowed Austin to hold the title of the largest city in the country with a no-kill status.
During the last legislative session, representatives proposed House Bill 1274, a bill that, if approved, would have held veterinarians working at animal shelters to higher regulatory standards.
Opponents of the failed bill, including Hinojosa, argued it would have required veterinarians to discontinue treating hurt animals until their holding period, which usually lasts three days, had ended and would have led to euthanizing hurt animals as a last resort.
Although Austin’s no-kill status is an important issue for many in the city, Hinojosa also stressed her support for investing more higher education funding, another critical issue for Austinites.
“We’re seeing a different reality for students than we have in the past with a shrinking middle class in this country and in this state,” Hinojosa said. “It’s all about our futures and our opportunities to engage and be a part of a community.”
Hinojosa supporters and students who walked by — mainly to pet the puppies — stressed local house races, like the one in Austin, are arguably more important and vital to students and voters than statewide or even
“What happens in the local races and primaries affects students more closer to home as opposed to what’s happening in the presidential race on a bigger scale,” said international relations sophomore Anthony Mireles , a supporter of Hinojosa.
With early voting coming to an end today, voters can still cast their ballots on campus at the Flawn Academic Center on March 1, election day for Texas voters.