SAN ANGELO, Texas – Seven individuals stood in front of San Angelo City Council for public comment to discuss the Topic of San Angelo as a Sanctuary City for the Unborn.

The meeting intended to “consider accepting a duly certified petition in support of Outlawing Abortion and Declaring San Angelo a Sanctuary City for the Unborn.” Council’s goal was to establish a day and time for a public hearing of the ordinance, and direct staff to publish the ordinance in the newspaper at least once prior to discussion at the public hearing, according to the City Council Meeting agenda.

In the meeting, City Clerk, Julia Antilley, tells Mayor Brenda Gunter and City Council they have, “Received petition papers [with] signatures to support the outline of the abortion declaration and to claim San Angelo as a Sanctuary City for the Unborn.”

They have received sufficient signatures, which was a minimum of 1,512. This allowed council to move forward with the steps that have to be done for the charter to get this onto a ballot.

City Council initially agreed on March 1, 2022, as the date for a public hearing because it would give enough time for necessary newspaper notification. All seven individuals that spoke during the City Council meeting’s ‘public comment’ were for making San Angelo a Sanctuary City but opposed to the March 1, 2022 hearing date.

Six of those individuals encouraged council to expedite the process, with the public hearing sooner than March 1, 2022. This would allow it to be on the May ballot rather than the November ballot. However, Antilley explained the process that must be completed before council can vote on the matter. This process includes:

  1. Accepting the certified petition that was in the background, which certifies that they did receive adequate signatures
  2. Setting a date or time for the public hearing.
  3. Get the notice into the newspaper. (It is 17 pages in English. The City is expecting there to be that many or more in the Spanish translation. As a result, they will need adequate time to publish that in the newspaper.)
  4. A public hearing
  5. City Council can decide to accept the ordinance as proposed, make changes to the ordinance, or reject the ordinance. If rejected, the initiating committee has 20 days to send over a certified statement saying that they would like the petition to still be placed on the ballot, either in the form that they originally submitted or in an amended form.

Antilley says they have reached out to Lubbock for time reference of how much notice they gave before holding the public hearing. The city has looked to Lubbock for reference because there’s not a standard set out by the state or in the San Angelo City Charter.

After hearing public comment, San Angelo City Council approved in a 4-to-1 vote for a public hearing on the topic to be conducted on March 1, 2022.