During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Amarillo City Secretary Stephanie Coggins shared information regarding the Sanctuary City for the Unborn petition. The petition was submitted April 28, and validated Wednesday. Coggins said she was assisted by the Assistant Secretary and 10 or so other city employees.

Of the estimated 10,000 signatures submitted, Coggins says she and her staff were able to validate approximately 6,800, more than meeting the minimum needed. Reasons some were not able to be validated according to Coggins included:

  • Signer was not a registered voter
  • Signer did not select their county
  • Signer lived outside Amarillo proper

Coggins said one affidavit was received to remove a signature from the petition.

Mayor Cole Stanley also fielded questions from the local press, including why – if the state’s Heartbeat Act makes Texas a Sanctuary State – does a municipality like Amarillo need to take this matter up?

“Local matters most,” was Mayor Stanley’s reply. He did add that council has instructed the City Attorney to draft a letter to clearly define state law. Stanley also noted the council “does not have a 3 vote majority” that would pass this ordinance, and, “most of my citizens are ready to put this in the rear view mirror.” 

The petition will be presented to the city council May 28, after which it will have 30 days to take action.